My Ace 250 fitted with the 13" coil vs XP Deus test.

A lot of people will dismiss this test as rubbish as they say that air tests and buried coin tests don't give a true result. Maybe not for some results, but to me this way of testing, using the same coins, in the same soil, in the same environment, surely must give some sort of  indication what a metal detector can do. Take for example when I first bought the 13" Ultimate coil to replace the standard 9" coil on my Ace 250, this sort of testing did show that I was getting some more inches of depth which also showed out in the real conditions of a field. I was digging deeper and finding more. So I think this sort of testing does have a place, even if its only just to compare different coils and machines.

Based on the above and as I had nothing better to do this morning I tried a test that I have been wanting to try for a while now. As you see in the photos I filled a large 18" deep plastic planter with bought in soil from a garden center. For testing I used a 1936 copper penny and a 1921 silver shilling buried at different depths.
The two machines I used were my Garret Ace 250 fitted with my 13" Ultimate Coil and my XP Deus 3.2 fitted with the Standard 9" Coil.

Why did I bother doing this test, well,,,, like a lot of detectorists,  I wanted to justify to myself why am I now using a £1,200 machine,  when I started out detecting using a machine costing only £180.
Very briefly my story goes like this:

Bought Garret Ace 250. Came with the standard 9" coil. Cost £180.
Excellent start to metal detecting. Finding stuff and getting hooked on the hobby.

Upgraded the 9" coil to a 13" coil. Cost £120.
Excellent, digging more and deeper. I looked at it as I now had a machine costing £300.

Upgraded to a Garret AT Pro. Cost £595. Kept the Ace 250 for a back up machine.
Poor move. Found the Ace 250 with the 13" coil performed just as good if not a little better than the AT Pro. Sold the AT Pro and went back to the Ace 250.

Upgraded again to a Nokta Velox One. Cost £595. Still kept the Ace 250 for a back up machine.
Good move, I liked the Velox One. Though I didn't see any more depth than my Ace 250 with the 13" coil, I did like the way it sounded and I seemed to be able to tell different signals apart easier.
Had a problem with both my arms and found the Velox too heavy for me and sold it on.

Upgraded again to the XP Deus, which I am still using. Cost £1,200. Still have my Ace 250 as a back up machine.
For me and my arms an excellent move. Reason being its so light. Also love being cordless.
Depth wise, not much difference than my Ace 250 with 13" coil.

I will admit I'm obsessed with depth, I want to go as deep as possible so as to know I'm not missing anything. I used to think the more a machine cost, the deeper it will go, hence my upgrades. But when I look back I can easily see that's not the case. All I seemed to have got for more money is more bells and whistles, but not the depth I was after.
I now compare metal detectors to cars. A Fiesta is a simple car compared to say a Merc with all its bells and whistles., but they both drive you from A to B. It depends on what you want yourselves, myself, I like simple and depth.

So in a nutshell and back to my tests, I can only justify to myself I have paid an extra £900 for a machine that's friendly on my arms and being cordless. But I'd sooner have extra depth.

Filled an 18" deep plastic planter with top soil bought in from a garden center. I wanted good topsoil as I didn't want any small metal pieces contaminating it and plus the soil in my garden was contaminated and stoney. 
 As I said above, both coins were buried in same soil in the same environment. At 6", 8", 10" and 12".

At 6" with both machines set at Max Sensitivity and no Discrimination (Ace in all metal mode), (Deus tested in all factory programs with no tweeking), both coins were picked up easily with good clear signals.

At 8" with both machines set at Max Sensitivity and no Discrimination (Ace in all metal mode), (Deus tested in all factory programs with no tweeking), both coins were picked up easily with good clear signals.

 At 10" with both machines set at Max Sensitivity and no Discrimination (Ace in all metal mode), (Deus had to be tweeked), both coins were picked up but with weaker/poor signals. It was a case of should I dig or not. 

At 12" both machines indicated that there was a target there but very poor signals.

After 12" nothing.

Yes, a very simple un-exciteable test I know, but it convinced me you don't get anymore depth for your money, just more comfort. My next couple of metal detecting trips I am going to use my Ace 250 for a change, just for my own curiosity. I'm wondering with all the bells and whistles that they could be making me miss finds. Time will tell...


  1. Janner good post. The idea that spending more money equates to more treasure is most definitely a fallacy. It took me a while to learn that but it was a good lesson. I am amazed at the money people spend today for their machines and accessories. I now have a detector that performs quite well for me and it offers good depth. What kind of depth? I don't know...depends on how I have it set up and how attentive I am at the moment. Also depends on what size the target is... Lots of variables and none of them relate to how much I spent. Have a great weekend.

    1. Very well put Dick. Its took me two years to realize it and quite a bit of money. Never again will I fall for the slogan, 'This machine powers deeper than any other machine' or 'Find more treasure' or 'Leaves other machines behind'.
      I dunno, we live and learn :D.

  2. Yeh stick with the 250 any thing else is a waste of money IMHO

  3. coil size = more depth, put a 13 on the deus and it will go deeper than the 250, nothing to do with how much money you spend?