Everything the manufacturers tell about their devices doesn’t matter to me at all. I look at the result only. Do you want to know the real difference between the Minelab X-Terra 305 and X-Terra 705?
All metal detectors bring finds. The only question is how many holes with trash you will dig. And while you are digging a beer bottle cap, someone nearby is picking up a coin. The fewer holes with unwanted finds you have, the better your detector is.
Minelab declares the X-Terra 305 is a mid-level detector. In terms of its features, that may be true. But in practice, the X-Terra 305 falls short of true middle level. And settings aren’t the point… Weak discrimination accuracy, slow recovery speed, the search coil is too simple.
By the way, the Minelab X-Terra 705 also refers to the same middle level. But the device, however, is equipped with a large DD coil and its discrimination accuracy is noticeably better than one of the X-Terra 305 (although it has the same unsatisfactory recovery speed).
Externally the detectors are very similar to each other. Any part of the construction is interchangeable. The armrests are average in terms of convenience (break down just like any other armrests). The shafts have twist locks excluding a play.
The Minelab X-Terra 705 control panel has a little more buttons (sure thing, there must be more of them! the machines have a twofold price difference). In addition, the X-Terra 705 includes screen backlight, Tracking and Prospecting mode.
Regarding screen backlight, everything is clear – for hunting at twilight. Have you ever tried searching in the dark? Take my word for it: this activity requires strong nerves. There will be a sudden rustle behind you and… Maybe it’s better to put on headphones? Not to hear these night rustles ))
If you are hunting for coins in a usual field, chances are you won’t be faced with the problem of soils. Adjust a simple setting (both the X-Terra 305 and X-Terra 705 have it) – and you are searching already. But if you’re going to hunt on the seashore, the X-Terra 705 gains an advantage. With the X-Terra 305 on the sea sand, you will have to reduce sensitivity (thereby decreasing detection depth). With the X-Terra 705, you may try to compensate for the effects of the sea sand (and not to lose depth).
Important note. Enhanced ground balance requires an understanding of how it works. When it comes to the detector, everything is interconnected… If you increase sensitivity, this leads to decrease in discrimination accuracy and vice versa. If you have no experience, all these ground-compensating capabilities won’t help you.
Prospecting mode… If you aren’t hunting for gold nuggets, you won’t need it. It’s a specific mode in which a target can be identified due to variations in audio response.
There is a marked difference in the X-Terra 305 and X-Terra 705 settings. Not in the settings themselves, but in their adjustment range. The X-Terra 705 certainly gives a little more. For example, (X-Terra 305 /X-Terra 705):
- Sensitivity adjustment in steps: 10/30;
- Ground balance: 0-20/0-90;
- Discrimination scale in segments: 12/28;
- VDI numbers: -4+44/-8+48.
In practice, only those related to discrimination (displaying the type of the object found) are important. But there are some nuances here, too. If you reject iron while hunting, does it matter how many segments you have on iron discrimination scale? If you dig all responses that appear on the right hand side of discrimination scale, does it matter how many segments it consists of? 22 or 24 – you still need to dig.
There are two points which, in my opinion, make a real difference between the X-Terra 305 and X-Terra 705: low frequency and a coil.
The Minelab X-Terra 705 gives you an opportunity to hunt with low frequency of 3 kHz. For most treasure hunters, this advantage is not obvious. Low frequency seriously enhances capabilities of the detector. I’ll provide two examples. A large metal object can be identified due to low frequency at depth inaccessible to high frequency. Or, if a target consists of several items (for instance, stacked coins), there is a great chance you will miss this one in the soil when searching with high frequency – it’ll sound like iron. With low frequency, such target will be easily seen, so you won’t miss your hoard.
The Minelab X-Terra 305 is initially equipped with a 9-inch round Mono coil. The Minelab X-Terra 705 comes standard with a 10.5-inch round DD coil.
The difference in coil types (Mono vs DD) will be noticeable if you are searching for small targets. Coins, jewelry, historical artifacts – it’s better to search for all of this with DD coils. But Mono coils also have their own advantages. They are less susceptible to interference and have a more accurate pinpointing. For example, with the DD coil, it very often happens that your coin is found not in the centre of the hole (as expected), but in its side wall. With the Mono coil, a coin location mostly coincides with pinpointing direction of where the target is.
The difference in size provides an increase in detection depth for the X-Terra 705. And in practice, I find that the X-Terra 705 with this coil is not inferior to the Minelab Explorer SE PRO (with an 11-inch coil).
The X-Terra 305 coil doesn’t reveal all capabilities of the detector especially with regard to target detection depth. Hope before buying the device, you will know that the X-Terra 305 with a 9-inch coil has the same detection depth as the Garrett ACE 250 does. By the way, the ground is a great leveler… Having the X-Terra 305 you may try to catch up to the ACE 250 with its objects found. Happy hunting to all!
Minelab X Terra 705: Recovery speed test.