The claptrap and politically motivated bunkum heaped on our fine pastime by detector-loathing, dead-from-the-neck-up bloggers, has an unintentional ally.
Alarmingly, hobby-grown twaddle has crept into the crypt courtesy of two sources. First, thanks to some so-called ‘Field Testers’, who evidently can’t tell their metal detecting backsides from their metal detecting elbows and secondly, the Mother Lode of Baloney, comes via some of their on-line counterparts.
I recall one of these so-called experts reviewing Garrett’s Ace 250 in which the bizarre ‘advice’ was not to use it on a saltwater-wet beach. Doubtless the more seasoned hands at our game will recognise the class of ‘Reviewer’ I’m talking about; you know the ones, graduates of the …”I tested it on my site which is quite mineralised…” School of Metal Detecting Journalism. Not only does it short-change the reader, it’s also pisspoor reportage.
Though its production run recently ended, the ACE 250 is an impressive bit of kit suitable for ALL beach hunting and incredibly effective over seawater-soaked sand. When used in and around seawater-sodden sand, all the operator needs to do is simply knock back the SENSITIVITY two or three bars to settle it down and Bob’s your auntie’s live-in lover.
Certainly the Ace 250 lacks the sophistication of its more expensive stable-mates but in the ‘value for money x performance’ equation it meets all the criteria. Happily, ACE 250s are still up for grabs at certain outlets at competitive prices and worthy of serious consideration.
Some online ‘Reviewing’ – and I use the term loosely – is pure dross; poorly filmed, and feebly presented. Nevertheless, it’s addictive stuff, if only to see how far the ‘stars’ will go in making idiots of themselves. I still can’t fathom why otherwise discerning editors occasionally grace their pages with this same pap.
Online video productions fluctuate between the sublime and the ridiculous. Manufacturers such as Garrett, and XP, as typical examples, produce as one would expect, superior professionally produced ‘how-to’ videos. Steve Moore’s video series for Garrett are absolutely outstanding, as are Garry Blackwell’s ‘Skill School’ video series for XP. Both are intelligent well-presented instructional videos focussing less on the ‘selling’ aspect, but more about educating end-users. Whites also produce excellent instructional videos.
Of course, another way to get the unvarnished low-down on any particular machine is to talk with an owner rather than relying on ‘Field Review’ that could turn out to be little more than fools’ gold. Simply do a little research before parting with your hard-earned ‘readies’.
So who’s up there in the top-flight of detecting journos? Undoubtedly in the US, Steve Moore, Bob Sickler, Andy Sabisch, and Tylon Brook, are rarely outclassed. Over on this side of The Pond, John Castle and Brian Read are two of my favourites.