In this article we are reviewing Whites Spectra V3i metal detector. This is a flagship model of a metal detector with maximum of functions designed by the company. From this review you will find out how many frequencies this MD has, what kind of coil it has, if wireless headphones are included in the device package set, how long the device can function using one battery set and other necessary things.
What is the metal detector designed for?
From all White’s metal detectors product line, we can pick out this Spectra V3i flagship model. The device has three operation frequencies and it will easily deal with any type of soil mineralization.
This model uses the following operation frequencies: 2,5 kHz, 7,5 kHz and 22,5 kHz. The metal detector has two modes of operation: using all three frequencies simultaneously or each of them separately.
White’s Spectra V3i main feature is that it can analyze the target metal with high precision as well as its shape and size.
Visually the target information is displayed graphically by means of oscillogram diagrams. Once you understand how this analysis works, you’ll easily define what kind of targets are located under the device coil.
If you remember the advertising created by the device manufacturer, the initial name of the metal detector was Vision, but Whites couldn’t register the Vision trademark, so they had to use the name Spectra.
Whites Spectra V3i design is based on the one of Whites DFX metal detectors. The structure of control menu, modes of operation appear to be quite alike. As for the new things added, we can name the fact that this device is supporting using several operation frequencies (2,5 kHz, 7,5 kHz and 22,5 kHz), Hi-Tech and TX Boost functions.
Discrimination and pinpoint mode were also changed.
|Model||Whites Spectra V3i|
|Batteries||8 AA NiMh|
|Standard Searchcoil||10″ DD|
|Operating Frequencies (kHz)||2.5, 7.5, 22.5|
|Water resistance||Waterproof coil|
|Discrimination||All metal and discrimination|
|Ground Balance||Manual, Auto, Tracking|
|VDI (0 to 99 scale)||Yes|
The metal detector consists of three sections: upper shaft section with a control and accumulator unit on it, middle and bottom section with a coil attached to it.
The device package set includes 10 inches DD-coil, wireless headphones and a user’s manual.
Assembled and ready for operation metal detector Whites Spectra Vision V3i weighs just 4.4 lbs (2.1 kg).
Yes, we can call this device a heavy one. However, this isn’t all – the metal detector has rather poor balance and your arm will get tired rather quickly. If you use a strap on the armrest, it will be much easier, but less convenient at the same time.
The metal detector uses 10 inches DD coil. The device has three operation frequencies and it can use either all of them at the same time, or just one frequency at time. This depends on the mode of operation and user’s settings applied.
Here are the device operation frequencies:
- 2,5 kHz – this frequency is the most optimal one to search for metals with high conductivity (for example, copper or silver)
- 7,5 kHz – rather common frequency used as a rule for “all metal” search
- 22,5 kHz – the optimal frequency to search for metals with low conductivity and small sized targets (for example, nickel or gold)
The metal detector has a special mode – TX Boost. This mode significantly amplifies the signal received by the searchcoil. When treasure hunting on highly mineralized soils and using TX the detection depth is increased, however the accumulator operation time decreases correspondingly, and it can be even 50 % low.
In addition, we’d like to mention that even though searchcoils tandem DFX/MXT/M6 works if used for this metal detector, but the performance is far from perfect. For example, TX Boost mode won’t work with them and the same is about SEF coil.
To make sure that coils work properly, get additional search coils which were specially optimized for V3.
They are a very pleasant surprise for those, who prefer treasure hunting using headphones – you can enjoy the process without all these wires. Now you can completely forget about them, since with Spectra V3i you can use BlueTooth headphones.
However, the device also has a jack for wired headphones and an embedded external speaker for those, who prefer old fashioned way of detecting.
These wireless headphones were designed specially for this metal detector model and that’s why they suit this device best.
The headphones provide the user with maximal clear sound and they can function as either left or right headphone separately or both of them simultaneously.
Eight AA NiMh accumulator batteries are used as a power supply for the metal detector. However, the battery holder design hasn’t changed. This metal detector has quite high energy consumption.
One set of the batteries is enough for 8 hours of continuous work, if you increase the lighting intensity to 0, it will add you two more hours of the device operation.
Therefore, we recommend you getting additional accumulator batteries, especially if you travel a long way for treasure hunting or do it all day long.
The control unit
First of all, we’d like to mention that the device has colored LCD display and this technology has been used by the manufacturer in a metal detector design for the first time. So, the colored display is very large and VDI numbers are rather large as well, thus they are easily seen even from the distance, which makes it convenient to monitor them.
The display has backlighting with the possibility to select one of 20 brightness levels.
When you turn on the device, all the information about the user (if he has registered and entered his data) as well as the batteries charge and operation information is displayed.
All basic settings are available by pushing the menu button: these are 6 sub-menu items – they are very much alike to DFX structure. Users who have experience working with XLT/DFX metal detectors will feel rather comfortable working with a familiar structure.
Also there is a trigger to control the metal detector, which is quite similar to the one that Nokta Impact has.
As for the device control and sound settings adjustment, everything has stayed unchanged. There is nothing in excess, just all the basic functions.
The metal detector has two basic modes of entering information. The first mode is a standard one and the second one uses a spectrographic camera.
Besides the device also has an expert’s control menu, where all the fine-tuning adjustment settings can be found. We recommend using this menu only to experienced detectorists, since they have an idea what they are for.
You have to be patient and experienced enough to work with the additional settings. Some users without learning to use the expert’s menu try to use the device with only basic manufacturer’s settings and expect it to demonstrate some extraordinary performance.
The expert’s menu allows you to adjust the device so, that it will be convenient and efficient for you.
The metal detector has several various search modes:
- Coins — the mode discriminates bottle caps and iron rubbish. It detects all coins and some jewelry items
- Coin & Jewelry — discrimination level is lower here and the device sees aluminum, most of jewelry and all types of coins
- Salt Beach — this program is for highly mineralized soils, for beach hunting; it discriminates iron and some iron rubbish; allows to detect aluminum, most of jewelry, coins and rings
- Relics — this program is good for searching for military relics; it detects large and small iron targets and produces a low sound
- Prospecting — this mode is made for gold and silver nuggets prospecting or searching for them in sand
- Deep Silver — this one is for objects only with high VDI numbers (silver) and it uses only one frequency 2,5 kHz. The mode allows detecting silver objects on a maximum detection depth
- High Trash — is good for treasure hunting on areas with lots of iron rubbish
- Hi Pro — is a highly sensitive general search mode
- Mixed Mode Pro — another highly sensitive search mode which combines the mode with tone discrimination and ALL METAL mode
- Meteorite — using this mode the device detects nickel and ferriferous meteorites by means of negative VDI numbers. At that major part of all the rest of targets is discriminated
Experienced detectorists will definitely appreciate having such function as the ability of the device to ignore outside electric noise produced by other metal detectors.
This is possible due to the operating frequency shift: it can be shifted in both directions (positive and negative one). The signal can be shifted by 5 units both ways.
You can shift both combined and singular frequencies. At that you should keep in mind, that it’s necessary to adjust the device sensitivity and perform ground balancing one more time after this.
We should mention, that when working near high-voltage power lines this function appeared to be ineffective.
Discrimination function of this metal detector model is implemented at a very high level. The device demonstrates almost 99% performance efficiency and deals with all tasks to recognize targets in the range from ferrous metals (negative range) to aluminum bottle caps.
As for round targets made from ferrous metals containing oxides – yet, there is nothing new in this respect, since almost all metal detectors see such targets as non-ferrous ones.
Whites Spectra V3i is a good metal detector and it is really a professional one. This is the explanation why it is a flagship model of the company-manufacturer. The device has three frequencies, wireless headphones, many search modes, ability to adjust the metal detector settings using the expert’s menu.
However, I’d like to mention, that the device is not a toylike, as some users say. It requires thoughtful research approach to it. If you are ready for this and it’s interesting for you to study the device functions, without any doubt it is worth buying.
If not, then you should pay attention to other metal detectors of professional level such as XP Deus (it’s not heavy and it has simpler settings) or CTX 3030 (it is as heavy as Spectra V3i, but it has more operation frequencies and can be used for underwater treasure hunting).