By RJM – edited by Jennifer Hackett. To read the full original review please visit http://bit.ly/ppsCyf
“In January I always buy a couple of Tesco Extra Special Christmas puddings to have during the year when the fancy takes me. Oddly enough, I never had any pudding Christmas time and the fancy took me yesterday and today. Strange really as since the end of November 2009 I have had my XP Deus on order. It was due at the dealers mid December so I duly sent my Golden Mask 3+ which I was using as a part exchange. Well, the dealer rang me up this Monday 1st march and the Deus arrived as I was eating my Christmas pudding on Wednesday afternoon.
…The Deus comes in a small box. On opening it I was surprised to see the coil flashing a blue light at me. Oh dear, I thought, it’s been left on. A check with the supplier revealed that the blue light is always on standby and power use is almost immeasurable. The machine was quickly put together and in its folded form looks like the starshipEnterprise. Amazingly light even with the control box (about the size of a mobile phone) on the stem magnet. I switched it on and it was charged up but indoors it was picking up so much interference that after flicking through the menus I put the coil, control box and headphones on charge. Three wires connect to one plug. About 2 hours to fully charge from flat. Charge can be topped up at anytime as there is no memory effect. Also supplied were a car charger and an ‘in the field’ charger which you can charge one thing at a time. 15 mins charging of the coil will give 1 to 2 hours use. Headphones and control box give 20 hours on a full charge and the coil 10 hours (approx) depending on the program used.
I read the manual several times but was unable to get out until late this afternoon (Friday). I managed to get in two hours detecting on a field which has been detected to death and has had a recent rally. I went on this field with the V3 and a friend used the E-trac. A couple of copper coins turned up from 1683 to turn of the century. This would be a good test for the flagship XP. I decided to search in the Gold Maxx program (18 kHz frequency) and put disc on 20 (on the 1 to 99 scale), turned down the sensitivity and put reactivity on 3. Reactivity is the speed recovery from one target to another and is 1 to 5 with 5 being the fastest. I left the machine on factory set ground balance of 90. However, it can be put in continual tracking mode or manually set by ‘pumping’ – quickly lifting and lowering to the ground. The Ground Balance VDI is continually shown as it alters and the VDI GB that is manually set.
I searched for an hour and the first noticeable thing is how fast this machine picks up targets, and you don’t even have to sweep the coil slow. I found a couple of thin buttons about half inch wide with loud repeatable signals and the VDI locking solidly. I noticed that 99% of the hot rocks came in at a solid VDI of 25. Iron gave a buzz sound but I did dig some rounded iron (a buckle) and a horseshoe. Other targets included a large musket ball, habitation lead and some thin foil. Most of the finds were within the top six inches. I found a broken iron horse shoe that was split in half. I decided to do an in air test. I took the silver half inch button and placed it alongside the horseshoe. The Deus gave a loud signal from 6″ on a normal sweep speed. I then put the coin half under the iron and the Deus picked it up at 5″ with a normal sweep speed, loud and clear, just amazing. And the Deus wasn’t even operating at it’s ‘fastest’! After an hour I switched to the XP Deus Fast program and set the reactivity speed to 2 (fastest 5) so it was still not at it peak. I found another iron bar and decided on another in air test. I had found a square ring pull which had come in at VDI 52. I put this under the iron leaving approximately 3 mm sticking out. The Deus completely ignored the iron and picked the pull-tab up loud and clear at normal sweep speed about 5″ above the iron, the iron being a few millimetres thick. This I have never seen before in over 20 years of metal detecting. If you think I am spicing it up or made a mistake, then get a Deus and you will get the same result. I promise.
When in this program I found that hot rocks still came in at a solid VDi 25 as indicated in the manual. One find was a washer about 3mm circular that was a couple of inches down. This machine just loves small and thin. I didn’t find any coins. Just three small buttons, a small stud, musket ball, various lead and the washer mentioned. I would love to have told you I found a hammered coin but I didn’t. I wasn’t too disappointed as I was sure I would have found one if the small 9″ coil had gone over one.
The Deus can operate at 4, 8, 12 or 18 kHz with various speed options except at 4 kHz. There is a beach/salt program and other general search programs. I was disappointed with the pinpoint function but having said that this machine is so razor sharp you don’t need to use it. There is no depth indicator as if in tone mode there is a pitch function to give an indication of depth. What’s neat is that the time and battery life is continually indicated on the control box. Saves wearing a watch.
The back phones are unique and superb. Everything can be controlled from it, and indeed it is easier to navigate than the control box. I found the control box navigation a little confusing but with time I’m sure it will become second nature. Amazingly you don’t need the control box to use the Deus. It can all be done via the headphones. The control box stayed stuck on the magnet through the plastic bag but could be belt mounted or stuck on the arm via a wrist magnet or arm pouch. At the end of the two hours the detector it folded up like the Starship Enterprise in a couple of seconds and fitted in a small beach bag. The headphones fold up and fit in a small plastic pouch but would easy go in a shirt pocket.
The Deus is unlike any other metal detector than has gone before in looks and performance. It recovery speed is warp factor……maybe this is why they designed it to look like theEnterprise. It’s certainly the latest technology. Is it worth the money? Well, it’s certainly expensive at the moment at £1395 RRP (I had a little discount and a good part exchange price) but I have found you do get what you pay for. No doubt it will come down in price eventually. An ideal machine for just about all detecting occasions in a light weight package. A Christmas present worth waiting for? On the first session. Yes.
Sun 7th March 2010 the second outing with the Deus was a club rally on 3 pasture fields on a cold sunny day, with about three dozen members present. To my knowledge no hammered or roman coins were found. I decided to start with the PITCH program which uses the 12 KHz frequency to search. The ground balance was left at 90 which is the factory preset. Reactivity was put on 3 (5 being fastest). It should be noted that upping the recovery speed impacts on the depth but faster reactivity is helpful in mineralised or iron contaminated soil. I put up discrimination from 6.8 to 20. The PITCH program makes the machine sound off like Sooty & Sweep (or similar to Tom’s C-Scope 1220 non motion machine). Although there was a lot going on the program was quite useable and like any of the Deus programs, quite forgiving if your settings aren’t spot on. On coin sized targets the signal is quite sharp and VDi’s fairly stable. I dug a number of signals with high VDi’s which turned out to be aluminium horseshoes as the field is used by racehorses for training. One small target was a button. After an hour I switched to the BASIC 1 program, turning down the SENS and again putting DISC to 20, with REACTIVITY on 3, GB on 90, and using 4 tones. This is the general use program it is similar to most switch on and go detectors. I found a large pewter button in lovely condition with a patterned motif about 4 or 5 inches down. All the targets found during the day were within the top 6 inches except for a square ring pull which was about 9 or 10 inches deep. This gave a loud repeatable signal with a steady VDI. I did dig some large iron horseshoes with VDi’s in the 90’s but I thought they may be iron as a low tone was given.
On quickly changing to the G-Maxx program more of a splutter confirmed my suspicions. I also had a couple of pieces of iron which were a large washer and plate. I was digging all signals as I’m still learning the machine. I detected for a solid 6 hours with absolutely no fatigue whatsoever. The control box was on the stem covered in a thin plastic bag. It did fall off a couple of times which was due to me having it on a bungee to my waist and it catching on my side whilst digging. I would like to have seen a stronger magnet. On the forums I have heard complaints about it with some buying more powerful ones and modifying their stems. However a cover with a Velcro strap under the magnet would stop this. XP only supply the leather belt pouch which is okay but you can’t see the VDI display at ease. The VDI display can be difficult to read sometimes especially through the thin plastic bag when the sun is shining on it. I played with the contrast but it did not improve things to a great extent. I have a clear waterproof bag on order (from E bay seller) which will allow me to strap it to my wrist. From the forums it appears that quite a few Deus users are using this bag which is made for the I-pod. It also allows a headphone cord to be used if necessary. This bag is a good idea as it will protect from dust, mud and water.
After 6 hours use the coil had dropped to half power with the headphones and control box battery readings at about 80% full. The Deus comes with a 9″ DD coil which I feel is a little small for searching farmland pasture. I believe a larger one is out later this year. I think the 9″ would be fine on stubble and parks and I cannot see the need for a smaller one, so two coils would be enough for your arsenal.
To sum up the day I enjoyed using the Deus which is totally different to my V3. The Deus is many machines in one but alas only ‘one’ can be used at a time. It’s a case of using extraordinary fast recovery speed with finds nearer the surface (say 6″), medium speed with small and larger targets a bit deeper (say 10″), or a slow recovery speed with the best depth. When I had the G-Maxx2 (4.6 freq) I tested it up against the Explorer in all metal mode and on a Viccie penny the Explorer just won by a inch or so at about 18″. On a tobacco tin the G-Maxx2 greatly excelled by well over 12″ against the Explorer, getting about 4′. I would therefore say the users wanting depth would use the G-Maxx program with a low REACTIVE speed. This is something I have yet to try. I believe XP are bringing out a coil to use with the 4 KHz freq which is designed to GO VERY DEEP! For those interested, the V3 has an advantage in that it is using 3 frequencies and has the ability to analyse targets which can save on digging. But as with the Deus, to get the depth slower sweep speeds are the order of the day. I do love the Deus headphones (similar to the ones on the other XP machines) as I was able to have the hood up of my Deerhunter jacket with the neck fastened to keep out the biting cold. However, the control box can be switched off and all its functions can be accessed via the headphones! Signals are instantaneous and there is no evidence of any time lag. At the end of the day the Deus folded up in a few seconds and went in my small beach bag which was on the front passenger seat floor.
Mon 8 March 2010 I had a couple of hours spare so I shot up to an old 12c castle site near my home which is pasture land with thick clumpy grass with lots of rubbish and iron. I used the BASIC 1 program again but decided to have a look at the automatic ground tracking. The control box was stem mounted again (I’m still waiting for the wrist pouch) and the display showed the GB that was in use and that which the machine was currently reading. Through out the two hours I noticed the GB in use was always 1 above the one being processed. The factory set GB is 90.
With it in auto I noticed reading varied from 74 to 89 as I moved around the field. From reading the manual it says the lower GB can give more stable signals, but too low and you will be picking up pottery and ground minerals. I cannot say if the auto GB affected the depth I had but the machine seemed to pick up signals okay. In future I would be minded to manually set the GB to 1 above the reading and not go below 87 on the setting, bearing in mind that XP have deemed 90 to be acceptable for most grounds.
During the course of two hours hot rocks again came in at 25 and larger iron with high VDi’s gave a low tone. The machine is so sharp that it fairly easy to tell a small target from a larger one. Tin cans give off a high tone with an echo sound. Also it’s easy to distinguish when there’s more than one target close by. I dug two halfpennies which were encrusted with iron that gave reading in the 80’s. I also dug a minute lead coin shape with VDI in the 50’s. On walking back to the car I took the control box from the magnet and put it in my pocket. It was very strange indeed, like detecting waving a stick! Hopefully when the wrist pouch comes I will be staring a lot more at that magnet. The ground I was searching was one a lot of detectorists wouldn’t have bothered with due the thick grass and rubbish so I was pleased to pull out the Deus’s first two coins. From my three outings I can see the Deus loves small and thin items. I would say where it will excel is in iron infested ground and on a long days detecting. Also, you would search a favourite field in one frequency, say for depth, and another program for stuff masked by iron. Also, it has a program for beaches and black sand.
I have fixed up with a local person to go beach detecting on my forthcoming holiday to Mauritiusso I will give this program a try and let you know what I think. Back at the car the Deus was switched off. However, the coil stays on standby with a small blue LED flashing every 4 seconds. After 8 hours the coil had about 30% power left whilst the headphones and control box would have done another long session. No great problems as the coil can be charged in the field with the very small charger that runs off one AA battery. I do like Deus a lot. It’s got some nice touches such as having the time continually displayed so no need to wear a watch which I normally have to put on my detector hand so it doesn’t interfere with my Garrett probe. I also really like the headphones as you don’t have a feeling of being detached from your surroundings and don’t have to take them off to talk to people. The battery charging is fast and efficient. From flat it’s 2 hours. And you can top up at any time. Batteries are expected to last over 3 years with a couple of thousand charges. Replacement of all three batteries is about £80, with the coil having to be done at the factory as it’s sealed. I think the pinpoint function could have been better. It locks on until the exit button is pressed so in effect you have two buttons. No depth indication is given but the closer to a target the more black the rectangle becomes. I know such indicators are seldom accurate; maybe that’s why XP didn’t bother. It would have been better if the pinpoint button alone needed to be used and only worked whilst pressed instead of locking on. As mentioned, another dislike is the magnet! Easily fixed though by a replacement. Why XP didn’t include a wrist pouch I don’t know as they’re cheap enough. There is nothing wrong with the performance though and it’s easy to use: Only a little more to do than a switch on and go machine. Basically its performance difference to any other machine is its recovery speed between signals. The rest is visual. Small, compact, wireless.
Thursday 11 March 2010 I have used the Deus for a couple of hours each day since the last rally. I have pulled lots of different size buttons, a couple of modern coins, and other numerous bits and pieces. What is nice is that you can flick from program to program in a second or two by pressing the “-” or “+” button on the control box (or headphone if control box is switched off) and the VDi’s in the display will be the same for whatever frequency. In other words the readings have been ‘normalised’ as they would naturally give different VDi’s depending on the frequency used for searching. Another thing I like (as with other XP’s but it’s much easier with the display) is that with the iron volume on (settings 1 to 4) you get a buzz over iron targets. Where for example, a deep iron horseshoe would give a ‘dig me tone’ and, on the Deus a VDI of 90 or so, with the iron volume on the sound is clipped and buzzy.
This is why the DISCRIMINATION is set so low on all the Deus programs. Small iron has 82 settings between 2 and 10 (2.1, 2.2 and so on) and is factory set at 6.8. It is therefore easy to search in ALL METAL as iron gives a buzzy sound. After reaching 10 DISC then goes up in increments of 1 to 99. In all programs hot rocks are 90% showing 25 on the VDI with some really large chunks changing between 25 and 33. Tin foil is about 30-34 VDI and is jumpy. Most of the goodies will be 35 onwards with nice clear repeatable tones and steadyish VDi’s.
I tried a waterproof ipod bag on my wrist and corded around my neck with part of the cord held behind my coat button to stop it falling forward when digging. I didn’t like either method much. Today I put the control box in the XP supplied ‘faux leather’ belt pouch and clipped it to my belt with the magnetic button open so the control display was visible. Worked a treat and is what I will do from now on until XP either bring out something better or use a more powerful magnet. The belt pouch is quite sturdy and well protective of the control box. The clip held it tight and didn’t move despite me bending to dig. On a shirt or waistcoat it could be clipped on the pocket so you just have to glance down to read the VDI. There is a notch facility on DISC (using increments of 6 VDi’s) and the tones can be altered to your taste and inverted if you so wish so that good targets would give a low tone and rubbish a high tone. I would think that you would have to switch IRON volume off otherwise confusion could reign. I know that a lot of Minelab users prefer the inverted method (as I did) but on the DEUS I love knowing its deep iron from the IRON volume control being on.
I haven’t found a problem with the width of the handgrip as reported on some forums. I have average hand size (and that’s not a measure to any other body part before you comment!) but I could see that some may have a problem. The adjustment clips on the stem work nicely and holds the stem as locked. I notice that the patented XP stem has notches on the rear of the armrest to attach a normal XP control box from the other units in the range. Quite a clever idea as XP can make extra money buy selling the stems for this purpose. The control box just slides on the back of the armrest and the coil wire twists down the stem to the normal coil which can be attached instead of the specialist Deus coil.
I’ve only used the machine a week now but it’s very easy to use and change the few things you might want. I’m getting used to the tones. I haven’t dug any coins at what I would call deep (no more than 6″) but big lead and tin (one or two inch pieces) have been about 12″ down. I haven’t yet used the G-Maxx program on 8 KHz so the above has been on 12 and 18 KHz search frequencies. If you have an iron littered site you will love this machine for its simplicity and performance.
The XP Deus on Mauritius Beaches (14 to 29 March 2010) I have only done some beach detecting twice before. Once was for a week in the summer of 1994 when each morning I visited Weymouth beach about 6am with my Minelab Sovereign. It was lovely to use and no adjustments were needed between the golden and black sands. I remember digging a pre-decimal coin about 12” deep on black sand which amazed me as it is a well detected beach morning and evening. My coins find enabled me to buy a fat boys breakfast and paper at the local greasy spoon. One local retiree was there morning and evening so it must pay. I have only ever detected abroad once; inIbiza. That was with the little Tesoro Amigo 2 which was okay but only used as it was lightweight to travel with. I did find a child’s gold ring and some coins. I spend several weeks out of theUKon holiday every year. I haven’t detected on a beach since 2000 with the Amigo mainly due to the weight restrictions now imposed by the Airlines. Having got the Deus a month ago I decided it was time to have another go rather than being bored sunbathing.
My destination wasMauritiusso I hit the forums and contacted Hem Nunkoo who is a local detectorist there. He explained that of all the inhabitants there was only about four locals who went detecting and three of them were him, his Dad and mother! Hem had formed a detecting club which he registered but due to officialdom he was not allowed to haveMauritiusin the title!
I e-mailed Hem several times and arranged to meet him when he had days off when I was there. I removed the 9” coil and placed it in my hand luggage with the miniature control box, folding back phones and charging lead. The Deus stem collapsed down and easily went in my suitcase with sand scoop adding only a few extra ounces. If my case got lost then it was not the end of the world as I still had the electronics and the Deus stem was replaceable.
We arrived at Heathrow about 6am and checked in our suitcases before heading off to be security screened…I began to worry that the Deus coil might be the problem as it is continually on standby. Explanations entered my mind. After a few minutes she returned and my bag exited the scanner. I expected to be pulled over but was left to enter departures without explanation of the delay. On boarding our BA plane I put my hand luggage in the overhead locker. It dawned on me that all electrical equipment must be switched off but the Deus coil is continually on. There was nothing in the manual to say that it could not be taken on an aircraft. It did state that the electromagnetic radio waves emitted are between 2,000 to 4,000 weaker than a mobile phones’. That was to be my excuse so I kept the manual handy.
After a 12 hour flight we all arrived safely. The Deus had passed another test. Our hotel backed on to a beach…I took the opportunity to get permission to detect the beach. No problem.
The following day I assembled the Deus and gave it a quick charge. I put the control or user interface in a waterproof ipod bag which could also be used to attach a set of normal headphones if required. The next morning the sunlight under the thick curtains had me looking out. It was 7am and the beach was dead quiet except for the beach cleaners and security. I set the Deus wet beach program via the headphones deciding I didn’t need the control box.
On land the Deus hunts quiet. On the beach it was noisy. I turned down sensitivity quite a bit and put the Discrimination up. It helped but the machine was still noisy. I listened for the target sounds. The first was a tin can. Good start! A lead weight and a ring pull followed amongst the interference. I entered the sea and soon found that although the coil is waterproof it will not function when immersed under more than an inch of water. The signal is blocked by the water from reaching the headphones. XP have a modification due out later 2010 that will combat this problem making the machine fully submersible. A passing German couple asked me what I found. Laughter followed when I told them of the tin can. The hotel staff were very interested as they haven’t seen detecting before. Their national hobby is fishing. I duly explained what I was doing.
After an hour I hadn’t found much and wasn’t that happy with the plastic sand scoop I had as it wasn’t up to the job. I gave up denouncing the Deus as not good! After breakfast I re-read the manual refusing to believe Mr Alain Loubet (XP owner) had sold me a pup. I had used the whole range of his machines and the performance was always excellent. I came to the conclusion that the user interface was needed and that I would try pumping to ground balance, and in any case monitor the GB reading.
At 4pm on the Sunday I met with Hem and his parents at La Morne beach. Hem had his Whites Surfmaster and his parents shared a Tesoro Cibola. Hem’s Whites Surfmaster had just been replaced free with a new model after a leak. However Hem explained he preferred his old machine with smaller coil. After introductions we hit the beach which was very busy. The normal quiet sea was smashing against the beach due to the weather. Hem gave me a home made finds bag, a homemade travelling sand scoop, and a book on Mauritian pirates! In return I could only offer him the latest copy of Treasure Hunting with the Deus review.
I tried pumping several times to ground balance but it was always a fail. I also tried on other beaches but with no luck. I turned down the sensitivity, upped the Discrimination and began detecting. I had the control box in the waterproof ipod bag around my waist. It was still picking up spurious signals but I just listened out for the good ones. Coins started coming along with fishing weights and the usual pull tabs. I was beginning not to notice the interference and starting to enjoy things. The sand scoop made digging a breeze. I checked an area of sand and spilled out the contents for checking, sometimes needing to get another scoop of sand.
I was detecting the area of beach between the waters edge and high tide level. I monitored the GB readings which were variable but under 27. I also tried remembering the VDI readings for the finds I was getting. Within half hour I had two children’s copper rings and a pile of Mauritian coins. I was stood next to Hem who was in the sea in his wetsuit. With our backs to the sea a large wave splashed us up our backs and took the Deus out of my hand. No problems. There was nothing to damage! Further finds followed including a woman’s gold ring with onyx stone. Most of the coins had readings over 70. Most of the ‘interesting’ stuff was between 35 and 69. It was hard work detecting in 30 degrees. Every now and again I had to stop and explain what I was doing to interested people.
About 6.30 it was dark and my calves and back of my neck were burned. I was also soaking wet and looking forward to a hot shower and some of that all inclusive food and drink. I had done okay with five rings and about 40 coins, plus a couple of brooch type objects. I also had quite a bit of lead, batteries, ring pulls and other rubbish.
…It’s difficult to say how deep it was going as when you take out a scoop it could be anything. I was certainly finding things from the surface to about 9”. Also, the 18 KHz frequency was finding the small thin things and seemed to be hoovering up all shapes and sizes. I found the part of a thin diamante bracelet plus a small gold clasp a couple of millimetres wide. Back at the hotel I put the control box and headphones in the safe. ….
In the week I went back to La Morne beach and over a couple of hours found another four rings and couple of dozen coins. I e-mailed Hem and my mate, Salty, and told them of the total so far. I made arrangements with Hem to meet up at the world famous Flic & Flac beach on the Sunday about 10am.
…. Before long I was hoovering up coins and trying to dodge the inquisitive people. A crowd of youngsters followed me like the pied piper and wanted to try the cordless Deus headphones.
…I found a couple of rings, one being a lovely gold woman’s wedding ring with bevelled edging. Another was an old copper ring with ‘stone’.
About 2pm I had been at it for a few hours in the humid heat and had had enough. I sheltered under the beach umbrella. In total I had 4 rings, two of which were kids. Also about 30 coins. Neither Hem or his Dad had found any rings but both had loads of coins. I was beginning to feel guilty but it was proving to me that the Deus was capable on the wet sand and the 18 kHz search frequency was a good choice. (You could make up your own beach program on a different frequency if you wanted, and save it.)
The Deus had certainly surprised me with what I had found after the first disastrous outing. I supposed you should always keep an open mind on anything in life and be prepared for surprises.
At the hotel one night we went for the evening meal …I struck up a conversation with this couple. It turned out they were German. So what, you may say? Well, Gordon is fromHamburgand is an ardentEnglandfootball fan. …
During conversations and taking them out for anIslandtour it was discussed that I was off detecting the following morning at La Morne beach. Gordon wanted to come.
At 10.30am we met at reception and by 11.15am we were detecting. Although Gordon had a go at using the Deus he was more than happy to dig with the sand scoop. After 3 hours we had found a ring and a gold earring, plus the usual rubbish and 30 coins. I loved the 1” circular gold earring as it was thin and showed the Deus was doing the business. …
Gordon was now hooked on detecting and would be getting one when he returned home. On one day I went to the Bel Ombre public beach near the hotel. It was quiet but I found one ring and a pile of coins over a couple of hours. My last meeting with Hem was at The Mortello Tower beach, Grand Rivierre, about 35 mins from my hotel on the Saturday. I started about 3.30pm and packed up about 6.30pm when it was dark. A couple of downpours kept people off the beach so I wasn’t bothered too much. I found about 30 coins but amazingly none of us found any rings. Ah, well, my luck was going to run out eventually. It’s quite reassuring seeing the blue LED of the Deus coil flashing away when the dusk falls..
…. Their isn’t much land to detect as it’s mostly under sugar crop. However, they have hundreds of stunning beaches which are virtually undetected. If you like beach detecting, nice countryside and people, then this is the place for you. Thanks Hem! The Deus is never going to beat the multi-frequency machines on the beach for stability and depth but it will hold its own. Within twelve months it will be capable of underwater detecting when XP bring out the coil modification. Waterproof headphones can plug into the ipod bag so that you have a machine that can be used on land or underwater. That is unique in some ways as the underwater ones (like the Minelab Excalibur) are a bit heavy to use for too long on land. The 13” x 11” coil is due out late 2010: So with the coil modification there will be some more nice surprises to come. …”