Over the five years I have been detecting, I have purchased 3 metal detectors. I am a strong supporter of the White's brand of detectors not only because I live 10 miles from the factory, but also because of their superior customer service, quality products and the ability of their machines to go deep and see through trash to get the good stuff, even in "hunted out" areas. The following is a list of the machines and coils that I have and what I think of them.
|Prizm II||| MXT E-Series||| Spectra V3||| NEW - Spectra V3i|
|Detector||Purchase Date||Time as Primary||Best Finds||Current Status|
|Prizm II||Feb. 2008||6 mos.||1949 Wheat Penny, Fake Rings, Necklace||Sold to friend April '12|
|MXT E-Series||Aug. 2008||1 yr. 3mos.||1915 Half, 1893-S Dime, 1896 Dime(Canada), Silver Crosses, Silver rings, Gold rings||Sold to a friend Mar. '11|
|Spectra V3i||Nov. 2009||Current||1909 Quarter, 1949-S Half, 1911 Dime, 1916-S dime, Seated Quarter(No Date)||Currently my primary machine|
Other than some brief experience as a child with my parent's machine, the Prizm II
was my first foray into the detecting world. I drove out to Sweet Home and picked
it up at the factory, not really knowing what to expect from the hobby. My first time
out with the machine was not very successful, but I was
Depth is about 6-7 inches. There is no depth meter on the machine but there is
target ID as well as discrimination.
The pinpoint feature works very well but does require some practice. The
detector runs off of 2 9-volt batteries, one powers the box and the other powers
the speaker. Battery life is upwards of 20 hours.
The stock coil is an 8" concentric coil which I found to be a little small, but
sufficient. The greatest thing about this machine is the weight, less than 3
pounds. You can swing all day and never get tired. Currently, I have a Jr. rod
on this machine so that my 4 year old daughter can detect once in a while, but it
is not a toy, this can find the good stuff in the hands of someone who knows how
to use it.
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The MXT was my first "serious" metal detector. A mid/high end detector, this
machine can get as deep as any of the more expensive models albeit without some
of the nicer bells and whistles. The MXT does have three separate modes for hunting:
Relic, Prospecting and Coin & Jewelry. For over a year, this was my primary machine
and even though I have upgraded since, I didn't really want to get rid of it. Luckily I
sold it to a good detecting friend so I get to see it at work often.
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The depth on this machine is over 10 inches in the right soil. My deepest find
to date with the MXT was an 1893-S Barber dime at over 9 inches. The MXT has
two-tone target ID in the Relic mode which is what I usually run in. The MXT uses
VCO in the pinpoint mode meaning
that the pitch gets higher and louder the closer the coil is to the target.
This is a very useful feature. One big change in this
machine compared to the Prizm is VDI, or Visual Discrimination Indicator. This
is a feature that White's uses to discriminate targets. The range runs from -95 to
+95. Almost all negative VDIs are iron and can be discriminated out.
Coins like pennies, dimes, quarter and halves all run in the higher VDIs while
nickels tend to be more in the upper teens. VDI and
were two of the main reason I wanted to upgrade.
The MXT stock coil is a concentric 9.5" coil that works very well, especially on
beaches. However, after purchasing the 10" DD coil for my MXT, I realized that it
was a very special combination. The 10" coil is ideal for open field hunting,
covering a lot of ground and getting deep. For more trashy or metal filled areas,
a smaller coil would probably be more desirable. The good news is that the MXT is
compatible with all high-end White's coils.
The Spectra V3 is the current flagship model of the White's line
of detectors. A color screen, wireless headphones, and
3 frequency capabilities take it to a level above almost every other
VLF detector on the market.
The machine is totally customizable and has 10 turn-on-and-go programs to get
you going without too much adjusting.
Depth can get up to 12 inches in lightly mineralized soil, my deepest so far was
a pair of Indian Head pennies from about 8 inches. There is a bit of a learning
curve on this machine so I would not recommend it for a beginner. With a little
bit of learning though, there are so many possibilities with this machine.
A new addition to the aresnal with this machine is the analyze screen. While some
people think of it as just a novelty, it has helped me find several targets
that were hidden by trash or iron.
The V3 stock coil is the 10" DD coil, which I was very pleased with on the MXT, and the V3 setup is no different. For trashy or small areas and getting right up next to fences and tot lot equipment, I purchased a 4x6 DD Shooter coil. While it may lose and inch or two of depth compared to the 10", the 4x6 is a great precision coil.
Between the 3 frequency capabilities and the wireless headphones, the V3 is in a class all by itself. I have found some great coins with it like a 1909 Barber Quarter, a dateless Seated Quarter, a 1949-S Franklin Half and a 1916-S (so close!!) Mercury dime, and the finds keep rolling in. Stay tuned for even more great finds to come.
UPDATE - New V3i
White's has recently announced the new "i" upgrade to the Spectra V3. There are 8 new additions to the Spectra that will replace the function to transfer programs wirelessly between machines.
- Quick Reference Guide(An onbaord user manual)
- Langauge Selection(English, German, Spanish, French, Turkish & Russian)
- Coil Selection(Adjusts depth readings to each individual coil)
- Ground Selection(Normal & Salt to deal with different ground types)
- Polar Plot(Identifies sought-after alloys from trash and iron)
- Prospecting Scan(Real-time ground plotting)
- Stereo Mixed Mode(All-metal in one ear, discrimination in the other)
- Status Bar ID(Tells you what mode you are in; search, analyze, pinpoint or grounding)