by Andy Sabisch
After locating this 1915 Gold Indian Head coin while testing the new 11″ Deus Coil, Author Andy Sabisch said “My fingers were shaking as I saw a $2 1/2 Indian Head gold piece laying in my palm.”
The XP team under the direction of Alain Loubet has never been one to rest on their laurels once a first-rate product has been designed and released. They seem to thrive on challenges and finding new products or functionality that can be added to existing products. This has been the driving force for what keeps XP pushing the bounds of metal detection technology and raising the bar against which other detectors are gauged. The recent release of V3.X – which took more than a year to develop – added new features and performance to the Deus. During this period, XP was also working on developing a new search coil which would produce increased detection depth and ground coverage while minimizing any increase in weight. Being active hunters themselves, the XP team has always looked at the end-user’s experience as being an essential part of the design of any product and this approach was maintained during the development of the new 11-inch round search coil for the Deus with weight, balance and performance all being key factors in the project.
Author Andy Sabisch carefully retrieves a target while field testing the new XP DEUS 11″ round waterproof DD search coil.
Since 2009, the stock 9-inch search coil has proven to provide users with excellent target separation and detection depth on sites around the world. The optional 11″x13″ coil has also been well accepted by users looking for more ground coverage and in less-trashy or target-filled sites, has done a first-rate job in “bringing home the goodies” although some felt that the additional weight and the balance point were factors that deserved consideration when opting to add one to their collection of accessories. Based on requests from Deus owners as well as the desire to expand the versatility of their flagship detector, XP started to work on a new coil which would bridge the gap between the two that were already available. What might have seemed like a simple project that just involved fabricating a new shell became much more involved. Alain and his team wanted to boost performance and reduce weight in the new coil. After countless hours and field trials, the 11-inch round coil was unveiled and the initial reports from the field have indicated that it was well worth the wait.
So what is different about this new accessory for the Deus other than being a little larger and why should you give serious consideration to adding one to your metal detecting arsenal? Well let’s take a look at what XP has done and see what it does in the field which is all that really matters in the end isn’t it?
As I mentioned in the introduction section above, Alain and his team spent a great deal of time designing this accessory and it is not simply a different sized coil; a good deal of effort went into the design both internally as well as in the construction itself. The first thing that becomes evident when picking one up is the weight of the coil. Unlike the 11″x13″ coil which weighs just over half a pound more than the stock 9-inch coil, the new 11-inch coil weighs just a few ounces more thanks to some innovative design in the coil molding and changes in the “ingredients.” Now the concern of increased weight when opting for a larger coil has been virtually eliminated.
Located in a hole that was deeper than his ProPointer, Andy Sabisch located a boxing medal engraved with the date “9-9-30” and the words “2nd place” marked on it.
Another feature of the new coil is that there have been changes internally in terms of the design of the coil’s circuitry and windings which produce increased detection depth even on coin-sized targets and, as one knows, if you are in a site where depth is king, even an additional inch of detecting depth can often reopen sites others (including yourself) have written off as being worked out.
So enough of the technical details, I’m sure everyone is ready to ask the million-dollar question which is “So how does it perform in the field?” Well, after spending a good deal of time running it through its paces on a wide range of sites in the mid-West, Florida and Pennsylvania as well as lending the test coil to a fellow Deus user, I am hoping that the remainder of this report will answer that question.
As I have said countless times before, air tests are great to help learn what targets sound like and see what impact specific adjustments have on detection depth or response; however, the true measure of how a detector or new coil performs is to test it on actual in-ground targets. With that, my initial tests were conducted in my test garden. The fact that the 11-inch coil comes complete with a lower shaft made alternating between the stock coil and the new 11-inch a snap . . . one can’t beat true wireless technology! With settings unchanged between the two coils, the 11-inch was clearly hitting my test items harder than the stock coil. On the deepest targets, the TID values appeared with the 11-inch while the stock coil only produced a good audio and a sliver of black on the horseshoe icon.
The first site I opted to visit was a vacant lot just outside of town due to the lack of rain the area had been experiencing. Even with careful recovery techniques, I knew that parks and schools would have brown spots within a week if I tried to hunt them. The home had been demolished more than two decades ago and the site was littered with trash from the structure – nails, pieces of wire, bits of metal from the roof, etc. Despite the larger diameter, the 11-inch coil was able to easily separate signals and several keepers including 4 Wheat cents, a 1944 Mercury dime and a “Good for 10c” token from a long-closed local business were recovered. By increasing the REACTIVITY to “2” and slowing the sweep speed a little, I was able to pick out every target that the 9-inch coil had on the first pass through the trashiest sections of the property. I have always found that by marking targets and then comparing detectors or even different coils before disturbing the soil, one can get a much better picture of how the equipment is actually functioning and what the differences in performance actually are. A no-date Buffalo nickel and a 1901 Indian Head that was resting at a measured 9″+ at the edge of the remains of the path provided a great end to this hunt. The Indian Head had produced a solid signal with the 11-inch coil; however, the 9-inch at similar settings gave a marginal signal that might have been passed by had I not marked it with the larger coil which showed the increased performance offered by the new coil.
During a trip to Florida with my daughter, I tried the coil with a modified saltwater beach program that I’ve used with good results in areas where black sand and salt co-exist. The 11-inch coil performed flawlessly and several coins were recovered from depths that made me think I was running a multi-frequency or pulse-type detector. Unfortunately I only had a hand scoop along and near the water’s edge, the hole would fill in faster than I could remove the slurry which resulted in the deeper targets being left for the next beach hunter that was better equipped. The added coverage provided by the 11-inch coil along with the minimal weight difference as compared to the stock coil makes the new coil ideally suited for beach hunters where depth and coverage are key factors in determining one’s success.
My time to hunt with the Deus on a trip to Pennsylvania was limited but I opted to hit two sites that I have searched whenever I am in the area for close to 20 years. Signals were few and far between as expected but 6 coins dating back to the 1890’s and a few little trinkets that are always welcome additions to my collection were recovered. One of the sites was trashy and several other high-end detectors I had used here had been really challenged requiring a very slow sweep speed and a smaller coil to even hope to find targets. The Deus with a REACTIVITY setting of “3” and the 11-inch coil handled these conditions with ease.
Returning home, I was getting ready to put the equipment away when I glanced over at the side yard of my house which dates back to 1915 and wondered if there might be one last keeper yet to find . . . and maybe the 11-inch coil could find it. I have hunted every inch of the yard – or so I thought – so was not expecting much – but as they say “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
This boxing medal was located in a well hunted area that had been picked clean. Before retrieval the signal was tested with two other top detectors with 11″ coils and neither could locate this item.
Less than 5 feet into the yard I got an “82” that sounded surface yet showed a quarter black . . . and pulled a 1905 Indian Head penny from the ground. Stunned I continued and got a “90” with the same black showing and a 1906 Barber dime appeared . . . now I was scratching my head . . . this coil was clearly doing something different based on what was turning up!
But the last signal was the winner . . . 2 feet from a tree I know I have gone past 100 times, I received a clear, repeatable signal that was reading in the low to mid 90’s. Only a sliver of black was showing on the horseshoe. I checked the area with a pair of other detectors – both with 11″ coils – and nothing. The yard has iron throughout it – both small and large – and that may be the factor; however, the Deus hit the target cleanly.
Going into the garage I came out with a spade and pulled out a deep plug – and checking the hole saw that the target was still in the hole. Still sounding good, I began to wonder if it was a large piece of iron that was reading in the upper region in terms of TID values. After all, I had hunted this area countless times and the signal was simply too clear to have been missed before, right? I pulled some more dirt out and checked it with the pinpointer. It was still in the bottom of the hole and as you can see [pictured above], it was down 3 inches past the depth of the ProPointer . . . a good 12″+!
The engraving on the reverse of this boxing medal during this field test shows that this target was a special memento. It will be an interesting item to research and is really what makes this hobby so enjoyable. What a superb find to show off the capabilities of the Deus equipped with the new 11″ coil!
I pulled out a medal and, after cleaning it up, saw that it was a boxing medal with the date 9-9-30 engraved on the back and 2nd place stamped into it. Those are the priceless finds I love to find . . . coins are great but this is truly a one of a kind find . . . a 2nd place medal from September 9, 1930! Now the research begins to see what I can find out about the medal and possibly even the person that received it.
Before wrapping up this report, I loaned the test coil to a fellow Deus user, Terry Stinebeck from southern Michigan. Without stealing any of his thunder and describing in detail what he found in over 50 hours of focused use with the 11-inch coil, I will close with what he had to say about the coil which was ” Bottom line on the 11″ coil is this is a deeper coil on coin-sized targets, approx. 3/4″ deeper in my bone dry soil (others may find more gains depending on ground conditions). It is very light for its size, and I was able to swing this coil for 8+ hrs on two separate occasions which is not something I can accomplish with other brands. It is very durable, and will easily run with the big dogs (or out-gun them). Once I get my hands on my own 11″, it will be my personal go-to coil and the 9″ will be reserved for the heavy iron! This coil is the real deal and I believe folks are going to love it.” Be sure to check out some of the coins and other items that Terry recovered while testing the new coil in his local area on the Real Finds section of the XP Metal Detectors Americas website.
So as additional reports come in on the new coil, I think the consensus will be that XP has “hit another one out of the park” with the 11″ coil design both in terms of weight and performance.
Editor’s note: Andy Sabisch also found a US gold coin while field testing the DEUS 11″ search coil. While the coin is not mentioned in this field test, you can see the gold coin and read the story behind it’s discovery here.