Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship

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10-25-2016, 06:33 PM
Post: #1
Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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I don't put much credence into coincidences or luck. Rather, I mainly give weight to repeated, demonstrable feats that can be examined fully, if one so desires.

As many of you know, I have been using my Minelab Safari for a few years now, and, for coin hunting purposes in my moderately mineralized soil, which is my primary type of hunting, it is hands down one of the most production units I've ever used. But...

We cannot truly know how good something is, or how good it is not, unless it is compared with something else.

After hunting with several different people the past 2 years, who were all using Etracs or CTX's, I can definitively say that there are many shortfalls the Safari suffers from. The main deficiency though, is it's ability in trashy/iron heavy sites. Compared to the Etrac & the CTX, the Safari just cannot handle the task of separating coins from the trash, with the ease and dependability that the other machines can.

I've seen it with my own eyes. Not once or twice, but time and time again. Both the Etrac & CTX have an uncanny ability to not only HEAR the coins better when co-located within trash, but are equally adept at reliably displaying accurate VDI information. This is truly where the higher end models shine, IMO, and are worth the extra $$$.

In clean or fairly clean ground, I can discern no vast difference between all 3 units. They all offer essentially the same performance, depth and otherwise. However, again, when moderate to heavy trash/iron is brought into the mix, that is when things get tricky for the Safari.

As we know, most spots are trashy due to mankind's littered garbage, deep iron from many years ago, etc. So, that means the Safari only has a limited niche into which it can excel.

For this reason, I will be purchasing an Etrac over the Winter. If anyone is reading this, and has a Safari, or is considering purchasing one, I hope these words help you.

To be sure, the Safari IS a truly outstanding machine, if used for the right purposes, by the right operator. I've found hundreds of silvers with it, countless relic pieces, and even a few bits of gold. And if one is using it with the aim of coin hunting, especially in fairly clean ground, I don't think you can ask for a better suited machine. But if an abundance of trash is present in the ground, one has to accept that they will not get 100% out of the unit, and must adjust their hunting routines accordingly; slowing down to a crawl when swinging, listening more intently, watching the VDI screen more, etc. Which may or may not suit your taste.

I don't know if it's the processors in the Etracs & CTX's, the filters, or what, but the way they can handle bad ground, while still plucking out keepers is very impressive, and I'm finally going to bite and try one Happy

Joe

NjNyDigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since 2013.

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10-25-2016, 06:58 PM
Post: #2
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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I know a fella here with an Etrac and he kills it! Especially in mineralized ground like we have here. (2 Tone Ferrous) I was at a spot today where even with the Iron setting at 40 on the Garrett, it was like I was charging a machine gun nest. Jim, though, has been using an Etrac since I first met him 6 years ago, when I was just swinging my Delta 4000. He's just one of the guys that persuaded me to go Minelab and, only because of budget constraints, I went with the SE Pro, which I have never regretted. I think you're entering into a realm, Joe, of a completely different machine than the Safari. And with your current understanding of how the Etrac works you'll be back kicking some ass as well. Best of luck to you on your choice and get out there and do some hunting!

Ed

MineLab SE Pro w/11" Pro, 12x10 SEF, 8x6 SEF, Explorer 1000
Garrett AT PRO, w/8.5x11, 5x8, Deteknix Wireless, RnB Recharge (2).
Delta 4000, w/8" concentric, 13" Ultimate, 5x10 DD.
Garrett PP, & Pro Pointer AT.
Leusch, Hori Digger (2), Sampson Ball Handle Shovel.
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10-25-2016, 07:52 PM
Post: #3
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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(10-25-2016 06:58 PM)Ohio Dirt Fisher Wrote:  I know a fella here with an Etrac and he kills it! Especially in mineralized ground like we have here. (2 Tone Ferrous) I was at a spot today where even with the Iron setting at 40 on the Garrett, it was like I was charging a machine gun nest. Jim, though, has been using an Etrac since I first met him 6 years ago, when I was just swinging my Delta 4000. He's just one of the guys that persuaded me to go Minelab and, only because of budget constraints, I went with the SE Pro, which I have never regretted. I think you're entering into a realm, Joe, of a completely different machine than the Safari. And with your current understanding of how the Etrac works you'll be back kicking some ass as well. Best of luck to you on your choice and get out there and do some hunting!

Ed

Well, I appreciate your vote of confidence Ed, but I think it's going to take me a bit to adjust. For starters, I tend to be a creature of comfort, if something ain't broke...

Most trying part will be the learning curve. Yes, I like to fiddle with things and experiment, but not WHILE I'm detecting. Also, the Etrac offers an extreme amount of options, which I'm afraid might bog me down. However...

Due to budgetary constraints, it's going to have to be the Etrac over the CTX. Also, from everything I've seen and heard, the tones on the Etrac are essentially the same as the Explorers...and Safari, which is of great importance to me. And most of the learning curve with the Minelabs are via the tones anyway, so at least I won't have to worry about that.

If I had to do it all over again, I would've started with the Etrac, but I was very skeptical of their ability at that time, so no go.

To be clear, I'd rather NOT change, but if one looks at things from the proper perspective, sometimes it needs to be done. And after seeing the ability of the machine in difficult ground, I believe the time is now, for me.

I know I'm behind on the times, and it feels like I'm ready to move from an Edsel into a Ferrari, so it should be exciting.

Joe

NjNyDigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since 2013.

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10-25-2016, 08:07 PM
Post: #4
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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Sounds like good times ahead. My friend has a etrac and does well. Like you stated above, in certain environments it doesn't matter. Sometimes it being in the right place coming in at the right angle.

But I have seen his machine work well picking up some sweeties in the trashy conditions.

Anyway, wish you happiness with your new purchase!

updownup, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Oct 2015.
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10-25-2016, 08:31 PM
Post: #5
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2016 08:49 PM by Ohio Dirt Fisher.)
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(10-25-2016 07:52 PM)NjNyDigger Wrote:  
(10-25-2016 06:58 PM)Ohio Dirt Fisher Wrote:  I know a fella here with an Etrac and he kills it! Especially in mineralized ground like we have here. (2 Tone Ferrous) I was at a spot today where even with the Iron setting at 40 on the Garrett, it was like I was charging a machine gun nest. Jim, though, has been using an Etrac since I first met him 6 years ago, when I was just swinging my Delta 4000. He's just one of the guys that persuaded me to go Minelab and, only because of budget constraints, I went with the SE Pro, which I have never regretted. I think you're entering into a realm, Joe, of a completely different machine than the Safari. And with your current understanding of how the Etrac works you'll be back kicking some ass as well. Best of luck to you on your choice and get out there and do some hunting!

Ed

Well, I appreciate your vote of confidence Ed, but I think it's going to take me a bit to adjust. For starters, I tend to be a creature of comfort, if something ain't broke...

Most trying part will be the learning curve. Yes, I like to fiddle with things and experiment, but not WHILE I'm detecting. Also, the Etrac offers an extreme amount of options, which I'm afraid might bog me down. However...

Due to budgetary constraints, it's going to have to be the Etrac over the CTX. Also, from everything I've seen and heard, the tones on the Etrac are essentially the same as the Explorers...and Safari, which is of great importance to me. And most of the learning curve with the Minelabs are via the tones anyway, so at least I won't have to worry about that.

If I had to do it all over again, I would've started with the Etrac, but I was very skeptical of their ability at that time, so no go.

To be clear, I'd rather NOT change, but if one looks at things from the proper perspective, sometimes it needs to be done. And after seeing the ability of the machine in difficult ground, I believe the time is now, for me.

I know I'm behind on the times, and it feels like I'm ready to move from an Edsel into a Ferrari, so it should be exciting.

Joe


First off Joe, don't try and over think the machine. (And I hope I don't seem to be talking down to you, because I'm not.) I tried that for the first month with the SE and it wasn't a great learning experience. Listen to what it's telling you, both tones and numbers. I know you're a tone guy but the numbers on that machine mean a hellofa lot! The Etrac is designed to give the user an option of real numbers v. tone that the user has to discriminate. Once you "see" what the machine is telling you, you'll be understanding it better and better. That's what I learned from it's little brother the SE Pro. I actually got to a point where I could tell the difference between a Merc and a Rosie by the tone. And worn Barber dimes by the numbers. You'll see, take my word for it. Can't do that with my Garrett AT Pro. Great machine, can find silver, but a very significant difference. And one of the reasons I went for the SE Pro is I thought the Etrac would be giving me too much information. That's something to consider too. I wish they would redo the SE Pro. I'd snap one up in a heartbeat. Especially if it used my SE's coils!!!! I'm sending my SE back in for repairs this Winter. If they can still fix it. Otherwise I'll have to live in your posts until I get back to a Minelab.

Ed

ps.... I bumped into a guy a while back when I was starting to do woods with my Delta, a short time before I bought the SE. He was using an Excalibur in the woods. We got to talking about different machines. I asked why he was using an Excalibur in the woods. He said, "All the world is a beach. You just have to find the tone." . That stuck pretty good before I bought the SE.

MineLab SE Pro w/11" Pro, 12x10 SEF, 8x6 SEF, Explorer 1000
Garrett AT PRO, w/8.5x11, 5x8, Deteknix Wireless, RnB Recharge (2).
Delta 4000, w/8" concentric, 13" Ultimate, 5x10 DD.
Garrett PP, & Pro Pointer AT.
Leusch, Hori Digger (2), Sampson Ball Handle Shovel.
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10-25-2016, 08:33 PM
Post: #6
Smile RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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Personally , I think your nuts.
Get the CTX
You have first shot at the ads
Practice some patience and score a good deal on a closet queen with some warranty for the price of a new etrac and a case of smokesHappy
Recovery speed is the big difference in all the FBS machines and the CTX's FBS2 is the one with the fastest processor
If you have to go a knife fight , go with the best edge.

Dusty, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Aug 2013.
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10-25-2016, 08:47 PM
Post: #7
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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Upgrading to a top notch detector is not an option for me right now, so I'll happily content myself with learning all about the one I now use. In the meantime it is exciting to read about the detectors our members use or are considering getting. I read and try to heed all the info you guys present to the forum. By the time I get ready for something new, I'll be well informed on what will suit me best.

I think you have made a great choice Joe, obviously after much consideration. I hope you get comfortable with the Etrac very quickly and I will be waiting to see your discoveries. Best wishes on the big move!

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10-25-2016, 09:15 PM
Post: #8
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2016 10:26 PM by NjNyDigger.)
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(10-25-2016 08:31 PM)Ohio Dirt Fisher Wrote:  
(10-25-2016 07:52 PM)NjNyDigger Wrote:  
(10-25-2016 06:58 PM)Ohio Dirt Fisher Wrote:  I know a fella here with an Etrac and he kills it! Especially in mineralized ground like we have here. (2 Tone Ferrous) I was at a spot today where even with the Iron setting at 40 on the Garrett, it was like I was charging a machine gun nest. Jim, though, has been using an Etrac since I first met him 6 years ago, when I was just swinging my Delta 4000. He's just one of the guys that persuaded me to go Minelab and, only because of budget constraints, I went with the SE Pro, which I have never regretted. I think you're entering into a realm, Joe, of a completely different machine than the Safari. And with your current understanding of how the Etrac works you'll be back kicking some ass as well. Best of luck to you on your choice and get out there and do some hunting!

Ed

Well, I appreciate your vote of confidence Ed, but I think it's going to take me a bit to adjust. For starters, I tend to be a creature of comfort, if something ain't broke...

Most trying part will be the learning curve. Yes, I like to fiddle with things and experiment, but not WHILE I'm detecting. Also, the Etrac offers an extreme amount of options, which I'm afraid might bog me down. However...

Due to budgetary constraints, it's going to have to be the Etrac over the CTX. Also, from everything I've seen and heard, the tones on the Etrac are essentially the same as the Explorers...and Safari, which is of great importance to me. And most of the learning curve with the Minelabs are via the tones anyway, so at least I won't have to worry about that.

If I had to do it all over again, I would've started with the Etrac, but I was very skeptical of their ability at that time, so no go.

To be clear, I'd rather NOT change, but if one looks at things from the proper perspective, sometimes it needs to be done. And after seeing the ability of the machine in difficult ground, I believe the time is now, for me.

I know I'm behind on the times, and it feels like I'm ready to move from an Edsel into a Ferrari, so it should be exciting.

Joe


First off Joe, don't try and over think the machine. (And I hope I don't seem to be talking down to you, because I'm not.) I tried that for the first month with the SE and it wasn't a great learning experience. Listen to what it's telling you, both tones and numbers. I know you're a tone guy but the numbers on that machine mean a hellofa lot! The Etrac is designed to give the user an option of real numbers v. tone that the user has to discriminate. Once you "see" what the machine is telling you, you'll be understanding it better and better. That's what I learned from it's little brother the SE Pro. I actually got to a point where I could tell the difference between a Merc and a Rosie by the tone. And worn Barber dimes by the numbers. You'll see, take my word for it. Can't do that with my Garrett AT Pro. Great machine, can find silver, but a very significant difference. And one of the reasons I went for the SE Pro is I thought the Etrac would be giving me too much information. That's something to consider too. I wish they would redo the SE Pro. I'd snap one up in a heartbeat. Especially if it used my SE's coils!!!! I'm sending my SE back in for repairs this Winter. If they can still fix it. Otherwise I'll have to live in your posts until I get back to a Minelab.

Ed

ps.... I bumped into a guy a while back when I was starting to do woods with my Delta, a short time before I bought the SE. He was using an Excalibur in the woods. We got to talking about different machines. I asked why he was using an Excalibur in the woods. He said, "All the world is a beach. You just have to find the tone." . That stuck pretty good before I bought the SE.

Ed, I get what you're saying 100%, and it makes perfect sense. I understand the TONES fully, but you surely have more experience than me in terms of the ferrous/conductive VDI set-up, so, I appreciate the info. I'll have to remember your words when I'm out in the field scrolling through menu upon menu trying to decipher which setting works best for the task at hand. The KISS theory Yes

(10-25-2016 08:33 PM)Dusty Wrote:  Personally , I think your nuts.
Get the CTX
You have first shot at the ads
Practice some patience and score a good deal on a closet queen with some warranty for the price of a new etrac and a case of smokesHappy
Recovery speed is the big difference in all the FBS machines and the CTX's FBS2 is the one with the fastest processor
If you have to go a knife fight , go with the best edge.

Even at used prices, if I found a spectacular deal, Dusty, I'm looking at about $1,500. And with a young son and all the expenditures that go with that, it's a bit more than I'm willing to go. But I do believe you, in regards to the speed and processing power. I've seen it, firsthand. That's pretty much what one is paying for at the top end of the Minelab scale, however, that one differentiating factor is HUGE. As I said though, price isn't the only factor alone, it's the tones. I want something similar to the Explorer/Safari line, as I know them intimately. Additionally, to my ears, the CTX's do not seem to have that same high pitched silver squeal that the SE'S/Explorers/Safari's do.

(10-25-2016 08:47 PM)shadeseeker Wrote:  Upgrading to a top notch detector is not an option for me right now, so I'll happily content myself with learning all about the one I now use. In the meantime it is exciting to read about the detectors our members use or are considering getting. I read and try to heed all the info you guys present to the forum. By the time I get ready for something new, I'll be well informed on what will suit me best.

I think you have made a great choice Joe, obviously after much consideration. I hope you get comfortable with the Etrac very quickly and I will be waiting to see your discoveries. Best wishes on the big move!

Believe me, Shade, jumping up to the Etrac is a real stretch for me, too. But being since this hobby means so much to me, and I invest so much time into it, at least I know I'll get my money's worth, if nothing else. To be sure, the machine is NOT the primary source of success in this hobby. It has been, and always will be...

Location, location, location. One also has to figure in the type of hunting, as well. For me, my primary forte is coin hunting. That's what the Minelab's excel at, so that's what I use, not because I'm a fanboy. I would be perfectly content using one of the lower tiered models if I could get away with it, however, most spots we hunt here are of the trashy variety, and that is something the Safari just isn't well suited for. Not saying it won't work, but one has to sacrifice much by using it for that particular purpose. So, as much as I hate change, and as much as I hate spending the money, if it helps me be even 5% more productive when hunting, and get some added satisfaction too, it's worth it.

I put it off for as long as I could, but going out with others and seeing how able the Etrac is over the Safari really opened my eyes.

If I had unlimited free time, I'd simply opt to find better sites, but I don't. So I have to use the best machine to squeeze what's left out of the sites we already have an abundance of.

If I ever hit the Powerball though - and I truly mean this - there will be a new CTX under both of our tree's on Christmas morning Wink

NjNyDigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since 2013.

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10-27-2016, 03:02 PM
Post: #9
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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Joe, best of luck with the Etrac. One buddy of mine does well on deep silvers and I mean deep - he says a foot or more and that is in the so called hunted out parks.
Also, there is plenty of information online to assist you in getting started.

The CTX is just a bit too costly for digging coins.....maybe they will make a slimmed down version of it without the GPS and or waterproofing. We will have to wait and see what they offer next year or two.

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10-28-2016, 06:39 AM
Post: #10
RE: Safari Info & Why I'm Jumping Ship
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NjNyDigger, I think if you want to stretch out your opportunities for success by better handling some very trashy, iron-infested  locations, a change in detectors ... and search coils ... and maybe hunting techniques is a good move.

I've been at this great sport for a while now, have owned and used a lot of brands and models, and a Minelab Dealer friend of mine let me borrow a Safari for a couple of weeks after it came out.  It works, but it sure doesn't offer the performance I got from other FBS models I have had.  I was hoping it would fill a niche for me for urban bigger, older park hunting, but ...

I enjoyed the results I got from the Explorer II's and SE Pro more than the Safari for Coin Hunting tasks so I didn't buy it.  I later made a trade and got two Explorer II's in 'as new' condition and kept one for periodic use, but I hunt more out-of-the-way locations like old town sites, stage stops, pioneer and military encampments, homesteads, and similar locations where I deal with building rubble, a lot of trash and most of that is ferrous debris.

Due to hunting older, trashier sites I have relied on smaller-than-stock search coils since about 1968 that are usually in the 5" to 7" diameter size to better fin in and amongst the metal targets (keepers and trash) brush and weeds, building rubble, etc.

I'll try to shorten my reply here now and tell you that for relic Hunting, or searching in really challenging trashy sites, I have never found any FBS model, regardless of coils or settings used, to come close to the abilities of some competitive detectors to better unmask hidden targets.

Even when I owned several Explorer II's or SE pro I never was without one of my all-time favorite Tesoro models w/6" Concentric coil, or a White's MXT series model w/6½" coil, or a Teknetics T2 w/5" DD coil because those and a couple more excellent in those environments.

I believe it is better to have two or three detectors in a personal arsenal rather than trying to "do it all" with only one detector.  I also know what it is like to try and enjoy detecting and acquire a new detector or add any additional detectors to your arsenal when you are trying to raise a young family.  I know, having had six children and not having high-income employment.  but I managed.

That was long ago a my youngest is 35 and has his own family to take care of, and has a very good paying job.  My oldest, who turned 44 last December, just 6 days before winning a good chunk of the Powerball Lottery, is also doing well and has a few detectors on-hand for his wife and three kids, and upgraded his own detector (with an 'as-new' model about May) that is better suited for Coin & Jewelry Hunting as well as getting away for some Relic Hunting types of activity.

I would gladly put any of the detectors in my personal arsenal up against any FBS detector, in anyone's hands, and feel assured that I had the better unit for working dense iron trash.

At the same time, while I know that I work big grassy parks and the like with my detectors and find targets at decent depths, I wouldn't fault anyone from using any FBS detector, including a Safari, for that style of hunting, if it was a detector they liked and were satisfied with the in-the-field results.

If you like the Safari enough for Coin Hunting low-trash areas, why not hang onto it and just get a decent second model that would complement the Safari for more iron littered environments?  That might be a more affordable option to consider.

And if you just want to stay with the FBS clan of models and move up-the-line, I'll share my personal opinions with you on that consideration.  Actually, I'll share some opinions of seven friends of mine who are all devoted Minelab FBS 'loyalists.'

I have had the FBS models mentioned, and my Dealer friend let me use the CTX-3030 for a couple of weeks to compare with the two Explorer II's I acquired, and hunt with a few of my friends who use different FBS models.  I/we liked the CTX 3030 packaging and rod system.  Oh, the balance and feel was a little less fatiguing on the shoulder and back, too.

Other that that, ALL of us liked the performance of the units we had better.  Performance was equal or better and the CTX 3030 didn't really impress any of us in side-by-side comparisons on located targets.  I liked the Explorer II, of which I had 5, more than the SE Pro I had.

back to my seven loyal Minelab users.  All of them used to use the Explorer XS or the Explorer II.  Some tried the SE and SE Pro, preferring the Pro's 11" coil as I did.

When the E-Trac came out, six of the seven sold or traded their older  Explorers to get the new E-Trac.  They used it a lot for at least four months before deciding, each of them,. that the grip angle and abrupt display angle were not that good.  In  the field performance, at sites they were all very familiar with, also left them unexcited and in  less than six months all of them traded off or sold the E-Trac and went back to an earlier Explorer model.

The CTX-3030 came out, and most of them bought one or 'shared' one for a short while and liked the balance and rod system and looks, but ....like before they have all gone back to what they consider to be the better value and performing FBS model ... the Explorer II.  All of them.  Most use the 11" Pro coil or an aftermarket coil, but the Explorer II is what they have been relying on.

Just something to consider.  All of them, by they way, got to try the Safari and none liked it compared with the Explorer II, and they get out and clean up in the bigger older urban parks and recreation sites they like to hunt in bigger urban/suburban cities.

Just some thoughts and opinions since you seem to favor that Minelab 'series' of models.  As for me, my shoulder and back don't enjoy them, and they don't do what I need where I hunt, so I'll just stick with my Nokta/Makro/Tesoro favorites.

Monte

Primary-Use Favorites:
Nokta FORS CoRe & FORS Relic
Makro Racer 2

Back-Up & Specialty-Use:
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Makro Gold Racer
Tesoro Bandido & Silver Sabre µMAX
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