Garrett ACE 400 Review

Garrett ACE 400 Review

Are you searching for a quality built, a professional and affordable metal detector that won’t break your bank account? 

Then don’t look further, In my view, Garrett ACE 400 can be perfect for you. But why?

To know the answer keep reading this post. I believe as a metal detectorist your time won’t be wasted by reading this valuable post. 

Garrett 400 is affordable, yet powerful. Perfect for the entry to mid-level metal detectorist for all types of treasure – coins, jewelry, relics, and gold.

What we like:

  • Large, DD coil
  • Digital Target ID
  • Iron Audio
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable, yet powerful

What we don’t like:

  • No ground balance adjustment
  • Included headphones are cheap
  • Can be too heavy for young kids

The ACE 400 is the upgraded version of the now-discontinued ACE 350.

It comes with new features like digital target ID, iron audio, adjustable frequency and cam locks for additional stability (see today’s price) 

So if you thought the ACE 350 was a good machine (and It was), then you’ll be quite happy with the ACE 400.

Design, Appearance, and Ease of Use

After discontinuing the Garrett ACE 350, the manufacturer comes up with some more extra features in ACE 400 which then become one of the tops of the ACE series of Garrett. 

ACE 400 is a VLF metal detector with 10kHz frequency which is higher than previous ACE 300 and that’s why it’s more able to find smaller targets than ACE 350.

However, because of low frequency, it’s not actually for gold prospecting but it’s great for balancing depth with sensitivity when coin and relic hunting. 

The weight of this machine is just 2.9Ibs or 1.3 Kgs that is comparatively less weight than many other metal detectors.

For this reason, it’s lightweight and won’t make you tired while swinging it for long periods of time. Moreover, to give you more stability and comfort it also has an adjustable stem that ranges between 40 to 53” and cam locks

In terms of appearance, as usual, Garrett still loves their instantly recognizable yellow color scheme.

Though many including me don’t like this color, still the looks of their detectors are attractive by their overall appearance. 

Garrett ACE 400 gets power from 4 AA batteries which are able to provide 25 hours of search time. In addition, there is a continuous battery level indicator available in the control panel which is very helpful while you’re in the field. 

Likewise many other metal detectors you can also separate the ACE 400 into three parts. Because of the large coil, this machine is a bit unbalanced but it’s not uncomfortable to use at all. 

There’s also a frequency adjustment option. This provides a small level of adjustment that’s useful if you’re hunting in a group – especially if another detectorist is using the same machine.

Features

Audio Features

Garrett offers a three-tone audio system with three distinctive tones that emit based on the conductivity of the metal.

It emits the signature bell tone for higher conductivity targets besides emits a low or medium pitched signal for lower conductivity targets. 

In addition, ACE 400 also comes with “Pulse-Width Modulation” audio. This offers highly responsive audio that’s sharper and easier to use.

Iron Audio and Discrimination

In terms of inexpensive metal detector category, ACE 400 is one step ahead by having Iron Audio and Discrimination feature. I must say it’s an impressive feature in such an affordable metal detector machine. 

If the machine detected any iron in the target it will create a low, grunting tone. But however, you must have to use some level of iron discrimination for this to work.

It’s obvious that it won’t’ work in the “Zero Disc” mode because the machine is not discriminating any iron 

But why should you care and be excited about Iron Audio? 

Well, if you have experience of using an entry-level metal detector, you know it very well that it’s very easy to get fooled by trash targets. 

It’s very common that without having iron audio things like washers and bottle caps look and sound like a coin signal and you will end up wasting valuable time digging up trash by thinking you are actually gonna get a worthy target. 

So, basically Iron Audio helps you to double-check your target before digging it up. That is why it makes your hunting session more efficient by not wasting time.

So, when you think there is a good target, flip on iron audio and listen for that low, grunt. 

This is an outstanding feature that you usually won’t find in entry-level metal detectors. 

Digital Target ID

The user of the ACE 350 had a big complaint about this machine, that is, lack of digital target ID.

But however, it had visual ID function, which used to tell whether the target was likely to be gold, copper, iron or another metal. The real problem of this approach is the lack of accuracy and resolution of numerical systems. 

However, to solve this problem of Garrett ACE 350, they come up with ACE 400 by adding more extra features like Digital Target ID to help better identify the potential targets.

The display of the control panel shows the large digits of the 0-99 digital target ID. Highly conductive coins appear in the upper regions while foil and iron target register in the lower end of the range. 

If you are not new in metal detecting, you must understand that few segments provide greater accuracy rather than having 100 segments and this is gonna help to avoid unwanted targets which result in getting worthy targets without wasting time. 

Ground Balance

There is no ground balance adjustment available in the ACE 400. This feature is basically available in the expensive metal detecting machine where both automatic and manual adjustment is available.

It’s an entry-level metal detecting machine and suitable for beginners. For this reason, not having ground balance adjustment won’t be an issue for beginners, rather it takes time to be skilled in adjusting ground balancing which beginners will find problematic. However, ACE 400 still performs without this feature in most of the environments.

By the way, if you are going to hunt on the mineralized ground then the preset ground balance would be a problem though.

That means if you want to hunt for gold in wet beach sand or anywhere with mineral-rich soil, the ACE 400 will struggle. 

Expecting ground balance adjustment from a metal detector like in such prices wouldn’t be fair since this feature mostly offers the expensive machines. 

Search Modes

ACE 400 comes with 5 factory discrimination modes like ACE 350, these are: 

  • Zero discrimination
  • Coins
  • Jewelry
  • Relics
  • Custom

Factory settings in entry-level metal detectors are always great for beginners since they don’t have any prior experience and knowledge.

They usually face struggling to use the advanced level metal detector where adjustable settings are available. As a beginner, you can adapt any of these 5 modes, using the notch feature with the custom mode.

Reckon you want to hunt coins but only silver coins, you can use this feature to do this. You could start in the coin mode, then notch out the segments for nickel, copper, and zinc.

So if you’re in an old park where there’s likely to be silver coins, you might not want to spend your entire day digging new memorial pennies.

Adjustable Frequency

ACE 400 is a single frequency VLF metal detector machine that broadcasts at 10 kHz. However, it allows you to adjust the frequency a little bit if you need it. 

This is helpful when you are hunting with a friend who also has the ACE 400 or even a different brand detector operating at the same frequency. The detectors will end up detecting each other if you get too close.

This happens a lot if you tend to hunt in groups or participate in competition hunts where the likelihood is high that someone there is using the same machine.

However, electrical interference like power lines and WiFi signals can also make a metal detector go mad. 

Adjusting the frequency is an invaluable feature to have on those occasions when it’s needed but not something you need to do in your average hunt. 

Waterproof Search Coil

Stand package comes with an 8.5” x 11” DD search coil. This provides a great balance between sensitivity and depth. 

Moreover, you can also use some other coils though. There are some additional coils that are also available. Examples include a Super Sniper 4.5” search coil, 5” x 8” DD coil and a 9” x 12” PROformance coil.

Other Features

The ACE 400 has a built-in pinpointing function to locate the targets more precisely and accurately. Though I prefer dedicated pinpointer, built-in can be useful too. Built-in available in ACE 300 and ACE 250 but doesn’t come with the basic 200 models. 

Eight sensitivity adjustment segments. It helps you to balance the depth with sensitivity depending on the ground conditions. 

Like all ACE metal detectors, the 400 has a target depth indicator.

Control Panel and Display

If you have prior experience of using any model of Garrett ACE series then you feel you are at home while just having the ACE 400 in your hand. 

Garrett did evolution in the display rather than innovation, though there are few adjustments to make it easier to read. 

Great things that I have found in its display are that everything is clear and simple to use. Buttons are labeled so you won’t need to spend hours to memorize the complicated sequences to use various features. 

The visual display also shows lots of useful information such as expanded Target ID Legend with coin denominations.

However, the only complaint I have regarding the control panel is that printed legend can be difficult to see when out in the field. 

Price

The best thing about the Garrett ACE category is they priced their detectors arguably. 

The price of this ACE 400 is around 400 USD. In terms of price, it provides outstanding performance and features.

If you are looking for an entry-level metal detector and can increase your budget bit more than I suggest you buy the models like Fisher F22, though ACE 400 is also the fantastic value of money. 

Performance in the Field

ACE 400 is an entry-level metal detector and mostly beginners will use this machine, keeping this in mind Garrett ACE 400 was made in that way so that beginners find it very simple to use and it is simple to use indeed.

Moreover, due to its lightweight design, high accuracy, and excellent performance, it’s very enjoyable to use in the field. 

In terms of sensitivity, Garrett ACE 400 is highly sensitive when setting to its top sensitivity segments and very efficient at picking out targets.

In fact, it also provides a surprisingly strong performance when you are forced to decrease sensitivity. Moreover, in order to provide you more accuracy, its distinctive bell tone for coins is also clear and easy to hear.

I met some, who are having this machine. I asked them questions regarding the performance of this machine.

They found it is very efficient discriminating trash objects and they spend less time digging unwanted items compared to many other machines in this price range. Besides, Iron Audio is very helpful to pick out the iron targets. 

The standard coil is fantastic in performance, it does a great job of separating targets in areas with a lot of trash.

However, in terms of mineralized soils, the machine does a decent job with standard coil but smaller search coil is recommended.

Usually, maximum depths vary depending on the ground mineralization, machine’s settings, target size and a variety of other factors. Garrett ACE 400 offers excellent sensitivity for the price though, so you can expect to find medium size coins at up to 8”. 

By the way, one thing that needs to be mentioned is that lack of ground balance makes the ACE 400 unsuitable for regions with high levels of soil mineralization. Though it’s fine for hunting on dry beach sand, It’ll also suffer from excessive falsing if used on the wet sand. 

ACE 400 vs. AT Pro

ACE 400 vs. AT Pro

AT Pro of Garrett is two steps ahead than ACE 400. So you can expect more and better features from AT Pro. One of the biggest differences between these two is AT Pro is submersible to a depth of 10 feet.

That means you can use it for underwater hunting. Being an all-terrain and fully submersible machine it’s suitable for all types of detectorists. 

Some of its features not found in the ACE 400 include:

  • Proportional audio mode
  • Faster recovery speed
  • Additional iron discrimination controls
  • Higher frequency (15 kHz) for more sensitivity to smaller objects
  • Automatic ground balance (key difference)

For the average user who doesn’t need a waterproof detector, the biggest advantage by far is the automatic ground balance in the AT Pro.

If you are a mediocre user the biggest advantages you will get from AT Pro is, it’s automatic ground balance. However, you can’t adjust the ground balance of ACE 400 in the field since it comes with a factory preset ground balance. 

You can read our complete review of the AT Pro here.

ACE 400 Vs ACE 350

ACE 400 Vs ACE 350

ACE 400 is a significant upgrade of ACE 350. Garrett discontinued the 350 after releasing the ACE 400. You might find leftover stock which is available for sale. So it’s important to know the differences between these models.

ACE 400 comes with some major upgrades such as numerical target ID, which helps greater accuracy when identifying targets.

ACE 350 doesn’t come with the frequency adjustment option either, which can be helpful in groups or if there are power lines nearby. Moreover, ACE 400 also includes Iron Audio which doesn’t come with ACE 350.

Over and above, it’s not about just features, the ACE 400 comes many different improvements compared to ACE 350. 

ACE 400 Vs Fisher F44

ACE 400 Vs Fisher F44

The price range of ACE 400 and Fisher F44 are the same. But there are some differences between these two, both of these are excellent in performance though.

Ground balance is the key difference between these two. F44 would be a reasonable choice if you are going to hunt in highly mineralized soil. 

Besides, ACE 400 has more discrimination segments (12 compared to 9) and it’s more sensitive to smaller objects. 

However, both include adjustable iron audio, notch discrimination and, Digital Target ID. 

ACE 400 Vs Whites TreasureMaster

ACE 400 Vs Whites TreasureMaster

There is only one advantage in TreasureMaster compared to ACE 400: Automatic ground balance. Otherwise, it can’t beat the ACE 400 with its features.

However, the price of TreasureMaster is far lower than the ACE 400. So, you basically get what you are paying for.  

In terms of price TreasureMaster is also a good choice. As an entry-level metal detector, it’s providing the automatic ground balance feature that is really impressive which you won’t get in ACE 400. 

ACE 400 vs. ACE 400i

Both are the same. “I’ stands for international, which means the international version of ACE 400. 

There’s really no difference apart from some additional iron discrimination features to handle the highly mineralized soil conditions found in Europe.

The 400i also does not have U.S coins as target ID segments.

The 400i is not available in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

What accessories are included?

The standard package of Garrett ACE 400 comes with a coil cover, easy stow headphones (including volume control), ACE cover-up and manual. 

Depending on the retailers you might find some other packages though, that may include extra accessories, such as cover and even search coils. 

Is it waterproof?

The coil is waterproof, but the control box isn’t.

Since it’s not submersible, you can’t use it under the water. But you can expect to use it at the edge of lakes, streams or creeks.

Can I use it on a beach?

Most of the entry-level VLF detectors are not designed for saltwater and there is no exception in the ACE 400. It will give lots of false-positive signals because of the high conductivity of wet sand.

By the way, one thing needs to mention that it’s also not great hunting gold nuggets as lack of ground balance means its struggle to cope up with mineralization. However, it works outstanding on the dry sand though. 

ACE 400 Depth

Like any metal detector, depth depends on several factors including machine settings, ground conditions, target size, etc. Generally speaking, you should be able to reach a U.S quarter at 8-10” in neutral ground.

What size coil comes stock with the ACE 400?​ 

The ACE 400 comes stock with a large, 8.5×11″ DD coil which is great for getting maximum depth and covering the more ground faster. This large DD coil is perfect for covering large areas. It also will get great depth.

What is the price?

The price is around 400 USD. 

How much does it weigh?

The ACE 400 weighs 2.9 lbs with the stock coil. If that’s too heavy, consider purchasing a smaller coil to reduce some of the weight.

What kind of batteries does it take?

It comes with 4 standard AA batteries which are not rechargeable. You have to buy your own rechargeable batteries externally. 

Where is it made?

Garrett makes all their metal detectors in the United States – Garland, Texas to be precise.

Does it have a warranty?

Yes. Garrett gives you a 2-year limited part and labor warranty.

Parting Words

I hope this post helps you decide whether Garrett ACE 400 is right for you or not.

In the end, I would say, you will never go wrong with any detector of Garrett since they are a quality brand and give the value of money in every product of them. 

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