Not all metal detectors are created equal. Many metal detectors are VLF, or Very Low Frequency. These detectors operate on a single frequency that the manufacturer has set. Multi-frequency metal detectors, as the name suggest, are still considered VLF metal detectors, but they operate on several different frequencies as opposed to a single frequency. This technology offers several advantages over the single frequency models.
What is Multi-Frequency?
Multi-frequency means the metal detector has several frequencies it can operate on either simultaneously or by switching your settings. For example, a single frequency metal detector operates at between 5 and 15 kHz (some are higher, ranging all the way up to 100 kHz or more). A multi-frequency metal detector will operate on a range of frequencies, ranging from around 5 kHz to 40 kHz or more.
Many multi-frequency metal detectors do this simultaneously. They can operate all their available frequencies at one time. Others can only run on one frequency at a time but have multiple frequencies to choose from.
Why is Multi-Frequency Good?
Multi-frequency metal detectors are not necessarily new. Older versions of this technology required the user to choose a different frequency manually, rather than the machine doing it automatically. Simultaneous multi-frequency detectors have eliminated the need for this extra step.
Multi-frequency metal detectors have several advantages:
- Increased detection depth
- Increased stability
- Increased target identification accuracy
Are some of those advantages. If your metal detector is simultaneous multi-frequency, the detector will sweep through the various frequencies all at once, allowing the detector to find all metal types easier.
Simultaneous multi-frequency detectors are good because if a target is missed at one frequency, another frequency has a chance to pick it up. Each type of metal has a frequency that best detects it.
For instance, gold is best found at frequencies above 14 kHz, but the higher the better. Silver, copper, and brass are best found with 3 to 7 kHz. Nickel and aluminum are best found between 4 and 8 kHz. Learn more about the best frequencies for metal detecting here: https://metaldetectingtips.com/frequency-metal-detectors/
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Are There Drawbacks to Multi-Frequency?
The main drawback to a multi-frequency metal detector is going to be the cost. These detectors are typically priced higher than single frequency detectors. The reason they are more expensive is because normally to get a different frequency from your metal detector, you need a different search coil. These detectors have all the frequencies built into one search coil.
These detectors can have a steeper learning curve, too, so they are often more difficult for beginning detectorists to master. There are often more advanced settings and adjustments on these metal detectors, which can be confusing if you are just starting out. In time you can easily master these more complex machines, though.
Minelab Equinox Series
Minelab is one of the best makers of multiple frequency metal detectors. Their detectors feature Multi-IQ Technology, which is a simultaneous multi-frequency system. This allows the detectors that have this technology to sweep multiple frequencies at one time. These detectors have an easier time cutting through saltwater, trashy soils, or highly mineralized soils.
The Equinox series of metal detectors features the 600, 700, 800, and 900. Each of these operates on multiple frequencies, or several single frequencies depending on user preference (the 600 has the fewest single frequencies while the 900 offers the most). They have automatic ground balancing or manual ground balancing, adjustable sensitivity, different detection modes, depth indicator, and LCD backlights. Minelab offers upgradeable software with all their metal detectors, so they will stay up to date.
All Equinox metal detectors are fully waterproof up to 10 feet. The Equinox metal detectors range in price from $600 for the Equinox 600, to $1,100 for the Equinox 900. Learn more about the Equinox metal detectors here: https://www.minelab.com/usa/metal-detectors/equinox-900
Minelab Vanquish Series
Minelab also offers a new series called the Vanquish. The Vanquish metal detecting line comes in the 340, 440, 640, or 540 Pro Pack. The Vanquish line does not have single frequencies like the Equinox does. These are strictly multi-frequency metal detectors. The Vanquish 540 features Bluetooth technology for use with wireless headphones. The other two models can only use wired headphones.
Each detector is lightweight, has adjustable sensitivity, discrimination, depth indicators, and noise cancelling. The volume is adjustable. These detectors feature search modes for coins, jewelry, relics, all metals, and custom mode. Iron bias is set to high on the 340 and 440 and is adjustable on the 540. The Vanquish 540 Pro-Pack comes with an additional search coil.
The Vanquish series of metal detectors is not fully waterproof. The search coils are waterproof, but the control boxes are only water resistant so they should not be fully submerged. Pricing for the Vanquish series ranges in price from $200 to $500.
Learn more about the Vanquish detectors here: https://www.minelab.com/usa/metal-detectors/vanquish-540-pro-pack
Other Minelab Multi-Frequency Detectors
The Manticore is a newer metal detector offered by Minelab. This is another multi-frequency detector but has optional single frequencies ranging from 5 kHz to 40 kHz. This detector features a mapping system with target trace technology, so you can map your hunt and mark where you found your treasures. Sensitivity is adjustable, as are volume, pitch, threshold, and ferrous pitch. The Manticore has a price tag of around $1,600. This detector is also fully waterproof, up to 16 feet.
The CTX 3030 is one of my favorite metal detectors. If you have ever watched The Curse of Oak Island, their metal detecting expert, Gary Drayton, uses this model a lot on the show. This thing is full of Minelab’s best and most advanced technology including, multiple frequencies, FBS 2, Smartfind 2, GPSi, and Wi-Stream. It is also waterproof, up to 10 feet. All this technology comes at a price of about $2,000. Learn more about this detector here: https://www.minelab.com/usa/metal-detectors/ctx-3030
Nokta Multi-Frequency Metal Detectors
The Nokta Legend is the company’s first multi-frequency metal detector. This detector is fully waterproof up to 10 feet, features advanced discrimination settings, frequency shift and noise cancellation, quicker recovery speed, adjustable threshold, custom user profiles, and vibration upon detection. The pricing of the Legend depends on the package chosen, and ranges from $599 to $799. Learn more about the Nokta Legend here: https://www.noktadetectors.com/metal-detector/the-legend/
The Nokta Anfibio Multi is a multi-frequency detector operating on several single frequencies instead of multiple simultaneous frequencies. This model’s frequencies range from 5 kHz to 20 kHz. It has 9 search modes, notch filter, automatic, manual, and tracking ground balancing, frequency shift, and is fully waterproof up to 16 feet. This model has been discontinued by the manufacturer but is available on other websites for $900.
The Nokta Multi Kruzer is a multi-frequency detector with single frequencies, rather than simultaneous multi-frequency technology. This detector ranges from 5 kHz to 19 kHz, features 6 search modes, iron audio, notch filter, pinpointer, frequency shift, and automatic, tracking, and manual ground balancing. This model, like the Anfibio, has been discontinued. You can still find it on websites other than Nokta’s for around $640. This model is also fully waterproof, up to 16 feet.
Most of Nokta’s detectors have the vibration feature which is perfect for hearing impaired users to when you want to be quiet while detecting. Their detectors also feature backlit LCD screens and LED flashlights. Nokta’s firmware is updateable via USB cable.
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While the price tag may be higher than many single frequency metal detectors, multi-frequency detectors have a lot to offer. They use different frequencies, either simultaneously or individually, so you can scan for treasures you may otherwise miss with a single frequency detector.
These detectors can be used in areas you thought were “hunted out” to unmask treasures still waiting to be discovered. Multiple frequency detectors are offered by several manufacturers. Minelab and Nokta are just two of these manufacturers that have gotten onboard with this technology. Garrett offers the Ace Apex, XP offers the Deus lineup, and Fisher offers the CZ-21 Quicksilver. Each of these features multiple frequencies and is worth a look!
Metal Detecting Tip: Treasure hunting doesn’t mean making a mess, digging holes and destroying historic sites. Use some ethics and preserve history. Sharing pictures and documenting the location and researching the back story is the most important part of finding treasure. Read my article 👉 Metal Detecting Rules, Ethics and Laws
Malory Ericksen discovered metal detecting in 2015, initially unearthing nails and pull tabs in Idaho. The finding of an old railroad tie cemented her passion for the hobby. Now in Utah, she delights in uncovering historical treasures, driven by her love for history.
Read Malory’s complete bio 👉 About Malory Ericksen