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To Tweak or to Trust?

Monkeys Uncle

Well-known member
Been detecting 8 yrs. Started with a cheap Bounty Hunter. Moved up ($ wise) to an AT Pro, then to an ETRAC and now a Vanquish 440. Detected good and bad targets with all of them. Best find ever was a $6 grand diamond ring...BUT, that find was made on the surface, in bright light with the naked eye. Would not have discovered most of the other finds without a detector though.

After 8 yrs and 4 machines (simple & complex) with upgrades in technology over time, my thoughts on the subject are the more bells/whistles in terms of how much one can "fine tune/tweak" his/her machine...the more frustration one will encounter. It will become a constantly nagging matter of "how much" discrimination does one use??, which is the "better (more conclusive) signal"...ferrous or conductive??, how high (or low) should I set the gain??, which tone or pitch (if you can even tell) is really silver and not clad?? I could continue the list...but, I think you get the idea.

Right or wrong...I've become convinced of two things. They are:
1.) A multitude of "bells/whistles" CAN improve one's abilities/opportunities to dig treasure, BUT it;
2.) Will or can also heighten one's likelihood of missing treasure due to the "wrong" settings for the location/target/depth/moisture/orientation. etc., etc., ETC, ad infinitum!!

My point is...the more choices one has...the more chances of "getting it wrong" AND the more one will begin to "doubt" those choices AND ultimately, his/her "machine's actual capabilities". I say this because I've watched several videos where the user demonstrates that given certain settings, the detector can totally ignores a target, and after toggling thru various settings...the machine finally indicates a target was present all along. WHO wants to continually make adjustments...guessing every time what the BEST settings are...WHEN we're not even aware that we unknowingly just "walked over" a good target?? That consideration IS the definition of frustration in my mind.

As for me...I've moved to settling for:
a.) the "latest technology" +
b.) "a Mfg. reputation for quality", and every bit as important TO ME,
c.) "simplicity".

I've decided to trust in the mfg's engineer, who IS an expert in their field and LAST...realize the machine that "GETS IT RIGHT" every time in every condition for every kind of treasure...HASN'T BEEN BUILT and probably never will.

X-Ray vision might get us there.
shocked.gif
HH, good luck and stay well!
 

Monkeys Uncle

Well-known member
Dude the E-Trac is the best detector the 440 doesn't come close.
"Once upon a time"...I believed that. Own them both and have LOTS of hrs using the former...but will have to disagree with you. Vanquish is a simpler, lighter detector...but every bit as capable and 10,000 times easier to detect with. I don't have to worry, wonder or hope that I have it programmed for the site, its conditions and probable targets and depart thinking "what I MIGHT have found with different settings!!! ML's engineers figured all that out and I TRUST THEM. Good luck, HH and stay well!
 

Elmy

Well-known member
"Once upon a time"...I believed that. Own them both and have LOTS of hrs using the former...but will have to disagree with you. Vanquish is a simpler, lighter detector...but every bit as capable and 10,000 times easier to detect with. I don't have to worry, wonder or hope that I have it programmed for the site, its conditions and probable targets and depart thinking "what I MIGHT have found with different settings!!! ML's engineers figured all that out and I TRUST THEM. Good luck, HH and st
🤣
 

Monkeys Uncle

Well-known member
Admittedly, the E-Trac IS an excellent machine. It is also an old one, whose time may have passed. It (like all detectors) will NEVER find everything...but, it definitely will not find THE target IF its user hasn't optimized all/every setting the E-Trac and like machines have made available to the untrained, inexperienced, confused and befuddled detectorist who must navigate the uncharted, underground world of hidden treasure AND junk. o_O
 

Elmy

Well-known member
Admittedly, the E-Trac IS an excellent machine. It is also an old one, whose time may have passed. It (like all detectors) will NEVER find everything...but, it definitely will not find THE target IF its user hasn't optimized all/every setting the E-Trac and like machines have made available to the untrained, inexperienced, confused and befuddled detectorist who must navigate the uncharted, underground world of hidden treasure AND junk. o_O
sorry to see you give the etrac up ...hope your new found dream machine works out for you !
 

Monkeys Uncle

Well-known member
sorry to see you give the etrac up ...hope your new found dream machine works out for you !
Haven't given up on it. IT IS a very very good machine. I have to admit, I was more than surprised by the Vanquish....particularly it's depth + stable response at depth + amazing recovery rate + separation capability. I'm old and lazy...I simply wanted a 'lighter' machine to swing for longer periods of time...BUT, can't express how impressed I've become by this SIMPLE, LITTLE detector. It has made detecting FUN & EASY again for an old coot.

By the way, Elmy I (as do many others) owe you a great deal of gratitude for your help and advice on using the E-Trac. I will continue to use it, but not everyday and will probably PM you when I need help. Thanks!!!
 

opa81

Active member
You are completely right. I started metal detecting 43 years ago and I have owned more then my share of detectors.

Last week I was detecting with a guy that just started the hobby and had one of those newer machines with 1000 different ways to tune. What i noticed was that he spending more time trying to tune his detector then time spending on trying to find a signal.

I was using my good old Laser B1 ( a European spin-of of the Tesoro Lobo) a detector that I own for more then 20+ years now. It is a turn on and go machine, which found me 3 gold coins in the last 20 years. We compared some signals and my good old detector was finding signals deeper then his state of the are NEW machine.

I also own a Minelab Equinox 600, but when you have not used it for several time you always have to think back on how to set your settings.

Andre
 

bootyhoundpa

Well-known member
Some valid points ..it can be much easier getting proficient with a good simpler machine but once you get to the limits of that machine from a settings stand point it’s time to move on to another spot whereas a machine with more versatility can find a few more good targets IF one can figure out what settings will squeak out a few more finds ..there are several places I hunt over and over and over ..I’m amazed I can still pull some decent finds out of these places on return trips ..hunting the same place many times over can go along way in learning one machine and how it reacts under various conditions..
 

u2robert

Well-known member
"Once upon a time"...I believed that. Own them both and have LOTS of hrs using the former...but will have to disagree with you. Vanquish is a simpler, lighter detector...but every bit as capable and 10,000 times easier to detect with. I don't have to worry, wonder or hope that I have it programmed for the site, its conditions and probable targets and depart thinking "what I MIGHT have found with different settings!!! ML's engineers figured all that out and I TRUST THEM. Good luck, HH and stay well!
Maybe I was a little harsh on the 440?
When I got the 540 it felt like I was going backwwards compare to the
E-Trac & EQ 800 as far as detector selection?
But that's just me.
 

Monkeys Uncle

Well-known member
Some valid points ..it can be much easier getting proficient with a good simpler machine but once you get to the limits of that machine from a settings stand point it’s time to move on to another spot whereas a machine with more versatility can find a few more good targets IF one can figure out what settings will squeak out a few more finds ..there are several places I hunt over and over and over ..I’m amazed I can still pull some decent finds out of these places on return trips ..hunting the same place many times over can go along way in learning one machine and how it reacts under various conditions..
I'm sorry and I don't wholly disagree with your premise (repeat hunting)...but it IS my definition of "frustration" IF I have to retrace my steps numerous times, change the settings AGAIN, then walk the same site I have already detected, AGAIN. THAT detector will find itself in the back corner of my attic, never to be re-tweaked for another chance at "MAYBE new settings are finally the real/true/accurate 'cats meow'". IMHO, there's better, more beneficial/much less frustrating forms of exercise than that and I speak with yrs of experience, believing all that was needed was a different setting...one more tweak...a slight adjustment...new advice/pattern/tone/blah/blah, etc. etc. Not anymore. Like the old TV sitcom..."It's the simpler life for me." Oh...and it is more fun in my books. HH and do stay well!

ETA - As you might have guessed, I just don't have the time, patience or temperance to REDO everything. I'm toooo old and much tooooo stubborn. My recommendation (Motto) - DO WHAT SUITS YA and don't sweat the small stuff! Now get out there and HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Elmy

Well-known member
I'm sorry and I don't wholly disagree with your premise (repeat hunting)...but it IS my definition of "frustration" IF I have to retrace my steps numerous times, change the settings AGAIN, then walk the same site I have already detected, AGAIN. THAT detector will find itself in the back corner of my attic, never to be re-tweaked for another chance at "MAYBE new settings are finally the real/true/accurate 'cats meow'". IMHO, there's better, more beneficial/much less frustrating forms of exercise than that and I speak with yrs of experience, believing all that was needed was a different setting...one more tweak...a slight adjustment...new advice/pattern/tone/blah/blah, etc. etc. Not anymore. Like the old TV sitcom..."It's the simpler life for me." Oh...and it is more fun in my books. HH and do stay well!

ETA - As you might have guessed, I just don't have the time, patience or temperance to REDO everything. I'm toooo old and much tooooo stubborn. My recommendation (Motto) - DO WHAT SUITS YA and don't sweat the small stuff! Now get out there and HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This post makes no sense to me at all ! Who in their right mind would not go back to a place where they find good stuff....If I find a gold coin or a trime or a seated coin of anything...or a silver dollar...or a handful of silver I would pull an Arnold Schwarzenegger on that site every time....you bet you double A....." I'LL BE BACK " on that site better armed to find all I can of coins minted around that time period. A good hunter knows what to look for....there is no simple go to detector for anywhere and everywhere.
Simple research is the key to know about what timeline the area he or she is hunting and what to expect, so they know what can be possibly found, giving them an idea of what to pattern their detector to hunt for. Your minelab has the coins pattern factory installed....you have to do nothing but use it for simplicity. Simple and worry free hunting.
 

Monkeys Uncle

Well-known member
This post makes no sense to me at all ! Who in their right mind would not go back to a place where they find good stuff....If I find a gold coin or a trime or a seated coin of anything...or a silver dollar...or a handful of silver I would pull an Arnold Schwarzenegger on that site every time....you bet you double A....." I'LL BE BACK " on that site better armed to find all I can of coins minted around that time period. A good hunter knows what to look for....there is no simple go to detector for anywhere and everywhere.
Simple research is the key to know about what timeline the area he or she is hunting and what to expect, so they know what can be possibly found, giving them an idea of what to pattern their detector to hunt for. Your minelab has the coins pattern factory installed....you have to do nothing but use it for simplicity. Simple and worry free hunting.
Except...after spending several hours/days/weeks/mos using the 'factory installed coins pattern' and finding less than expected...but always thinking 'another setting' (here a tweak/there a tweak) and the results would have been sooooo different...THUS the mystery setting (and the treasure) remain...well...a mystery. If one is "into that" and "gets off to it"...MPTY. As for me...it takes the joy out of the hobby and replaces it with questions of self doubt & machine capability, which in-turn ends up being personal "frustration". I'd rather have LESS mystery and MORE fun. "IF" my machine detects coins/jewelry "THEN", I'm satisfied with the idea that "IF" I left treasure in the field...I didn't swing the coil over it, OR it wasn't there to begin with. SO MUCH LESS FRUSTRATING! HH!
 

Picketwire

Active member
It is nice to see a civil discussion. I can see that simple is good and speeds up the learning curve. Even older detectors are probably better than I am. I think a person's learning curve is greatly accelerated by setting up tests in a convenient location where that person can see what is under the coil and how other objects in the vicinity and adjustments to the detector affect the signal. A person doing so is not always guessing and maybe forgetting what they learned the last time they went detecting. They can also, if they understand what the changes can do, adjust to make their detector better or see that they make it worse. While testing in their own laboratory, as it were, they can decide what works for them and adjust accordingly turning their detector into a simple turn on and go detector. Not everyone likes to test their equipment and for them, they are probably better off just trusting what they have, new or old. Just my opinion.
 

Draco

Well-known member
If you want many treasures to find, the back has to bend. ;)
What do I want to say with that? That deep down, we all know that there are many possibilities that discrimination will fail.
 
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