Minelab CTX 3030 Review

Minelab CTX 3030 Review

Minelab CTX 3030 has been in the market for years already and it’s become very well known to serious metal detectorists after just releasing it in the market. When serious metal detectorists hear the name The CTX 3030 they show their sincere admiration to this legendary machine.

However, the only two disadvantages you will find in this machine is its weight and high price There are nothing more disadvantages in this machine expect these two.

By the way, the interesting thing about “Minelab” is, they couldn’t even be created a better metal detector than CTX 3030. But yes, they updated this model from time to time and that is why the demand for this legend still remains the same and increasing day by day.

In this post, I am gonna give an ultimate detail review of this legend, don’t go anywhere without reading this whole post.

Design, Appearance, and Usability

The design and looks of 3030 are very well, very stylish and professional. It basically comes in black and grey colors. Besides, however, this weight is 5.2 Ibs which is pretty heavy. In spite of having a comparatively large weight it still doesn’t look bulky because of its sleek design. The main benefit of this machine is, its balance, MInelab has done a favor to their customers by placing the control box high on the shaft. 

The control box neutralizes the disadvantage of the weight being not portable and acting as a counterbalance to the coil. The machine takes time to get used to grasp and the balance, but it is totally possible to handle it with comfort.

Moreover, holding this machine isn’t hard and the balance allows users to make free movements with it. The quality of the armrest is also excellent. It holds the arm tightly and convenient also. You can adjust if for further comfort, and it won’t crack if you make a wrong move. 

The full-color LCD, large and bright display makes you able to see the indications both in the bright daylight and in the twilight.


However, if you gonna buy it, be ready to learn it by investing some time. 

In order to use it, it takes time to learn this machine since it’s not an entry or intermediate level metal detector rather a professional level detector. As soon as you get to know everything about operating it, you’ll enjoy the detailed info provided on the display.

The shaft of the instrument is adjustable, you can change the length depending on your height. The minimum length is 37 inches, while the maximum is 55,3 inches. 

You can also fold and unfold it easily. The tool won’t totter in places where parts meet if you unfold it. So, if you occasionally drop it down, it won’t fall in parts

Having an inbuilt lithium-ion battery with fast recharge abilities is one of the best features this CTX 3030 machine has. You can keep operating your machine with this battery for up to 11 hours.

However, it gives 11 hours when you are using all the GSP features, if you haven’t kept all these GSP features in the performance, the battery will give you more time. 

If you talk about ease of use and convenience of a metal detecting machine, we really need to take into consideration the Wires of a machine. Having wires for headphones, coil, and loudspeaker are often so irritating while using the machine.

Another great thing about this Minelab CTX 3030’s design is it has No Wires design which is truly an outstanding design solution of this machine I believe.

It’s headphone, loudspeaker and even the coil is also wireless. So…

  • The users can put the machine down without being caught in the net of wires.
  • The risk of damaging the equipment by catching the wire occasionally is also eliminated. 
  • There is no risk of tiring the wire off by the tree branch. The level of noise due to the wire touching the high grass has also decreased.

However, one thing I have to mention is that 3030 is a waterproof metal detector and it comes with a standard headset.  So keep in mind that and you can check out additional accessories for the efficient underwater search. 

Finally, I would say in terms of design Minelab has done something one step ahead for their CTX 3030 than any other metal detector in this category. They made it extremely user-friendly by adding some unique solutions to it. 

Control Box

The control box comes with a nice efficient LCD display. It’s mounted close to the upper end of the shaft that counterbalances the coil.

It has 11 buttons that have been efficiently placed and the display shows different screens depending on the search regime.

There is a status bar where you can see what functions are currently activated.

A set of quick menus and customizable modes allow you to easily control the device.

However, The control is built-in or you can say it’s not portable. You will see there are a bunch of different settings and adjustments, everything works fine. There is nothing like automatic, rather you have to tune it everything by yourself which is actually great for serious and experienced metal detectorists. 

I would say, Automatic settings and functions limit the detectorists.  As soon as you get to know everything about how it works you will find tuning is super simple. 

LCD Display

Minelab is the first manufacturer to provide a big colored LCD display which is bright enough to see data even in the complete daylight under the sun. 

Having a big colored display really helps you to not keep the sunglasses or eyeglasses. 

The display doesn’t have any default screen rather it shows different screens that correspond to its different modes of search. Moreover, it does not just show some data but it also allows users to edit some indications 

If you are a beginner you might find this all information bit overwhelming, but trust me just a little bit of patience will help you to make these things extremely useful.

However, the display of Minelab CTX 3030 is super awesome and very convenient to use. 

Wireless Audio

Minelab CTX 3030 is a fully wireless machine. Wireless headphones, and wireless coil connection with control panel.

In any metal detector wire is a weak point. Because there is a high chance of wire can be torn off with a tree branch or can be damaged if the machine falls. Minelab CTX 3030 is the first machine that offers a fully wireless system in the metal detecting world. Its coil transmits the signals to the display via wireless technology.

I must say this is groundbreaking and really cares about user experience since no other metal detecting machine on the market offers this. However, just remember this technology is not suitable for the underwater search. 

GPS-and Google Maps

Most of the time detectorists usually bring their GPS with them to search sessions and drag them back and forth, there is no other choice available without bringing GPS.

Well, however, as I said before Minelab really cares about user experience, they provide built-in GPS with CTX 3030 that allows you to see all the routes and indications directly on the screen of the LCD display. 

In addition, you can also mark the locations that you are interested in, and you can come back to places where you believe there is something promising to hunt. 

The thing that I like most about this feature is that you can synchronize GPS with the PC or Laptop, which means, you can make maps of the locations and come back later when you will feel okay or the weather is better. 

Google Maps serve the same goal – to comb promising places, to save and check the routes and to avoid the empty locations.

Search Modes

CTX 3030 comes with 10 search modes including 5 preset modes which you can switch on and off. These five include Coins, Silver, Relics, Beach mode and High Trash for littered locations. 

When you choose the regime for seeking each regime will show it’s own screen in the display. However, the other five regimes are custom, which means you can tune your device according to particular conditions. In addition, if you plan to come to the same location, you can save the custom settings that you have made. 

Main Features

There are many expensive metal detecting tools that offer a wide range of features but to some extent, those features are useless due to lack of combination and complement among each other. But here Minelab did a great job in their CTX 3030 model. It offers a really useful wide range of features which are combined and complement each other. As a result, it is able to provide extreme sensitivity to objects of all kinds of sizes. 

Though this fantastic machine came on the market back in 2012, it still remains among the best metal detectors. Besides, still, there is no other metal detector that can match with CTX 3030. Even Minelab itself hasn’t been able to manage to beat it and come up with more advanced machines since 2012. Although technology has improved a lot since 2012, there is no such innovation that could considerably Enhance CTX 3030. 

Multi-Frequency

Its bunch of frequencies is one of the most amazing features. It has frequencies from 1.5 kHz to 100 kHz for scanning the location simultaneously.

You are not gonna miss any valuable target by having such 28 frequencies at once from this amazing machine. It literally combs the ground.

You won’t find any other metal like this one which provides such frequencies. Yes, there is single and multi-frequency as well but the number is much smaller. 

Waterproof

This an all-purpose metal detector, it’s able to work in different weather conditions and soils. Being a decent waterproof metal detecting machine, you can use it on the depth of 9 feet and you can spend enough time under the water without being worried about electronics.

By the way, this is not suitable for diving deeper metal detectors, so avoid these places to hunt. Compared to many others it’s one of the best underwater metal detectors in the market today. 

Smartfind 2D Discrimination

Well, I would say this CTX 3030 is one of the superior tools in the market considering its discrimination technology. This feature enables this machine to do different things at the same time: Analyze the conductivity of the targets and the percent of iron in them, indicate depth, indicate size, and tell ferrous from non-ferrous objects.

Moreover, there are some more features of Target Trace and Target Separation that help the tool to see valuable objects next to worthless. Even if the second one is bigger or closer to the surface of the ground. 

Many other detectors show the heavier and bigger object while they are missing smaller and more precious ones because of weak signals. 

Ground Balance

In this CTX 3030, Minelab included Ground Balance tuning both automatic and manual regimes. Manual tuning is suitable when the soil is comparatively homogeneous and when you can assess it’s qualities adequately. 

Besides, the automatic regime is great for mineralized and mixed soils, to allow the tool to recognize noise and filter it, providing smooth search. 

Having 10 search modes, five customizable by the user, and five preset including the discrimination index, ground balance adds a lot to the success of the search. 

Noise Cancel Mode

If you are an experienced metal detector you might have been facing that machine getting totally disoriented when you enter a location with a powerful electric field such as location which is under electricity transmission line.

However, when you have Minelab CTX 3030 you won’t face this problem. It’s able to continue operation because of its powerful Noise Cancel Mode. This function filters all the noises and prevents them from not to mixed up with real signals from your targets. 

Key Technologies

One of the best key technologies that come with this machine is Fe-Co Discrimination. It helps to discriminate worthless targets more efficiently than any other feature. The axis of conductivity classification includes indications from 1 to 50; the scale is large enough to support excellent sensitivity. Moreover, ferrous indications from the axis include points from 1 to 35, and this is how it classifies objects like nails very skillfully. 

In addition, you can also get benefits from Google Maps and GPS which are using this technology to allow you to trace and save the routes, mark promising or empty places and analyze the data on your computer. 

Other Features

Well, it’s pretty hard to talk about the “other features” since this machine is so good in terms of features and functions. Minelab put all the great features that I can’t even keep any features in the category of “other features”.

Rather I would like to talk about Bigger and Smaller features. I already talked about all the features like Waterproof, Wireless Technology, and included GPS. Besides, smaller includes a bundle of cool stuff that gonna make your detectorist life more enjoyable and comfortable such as it has several language availabilities, adequate balance, two recovery options, etc.

I believe the idea of making this amazing tool was, trying best to fulfill all the requirements or desires of a detectorist has from a metal detector. That is why Minelab made sure all the details were excellent even it is small or not.

Balance

The weight of Minelab CTX 3030 is 5.2 Ibs which is quite heavy if I compare to other machines. It’s quite a lot of weight, I know. The weight reduces the convenience of users, you might easily get exhausted carrying this whole day. Still, I think it’s understandable if we consider the features and functions.

In fact, developers of the CTX 3030 have included a solution to this problem, which is the well crafted and sound balance of the shaft. As I said before while starting the post that the coil is very heavy and it actually owns the majority of the weight of this whole machine. That is why engineers of this machine made a counterbalance by placing the control box high on the shaft. 

Settings

Beginners find this machine very complicated because of its settings. If someone has some prior experience and skills, then he/she will be able to manage the settings and can use this tool. But it is also possible to cope with tuning by using search modes.

It has five preset search modes such as for coins, silver, relic hunting, seashore search, and littered grounds. Moreover, you can also customize these five search modes and as long as you get to know everything about tuning, you will see searching become immensely effective.  

Power Supply

The power of CTX 3030 also comes with versatility. This tool uses lithium batteries for power or you can use eight AA batteries. The lithium battery is able to give you up to 11 hours of battery backup when it is fully charged with having all the possible functions running while you are hunting. Moreover, it’s battery life increases if you turn off the GPS of the tool.

In addition, there is an additional powerbox with this machine where you can use eight AA batteries. So whenever you are going hunting make sure lithium battery fully charged and if you think you need more battery backup then you can also keep AA batteries with you and use it if necessary. 

Multi-Language

Minelab CTX 3030 is one of the best tools in the world considering its features, functions, performance. Detectorists around the world know well about this outstanding machine so they also want to buy this tool and that is why manufacturers ship this product worldwide.

This can be the reason why this machine comes multi-language both in display and instructions and it is not less than 10 languages by the way. These include English, Russian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Turkish, and Chinese. So, there are no worries if you aren’t a native English speaker. 

Performance in the Field

When you’re gonna start using it you will immediately feel and get to know the advantages of this machine. It’s well balanced and fits well in the hand will give you feeling like it belongs in your hand. As I said before, one of the excellent advantages of this machine is it is fully wireless. So, it makes you very comfortable while movement 

You will see the unexpected search efficiency and effectiveness of this machine after applying the 28 frequencies. You will be able to find small objects like coins by its depth of reach and level of accuracy such as it’s discrimination filters ignore worthless targets and switching search modes gives more flexibility. If you’re gonna use this tool I must say you’re gonna spot targets in the places where many other tools missed in the already combed places. 

Pros and Cons

I haven’t shared with you any disadvantages of this machine yet except it’s heavyweight. I have mentioned many advantages and great things about this machine but like many other tools, it also has some disadvantages too. I point out these below: 

  • Price: The price of this product is higher than many others and also it provides much more value than any other metal detector. However, the price also depends on the various factors such as where you are living is important for shipping prices, which platform you are using to buy it. 
  • Weight: Weight is a bit more than other machines but I think it’s adequate in terms of functions and stuff packaged with it. 
  • Waterproof: It’s suitable for diving though it’s waterproof. Diving metal detectors are specially made for the diving metal detecting purpose. 
  • Complicated settings: it’s not recommended for beginners to use this detector. It would be quite hard for them to use it. If you have prior experience and some skills you might be able to use it. 
  • Some users found that CTX 3030 works poorly when objects are located on shallow grounds. Actually it spotted better for deeper lying objects but still, you will be able to identify the target. 

And then the pros:

  • 28 frequencies;
  • multifrequency operation;
  • additional coils can be used;
  • wireless;
  • waterproof;
  • several variations of the kit;
  • KOSS headset;
  • inbuilt GPS
  • variable power supply (either lithium battery, or AA batteries);
  • multilingual display;
  • full-colour big LCD display.

I must say that the disadvantages are nothing that serious when you see the advantages. 

Search Coils

Minelab provides a standard coil for CTX 3030 which is 11’’ Smart coil. But if you want more power on the basis of certain conditions you can always replace the coil with the other sizes and can your machine a customizable one. However, you can attach a bigger coil which can be the 17-inch coil. Since this coil is bigger and the depth of reach is 20% deeper than the standard coil it gives the best results on the large locations with a powerful range. 

Besides, the smaller coil is 6 inches. If you want to hunt on the highly littered grounds then you should consider using 6 inches coil since it’s very useful for combing on this condition of the grounds. 

I believe if someone is buying such an expensive metal detector that person must be able to buy some extra coils to get maximum from this machine.

Minelab CTX 3030 vs Minelab Equinox 800

Minelab has another excellent instrument for detecting – Minelab Equinox 800. It also has a number of cool features, for example, it offers five the most effective frequencies – 5, 10, 15, 20, 40 kHz plus multifrequency – and yet this cannot be compared to 28 frequencies. Also, it is definitely more convenient to comb the place with several frequencies at the same time, instead of switching them back and forth.

Minelab Equinox 800 is another outstanding metal detecting from Minelab. This machine also comes with the number of excellent features such as 5 most effective frequencies – 5,10,15,20 40 kHz plus multifrequency and of course, still it can’t be compared to 28 frequencies of CTX 3030. Moreover, you can comb a place with several frequencies at the same time by using Equinox 800. 

Equinox is much lighter than CTX 3030. It weighs only 2.9 Ibs which is a big advantage for choosing it. However, the number of search regimes is smaller than the CTX 3030. But Equinox is specially made for gold hunting while CTX 3030 is a silver search regime.

Besides, CTX 3030 has a power supply variation Equinox doesn’t. Having a power supply variation is very advantageous for detectorists. More power means more time to hunt in one session. And by the way, Equinox is also powered by a lithium-ion battery. 

Equinix can’t be really compared with CTX 3030. CTX 3030 has much more function and advantages.
Equinix is affordable than CTX since it’s offering fewer features and functions such as it limits the users to certain locations by not giving the functions of using bigger or smaller coils, the kit offered with Equinox is much smaller. So, I would say if you have the budget problem to buy CTX 3030 consider buying Equinox then. 

A Video Review of Minelab CTX 3030

Summary

Well, yes CTX 3030 has two main disadvantages which are high weight and the second one could be its high price. But still, it’s the best among many others. You can compare it in certain aspects with some machines like Minelab Equinox 800 and XP Deus, but the thing is none of them is able to provide the exact combination of such fantastic features and functions. 

Garrett AT Max Review 2020 – Why U Should Buy AT MAX?

Garrett AT Max Review

Garrett released this amazing AT MAX by the end of the year 2017 by having the aim of making a better and more advanced machine than the previous one.

Until now it’s still one of the best metal detectors for treasure hunting because of it’s attractive features and ease of use. What makes it so desirable to serious metal detectors is, it has all the features and functions that every serious metal detector wants. 

If you need advanced user experience, max convenience, and functionality, Garrett AT MAX is really for you. 

What’s New

Garrett has been added more advanced features in AT MAX to give you maximum user experience. Here are the functions that make you feel incredible when you will be using AT MAX:

  • Z-Lynk technology that allows the users to plug in wireless headphones.
  • Backlight screen that helps you to see the display in twilight or even in the darkness.
  • You can adjust the volume level of the loudspeaker.
  • Advanced settings to improve the efficiency of various types of soils.
  • Enhanced ergonomics, mostly due to the new shape of the handle
  • Able to provide high-quality performance in underwater as well as cold and hot weather.
  • High quality, convenient headphones that provide enough isolation from the wind when searching in the field. So there is a minimal risk of missing a faint signal. 

Seeing these such features and functions don’t assume that it would be complicated to use. Instead, Garrett made it highly easy to use without limiting the advanced features.


Advanced features, easy to use, reliable and many other things without compromising the quality. 

Design, Appearance, and Ease of Use

The design of Garrett AT Max is pretty similar to Garrett AT Pro. Though they are not similar in terms of performance. Garrett AT Max some useful features than Garrett AT pro but still they are best by own performance and features. 

However, Garrett AT Max is a waterproof VLF metal detector that weighs just 3.03Ibs that ensures your comfort while using for a long time. Besides, it’s powered by AA batteries that last a respectable amount of time and also it has a built-in pinpointing mode.

Having “All-terrain” I would say Garrett AT Max is one of the best versatile metal detectors on the market. And if you are known as a serious metal detectorist for serious hunting this machine is for you. Moreover, this fantastic machine is also suitable for almost any environment and able to work on land and shallow water detecting with perfect depths.

Besides, it’s also a tough machine. Metal detectors can take a beating during transit and hunting on rough terrain, but the MAX can withstand almost everything you can throw at it.

Let’s talk about what are things it can detect.


Well, it can detect almost everything like relics, coins, and jewelry. But it’s better not to expect and use it for detecting gold since it has a lower frequency in terms of gold detecting. Its frequency is 13.6kHz.
However, Garrett AT Max comes with an 8.5″x11″ PROformance DD search coil as Garrett AT Pro. 

It’s a solid coil that provides great depth and target separation – especially for a stock coil. Moreover, There’s also the option of buying more specialized coils, including a 9″x12″ or a sniper coil.

Waterproof

Having a waterproof detector means that there is one reason among others why you should be called a serious metal detectorist. Garrett AT Max is fully waterproof to 10 feet or 3 meters. If you want to hunt in streams, shorelines and anywhere else with shallow water, Garrett AT Max can be a great option for you. But waterproof headphones don’t come with the machine, so you will need to buy it externally to hunt underwater. In addition, AT Max also suitable for hunting in dusty or dry environments. 

Features and Settings

Operating Frequency 

The frequency of Max is 13.6kHz while AT Pro has 15kHz which is slightly higher than max. That means MAX should have deeper penetration, but marginally less target separation.
But still, the frequency of Max is higher than many other average VLR detectors. Besides, AT MAX’s combined it with high-quality components and circuitry. 

However, AT MAX has True All Metal Mode but AT Pro doesn’t. If you consider yourself a serious metal detectorist, this feature is one of the essential features for you. It helps to get maximum sensitivity and depth. Moreover, Garrett also claims internal electronics of MAX have been enhanced to increase depth penetration. 

By the way, it’s worth mentioning that Garrett AT MAX doesn’t have multi-frequency. 

Yes, you can adjust the frequency subtly to remove the interference of powerline and other detectors but, it’s not possible to change it significantly. Most probably you already know that this is very common for a VLF detector if you are not beginners. 

Above all, I must say AT MAX provides really excellent depth in terms of performance and of course AT MAX can be the best choice if you are upgrading your machine. 

Digital Target ID

Like many other Garrett detectors and as a standard feature on most mid-range detectors, Garrett AT MAX also has the Digital Target ID feature. Its large numerical target ID in the LCD panel shows ranges from 0-99 to provide a visual representation of the target’s composition. 

As long as it has the correct ground balance of the environment, it’s really quick to show target ID with high accuracy.

Iron Discrimination and Notch Discrimination

AT MAX has a slightly higher resolution than AT PRO. AT MAX has 44, besides AT PRO has 40 iron discrimination segments. Although it doesn’t make that much difference practically, it’s a nice bonus. 

By the way… If you don’t know about Iron Discrimination or you haven’t used it yet, let me tell you that higher iron discrimination basically will help you to dig fewer junk targets, for example, nails. 

But sometimes higher values might cause of missing real target such as certain relics. Junk with higher conductivity, such as pull-tabs or foil, may also slip through.

In addition, you will also get notch discrimination with AT MAX. Above the IRON region, there are a number of notches that can either be knocked out or selected.

Where you will find CUSTOM mode and also COIN MODE. CUSTOM mode allows you to set your own search patterns besides, the COIN mode setting removes iron, foil and pull tabs to find coins easily. It’s a great option if you are a beginner. 

Moreover, another useful feature is the “ELIMINATION” button. If you think there is a trash to remove from the search pattern, just hold the ELIMINATION button down when hovering over an item.  

Pulse Width Modulation Audio and Iron Audio

Proportional Pulse Width Modulation Audio provides more target information to help you decide whether to dig. This is using audio is often quicker than using Digital Target IDs. However, in order to distinguish between a true target and flat iron object, there is also an option available for switching on Iron Audio

There is a good thing about MAX is it filters iron targets by default. That is why you won’t hear them when the discrimination is turned up. It’s very helpful particularly when there is a lot of trash around. 

Another great thing about MAX’s iron audio is when switch on this, iron targets trigger a distinct tone. It’s very normal that if your machine makes one single sound for Iron, you might end up digging a tricky iron target that actually appeared something worth digging. 

Great thing AT MAX’s Iron Audio makes additional grunting noise that helps you differentiate whether it is an interesting target or something that is not worthy.   

Besides, this Iron Audio is also working into the All Metal Mode which allows you to identify discriminated iron objects even when hunting in All-Metal.

Z-Lynk Wireless Technology

I am a big fan of the Z Lynk feature. It’s basically wireless technology with wireless headphones. This wireless technology makes more convenient to use the metal detector by less interference and faster data transfer than Bluetooth technology.

What I love about Z-Lynk is there is really no delay in the audio output. So whenever you move directly on the target you hear the signal quickly. But delay in audio output is very common in many other metal detectors. Garrett AT MAX stands out on this issue. 

Moreover, AT MAX provides wireless MS-3 headphones to complement this feature. 

Getting rid of cords while using metal detectors it’s really a great feeling when you had been using cord headphones for a long time. 

Manual and Automatic Ground Balance

Adjusting the ground balance becomes very essential when you gonna hunt areas like having high mineralization, saltwater or soil conductivity. Ground balancing helps to remove many interfering factors and thus it helps to maximize the depth and cut down on chatter. 

Being a professional detector it is really important to have both manual and automatic ground balance. Garrett did it well by providing both automatic and manual ground balance in their AT MAX model. 

By the way, where all VLF detectors struggle while hunting in saltwater locations, MAX can hunt theirs excellently. 

Using the Automatic option of ground balance is quite easy. You can do it just holding the “SHIFT” button to get the machine to automatically balance depending on the current environment.

Though automatic function does a great job, you can also choose the manual option if you are going for more difficult hunting environments. 

In addition, you can also do fine-tuning depending on soil conductivity and mineralization by using MAX’s 175 ground balance resolution points.

Other Features

  • PRO Mode Audio available on all four search modes.
  • Adjustable length (43″ – 56″).
  • Eight sensitivity levels.
  • Threshold adjustment.
  • Electronic pinpointing mode.

Control Panel and Display

The control panel of AT MAX is similar to many other designs of Garrett Metal detectors. Since this design working well and user experience is good, I don’t think it would be a good idea not to follow this design. If you have experience of using any model of Garrett metal detectors, you will feel AT MAX belongs to your hand whenever you try it. 

However, what I like most about AT MAX’s control is that it has a backlight which really does a great job in low light conditions. And by the way, this feature is not included with AT PRO. 

Everything on the AT MAX is very clear and easy to see. You can quickly catch what display is showing. For example, coin depth and discrimination settings are always visible and Target ID numbers are large. Besides, buttons are comparatively large and clearly labeled. 

Price and Where To Buy

It’s price higher than many other VLF metal detectors and it is also true that those lower-priced metal detectors can’t beat AT MAX. 

AT MAX offers more range of advanced features than AT PRO. That is why it’s the price is higher than AT PRO. 

Considering its range of features and performance, it’s actually providing value for money.

One thing that needs to be mentioned that this metal detector is highly suitable for serious metal detectorists who want more from their machine. If you are searching for a metal detector that can work almost any environment, the Garrett AT MAX can be a great choice for you. 

Garrett is one of the best and most popular metal detector manufacturers in the world. It’s available almost every major retailers including Amazon and Walmart.  You can check out the price of AT MAX on Amazon here. 

And by the way, if you are thinking to buy it second hand, make sure the machine is authentic and works well. 

Performance in the Field (Including Depth)

It doesn’t matter how many features a metal detector has when it’s performance isn’t worthy. 

Garrett AT MAX hasn’t dissatisfied users yet by its performance. 

AT MAX already great by its range of advanced features, its performance made it excellent and a desirable machine for serious metal detectorists. 

Especially, the fascinating performance of this machine in a range of environments makes people buy it. 

Why is it such effective? 

The wide range of discrimination options, including Iron Audio, notch discrimination, iron discrimination, and a true all-metal model, makes it mastery at filtering bad targets.

Usually, All Garrett machines are simple and convenient to use, and there is no difference in AT MAX. 

Another thing I like most about AT MAX is its fast response speed. This is very essential when you need to separate multiple targets. There are many differences between premium VLF detector and budget detector but Fast Response Speed is the biggest one.

AT MAX also provides outstanding detection stability like AT Pro. 

AT MAX does a really great job even on the surprisingly high sensitivities in many environments and it retains decent depth even when you need to dial it back. It’s also almost always accurate when it comes to target composition.

However, I remind you again that this is not the best for gold detecting since it has lower frequency considering detecting gold. If you are lucky you might find gold necklace irregularly, but for small nuggets? simply MAX is not able to detect.

Just because it can’t detect gold nuggets doesn’t mean that it’s not a great detector to have. Garrett AT MAX is the best detector among many others for detecting jewelry, coins, and relics. 

Comparisons with Other Detectors

Garrett AT Max vs AT Gold

Name of AT Gold implies what it was designed for, it’s particularly for hunting gold. Besides, AT MAX is for hunting coins, relics, and jewelry.

Since AT Gold is for gold hunting, it has a higher frequency (18 kHz) than AT MAX, which has 13.6 kHz frequency and also AT Gold has a smaller search coil than AT MAX. 

Besides, both detectors have some similar features, these are: 

  1. 44 Discrimination segments
  2. True All Metal Mode
  3. Pro Audio
  4. 8 Sensitivity Mode
  5. Iron Audio
  6. Digital Target ID

However, AT Gold doesn’t have adjustable notch discrimination like AT MAX. It just has some preset options to use. Furthermore, AT Gold doesn’t have Z-Lynk wireless audio, volume adjustment, and backlight. 

If you just want to hunt gold, of course, you should buy AT Gold.

Garrett AT Max vs AT Pro

I would say AT MAX upgraded version of AT Pro with more advanced features to make it the most desirable machine for serious metal detectorists.

Having more features AT Max also higher in price than AT Pro. On the other hand, AT MAX is the most expensive model in the Garrett AT range. 

Garrett AT MAX has wireless audio, iron discrimination segments, and a true all-metal mode. It has a threshold adjustment option and can also search for greater depth. 

However, there are some advantages you will get from AT Pro which you won’t find in AT MAX these are, “Standard” audio mode which is helpful for you if you are a beginner. Besides, AT MAX only has the “PRO” audio mode. 

AT PRO has a bit higher frequency (15 kHz) than AT MAX (13.6 kHz). So, AT Pro will perform little bit more effective job in finding the small target, though the AT MAX does a great job too) 

The AT Pro also has a slightly higher operating frequency, so it may be better for finding small targets (although the MAX does a great job too).

Above all, Garrett AT MAX is a serious machine for the serious metal detector, if you are a beginner, it will be a bit harder for you to get used to with it. 

Besides, Garrett AT Pro is an excellent option for both serious and beginner metal detectorists. 

Both machines are the great value of money and they never disappointed their users. 

Garrett AT Max vs Minelab Equinox 800

Minelab Equinox 800 is pretty similar with AT MAX and it’s closest competitors in the market. It has similar features like submersible design, included wireless headphones, and fast recovery. But, yes there are few important differences though. 

Equinox has a true multi frequency which makes the biggest difference with AT MAX and also it has gold detecting mode. You can choose any frequency between 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz and 40kHz. 

Having that multi frequencies make it’s a highly versatile metal detector. I would say it’s a better option if you have enough budget. Because it takes more money than AT MAX does.  

Is the AT MAX Suitable for Beginners?

Sometimes it’s good to buy an entry-level metal detector for a beginner. Because it’s cheaper in price and not complicated to use because it has fewer features than high-quality detectors. Beginners get to learn how to use it faster. So, if you don’t enjoy this hobby the waste of money would very less. 

But it’s not always like that high-end machine for beginners won’t be worthy. Though it will take a bit more time to learn and get used to with all functions, still it could be a great decision to buy the high-quality machine if you are really serious about metal detecting hobby at the beginning. 

Final Words

Professional, lightweight compared to others, easy to use and many other things come in a complete package in Garrett AT MAX. Improved rubber handle and classic construction together make use of use and less physically exhausting.
I know, it’s a bit more expensive than AT PRO and some others but the thing is it’s providing what really you want from a detector. It’s worth every penny.

Hope this information was helpful for you. If you have any questions and suggestion let me know by commenting below. 

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector Review

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector review

Can you imagine a metal detector that will fulfill 95% of your expectations?
A fully waterproof metal detector with expert level features and can be used in all terrains – all at an affordable price?
Yes, it’s Garrett AT Pro.
Easy to learn, easy to use, and the high sought features from a mid-range priced detector – this is Garrett AT Pro for you. 

Hi, I am David M. Philips, a professional metal detectorist. I have navigated around the world in search of gold nuggets, coins, treasures, and relics. (know more about me)

In this post, I will be giving a review of the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector machine I have come across in my years as an old metal detector.

Design, Appearance, and Ease of Use

Well, if you are searching for a great all-purpose machine then you are reading the right post. The way Garrett has been designed it’s gonna fulfill you all need being a detectorist. For instance, it’s a fully waterproof metal detector and it’s not only just work in the water but also on the land. There are many waterproof metal detectors in the market that just work under the water not on the land. 

Garret powered by 4 AA batteries, I suggest you buy rechargeable cells to save money over time as well as buy a padded armrest for extra comfort. 

You might not know what “AT” stands for.

AT” stands for “All Terrain” which means it’s a rugged machine, has a durable exterior and can work at any kind of condition. It doesn’t matter for it, whether you want to do hunting at the desert, beach or local park, it’s able to handle all the rough conditions. In addition, it also requires minimal maintenance.

But what does it detects?

It detects what every metal detectorists want to detect. AT pro can hunt gold, relics, coins, and jewelry. But it’s basically best in hunting coins, relics, and jewelry. 

You might be thinking then how efficient it in gold hunting

It does a decent job in gold nuggets hunting due it’s 15kHz frequency and ground balance settings. 

[ By the way, I wonder if you might be interested to check my Best Metal Detectors For Gold nuggets? Here it is ] 

Its 8.5” * 11” DD PRoformance coil provides polite target separation and depth for a stock coil. It’s a solid choice for an all-round coil that’s suitable for most situations.

Garrett provides a range of other coils for the AT Pro, including a sniper coil and 9” * 12” concentric coil. 

For more specialist tasks, Garrett offers a range of other coils for the AT Pro, including a sniper coil and 9”x12” concentric coil. If you are an experienced detectorist, you would love to have different coils for different purposes. 

However, to ensure comfort and ease of use Garrett made this pro well lightweight and it’s 3.03Ibs. So, you won’t be fatigued when you will be swinging it for long periods.

It’s really very impressive how many features Garrett is offering at AT pro. It’s used to be imagination for detectorists to have all these features in a metal detector, but now it’s no more imagination rather it’s real.

Moreover, having that many features and settings you are probably thinking that it would be complicated to use but it’s really not.  It’s really comfortable and simple to use, especially on the “Standard Audio Mode”. 

Waterproof Design

You can find many waterproof detectors which are basically designed only for the water. Besides, it’s rare for a metal detector that is fully submersible. 

Garret AT Pro, it’s submersible to a depth of 10 feet. It’s great for hunting in shallow water for example in rivers, lakes, creeks, and even in the sea. 

By the way, it doesn’t’ suit for diving though. You’ll need a detector with a much higher depth rating for hunting shipwrecks or scuba diving.

However, AT pro doesn’t come with waterproof headphones, you will need to buy it externally. I guess this isn’t surprising, as good submersible headphones are expensive. But it would have been really great if AT pro comes with waterproof headphones. 

Frequency

AT pro has 15kHz of a single frequency. It’s higher than many VLF detectors in this price range but it’s not actually that much higher. For instance, it’s 15khz is lower than 18kHz of the AT Gold. 

However, it’s not ideal for hunting on the saltwater beaches. Yes, they do say that you can hunt on the saltwater beaches and certainly you can. 

But it’s not perfect at all because of its single frequency. if you plan to get in the water or wet sand, you’re going to get a lot of chatter even with ground balancing and the DD coil.

All that chatter is going to mask good targets but more importantly, limit your depth capabilities.

By the way, it’s not just a problem AT pro’s single frequency. It happens with any other single frequency detectors. It’s simply the nature of the technology.

15kHz is still higher frequency than many other detectors within this price and there are some advantages of having higher frequency such as brilliant at detecting small targets and excellent target separation.

The higher frequency of AT pro and its ground balance provide excellent performance in gold nuggets hunting than any other VLF models. 

Don’t be confused if there is written feature “frequency adjustment”, AT pro is a single frequency detector.

There is the option of making minor adjustments to counteract interference from power lines or other detectors, but it’s not a multi-frequency detector.

I am not making a complaint about it instead, it’s common because the vast majority of VLF detectors have a single frequency. 

Pro Mode Audio

It’s called Pro Mode (Proportional Mode) Audio because once you become a master on this audio you will be a pro detectorist. 

There are two types of Audio Mode: 1) Standard and 2) Pro Mode (Proportional Mode)

Standard is for those who are beginners. It uses three audio tones depending on the metal conductivity. But it doesn’t provide that much information. If you have used the ACE machine before, you will be familiar with its tones. 

Besides, the Pro mode provides much more additional information about target depth and composition. It’s an advanced feature that you can turn “On” and “Off” depending on your experiences, preferences, and skill level. 

You will hear different audio tones simultaneously like snapping and popping which tells the characteristics of the target including things like conductivity, shape, and depth.

If you haven’t used this mode before, it will be a bit complicated for you. But once you master this audio mode your hunting will be more efficient by digging less trash and more treasure.

However, if you are new to metal detecting or haven’t used any of machine from ACE series before, I would recommend you to use “Standard Mode” first. 

Digital Target ID

Like any other metal detector’s features, Garrett AT Pro also has a Numerical Target ID. Garrett made largely and placed it at the center of the screen. This is basically for providing more accurate information about the target’s composition on a 0-99 scale than the category readout. 

It’s useful for estimating target metal type. Besides, Garrett has also ensured the detector is fat at providing a target ID – especially when it’s been properly ground balanced.

Iron Discrimination

There are 40 segments are available for Iron Discrimination. Depending on what you’re hoping to find, you can dial back discrimination or knock out all ferrous targets by adjusting this iron discrimination setting. 

If you want to ignore nails and similar junk, setting iron discrimination to a higher value sometimes can be a good idea. Around 30-35 is a good place to start. On the other hand, you better set it lower to avoid missing real targets, if your target is relics. 

Notch Discrimination

As I mentioned, the 40 iron discrimination segments provide fine control over what is accepted at the lower end of the conductivity spectrum. This is great for getting rid of highly ferrous objects – but it won’t help ignore foil or pull tabs with higher conductivity.

For this reason, there’s also a useful notch discrimination feature. At conductivities above the iron region, there are 12 discrimination segments that can be accepted or rejected. Notching out a segment is as simple as scrolling to it and pressing the “ELIM” button.

However, I should mention that the notch feature is ignored in the ZERO search mode and used in CUSTOM mode. Although ZERO isn’t a true all-metal mode, it performs a similar role. 

There’s also a pre-set “COIN” mode. If you are a beginner and want to do coin hunting this preset can be great for you because there are already iron, foil and pull tabs notched out.  

In addition, while using discrimination, if you are getting a choppy signal over an object pretty sure that is trash. You can reject this from the pattern by holding down the ELIMINATE button

Notch discrimination is a brilliant feature to have in a metal detector as it saves a lot of time digging unwanted trash. But there is a chance of accidentally reject items you should be digging. Real targets actually vary highly in composition and size. So, yes using too much discrimination could be a problem for you instead of getting benefited. You just need to be careful about this while using it. 

Iron Audio

Iron Audio is another advanced feature like Proportional Audio that you won’t find in any entry-level metal detector. This feature is included with other AT and ACE 400 models, but other ACE models don’t have this feature. 

This feature lets you know there is Iron by making a tone of discriminated iron. 

You will not hear any nails or similar trash items AT pro in CUSTOM mode with iron discrimination turned up. This is what detectorists want especially when there’s lots of trash around. But when you turn on the excellent Iron Audio mode the feedback changes. 

Now an audio tone will be triggered because of discriminated iron objects. This is very helpful to decide whether the target is worth digging or not. For example, when iron discrimination is turned up to 30-40, a bottle cap might appear like a quarter. 

After turning on the Iron Audio mode if you get additional grunting sound, there are high chances it’s a trash item. On the other hand, if you get a clean tone, it hints the object is a real target. 

However, you can’t use Iron Audio in the “ZERO” mode in AT pro, which kinda shames. Iron Audio is easy to distinguish, it’s lower than regular audio and often called it as grunting. 

Automatic and Manual Grond Balance

A great feature of AT pro is it’s both manual and automatic ground balance which is not available ACE series. 

Ground balance feature actually allows detectorists to ignore signals from the ground like iron and salt. 

It does not just help you to cut down on the chatter of ground signals but also helps you to find targets at deeper depths with great target ID accuracy. 

So, you will love this AT Pro metal detector if you are living in areas with highly mineralized soil. 

If you are assuming that using automatic ground balancing would be complicated to use, then you are wrong. You can use this by simply hold on the “GND BAL” button and then the machine will automatically calibrate according to the current ground conditions. 

You have a manual ground balance setting if you need to use it, but most of the time or situations automatic ground balancing function works perfectly.  

Tip: To get much better results you should always do ground balance the machine when you switch it on. Please, make sure you are not over the metal when you gonna do the ground balancing. 

Coil Selection

Garrett AT Pro provides different search coils for various applications. You can make your hunting more efficient and effective by using these coils. 

The accessory coils that Garrett AT Pro provides: 

  • 4” DD Sniper; For Tight and High areas
  • 5 * 8” DD; For better target separation & High trash areas
  • 6.5 * 9” Concentric; For neutral ground in low trash areas.
  • 9 * 12” Concentric; Neutral ground in wide-open areas to cover more ground faster.

Each coil has its own different functions. You can’t say one is better than another. It’s really about where you gonna use it. 

Bing a serious and experienced detectorist I will definitely love to using these coils to be more efficient in hunting. 

Other Features

  • Coin Depth Indicator: It’s beneficial for knowing how deep to dig your plug. It’s located on the right-hand side of the display. It ranges from 2” – 10” inches. 
  • Sensitivity: Like any other AT model, AT pro also has the 8 segments of sensitivity.  More sensitivity means the detector can search deeper. But if you are getting too much falsing and chatter you can reduce the sensitivity. 
  • Pinpointing Mode: AT pro provides the built-in pinpointing mode for more accurate target locations. 

Control Panel and Display

If you have experience of using any of the Garrett ACE models, you will find using AT pro is very friendly to use. Although the black color scheme provides a more professional appearance, design and layout are pretty similar to other ACE models. 

The great thing is, it’s quite easy to read the display in the field and use AT Pro’s control panel. 

In addition, Garrett is offering an amazing legend at the top of the control panel that helps by showing potential target categories. This is really helpful in terms of getting an instant idea of what is likely to be. Though usually detectorist relies on the Audio and Numerical Target ID, still having this legend is another useful feature. 

Moreover, this legend is more beneficial after creating custom discrimination patterns by using the “Notch Disc” button. You will be able to accept or reject segments for more control over what you are digging. 

Like other features and settings, it’s buttons are placed efficiently and also clearly labeled. Though I have a complaint about its display. I think the display is not perfect because it doesn’t have a backlight feature, so it will be a bit harder to see the text in the middle of the day or low light conditions. 

Furthermore, sometimes legend can be difficult to view, there isn’t available volume control, and also no option available for threshold adjustment. 

In conclusion, I would like to say, yes there are some complaints about the “Display Control” but I don’t think these are something big and could be reasons not to purchase this amazing machine. 

Price and Where To Buy

The Garrett AT Pro is a superior quality metal detector. Serious and experienced metal detectorists choose it when there is a matter of upgrading or changing their existing metal detector. Besides, many metal detectorists choose it who become experienced by using the entry-level machine and now want to explore advanced features and settings. 

You may find many other metal detectors within this price but if you want a metal detector that will offer you Professional Standard Features compared to price then there is no option to choose without Garrett AT pro. 

Since Garrett and it’s AT Pro model is very popular, you will find it at for sale at most retailers with a metal detecting department like Walmart and Amazon. 

By the way, if you are going to a used or refurbished AT Pro, please make sure its condition is okay enough to be worthy. 

Performance & Depth

The Garrett AT Pro provides nailing performance in the field. The different coils make it more efficient and effective in hunting. The combination of Iron Audio, Notch Discrimination, and Iron Discrimination provides great filtering out the trash so that you can keep focusing on finding coins, rings, and relics. 

Moreover, you don’t need to invest a lot of time to learn how to use it, it’s very simple and easy to use. 

The Fast Recovery feature of Garrett AT Pro is my most favorite feature among the others. Especially when it’s in Pro mode. This feature actually allows the detector to separate closely spaced targets which is great for finding targets hidden by trash.

The AT Pro also provides excellent detection stability when out in the field

If there are not specifically high levels of mineralization, you can often run AT pro at high or even maximum sensitivities. The AT Pro is able to maintain decent depth even on lower sensitivity when you are getting a lot of chatter. 

If I talk about depth, AT Pro is able to find targets around 8” to 9” max in some cases. But if you want to hunt deeper you’ll need a different machine. 

Overall, I would say this is an absolute outstanding machine in terms of performance and of course features. You will end up loving this machine and like most of the other users you will also say that “I don’t need any other machine”.

Garrett AT Pro Vs AT MAX

AT Max offers some more extra features compared to AT Pro such as integrated wireless headphones, 44 Iron Discrimination (while AT Pro has 40), a true all-metal mode and an additional search mode. The AT MAX is the most expensive metal detector model in the Garrett AT series.

Though AT Max has some extra features, AT Pro has some advantages. For instance, it has a higher operating frequency which is much more effective at finding small targets. However, it’s not that much effective like AT Gold at finding Gold but still does a pretty great job. 

Moreover, you will be able to choose between “Pro Audio” and “Standard Audio” in AT Pro, while AT MAX offers just “Pro Audio”. 

So, this is why AT Pro becomes more suitable for beginners than AT MAX.

Garrett AT Pro Vs Teknetics T2 Classic

Both are kind of similar and popular metal detectors. Both offer 11’’ search coil, numerical target ID, ground balance and a pinpointing mode. 

Though T2 classic is less costly, I think AT Pro is more preferable. T2 doesn’t have an Iron Audio function which is very helpful to avoid trash that might appear as real targets. The Iron discrimination modes, easy notch, combined with the submersible design are also benefits of AT Pro over T2 classic. 

Garrett AT Pro Vs AT Gold

A common question in the metal detecting world is what is the difference between AT Pro and AT Gold?

Well, in essence, they are pretty similar but the main difference is AT Gold. It’s particularly made for gold prospecting. 

Coil: While the AT Pro comes with a larger 8.5 * 11” coil, AT Gold comes stock with a smaller 5*8” DD coil. Smaller coil allows the machine to concentrate the detector’s energy on hunting smaller targets like gold nuggets. 

Frequency: AT Gold has a higher frequency than AT Pro. Since it’s for Gold hunting, having a higher frequency is a compulsory feature. It helps to improve performance on low to medium conductivity targets like gold. 

Ground Balance: The ground balance feature of AT Gold is particularly for highly mineralized ground. In addition, it also has a feature called “Ground Balance Window”. It allows you to operate with a range of ground balance values to account for a spread of mineralization levels at the exact area you’re hunting. This is especially useful when prospecting as you encounter various pockets of concentrated mineralization from the varying terrain.

Pro Mode (Proportional Audio): Controlling of Pro Mode on AT Gold is the big difference between AT Pro and AT Gold. You can be turned on Pro Mode on AT pro but not in AT Gold. Besides, there is a great thing for newbies on “AT Pro” that is, AT Pro allows toggle it’s Audio Mode which is great as you just gonna learning how detector work. 

True All Metal: And finally, AT gold has True All-Metal mode but AT pro doesn’t. Having this feature is very crucial for the gold prospecting detecting machine because it gives detector maximum depth and sensitivity. 

In a nutshell, if you need an all-rounder metal detector that provides a high level of performance, go for AT Pro. On the other hand, if your purpose is to hunt for gold nuggets, go for AT Gold

So, it’s very clear that what you gonna choose it depends on your purpose of hunting. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What accessories are included?

The standard package doesn’t come with everything you need. It comes with 8.5’’ * 11’’ DD search coil, headphones (not waterproof), an instructional DVD and manual. Since it’s Standard package, you won’t get everything here. But many retailers offer much more than standard packages such as pouches, pinpointers, bags and even accessory coils. And, by the way, AT Pro comes with 2 years of warranty from Garrett.

Can I use it to detect gold?

Yes, AT Pro is able to hunt gold but it’s not just practically made for gold hunting like other specific gold hunting metal detectors.

The main thing is whether a detector can handle the high levels of ground mineralization where gold nuggets are found. Although the ground balance of AT Pro is capable of hunting in the hot ground, it’s sensitivity not capable of detecting tiny gold flakes or nuggets. If you really want to hunt just gold nuggets you can have the AT Gold model that is particularly designed for gold hunting. 

When did the AT Pro come out?

The AT Pro was released by Garrett in the fall of 2010.

Where to buy the AT Pro?

You can buy the AT Pro from any authorized Garrett dealer as well as Amazon.

What are some comparable detectors?

In terms of price and performance there are some comparable detectors from other brands, these are: 

Learn Some Basics of Garrett AT Pro

Final Thoughts

Considering the mid-range price, Garrett is an outstanding metal detector. In fact, it gets the praise of experienced metal detectorists because of it’s rapid recovery time, efficient performance, and easy to use features. 

Not including waterproof headphones and backlit screens are the drawbacks of any other metal detectors. But considering its many other positive sides, if we complain about it’s two common drawbacks then it would be an injustice for it. 

Garrett is a high-quality metal detector, after having this machine you’ll feel – you won’t need any other metal detector. 

Please let me know you if you have any questions or if you like this post. 

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