I’ve had some good results with the Equinox in both fresh and salt water. This is because of its accuracy (especially with the cap and alloy killing properties of the “F2” upgrade), and stability of this detector.
In salt water I run the Beach 2 setting in 2 tone. This lets me hear more detail in the response–especially when I test targets using the cross sweep. . I find that 2 Tone also keeps me “in touch” with how the conditions are affecting the Equinox’s performance. It’s also worth experimenting with running an “Undertune” Ground Balance–of -9 or -5. This will sharpen the audio response to gold and other low conductors. Try going back and forth between this setting and a normal, Ground Balanced signal. This will give a good demonstration of how the Equinox responds to low conductors and iron. A high Audio tone will also help here. I also balance the signal by bringing the Tone Break up a bit if needed. This allows more Sensitivity to be used with out all the low level ground noise.
In fresh water I use Park 2 a lot–also in 2 Tone. Running in “Horseshoe” All Metal will give more depth but require a lower Sensitivity setting to not be noisy. Another alternative is to turn the iron right down to “1” for less confusing audio. I hear quite a few hunters say that this is the deepest way to use the Equinox. I test questionable targets by going back to Discriminate. Here also a higher Tone Break will give better ID on objects that “straddle” the ferrous / non ferrous line such as steel hairpins. Switching between the two Park modes is a good way to become familiar with the stability differences of higher and lower weighted frequency settings. Try toning Park 2 down–to a stable setting, or running the more stable Park 1 “hot” as an experiment.
I also like a slightly higher tone for gold–“22” although the stock “20” is very well selected as well. These tone adjustments can also affect how the machine handles difficult conditions.
I also use Gold 2 as a User mode checker. I set a Notch with a top cut off of “24”. Where you have a target that is clipped and going up into this range–you can be sure it’s not gold. A “28” upper cut off gets most silver. It’s also a great dense trash search mode. Listen for full tones. As well caps and other alloys will “stutter”on the cross sweep with this setting. The higher you set the F2 the more pronounced this breaking up will be. I run the F2 at 7 or 8 where there are a lot of caps–or aluminum slag. This is more reliable with the small coil in that there’s less to influence this tone breaking up.
A reader also surprised me by mentioning that he used Gold 2 in salt–even running it at single frequency “20.” I tried this and it brought up quite a few signals that “Multi” had missed.
Another good idea is to work with testers. This way you can continually hone your settings to get the best performance from your machine in a given set of conditions. Be ready for some big surprises as to how this machine handles high Sensitivity settings. Try to avoid letting the audio become “clipped” as this will reduce depth.
As well, with a machine that has the Equinox’s low conductor sensitivity–use the Pinpoint control to stay off the “micro” targets. A good response should confirm as being solid in Pinpoint especially if it has a higher meter reading.
These are a few ideas which have helped me to have good results finding gold in the water with the Minelab Equinox. For more information on getting results with this great detector check out my 3 book titles at this site clivesgoldpage.com.
Good Luck Detecting