If you have already done your research and have the Minelab CTX 3030 model on the shortlist, you have come to the right place. This particular metal detector stands side by side with today’s high-end machines.
In terms of the performance, features, user-friendliness, precision, durability, reliability, and what not, this metal detector outperforms its competitors. This Minelab CTX 3030 review article will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about this amazing machine.
Also, I will compare it with its top competitor side by side, which will give you a clear understanding of how this model differs from others in various aspects. It will help you to decide whether you should go for it or find the best alternative to get the most out of your investment.
Minelab CTX 3030 Review
Just giving a short description of this metal detector will not be enough for you to understand its true capability. Apart from its appearance, design, I will also talk about its features, specs, and usability so that you get a clear idea about the device.
Appearance and Design
This high-end metal detector looks stunning and feels very premium on hands. The device is durably made. No matter if you always go to the toughest and roughest environment for hunting, CTX 3030 can withstand all the impacts and abuses like a pro.
The manufacturer designed this device with a black and gray color combination along with a red Minelab logo. Its eye-catching design makes more appeal to enthusiasts and hobbyists. The matte finish on its stem feels very comfortable and premium as well.
Its stem got a standard minimum size of 37 inches. However, you can extend it to 55.3 inches for your comfort and convenience. The unit also offers pretty much all necessary adjustments to fit your height, preference, and comfort.
Where most conventional metal detectors sport ‘AA’ batteries, the CTX 3030 is equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. So, you don't need to further spend more on batteries. The Li-ion technology will be much more efficient. It also charges quicker than its competitors.
However, compared to other detectors, the run-time on this unit is relatively shorter when the GPS and Wi-Stream are turned on. The battery also drains fast due to its bright display and faster processing power.
So, even though the detector has pretty much everything to make hunting more effective, the battery is one aspect that you will have to compromise a bit.
CTX 3030 weighs 5.2 pounds with its battery pack, which is a bit heavier than most conventional ones that are available in the market. But it doesn’t feel much uncomfortable to hold as it’s a well-balanced machine.
You might see people complaining about its weight. But, in reality, its control pack weighs the most, and it’s much comfortable to hold, carry, and easier to swing. The weight will be distributed equally across your arm, so it's not overwhelmingly uncomfortable when it comes to prolonged hunting missions.
If a lightweight machine is one of your priorities when it comes to choosing a metal detector, I would say, it's better not to approach this model. It comes with all goodies that make it a bit heavy compared to the ones that offer fewer features and benefits.
Ease of Use
Even though the machine weighs 5.2 pounds, it doesn’t feel clunky to hold at all. Compared to average detectors, its wireless audio function provides much better results while searching for metals. Once you get used to its wireless audio feature, it would be hard for you to use anything else.
When you are paying such an amount of money, you can expect the detector to be able to find treasures underwater as well. The metal detector got a waterproof housing that can perform great down to 10 feet of depth underwater. However, you cannot dive with this one. But, hunting in beaches, rivers, and creeks will be fine.
Remember, the detector is waterproof, not the headphones. Water can damage your headphones, so be careful when you are hunting metals underwater.
Expensive and high-end metal detectors offer great adjustability and customization for user’s preferences. No matter what you are up to, what hunting style you prefer, you will find desired settings and options to make your search more effective.
Its audio tone feature also offers several customized tone profiles to meet your needs. You can set a single up to 50 conductive tones. Its four audio profiles include normal, long, pitch, and smooth. You can choose the right one according to how the conditions demand.
The CTX 3030 is equipped with a multi-frequency VLF detector. Its multiple frequencies range from 1.5 to 100 kHz. Due to its wide frequency range, you can get deeper targets and get a more precise signal from the device. Furthermore, mineralization will no longer be an issue between getting a precise target ID.
If you are to compare this particular feature with its competitors, you will see Minelab leading the race.
When you combine this multiple-frequency feature with its advanced discrimination ability, faster signal processing, and color target ID, there is hardly any other metal detector that can beat this one regarding coin and relic hunting.
Well, these are just a glimpse of what features this device comes with, I will elaborate on some of these features furthermore.
- FeCo Discrimination
Discrimination refers to the ability of a metal detector to target exact objects while ignoring unwanted metals or trash. This feature determines how fast you can reach your desired target without wasting time in finding garbage.
When it comes to discriminating unwanted targets, it's quite hard to beat this model. It shows you both the conductive and ferrous properties of metals on display for your convenience.
Most cheaper detectors come with typical discrimination, FeCo is completely different here. Although getting used to this feature is a bit complicated and overwhelming, once you master the skill, the properties of targets will allow you to filter targets more effectively.
The metal detector shows conductivity from 1 to 50 horizontally on display. You will see low conductive targets such as coins, foil, and jewelry at the lower end of the horizontal axis. Whereas, high conductive copper and silver coins will be at the upper end of the axis.
On the flip side, ferrous characteristics range from 1 to 35 on the vertical axis. Pure metals and other non-ferrous objects are displayed at the top of the display, whereas high ferrous objects are displayed at its bottom.
When the detector finds a metal, it determines where to display the object according to the conductivity and ferrous characteristics.
- Search Modes
This high-end metal detector comes with five preset search options. Designed for the beginners, these preset modes come useful when you are to hunt something really quick. You can also customize five more programs according to your need and preference.
- Integrated GPS
To enhance your detection experience, the metal detector features a built-in GPS that can record your hunted locations. You can upload these spots and points to your laptop or PC and view them on Map. It will inform you about potential hotspots and areas that you have missed so that you can take care of these areas next time.
Also, its GeoTrails feature makes sure you don't accidentally miss any potential areas.
- Smart Search Coil
In terms of the search coil, the machine also seems to lead the competition. The manufacturer implemented their new electronics and smart coils that are able to provide much better depth perception. It’s actually 10% more than the competitors. There are two DD type search coils of 6 and 17 inches.
- Additional Features
If I write about all the features that CTX 3030 comes with, the article will be unusually lengthy. So, here’s a short brief about some of the important features of this machine.
The sensitivity can be adjusted according to your preference. There is also an auto mode to hunt without much twisting with the settings.
Its automatic ground balance with noise cancellation will help you to focus more on the targets.
You can choose fast recovery if target ID and discrimination are something you don't care much about. Deep recovery is good for identifying deeper targets, but its slow reaction time can be bothersome.
Number detection animation comes to be very useful if you are hunting multiple targets. It helps you separate targets more conveniently.
Like most advanced metal detectors, this one also features a pinpointer to target more accurately.
Display and Control
For better user experience, the machine sports a full-color LCD display, which is something you don't see in many detectors. Although the data on the screen can be a bit overwhelming for beginners, with practice, you will figure out all the menus.
You will see the detector’s status, results, depth indication, pinpoint, target ID, target trace, and more.
With its exceptional separation, sensitivity, and target ID features, you can find your targets more accurately regardless of the ground condition you are hunting.
The device simultaneously throws 24 frequencies to make it detect small targets at great depths. You can even find targets covered by iron nails using its excellent features.
When it comes to providing a precise target ID, unlike most detectors, this one delivers pretty accurate information even if the depth is more than 9 inches. It will save you a considerable amount of time avoiding digging garbage. You will get a faster response without lagging as well.
However, this machine doesn’t seem to perform well hunting shallow objects. But, you can still manage to handle the situation with audio and visual ID.
Hopefully, this Minelab CTX 3030 review was very informative and detailed for you to decide whether to buy it or not.
If budget and weight is an issue for you, why spend more money on a heavier and expensive device? But, considering performance, accuracy, hunting ability, and construction, the CTX 3030 is the clear winner here.