Where as I am more confident in the workings and found the Deus simple to set up in what ever way it would allow.
Bazza had just got a little pension windfall through the post and being at the ripe old age of 60 something, what should have been a happy time plunged
him into a dark depression I guess everyone will go through it at some stage and ask the question how long have I got left on this earth, not wanting to get
morbid we had a good chat and he decided to spoil himself and get a new machine, he always wanted a Deus so what the hell a Deus it was going to be. We drove up
to see Nigel and Marcus at the shop and spent some time talking about the good old days, eventually Baz returned home with a good used model upgraded to a version 2.0.
By pure chance the very same week deals within deals had led me to also become an owner of another XP Deus, this model had also been updated to version 2 so we basically had identical machines.
There are probably lots of metal detecting reviews about the Deus that spend time going into the bare bones and how to access menu's etc, I will keep this review about being out
in the field rather than at home on the kitchen table conducting depth tests and how deep it is compared to other machines.
Barry had been instructed to leave the machine on Basic 1 and just get out there
and use it, don't twiddle with the settings...charge it and use it.
I made a custom programme to find the smallest targets amongst bad soil with my super fine cut to the bone discrimination settings.
I talked to Bazza on the phone the night before and confidently re assured him he was going to find nothing with his bad detecting habits namely the coil 10 inches off the ground and a pendulum sweep technique.
On the day we met up and compared machines he stuck to the advice and walked off using basic 1, I could see him digging along the hedge line of the field so I
knew he was going to be happy, I was quite busy myself the tiny pieces of lead were a real curse, one every 3 paces, at least I was not missing anything although the Deus felt uncomfortable to use...The audio was like a steam train
going through my head every time I went across a target, my ears must be so sensitive to certain intense sounds it made me feel quite rough and unable to concentrate.
I really regret selling my original GoldMaxx Mk1 it worked like a dream on this very site, in fact it is where Alain and myself came to do our original testing before the XP was released, the Mk1 audio was so smooth with lots of
information the machine inspired confidence. I strongly feel after that original machine the XP magic
was lost for me...due to all the chip changes, models with more power etc the audio sound became harsher and this is what I was experiencing with the Deus,
could it be the cordless headphones ?, in my bag I had some cheapo XP backphones it was worth a try.
Mineralisation and the Deus
While back at the van tinkering with tones and headphones Barry appeared, he had a pocket full of gear, to say I had been battered was an understatement, 2 really
small hammered coins, 6 Roman, half a Bronze Roman torque and about 50 small bits and pieces.....to my 30 pieces of microscopic lead and some shotgun
cartridge centres, At this point I learned a valuable lesson....Basic 1 operating at 11Khz is not so basic after all it's a killer setting, I would
have never considered using this on a mineralised site, you naturally think that a Roman site has mineralised soil so a high frequency would be required. I have
now started to think when the soil has settled down after ploughing this site of
ancient habitation is not badly mineralised, it simply has bad iron contamination.
XP Deus audio sound
I wanted to replicate my original sweet GoldMaxx sounds to the Deus, I tried the lightweight
backphones they made no difference, along with other settings such as TX gain and different tones.
Back home I consulted the internet, but it would appear that no one else had the same requirements as me, every search reverted me back to the GoldMaxx Power which I didn't
want, it's almost like the original GoldMaxx never existed.
I knew if I got the sound right I could then use the Deus with more confidence, until then it was giving me a headache, was it just a case of
getting used to it as Bazza had no problems at all, although he does suffer from a form of industrial deafness and prefers a loud audio.
The following Sunday I took the Deus to a club dig and again it wasn't long before the intense sound started playing on my nerves, if I turned the sound up the
signal was crisp but to loud, if I turned it down the sound was muffled. Then the Rain came so I ducked into a small copse and sat under a tree while the shower passed, with nothing better to do I pulled the XP
controller unit out of my pocket and started scrolling through the settings.
Once the rain stopped I continued detecting but for some very strange reason the machine was different, the signals were sweet and precise the intense force like sound had gone, what had I done ? I checked the menu and found I had adjusted
the audio gain from 4 down to 2, now the signals had so much more colour to them...Result a happy man, it just goes to show we are all different and hear different tones,
pitches, intensity so never accept other peoples normal as normal for you.
Having seen what Barry could achieve with his lower frequency and higher discrimination levels got me thinking, perhaps a different detecting attitude
should be adopted just for an experiment, most Deus users I have talked to drool over the Deus Fast mode or Gold Maxx Power, I really wanted to try the Deus
out and see how it performed using a lower frequency and perhaps a slower reaction speed which is traditionally suited to Relic hunting !
Which then raised another question... are us detectorists missing a valuable point...let me explain, most of us these days use high frequency machines mainly because we are all pre occupied with finding small targets...what is more significant to the detectorist a cut quarter or an artefact ?
We know the Deus can find small targets from it's XP pedigree so I won't labour the point as I guess every field test about this machine is highlighting
that very fact.
Very little is mentioned about the other possibilities locked in the Deus vault, the feature below was an ancient pasture site where I
recently tested the Minelab Explorer fitted with the NEL coil, I wanted to run a series of experiments using different frequencies, my plan was to start in Relic mode and work from there.
Pasture Hunt Manor house site
The rain had finally eased up so it was time to try the Deus on the
pasture site, my first experiment was using the standard 8Khz Relic modeI persevered for around an hour with very few signals, my best find was the back
of a pocket watch, 8Khz was clearly not the frequency for this site so I switched back to the old faithful Basic 1.
The only adjustment I made from my
original programme was to manual ground balance rather than using the factory pre-sets.
The Deus instantly started giving me plenty of feedback.....some very soft whisper signals started to show I dug them to find small pieces of foil and a couple of buttons at very reasonable depths
which may sound like nothing, but to me on this site it is very impressive. I quite often test new machines on this manor house site and I find nothing.
Many years ago we had some good Victorian finds and the odd Saxon hammered coin but as time passed the finds got less and less, for me it's good as I know it will take a special machine to give me the glory days back on this site.
There was one target in particular that was very faint, as I dug the signal started to brighten up, the target was so deep there was no meter reading
and it would not register in pin point mode, the only problem was...my agreement with the land owner, I could not dig deep without a spoil mat to protect his
grass, after all it was his front garden.
I decided to leave the target for 2 reasons, one being the grass issue the other is I wanted to
return with another machine or two and compare the signals as I feel this could be relevant to this review at a later date especially if I bought along a witness.
The picture does not show the hole in the best light it is quite deep so far the Garrett pin point probe gave no indication
After filling in the hole I looked up and noticed a small group of people
walking around the Grounds they looked like they were field
walking, great I thought the local archaeological society had dropped by...that's all I needed.
I went over to the group who appeared to be college types and asked what they were doing, one young lad asked are you the land owner I looked back at the manor house and then back at him and said mate !
that place back there is about 3 million do I look like the friggin land owner then one of the girls piped up and said no you look like a tramp on your way
to court...fair play I was covered in mud and sweating like a pig after digging that hole I kind of saw her point.
It turned out that they were picking ...A hum...mushrooms, none of my business I
just told them to keep their distance.
It appears these little critters were causing the interest
I had another hour or so with the Deus and to be honest I had a very
enjoyable time...without the aid of mushrooms before you comment, I found a good handful of targets from Victorian pennies down to fragments of foil, my best
find was a 1920 Florin at about 10 inches which really made me work for it as the soil is only 8 inches deep below that is a hard packed layer of gravel where the
better targets are normally lurking.... There is something special about the Deus on pasture but I just can't put my finger on it, I never get excited about depth's on my tests but for the size of the coil this machine is punching way above it's
weight. Also I believe the version 2 does have a performance improvement over the earlier software version.
Another point worth mentioning is it's ease of use, the menu is so simple to navigate, it may be worth noting the manual can make simple things sound difficult
for some reason they have named things like tone threshold when the machine has no threshold it should be named something like tone limit.
A short time with the controller unit and you will be up to speed with most of the features...however it is still vital to spend time reading the manual.
If a complete novice came to me and asked for a no price limit recommendation I
would say the Deus, it really is a switch on and go machine for those who want it that way.
There are a couple of tips I would like to pass on regarding deep targets, the audio sound is more powerful than the meter reading so if you get a
signal and no numbers it will be deep, also deep targets have a flick or a clipped sound sometimes accompanied by the iron buzz sometimes not,
always investigate these audio irregularities, the horse shoe gauge is quite accurate again a deep target will only just show a pimple at the top, I dug no iron during the pasture test.
Using the audio gain to suit you search conditions really adds colour and information to the signal
My final tip and probably the most important is :
Please don't become a slave to the 18 Khz GoldMaxx power and the Deus Fast mode
if it is nor required, this machine has so much more to offer, spend some time
with 11Khz Basic 1 here is my most used program I feel 2 tone gives a better
experience than 3 tone for some reason.
Sensitivity 87.... Freq 11.8... Iron vol 4....Reactivity 2....Silencer
2....Audio Response 2 or 3.....2 Tone tone 1(200) tone 2 (665).... TX power 1 or 2 ....Disc 5.5
The next part of this review takes us to a site contaminated with iron and small nails where I will be comparing the 18Khz 11Khz and 8Khz to see if
frequency really does dominate target types when mineralisation is not a big issue.
Iron contaminated site
I wanted to use the same basic settings and only change the frequencies to see
if the difference would make the machine more bias to certain sized targets.
My first hour was using the 8Khz which resulted in 5 positive signals which confirmed what I had expected the lower frequencies are not efficient at detecting smaller items amongst iron. The targets can be seen in the picture,
they are in the top left, as you can see they are all quite large and should never have been missed with other machines we have been using on this site.
The second hour was really very impressive, the machine dealt with the iron and picked out the positive targets with unbelievable precision, I tried using
reactivity 3 for a while but I found the signals were slightly clipped. The targets in the bottom left and the coins under the coil were found using 11 Khz.
The machine was indeed very lively with lots of feedback...targets were smaller, again found in between the iron with deadly accuracy, I did have to work harder
with the higher frequency as many of the targets required a little more investigation some were microscopic, I found a couple of pieces of iron but I was pretty sure what it was before I
dug. Reactivity 3 was again to choppy for me to be comfortable with. the targets in the right of the picture were found using 18Khz
To be honest I should never have found this amount of targets full stop,
this small area has been battered to death, that single point alone impressed me.
If I was to choose an every day frequency it would still be 11Khz even on an iron contaminated site, I know there are lots of 18K followers out there and
perhaps it is the ideal frequency for their soil or particular targets especially Saxon and medieval coinage....personally I feel the 18Khz would work better on dry fluffy
soil that has been freshly ploughed or worked which appears to enhance the mineral effect.
Reactivity...Again I read so much about reactivity 3 and 4 but for me reactivity 2 has
my vote, one point that puzzles me is reading about how a faster recovery speed will allow a faster sweep speed, I can't see this being an advantage as the signals are shorter and may easily be lost with a faster sweep,
If I was to use a faster recovery speed I would slow down with a short precise sweep.
The XP Deus is a very forgiving machine, you can't really get it wrong, the first 3 default settings will find you most targets with ease, once you become familiar with the machine you can make the odd tweak, but I'm confident once you
find a happy setting such as tone or discrimination you will use it for 99% of your detecting requirements which has a small down side....I have been told but
can not confirm from experience that if you use the same settings and the machine requires no tweaking it will turn off after 3 hours so bare this in mind, you will need to press a button within the allocated time to stop the
machine from powering down.
XP Deus hidden features
Now it appears to be common knowledge here's how to find it
The secret screen is located under Options - highlight configuration - press + and pin point together - now you will see the word advanced in the options menu there you will find visualisation x y and Gnd history.
This is not a new update but simply diagnostic tools for XP engineers.
Visualisation XY and GND History pictures.
XP Deus version 3.2
The 3.2 offers many more variations such as Full tones, a better reactivity and
silencer settings, plus free memory slots where you can save your favourite
We are now waiting for the XP Deus version 4 to be released, the best place to
get the very latest XP Deus information is the XP Classroom here is the link.
The XP Classroom is packed full of information and tutorials on how to set your
new metal detector up. Take a look you will see what I mean, this is probably
the best XP metal detecting web site out there..
A large coil is available for the Deus here is some more information !
Deus large coil review
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