Detectors up to PLN 1000 - an overview of the market offer in a nutshell.
The economic sector of detectors in Poland and in the world is doing very well. Most of the seekers, starting your adventure with exploration, wants to purchase an effective and reputable detector, and at the same time inexpensive. For this reason, buyers reach for equipment from the economic sector. For this reason, I decided to make a theoretical market analysis in the sector up to PLN 1000, as the most frequently cited financial limit. Z tej przyczyny postanowiłem dokonać krótkiego porównania detektorów z tego segmentu.
It is obvious, that advanced detectors will not be included in this range. Postanowiłem też odpuścić sobie detektory bardzo mało znane i o mocno niepewnym pochodzeniu – nie jestem wielkim fanem „wschodnich” produktów, especially when choosing a detector. I looked at the offers of Polish distributors and around 1000 PLN we can buy detectors such as:
– Garrett ACE 250 - the legendary "canary" in the standard version, already old equipment, whose successor is entering the market in a few weeks (however, it will be more expensive than the current model).
- Teknetics Eurotek Pro - relatively young detector, which quickly built up a good position in the market, offering nice opportunities and creating an interesting offer for those, who could not afford Tekneticsy from the "Greek" series (Delta, Gamma, Omega).
– Minelab Go-Find 40 - the Minelab brand has been associated with mid-range and high-end detectors for a demanding customer for years. Last year, the company attacked the economic sector with a futuristic-looking Go Find series.
- Fisher F11 - his more advanced brother, Fisher F22, Unfortunately, it costs over PLN 1000 and the company offers equipment in this price category, which characteristics rather resemble a detector of a lower class. Interestingly, Eurotek Pro from the same manufacturer (First Texas) it is over 10% cheaper when sharing multiple items.
- White's Coinmaster - just like Minelab, firma White’s znana jest głównie z zaawansowanych technicznie detektorów o mocnych osiągach. However, for years the manufacturer has been taking care of less wealthy customers, maintaining economical series of detectors. Currently, for PLN 1000 you can equip yourself with Coinmaster.
- Armand Automatic - I decided to put a domestic product, because the manufacturer provides, that the detector's search profile corresponds to the above.
All these detectors have a number of common features. Neither of them has a ground balance, wszystkie mają wodoodporne cewki. Żaden z nich nie posiada wielotonowej identyfikacji dźwiękowej (from one to three tones). All of them have concentric coils with similar properties in their standard versions (8 cali, similar frequency range). So what are the differences and whether any detector stands out from the rest?
In the case of theoretical descriptions, I do not like to deal with each aspect in a comprehensive manner (I hope, that in the spring I will be able to confront all these detectors in one big test), so I will focus on that, what do I see in these detectors in terms of "plus - minus". Unfortunately, not all of them were in my hands, so references to the practical features of the detectors will be of secondary importance here.
The biggest problem with cheap detectors is not the range at all (which, even though it does not shock, can be considered sufficient in most cases), only poor ergonomics and low practical efficiency. This is mainly due to the low stability of work resulting from the default ground balance and quite residual identification of targets. Among the described detectors, the Eurotek Pro leaves the most positive impression. It is the only one with full numerical identification (from 1 do 99), instead of rudimentary, in the form of compartments. Armand has one rigid range of discrimination in both static and pseudo-dynamic modes (is the only static detector in the list), Go-Find shows the ID by light and on the display, the discrimination setting options are very rudimentary. The other devices work on a very similar principle (8-12 ID compartments with the possibility of cutting individual). The identification alone leaves Eurotek's competitors a bit behind. If we also add a fact to it, that Eurotek Pro has a special IRON indicator, informing about the iron object under the coil (color signals from larger iron are the bane of many detections), which works very well, this clears up a clear leader.
Pinpoint is common in this class, although it is missing from Armand, which in the list is the most "configurable" equipment (if it is possible at all in this class). So let's move on to ergonomics. There is a disadvantage of First Texas detectors - a 9V battery power supply. Coinmaster requires two such batteries. Compared to AA batteries (ACE i Go-Find) they are clearly more expensive and more cumbersome to operate (the need to buy separate batteries / chargers). Armand showed an interesting patent, by installing a battery in the detector. However, I do not know its practical efficiency and the option of inability to use an emergency power supply severely limits the detector's functionality.
Foil keyboards are another trend resulting from cost cutting. Among the analyzed devices, Armand does not have one (because it has a switch, Mode dial and reset button) i Garrett. This is where the canary fares best - the foil keys are uncomfortable to use - especially pressing the pinpoint in gloves is difficult and has a negative effect on the smoothness of work. This is comforting information, that Garrett used identical solutions in this matter in the new ACE series.
As for the readability of displays, there is not much to display here, therefore the sticks do not differ much in this matter. Maybe Minelab is a bit unreadable, although with a completely unnecessary option of synchronization with a smartphone for me. There is no display in Armand, there is no problem.
The general performance is surprisingly inconsistent for such similarly priced equipment. Minelab paid for its futuristic design with a completely plastic construction, which is neither durable, nor compact, as it folded ACE 250 it does not differ in size from the Go-Find. In addition, early models do not have the option to change the coil. Garrett ACE 250 has a problem with the resin coil, prone to damage and unstable under unfavorable conditions.
Which detector is worth buying? W tym momencie segment boryka się z problemem wysokiego kursu dolara oraz starymi modelami. Garrett and White's haven't introduced any news yet, and even ACE 300, successor 250, it will cost more than PLN 1000 due to the high dollar exchange rate. Minelaby on the European market was accepted with reserve, because their usefulness seems very limited. Teknetics Eurotek Pro is more advanced than the Fisher F11 (after all, the Eurotek is the equivalent of the higher Fisher-F22 model) and is the only one in the segment to offer good ID with satisfactory comfort of work (it's a pity only the 9V power supply and the foil keyboard and detail in the form of resetting the settings at each start). Feel right here, that it is a fairly fresh and sensibly designed structure.
What the next months will bring? The most important premiere will be the new ACE series - the previous one has undoubtedly dominated the segment. However, if ACE 300 will cost more than Eurotek Pro with 11 'DD coil, it bodes disappointment with the performance of fans of the yellow detectors.