After having used it for a few weeks now I decided to write a critique in the White’s Spectra V3i metal detector.
I have to say that compared to ones that I have owned in the past it leaves most other metal detectors in the dust. What makes this machine so special is that is uses three frequencies instead of just one to analyze what’s underground. Different frequencies reflect in garrett metal detectors different ways from different metals. By pulling the trigger backwards you can view a found object with the three frequency spectrograph. Different colors indicate different metals and you can avoid digging up things like aluminum cans or bottle caps by seeing the iron content, aluminum signature, etc.
The next great feature I fell in love with was the analyze mode. This is another choice of tools to use for looking at your underground target and its properties. By pressing the trigger forward you can sweep across the found object and tell how large it is, how deep it is, and the probability it is what the display says it is, such as a fifty cent piece. I noticed that it could be fooled by changing the proximity of a silver coin to the search coil. Close up, at say one or two inches, a mercury style dime would show as a quarter and a silver quarter would read as a fifty cent piece.
This feature isn’t perfect but no metal detector’s target analyzer really is. There will probably never be a metal detector on the market that can display with complete accuracy what an object buried underground may be since there are so many objects that give off similar signals. But, the White’s Spectra V3i that I reviewed comes close to it. Three frequencies make all the difference in the world. Of course you can switch to just one if you choose. When looking for gold nuggets you can go to 22.5 khz or when searching for silver go to 2.5 kHz. Another good feature is that you can boost the output power for deeper penetration, though this shortens the battery life.
The White’s Spectra V3i comes with several great programs already installed, from coin hunting, coins and jewelry to relics and even prospecting and a meteorite mode. If you want to custom design a program, the user guide shows you step by step how to do so. You can even clone another user’s custom program wireless by putting the detectors close to each other and hitting a few keys.
The wireless headphones are a bit bulky, but for serious users they provide very clear audio and a comfortable ear muff. You can change the tone if you like and also change the frequency if other Spectra V3i users are nearby.
One really nice feature is that it comes with two battery packs. One NiMh pack and another in which you can put either rechargeable AA or disposable AA batteries. This comes in handy for long treasure hunts where your rechargeable pack may play out.
I’ve found a few coins so far and am still honing my skills. There is a step by step video which everyone should watch to learn how to use the analyze mode and other features. Since this is a very high tech metal detector it may not be ideal for first time users. One reason I say that is that a casual coin hunter may be able to get by with a $300 machine and have just as much fun. Once you have honed your basic metal detecting skills it is time to start saving up though, and step up to what I believe is the best metal detector on the market.
I hope you found my critique in the White’s Spectra V3i helpful. If you own one of these you already know that is one fine piece of technology. That’s not to say there are other great detectors out there, but if they are single frequency models you will be digging more since they cannot discriminate junk from treasure as well as the White’s Spectra V3i.