DEUS 2 VS EQUINOX 800 REVIEW
The biggest question everyone wants to know right now is,
“how does the Equinox 800 compare to the XP DEUS 2?”.
When the Minelab Equinox was released in 2017 it was possibly the biggest game changer in the metal detecting world. For the first time in detecting history we had a metal detector that was a fantastic coin hunter, beach hunter and a pretty decent gold detector, the machine was even waterproof (to some degree) and at a price point people could realistically afford.
Since its release in 2017 the Equinox 800 has dominated most facets of metal detecting except for hardcore gold prospecting and some niche detecting scenarios. The Equinox’s success comes down to its ability to perform well in so many environments on so many target types whether it be silver coins in the park, jewellery at the beach or little gold nuggets in the gold fields but how does the BRAND NEW XP DEUS 2 compare to the MINELAB EQUINOX 800?
Upgraded DEUS 2 Carbon fibre Lower shaft available HERE!
Comparing the Deus 2 and Equinox 800 out in the field
Metal detector performance is such a massive and subjective topic that it won’t be possible to compare absolutely every facet of the DEUS 2 and Equinox 800 in this blog but this comparison has been made easier by the distinct differences we immediately noticed during our testing on land and at the beach.
When it comes to performance across the board, the Equinox 800 is great. Our Australian soil isn’t the easiest to detect through but coin hunting for old pre-decimals is made simple by the Equinox’s park 1 search program. Generally speaking when coin hunting in Australia it’s possible to dig only targets which register consistently “20” or above on the Equinox’s screen and avoid a good amount of trash. This method will miss smaller or lower silver content coins but can be worth it in trashier areas to avoid digging as much trash.
When comparing to the Equinox 800 the Deus 2 has a much larger range of ID numbers, the DEUS 2 has 99 target ID’s whilst the Equinox has a total of 50. This means that we can more easily differentiate unwanted trash from coins which might register a very similar number on our detector screen.
Metal detectors with larger ID ranges are renowned for being "jumpier" than more compact ones so ordinarily you would imagine that the DEUS 2’s range of 99 possible numbers would be half as stable as the Equinox’s 50, but you’d be very surprised! The DEUS 2 locks onto targets and holds a steady ID better than any detector we have tested.
In many cases when detecting a good coin target we found that the DEUS 2’s screen almost appeared to freeze, displaying a single solid ID number and not fluctuating, that is how ridiculously rock solid stable the DEUS 2 is! In testing we found that the Equinox ID numbers would jump a minimum of 2 on all but the shallowest targets.
Rock solid target ID
We used the DEUS 2’s “Deep High Conductive” program on land which we thought would be suitable for our highly conductive Australian currency. We did indeed find “Deep HC” hit incredibly deep on Pre-Decimal copper and silver coinage and brought a previously barren spot back to life!
One highly memorable experience we had comparing these detectors in the soil was with a target the DEUS 2 had found. It was a faint but repeatable and consistent 91-93 signal, enough to make me stop!
We ran the Equinox 800 over the same target in park 1 to compare, only to find that the Nox barely made a noise on it. Under no circumstances could the Equinox ID the target after further tweaking of all the settings. The target ended up being an very deep 1956 Australian kangaroo penny (deeper than the length of my pinpointer) ...This was the deepest coin we have ever recovered from this fairly mineralised site. To paint a picture, our pinpointers will be set off by this ground when you touch the probe to the soil.
Deus 2 11" coil - Pre decimal Australian silver and copper coins found at a well hunted park
IN FIELD OBSERVATION
"During comparisons there was another instance where we checked a target with the DEUS 2 that the Equinox 800 had just found. A very strong “86” came up on the DEUS 2 screen, I lifted the coil and continued to scan the target at about 12” off the ground to which I said “must be something big” (almost dismissing the target as junk). Luke however, (with the Equinox) was convinced it was one of our Aussie $1 or $2 coins so we dug the target only to find he was right, a common Australian $1 coin!
This was one of the many eye openers during our tests which hinted to us that the DEUS 2 had serious depth potential, I had lifted the DEUS 2 coil so high that I’d normally dismiss the target as a can!
This was a good reminder that I had been using the DEUS 2 like an Equinox and applying certain “rules” to the DEUS which I had invented to help filter out trash targets with the Equinox, rules like “if you lift your coil a foot off the ground and still have a strong signal... it’s probably going to be a big piece of junk!”.
Events like this throughout our detecting sessions helped me realise that, although the comparison between the DEUS 2 and Equinox were already looking favourable for the DEUS, my lack of experience on this new machine was actually hampering the DEUS 2 results. With more experience on this detector the results would have favoured the DEUS 2 even more heavily!"
The Minelab Equinox has been the most popular and possibly the best beach metal detector since it’s launch in 2017. It's depth and stability in salt water is excellent and it’s sensitivity to smaller targets in the salt water (where many other detectors have to be detuned) is also great.
The XP DEUS 2 uses a new form of multi-frequency technology called “FMF” (FAST MULTI FREQUENCY) as opposed to the Equinox which uses “Multi-IQ”. Again, the performance in salt water and over wet salt sand is the most critical aspect of a good beach metal detector so we were excited to try the three dedicated beach modes: “Diving”, “Beach” and “Beach Sensitive” all of which have been tailored for salt water and wet salt sand performance.
The Deus 2 “Diving” program uses a lower set of frequencies, the max frequency being 14kHz, the “Beach” program tops out at 24kHz and the “Beach Sensitive” program uses a very high 40kHz as it’s max frequency!
Some finds we made during a day underwater with the DEUS 2 using the "DIVING" program.
XP (the manufacturer) state that “Beach Sensitive” is the Deus 2’s deepest program for the beach but the most reactive, the “Diving” program is the least sensitive but also the least reactive making it very stable and easy to use. The plain “Beach” program is somewhere in the middle. Theses three salt water programs cover all bases for in and out of the salt water.
In our tests on several Australian coins (5c,10c,20c) in wet sand we established some interesting differences between the DEUS 2 and the Equinox 800. We use these three coins to reasonably represent small, medium and large gold rings in this order because they range from low conductivity to medium conductivity.
Testing the Deus 2 in wet sand and salt water
The Deus 2 (11" coil) detected deeper than the Equinox (11" coil) on all targets tested in wet salt sand and the advantage was larger on the medium conductive targets. The Deus 2 was so much deeper than the Equinox on the 20c coin that we even double and triple checked all the settings on the Equinox to make sure we were getting the most out of it!
We understand that these results may need to be seen to be believed so we will be making a comparison video of the Equinox VS Deus 2 in wet salt water sand shortly. For the time being, here is an excellent comparison of the two detectors in wet sand by Detector comparisons.
"We are certain that the DEUS 2 performed deeper than the Equinox 800 on all the targets tested in this wet sand environment. We experimented mainly with the “beach” and “beach sensitive” programs on the DEUS 2 and tried everything on the Equinox to try and keep up with it, like switching between beach1/2, maximising sensitivity, lowering recovery speed, turning iron bias down all the way and we also ensured that no segments were notched out"
Ed from Detect-Ed metal detecting
The DEUS 2 uses the same telescopic shaft as the DEUS 1, a well proven design which collapses down to a very small size yet extends for those taller people too. The Equinox shaft does leave a bit to be desired because the shaft will often get wobbly after a while and the detector will have to be dismantled if you want to transport it easily. Many Equinox users will upgrade to a Detect-Ed Carbon Shaft down the track for greater reliability and weight savings.
DEUS 2 telescopic shaft fully collapsed
The Equinox housing is rated to 3m underwater whilst the DEUS 2 is rated to a surprising 20m. With only 32 hours of underwater detecting with the Deus 2 (at the time of writing this article) it's too early to know for sure but we speculate that the Deus II housing will be far more reliable in and out of the water than the Equinox. In our opinion the Equinox housing is more suited to being rinsed or splashed with water rather than fully submerged because of its reputation to let water in.
In case of any failures the Equinox has a 3 year warranty and the Deus 2 has a 5 year warranty. Outside of warranty, XP guarantee that parts will be available for the DEUS 2 for 10 years! Another interesting note is that the Deus is fully repairable whilst the Equinox controller is one piece and can not be repaired.
ED using DEUS 2 underwater with 9" coil and Bone Conduction Headphones
Updateable metal detectors are the norm these days, with software updates often coming out to improve performance and make “quality of life” changes like the extra park mode and mute function that was added to Simplex+ metal detector.
Typically, updates are developed to address unforeseen problems that users have encountered after the release of the metal detector but XP Metal Detectors are known to continually upgrade and improve their metal detectors through software updates like the Deus 1 which is now on Version 5!
At the time of writing this blog the Deus 2 is on Version 0.6 but as time goes on we have no doubt that we will see new programs, settings and increased performance with future software versions but it's unlikely we'll see any more major updates for the Equinox.
To be perfectly honest, it’s not entirely fair to compare the Deus 2 to the Equinox 800. These two metal detectors are in different price brackets but we know many users have been looking for the next step up from the Equinox and want to know if the Deus 2 is worth it.
The Equinox 800 is a great first or second metal detector and can be used right out of the box, it is also an exceptional all rounder. At this point in time it is the best all-rounder in its price range but the upcoming LEGEND metal detector by Nokta Makro might take the Equinox’s place for performance at an even lower price point.
For those who are looking to upgrade from the Equinox or simply want the highest performance all-round metal detector then the only clear option right now is the XP Deus 2. The Deus 2 can also be used straight out of the box with the 12 powerful pre-set programs and also offers extensive customisation to get the most out of every situation.
If you are wanting to detect underwater then the Deus 2 is the clear winner because of its deeper rating, higher quality and longer warranty.
DEUS 2 Pros:
- Incredible depth and overall performance
- Low Weight Design
- Future-proof technology
- Very high build quality
- Collapsible telescopic shaft, very easy to transport
- 5 Years Warranty
- 20m waterproof (can be used extensively underwater)
- 99 points of ID for greater target ID accuracy
- Huge amount of modes for every target type in every environments
DEUS 2 Cons:
- Higher price
- Antenna cable needs to be installed for water use (included in kit)
- Steeper learning curve for new detectorists
- Lower cost
- Simpler settings
- Established community of users
- Unreliable waterproofing (should not be used extensively underwater)
- Lower build quality (shafts, coil ears, arm cuffs, water ingress)
- Requires dismantling to pack up small for travel
If you enjoyed or have any questions about this blog, please comment below or contact us directly HERE