Garrett ACE 400 Review – Is this Metal Detector Worth it?
If you are an intermediate or an advanced mental hunter, your choice of metal detector will, for the most part, be dependent on the features and functions of the device, as well as how the device will enhance the accuracy and efficiency of your hunts.
While there are numerous options for professional metal hunters, your search for the best means that there are features and functions you cannot underestimate. For example, you need a metal detector with a high depth function, the highest possible degree of accuracy, ease of use, weatherproofed design, and the detector should also bear a good number of control functions.
The Garrett ACE 400 is one metal detector as it has all the bells and whistles necessary in the best professional metal detector.
While Garrett is generally one of the most popular brands of metal detectors, the ACE series has metal detector models in different categories whose prices and qualities vary and become better with as you go up the numbers. In this case, the Garrett ACE 400 is superior to the Garrett ACE 250 or 350.
Having researched the features of different Garrett metal detectors, we’re convinced that this ACE 400 could be the exact device needed by a professional.
It sports a host of wonderful features, including its iron audio, the digital targeting ID, notch discrimination, and it also boasts a lightweight design. The latter is a great win when it comes to metal hunting since you may have to carry around and hold the detector for hours, and you don’t want a heavy metal detector weighing you down.
Features of the Garrett Metal Detector
For a cleaner outlook of the features of this Garret ACE 400, below is an in-depth review of all the features of this Garrett metal detector, as well as its limitations. Keep reading!
This Garrett ACE 400 is, literally, the new top-dog when it comes to the entire ACE series. A replacement of the previous, but now replaced ACE 350 series; ACE 400 comes with many more features that are absent in the other Garrett ACE models.
So, how does it look and work?
At its basics level, this ACE 400 is a VLF metal hunting detector boasting a high operational frequency of 10kHz. Looking at the older ACE models by Garrett, the ACE 400 has a higher frequency range compared to its (now) predecessor, ACE 300.
With its 10kHz frequency range, this metal detector is extremely sensitive, particularly to the smaller targets, as well as the items with a medium-range conductivity. Its frequency is also perfect for the balancing of depth in relation to the sensitivity of your expedition, around coin/ relic hunting. Note, however, that despite its sensitivity, this metal detector is not a great option when it comes to gold prospecting. If you need a metal detector for gold prospecting, we recommend that you opt for the task-specific/ gold-prospecting metal detectors. Also on frequency is the frequency adjustment that offers small-level adjustments, perfect when out hunting in groups and when most of the guys in your crew are also using the ACE 400. This adjustment function makes it easier to deal with interference and other factors that could affect the frequency and sensitivity readings.
Now that we are on the same page regarding the functionality of this Garrett ACE 400, let’s look at what makes it a reliable fit for coins, relics, or jewelry hunting. Well, in addition to its high-frequency VLF detector, this metal detector is quite lightweight. Weighing 2.9lbs only, this detector won’t tire you out when you have to swing it around for hours.
In addition to its lightweight design, it also features an adjustable stem with a range of 40” to 53” for enhanced maneuverability and control, as well as a cam lock that offers extra hunting stability. Note that just like all the other metal detectors on the market, this ACE 400 comes in three parts with the cam lock offering an extra layer of stability to this detector’s separation points. The cam lock, therefore, offers an extra level of stability when you swing it.
Keep in mind that the detector might feel a little unbalanced during its use because of its search coil (it’s larger than what you are used to). The good news is that the search coil’s size doesn’t make the detector uncomfortable.
The other reason why this ACE 400 is a reputable metal detecting device among pros is that it looks great. It sports a yellow color scheme that’s easily recognizable. Although not everyone loves yellow, this detector isn’t unattractive.
The detector gets its juice from its 4 AA batteries, which offer 25-hours of continuous runtime. This run time implies that you can use the detector a few, and you won’t have to worry about replacing the batteries every few hours.
Digital ID Targeting
The discontinued ACE Model 350 had one major limitation; it didn’t come with a digital target ID. This issue has been fixed in ACE 400, and the detector features a high-quality visual targeting ID function that tells you whether the picked signal is for target is gold, copper, iron, or another metal/. The target ID also includes accuracy and a numerical system resolution.
One of the functions that enhance the targeting accuracy of this detector is its 0-99 numerical ID scale displayed in rather large digits, right at the center of the control panel’s LCD screen. This targeting ID means better identification of all your potential targets.
If iron or foil targets are detected, they will be registered within the lower range of the scale because of their low conductivity, while the materials with a higher conductivity like coins will be displayed on the higher regions of the scale.
As mentioned above, this detector has more segments compared to the older ACE versions. So, with about 100 segments to work with, you are guaranteed a higher degree of accuracy, and you won’t spend much time digging and searching.
The only drawback you’ll have to deal with is that the process takes longer.
Iron Audio and Iron Discrimination
The other unique feature of this metal detector is its iron audio function. The Iron audio system boasts the Garrett’s Trademark Technology that allows you to hear the differently discriminated iron targets easily. What this means is that you could adjust your signal range to pick up the targets masked by iron pieces. The technology also makes it easy for you to filter out different ghost signals.
So, how is this Iron audio and iron discrimination detection possible?
Well, whenever you activate your iron audio, all the iron targets that are present within the notched-out pixel will produce a response, specifically, a multi-toned response. If, for example, you detect nail, you will hear a number of low tones. Bottle caps, on the other hand, produce a low-high-low audio response. Thanks to this differentiation, you can hear the audio from an iron target, sounds which would be silenced, otherwise.
Just how reliable are the audio iron sounds?
Well, the truth is that there are times when the audio fails us, especially if the ground conditions are unfavorable. In this case, unfavorable ground conditions represent surfaces full of iron trash. In such cases, you’d rather switch off the iron audio instead of sitting docks to be bombarded with confusing signals from the trash.
If iron trash makes this detector useless, should you avoid it completely?
Unfortunately, that might be the case if your hunt is concentrated in an area full of iron trash.
If you are going to buy this detector, we recommend using it in areas with low concentrations of iron trash. But if you don’t mind a high iron trash density, you may still enjoy the iron audio since it provides additional information about the metals you’ve found, while increasing the real find vs. junk digging ratio.
The other important feature of this ACE 400 is the iron discrimination function. This model has double the segments for iron discrimination seen in the ACE 250 – 4 segments. Therefore, it will be easier for you to discriminate between good targets and junk iron.
This Garrett ACE 400 boasts a 3-tone audio system that emits three very distinct tones, depending on the metal detected and its conductivity. If you detect metal with a higher conductivity, then you will hear the signature bell tone, while metals with a lower conductivity will produce either a low-pitched or a medium-pitched tone.
Besides the three-tone audio function, this ACE 400 also features pulse-width modulation audio – this is more responsive, the audio is sharper, and the modulation system easy to use.
To enhance the discrimination capabilities of this metal detector, there are 12 search modes for you to use. These modes are all displayed on the screen’s lower side, and the best part is that they come with a legend to guide you depending on the segments they fall into.
Thanks to the easy adjustment of the segments, you get to fine-tune your target and the detected target objects while ignoring the unnecessary pieces.
The search modes are available as five preset modes, and they include:
- Zero-disc– this works in the same way as the all-metal mode, and it will detect all types of metals, without any discrimination. On the control panel/ display screen, there will no segments that have been notched out, meaning that you could easily use this segment when you want to find metals, even when you are unsure of the metal’s composition. It also works when you are dealing with an inconsistent signal.
- Jewelry mode– this mode allows you to filter out most of the iron trash as you look for rings, bracelets, and rings.
- Relics Mode– This setting is more discriminating as it eliminates all the smaller iron pieces, in the process, detecting the materials with lower conductivity. This setting picks materials like lead, bronze, and brass.
- Coins Mode– If you collect coins, this setting will work well for you, allowing you to pick out ore coins as it eliminates the pull tabs, trash, and foil. This setting might miss the medium-sized jewelry pieces.
- Custom– The other notch discrimination function you will enjoy from this ACE 400 is its custom function that enables easy programming of unique notch discrimination patterns. Once you select the Custom option, you get to choose to use either the Accept or the Reject Discrimination buttons to select or eliminate segments.
The good news is that you get to adjust notch discrimination easily, using any of these preset modes.
The other feature that influences the function of this detector is the pinpointing function that makes it easy for you to locate different targets with. This pinpointer is not, however, a dedicated one rather a built-in version.
Regarding sensitivity, this metal detector gives you up to 8 adjustment segments implying a high level of sensitivity and the balance depth. It comes with a target depth indicator too.
A major feature seen in the best metal detectors has to be the presence of the ground balance function. While top brands recommended for professional use are fitted with the best ground balance features with adjustable functions, this is not always the case, especially with Garrett’s ACE series. Therefore, the presence of the ground balance function in the ACE 400 is a big win for all ACE series detectors by Garrett.
But, there’s one catch – the ACE 400 has no standard or automated system for ground balance adjustment, and your only adjustment option is the presetting function. If you are new to metal hunting, this won’t be a huge issue, but it is for pros, especially in areas high in ground mineralization. Note that this means a huge struggle with the ACE 400, especially when hunting for metals in the wet, beach sand or if you are gold prospecting.
Waterproof Search Coil
A search coil is a critical component of any metal detector since it’s the part that picks the signals from different materials, depending on their conductivity. And ith the search for coins, relics, and jewelry not limited to one area, or dry land, it’s important to make sure that that search coil is waterproof. This ACE 400 has a waterproof search coil measuring 8.5” x 11” DD. This search coil offers a great deal of balance in depth and sensitivity.
The other impressive feature of this ACE 400is its control panel, which boasts a simple and precise overall design that’s easy to use. The labeling of the buttons makes the detector easy to use, and you don’t have to memorize the sequences and functions to get things right. Its visual display also offers a lot of helpful information while the target ID and the Legend enhances the use of the detector whole, offering details of different coin denominations.
- Great price
- Ideal for use by intermediate and professional metal hunters
- 8 sensitivity functions
- Depth adjustments
- Easy to use
- Simple controls
- Target ID
- Iron audio and Iron notch discrimination functions
- 5 search modes
- waterproof search coil
- The ground balance function lacks the standard and automated functions
- Not a good option for beach hunting
- Not ideal for gold prospecting
- Control panel is not waterproof
- The frequency is lower than what you’d get from other brands/ models in the same price range.
Is the metal detector waterproof?
The search coil is waterproof, but your control panel shouldn’t go anywhere near water since it is not waterproof.
So, you shouldn’t submerge or use around a lake, creek, or a stream
Can you use it on the beach?
This ACE 400 is not ideal for use in saltwater conditions. Note that it’s also not the best fit for gold prospecting.
Does it have accessories?
Yes. It comes with headphones, an ACE coverup, a coil cover, and a user manual.
Concluding our Garrett ACE 400 Review
This Garret ACE 400 is one of the best, high-performance metal detectors that could be used by pros, as well as intermediate metal hunters and beginners. The user manual is largely straightforward, it is lightweight, the detection accuracy is impressive, and it promises excellent performance. At the highest segment for sensitivity, this metal detector is very sensitive and great at picking out different targets. Its audio functions further enhance the ease of use of the metal detector. You might also like its ability to discriminate trash and other objects easily.
So, if you don’t mind paying a little more to enjoy a greater deal of sensitivity, greater depth, and average function at a high level of ground mineralization, this metal detector could be the best option for you.
Check our homepage for more reviews.