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Whites Electronics Prizm V Field Test
By Joe Patrick
From page 36 of the April, 2005 issue of Lost Treasure
Copyright © 2005 Lost Treasure, Inc. all rights reserved
From page 36 of the April, 2005 issue of Lost Treasure
Copyright © 2005 Lost Treasure, Inc. all rights reserved
A few months ago, I had a chance to try out White's new lightweight Prizm IV metal detector. All in all, I found it to be an excellent-performing and easy to operate metal detector with a good 'mix' of features for its reasonable price.Building on the excellent design qualities of the Prizm IV, White's has recently introduced a new, expanded-features Prizm model to their Prizm line of metal detectors - appropriately, this new model is named the Prizm V.
As with all Prizm models, the Prizm V is very lightweight - weighing just 2.5 pounds - and is very comfortable to hold and operate. To provide maximum depth and ground coverage, it is equipped with White's Prizm 950 (9.5-inch) open-center search coil.
The Prizm V includes an adjustable arm cup and arm strap, which helps offset the slight 'front-heaviness' of the larger coil. Overall, the Prizm V shows typical White's quality and engineering both, very well done! Like other Prizm models, the Prizm V is very easy to understand and operate.
All controls and functions are but a finger touch away and operating changes are quick and easy to make 'on the fly' as you detect - this is one aspect of all Prizm models that I especially like!
New to the Prizm V model is White's MultiTone audio target (tone) identification feature. MultiTone audio provides eight distinct audio tones - one for each discriminate zone - and ranges from a very low tone for iron targets up to high tone for large coins. For those who prefer fewer audio tones, the Prizm V can be set to produce a Prizm IV style 3-tone (low/medium/high) audio I.D. It can also be set so all targets produce the same tone - talk about tone versatility, the Prizm V has it!
Another feature new to the Prizm V is VCO audio pinpointing. Voltage Controlled Oscillation gives a higher pitch (audio tone) as you approach the target. It's a simple and intuitive way to pinpoint for many.
For those who prefer standard, volume-controlled (modulated audio) pinpointing, the Prizm V can be set for it also. For this feature and ability, I say thank you White's, as I am not a big fan of VCO pinpointing.
I believe that many 'older' detectorists, who learned to detect before VCO audio was offered, prefer standard modulated audio. Newer detectorists seem to prefer VCO pinpointing. White's is wise to have provided both!
Another 'plus' for the Prizm V is the addition of White's larger and deeper-detecting Prizm 950 search coil. The 9.5-inch open-center search coil is the same as used on all White's top-of-the-line detectors and it provides more depth and a wider search pattern.
Like other White's Prizm models, I am impressed by the amount of 'at-a-glance' information available on the large LCD screen display and just how intuitive and easy that information is to 'read' and understand. I especially like the simple and easy 'up front,' non-layered operation and control of the Prizm V.
Another 'cool' feature of the Prizm V is its Smart Notch. Just press the Smart Notch touchpad and nails, foil and tabs are in or out. The "Smart" system notches each zone based on your discrimination setting.
White's Smart Notch is a feature that makes discrimination notching very easy. It will automatically place the discrimination notch in the correct location, dependent on how you have your discrimination set. This feature helps to eliminate certain trash items while giving you the best chance of finding Nickels, gold rings and coins. The Prizm V discriminates iron and other troublesome items very well. When I was searching trash-filled areas, I discriminated out most trash items easily and I retrieved very few trash items.
I am happy to see that White's designed the Prizm V to have both an All Metal mode and a Pinpoint mode. It's Pinpoint mode works well and the auto-tuning speed is just right. If you press and hold the Pinpoint touch pad, the Prizm V will enter its Pinpoint mode, but if you quickly press and release the touch pad, it will enter its All Metal mode. The Prizm V is very smooth operating and extremely stable.
The Prizm V has the following touch pads and features:
ON/OFF - Powers the detector On and Off DISC(RIMINATION) - Up/Down arrows. Adjustable 5-zone range. Iron, Foil, Nickel, Pull Tab, Zinc SMART NOTCH - This feature automatically sets the discrimination notching depending on what level the DISC is currently set at MULTITONE AUDIO ID - Eight unique audio tones from low for Iron to high for coins P/P PINPOINT - Enables the Pinpoint mode if pressed and held, or the All Metal mode if quickly pressed and released. Also works in conjunction with the MultiTone touch pad to enable VCO or standard, volume-controlled (modulated audio) pinpointing NORMAL PINPOINT - Provides standard, volume-controlled (modulated audio) pinpointing VCO PINPOINT - Voltage Controlled Oscillation, which gives a higher pitch (audio tone) as you approach the pinpointed target SENS - Up/Down arrows set the level of operating sensitivity HEADPHONE JACK - Right side-mounted " SEARCH COIL - 9.5-inch open-center and waterproof BATTERIES - Drop-in design. Two 9-volt. 20-hour detecting life (approximate) LOW BATTERY ALERT - Icon and text Display
Large and easy to view L.C.D. display. The target ID arrows are very effective and make visual target identification easy to see.
The following display indicators and icons are visible as follows: LOW BATT - Indicates when the battery is low TONE ID - Indicates when Tone ID is selected DEPTH - Indicates target depth from 0 to 8+ inches SENS - Indicates the level of Sensitivity selected ALL METAL - Indicates when the All Metal mode is selected NOTCHED OUT SYMBOL - Indicates which target categories are notched (discriminated) out ID ARROW - Moves across the meter's face and points to the target ID icon to indicate what you have found Audio
'Rock-solid' metal detector audio and accurate sound reproduction are two very important qualities for successful metal detecting. Usually, it is sound alone that alerts a user to the presence of a metal target and the target's unique sound can inform a detectorist of the target's size, shape, depth and metal composition. The Prizm V's audio is excellent! Its crisp, full-sounding audio ID tones have a broad enough range between the lowest to highest tone produced, and any adjacent tones to enable very accurate audio target identification. The MultiTone audio identification feature is what I like best about the new Prizm V especially when searching the 'cleaner,' less-trashy detecting sites. The Prizm V's MultiTone audio tones are:
Iron - 261.6 Hz Foil - 587.3 Hz Nickel - 659.3 Hz Pull tabs - 698.5 Hz Zinc Penny - 784.0 Hz Copper Penny - 880.0 Hz Quarter - 987.8 Hz Dollar - 1046.5 Hz
Like other Prizm models, operating the Prizm V is very easy and intuitive. Although it has much capability, it is truly a turn-on-and-go, very easy-to-use metal detector. One thing that I like about all Prizm models is how fast and easy it is to control all of the operating functions. Every feature and function is literally just a quick finger-touch away and it is very easy to make quick 'on-the-fly' changes as needed while detecting. I used this ability to make quick changes often, as I searched different areas.
The first place I selected to search for my evaluation was a wooded hillside near the location of an old trolley stop. I initially set the Prizm V's MultiTone ID to the on position, but after a few minutes of being 'bombarded' by years of accumulated trash targets, I decided to switch it off and use the 3-tone ID instead. Searching this way, using a slightly reduced sensitivity setting, I 'cherry-picked' a couple of Wheat cents and some clad coins from amongst the heavy trash. As I had discovered previously, when using the Prizm IV, the Prizm V could also benefit from a smaller accessory search coil for working trash-filled sites. Something in the 5" to 7" range would be perfect!
I will say though that the Prizm V discriminates very well, but in heavy, concentrated trash, the 9.5" coil is just too large to easily isolate some close targets. After about 15 minutes of 'shooting the trash,' I decided to move into the woods for a chance at finding some older, silver coins. These wooded areas always seem to hold a few old coins for those wiling to take the time and effort to find them. As I entered the woods, the amount of target 'hits' diminished rapidly.
This told me that I was now away from the 'high-use,' trash-filled area and that targets would be fewer, but more isolated and perhaps deeper due to the soft, loamy soil. I decided to 'switch-on' the MultiTone audio ID, decrease the discrimination to eliminate iron only and I increased the sensitivity setting to maximum. The Prizm V operated smoothly 'maxed out' and I heard very few false signals.
Here, with fewer targets to interfere, the MultiTone ID was great! I used it for my preliminary ID information and then glanced at the meter to obtain additional target information. By using the MultiTone audio ID, meter ID and modulated audio pinpointing signal, I was able to obtain a lot of information about my targets. The Prizm V was quite effective at letting me pass by most junk while not missing the good stuff.
In just three hours of detecting, I found a 1942 and 1943 Mercury dime - both in mint condition. Also located where two 1922 Pittsburgh Railways tokens, an 1878 copper Italian coin, a few Wheat cents and some clad coins. By the time my detecting friend Scott and I had to return home, I was 'really liking' the Prizm V!
The following weekend, Scott and I were once again out detecting. This time, at the site of an old farmhouse. Over the years, we had found many coins and some jewelry at this location, but it is now truly close to being cleaned out. I selected this site to see if the Prizm V could locate any targets that we had previously missed. Well, I have to admit that targets were few and far between, but I did manage to find some newer clad coins an old Boy Scout neckerchief slide and one silver Roosevelt dime from about six-inches depth.
White's Prizm V is an easy detector to like! While being fun and easy to use, it is also very capable and feature-filled. White's has clearly done their 'homework' on the Prizm V and I am certain it will be a very popular model with many detectorists - it certainly impressed me!
The Prizm V retails for $549.95 and is covered by a two-year parts and labor warranty. A 'How and Where To Hunt' instruction video is included.
For additional information, contact: White's Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Rd., Sweet Home, OR 97386. For a White's dealer near you call: 1-800-547-6911. Visit White's on the web at: www.whiteselectronics.com