Greg's Picks for the BEST All-Purpose Metal Detectors 2019

What's Best for You May Not Be Best for the Rest

Make: Tarsacci Developed and Made in the USA.

Model MDT 8000

Retail: $1495.00 (Fair Traded)

Rating ***** +  

Comments:  Tarsacci is a small upstart MFG located in Merced California.    The Owner and Engineer, Dimeter Gargov, is not only Passionate about the hobby, Dimeter has extensive experience in product development , and has worked for Fisher Research in Los Banos, developing the Fisher ID, Fisher Gold Strike and Fisher Coin Strike.      

After Fisher was sold to First Texas who also carries the Bounty Hunter and Teknetics Label, Dimeter continued his product development which has culminated in this unique State of the Art Metal Detector.    

The MDT 8000 can be best described as a Hybrid, using the the best of Analog  with Digital.   Dimeter has at least three patents pending to protect his intellectual property on this Fantastic Detector.

The MDT's strong points is to tackle Alkali, Black Sand and Wet Salts which in heavy concentrations will disable your average very low frequency detector.   

In England, they are faced with Low Mineral Fields and a large amount of Ferrous or Iron Targets.   The BIGGEST Nuisance Challenge is what they call CO which is plentiful and reads out low numbers in a range overlapping where one will detect small silver hammered coins.      The MDT's strong point is its ability to cancel out the coal without any masking of desirable targets, even a Roman Hammered Silver Coin underneath a chunk of COKE.   I tested all my other detectors and they had problems with the COKE samples from England.

Speaking of Frequencies, you have a choice four.    

In the Wet Salt Surf, the MDT 8000 will hear small gold chains and earrings deeper than anything else on the market and yet its stability into the wet surf is so quiet.   The Visual Range is from -30 Ferrous to + 30 Non-Ferrous.

Make: Minelab, Developed and Made in Australia

Model: Equinox 800

Retail: $899,.00 MAP Pricing Available

Rating *****

Comments:   The Equinox 800 or 'Nox'  has proven itself to be extremely fast with minimal target masking.    Unlike most other brands, Minelab uses a Multi-Frequency (they wrote the book on this) in the Nox as well as most of their other models.   The Equinox 800 proved to have advantages over their current top of the line Explorer XT, 3030 which traces their pedigree back to about the year 2000.    The Equinox 800 is definitely Minelab's top seller in the All-Purpose category and has demonstrated its effectiveness on Deep Silver and Gold Chains.   

The Equinox 800 is near the top of the food chain in performance only surpassed by the more expensive MDT 8000 by Tarsacci.    Unfortunately for Minelab, the Equinox 800 sales have far surpassed their Explorer Series due to their superior performance in the Gold Range and Silver Range.    The Explorer Series like the White's V3i tends to be much slower in their recovery speed thus subject to target masking right out of the box.

The Nox ulike the Explorer Series is much lighter and so better balance.    This leads me to question when Minelab will capitalize on the success of the Equinox and take it to the next level with a completely newly Designed Explorer which currently retails over $2000.00.         Minelab is sold through Select Dealers coast to coast including my Associate Dealer, Larry @ Big Valley Metal Detectors who actively hunts with his Equinox 800 and has gone back to those worked over sites by the Sacramento Clubs and found 100s of missed silver and gold which eluded the other brands.

Make: White's Electronics, Developed and Made in the USA

Model Spectrum V3i

Retail $ 1799.95, MAP Pricing Available

Rating ****

Comments:  White's current top of the line is the Spectrum V3i (Originally the Vision), which I had the privilege of working with Jimmy Sierra and Son, developing the Prototype.   It is a menue based digital system and can be a bit complimented to  learn and navigate, so the learning curve is a bit longer than most.   The Color Screen is superior to anything else on the market and the V3i works on 3 discrete frequencies.     Mark Rowan, then White';s Chief Engineer and also the developer of earlier Spectrum Series detectors did most of the initial work on the Prototypes, but left White's before the detector was fished.       When the tuning is Optimized, the V3i also goes quite deep with excellent visual target ID.       What you have to be aware of is that the V3i seems to be vulnerable to junk target masking.   You can compensate for its recovery speed by adjustments in the menu.      One of the BEST features in the V3i is the Polar Plot and Sizing Plot capabilities which can help you to better identify high probable junk vs valuables.    I would give this detector a full 5 stars if it were just on the Display and the ability to change so many settings.   

Make: Garrett Electronics, Developed and Made in the USA

Model GTI 2500

Retail $ 1099.95, MAP Pricing Available

Rating ****

Comments:  Garrett GTI 2500 is Garrett's Top of the line VLF detector but it is quite dated and was improved over the GTI 2000.   It has the ability to mate up to the Blood Hound Two Box Loop giving it the equivalent of a 50" diameter coil for deep cache hunting.    The GTI series in addition to Visual Discrimination (Coin Hunting) took a page out of white's Quantum Series and Spectrum Series regarding Sizing.   Unlike White's sizing, where the coil has to be kept in motion, the Garrett GTI 2500 can Size the target from the smallest (A) to largest (E) WITHOUT  motion.   Garrett also has numerous options in hunting to handle most situations.   Caution;   Earlier Units overloaded quite easily over difficult ground.   This was improved, but if your hunting heavy mineralized area, Trans Bay Metal Detectors recommends any of their Double D (Wide Scan) Search Coils.

Fisher Electronics (First Texas), Developed and Made in the USA

Model: F-75+

Retail: $799.95

Rating ***+

Comments:   When the F-75 first came out, I was excited about its large screen, speedy recovery and overall sensitivity.    I quickly realized how LIMITED the Sensitivity Control was... for instance, at a local park, although the F-75 had 100 levels of sensitivity, I was only able to hunt at a maximum of 24 out of 100 due to EMI.    I took my F-75 up to gold country with Digger Bob and Jimmy Sierra and the F-75 would overload on the ground within 6".      Overall, its as Fast as a Tesoro but it is all digital.   Lots of features.   Its sister make/model Teknetics T-2 seems to be a bit smoother.   First Texas today seems to have changed its marketing policy and sells direct to the public, not relying on any local Professional Dealers.   My Distributor on the Teknetics and Fisher Products was formally Outdoor Outfitters who no longer distributes this line.;     First Texas Chief Engineer is Dave Johnson who is a fine engineer.     I first worked with Dave on the White's MXT development as he had designed the agressive tracking system for the MXT Series as well as the Goldmaster Series.    

XP (Explorer)  (Developed and Made in France)

Model: Deus

Retail: $1049.00

Comments:  The XP-Deus was introduced into the United States in 2009 and was revolutionary in its overall Design, Speed and Wireless capability.l    I was contacted by Master Detectorist and Author, Andy Sabisch who was indeed excited about this detector.    The performance under most ground conditions is above average.   In Salt Water it won't compete with the Tarsacci MDT 8000 or the Equinox 800.   The Retail Price has been lowered several times to compete in the supply and demand.    I won't get into the Politics surrounding MFG to Distributor to Dealer, but it has been overall very unsatisfactory.   Changes however have been pending and since this is a SOFTWARE driven detector which can be updated at anytime, XP has added something similar to the Polar Plot on the White's V3i which enables better ID of ferrous items.     XP continues to innovate, and I do like the idea of software updates.     

Other European Mfg.

Makes: C-Scope (British), Makro & Nokta (Turkish)

Models: See Web Sites

Retail:  Usually under $1000 for their premium models but Prices and Package differences are Numerous

Comments:   These European Detectors are developed and designed where the ground conditions are low mineral.    My point is that in higher mineralization, the circuits can overload thus wiping out 100% of your depth to reducing the performance in the ground severely.

Chinese Detectors.

Reliability Awful,   Counterfeiting... Awful.   Counterfeiting they do..... NO Brand is free from being victimized.    Folks purchase a White's Goldmaster GMT for $350.00 and it fails and turns out to be a counterfeit.   None of the MFGs in America or Australia will fix them, so you have thrown away your money.   The Chinese can't build a loop or understand nulling so the loops or coils are the first to fail.       My advice.... stay away from On Line Sales so you don't get stuck with one of these counterfeit models.  

Where to Buy?

Please, Deal with an Authorized Professional Dealer like Trans Bay Metal Detectors, Big Valley Metal Detectors where the detectors are genuinely made in America, France, Australia or Europe.   ADDITIONALLY, IF you don't buy from Trans Bay or Big Valley Metal Detectors, make SURE you buy from an expert that is going to guide you in the right direction to purchase the right metal detector that BEST meets your overall needs.

$40,000 Engagement Ring Recovred by Tarsacci MDT 8000
$40,000 Engagement Ring Recovred by Tarsacci MDT 8000