In the old days, metal detectors died a natural death: if a model stopped being sold, it was honorably (or without fanfare) discontinued. Today, if a model stops being sold, its demise is commonly associated with an unpleasant story. And it’s all right if it is simply a disappointing machine. Much worse is if it’s the Chinese who will finish it off – shame, lot of fuss about fakes, loss of reputation… As you all already know, at the end of 2018 there appeared a perfect counterfeit of the most mass-produced machine from Minelab’s model range, the Minelab X-Terra 705. The quality and realization is astonishing – the copy is as like as two peas. Even the coils for the fake and original units are interchangeable. So, what will become of Minelab in 2019? Here’s the prediction from Lopata.
Whether you want it or not, there will be the end of the Minelab X-Terra devices. It’s about time though. The X-Terra detector’s age could be comparable to that of a dog or a horse. The first X-Terra units appeared in 2004 and haven’t changed that much since then. There is an opinion, however, that these machines have been sold for such a long time not because they have been so good, but because there weren’t any other (better) options. Actually, the X-Terra is a usual slowpoke, like Minelab’s most hobby machines, VLF metal detector. Do you know any advantages it has versus the modern units?
The Minelab X-Terra will die and no one will cry. Or probably folks will pull wry faces even. And it’s the Chinese, the best brand killers, who have put their shoulders to the ‘funeral tradition’ wheel. You may consider it to be a coincidence (I personally don’t think so) but in every case where masters counterfeiters get down to business, the original product’s sales fall down with a great loss of reputation. The Teknetics T2, one of the best machines designed for coin and relic hunting, is the synonym for made-in-China today. The same goes for the Garrett ACE – the sales of the renowned series devices have fallen down drastically. Even adding new models to its range didn’t work. The Garrett PRO-Pointer, the once-gold standard of all pinpointers, has become a synonym for made-in-China, too. The new models added to the line also didn’t help – the sales fell sharply as well.
Most probably, md manufacturers don’t really understand what’s going on and how to deal with it. None of them has experience of how to cope with such situation, and they are lacking in courage to accept reality. By the example of the Garrett ACE, the attempts to continue the product with a tattered reputation won’t revive sales. And, truly speaking, it’s actually nothing of the kind ‘to be continued’. It’s an open secret that there is nothing new in the new Garrett ACE. They simply gave new fuel to Chinese production, and that’s all of it.
Minelab is not Garrett. At least, the decisions are made by shareholders of the Codan corporation (whereas Garrett is a family-owned company). As yet Minelab is able to admit failures, discontinue the products, release the novelties and stand to the end. What will become of Minelab in 2019? Lopata has given their prediction:
- The Minelab X-Terra 705 will be discontinued and replaced by the Minelab Equinox 600
- The Minelab Safari will be discontinued and replaced by the Minelab Equinox 800
- The Minelab E-Trac will be discontinued and replaced by Minelab Equinox 1000 (or alternatively, the Minelab CTX 2020 / 1010)
The manufacturer also has two main issues still open – the wireless Minelab PRO-Find 45 probe and the new (updated) underwater metal detector – although hasn’t allocated money for their solutions yet. In addition, Minelab is currently taking efforts to launch its own underwater mini machine with the discrimination feature, as well as the 2nd generation wireless module.
So, it’s your choice whether you wish Minelab good luck in 2019 or not. And you will vote with your wallet. Anyway, whatever happens to Minelab, those who read the MD-Hunter blog will be the first to know about it.