Honest review about Minelab Equinox 800 (+ warning)

Here’s a warning to all Minelab Equinox 600 / 800 owners: do not try to open the detector control box. Having spent 15 minutes attempting to uncover my machine, I completely destroyed the housing. It’s a good thing that I bought 2 units at once, otherwise it would be rather ridiculous: sort of you paid your money but never went out detecting with that device.

Honest review about Minelab Equinox 800 (+ warning)

The Minelab Equinox 800 is surely mostly similar to the XP Deus. But what makes these two machines completely related is absence of aftermarket coils for them. In my personal opinion, one of these detectors which will have alternative coils available for sale first (at a considerably less price than the original) shall certainly carry all before one. Until then, we are where we are.

The Minelab Equinox has the best quality assembly among modern brand name detectors in the market. By the way, which is the most awesome machine with supercool plastic and assembly you know? No, it’s not an XP Deus. That is especially evident now when its quality has fallen to true customer returns. So, not many folks know that before the Minelab Equinox’s time the most awesome units in terms of their external appearance were the Quest ones. Well, the Minelab Equinox is more awesome.

There have been nearly 30 pieces of screen protectors piled up in my Minelab Equinox 800 packages (in each box). These ones serve as different language labels for the settings. But first and foremost it’s a protective film for your detector screen. That amount will be enough and to spare, you surely won’t need a rain cover at all.

The Minelab Equinox 800 comes supplied with two USB charging cables with magnetic connectors whereas the Minelab Equinox 600 has one. This information is not accurate – it’s just as resellers said. The magnetic connector is a nice item indeed. Of course, I understand that its value lies exclusively in the convenience and unusualness. But still, I’ve liked it.

The machine is of convenient hand holding and at first I didn’t feel anything uncomfortable. After spending an hour hunting with it, however, my arm got tired. I felt a strong desire to put the detector into another hand. And it’s not because of the armrest. It’s all okay with the latter actually, I could not even ask for better. The issue is about the balance in the detector’s build.

It seems like Minelab have changed their technology. At least the EQX coils have become a bit more lightweight – sealed in a different way + lighter coil cover. Not a great weight loss, of course, but at any rate they started the ball rolling. Seemingly it’s the coil on a straight-as-a-rod shaft (and it’s neither more nor less than a rod) that gives an imbalance. Plus, the grip tilt angle can’t be adjusted at all.

Let’s move on to how the machine works. The first thing that comes to mind when you start trying the detector – it’s the Minelab X-Terra interbred with the Minelab E-Trac. The second, after two days of going out detecting – there is nothing outstanding about this device. There isn’t any feature in terms of which I could say that Minelab performed a miracle. Depth, discrimination, accuracy, speed, comfort. It’s just an ordinary metal detector. Moreover, I can say with confidence that if I have an X-Terra 705 with a proper coil at my disposal, I will certainly be on a level in regards to finds. The Minelab Equinox in its turn is the unit for those who have a desire to spend more than the average budget. And it will work that way as the machine is operational after all and can see finds.

Regarding the teardown. If you try to disassemble the control box, you won’t be able to assemble it back. The detector housing is 100% non-demountable. Maybe I should try to saw it? Besides, while opening the housing I heard a hiss of air – apparently it was pumped out before sealing the control box. I mean have you ever seen any other detector out of which the air was pumped before assembly? I definitely haven’t.

All about the Minelab Equinox is collected here (news, tests, comparisons with other devices, different reviews and opinions). Plus, on Knowledgebase pages there is additional information you should know before buying the Minelab Equinox. The experience of others will help you save your time and money. Happy hunting to everyone!

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36 Responses to Honest review about Minelab Equinox 800 (+ warning)

  • Thanks for the report. This is exactly why I am holding on to my Sovereign GT.
    It will be, and has always been, my go-to beach and pasture machine. I understand what my GT is saying so well, that I can differentiate between a zinc and a copper just by the sound alone. I can not replace the understanding I have developed with my GT. I will hold off on the Equinox 800, as I am learning by the videos and audio tests of the Equinox, that my GT is still a very capable machine that can hold it’s own against whatever other machine it is sharing a site with.
    Yes, the Equinox is great, but not great enough to convince me that I need to drop my current go-to machine. However, it is good to know that the Equinox has a great build quality.

    • I have a GT and an equinox, I love my GT but havent used it once since I got the nox. The GT just doesnt have the recovery speed that the nox does and the GT cannot handle the mineralised sand as well (the black iron sand). What happens with the GT is it nulls out on the iron sand whereby the equinox you can easily just turn off all metal mode and no nulling at all, it detects perfectly in areas I couldnt ever detect with my GT or excal.

      • Thank You.
        I appreciate the feedback, especially being a GT owner yourself. I’ll be honest, the NOX speed and iron performance reports are growing on me. I may indeed may need to rethink my position.
        Thanks James.

  • you are right jason , maybe it get improved when the equinox 1000 will come out =)

  • yo soy propietario de un equinox 800 un gt y deus
    mi experiencia con el equinox son ,
    es una maquina liviana no pesa nada al igual que el deus, el equinox es alfo mas profundo que el deus con platos similares
    la diferencia que el equinox identifica mejor que el deus a alta profundidad y mejor,al equinox una pieza a 40cm la pilla a la primera a el deus hay que ayudar a decirle donde esta exactamente la pieza para que empiece a cojerla y aun así la identifica peor hay que quitarle tierra para corroborar lo que es (cuando hablo del deus es a lo maximo que puede dar )
    respecto al cable magnético que dice el compañero el 800 trae dos cables por que uno es para el detector y otro para el modulo

    esto es mi umilde opinion

    • Yo tengo el Equinox 600 y me parece mejor que mi Teknetics Patriot. Pero me fijo que el Equinox no encuentra monedas de 10centavos (USD) a mas de 5 pulgadas de profundidad mientras que el Patriot las identifica a mas de 9 pulgadas.

  • I own an equinox 800 gt and deus my experience with the equinox are, it is a light machine weighs nothing like the deus, the equinox is alfo deeper than the deus with similar dishes the difference that the equinox identifies best that the deus at high depth and better, to the equinox a piece to 40cm the pilla at the first to the deus must help tell you where exactly the piece is so that it begins to take it and even then identifies it worse you have to remove land to corroborate what it is (when I speak of the deus is to the maximum that it can give) regarding the magnetic cable that says the companion the 800 brings two cables because one is for the detector and another for the module this is my umilde opinion

  • The machine is not balanced for swinging. There is a problem with the mount and rod. Must have been designed by a youngster. I can’t swing it.

    • Yes, that’s true! The youngster name is Philip Shane Wahrlich
      and his speciality is astrophysics. This is the first metal detector
      in his life that he made. This first try is not very successful,
      may be the second try will be better? (May be not?)

  • I HAVE A NOX 800 FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS IT WAS WORKING FINE UNTIL LATELY WHEN I AM ON BEACH I GET A TARGET AND WHEN I START DIGGING IT LOOSES THE TARGET NO MORE TARGET TONE OR VDI, LIKE NOTHING IS THERE. ONLY THE PIN POINTER KEEPS WORKING.

    I KEEP DIGGING AND AFTER A GET THE TARGET OUT NOW START WORKING AGAIN.

    DOES ANY BODY HAS THIS ISSUE?

    THANKS

  • You said, “there is nothing outstanding about this device…It’s just an ordinary metal detector.”

    Are you kidding? Just an ordinary detector? I beg to differ. Here are some of its unique features:

    • Multi-frequency simultaneously. No other detector has that yet except for this one. This gives it the ability to read deep silver or small gold all at the same time.
    • It can detect in salt water. Few VLF metal detectors are stable enough to use in that environment.
    • The entire machine is water proof. Although many other brands are as well, this feature is a big plus for beach detectorists.
    • It has a prospecting mode that works quite well. I don’t know of any other machine that does both coin-shooting, salt-water hunting, and also able to detect very tiny gold nuggets.
    • It has several options for wireless connection to headphones.
    It is reasonably priced. Reports show people are pulling in great finds from hunted out areas. For me it’s the perfect machine. I hunt in the salt-water surf and I prospect in the desert for gold. This machine can do both, so I don’t have to buy two different detectors. I think the Minelab Equinox is far more than just an ordinary detector.

    • Now let us look closer at these “unique features”.
      1) Multy-frequency simultaneously. Fisher CZ series, White’s DFX, Sovereign, Excalibur.
      2) Water proof. Fisher CZ series, Excalibur.
      3) Prospecting mode. Not sure if any multi-frequency devices had it.
      4) Wireless connection. Very useful option when you work in salt water.
      5) Reasonably priced. I paid aroud $1000 for my Equinox 800.
      6) Testing my Equinox 800 in “hunted out areas” I was not able to find any “finds”.
      Our “hunted out areas” are really hunted out!
      Minelab Equinox is much less than just an ordinary detector. It brings you no finds
      no pleasure.

  • Hi guys,
    I hope it’s ok to post here. I am going for my first detector, and been put off the minelabs 3030 because it needs a ‘users’ brain to start with !
    I was then thinking of the Nox 800,,,, but again, as a complete beginner, and after reading some of these posts, I’m wondering if that too, will be too much for me to start with.
    Right, I don’t think I’ll be able to upgrade later, so I’d like to get the best thing I can at the moment.
    I have a mate who likewise is considering beginning this hobby.
    What would you experienced users recommend please ?
    cheers all

    • Buy the nox..if u don’t. u will end up buying it latter on.good all rounder.. got some faults. Unbalanced.. makes it seem heavy.wobbly stem.. but I can live with it.

      • Buy Eunuch 800 and you will find out with surprise that Eunuch is really Eunuch!
        This device is deprived of normal target indication! Castratus complitus (Lat.)

  • Reading all the above comments I think people should judge for themselves not everyone agrees we all use different machines and have different views why try to compare one machine to another as different detector’s have different functions if your happy with your detector that’s proof in the pudding happy hunting 😁

  • I for one am also in the market for a new detector. Been running the Garrett series for 5 yrs and want something faster, deeper, and more versatile. I am undecided on 800 or anfibio. Anyone use anfibio in water?

  • Would you buy the 800 for $400 if you were new to the hobby?

    • If you are “new to the hobby” buy as your first detector Minelab X-Terra 705 with
      7.5kHz 10″ DD coil and 18.75kHz 10″ DD coil. At least you will understand what
      is VDI and how it works. On Eunuch 800 VDI is “very strange” and it don’t work
      properly so you will have problems with target identification.

  • Screen fades out after five minutes of use even on bright setting used it less than 5hours.

    • Yer I had mine for 3 weeks and it completely went ,,sent it to mind lab and they replaced it ,no problem
      Unfortunately there have been problems with some of the Asian pacific screens and roughly a couple of hundred cases so far world wide ,but besides that happening ,I think she is great ,spend the time with her and roughly a few months you’ll understand that is capable finding some great things

  • I bought the Minelab Equinox 800. I have had it for three days,have not taken it outside. Charged it,read what information came with it. I own two other Metal detectors. What is giving me a problem is the negative reviews from real everyday people. What I don’t like about the Equinox 800 is there is no way to ever replace the Battery. Should the battery go bad in two to five years what is the replacement plan. Why to I have to download the operators instructions. Is the company that cheap,that they do not give a instruction book and a DVD on someone demonstrating how to use it. To me this implies this is a very cheap product and making a nice profit from the buyers.I will probably sent it back for a refund. I want a Metal Detector that is good on the Beach, Farm,old houses and Rivers. Price range 1500.00 dollars. ANY SUGGESTIONS.

    • T2SE. It is still the dominant machine but very few want to admit it. Not waterproof so I confess it’s not perfect.

      • John Smith, there is one “small” problem with T2SE – its price.
        T2SE Black with DST costs around $1000 and Eunuch 800
        costs the same $1000. But T2SE Black is single-frequency and
        outdated on the contrary – Eunuch 800 is multi-frequency and
        new. If I need T2SE I will take chinese Gold Finder 2 for $250
        and try it. If anything will go wrong I will just throw it away –
        $250 is not big money.

  • I own the equinox 800 all I can say is good things about it it’s deep accurate and above all an amazing bit of kit I’ve been to fields I’ve detected for years using minelab safari/minelab xterra/Fisher f75 Ltd edition /nokta impact but the 800 is pulling stuff out the ground which the other machines missed so to say its not a great machine maybe it’s the user.
    Also I dont understand why people buy a machine and then give negative feedback do your research maybe before purchasing also why would you want to take the detector to bits mmm I find that a bit strange all I can say is ditch the antique machines it’s an awesome bit of kit

    • Dave, you have used very strange word – “stuff” this is euphemizm or
      “replacement” for – rusty iron, beer caps, aluminum wire etc. My
      Eunuch 800 finds a lot of such “stuff”, but I personaly prefer coins,
      jewelry and other “good finds”.

  • Let’s remember that the equinox 800 if full submergible up to 10 feet (so no need for rain cover mr MD) and also it finds a grain of gold. A GRAIN Of GOLD
    I get into some spots in trinity county and it takes me forever to clear a 5ft by 5ft area because there is so many pickers and it just screams on the smallest pieces. Best detector iv had

  • I guess I am a little confused about this being a water detector but they stress about rain cover the protective screen cover I get to avoid scratches would be my guess but why would you have to worry about hunting if its raining or get caught out in it???? But yet you can fully submerge the detector in river, etc???

    Am I missing something here did I misunderstand?????

  • After reading all of the above, I can only say that, ANY metal detector is only as good as the operator.
    One can read reviews at nauseam and still no be the wiser.
    I have detected since 1965 and started with an SCR625, a BFO machine using mini valves and 100volts battery, so I have tried and played with a lot of weird and marvellous machine.
    I now have an Equinox, before that, here in Australia I had an Explorer 2 and an e-trac, loved both of them.
    The equinox was a bit unusual for me at the beginning, but after playing a bit with it and getting use to it, I think it is the best most versatile detector I ever had.
    There is no “Magical” detector out of the box.All require time and patience, experiment with them, try different things and they will reward you.
    Your detector is only as good as you will love it.

  • There is a split between land lovers and sea surfers; the Nox 800 is really designed as a salt water machine, thus the multi-frequency feature. It will detect very small gold, like chains and bracelets, because of the higher frequencies and, again, loved by sea dwellers as well as prospectors. However, it is versatile and is also a good land machine, but here is where it is prob no better than the comparison machines mentioned like the 705, particularly if you’re primarily a coin shooter.

    Issues with the Nox 800 are indeed numerous (e.g., battery) but Minelab is excellent at addressing concerns and offering replacements. BTW, the Nox 800 is designed for a limited lifetime of about 5-7 yrs based on battery life expectancy. Be aware that the Nox battery is good for about 500-1000 cycles or about 5-7 yrs for the average user. If you don’t hunt for long periods, the battery may die prematurely.

    So if you plan to hunt saltwater beaches, the NOX 800 is your cheapest choice and a good one at that. However, if you’re hunting land, fresh water beaches or the interior, stick with a cheaper and just as good alternative with less cost and prob longer life expectancy. My middle sister just had such a choice and, being a mostly land lover, chose the AT Pro.

    2019
    Gold – 8
    Silver – 33
    Coins – 1,670

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