XP Deus 2 Thoughts at 100+ Hours

Just copy pasting this post from Friendly’s:

I thoroughly enjoyed documenting my thoughts on the Nokta Makro Legend, so thought I would do the same with the XP Deus 2 (herein referred to as D2). Only difference is I have somewhere between 100 and 200 hours on the D2, specifically the 11” coil. I sold the 11” coil D2 and just received the 9” coil D2 in the mail this past Friday, but because of hurricane like weather here in Maryland I haven’t been able to use it yet. I will get out this week a couple times after work hopefully now that the weather is changing. Just know that everything below applies to the 11”, and if I have any vastly different thoughts on the 9” I’ll update this main post with a new section for the 9”. I also want to caveat that this is less of a technical discussion, and more of how I feel about the D2 kind of write-up.

Background: A little background, I went into this thinking I wouldn’t like the D2. I was one of the first that bought the D1 in the U.S., and for the type of hunting I do (old historic sites that are now modern use sites, filled with modern use trash), I hated the D1. I think I barely got 100 hours in if that with the D1 before I sold it for a decent little profit. Granted, I was on a very early version of software, and I’m not sure how the D1 progressed through the years, but for me it ID’d every single small piece of can slaw as a screaming good silver coin, it was probably the most unstable detector I’ve used so far as being chatty as all get out, and we just didn’t get along. If I was a hardcore relic site detectorist, I probably would have hung onto it, as those guys were singing it’s praises in the iron at the time. So yeah, when I bought the D2, I just came back to detecting after a long break from health issues and heart surgery, so I didn’t know any of the drama that was going on at the time minus the forum fatigue I witnessed where you know who was up to his usual posting 100 things a day about the flavor of the year detector like we all can’t search for YouTube videos ourselves. So I went into the D2 predisposed to dislike it, and not really knowing much about it.

Purchasing: OK, to kind of recap what I said on the Legend post, my dealer of forever many years Craig from Show Me Treasure is out of the dealing game, and after contacting several (more than a dozen) dealers I settled on Jeff with Quality Metal Detectors. It has turned out to be an outstanding choice, Jeff has great prices, replies fast, and did some super above and beyond customer service things for me. I’m happy to have found him to fill that gap that was left with Craig, and also want to say how fantastic Craig was over the years also.

Unboxing: Packaging was great, small box appreciated, and everything overall well packaged. You truly appreciate the packaging layout when you’re selling a metal detector, and it was super simple for me to package up the 11” D2 to sell. I appreciate that XP put two sets of coil hardware in the box, and the inclusion of the hip mount case is a bonus.

Deus 2 Hardware: Overall hardware gets a B+ from me. At this price point, you’d think they could replace the lower and/or middle shafts with carbon fiber, but not knowing anything about CF manufacturing; maybe that unique trapezoid XP shaft design doesn’t allow CF. Also like the Legend, I’m super tall at 6’4”, so I need to order a tall man middle rod or else the detector is noodly extended where I need it to be. I dislike coils with rear ear mounts, they just feel bad to swing for me, and was giving me some arm strain in specific places before I started using a centering block. My daughter challenged me that it might be in my head, so I did a blind test where I was blindfolded and she would either add or remove the centering block and I would swing it around, and everytime out of a dozen or more tries I was able to call out when it was centered and when it wasn’t. Anyhoo, it’s fixed with the centering block and I can swing the detector for 8 hours almost problem free. Only issue I ran into is that because the remote control bottom is curved, the edge of the left curve digs into the meat between my thumb lower knuckle and pointer finger bottom knuckle, and causes a huge blister over many hours of detecting. That was fixed by sliding the middle shaft back a big so the remote control no longer made contact with my thumb area. After like two hunts it looked like all my arm cuff screws were working themself loose, so I cleaned the cuff, pulled the screws, locktite everything, and put screws back. My only additional complaint about the shaft is I wish the grip was a little more beefy, I’d love a handle like the White’s Diamond Digger on the D2 shaft. Or even just something like the Legend, with more meat to hang onto as the skinny handle gives me hand fatigue. I didn’t want to modify it with the 11”, as I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep or sell it, but now that I know I will keep the D2 I plan on using epoxy, or maybe just some sort of molding method to fix the grip more to my liking. Maybe I’ll just use some tennis racket tape or something similar. The way the shaft is designed, unless you clean it first before collapsing it looks like it will slowly become a shredded scratched up mess, but that will just be a visual issue. The arm cuff stand sucks and is worthless, working on a new arm cuff with integrated retractable stand like a police baton to fix that.

The WS6 backphones suck, so I really need to buy the adapter and use my own headphones or get the Quest HD headphones. If you like the back of your ears burning with the pain of hot lava poured on your ears, you’ll love these headphones. Battery life has been fine for me, I use a car charger to top off going and coming from hunts, so it’s always ready to go.

Deus 2 Software: It didn’t take me long to get on with the D2 Software. It’s confusing as heck at first, as it’s quite a different layout. But after sitting down with the manual and the remote for a couple hours on the couch, the whole thing became second nature. Now I can fly through the menus no problem. I wish they had a long press key to hot swap to another program, but you can sort of work around that by saving two copies of programs you want to swap between next to each other. By 20 hours, I had no issues working my way through the menus at all, and I’m pretty critical of UI design and usability. But everyone’s brain works differently, so this is super subjective. I think menu design and software layout is one of those things that you’ll never know how you get on with it until you’re using it regularly. No complaints from me, but I recognize many get confused by the layout.

There have been several software issues I’ve had that I’m sure will get worked out with updates. The XP MI-6 connection sucks even at the current version, I have to turn it off and on several times to get the thing to work through the remote control. Current version has messed up the pinpoint function, though I don’t use the detector’s pinpoint feature and solely use the wiggle back method to pinpoint, so that isn’t a big bother. From stock version .6 to current version .71 there was a loss of depth, though I haven’t really dug into that phenomenon yet to understand what is going on, or if it’s possible a settings issue I have to tweak. Now that the weather is turning nice again I’ll dig into that in the garden and figure out what is going on. I only noticed it by accident while I was out detecting the first time after update, and targets were sounding off differently than previously under .6 at similar depth. I hate that it erases settings on major updates.

Test Garden: OK, so the test garden was the first place I took the D2, and I was frankly blown away. It hit everything with ease, and I’m finding myself planning some new tests in the garden so far as iron separation that will stop the D2 and bake for a while for whatever I’ll be testing against the D2 down the line. It passed all separation tests I have set up, and bested the previous separation winner in my garden by a healthy margin (Equinox being that winner). So long story longer, in the garden, it’s the first detector to pass every single separation test.

So far as depth in the test garden, the previous King of the Detectors was the DeepTech Vista X, which was able to hit deep silver dime and quarter tests that no other detector could get. Well, the F75 could hit the quarter in boost mode, but I never used boost mode so don’t really count that one. The D2 was able to hit those targets that only the DeepTech could hit, though I will say that the Vista X gave a more diggable signal to me. But that could be subjective since I had hundreds if not thousands of hours on the Vista X. It was enough for me to sell my Vista X, which was one of my favorite detectors of all time. Now, if the Deus 2 was more like a traditional detector with a traditional control pod, I wouldn’t have sold the Vista X, as one thing I love about it is no screen, and when I take the screen out of the equation and let the tones guide me I find my unique finds rate goes way up. I don’t have the self discipline to do that with something like the Legend, as even when I tried taping the screen up I just get too curious and take the masking tape off to see what the VDI is saying. With the D2, I can throw the remote in my backpack or leave it in the car and run off the WS6, so I can functionally run it like a screenless detector. So yeah, a sad day indeed, but I sold my Vista X package. I do miss it terribly though.

Real World Detecting: OK, so coming from the test garden I was super giddy to bring it into the real world. I didn’t do any direct comparisons to any other detector, so of course these are subjective findings based on feelings and instincts. But wholly moly, this thing can pull good targets out of the filthiest trash filled sites. ID on targets is super strong, none of the issues I experienced with the D1 were present, and it basically became my favorite detector of all time before I even got to 50 hours on it. I took it to Druid Hill park in Baltimore, one of the oldest but filthiest trash ridden parks I’ve ever detected, and walked out with about 30 coins. I’ve previously only detected this park twice, and both times I walked out with less than 5 coins…with the D2 I went to the oldest ball field in the park that goes back to the 1800’s, and just picked out high tones amongst the machine gun of trash. I went there with the intent to dig everything copper penny and above, landed a couple wheats and maybe an indian, and also an 1800’s tax token from Colorado. Or maybe it’s an early 1900’s tax token, I found 2 and can’t remember which hunt was which. That experience in Druid Hill Park was replicated everywhere I went. I returned to old sites I’ve worked hard, hit the trashiest parts, and walked away deep in coins.

I’m also a decently proficient ring finder in the dirt, earning the “luckiest detectorist” and “Lord of the Rings” nickname from my group of regular hunting buddies, and that trend continued with the D2. Second hunt I took it to a field that has given up a couple dozen gold rings, and walked away with two gold rings, one silver, and one titanium. I was using the X/Y screen and digging anything in the gold range that was a solid line, which let me pass over probably 80 percent of the pull tab targets that I would normally dig. The only pull tabs that were skunking me were the ones with the middle connector piss missing, and the older ring pulls with the triangle piece broken off and just the ring. Otherwise, using the X/Y and not digging any lines with slight hooks at the end reduced my usual pull tab dig rate by a HUGE margin. I was on that hunt with a YouTube personality, Mental Metal Detecting, and he was pretty blown away as ring after ring popped out. I think he started getting mad at the 3rd ring, hahaha.

Beaches: Nothing to say about beaches since I have no time with it on a beach. The Legend update to 1.7 has made that detector at least as good as my experience with the Equinox in the saltwater, and I’m just more comfortable taking the Legend to the beach. I realize I might be missing some depth by not using the D2 at the beach based on other’s reports, but I’m ok with that. I don’t know, just the thought of dragging out that antenna, wrapping it all around, hooking up, etc…just don’t feel inclined to do that right now. I am almost done designing a new control pod connection point that will let you both reposition the control pod angle at will, but also let you run the antenna through the shaft and out the control pod connection. That is almost finished, it would have been done already but my cheap arse digital calipers broke, so I treated myself to some Mitutoyo Digital Calipers that will deliver this week. Then, with that mod, I might be more inclined to use it at the beach. I dunno though, Legend has been working out great for me.

Conclusion: So, to wrap this up, it’s pretty clear I think it’s a keeper. I’ll use Tapatalk to post some D2 finds in a follow on post.

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