Whites Spectra V3 and V3iPrice: $1500
Based on 39 reviews
Avg. Durability: 4.86
Avg. Ease of use: 4.43
Great detector, pricey.
I made 35 cents a week that my dad let me EARN for my allowance. That was a 10 cent raise from when I was 9. I saved every penny for that detector and found a 1799 large cent, 8 Indian Head pennies. 7 silver quarters. A Mercury dime, a 1930's switchblade with a stag handle that still works like a charm today, and much more cool "stuff".
I now have the V3I. I've had it about a month. Recently I started detecting again after many years. I'm obsessed with it. Since I'm technically a newby again I just want to say I haven't really had much of a chance yet to try all the cool adjustments on the very expansive menu just yet.
I have found quite a few coppers, 2 silvers, an 1802 large cent, 1 1903 Indian Head, an old bowie knife(very rusty), and lots of tin cans.
The V3I can be a turn on and go machine or a very intricately tuned machine with so many potential settings I'm surprised it doesn't come with it's own alien to do your digging for you. At this price it really should. Had to throw that in.
Honestly I can't say I know enough about the electronics to understand the pricing on this machine but I can tell you that it being made in the US, and with the workmanship as good as it is, it really appears to be worth every penny. Granted I still hit junk with it but I'm sure once I figure this thing out over time it will prove to be as wonderful as a metal detector can get.
It really is a work of art as it hangs literally on my wall right next to the couch so I can stare at it when I don't have time to get out and hunt. Winter is really going to be a bummer man I better get the most out of this summer since I'll be polishing the paint off it when the snow starts to fall. Jersey Shore this weekend YAY!!!!!.
G.Goldstein from Hartford, CT
If quality product backed by the industry leading service and you are willing to put in the time to learn how to use a PROFESSIONAL. Metal detector then this is the One you've been waiting on.
The time and effort that whites put into this detector clearly shows the second you open the box. I have owned detectors that were 99 percent plastic that were recket making pieces of pure crap. This machine is built to last for decades not a few years. Again its not a beginning machine. In the hand of someone who has learned the unit it WILL OUT PERFORM ANY VLF DETECTOR ON THE MARKET TODAY.
I get killer performance and the polar plot and sizing functions are great. Its screen is incredible!!!!! My favorite part of. This detector is its versatile and capabilities are sound to NONE! IN My search for the detector that fit my needs I went through all the top brands.
After lots of headache and cheep plastic I came back to whites. I had the dfx and anyone that has had a dfx knows what they could do well the v beets dfx hands down. But most important advice I can give anyone who is really hooked on treasure hunting and has no problem learning the detector putting in the time it will repay you're efforts with results.
Jessie from Alabama
31 years at the same spot
I started hunting at my old elementary school in 1972 and have hunted it with every detector I've owned and several others friends had with us. Same ol' school with the MXT I found another 5 silver coins adding to the well over 100 I've found there over the past 30+ years. One day with the v3 and added 7 more silver all more then comfortable digging depth with the good'ol garden hand spade. I'm going back there this weekend with my Mil. spec. folding shovel.
Best thing I've found is the depth and its ability to detect near to trash items.
One find was 2 dimes and a nickel wrapped in aluminum foil. Funny thing is I'm sure I know the kid that lost it in 1969 as I was the kid that collected the milk money from the class and his mother always wrapped his money up like that slowing down the process haha.
Only bad thing so far is that I feel I've wasted alot of days detecting with other machines. . . . gotta go back to the same areas and do them again with this v3.
Acton from California
V3i.....WASTE OF MONEY!
I've had the V3i for a year and I haven't found anything of value with it. I've ran it on every setting possible and it doesn't go deeper than any other machine. If so, then I must have a dud or it's malfunctioning. I buried an Indian Head penny in my front yard at 6 inches and the V3i wouldn't even touch it! I ran the loop of my QXT Pro over it and it may as well have jumped out of the ground! I tweaked the settings on the V3i and still nothing. Needless to say I'm going to be selling mine soon. What a disappointment.
Aaron Pogue from Ft. Wayne, Indiana
Adam lynn from Atlanta Ga,
ARTIFACTMAN from Missouri
The V3i has got to be the king of settings, it has a setting for just about everything, and even the settings can be broken down to fine tune the setting.
After having said that, it really is a turn on and go machine. Just pick your program for your hunt and go.
I have 3 favorite programs, the Coin and Jewelry, High Trash and Deep Silver. With each of those programs I make a few simple adjustments for the area I hunt. I'm starting to like Mixed High Pro the more I use it.
If you just want to make basic adjustments it's easy to do on the fly or if you want to dig deep into the machine's settings and set it up to find coins only on Mars you could probable do that also.
One of the nice things is, if you get the machine way out of whack with wrong settings you can restore the program back to factory original and start tweaking all over again.
I haven't found anything real deep but I was impressed I found a zinc penny measured at 9 inches lying at a 45 degree angle. I've also found coins that I have passed over with other machines in the past because of nearby trash or trash in the same hole.
It really is a great machine and worth ever dollar paid, it sets the bar high for other machines to follow.
It has a few draw backs that I can see:
It's a heavy machine, took me 2 weeks of swinging before I didn't notice its weight.
It's easy to get lost in the menus, I think White's could of done a better job on it's lay out.
Last thing is, for the life of me I can't figure out why they didn't make it so you can plug it into your computer. That would have been a cool feature. Design a program and upload it into the machine or share with others and everybody could tweak on it.
Scott Hardy from Ohio
Deep Silver? Yes Deep Gold? Yes
But I felt I was missing more stuff in the ground, so I gave the Explorer SE, very good detector on silver, I found 6 more silver coins at 8-9 inches, didn't care for Minelab service as much as Whites.
It took Minelab 3 months to fix and return my Explorer, so in the mean time I bought a Whites Spectra V3, this detector gave new life to my yard, 4 more silver coins at 8-9 inches and one at a little over 10 inches. In my opinion the V3 is the best of the best detector out there.
J in Sacto from Sacramento, California
V3i Beats Out the Competition!
I quickly purchased it and sold my DFX setup. I must say that my first impression was not favorable. I could not see any advantages over the DFX and found the configuration settings of the V3 to be overwhelming. I decided to give it some time, and I am so glad I did.
This past year (2010) has been the best year of metal detecting in my 10 years at the hobby, and I owe it all to the V3i. (I upgraded the firmware of the detector from the V3 to the V3i in the fall). I have found more gold, silver, and artifacts over the past 12 months due to the V3i's ability to find small, deeply buried items that other high end detectors could not detect.
The Polar Plot feature helps to distinguish between coins, buttons and trash targets. Digital filters help penetrate mineralized soil while filtering out EMI.
Three frequencies are able to ID targets remarkably well, with a target accuracy/probability number to help even more. I prefer using one of the single frequency modes to squeak out a bit more depth.
The detector has dozens of features and configurations to maximize your detecting experience, but for the novice there are several simple, "Turn on and go" presets available.
Although many people find the V3i a bit overwhelming at first, those that stick with it and read the manual will find it is an amazing electronic device.
Neil Schwartz from Philadelphia, PA
After 7 months with this machine it feels I can now tailor my programmes for the environment I want to search in.
The depth is great. This is a very powerful unit you can be certain of. It's also very sensitive to small items, particularly with the 22.5 khz.
Recovery speed can be fully adjusted, though the faster the recovery the less the depth(a question of physics)-Though it still hits deep when set fairly fast.
I prefer to hunt in middle frequency(7.5)-great depth and sensitivity. Here in the UK the 22.5 khz does seem susceptible to emi. I recently had mine upgraded. I read on the forums this helps with this as it's a more stable unit. I've yet to goto my roman sites and test this-before I just couldn't use single 22.5khz, though 3 frequency and 7.5 khz where nice and quiet. Still got some hammerds and small roman bronzes with the 7.5 khz.
The target id is brilliant. The polar plot is of great help in telling you it's large iron, even if the vdi number says it's a good target. The machine can give you so much information that it's exciting just digging to see if your guess was right!
Yes it's expensive, but if you are passionate about this hobby I would say this machine is a good investment.
Alex white from Uk