Treasure Talk

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Ups & Downs Of Volume Gain

April 05, 2013 03:07pm

Mark Williams
Mark Williams metal detecting blog posts

These days we are bombarded with gadgets loaded with special features, the CTX 3030 is certainly that way inclined, but if we are too lazy to experiment and familiarize ourselves by using them, what is the point?

When the CTX 3030 came out I quickly spent a lot of time getting my head around what its capabilities were, all the time knowing full well that even if I understood these features it would take some time for them to sink in. I have found that if I know what it can do, then it opens up my mind allowing me to develop different techniques in various situations to improve my detecting.

This happened recently after using the CTX 3030 for quite a while now, I was out hunting for modern coins after a concert in a regularly hunted no dig area knowing full well that there was no need to be looking for deep targets. I suddenly remembered the volume gain feature and realized that I actually run mine flat out at 30, now don’t confuse volume gain with volume limit. Volume limit is used to adjust how loud you want the volume to be, simply like turning up your radio, TV etc, whereas volume gain is a whole different and valuable tool. I discovered back when using my beloved E-TRAC that this feature is like an amplifier on deep targets, when you run it flat out every signal is the same volume regardless of its depth, therefore eliminating those soft whispering deep signals making them scream, dig me, dig me. This improved my ability to quickly determine if it was a target or just ground interference speeding up my detecting and retrieval allowing me to dig more targets over a shorter period of time because there is nothing worse than digging only to find it was junk. My strike rate of good targets improved considerably also because each signal was so much stronger allowing me more solid information to decipher what the target was in the ground.

Metal detecting finds - coins and tag

Now getting back to hunting shallow modern decimal coins or even rings just lost in grass etc, if you use this feature the opposite way, by turning the volume gain down to around 7 or 8 (you will have to experiment a bit) what happens is everything that is deep will now be really quiet. This creates less distraction from deep targets and the only sounds that you will be concentrating on are the loudest, clearest and shallowest.

As I normally use audio response long for deep targets it is a must to change this to normal because it works much better giving the shallower coins a really crisp signal. I have given this a good test over the last few weeks and found it to be ever so lethal on shallow targets and this in itself has opened up so many possibilities for areas that may have a layer of rubbish targets down deep. It now allows me to go to places like parks, football ovals, playgrounds etc and move a lot quicker saving me time and netting me higher returns over a shorter time frame.

I have noticed that it also allows you to detect in playgrounds more effectively if you turn the sensitivity to auto and set it at 0. Make sure you remember the opposite effect is louder deep targets, after recently sharing with a good friend of mine from Melbourne the advantages of volume gain on the deeper targets he has started using it with good success.

So try not to be lazy with these features because when you actually know and understand what they do then it certainly gives you much more "depth" to your detecting, happy hunting all and I hope you enjoy this great feature of the CTX 3030.

Mark Williams


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Hi Mark,

I have read your story about the volume gain and tested it out for a few months now.
The results are staggering!! I was used to run the volume gain flat out the same as you did and I couldn't tell the difference between a good or bad target. Putting the volume gain down at 9/10 was like magic. The sweet sound of the deep good targets were suddenly very easy to identify. I live in a old farmhouse in the Netherlands and thanks to you I already found more than 15 coins in our backyard. The oldest is one from the year 1710. I cannot wait to read more of your experiences with the CTX 3030. Thanks again for sharing this with us.


Pepijn Hauwert
Posted By: minelab2012 on July 09, 2013 01:39am
Good on you for taking the time to understand the benefits of volume gain and congrats on the old coins. I have just finished a couple more blogs, so it shouldn't be too long before you have some more information that should be helpful. Happy hunting and keep swinging that coil.
Posted By: MarkW on July 10, 2013 12:30pm