A few months ago, I was asked if I would be inter-ested in doing a field test of the new Garrett Master Hunter CX Plus.
Having used a Master Hunter CX previously, I kind of knew what it was like and thought to myself this test will be a piece of cake. I was assuming that it was basically the same detector. Was I ever wrong!
Believe it or not, sometimes the job of field testing can become somewhat routine of going through the motions just one more time.
I sometimes fall into the trap of prejudging a detector only to find out, during actual field testing, that I was completely wrong in my initial assumption and estimation. Such is the case with Garretts new Master Hunter CX Plus metal detector a detector I found to be full of surprises.
My first incorrect assumption was that with the current crop of lightweight, compact metal detectors, here was a fairly typical detector of some size and weight.
Imagine my astonishment, once I assembled the detector, then picked it up for a test swing and unexpectedly discovered just how lightweight it is. Something just didnt seem right. The detector looks like it should be heavy, but its not. I swung the detector a few more times bobbing the coil up and down just to further convince myself YES, it is lightweight!
Surprise number two occurred when I powered the detector on for the first time. WOW! I was viewing a display unlike any I had seen before. The best description I can give is that it is a digital representation of an analog (needle-type) meter kind of the best of both worlds analog and digital.
Garrett has been a longtime leader and innovator of target ID metal detectors, both analog and digital, and with the introduction of the Microprocessor controlled ONE-TOUCH Master Hunter CX Plus, Garrett has now effectively combined these two, previously separate, technologies.
My third surprise was in discovering that the Master Hunter CX Plus identifies targets in both its discrimination and all-metal modes. This can be a real plus for relic, coin and jewelry hunters who want to use the maximum depth, low target-masking properties of the all-metal mode and still reap the benefits of an accurate target ID system. This is a very valuable and beneficial feature.
The Master Hunter CX Plus is a single-frequency VLF metal detector that features a very unique LCD digital/analog identification (ID) and depth meter display, two selectable search modes: Discrimination and All Metal and a Fast Track automatic ground balance feature, which balances the ground in five seconds.
Its discrimination function is controlled by unique dual-knob Ferrous/Non-Ferrous discrimination controls.
As mentioned above, the Master Hunter CX Plus has an innovative analog/digital LCD display. This display provides 60-steps of resolution . . . enough to enable fine visual separation of displayed target ID information. The Pinpointing scale is also unique, offering the same 60-steps of resolution, but with a progressively-moving arc of line segments to precisely indicate the targets exact center.
To pinpoint a target, simply press and hold the Pinpoint touchpad while moving the searchcoil back and forth until the LCD Pinpointing display is at its maximum reading. Then, release the Pinpoint/Depth touchpad to read the coin-sized-targets probable depth target depth is displayed from 1 to 12 inches.
I find Garretts Master Hunter CX Plus LCD display to be very appealing and useful. I hope Garrett plans to expand on this concept. At any rate, I am impressed and like it!
Another useful feature of the Master Hunter CX Plus is its ability to accept different sensitivity (Set Depth) levels for both its All Metal and Discriminate modes. The Discriminate modes sensitivity setting is completely variable from 0 to 60, while the All Metal setting allows just one of four possible presets.
As you can already tell at this point, the Master Hunter CX Plus is a rather unique detector! But, there is still one more surprise. The Master Hunter CX Plus has the ability to become a deep-searching, cache and artifact detector with the use of Garretts Treasure Hound CX Depth Multiplier coil attachment its use and operation is extremely easy.
Generally speaking, the Treasure Hound CX Depth Multiplier should be used when searching for metal objects the size of a can, jar, larger items, or for elongated objects.
Field Use and Findings
Almost every field test that I conduct starts or ends in a large park near my home. I use this park as a testing ground because it is close by, always produces finds and it gives me a standard to judge and compare detector brands and models over the same general piece of ground and conditions.
The park consists of many diverse areas. Some that include extreme amounts of use and trash. Others that are wooded and relatively trash free. Yet, I can find wide-open expanses, remote picnic shelters and even old home sites one dating to the 1700s.
It was at this park that I started my field evaluation of the Master Hunter CX Plus on a somewhat cool, overcast, July day a perfect weather detecting day.
Arriving at the site of an older tree-post constructed picnic shelter, I quickly ground balanced using Fast Track, then adjusted the detector for a coins-mode type setting discrimination at the preset marks and sensitivity at about 75 percent of maximum.
Within minutes, I had my first hit a target that indicated at the Penny range. I pushed and held the Pinpoint touchpad and centered the target. Upon releasing the touchpad, the depth meter showed about 5.5 inches. Sure enough, upon retrieval, I held a 1924 Wheat cent.
I continued to find some Wheat cents, a few Buffalo nickels and some clad coins. About 50 minutes after my first find, I finally had something that sounded and indicated like an older, deeper coin. The ID was repeatedly indicating near DIME about 8.2 on the logging scale. The audio signal was solid, but weak, and the depth reading indicated about 8 inches.
I carefully cut a deep, hinged plug and scanned the open hole. The target was still in it a good sign. Carefully probing the loose soil, I caught the luster of a silver coin and pulled out a nice, but worn no-date Standing Liberty quarter. WOW I love Standing Liberties!
Not ten feet away from this find, another similar-sounding target turned out to be a 1944 Mercury dime. I was beginning to like this new Garrett detector.
The second day of field testing found me at my friends, Dave and Kittys farm. We decided to pick wild Blackberries in the morning then do some field testing in the afternoon. This would give me an opportunity to try the Treasure Hound CX depth multiplier attachment.
Once assembled, installing the Treasure Hound CX depth multiplier couldnt be easier. Just remove the standard pole assembly and searchcoil then slide the Treasure Hound CX depth multiplier into the detector housing and attach its connector. Thats it!
Using it is also easy, but I quickly learned that it does take some practice. The coils must be kept parallel to the ground and you must search in a smooth, steady, manner. It also takes some practice at knowing what a good target sounds like and in pinpointing it.
Although I did not have the opportunity to use the Treasure Hound CX depth multiplier at a Civil War site, nor did I have the good fortune to find and uncover a cache of rare, old coins I did find, with some retrieval help from Dave, Kitty and Lori, some large, old, farm-related items, some at depths of two to three feet. I realize that the Treasure Hound CX depth multiplier is capable of much more depth, but this site did not seem to have any targets deeper than about three feet. I could readily see that the Treasure Hound CX could really payoff for relic and cache hunting.
The Master Hunter CX Plus is lightweight, 3 pounds 14 ounces, a unique and adaptable metal detector.
Anyone, who is looking for a versatile, adaptable metal detector, that is capable of coin, jewelry, relic and cache hunting will find the Master Hunter CX Plus to be the perfect combination to fill their needs.
Relic hunters, in particular, should take a look at this detector. What other current non-Garrett detector offers a quick and easy way to add a two-box depth-multiplier attachment? I cannot think of any!
The fact that the Master Hunter CX Plus identifies targets in its All Metal mode is another advantage and dont forget about its smooth operating Fast Track automatic ground balance feature.
Add to the above assets an array of accessory searchcoils and you can clearly see why the Master Hunter CX Plus and Treasure Hound CX would make a great metal detector combination for anyone. This high-quality combo is designed and manufactured in the USA and is warranted for a period of 24 months. A 40-page instruction manual and instructional video is included.
For additional information, contact: Garrett Metal Detectors, Inc., 1881 W. State Street, Garland, TX 75042-6797. Phone: (972) 494-6151. FAX: (972) 494-1881. Web Site: www.garrett.com. E-Mail: email@ garrett.com.