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Thoughts on Garrett Apex

The Apex caught my eye and after quite a bit of online research I ended up purchasing the Apex recently. I do like trying different machines, but I try to narrow any new machines down to something that will presumably provide a benefit above and beyond the machines I already own.

Mostly I hunt for coins - the older the better, but I am not opposed to modern clad and I am quite pleased with the occasional ring (or bit of jewelry). I’m not into relics (for the most part) but I do dig them - but very rarely keep them (I have a couple of friends who love relics, and I give them nearly every relic I find).

For me it is far more about finding the item, than it is about the item found.

I mostly hunt permissions with a fairly long history - some going back to the early 1700's. I tend to hunt those sites over and over - slowly removing trash that runs from modern to 200+ years old.

I don’t typically hunt salt water (I live about 40 miles from the ocean and only 12 miles from the bay) but I have some interest in doing a bit more hunting in the wet sand (not in the water).

In choosing the Apex I was looking for the following:

A machine that will compliment the other machines I own
A machine that can do well in wet salt sand
A machine that can unmask fairly well
A light weight machine
A simple machine that others can easily operate
A machine that is fun to use

Despite a number of unflattering reviews (of the Apex) I chose the Apex because I believed it met my criteria and would be a good addition to my current machines. I purchased the Ripper coil (to be used in trashy sites) along with the wireless headphones.

The weather was relatively nice today so I took the Apex out for a short hunt. I went to a site that is moderately trashy since it was my first use of the machine - wanting to test out its unmasking capabilities without being overwhelmed. I left the stock coil on for this maiden voyage.

I ran the sensitivity two bars down from the max, and ground balanced the Apex when I changed frequencies and/or modes (around 90). I ran iron volume at 2. I ran the regular volume at 8, and adjusted the headphone volume for my comfort.

I only hunted for about 45 minutes; during which I dug 3 wheat cents, 4 copper memorials, two half-eaten zincolns, a vehicle key, and a smattering of trash. I dug the trash knowing (for the most part anyway) that it would be trash, but I wanted to get an idea of how the Apex sounds on various targets.

I hunted in MF, 5kHz, and 20kHz - mostly in zero mode, but I did try the relic mode too. The only somewhat deep target (dug) was the key - it was a measured 8 inches in the soil and rang up loud and clear. I don’t recall the VDI numbers, but they did bounce around a bit. There was some iron about 4 inches away, but I did not dig the iron. The pinpoint (on the key) did seem to suggest a target that was just a tad larger than a coin - but the tone was good so I dug it anyway. The key was located while using 20kHz and in zero mode.

The coins were all 4inches or less, with good tones and target ID’s that varied very little. Some were very close to iron, but none were dug with actual trash in the hole. Some of the iron was close enough that I had to be very selective when pinpointing.

My thoughts on the Apex

It is a very well built machine. Very light weight and easy to swing. The controls are simple and intuitive. The headphones are very nice with no discernable lag. Pinpointing is accurate. It unmasks better than I expected (given some of the reviews I saw) and I expect the Ripper coil to perform even better in that regard.

I really like the ability to vary the volume of iron signals (most of my other machines do so) since I am used to hunting in such a manner. The Apex was noisy - but that’s because of all the metal in the ground (I couldn’t make a swing without several iron signals). Switching to relics mode (iron audio off) made things a lot quieter.

I think the Apex is an excellent choice for coin-hunting a park, or the beach. I suspect the Ripper coil will make the Apex a decent choice for very trashy locations (I will find out soon).

I like the ability to select an individual frequency, or simultaneous frequencies. I have no idea if the single frequencies offer an advantage over multi-frequency at this point (that will come with a lot more use). I did not compare frequencies on individual targets: I just located the target and decided to dig, or not.

It will take me a bit of time to learn what the machine is telling me, but I think the Apex meets all of my criteria and then some. It is a very fun machine to use.
 

Gamma_Joe

Active member
That's an excellent review of the Apex, plus good descriptions of how those finds were placed. Reading it is almost like being there.

A separate volume setting for "iron audio" sounds like it's a valuable addition to a detector.
 

RLOH

Well-known member
I had an Apex for a couple of months and I thought it was a nice detector for coin hunting. All of the features were useable and easily adjusted. I found the Multi-frequency to work best for me. I would say it is not a "depth demon", but is accurate to 7 inches or so. I found a handful of wheats and couple of buffalo nickels. I only sold it because in my opinion, it is in the same category of the Omega and Fisher F5. I have a Fisher F5 and I have not found a 400 dollar detector that I like better. I think it got a bad rap right out of the gate. People thought because it was a multi-frequency machine, that it would compete with the Equinox. I am hoping that Garrett blends some White's technology with their multi-frequency tech and comes up with something to compete with the foreign competition.
 
I had an Apex for a couple of months and I thought it was a nice detector for coin hunting. All of the features were useable and easily adjusted. I found the Multi-frequency to work best for me. I would say it is not a "depth demon", but is accurate to 7 inches or so. I found a handful of wheats and couple of buffalo nickels. I only sold it because in my opinion, it is in the same category of the Omega and Fisher F5. I have a Fisher F5 and I have not found a 400 dollar detector that I like better. I think it got a bad rap right out of the gate. People thought because it was a multi-frequency machine, that it would compete with the Equinox. I am hoping that Garrett blends some White's technology with their multi-frequency tech and comes up with something to compete with the foreign competition.

I agree that the expectations of the Apex being on par with the Equinox were overly enthusiastic at best. The two machines are in different categories, though I suspect that a person who is highly proficient with the Apex will outperform the average Joe who uses an Equinox.

I'd love to see Garrett come out with a modern, light weight, version of the V3i (my personal favorite machine) - perhaps not quite as user-configurable, but keeping the target information capabilities of the V3i. I would be very surprised if Garrett doesn't bring out an AT version of the Apex: a machine that can go toe-to-toe with the Equinox and beat it in many applications. I suspect that Nokta will be very competitive as well.

As it is I think the Apex is a very good machine - one well suited for the majority of hunters.
 

John-Edmonton

Moderator
Staff member
I have found the APEX to be a decent coin hunter, even pulled out several rings last year. You can run it right out of the box in any mode, or you can tweak it up for low and high conductors. You also have different coils available, both produced by Garrett and after market ones. The APEX is doing very well in the UK and has a huge following.
 

Monte

Well-known member
My thoughts on the Apex

It is a very well built machine. Very light weight and easy to swing. The controls are simple and intuitive. The headphones are very nice with no discernable lag. Pinpointing is accurate. It unmasks better than I expected (given some of the reviews I saw) and I expect the Ripper coil to perform even better in that regard.

I really like the ability to vary the volume of iron signals (most of my other machines do so) since I am used to hunting in such a manner. The Apex was noisy - but that’s because of all the metal in the ground (I couldn’t make a swing without several iron signals). Switching to relics mode (iron audio off) made things a lot quieter.

I think the Apex is an excellent choice for coin-hunting a park, or the beach. I suspect the Ripper coil will make the Apex a decent choice for very trashy locations (I will find out soon).

I like the ability to select an individual frequency, or simultaneous frequencies. I have no idea if the single frequencies offer an advantage over multi-frequency at this point (that will come with a lot more use). I did not compare frequencies on individual targets: I just located the target and decided to dig, or not.

It will take me a bit of time to learn what the machine is telling me, but I think the Apex meets all of my criteria and then some. It is a very fun machine to use.
I feel you made a good pick, and I appreciate your review and conclusions. I bought an Apex immediately upon release and it made a near perfect 'fit' in my Detector Team to complement some of my other models. I now have 3 Apex units, keeping a different coil on each one for quick grab-and-go hunting when I get to a site. Handy for when I want to make a coil change for different conditions or applications. The 'Ripper' is my primary-use coil and works great!

Yes, I also feel the Apex got some bad reviews early on, and in some cases I know the comment-makers hadn't handled an Apex. They were simply biased toward their higher-priced different brand. Right now I am likely to make a trade for an additional Apex just to keep the 'Viper' coil mounted and have it along as a 'loaner-unit' for friends and family. That way we are using the same detector with the same adjustment functions and that can help keep them from thinking I loaned them an inferior unit to what I am using.

Continue to take the time to learn and appreciate the Apex .... and whatever else you have that it complements. Most of the time I have the Sensitivity maxed out, Volume at '8', Iron Volume at '2', and I use the 'Custom' mode slot and accept everything from '20' on up. I use MF most of the time, but not all the time, I get a lot of use out of 15'kHz and'20 kHz for the places I hunt and to deal with some EMI when MF is annoyed.

Monte
 
I have found the APEX to be a decent coin hunter, even pulled out several rings last year. You can run it right out of the box in any mode, or you can tweak it up for low and high conductors. You also have different coils available, both produced by Garrett and after market ones. The APEX is doing very well in the UK and has a huge following.
Sorry to contradict, but the Apex hasn't a huge following in the UK, it's quite the opposite.
 

DIG5050

New member
I have always liked Garrett Products since the 90's. Even when I felt that sometimes they were lagging in the industry. Their build quality has always been top-notch (except for the noodly handles of the early GTA1000). I owned enough of them over the years.

After some research, I bought the Apex Z-Lynk WHP back in Sept.-Oct. 2020. I have had pretty good success with it so far. With the Z-Lynk WHP, I liked the ability to add the Garrett carrot with Z-Lynk as well, and purchased one recently.

I must say that I enjoy using the machine because of it's features, light weight, and Z-LYNK WHP. It is fairly simple to operate with just enough adjustments for flexibility. Some people just want to go out, turn on the machine and begin searching, not spend their time pushing buttons.

It has some shortcomings, mainly in firmware features, but I believe the firmware in the unit will mature, and hopefully Garret makes updates available to users just like Nokta and Minelab have done for their machines and users. I was told by a service technician last fall that user access to firmware updates is not normally the case with Garrett products, but they designed in the capability with this machine, and hopefully they come through down the road.

Maybe what they learn from Apex users and the acquisition of Whites IP will be put to use in a more fully featured "AT Apex" or such in the future as an upgrade path, or for new users who desire to have more flexibility.

 

jim tn

Well-known member
I've always liked Garrett detectors, always sturdy and typically free of problems. I had a couple of early Garrett's and the Coin Master 7x found me hundreds of old coins. I've had 3 A T Pro's, still have and use one, and for day in, day out use, they are still more the viable. I only wish they had a couple inches more depth. HH Jim tn
 
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