Let's start at the beginning, basic set up and my first thoughts about the Whites v3

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Whites Spectra V3 metal detector review
whites v3i pictures and information....The very latest metal detector from Whites called the V3
Whites v3 review fron Garys detecting
My machine still maintains it's original V3 status and has not been upgraded to a V3i.
Having talked to V3 users over the past 6 months I have still not found anyone who is willing to put their neck on the line and give me a straight answer...Is it good or bad ?

It is not a good sign to see so many V3's for sale labelled with the same old excuses, "given up detecting", "unwanted gift", "won in a raffle", "Arm bitten of by monkey while on safari "....There must be a reason for these machines hitting the market at silly money in virtually "new" condition.

Let's start at the beginning, basic set up and my first thoughts about the Whites v3
After a very short time I realised that this machine had clearly been designed for the US market, it's default parameters are not even close to what we need here in the UK.
If you buy this machine and use the default settings you will not be using it to it's full potential, Hi Pro mode is probably the best pre set programme.

Whites v3 initial thoughts
The default turn on and go screen has what I call a beginners soft setting, combine this with a overwhelming user manual makes the initial experience quite confusing. I can see why so many new owners feel out of their depth with the V3.

Cure clear out the clutter
In the Live search screen there is a feature to remove the 6 block soft settings and default straight to the expert, simply enter menu and tick the "Expert only" box, that's one niggle solved now when you need to adjust things it's straight into the machines bare bones.

Whites V3 control panel
The 6 block "soft setting screen"
Whites V3 expert menu
The new "clean" default expert setting...not as pretty but much more practical.

Go into "configure" then into "live screen"...press search...and un tick the Icons box....Icons gone, no more cartoons !

The chunky buttons are very positive to operate, I really like the way Whites have designed the face plate....built for the job !
I found the machine quite heavy but reasonably well balanced, using the arm strap when searching makes things easier.

Now it's time to simplify some of the whites V3 live screen information

Whites vision v3 icon picture Whites v3 remove the icons for uk
Standard Screen
The "live controls" are a very good feature.
Live Screen allows you to make adjustments while you are still searching, you can scroll through the live controls (see search display in pic) by using the left right arrow keys...press enter to adjust your settings. As a user you can determine what shortcuts to have in the live search screen.

Whites cordless headphones a word or warning !
Whites v3 cordless headphones Sprite headphones with a whites v3
I found the Koss converted cordless headphones to be very comfortable, however the sound was not as crisp and precise as the Sprite Digitals.....to be honest the cordless headphones sound very dull and muffled I would not consider them a perfect match for the machine.
My cordless units keep loosing contact with the machine, occasionally the sound came from the speaker...then back through the headphones, I believe the V3i upgrade takes care of that issue.

Time spent with the Whites V3.....6 Hours

Whites v3 control box picture whites spectra picture
First day out
Again a long drive to the west country to meet up with the syndicate, a great bunch of lads all from very different walks of life dedicated to the hobby, fortunate enough to have a very charming front man who is excellent at putting them on "prime" detecting fields.
Its an expensive day out with the price of fuel... these days nothing is free. I really wanted to test the V3 on some productive land, the dig was near to some ancient settlements where only a couple of weeks ago I found 48 Roman coins while testing a prototype machine, this new field was under a mile down the road so the odds were stacked in our favour.

Having installed 3 programmes using my test bed and a local field I had my options covered.
Programme 1 : Open discrimination with tone I D giving a low tone for iron and high tone for non ferrous.
Programme 2 : A Relic plus mode accepting just into the minus numbers with a fast response speed.
Programme 3 : A Hammered coin programme accepting mid to low conductivity targets only.
Whites 2d v rated search coil picture
The dig got away and we started moving across the field I noticed most of the guys were digging, I was probably the only one who wasn't, after 10 minutes I became a little concerned and started tweaking my settings...sensitivity...filters....frequency.
I found one or two large targets quite close to the surface but nothing small or even a faint audio to investigate. I spent all day playing around with settings and I have to say it beat me, not one coin all day while the others bagged up.

I just couldn't get the machine to find small targets, only big pieces of lead and Bronze etc. Naturally you would expect a frequency change from 3 freq to 22khz single would make the machine more sensitive to smaller targets, but it just made the machine unstable with difficult iron identification even with the power low.
Changing the band filters made the machine react differently however the results were still the same...no decent finds just big targets mainly consisting of junk, would I need to use one of my smaller V rated smaller coils to sharpen up the V3 ?

Whites search coils

Whites accessory search coils available for the v3

Time spent with the Whites V3.....14 hours

I hate to be beaten and really wanted this machine to work for me, without a doubt it has a lot of potential, it is one of the best performing machines when testing targets on my test bed, why could I not use it in the field ?
Having returned home I spent the rest of that evening playing around with various settings and re investigating the manual just to make sure I understood things, deep down hoping to find a hidden menu saying something like MXT mode 15Khz fast response... It was way past midnight when I finally put the V3 down.
The following morning before work I started tinkering again, the tinkering led to a day off work and out again with the V3, this time on a freshly planted site just outside the village.
The results were just as before big targets at impressive depths but not enough small finds to boost my confidence.
I found by making the machine more sensitive to smaller targets resulted in false meter readings and false signals, adjusting the recovery speed (signal delay) to a faster response is vital, the trade off is... if to low it will drastically change the sound of good targets from smooth to harsh.

Whites v3 trigger switch

I really want to unlock this machine's potential somewhere in its features there must be a way to make it perform like an MXT when called upon to do so, all I can say at this point is I'm on the right track so keep watching.
Time spent with the Whites V3.....22 hours

To be continued..............
metal detecting with the whites v3
Sunday 24/4/2011
Out today with a local club, the site had good potential the fields in question were rolled flat and only a stones throw away from the River Thames.
It soon became apparent that the land was quite badly contaminated with modern rubbish, including Iron, Lead, Coke and tiny pieces of foil.
I started the day using my prototype machine just to test it on the sandy soil and see if my find rate was consistent with other machines.

After Lunch the V3 was fired up and ready to go, this would be a good test site to see if it could convince me that it was capable of finding small targets with the standard coil.
Deep down I knew it should be fine as all the targets at home on my test bed could be located with ease...and dare I say it this is the only machine to slightly indicate my buried hoard in the garden, with a short repeatable chopped audio showing well into negative vdi numbers, I'm sure experienced users who are brave enough to dig this type of signature will be very well rewarded at some point.

Having given up on the internet settings...which were mainly adapted US programmes I decided to sped a little time adapting the V3 to how I wanted it to sound and react, personally I didn't want the machine to find deep silver and mini balls, neither did I want the machine to sound like every target was 2 feet wide, the you tube video's must have killed so many sales for the UK, just type in Whites V3 for yourself, you will see what I mean !
Whites v3i full picture from Gary's detecting

I finally came up with a programme which was highly sensitive to foil and pull tabs, which as you may or may not know is the ideal range for most of our ancient Roman and Medieval coinage, the settings appeared to work quite well during my home testing, it was time to test it in the field.

The Whites V3 performed without fault, the low iron grumble burbled away in the background then every so often a solid tone immerged from the darkness telling me instantly what conductivity the target was based on the audio pitch...Low conductivity targets gave a low smooth tone, steadily increasing as they became more conductive.
I made one or two tweaks as the afternoon went on just to fine tune the machine.

To say I was impressed with the Whites V3 is a massive understatement, was it a fluke on the day...I just don't know we will just have to find out during the weeks to come.

Just to confirm things I let Barry try the machine with an hour left of the session, I never got it back, he absolutely loved using it and is considering getting one for his armoury.... In your dreams mate she will never wear that one !

All I can say about this session with the Whites v3 is the machine was bang on the money.... I feel genuinely sad for the people who jumped ship before taking time to learn this machine, they have quite possibly missed out on something special.
In their defence the user manual is a very dark place to get lost in, and there is not enough information out there regarding a comprehensive UK / European set up for this machine. (perhaps Whites could recommend some informative web sites to their new V3 users)

Here are my finds from today
whites v3 metal detector finds Hammered coins found with the whites v3 metal detectors

Ok mainly junk I hear you say, however to me a find is a find every signal has the potential to be the find of a lifetime, today I have dug over 200 targets some at impressive depths, best of all plenty of small stuff.

New V3 owners
My advice to new users would be to take things really slow at first until you become comfortable with the machine and it's software, try to find settings you are comfortable with for example, signal delay, screen information, discrimination and tone range, filters, and frequency's.
Use these personal preferences as a base to build simple programmes around, then after a short time you can start experimenting with the V3's more in depth features.

Additional whites V3 information

Signal delay setting
My personal opinion is to steer clear of programmes with a slow signal delay speed (recovery speed) unless you are using a small coil or your sites are clean with very few targets, settings of around 20 -30 appear to be acceptable for the sites I have searched with the stock 10" coil, all of which have various levels of iron contamination. I have seen some suggestions of settings of around 100...to me this is possibly ok for clean ground but a no brainer if iron is present.

Tone ID and meter readings

Another point worth mentioning is the meter ID, my advice would be to not rely on it to much, it appears to be quite reliable for shallow targets but like every other target id machine small coins on edge or deep targets will give a negative ID number...The tone ID is far superior, during testing I have found when the tone is solid and "locks on" with short brisk sweeps and the meter is negative, 90% of the time it turns out to be a small or deep target.
I am sure if I was using single tone and discrimination the small signals would be dismissed as iron clicks.
To sum up my ramblings about tone ID, if you don't like it...get used to it if you want the best out of the Whites V3

TF and TM mode
Don't ignore the "trigger forward" (TF mode) feature, this can be used to your advantage for example :
When in TF mode you can set your machines parameters differently to the standard search mode "trigger middle" (TM mode), in TM mode you may have your filters at say 10 High, recovery at 28 etc....In TF mode you can set them differently say Filter 5 Band, recovery at 20, so you can possibly enhance weak signals just by triggering.

So far I have spent 40 Hours with the V3
Now feeling confident with the machine... but no way an expert, as time goes by I will keep adding information and new programmes to this page as I firmly believe it is worth keeping this whites V3 page active.

Do we need all these features ?
The features contained within this machine is far beyond what we will ever need in the UK, if I was asked to describe the features in one phrase it would be something like :
"It does everything I don't need it to do"

Why buy a new machine ?
Nothing to do with the Whites V3 but it's greed that drives us to want more...which is simply a part of human nature we are all as bad as each other, if a man had a pile of Gold he would naturally want a second pile just in case the first pile ran out ! and it's very much like that with new detectors...greed I mean not piles of Gold, we are always looking for that extra feature or more depth unfortunately it always comes at a price, then 6 months down the line there is another development on the market which will flick the greed switch. New is designed to be old !

Latest news 20 / 6 / 2011
Firstly I would like to thank Whites Electronics for an excellent service and turn around time. My V3 has now been upgraded to the V3i status, I will be reporting back on new settings and programs in due coarse so keep watching, also "V" users are very welcome to send across your favourite settings and info.

I ordered a SEF coil I think the stock coil is perhaps to sensitive for my sites...
V3 with the 10x12 SEF coil
Last week I tried my v3i on a freshly worked field, the soil conditions were very dry, the V3 really didn't like these conditions I tried everything to settle the machine down including different stock coils but nothing worked, the false signals became to much for my patience.
I remember many moons back I had the same problem on this site with the Minelab Explorer, by chance I was given a SEF coil to try and the difference was quite noticeable, this was the reason for ordering a SEF V3 coil from Bulgaria, my only concern was what I had read on the forums about the SEF coils not being "V" rated and would not allow the machine to be run at higher sensitivity settings.
Well the coil arrived yesterday and the I can confirm the coil is a perfect match for the V3i, instantly I could tell the coil is more stable than the stock coils and is as steady as a rock at RX gain 15 in air...time for a quick test.


This coil made a massive improvement to stability, I would say at least 50% less false signals, with careful tweaking of the RX gain and sensitivity I could get the machine running smoothly even at filters 5, I dug several very small low conductivity targets with a clear signals, which confirms there are no sensitivity issues.
Whites V3 SEF coil SEF coil picture on a whites v3
I would say this coil is worth the investment, so far I have not carried out any depth tests so can not comment there, I would like to see a thinner coil wire, although I guess the thick wire used is probably going to last a long time, pin pointing was not as precise as the stock coil.

Here is a link to my Whites v3 program non v3 users will find this page very confusing
Gary's My Hi-Pro UK V3- V3i programme
Please feel free to give it a try and let me know how you get on.

New "V" rated SEF coil for the whites V3i.

Again a fast and trouble free purchase from my good friends in Bulgaria, the new coil arrived safely packed, as you can see the coil is now in white which does look a little alarming in the box but when fitted to the machine it looks really good, I chose the black scuff cover to add a little contrast, so if you do order don't forget to specify the coil cover colour.

SEF search coil picture for the whites v3

As always with SEF coils the quality is very good, the new "V" rated coil is supposed to be a little more sensitive and better behaved when using 22.5 Khz as a single frequency, personally I found no major issues with my original black SEF coil. It will be interesting to compare the 12x10 SEF coil to the standard 10" 2D supplied with the machine, this is something I will be considering when I have more time.

new SEF V rated coil v3i compatable New v rated sef coil
So far only a quick test before the sun went down on a bright December afternoon as my Sunday had been taken up by work, the coil behaved very well my only observation was that it required a slightly lower sensitivity to my original settings but I will need to run some more tests, target response was good and solid...pin pointing was still quite difficult on some targets, however this is a V3i niggle and not directly related to the search coil.
fitting a sef coil to the whited v3i

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