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I have never seen anything like the pre-sale interest in the new Minelab EQUINOX in my over 40 years in the industry. We do see extreme interest in a new gold model, like the GPZ for example, but that is actually very limited to the prospectors. Other detectors have had major interest before details have been known, only to drop off rapidly when the reality is underwhelming. I think Minelab has been wise doing a slow reveal, as the EQUINOX just keeps looking better the more you know about it.
I am very much of a mind that we are at a basic limit of sorts as regards depth of detection. That being the case it for me has come down to finding a machine that packs as much capability as possible into a single unit. The last couple years have been a little frustrating as I have cast about trying to find that "perfect machine for me". In a nutshell I hunt for coins, jewelry, and gold nuggets, and I detect both on dry land and in saltwater. That means my perfect machine needs to be waterproof, have multi-frequency for saltwater, and single frequency for gold nuggets. I also want built-in wireless headphone capability and updates via the internet. Finally, I want it to weigh under 3.5 lbs, which in my opinion is the most any new VLF type detector should weigh.
It is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Many detectors have come close, but the new EQUINOX is the first to hit all my checkboxes, and so I am coming out as an official Minelab EQUINOX Fanboy. I simply am not interested in any offerings from anyone else unless they have similar capability as described above. Minelab is getting some flack over the marketing hyperbole, but the fact for me at least is I really am not interested in any more single frequency VLF releases. I would not say they are obsolete as in have no use and won't be sold anymore. But they are obsolete, as far as my interest in what suddenly looks like old technology only suitable for machines selling for under USD 600 and mostly as entry level units.
There will be a few specialty units like the GOLD MONSTER that are highly optimized for a single task, but I can't for the life of me see any more why anyone would want to pay over USD 600 for any normal single frequency detector. The EQUINOX 600 at USD 649 throws up a pretty solid wall of expectations especially for detectors running USD 600 or more. For anyone but a gold prospector the EQUINOX 600 at USD 649 is all the detector a person might want. And even for casual prospecting the 15 kHz single frequency options and the Field Mode multi-frequency options on the EQUINOX 600 will serve well enough for people who might only look for gold nuggets once or twice a year. The EQUINOX 800 will be for people like me who simply want all the options possible as regards hunt modes, tones, etc. and who have a particular need for higher frequency hunting i.e. nugget micro jewelry detecting.
In my opinion this product is going to be one of the most popular metal detectors ever made. There is overwhelming interest in this detector that is likely to be continuous and ongoing for quite some time. It threatens to overwhelm my main Minelab forum and so I have created a new sub-forum especially for those interested in the EQUINOX. It will be a place where future owners can hang out and swap information and stories without turning others off with all the gaga enthusiasm. I admit to being one of those enthusiastic people myself so this is quite self serving! I am in fact in danger of being an outright fanboy, and so have called the new forum the Minelab Equinox Fan Club. If you are interested check it out. If not now you can avoid all the hype!
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I think the Deus is going to be the most popular machine on ebay soon . Can't wait for my 2 Equinox 800.
The only downer for me is the battery life of 12 hours , 20 plus would have been better . Provided the pack can be charged many hundreds of times before replacement then i wont be bothered . Looks all good to me other than above , I'm sure on a forum i put all my needs for a Terra machine and this looks like it. Wish i had this machine years ago.
Steve, I put a lot of trust and value on your observations.
Keep up the reporting.