Nokta|Makro Simplex Detector Comparisons
The Nokta Makro Simplex is one of the best detectors you could ask for in it’s price range, but how does it compare to other detectors like the Garrett ACE APEX, the Minelab Vanquish 540, the Garrett AT Pro, or even the Minelab Equinox Series?
Before diving into detector comparisons, we should have a firm grasp on what the Nokta Makro Simplex has to offer.
Some of the more remarkable and unique features the Simplex has for such an inexpensive detector are:
~Fully waterproof up to 10 feet.
~Adjustable Iron Audio.
~LED headlight for night detecting.
~Wireless Headphones (WHP model).
~Auto or Manual Ground Balance.
~EMI frequency shift.
~Four preset modes including an all-metal mode.
~Easy software updates.
~LED backlit screen.
~Operating frequency 12kHz.
~11” inch round DD coil.
Simplex WHP Price ~ $339.15
For those who are familiar with entry-level metal detectors, these types of features are usually unheard of! So we have to give it to the Nokta|Makro team for coming out with so many great features in a very affordable machine.
Garrett ACE APEX vs. Nokta|Makro Simplex.
Let’s dive into a few of the features the Garrett ACE APEX Offers:
Garrett ACE APEX Price $424.95
~6 X 11” inch Viper coil.
~”Weatherproof control box”, and waterproof coil.
~Optional Z-link wireless Headphones (Increases Detector to $492.95).
~Lithium Ion Battery.
~Multi-frequency, including options of MF, MS, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, and 20kHz.
~6 pre-set search modes.
~Sensitivity, threshold, discrimination, pinpoint, auto & manual ground balance.
The bottom line is that Garrett is the king of hunting in heavy iron, and iron mineralization, which makes Garrett’s perfect tools for relic hunters. So when it came to target separation and unmasking tests comparing the Nokta Simplex to the Garrett Apex, the Apex had a clear advantage.
However, the Nokta Simplex had no problem keeping up with the Garrett when testing on buried coins that were not masked by iron, this included an 11” inch buried quarter.
Despite having multi-frequency, the Garrett Apex was still slightly jumpy in target ID on deeper targets. Whereas the Simplex doesn’t register any target ID but still sounds off on targets that are deeper.
Sacrificing target ID for deep targets is something many detectors do, which leads to the statement, “if it sounds deep, dig it”.
That said, the one machine that excels in maintaining very accurate target ID at depth is the CTX 3030. However, the CTX costs nearly 10 times what the Simplex does, so a comparison is out of the question here.
Nokta|Makro Simplex vs. Garrett AT Pro
The Garrett AT Pro is very similar the the ACE Apex, except the AT Pro is a single frequency machine operating at 15kHz, which in our opinion is a sweet spot for coins, relics, and iron discrimination. Garretts are also gold jewelry magnets.
The AT Pro behaved much like the Apex did in the tests, again, dominating when it came to target separation in heavy iron.
It makes sense then, that the Garretts are better in heavy iron, while the 12kHz Simplex steers just a little more towards coin hunting.
Although we have not seen a test yet, we would assume the AT Pro had a slight edge on power and depth over the Apex.
The Garrett AT Pro would be much deeper if used with a larger coil like the 13” Detech CORS Coil, and we even carry a 15" inch Detech CORS Coil if you want to dig some craters!
Nokta|Makro Simplex, Cousin To The Fisher F75?
The Simplex is a speed freak. It reminds us of the Fisher F75, which actually performed better with a faster sweep speed. This allows detectors like the F75 and the Simplex to excel in target separation--especially in trashy parks.
The one consistent thing we saw in comparison videos was that ‘Field Mode’ on the Simplex was deeper and more accurate, adding at least 2 inches in depth. So it would be interesting to experiment with sweep/recovery speed and field mode. We’re assuming from how it performed in tests, that 'Park Mode' operates on a faster recovery speed and is designed for coin hunting in trashy parks.
Nokta|Makro Simplex vs. Minelab Equinox 800
Watching a comparison video on the Nokta Simplex vs. the Equinox 800 was actually eye opening. Although the Equinox is a much more powerful and useful machine, the Simplex still hit many of the same targets, albeit with little to no target ID--therefore reinforcing the role of the Simplex as a ‘dig all’ machine when it comes to seeking deeper targets.
Nokta|Makro Simplex vs. Minelab Vanquish 540 (and 540 Pro)
Many detectors on the market have jumped on the ‘multi-frequency’ boat, but Minelab has perfected it. One example of this is the Minelab Vanquish 540, which cycles between several different frequencies as you hunt to constantly adjust for ground mineralization and conditions.
Both the Vanquish and the Simplex are 2.9lbs, and a bit nose heavy. They both have back-lit screens and are collapsible. Sadly, the Vanquish is not fully waterproof, only the coil is waterproof, and it comes with a rain cover for the control box. While the Simplex is fully waterproof up to 10 feet.
The Vanquish is ridiculously easy for both beginners and intermediate detectorists, it’s literally a turn-on-and-go machine with 5-pre-set operating modes, volume, sensitivity, iron bias, discrimination, noise cancel, 5-tones, and no need to ground balance.
The Simplex just needs a little more finessing to set up, ground balance, and tune, so we would say that it is slightly more complicated in controls and set-up.
The Vanquish’s interface is just so simple to operate it’s like a kids toy, but with a lot of incredible power and capability behind it.
The Simplex however wins in the headphone department, coming in at $339.15 with wireless headphones while only the Vanquish 540 Pro comes with wireless headphones (and an additional coil) and that runs $499.
The Simplex also has a slight edge in target separation, where the Vanquish falls slightly flat.
However, at the end of the day, the Minelab Vanquish is worth every extra penny, because it excels where the Simplex does not in salt-water hunting, and is deeper in both air tests, and ground tests.
For the price, the Nokta|Makro Simplex is astounding at what it can do, and the features that it boasts. However, it still might need a larger coil if you want that extra edge in depth and target ID. As far as being nose-heavy, Nokta sells a Lower Carbon Fiber Shaft for the Simplex which will ease some of the strain from long detecting sessions.
But for beginners who are on a budget, and just want to swing fast, have fun, and dig all those mysterious deep iffy signals, we would say go grab yourself a Simplex!
For more information about the detectors and coils mentioned in this article, click the links below: