The Minelab CTX3030, excluding the extra features, like GPS, waterproof, and wireless capabilities, has set a new bar for deep coin/relic ID machines. I have been having great results in hard hunted yards that I have used my other detectors.(Minelab, XP, and others). The speed of the CTX3030 is definite improvement over the E-Trac. There is almost no lag time as before. No more waiting on a visual ID.
I wanted to address some of the early complaints, because now that it is out and in the hands of users, I think the people who were complaining about this "problem" and that "issue" are realizing that crow isn't all that bad especially when there is so much to eat. Some complained about the price, some still do. This machine isn't for everyone. With the improvements over the E-Trac, like swing speed, a vast improvement in target separation, and the ability to identify multiple targets at once(I have proved this several times in my videos and in the video below) you get the picture that a price increase over the E-Trac was in order. When you add the waterproof feature, it alone almost makes up the difference in price. I want to say if when you go to detect and you like to hurry and swing the coil like a hay sickle then the CTX is definitely NOT the machine for you, but if you take your time and really comb a ground looking for every little relic and coin, then by all means get this machine, cause it will impress you.
Now some are going to beat this already dead horse, saying "I can find the same things you can with a much cheaper detector", let's be real here. If you do have a detector that can do all of the things the CTX can, at half the price, that's fine. Hold on to it, because magic staff's are about as common as talking mules...and I have only known one, ok two. This is a serious detector for serious detectorist's. If you spend more time watching tv or sleeping than you do detecting, then this probably isn't the machine for you. Some may not be able to afford this machine, I was definitely one of them. I found out about the machine then immediately began selling silver and gold finds that I had made with the E-Trac to get this machine in my hands.. If I am going to detect, and spend all my free time doing it, I want to minimize missing any good targets and lessening the time spend digging junk. If I have to sacrifice a little silver here and a little gold there to accomplish that, then so be it. Again it's a Serious Detector for Serious Detectorist's. I will say this.. buying one isn't going to magically produce old coins and relics for you. If you are not hunting an area that produces those finds, you won't find them. Recently I had a user contact me for help saying he bought this machine and wasn't finding anything old, period. I asked him where he was hunting and what he had found in the past. Lets just say he finds had not changed because his spots to hunt hadn't changed either. You have to hunt where they are... again serious detector for serious detectorist's...
Weight, was another issue that had been discussed. Yes, it is on the heavier side of most detectors, but with all that this detector is doing while scanning a target, "wouldn't you expect it to weigh more?". Minelab addressed the weight problem by making an effort to balance this detector to make it more comfortable to handle and use. With the way the CTX3030 is balanced, it rides so much better in the hand it is more evenly distributed down the arm. I personally HAVE NOT noticed the fatigue in my forearm, wrist, and shoulder like I did with the E-Trac. One thing that I have noticed, is if you let it rest in your fingers and not grip it tight, it is much more comfortable. I compare it to a hunting bow, by letting it rest loosely in your hand. If you have an E-Trac and use the CTX for a couple of hours and then pick up the E-Trac, the E-Trac will feel awkward almost cumbersome. Minelab really did well addressing the ergonomics vs the weight of the machine. Now I will say this just to be clear. The E-Trac is one of the best detectors for hearing and identifying deep silver and relics. It almost quadrupled my silver finds in the first year I had it....So for the CTX to be an improvement over it is saying a lot..
Programming the machine to how you want it to operate, is a benefit that is still being realized even now. The different Target Separation settings, along with choosing your personal tones, the size of the tone bins, and your exact level of discrimination, is something most detectors lack. Minelab just introduced the Beach mode update a few months ago, that is really starting to make a lot of happy beach hunters.
Yes some detectors have some of the CTX's features, but NONE of them, put all of those together in one detector AND still make it easy to use like Minelab has here.
The second part will be in the first reply..... thanks Evan
Some of my friends have asked me is it better than the any of my other detectors. Yes, for me, and here is why. I hunt yards, old home sites, and fields that haven't been plowed. In other words soil that has not been disturbed. I feel the FBS uses the soil(undisturbed) to help gain depth and a better target identification. I have not tested this machine in freshly plowed soil, so I don't know how it reacts to that scenario. With many others detectors, the Target ID is limited to about 7-8 inches. Now by sound the others can hit some of the deeper targets well enough for me to be convinced to dig. The thing is I don't have to try eek out every little morsel of detecting power, make the detector almost unstable/chattery, or trying to hold my mouth right to get the depth AND a visual ID like I can with the CTX at a Auto +3 setting( usually around 24 sensitivity). The only thing is I have dug a bag full of trash on targets past the 8 inch level with the other detectors because not enough information is given to me solely on just the sound. Some say well you ain't doing it right or you haven't used it enough.. that's fine. 2 weeks of hunting with the CTX and I was finding targets at 9 to 12 inches, WITH a visual ID and tone that was spot on. The CTX not only has the tones but the Target ID to back it up. Thus, I can make a better judgement call on whether to dig or not to dig. It's ability to separate coins and relics from iron is better than even the E-Trac, which was something I thought to be impossible. In heavy iron I would use the 2Tone ferrous mode on the E-Trac. With the CTX3030, there is a mode and setting called Combined/Ferrous Coin. It is a 2TF on steroids. You have 4 good or Conductive tones and 1 bad or Ferrous tone. In Ferrous Coin the bad (Ferrous) will show up as a blue signature when Target Trace is on(will talk about it more).
Now its not perfect, no detector is. I have problems with bottle caps, tiny bits of aluminum, some pieces of tin. I also don't like not having the ability to be taken apart quickly so it will fit in a pack. Some larger targets don't seem to overload the machine like I think the target should, an easy remedy is to lift the coil. The only other is while in any mode and using either Ferrous coin or ground coin, silver dollar coins and some half dollar coins have differences in target cross-hair and the target trace. Which might be the machine reading the ferrous properties of the larger coins. (only E-Trac users will understand this) If using ferrous or ground coin Silver dollars and halves will read on the 12 line. If you switch to a low trash or high trash they read on the 01 line.. like the E-Trac. It's not so much a problem, but may be something that could be used to help ID larger coins against larger trash. Larger silver coins are not abundant so it really isn't an issue. It will still find them cause I proved that this summer, twice. I really struggle to find a definite problem to write about. So moving on.
I did not think the wireless feature would be that useful or even something that I would use. Now that I have, it has saved me time, by being able to leave my headphones on the entire time detecting. I really enjoy not having to take my headphones off or having to unplug them to set the detector down. No it's not a necessity, but it is another "addition" to this detector that is increasing to its list of goods, pushing it further ahead.
I have noticed an increase in older coins. For instance, Indian Head cents, Buffalo nickles, and tokens. Most of those I found, were in yards that I had really hunted hard with my other detectors. I think that the CTX is more precise at identifying targets and is the main reason for this increase. Now I'm not saying the CTX3030 will find you more IH's and Buff's but it definitely cleans up signals that others struggled with.
Another feature that, to be honest, I didn't think would have been that useful, was the Gps/mapping feature. I have used Gps(DeLorme PN40) in the past and it was helpful, but to stop, hit mark, and enter information was to time consuming. With the CTX you hit two buttons and it's down. It records the spot, depth, target id(ex 12-40) and you are back to hunting. Now the only draw back is when relic hunting is it doesn't yet have a way to say what the target was. Since I film I will mark the find with the target number (ex tg012) on my camera..I have a feeling in the very near future Minelab is going to add an icon to enter to identify the find when creating a find point. Even if you don't id every find, but create a find point for every good target, and record(on the machine) your hunt, which will leave a track, you can go back home download it to Exchange 2 software on your computer and you now have a recorded, tracked event on a Google map. Now that sounds like a lot, but after practicing a few times, it isn't that hard. I used this feature over the summer and was able to map out an old river crossing used by the original Dragoon Troops out of Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis on their first mission the "Dodge-Leavenworth Expedition" through Oklahoma, in the 1830's. I had hunted this spot for a couple of years, but in the few months of hunting with the CTX, I was able to go back over the spot with a more precise hunt and found more good finds in those few months than in several years of hunting.
The two light blue findpoints were heavy concentrations
of iron and it was holding targetsThe Orange circle was all
buttons, the Black circle was all bullets..
here is a small amount(one day hunt) that came from using this mapping data