IMPRESSIVE! Yes, this was my initial thought as I held and 'played' with White's new compact, lightweight, Spectrum XLT metal detector for the first time.
Here, I thought, is a metal detector with some serious detecting capability. Powerful, versatile, with an array of user-selectable features and control options and yet not too complicated to use . . . a detector to successfully 'grow' with.
As I explored and tried the different operating modes, settings and options, I could instantly see its almost limitless detecting capability and sense the value of its very informational LCD graphic display.
Its LCD meter and target identification system is outstanding. Large, well designed and very informative. The Spectrum XLT is indeed a 'user friendly' metal detector with enough available options to keep a 'seasoned pro' content and successful for years to come, yet with its five turn-on-and-go programs, easy enough for a detectorist of any experience level to use.
The new Spectrum XLT descends from a long-standing line of previous White's I.D. models, but now provides improved microprocessor speed, easier menu navigation and other noteworthy refinements.
As I closely examined and evaluated the Spectrum XLT, I came to the following conclusion: Its mechanical packaging is excellent. Compact, lightweight and durable with good balance and a very ergonomic design. Its LCD meter is very informative, large and is placed where it can be viewed easily. With the use of just five pushpads and a trigger switch, the detector's entire operation can be controlled, programmed and altered. The pushpads are easily accessed and well-positioned, they are large, have a nice tactile feel when pressed and it's easy to visually interpret their function. But there is so much more to the Spectrum XLT much more!
The Spectrum XLT Offers: 5 Turn-On-And Go Programs abCoin, abCoin & Jewelry, abJewelry & Beach, abRelic, and abProspecting.
4 Custom Programs These can be user-adjusted and labeled to any name you like and saved for future use.
10 Basic Adjustments abTarget Volume adjusts to your hearing. abThreshold tunes for your performance. abTone Adjust features 255 different pitches. abAudio Discriminate selects all metals or discrimination. abSilent Search allows searching without a threshold tone. abMixed Mode Audio combines the best of all-metal and discriminate modes. abAC Motion Sensitivity selects the level of sensitivity in motion modes. abDC Motion Sensitivity sets sensitivity levels in non-motion & pinpointing modes. abBacklight adjusts the display brightness. abViewing Angle adjusts the display for op timum viewing in extreme temperatures.
29 Professional Adjustments abS.A.T. Speed, abTone I.D., abV.C.O. Pinpointing, abAbsolute Value, abAuto Trac, abTrac View, abAuto Trac Offset, abAuto Trac Speed, abCoarse/Fine G.E.B., abCustom Programs, abDisc. Edit, abBlock Edit, abBottlecap Reject, abLearn Reject, abLearn Accept, abVisual Disc., abV.D.I. Sensitivity, abGraph Averaging, abGraph Accumulation, abFade Rate, abModulation, abTrac Inhibit, abRecovery Speed, abIcons, abPreamp Gain, abRatchet Pinpointing, abTransmit Frequency and abTransmit Boost.
As you can see, with its many available options, the Spectrum XLT is quite capable of handling almost any detecting site or situation.
Couple all of this with White's automatic ground balance with Autotrac; open-center BlueMax 950 coil; selectable charge time rechargeable drop-in battery system; excellent owner's manual and you have an awesome 'detecting system'.
I found one of the most fascinating, helpful and productive features of the Spectrum XLT to be its SignaGraph display. As is explained in White's excellent Spectrum XLT Engineering Report (see below to obtain a copy). The SignaGraph or 'Phase Spectrum Analyzer' shows the operator everything we currently know how to display about the characteristics of metallic objects in the ground.
In actual field use, I found myself relying on the SignaGraph extensively especially for identifying iron targets. When used in combination with the Visual Discrimination (V.D.I.) number, Target Icons and Audio Tone I.D. (Identification), I was usually correct at identifying iron targets versus good targets most of the time. This detector and its many I.D. features builds user confidence quickly. By the time I had operated the Spectrum XLT for three or four hours of my first day's outing, I was getting quite good at 'nailing' targets.
The Spectrum XLT has several ways to graphically identify targets on its L.C.D. display meter. The SignaGraph, as mentioned above, is a bar graph of sorts with a range of from -95 to +95. These numbers and bars correspond to the target's conductivity and also the Spectrum's Accept/Reject discrimination notching system. Good targets typically produce narrow vertical bars that stay in the same location with multiple searchcoil sweeps and build somewhat in their vertical height. Iron targets are quite different and identifiable. When an iron target is encountered, the SignaGraph display shows it as a 'smear' pattern with random bars and segments showing up all over the display.
Another very helpful piece of information is the V.D.I. number. This number represents the target's conductivity and is quite accurate and helpful in assisting the user to determine if the target is good or bad. The V.D.I. numbers are large and very easy to see and read. Numbers from -95 to 0 represent ferrous (iron) targets while numbers from 0 to +95 represent nonferrous itemscoins, rings, pulltabs, etc.
Field Use And Findings
My first trip out using the Spectrum XLT was to the site of an old, abandoned trolley park. This park's heyday was from about 1905 to 1925. Currently, it is a wooded site with an abundance of nails, bullets, shotgun shell brass and other iron trash, plus some modern junk left behind by 'visitors' over the years.
I was fairly confident using the Spectrum XLT, knowing that its excellent discrimination control and metering system could help me overcome most of the trash targets, giving me a better chance at the 'good stuff'.
As mentioned above, I relied heavily on the Spectrum XLT's visual and audio I.D. and especially its SignaGraph display. As a result, my first trip afield was quite good.
An 1891 'V' Nickel, 1923 Mercury Head dime, 1950 Roosevelt dime, Sterling Silver Art-Deco Joan of Arc pin, 1930s State Farm Auto Insurance tag, Art-Deco style lipstick tube and an old, engraved, Sterling Silver 'McKeesport Hospital' spoon were all found at this trashy, well-worked site.
The following weekend, I tried the Spectrum XLT in a typical 'park-type' setting a place with lots of 'common' trash items pulltabs, screwcaps, iron bottle caps, etc.
I started off with the preset 'Coins' program but did make some changes to the threshold, AC and DC sensitivity. I also increased the 'Track Offset' to +1 to increase its depth and sensitivity to small targets. I also rejected the +95 notch to help eliminate some false signals.
The Spectrum XLT did a really good job of identifying targets. Especially pulltabs, screwcaps, iron and of course coins. In some areas though, I think I could have done better with a smaller coil. However, in the clear open areas, the 9.5 inch coil was very good for depth and ground coverage.
I ended the day with a 1918, 1923 and 1945 Mercury dime, nine Wheat cents and three Buffalo nickels.
As I became more accustomed to the Spectrum XLT's various options and menus, the 'navigation' to them and their effect on the detector's operation, I became much better at finding coins and eliminating trash.
After changing a control function or setting, I would try it for a while to see its result. Then, if needed, I could press either the 'UP' or 'DOWN' Pushpad to quickly move back to that same option to make further adjustments. This saved a lot of time as I didn't have to scroll through the various menus to get back to the same adjustment again.
As mentioned previously, the Spectrum XLT is a detector with many options. To completely master this detector will take some time and commitment, but I can assure you that almost anyone could do very well, if they used nothing more than the factory preset programs.
In comparing the retail price of current top-of-the-line microprocessor controlled target I.D. metal detectors, I believe that White's Spectrum XLT could easily be priced hundreds of dollars more than its current $899.95 retail price but it isn't!
Considering that you can usually purchase a new Spectrum XLT for less than its suggested retail price, and often get free accessory items included, such as headphones, digging tools, etc., makes it an outstanding top-of-the-line metal detector bargain you get a lot of performance, functionality and versatility in the Spectrum XLT, without having to spend upwards of one thousand dollars.
The Spectrum XLT's design and construction is first-rate. Its impressive performance has been field-proven and verified by 1ꯠs of successful and satisfied detectorists worldwide, of which, many believe its overall detecting versatility is unmatched.
Quite a following of devout Spectrum XLT users has developed and there are even Internet web sites for Spectrum owners, some even list custom programs you can copy and use with your own Spectrum XLT.
White's Spectrum XLT is a modern marvel of electronic and mechanical engineering.
It wasn't too many years ago, that this type of futuristic, 'computerized', 'high-tech' metal detector was just a 'dream machine' for all detectorists. Well, dream no more the high-quality, high-performance, 'Made in the USA' Spectrum XLT is available now.