Minelab Manticore vs XP Deus II

As I stood in a field in Cheshire, on a mild but unusually damp July morning, I couldn’t help but marvel at the two metal detectors before me. In my hands, I held what many consider to be the pinnacle of modern detecting technology: the XP Deus II and the Minelab Manticore. These two titans of the detecting world have been causing quite a stir in our community, and today, I aim to put them through their paces.

Let’s start with the XP Deus II. This machine is a marvel of wireless technology. From the moment I picked it up, I was struck by its lightweight design – a mere 750g. As I swung it across the field, the lack of wires made for an incredibly fluid and comfortable experience. The Deus II’s Fast Multi Frequency (FMF) technology allows it to operate on multiple frequencies simultaneously, or you can choose from 49 single frequencies between 4 and 45 kHz. This flexibility is a game-changer when dealing with varying soil conditions or target types.

One feature of the Deus II that really impressed me was its audio options. The choice of audible tones and the multi-band equalizer adjustable on each output (loudspeaker, wireless and wired headphones, bone conduction headphones) allowed me to fine-tune the audio to my liking. This level of customization meant I could hear the subtlest of target responses, even in noisy environments.

The Deus II’s waterproof capabilities are also worth noting. Both the coil and remote control are waterproof to 20 meters, making it a versatile choice for beach and underwater detecting. I took it to a local stream, and being able to search in the shallows without worry was liberating.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the Minelab Manticore. This detector boasts Minelab’s latest Multi-IQ+ technology, which they claim provides 50% more power than their previous EQUINOX series. As I swung the Manticore across the field, I could feel the difference. The target responses were incredibly fast and clear, even in areas with high iron contamination.

The Manticore’s 2D Target Identification system is a standout feature. The two-dimensional ID map with target trace provides a wealth of information about each target, allowing for more informed dig decisions. I found this particularly useful when hunting in areas with a lot of modern rubbish – it helped me avoid wasting time on unwanted targets.

One aspect of the Manticore that really impressed me was its audio capabilities. The customizable target tones, EMI chatter suppression, and Continuous Pitch (VCO) audio with ferrous tones provided a rich auditory experience. I could hear subtle differences between targets that might have been missed with less sophisticated audio systems.

Like the Deus II, the Manticore is also fully waterproof to 5 meters, making it suitable for beach and shallow water detecting. At 1.3kg, it’s heavier than the Deus II, but still comfortable to swing for extended periods.

So, which one do I prefer? After extensive testing in various conditions, I find myself reaching for the XP Deus II more often than not. While the Manticore is undoubtedly a powerful and capable machine, the Deus II’s combination of lightweight design, wireless technology, and incredible frequency flexibility gives it the edge for my detecting style.

The Deus II’s ability to switch between multi-frequency and single frequency operation on the fly is a game-changer for me. When I’m searching in areas with varying soil conditions or a wide range of target types, this flexibility allows me to adapt quickly without missing a beat.

Moreover, the Deus II’s lighter weight means I can stay out in the field longer without fatigue. On those long detecting sessions where every extra minute could lead to that dream find, this comfort factor makes a real difference.

That said, the Manticore’s Multi-IQ+ technology and 2D Target Identification are truly impressive, and for detectorists who prioritize raw power and detailed target information, it could be the better choice.

Ultimately, both of these detectors represent the pinnacle of current metal detecting technology. They’re both capable of finding targets that other detectors might miss, and either one would be a worthy addition to any serious detectorist’s arsenal.

But for me, the XP Deus II’s combination of versatility, comfort, and performance makes it my preferred choice. It’s a detector that seems to disappear in your hands, leaving you free to focus on the thrill of the hunt and of course it is significantly cheaper than the Manticore, in fact you could buy a second very good back up metal detector with the difference in price!

Remember, though, that the most important tool in detecting is persistence – and the willingness to swing your detector for hours on end, knowing that the next great find could be just a signal away. Happy hunting, and may your next dig yield something spectacular!….