I have to admit, I only got interested in this product because I’m a lightweight sort of celebrity news junkie.  What I do like to do as a hobby, however, is go to the beach and look for errant stuff. My jaunts to the 31st Beach on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago along with my son have proven to be reasonably lucrative over the years. With the help of a metal detector I’ve found all kinds of old and new coins, bicycles, a trumpet, weapons, illicit pharmaceuticals and narcotics and various, one-of-a-kind chatchkeh-knicknacks. Christmas is not exactly around the corner, but here’s food for thought if you own a certain sensibility.

Bill Wyman, the metal detectorConsequently, when I read about the former Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman having joined forces with C-Scope, a well-known metal-detector company, to design a signature version of his own baby, I was hooked.

First things first… I had just bought one of my own, the new Garrett Ace 350 Metal Detector. This is just the right reasonably priced detector for heading out into the sand dunes or shoreline to find the treasure hiding beneath the sand.  The key feature for the 350, especially for you ‘Newbies’ out there, is its Enhanced Iron Resolution dial. This clever tool allows more control of iron discrimination levels. Such discrimination helps you separate good targets from adjacent junk iron. The machine’s powerful new Double-D search-coil provides greater detection depth and performance to detect mineralized grounds and nuggets, facilitating a Turn switch, the dialer can then move toward a higher frequency.

As I don’t really go to the beach on a wing and a prayer to make a fortune, I can be laid-back enough to kill the hours with my youngest son and his friends, detecting everything from a higher frequency read of both small metal nuggets and jewelry. The beach can be a noisy place, so you can improve your hunting and gathering through the optional Volume Control Headphones (costs extra-but you can buy your own). Included in your purchase are switch controls for Electronic Pinpointing: to precisely locate target and speed recovery; Accept/Reject Discrimination: to modify discrimination patterns; Five Search Modes: to select pre-set discrimination pattern or create your own; and a Continuous Coin Depth Indicator: to determine target depth Battery. A Condition Indicator shows the amount of battery life. Optional are continually interchangeable ACE series search-coils. These help when the tide is running or the sand is already wet.

It detects metal!In case you’re worried about being clumsy around electronics everything is one-touch. There is also a mountable belt included for when your arms get tired.  The stem length is easy to adjust. Another nice feature is its three-piece-connector travel storage case which folds up and disassembles until its only 24 inches long. There’s an adjustable arm cuff; a quarter-inch (1/4″) headphone jack. The Search-coil, which is often inconveniently short in so many models, is 8.5″x11″ and its cable is DD PROformance length (Adjustable) 42″ to 51″ (1.06m-1.29m), which is super convenient. Its total weight is only 2.8lbtandars. (1.27kgs.) Four AA batteries are included and the excellent warranty is for 2 Years parts and labor.

Now here’s where things began to get interesting. Having read about C.Scope’s Bill Wyman’s Signature Metal Detector, I went down to my friendly metal detector dealer. He is a man who appreciates my business and was happy to allow me to give the brand-new British product a test ride, As you can see from the photos the Wyman Detector is aesthetically more sophisticated and multi-colored and cheaper at $245.45 than the Garrett Ace at $297.46. Was it the good deal it looked to be?  I went over the comparisons every which way possible the next weekend. The Garrett, which has no need for the interchangeable search heads (for different depths) available at extra cost for the Wyman machine, is a hardier, slightly heavier detector. More important to me, although the Wyman machine was also convenient to operate, was the adjustable stem-length, the much longer cable length, the easy mountable belt and a more sophisticated arm-cuff. I know it’s a cliché but you really do get what you pay for. Investing in the Garrett Ace 320 is well worth the approximately $50 extra you pay.

Good metal hunting, y’all!

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