Looking for a high-performance metal detector that can produce excellent results even in unfavorable conditions? You have come to the right place. Minelab CTX 3030 could be an excellent choice, especially when you are looking for an all-rounder product. But before you take on the decision to buy the product, you are advised to read the full review.
There are many industries that are producing a new range of metal detectors with more advanced features every day, but Minelab CTX 3030 still holds the top position. Even though some people complain about it not being budget-friendly, but with the number of features it has to offer, the price is justified.
It offers features which no other metal detector has to offer up to date. It comes with wireless audio, superior target separation, and built-in GPS. Not only that, but it also comes with color display and advanced FeCo discrimination, along with Minelab’s famous FBS multi-frequency technology. It’s better to have a look at all the features in detail so that you can make an informed decision.
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User-friendly design and ease of use
Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector has the reputation of providing the most accurate results. But apart from performance, the first and most important thing is the interface. User is going to judge the performance once they have got their hands on this product. So, it is extremely important that the user understands the control buttons easily.
There is no denying the fact that appearance plays an important role in setting the mood for hunting. Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector comes with a pretty decent color combination. It comes with an attractive grey and black color scheme, along with a matte finish on the stem. The matte finish even increases the level of sophistication and gives a neat effect.
As I already mentioned, this metal detector is designed for every age and height, which is why it has an adjustable stem. The stem itself has a minimum size of 37”. It can be extended to 55.3”—the adjustable stem feature help in increasing the balance and versatility of the unit. Also, you are going to be hunting in several different areas; the height of each location varies. You can adjust the length of the stem according to that.
For me, the best part is that it has rechargeable batteries. Previously, metal detectors used to come with replaceable batteries. Every time while being out for the hunt, it was important to keep an extra pair of batteries. It comes with a dedicated lithium-ion battery pack. Considering the fact that these batteries are pretty expensive, you are going to save a lot of money by recharging them. The only problem is that these batteries happen to run out pretty fast. It is not surprising seeing the fact that it offers a bright screen and fast processor. Before going on a hunt, make sure that the batteries are fully charged. Hopefully, it will be able to last throughout the day. Another sight of relief is that it has li-ion technology, which means that the batteries are charged at a much faster rate as compared to before.
Another important thing to mention here is the weight. I am going to be straight about this— Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector is a heavy machine. It weighs 5.2 pounds with the lithium-ion battery pack. So, if you are looking for a lightweight machine, this one is probably not the right option. With the number of features, this unit is offering the heavyweight is not something you should complain about. On the bright side, it is a well-balanced detector. Even though it is heavy, but it does not mean that it is uncomfortable to hold or carry around. Most of the weight is contained in the control unit, and you can hold it with both hands, and continue the metal hunting without any worries. Plus, the audio functions are wireless. Which means you will have one less thing to worry about. Sometimes, the metal detectors are lightweight, but they are still extremely uncomfortable. It because they are not well balanced, and they have a bunch of wires swinging out of it. So, we can say that Minelab CTX 3030 is more desirable when it comes to comfort and ease of use. You will feel freer while using this unit.
If you love to hunt at rivers, creeks, or the beach, we have some good news for you. The detector is also waterproof down to a depth of 10 feet. It doesn’t exactly mean that you can submerge it in water. It means that it is suitable for wet conditions and surrounding where the air is dense, like rivers and lakes. Even though it is a versatile metal detector, but the headphones are not waterproof. Make sure that you keep them safe from any wet condition. The headphone module and WM 10 module are not waterproof, so if you think that you are even going to experience a splash of water, remove these modules.
Multi-frequency VLF detector
Fond of using multiple frequencies? Good. Because Minelab CTX 3030 is here to offer multiple frequencies in a single unit. The frequency ranges from 1,5 kHz to 100 kHz. You can search for multiple locations simultaneously. There are a total of 28 frequencies, which means that there are almost no chances of losing a metal inside the ground. The plus point is that it lowers the chances of detecting trash items. Which means that you are going to get more work done in fewer hours. No more hours of searching through the ground and ending up with trash. There is no other device available which offers such precise searching techniques. All the devices available in the market mostly have a single frequency, which is not suitable. The other ones offer multiple frequencies, but the range is extremely low as compared to this unit. With Minelab CTX 3030, you will not miss any valuable target. So, honestly, what more are you looking for?
Ten search modes
Minelab CTX 3030 offers you the highest number of search modes. Previously even the best-rated metal detector had only five basic search modes. But this unit offers you everything in doubles. Five of them are pre-set automatically, and the user can switch them on and off. These five include Relics, Coins, Silver, Beach mode, and High Trash for littered locations. When you select these options from the display, a separate regime will appear on the screen. These will help you in speeding up the process of searching. Apart from built-in regimes, Custom regimes are also available. You can tune the device according to specific conditions. While hunting, the situations can vary from time to time. So, sometimes the basic search modes are not useful. You can set the search modes according to your desire. Not only that, if you like the custom setting, but you can also save them and use them later.
You might be seeing this name for the first time. This is the new technology that helps in enhancing the detector’s ability to identify a metal target while ignoring undesirable trash. You can clearly see from the LCD screen whether the target is trash or something valuable. Now, you don’t have to waste hundreds of hours digging, just to end up with trash. The detector analyses both the ferrous and conductive properties while showing these on the LCD.
Ground balance, another important feature which you should check in every metal detector. Like everything else, the ground balance in Minelab CTX 3030 is perfect. It offers both manual and automatic regimes. Automatic ground balance is ideal for mixed and mineralized soil only. If you are fond of searching for inhomogeneous soils, it is better to switch to a manual setting instead. It will take a while before you can set the ground balance according to your requirements. But this skill needs to be learned from experimenting and learning more about different types of soils. Ground balance single-handedly cannot save the day for you. You will have to make the perfect combination with the search modes as well. Minelab CTX 3030 has to offer many options. Each one of them is perfect for challenging scenarios. The rest depends on you. You will have to learn about the settings provided and when to use them.
Noise Cancel Mode
During metal hunting, you are going to come across unexpected scenarios. The ones which you have never thought about. Take the example of an electric wire passing from the ground. When your metal detector is going to search in such an area, the magnetic field will be generated by the electrical wires. You can end up having a false alarm. While using other metal detectors, you will fall for it and start digging the ground, but while using Minelab CTX 3030, you are on the safe side as per it has strong Noise Cancel Mode. It will detect and cancel all the noise, and you can smoothly continue the metal searching.
Integrated GPS and PC Mapping
Hands this is one of the most advanced features expected in a metal detector. As per it is pretty clear from the name, this feature is related to your location. While hunting, you can turn the GPS on, and it will record all the places you have searched. When you are done, you can upload this record on your PC and have a look at all the places you have searched for. Amazing! No? You might be thinking of how this feature is going to help you with better metal detection?
Basically, while using this feature, you are practically keeping the record of every place you have searched. It can help in spotting the places which have better protentional. Also, if you accidentally miss any area, you can easily spot it. These can also be marked as new WayPoints and uploaded back to your CTX 3030, so you can easily find them on your next hunt. While you are out on the hunt, you can turn on the GeoTrails feature. It shows all the areas where you have hunted. This way, you will not miss out on any place.
You can also add comments and photos using Minelab’s Xchange 2 application. You can keep the record of every move and add desired notes on it as well.
Minelab CTX 3030 has to offer what no other metal can, user customization! And we definitely love this feature. Take the example of an audio tone feature. Normally, the audio tones come with a factory setting. You cannot change them according to your desire. But with CTX 3030, you can set the tone profiles, ranging from a single tone up to 50 Co (conductive) tones. Not only that, but there are also four audio types, including normal, long, smooth, and pitch hold. So, feel free to set everything according to your hunting style and taste.
Control Panel and Display
Even though the display is clear and vibrant, you might get confused at first. If you haven’t used a metal detector before, it is recommended to watch a YouTube video or read the manual. This is just a precautionary measure; there is nothing to worry about. The interface is user friendly, and you will be able to catch up fast. But it will require some practice in the beginning. To keep things simple, there is a total of 11 buttons on the screen. The rest of the screens appear depending on the model which you have selected.
As compared to other metal detectors, you are going to need more time to learn about the control panel. There are so many options and modes available that it can get overwhelming at times. Seeing this problem, the developers have made sure that the unique options are available right in front of you. There are quick menus available for more common options like sensitivity and ground balance.
Minelab CTX 3030 offers the best user interface. It offers a color display, whereas the other metal detectors are black and white. Most of them don’t even have a backlight.
Performance in the Field
Obviously, when you are buying a metal detector, the first thing you are going to be concerned about is the performance. All the other features come second. Minelab CTX 3030 offers you excellent target ID, separation, and sensitivity. The accuracy is fantastic. With all these features, you will be able to spot every valuable target. The best part is that it will leave out the trash items. Another fantastic thing is that, and it does not matter where you are searching, the results will always be perfect. It does not matter whether you are searching in ploughed land, beaches, shallow water, or pastures; the performance is great all the time.
For enhancing the performance, even more, the FBS technology is used. This technology has been proven to produce excellent detection and comparison. Basically, it works by sending 28 frequencies in the ground. This way, the whole area is combed, and no value able metal is left behind. Because of the several frequencies being used at the same time, the depth is enhanced. Even the smallest targets will be detected. If different metal detector is used in the same place, they might miss out on small targets. Not only can this unit detect a small target, and it can discriminate between the target, which is hidden behind small nails.
As far as the target ID’s are concerned. They couldn’t ask for a more accurate target ID. In another metal detector, the biggest problem does not have a perfect working target ID. Thankfully, with this unit, you will not face any similar problem. It provides accurate target information at a depth of 9” or more. The ability to discriminate between trash and treasure can help you in saving a lot of time. It also provides rapid response with no lag, near-instant target ID, and almost unlimited customization. So, it is safe to say that it provides you with the perfect hunting experience, and performance in the field is excellent.
Comparisons with Other Detectors
Minelab CTX 3030 Vs. E-trac
Even though Minelab CTX 3030 has no match in the market, people still get confused. E-trac comes with the same technology as CTX 3030 i.e., the company’s FBS technology. The decision is definitely going to be a tough one. Well! The reality is that the name of the technology is the same, but when it comes to performance, CTX 3030 is way better than any other option. The FBS technology used in CTX 3030 is the upgraded version as compared to E-trac.
It is a well-known fact that both the above-mentioned detectors come with an 11” DD coil and a relatively large backlit display. So, why do they have a performance difference? The CTX’s more powerful processor is better at processing incoming signals, so you’ll miss fewer targets and can cover ground faster. Apart from that, CTX 3030 is faster, provides better target separation, and can search deeper.
Both detectors are waterproof, but E-Trac only has a waterproof coil. These are the small differences between two detectors due to which they have performance and price difference. You can easily get an E-Trac at just $900, which is why most people fall for the trap and buy the cheaper detector. Well! If you are paying less money, there are going to be some compromises on the performance and features.
Frequently Asked Questions
What accessories are included?
Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector comes in a whole package. Pretty much every feature is present inside the unit. If there is something left, it is covered as an accessory. If you buy a standard package, it will come with a set of KOSS UR30 headphones along with the DD search coil. But the accessories depend on the package and retailer, and you are buying from. If you are in luck, you might end up getting much more than this.
Can I use the CTX 3030 at the beach?
CTX 3030’s comes with advanced FBS technology, which means it is suitable for hunting every environment, whether it is wet for dry. If you want to go hunting underwater, you can do that too. Basically, it has a function known as “Seawater.” This function helps in getting 100% results even when the conditions are not favorable, especially when you are searching in wet sand. The wet sand tends to be highly conductive due to which the chances for false alarms are increased. When seawater function is turned on, the sensitivity is maximized, and it is able to hit even the smallest targets. If you want to get perfect results, it is recommended to turn off ground balance.
Where is the Detector On Sale?
Minelab CTX 3030 is a famous metal detector; it is easily available in every store. But as per an Australian company produces it, it would be hard to find it outside of Australia. So not worry, it is easily available on famous online stores like Amazon and eBay. If you are not in a hurry to buy it, just keep on checking the rates and wait for the perfect sale to come up. These things are available at extremely low prices on black Friday. So, wait for the perfect sale to come up and grab your piece.
Is there a warranty?
It comes with a 3-year warranty on the coil and control box. Before you start using it, it is recommended to go through the warranty policy.
For some severe and professional metal detection, Minelab CTX 3030 is the first choice. It comes with the best features and offers amazing performance. It is one of the top metal detectors you can find in the market.
If you have a tight budget, you might find it a little expensive, but the price is worth it. If you want to enjoy innovative features like GPS and FBS technology, you will have to pay accordingly. If you are serious about metal hunting, it is definitely worth it, and you should make this investment. But if you are just picking a metal detector as a hobby and want to go for a stroll in the park, such an expensive machine is not worth it.
It is a complex machine. If you are a beginner, you will definitely take some time before you can start hunting like a pro. There are so many options available that it can be hard to choose one. Plus, settings are different for every situation. You will have to experiment and learn according to different scenarios.
Even though this machine is expensive and complex, but metal hunters are shifting to this machine rapidly. Minelab CTX 3030’s excellent performance is helping people shift to the ultimate level of perfection. It will be able to detect the hidden treasures which are normally ignored by other metal detectors. Plus, you will have the ultimate fun while using advanced features like GPS tracking.