The Garrett Ace Apex which was released mid-2020 has become a favorite among metal detecting hobbyists around the world. Lightweight, rechargeable, multi-frequency, and loaded with features not normally found on entry to mid-level machines, the Garrett Ace Apex is the pinnacle of the Ace series which also includes the Ace 200, 300, and 400 models.
The Apex is the only model in the Ace series that boasts the multi-frequency option. This is a big feature for a metal detector in this price range. Most detectors which are considered beginner to intermediate level machines operate in one frequency at a time. The lower frequencies, such as 5 kHz, are ideal for finding those large lovely silver coins or high conductivity items. Whereas a higher frequency such as 20-40 kHz will help find much smaller items such as gold nuggets or low conductivity items.
When you have the option of running your metal detector in multi-frequency you increase your chance of getting a better scan of the ground you are searching. I like to compare it to headlights on a car. If you can’t see much in front of you when you have your lights on low beam, you can switch to your brights to illuminate more. You can choose to operate the Apex in a single frequency from 5, 10, 15, or 20khz or in multi-frequency (MF).
As with any item that has some form of technology involved there will be issues. The Garrett Ace Apex experienced a few and Garrett released an update that users can easily download to a computer and then use to update their Ace Apex via the charging cable’s USB end attached directly to a computer. The newer Jase Robertson Signature Series Ace Apex already comes updated.
The update offers users the following improvements:
- Improved overall stability
- Faster, more accurate ground balance in saltwater
- More accurate pinpointing
- More distinctive tones to better differentiate good targets from iron
- Backlight powers on temporarily while making Menu changes
I used my Ace Apex metal detector for a few months before I installed the update. I wanted to see just how much the update changed the machine. Personally, I’m a dry land and occasional river or creek relic hunter. The update offered a decent improvement in tone distinction, less chatter for sure, and slightly improved pinpointing functions as stated it would.
If you are unable to install the update, your Garrett Ace Apex will still find treasure and relics just fine. Do what works best for you personally, but if the option is available rest assured the update is easy and quick to install.
Beyond the Garrett update for the Apex, some users are still expressing opinions and insight into features they would like to see improved or are having issues with. In order to get the best response to these issues the founder of Focus Speed Joanna Laznicka called on her friend Gypsy Jewels of Zero Discrimination to help answer some questions the Garrett Ace Apex metal detecting community would like to see feedback about.
Before we begin, let’s get to know a little about the Queen of metal detecting, Gypsy Jewels. With almost thirty years of experience with the hobby, she is a well-respected metal detecting professional most in the community know of. Not only is she a member of Garrett’s Field Team, has been featured on television shows such as Beyond Oak Island, and is a successful YouTuber over on her channel Zero Discrimination, she is also an artist and cancer survivor.
In a recent video on Gypsy’s YouTube channel, she shared her battle with renal cell carcinoma in her kidney over seven years ago. I highly suggest you visit her channel and subscribe, then check out her upload about her journey. Gypsy is a great figure to have at the forefront of female metal detectorists, and her passion for preserving hidden history is no-doubt contagious. Plus, if you are looking for more tips to use your Apex more effectively, she has some great uploads to assist with that.
That being said, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and see just what Gypsy Jewels can help Garrett Ace Apex users with.
What’s your favorite part about the Ace Apex?
That is a hard question to answer because I have several favorite parts about the Apex! I love that it’s lightweight and multi-frequency. I’ll start with those two favorites.
Do you know if Garrett will release another update for the Apex?
I’m not for sure on that question. I will say that Garrett is always seeking to improve their products, so if they make an improvement, there will be another update.
When you are hunting in Zero Disc mode, do you suggest turning Iron Audio on or off?
Yes, I prefer it with iron Audio off, but I will suggest as a tip, to go back over the area you detected with iron Audio on. It will surprise you with some iffy targets that you might not want to skip over.
Do you suggest Apex users pay more attention to tones or target ID numbers? Or both?
I go more by the tones at first…then I look at the target ID to see what kind of numbers I’m getting before I decide to dig. Unless it’s hitting a solid high tone, then I might not even look at the numbers.
Do you feel the Apex is truly an entry-level machine?
I think it’s more advanced than an entry level detector. With all of the advanced features it has such as Multi-salt mode. I’m surprised it’s not listed as an advanced machine.
Favorite all-around coil to use with the Apex? Why?
I love the smaller coil: 5×8 Ripper coil.
It’s my go to coil because of the separation you get on targets. I detect a lot of old home sites that tend to have a lot of nails and iron. The smaller coil helps to separate the non desirable targets a little easier.
Some users of the Ace Apex think the machine is “too chatty”, how would you suggest they remedy this while metal detecting?
I haven’t heard that about this detector. I had heard that a lot of people thought the AT Max was too chatty. That was usually due to having the sensitivity set too high.
As for the Apex if someone is having issues with their detector sounding too chatty I would suggest checking to see if there is an update needed. If not, make sure coil connections are tight and properly connected. Also, they may want to try turning down the sensitivity and ground balancing. If any issues I would send it in to Garrett to be serviced.
Some in the metal detecting community don’t feel the Apex performs well on saltwater beaches. What is your experience with the Garrett Ace Apex on beaches?
I’ve had amazing results in the wet sand and salt water beaches of Florida and Texas beaches as well. I would say that they need to make sure they have their detector set properly in Multi-Salt mode and make sure to ground balance. If they have any issues after that maybe turn down the sensitivity a notch or 2.
If you could improve one feature of the Apex, what would it be?
I would probably put the charging port on the back side of the LCD box instead of underneath. That way when I’m charging my detector it would be easier to connect and I could just lean my detector against the wall while charging.
Will they be making a fully submersible version of the Apex?
I’ve heard that Garrett is working on several new products. So just stay tuned.
Will you be swinging your Apex at your upcoming event in Texas in March 2023?
Yes! Love my Apex! It’s my go-to detector!!
Focus Speed wants to thank Gypsy for taking time from her busy schedule to answer these questions directly from fellow Garrett Ace Apex metal detecting hobbyists. Gypsy is holding her first metal detecting event in early March 2023 in Kerrville, TX. Visit her website GypsyDigs.com for more details.
In conclusion, as with any metal detector out there, each offers their own features and functions. It can be a daunting task to find just the right metal detector that works for you. Personally, I do not believe there is just one machine that dominates this hobby. It’s a personal choice and worth the effort to find which metal detector is best for your needs. Try a few and see where it takes you. In my metal detecting adventures I use the Garrett Ace Apex, and it’s my favorite, especially with the Viper coil. Whatever you may choose, the Apex is a quality option for your relic hunting, coin shooting, and gold prospecting needs. Happy hunting!
Nicole Bauer resides in western Ohio. She is passionate about local history and works to preserve it for future generations as a member of multiple historical societies in her area. She has written for local newspapers as a lifestyle columnist and photojournalist. Nicole has been a lifelong relic hunter and has enjoyed metal detecting for over five years. She is a mom to two sons ages twenty and eighteen and has been married to her husband, Chad, for over twenty years. Metal detecting is a daily part of her life and she can usually be found out walking creeks, woods, and fields searching for items from the past. You can follow her explorations of Ohio on social media and YouTube at Ohio Metal Maven.