Let's start at the beginning, basic set up and my first thoughts about the
Whites Spectra V3 metal detector review
whites v3i pictures and information....The very latest metal detector from Whites called the V3
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
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
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.
The 6 block "soft setting screen"
The new "clean" default expert setting...not as pretty but much more
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
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 !
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
TF and TM mode
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
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
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
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.
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..............
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
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 !
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
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
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
Here are my finds from today
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
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
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
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
Gary's My Hi-Pro UK V3-
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
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.
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.