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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
- 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.
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
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.