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New AT MAX arrived. Took it out a few times.....

Turak

Member
Let's start off by saying that I'm in Michigan and I have had an AT Pro for 7 years and an AT Gold for 5 years. I love them both and over the years of using them, have come to see how they have been tweaked/tailored for slightly different things.

AT Pro - Better for a new user, or a user that prefers a 'quieter' machine. Tailored more for coin hunting, although can hunt gold, relics, jewelry, etc. exceptionally well too.

AT Gold - A more advanced machine. More higher end settings that can be adjusted. Higher operating frequency makes it a bit more sensitive to smaller gold objects. More for a mid/high end user.

Now the AT Max.....

Coming from the perspective of having used both the AT Pro and AT Gold detectors, I would say that the AT Max is about 60-70% AT Gold and about 30-40% AT Pro. It basically has almost all the best features of BOTH the AT Pro and the AT Gold with a few NEW items (Lighted Display, Z-Link, etc.) as well. Also they went lower on the operating frequency (13KHz) as compared to the Pro (15KHz) and the Gold (18KHz), which is part of the reason for the extra depth using the standard coils. Unfortunately, it uses the same sound patterns as the AT Gold. Many people have expressed their preference to the AT Pro's sound patterns and I have to agree there.

For the 2nd and 3rd trips below, I took it to a large recreation area (big lake, beach, pic-nic areas, etc.) near my home where I have been hunting for at least the last 8 years.

Hunting trips so far;

1st trip out - I just took it outside in my back yard and played with it a bit, experimenting with the various settings. Basically seeing how it sounded, more like an AT Pro or more like an AT Gold.

2nd trip out - Took it to the Beach sand for a couple hours. Using the standard 8.5" x 11" DD coil it comes with. Used 'Coin' setting. All other settings at defaults. Ground balanced at 92 with a GB Window of 11. Found a couple clad pennies, some pieces of foil, a small fish hook, and a small gold chain with 3 little gold charms on it. Looks like a small wrist or anklet chain. First time I have ever found a small gold chain at this beach. Right next to the water, about 2 inches down.

3rd trip out - Hunted a VERY TRASHY area between the Pic-nic area and the parking lot area. Changed the coil from the standard 8.5"x11" DD to the 5"x8" DD coil. Used the 'All Metal' mode setting. All other settings at defaults. Ground balanced at 94 with a GB window of 01. Found a clad penny, a clad dime, an old square nail (down about 5 inches), a couple pop can tabs, a few bottle caps, and a 1944 Mercury Dime. My first ever Mercury dime at this park. It was about 6 inches down, hiding near some bottle caps. I do like the 'All Metal' mode on this machine. Love the 5"x8" DD coil for the trashy areas, absolutely GREAT!

Note regarding the Ground Balance Window Feature (only on the AT Gold and AT Max) - It works differently on the two machines.
The Ground Balance window on the AT Max is Automatic (not adjustable) and has a variable spread window plus/minus 2.5 'steps' (so it could be anywhere from a 0-12 point window spread, depends on the GB number).
The Ground Balance window on the AT Gold is Adjustable and has a spread window of plus/minus 6 'points' (up to a Full 12 point window spread).

So overall, my take so far...

Definitely a more sensitive machine than either the AT Pro or the AT Gold. Very chatty like an AT Gold, especially when using the discriminating modes. All Metal mode is much quieter. I wish they would have used the AT Pro's sound patterns, especially the high Bell tones on the high VDI items. It is definitely what I would consider a higher end machine, better for a mid level/experienced user rather than a beginner. It definitely gets a bit more depth at various times than the other two using the same coils. Be nice if they could find a way to use more than just 2 tones when in 'all metal' mode, although your lucky you can even get 2 tones.

Someone coming from using an AT Pro may not like this as well since it is more like an AT Gold, noisier and chatty in discrimination modes. Someone coming from using an AT Gold would probably like this machine since it uses almost the same sound patterns and you gain some really nice extra features. Also someone who had never used an AT Pro and started out on this machine would probably do better as well, since they may not know what a 'quiet' machine really sounds like.

I will be keeping my AT PRO, and the AT MAX will replace the AT Gold for me.
 
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jim tn

Well-known member
Nice write up, particularly for those that have or had both the Pro and Gold. I have had three different A T Pro's over the year's and really love the audio in Pro Zero. Again, good write. Spells out nicely the differences of the three detectors. HH jim tn
 

Dancer

Well-known member
Turak, well done review. Read about the same from someone when the Max first came out. I've hunted my Pro since shortly after they came out. I've a lot of faith in it. It can get a little heavy if your not in the coins, so I switch to a lighter machine every other hunt. That has been working out. Again thank you for your review.
 
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