From the moment I heard about the Headhunter I knew this was a detector I wanted to see for myself. It was hard for me to believe that a unit with all the electronics (including batteries), built into a set of headphones, would have much capability. I found I was in for a pleasant surprise and one of the most rewarding field tests I have ever performed.
The folks at DetectorPro are no newcomers to the world of detecting and design. Gary and Kurt have been involved in many projects, and also own and operate a retail dive and detector shop located on the East Coast. Wilma Beaumont of Top Gun Technology heads up the dealers in the West, including Hawaii. Wilma is also a wealth of knowledge and experience, who has been in the detecting field for years.
I was to be testing the "Wader" model, submersible to 6 feet. The detector also comes in a "Diver" model, that can also be used for wading or land use. The Diver is good for depths to 100 feet. After a couple of calls to Gary, Kurt and Wilma, they let me know they wanted one thing, "My honest opinion."
When I opened the detector's shipping box, I have to say I was impressed. Well constructed, easy assembly, and sure enough, everything was right in the headphones as promised. The whole detector weighs only 3.5 pounds including the batteries. Within a few minutes, I was ready to go detecting. But first, I thought I better read the manual. This is something that all of us seem to do last.
The heart of the detector is in one side of the headphones, while the two 9 volt batteries are located in the other side. As far as I know, this type of micro-circuitry is a first. The advantage is less arm fatigue, allowing more time to swing the well balanced break-down shaft and coil. This also leaves one hand free to adjust the three controls (Discrimination, Sensitivity and Volume) located on the headset.
The segmented "stay-put" position adjustments on the Discrimination and Sensitivity controls make this detector very easy to use. The operator, after learning the discrimination points, can easily adjust this control without removing the headphones. This is of great value for knowing what your target is before recovery. The Sensitivity Control position adjustments make setting the detector for use in heavy mineralization or small surface trash an easy adjustment to eliminate any unwanted chatter. The Volume Control is continuous and not I am right handed so I put the control side of the headphones over my left ear. This allows me to swing the detector with my right arm, and leaves my left hand free to make adjustments on the headset.
After a bench test and knowing where my discrimination points were, I was ready for the field. (Note: In the manual is a list of discrimination points, in order of conductivity. DetectorPro suggests bench testing some of the items listed. This only takes a short time to do, and will be of tremendous help in the field.)
My first trip into the field was to a nearby coastal lake. The lake has been used for years by fisherman, swimmers, sunbathers and loads of hikers and tourists. On one side of the lake is a good sized beach. This is where I wanted to start my test.
I slipped on the headphones and set the volume at 7, the Sensitivity at 10 and the Discrimination at 3. The headset felt no heavier than a normal pair of headphones. The lake is heavily mineralized and full of small trash, so to eliminate chatter I reached up and adjusted the sensitivity back to 9.
The 8 inch coil glided easily through the water. The first signal came in loud and clear. Reaching down with my scoop I retrieved a nickel at about 5 inches. At least 1. knew I wouldn't be missing any gold if it were present. As the morning wore on I picked up the usual pennies, clad coins and several lead fishing sinkers.
Pinpointing with the Headhunter was very easy on land or water. I got to the point where I could reach up and turn the discrimination knob and identify most of my targets. The other thing I noticed is that all good targets have a very distinct sound. That is to say a gold ring sounds of f just as good as a coin.
Before I realized it, my daughter was letting me know it was time to take a break and eat lunch. I had no idea I had been detecting for nearly 4 hours. No arm fatigue whatsoever, I reluctantly took a break.
After lunch I decided to try a deeper, different part of the lake. Within the first few sweeps I got my first target response. This time it was a small lightweight sterling silver ring with a nice amethyst.
After admiring the ring for a few minutes I decided to recheck the spot, which I commonly do. Sure enough, that same distinct sound! By now I had learned to count the clicks and turn up my discrimination. As I moved the knob up or clockwise, I lost the target. Turning the discrimination back down, the sound came in loud and clear.
Two scoops later, at about 7 inches 1 retrieved what appeared to be a beautiful gold man's ring. (The ring was later checked by my wife and was indeed a 14K gold band with nine small diamonds.) I rechecked the area a third time but the lake had given all I was to receive from that hole. I worked around finding an assortment of clad coins and misc. fishing weights. The time had gone by quickly, and Kelsey, my daughter wanted to try her luck with the Headhunter.
After a quick lesson, she picked up the detector and was on her way. As I sat and watched her, I could see she was having no trouble swinging the Headhunter. She mostly worked up on the beach and land. She found several clad coins and a set of car keys. I noticed that she had easily mastered the detector controls.
As it was now getting late we decided to pack up and call it a day. The Headhunter had proven itself worthy as a wader and land detector.
A few days later I took the unit down the coast about 50 miles. This test was primarily to test how well the headhunter would work on extremely mineralized beaches. This particular beach had even been gold mined around the turn of the century. Although we don't get a lot of swimmers, because of the cold water and rough seas, I still wanted to try the area.
The morning I arrived, I had the beach to myself, except a few people claming and fishing. I turned on the detector, keeping the discrimination low and started working shallow water. Because of the extreme mineralization I had to turn the sensitivity back about two clicks.
After about 5 minutes I had my first target. Digging down to a depth of about 6 inches I recovered my first of many lead fishing weights. As I moved from one location to another, I found I could operate in all locations, at approximately 8 on the sensitivity control. I did find several newer clad coins and nickels all through the day.
Turning down the sensitivity didn't seem to lose any depth. This is what I wanted to accomplish on this part of the field test. Again, the Headhunter passed with flying colors.
In my opinion, this detector will become very popular. It is very user friendly, lightweight and extremely versatile for wading, beach or land use. The Headhunter is a quality built unit which does not miss targets and is easy as well as a pleasure to use. The whole system is simple to assemble quickly, cleans easily and stores in a small area. This means if you just have a few hours to detect, almost all of it will be spent detecting, not messing with controls or setting up. The more you have your search coil on the ground, the more treasures you will find, it's as simple as that! My hat is off to the folks at DetectorPro for putting together a great detector that will bring home the gold!
As one last note, the Headhunter is a very attractive detector. I had many people during my field tests ask questions. The most frequently asked was, where is the rest of the metal detector? I would simply remove the headphones and show them the innovative concept of the totally submersible electronics sealed inside, thus the name the "Headhunter."
Specifications: Operating Search Frequency: 2.4 Khz Searchcoil: 8 inch Concentric, Co-Planar, RF ShieldedAudio Frequency: 40OHzHeadphone Transducer: Piezo Electric; 200-320OHz Search Mode: Silent Search, Slow Motion Discrimination Operating Environments: Salt Water, Fresh Water, LandSubmersible: Waterproof to 6 feet (no diving)(Diver Model: Waterproof to 100 feet)Length: 43 to 53 inches (Diver Model: 27 to 53 inches) Weight w/Batteries: 3.5 Pounds Batteries: (2) 9-Volt Carbon Zinc (supplied), Alkaline, or Rechargeable Battery Life: Up to 50 Hours with Alkaline Warranty: Lifetime with Regular Servicing Price: $599 (Diver Model: $679)
For more information on the Headhunter, in the West contact, Top Gun Technology, Wilma Beaumont, phone (702) 565-1353, Fax(702) 565-8971, e-mail topgundetpowernet [dot] net or in the East: DetectorPro, RD 3 Box 3A, Route 44, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569, phone (800) 367-1995 Fax (914) 635-1838, e-mail infodetectorpro [dot] com, web site: www.detectorpro.com and be sure to tell them you read about it in Lost Treasure.