It has been about a year and a half since my last field test of a Whites metal detector. At that time, I had an opportunity to test the new Quantum II and was blown away by its performance, ease of use and overall accuracy. Even my two detecting partners on one hunt, Bob Kinney and Don Miller, were impressed by my finds and positive comments about the Quantum II.
Now, I have another opportunity to field test a new Whites model the Classic I.D.X. and it too is making a believer of me!
One common characteristic that I have noticed about the two Whites detectors I have tested is that they remind me so much of the smooth operating, 4-filter detectors that I began my detecting career with over 17 years ago.
They are very stable with almost no ground noise chatter and they discriminate iron extremely well, very impressive for a dual filter detector!
I found the Classic I.D.X. to be very well behaved and in my estimation, it is a detector that will astonish many users with its no-nonsense performance!
As mentioned previously, the Classic I.D.X. is a dual filter, analog metal detector that features a handle-mounted eight-category L.C.D. visual target identification meter. This detector uses a new, patent pending technology called Flash Phase.
There are two search modes: silent search motion discrimination and threshold dependent, zero discrimination non-motion. The ground balance and all-metal threshold are factory preset, but there is access to an internal control to adjust the ground balance if required. The Classic I.D.X. is equipped with Whites Blue Max 950 searchcoil.
To those not familiar with this coil, it is a very thin profile open-center 9.5 inch concentric design that provides outstanding depth, discrimination accuracy and easy pinpointing in all but the trashiest locations. For high-trash locations, I prefer using a smaller Whites coil.
Three variable external controls and one toggle switch control its entire operation. They are: DISC(rimination); FREQ(quency) ADJ(ust); and SENS(itivity). A toggle switch is provided to select either NORM(al) or BLACK SAND ground balance offset. The three variable controls all have PRESET markings to enable fast turn-on-and-go initial setup if desired. The DISC control is marked with both a coin range and ring range preset.
The SENS control sets the sensitivity for both the detector and the I.D. meter. If set too high for the conditions the display may either become unreliable, or tend to fill in with all the display blocks. Use only the amount of sensitivity needed, as this will provide the smoothest operation and best overall performance. Because metal detectors often operate at the same transmit frequency, cross talk or interference often results when two or more detectors are operated close together. The variable FREQ ADJ (Frequency Adjustment) eliminates this interference by allowing you to change the transmit operating frequency of the Classic I.D.X. in the range of 6.35 to 6.55Khz.
The NORM/BLACK SAND switch allows an operator to switch between two different discrimination ranges #1 NORM which is best suited for normal conditions, #2 BLACK SAND which is best suited for extreme conditions such as black sand, saltwater beaches or other high ground mineralization. The BLACK SAND position allows for true zero discrimination which will provide superior penetration in such extreme conditions.
Whites standard slide-in battery holder comes with the Classic I.D.X. and it holds eight AA batteries. Expect up to 65 hours of detecting time from one set of Alkaline batteries! For an optional rechargeable battery, Whites nicad battery #802-5211, and charger #509-0022 is recommended.
The Classic I.D.X. uses Whites standard S rod pole assembly and elbow cup design with both spring-clip and camlock collars to adjust and secure the stem operating length. This dual-adjustment hardware system provides fast and easy adjustment with rigid, no wobble operation while scanning.
An all-metal control box housing is used, which features Whites wraparound mechanical design. This helps prevent water, dirt and dust from entering the box and damaging the electronic circuitry inside. As an additional safety measure, the entire mating edge of the box is gasketed!
Using the Classic I.D.X. was quite comfortable as its weight is minimal and its balance is very good, although it is just slightly front heavy. An adjustable elbow cup arm strap is provided and it helps provide better balance and sweep control.
One surprising and highly valuable feature of the Classic I.D.X. is that the I.D. meter works in the all-metal mode too! Most experienced users will immediately recognize just how valuable this feature is. It enables you to run in the all-metal mode for best depth, sensitivity and target selectivity, with no target masking and use the meter to identify all targets. This is a very effective pro method for finding deep coins and artifacts in all but the trashiest of locations. Coupling the Blue Max 950 coil with an all-metal I.D. capable detector provides some serious detecting capability when needed, it is probably no accident that Whites designed the I.D.X. this way.
Field Use and Findings
The identification meter of the Classic I.D.X. is well marked and referenced. Not only does it have IRON/GOLD/SILVER ranges indicated, but also pictorials of trash items, a gold ring range and of course, 5, 1 Zinc, 10/1 Copper, 25 and 50/$1 U.S. coins.
I did notice one quirk however...in bright sunlight, at certain viewing angles, the meter would sometimes appear to have the $1 / 50 LCD I.D. segment illuminated. This was due to a shadow being cast from the control box housing onto the LCD meter face directly below.
Having used the Classic I.D.X. at several detecting sites, I quickly discovered that its iron discrimination and I.D. capability is excellent! It nailed iron correctly just about every time! The meter response is very quick with a solid, positive lock-on. I was also impressed by its quick recovery-time after passing over a rejected target.
Pinpointing targets was a snap with the Classic I.D.X. which has my favorite and preferred method a finger-operated trigger switch, zero-motion and a modulated audio signal which varies in strength with target size and depth.
The spring-loaded mode switch has three positions. In its center, normal position, the detector is operating in the discrimination mode. Pulling and holding the trigger switches the detector to its all-metal, zero-motion pinpointing mode. Upon releasing the switch from the pinpointing position, the internal spring automatically returns it to its center, discrimination, position. The switch can also be locked forward to keep the detector in the all-metal, non-motion mode if desired.
In its all-metal mode, the auto-tuning speed seems to be about once every two seconds fast enough to keep the detector operating smoothly. Repeated, quick pulls on the switch will detune a target making pinpointing even more precise.
During my field evaluation, I recovered a variety of targets including coins, artifacts, and an old cast-metal toy truck. However, my best find was a solid-gold, very ornate handle from an old walking cane.
Although somewhat damaged its old and its GOLD! Covered with a thin, caked-on layer of black grime, from being buried for so many years, I did not know it was gold until the next day when I cleaned it. I have unearthed other gold items over the years that had similar black coatings such as old gilded buttons so make sure you check and clean all items before discarding them.
In almost 20 years of metal detecting, this is only the second cane handle I have unearthed. The first, was found in an old city park in Wheeling, W.Va., and it is solid sterling silver. This one, came from an old home-site on my friend, Daves, farm.
As a detectorist first and a field-tester second, I am always and primarily looking for and impressed most by a metal detectors overall performance ... not brand or model!
The Classic I.D.X. is an impressive, high-quality, made-in-the-USA, mid-priced detector that will more than satisfy the needs of most users. Its smooth operation, excellent discrimination, solid construction and ease-of-use is the right combination to ensure success at almost any experience level, site or type of detecting desired.
Its identification meter is accurate, well-marked and labeled and easy to view. The Classic I.D.X. is a turn-on-and-go detector, but I found it to provide much more than expected!
At a retail price of $499.95, including a two year parts and labor warranty, you cant go wrong with this one!
For additional information contact: Whites Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, OR. 97386. Distribution: 1-800-547-6911. Factory: 1-541-367-6121. FAX: 1-541-367-2968. E-mail: whiteshalcyon [dot] com. Visit their website at: www.whiteselectronics. com