The Garrett Ace Apex
Stepping into the multi-frequency ring July 2020.
By now, anyone and everyone who has an interest in metal detecting has heard of the Magic Stick, the Minelab Equinox series detectors. Pre-Apex, the only lower priced, though not cheap multifrequency detectors available below the $1000 price range were the Equinox detectors, and Vanquish detectors.
When I say multi-frequency, I mean more than one
search frequency at one time. Several
other brands offer affordable selectable frequency detectors, such as Nokta and
XP. However, it does give you a selection,
you can only use one frequency at a time.
Ace Apex Features:
- Multi-Flex Technology
- Single Frequency Operation - 5, 10, 15 and 20 kHz
- Z-Lynk™ Wireless ready
- Backlight on the display
- Iron Audio
- Iron Volume Control
- 8 Iron Discrimination Segments
- 20 selectable Notch Discrimination
- 6 Search modes
- Auto and Manual Ground Balance
- Waterproof coil
- RAINPROOF, not waterproof control box
- 5 tones included with hybrid binary and proportional audio system
- 0 to 99 Target ID display
- Comes with 6" x 11" DD Viper coil
- Powered by a built in Lithium Ion Battery
- 2-year parts and labor warranty
- 2.5lbs total weight with stock
That's a pretty impressive list! Not only do you have the option of Multi-Flex
operation, you can change over to a single frequency depending on what you are
searching for. And for those of us
getting a little older, the large display is a blessing. No more reader glasses to see the target ID
on the screen. The ergonomics are first
class, offering a very balanced detector.
Balance, while it may not become apparent when you first pickup a
detector, after several hours of swinging, will show you just how important
Iron volume control will give you the option to set the volume, or even turn it off for iron trash. Those hunting beaches, or out coin shooting will appreciate that option. Yes, you will still pick up a twist top now and then, as you will with any other detector out there. On the other end of the spectrum, increasing the iron volume is a necessary tool for artifact hunters. As you can see, with just the iron volume control, you have a detector ready for all hunting needs.
The range of frequencies offered will also cover all detecting needs. For searching old, large silver coins, drop down to 5kHz. Should you find yourself looking for gold nuggets, jump up to 20kHz. 15kHz will handle most detecting needs. But there's no need to stay single! Switch back to Multi-Flex, the multifrequency setting, and cover all your bases.
The Ace Apex comes in 2 versions. With, and without the wireless headphones. I know some don't like headphones while they are detecting. I would still highly suggest opting for the wireless setup. My reasoning behind this is fairly simple. Old, deep targets. Some older, deeper targets will only offer a whisper audio tone, and no target ID on the screen. Learn to hunt by sound, and your finds will increase. I personally only hunt with headphones or earbuds. But, since I prefer to be aware of my surroundings, I only use one side at a time. You can clearly hear faint targets, and still be aware of what’s around you.
The Ace Apex also features a new coil design the Viper Coil is a 6”x11” coil, which Garrett claims that you will be able to have the advantage of a large coil in fields and such where large coils are used, but also be able to take advantage of the smaller width in trashy sites. I like the idea, and I can’t wait to test this coil out.
I really do love that Garrett used a 0 to 99
target ID display vs how other companies have done this. One certain brand does come to mind, that I
won't mention who only offers a display of -9 to 40. That really compresses the target ID
display. You have IDs for an Indian head
penny, a Lincoln penny and a pull-tab, all at almost the same ID.
All in all, I think this will be a solid, low end midlevel detector. I wouldn't place this as beginner level detector, mainly due to the price, and how many features it offers. I wouldn't have a problem suggesting it to a beginner, as long as I, or someone could help them along at first. It will grow with them, and not end up having to be replaced next season, or sooner as they grow in the hobby. For anyone coming from the older Ace line, I would highly suggest for your first few hunts, run it at one of the factory search settings. This suggestion holds true through almost any new detector you purchase. There WILL be a learning curve. The better you understand your detector, the better your finds will be. When you get it, read the manual while it's charging. Take it out back and play in your yard and/or test garden before going to your site. The worst thing you can do is turn it on, and start altering the settings while not understanding what they do, and how they interact with one another. And then trying to hunt a trash filled site. That's a sure-fire recipe for wrapping your new detector around the nearest tree in frustration.
Now, for the things I don't really care for. First, and top of the list, is the lack of being fully waterproof. There's no reason for this to not be fully waterproof. Even if they did so, and only rated it to 5ft, it would protect your investment should you happen to get swamped hunting on the beach. I also don't like the buttons. The raised, clicky looking buttons just don't do it for me. I much prefer a membrane pad over raised buttons. They are a dirt collecting point, and a point for moisture to enter. The only other thing I don't care for is the issue that you can't take any of your coils you used with your older Ace series and use them on this. Not a show stopper if you don't have any, or many. However, if you have a decent collection of Ace coils, you will need to replace them if you want the same options on the Ace Apex.
The bottom line here is that it's a huge update to the aged Ace lineup, and appears to be a huge win for Garrett. Considering all the choices available to detectorists today, it's a great detector. You can charge it up, and go detect. Or, you can tailor it to each site you visit to your heart's content. You won't need to upgrade a week after you buy it. It's perfect for the diehard beach detector, Civil War artifact hunter, or picking off clad coins at your local park.