Introducing the Sorex AKA Pro
Product review
Supplied by
Mikron Detectors BG

" The thinking man's metal detector "
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This is an odd one for you ! I have been watching the AKA Sorex metal detector for quite some time, and must admit the quirkiness has interested me but that was as far as it went, so when I was contacted by Micron detectors in Bulgaria to test it things kind of fell into place. For me to run through all this machines features will take forever so I will just touch on the basics and perhaps add to the review as the season progresses.
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The AKA Sorex pro design and features
The AKA Sorex pro has a large digital display which is clear and precise, all the push pads have dual features, press once for some features, press and hold for others. To return to the detect screen simply press the centre button which is also the target pin point feature, press and hold this button and you can view all your detector settings without the need to scroll through all the different menu's

aka metal detector image

Top left is the AM / S control pad
This is just one of the features it has a dual function, a quick press and it allows the operator to quickly toggle between an open screen or the discrimination screen.

aka_sorex_discrimination
Menu names and terminology
The Sorex Pro has some pretty strange names for commonly used settings, perhaps it is because they were translated from Russian to English. The 31 page manual really blew my mind, it took several good reads before I started to understand the Sorex language.

I found the machine to have several different tone options but named in such a strange way I just could not remember them, during my test bed experiments I had to carry some notes around with me for reference.
 For example RT is the all metal channel, ST is called short tone which is the discrimination channel, trust me it gets deeper !
RT and ST run simultaneously, when a non ferrous signal is detected the magic starts working.

aka_sorex_battery_box

Other tones are RTL and RTM, combine them with Algorithms such as MSF, SSF or even MM then you can throw in a polyphonic short tone or even a modulated short tone...OK you have glazed over now I will stop.

aka_sorex_pro_emi_filter

SSF = a slower recovery speed
MSF = a medium recovery speed
MM = a very fast recovery speed

What I like about the Sorex pro
The balance is very good, the new 15 x 12 coil is slightly heavy but is not uncomfortable, the overall build quality is excellent. I particularly like the on screen information and the ability to mix and match audio tone's with tone timings, some timings you will like, others you won't for me I settled with the MM mode it is a short "piano key" sound and can really pick out targets amongst iron, more about the tones later.

aka_sorex_metal_detector_7Khz_coil

So basically this machine is very different to what we have used before, the Russian engineers really know their detectors and are in my opinion something the rest of the world should be watching closely.

aka_sorex_metal_detector_power

Build quality and appearance
The Sorex is a well rounded machine, from the software all the way down to nuts and bolts. The plastics are all finished to a high standard, the Sorex is powered by 4 AA batteries located under the panel shown in the picture.

aka_sorex_hot_rock_reject

The menu's are packed with important tweaks and features such as :
Adjustable iron volume tone, EMI Filter, hot rock reject, false ground response filter, autotrac on or off, weak signal boost, ferrous signal volume, pin point sensitivity, single press hot key to change settings quickly and that's just to mention a few.

aka_sorex_metal_detector

What are the key factors to making the Sorex so different ?

The audio tones are so precise and clean it's very easy to tell a good target from bad. The audio tones range from a soft flute like sound or when switched to MM mode a sharp piano key sound which is very fast and responsive. So I would assume there is something there for everyone.
Once you have assigned your favourite features they will be stored in the memory, so the Sorex becomes a switch on and go machine.

The aka Sorex pro is a different metal detector
As mentioned earlier the machine runs in both channels, All metal and Discrimination at the same time, however the sound timings can be easily moulded for your soil type or preferred hearing. Another feature is the algorithms.
What are algorithms ?
 There are 3 algorithms to choose from, algorithms are best described as 3 chips that control the detector in different ways based on recovery speed and desired targets.
All 3 algorithms named MSF, SSF and MM have their own parameters, for example if you are using MM which is high trash mode and a very fast recovery speed all you settings such as discrimination, sensitivity, audio tone , etc are all saved under that feature, so when using another algorithm such as SSF you can save a different range of settings to suit your search requirements....very clever !

aka_sorex_metal_detector_sprite_headphones

The Sorex Pro has an external speaker and 6.mm headphone jack so it will accommodate your favourite headphones, I found the Sprite's really sounded clean and precise, small back phones also worked well during my tests.

aka_sorex_search coil


The machine I tested ran at around 7Khz, however the Sorex can run on different frequencies depending on what coil is fitted, after market coils range from 3Khz and 14 Khz

aka_sorex_arm_cup

The arm cup is a nice fit and is very sturdy, I found no need for an arm strap while testing the Sorex

Aka sorex fe volume filter

Taking everything into consideration and learning the machine at home, I felt myself bonding with the Sorex pro, I started to understand what the designers were trying to achieve, and to be perfectly truthful I think they have hit on quite a unique product especially for the thinking detectorist who likes to be a little different from the crowd.

 
More talk about Algorithms
SSF is primarily for use in areas with large flat iron or heavily rusted iron plates, these are usually detected with mixed signal or are often confused as a non-ferrous signal.
 When using algorithm SSF, these errors are avoided the machine clearly identifies that the detected signal is iron.
MSF is more of an all round setting, it has a medium recovery speed which rejects or identifies most iron with ease, this is best describes as a low to medium trash setting and will suit most people.
MM is also known as metal trash (MT), it is very dynamic and an ideal setting for working amongst high iron contamination such as ancient sites, the audio response is very sharp and precise so a slow sweep speed is recommended for MM mode.

Sorex Pro on screen information
The Sorex search screen information is very clear and precise, the on screen target identification has plus and minus numbers very much like the Whites, the numbers work along side a hodograph which is a very unique display and something I thought I would not get on with but in fact I really like, its a combination of lines and squiggles that give the operator precise and easy to understand target information.
Coins give a straight line along with a corresponding VDI number for example +65 will give a 65 degree line...very clever indeed, foil always hits vertical, iron is always on the left, buttons with an iron loop or targets with combined metals quite often show a loop rather than a line. It may also be worth noting that the length of the line determines the depth or size of the target, a very short line represents a weak signal.

Sorex pro on screen information
aka_sorex_screen_information
Sorex Pro Target common "hodograph" signatures
aka_sorex_target_identification

Another important hodograph feature which I like is the way it identifies mixed or questionable signals, such as bottle caps. See picture below.
The first image is a Bottle cap and the second is a coin. The sound will be mixed, although the VDI readings are the same, but the graphic has a lot more added information.
This are great advantages.
Sorex bad target Sorex good target

Operation and target identification
The day had come, I knew sooner or later I had to venture out with the Sorex, I ran through the settings at home once again to make sure I had my preferred audio tones accepted, then it was off to the Manor House where I test most machines for the first time, it is short pasture and these days very few finds.
My settings were ; Algorithm = MSF (medium speed), Sound = RTT (Mixed mode with disc channel dominant over all metal), Tone = PST (Polyphony short tone) sounds like a Minelab
In the field I could get the sensitivity and gain quite high, even on wet grass...the machine was very smooth and trouble free, my first clean target was a coin, followed by another 3 coins all with signals which could only be described as "text book". No coins were below 9" deep I could tell this was a deep machine.
 My next signal was slightly different, it was very faint and had an uncertain graph reading, I dug down about 12" to see a strange flat artefact in the bottom of the hole, next was a broken Crotal bell again at 13", all from a patch that has been worked to death, was it the 7Khz ? or was it the fact that the Sorex dealt with soil conditions and iron so well it made the positive signals stand out...Whatever the reason I can honestly say without a doubt the Sorex had impressive depth.
 Foil was identified 100 % every time with a top to bottom hodograph reading, for a 7khz machine it was very sensitive to small items as you can see by the pictures below, pin pointing was very good to.

aka_sorex_metal_detector_finds_deep_coins AKA sorex finds saxon coin AKA sorex nice sixpence
Porcupine sceat Saxon Sceat AKA sorex in the field

The Aka Sorex 10 x 6 ... 14 Khz coil
 
Many thanks to Mikron in Bulgaria for sending this coil so quickly
Aka sorex 10 x 6 search coil
The size and balance is perfect I am looking forward to testing it on my junky sites
testing the 10 x 6 coil for the aka metal detector


So as far as a coinshooter and a deep artefact finder the AKA Sorex Pro is up there in my hall of fame, keep watching this feature to see how I get on testing this machine on a busy site and with a bit of luck I may have a video for you to see it in action soon !!!
For all AKA Sorex enquiries please contact Mikron BG direct or visit the Mikron web site, at the moment there is no AKA info, contact via e mail
Here is a short video briefly explaining the MM mode and other Sorex features
Aka Sorex Pro Video
Out in the field with the Sorex pro video

aka sorex pro uk test
Watch the AKA Sorex pro UK test video here !!

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