I expected the Deeptech Vista Smart to be a scaled down version of the 25Khz Vista Gold, this new machine is running at 15Khz making it more versatile to a wider range of target sizes while still keeping the sharpness and precise discrimination of the Vista Gold.
The Vista Smart has the same looks as the other models in the Vista range, and to be perfectly honest it's never going to win any beauty contests, it is what I would call an old school style detector, fitted with the basic essentials allowing the operator to make decisions based on audio quality rather than meter readings. For those of you who are driven by space age looks this machine will most probably not excite you and I will simply be banging my head against a brick wall trying to convince you otherwise....However for those who choose a machine based on performance and actual " In the field" results I would suggest you read further because the Vista Smart is a real Wolf in Sheep's clothing.
The first time the Vista Smart got my full attention is when I tested it on the bench, I could see the air depth and target separation was really quite impressive, as we all know bench tests are not the holy grail of metal detecting but they give the operator an initial idea of the machine's possible advantages and weaknesses.
The good news continued when I tried the machine outside on my test bed, even with the big 11" coil the Smart managed to distinguish the good targets from iron with precise clarity.
I called a couple of friends to relay my findings and to tell them we have a really good "site machine" in the making.
Here is a short video showing the Vista Smart on my iron contaminated test bed
Note how I have the sensitivity set to zero
Underneath the control box are 2 switches
Underside of the control box showing the Boost switch and the 3 way discrimination toggle
Comparing the Vista Smart to the Vista Gold
As you all know I love the Vista Gold, I can honestly say the Vista Smart is a better all round package, whatever Deeptech have done to this machine they have made some excellent choices. Personally I like the features on the Gold better, adjustable recovery speed, iron tone volume etc, but I would not dare to ask for changes just in case the machines characteristics are lost.
This was on a well searched grass area, known as the "Bank", so many of my machine tests start here, many of you reading this article have also been there as my guests, to find one or two targets would be lucky, the iron contamination is very bad, it has not been ploughed in over 60 years, we have pretty much given up on the once productive spot.
My first signal came within 20 paces and can only be described as a very faint pure sound, knowing the site well I thought it may be deep iron so I checked the signal from every angle just waiting for a tell tale iron tone to confirm my original thoughts....Nothing it was perfect from every angle so I dug a small section thinking it may be a small piece of foil or .22 air rifle pellet, the target was still in the hole, after further investigation I finally retrieved a small button at 9" depth. During the quick outing I had a further 8 non ferrous targets including 4 buttons all at very impressive depths, the interesting part is I dug no iron at all with the Vista Smart, I could hear it as a low buzz.
Here is a short video showing the Vista Smart on a simlar pasture site.
Out in the field with the Vista Smart
It felt like I have been waiting forever for the crops to be cut, now for the real test... trying to detect through the long stubble. The Vista Smart performed exactly how I expected and sniffed out some nice Roman coins with ease, this machine really impressed me I will be keeping this Smart through the season and reporting regularly on my metal detecting forum as I am convinced for site work there is very little out there that can out perform it.
What I like about the Vista Smart
Signal quality : One of my pet hates with Bulgarian machines is the audio tones, they can be very harsh and sometimes dangerous to your health, in fact some years ago my hearing was slightly damaged due to using a machine with an aggressive tone. What I like about the Vista Smart is the silky smooth audio, it is a pleasure to use, I felt no mental fatigue during my testing, the machine was so finely tuned it gave me excellent audio information with colour to the signal.
Performance : I have to say this machine has been given top marks from me, the two tone audio along with the fast response really suits my style of detecting, some may prefer a quieter life by turning the discrimination up and using single tone id, personally I don't think that's what this machine is all about, for those of you who like detecting on the edge and literally picking the bones out of sites you will love the DVS.
Price : The UK price will be around £500 which is very competitive.
Balance / Weight : I found no problems with the weight providing I used the arm cup strap supplied.
Ease of use : The Smart is so easy to use novices will have no problem operating it, as they become more familiar with the machine their finds rate will increase, the Smart is one of those machines where the more effort you put in the more you will be rewarded.
Optional search coils
At the moment there is a nice little 5" coil available which will be great for searching the Thames or badly contaminated sites, I will be testing this coil soon. Also in the very near future will be a small elliptical coil which I believe will be the ultimate coil for this machine.
What would I change on the Vista Smart
Personally I would have a more weather resistant pin point button and potentiometers also a headphone socket at the rear of the machine would be more convenient. You may have noticed in the video's I made a headphone extension lead to accommodate, it's a little ugly but does the job. At this point it may be worth noting that different headphones can play a very big part in the audio clarity, some high powered headphones I tried sounded very bad, I found cheap lightweight stereo backphones worked perfectly with a curly extension lead.
Vista Smart Headphone lead conversion
Here is some Deeptech product information, at the end of the video it shows you how I set the Vista Smart up for UK conditions
For information how to purchase a Deeptech Vista contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Deeptech Reviews
Vista Mini Vista RG1000 Vista Gold