Metal Detectors I Have Used, page 3
WHITE'S XLT e-Series Metal Detector: Excellent Performance - My Review & Tips
In 1994, I upgraded to the next level of technology - bought the White's Spectrum XLT metal detector (detector de metal) and used it with a great success for seven years.
Sometimes I feel nostalgic for the XLT's durability, versatility, light weight, awesome pin-pointing ability, excellent Tone ID and superb performance.
While operating in Tone-ID, I did not have to look at the screen to check target VDI (Visual Display Indication) numbers because I could determine the target's metal content and target's shape by the signal's tone pitch and sound characteristic respectfully. I only looked at the display screen when I needed to see the depth reading.
If I used the Modulation mode, I would not have to check the visual depth read-out either because I could determine the target's depth by the signal's amplitude. So the XLT's excellent audio was giving me enough target ID information for making my decision - whether or not to dig up the target. But usually I was metal detecting at the sites that did not contain any modern junk, so I dug up every target with a signal sounding "above the iron nail."
Spectrum XLT was a suitable machine for those who liked experimenting with different combinations of settings - a wide range of them! The XLT's flexibility in adjusting to any soil conditions definitely made this detector a multi-purpose land machine!
When I got this machine, I had already had my own Test Garden "growing" - all targets that I "seeded" some time earlier had developed Halo Effects around them. I used my test garden for experimenting with different program settings and finally developed optimal programs for various search conditions. For metal detecting Coin and Jewelry with White's XLT, see My Search Program Settings for White's XLT E-Series.
I had a chance to test my White's detector on the toughest red soils - soils saturated with iron oxides, in South America, and XLT successfully passed the test. XLT produced a variety of remarkable finds during Coin Shooting and Relic Hunting outings in the Andes mountains in Chile, and Beach Combing for jewelry at the Pacific Ocean wet salt beaches.
Gold Religious Medallion Found with White's XLT on Pacific Ocean Beach in Chile
One of XLT's wonderful advantages was the increase of detection range - detector's sensitivity to deep targets, when the sweep speed (speed of a search coil's motion) was also increased. With fast coil swinging, not only I could recover the deepest coins, but also cover a vast area in one detecting session. While cache hunting in Upstate New York, I could easily explore one colonial homestead site in one day.
Spectrum XLT and XLT E-Series detectors has been the most suitable for Meteorite Hunting because of their features such as S.A.T. (Self-Adjusted Threshold) control and V.D.I. with Conductivity values displayed. And the XLT was also great for competition hunts because of its light weight and excellent pinpointing.
Of course, like any metal detector, the White's XLT had some drawbacks. The most inconvenient of them was the XLT's weakness against moisture. Every time it was raining, I had to cover both the control box and display with zip-lock plastic bags, otherwise the detector would malfunction or stop working completely.
Another drawback was that the XLT would produce a cacophony of false signals while moving the search coil through the tall wet grass. Even taking the battery out without turning the machine off did not help. The only solution was to stop detecting, place the search coil on a "clean" spot, and wait a few minutes while keeping the machine turned on. After the microprocessor "rested" a little and did not accumulate any additional data, it reset itself and came back to normal. This situation did not occurred often and was probably caused by improper setting of Sensitivity and Gain.
Also the open-center stock search coil would not detect the coins positioned in the hole's sidewall or lying close to the edge of the hole. If I had a good solid signal and, after digging the hole, I lost it, I had to take more dirt out of the hole and around it, spread the dirt evenly on the flat surface or a piece of ground cloth (bandana), and scan it again. Most of the time, I used an 8-inch search coil or a "sniper" 5-inch coil while coin shooting around cellar holes.
My White's XLT with a "Sniper" Coil in 1997
Not to end this article on a negative note, I would like to add that the White's XLT still can be a strong rival to the new White's Spectra Vision V³. Last December, I had a chance to use the White's XLT again while metal detecting next to my old friend who used White's Spectra Vision V3. We were searching a small spot in the field where the 16th century dwelling used to be. I "armed" the XLT I was using with my old search program mentioned above.
To my surprise, at the end of our hunt, my friend and I scored even in a number of finds! Not only the numbers of our finds were equal, each of us had identical finds: five copper coins, one silver hammered coin, one pectoral crucifix and a bronze signet ring! I truly expected to see more finds made with White's Spectra V³, but it did not perform any better than the old good Spectrum XLT. So if you have been successfully using the White's XLT, KEEP IT! One friend of mine, a real die-hard fan of the White's Spectrum XLT, still uses it with great success and would not exchange it for anything!
My Friend with His White's XLT in November 2012
You can find the White's Spectrum XLT's Features and Specifications and read other users' reviews here.