25th June 2024

DR.ÖTEK MTXE – A Beach Detector For Just £100?

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DR.ÖTEK-MTXE

These days we are used to spending a fair bit of money on a metal detector, especially if you want to use it on wet sand. Simultaneous multi-frequency machines such as the Minelab Equinox/Vanquish, Nokta Makro Legend, Garrett Ace Apex and lately the XP Deus II tend to be the way to go. And whilst some of these detectors can be had for as little as £229, even this price point is still a barrier to many who wish to take up the hobby.

Enter DR.ÖTEK. Long-time champions of the budget metal detector arena they are, unlike so many at this price point, very much focused on quality, customer care and putting a decent machine in your hands for very little money. And when you consider that a digging tool, finds pouch and wired headphones are included, this has to be a machine that all budget-conscious buyers will at least want to consider.

The thing is, at this price point most machines do not work well on the beach, or more precisely the wet sand on the beach. Single-frequency detectors can suffer a severe performance hit when confronted with the heavily mineralised ground of wet salt sand. Can the DR.ÖTEK MTXE succeed where others have failed?

The Spec:

  • Working Modes: ALL-METAL, PASTURE, PARK, SAND.
  • Operating frequency – 6.5 kHz
  • Disc: Notch feature. Notch out iron, ring pulls etc.
  • NORM: Hit that button to return to factory presets.
  • Non-motion: PINPOINT. Single press pinpointing.
  • Coin depth indication: 2〞,4〞,6〞,8〞
  • 4 Levels of sensitivity.
  • Target metal identification: 6 types 0-99 VDU readout.
  • Signal strength indicator.
  • Tones: Three different tones, low, mid and high.
  • LCD backlight
  • Auto shut down if the machine is not used for 15 minutes.
  • Search Coil: 9.8’’ waterproof search coil
  • Headphone socket: 1 / 8/3.5mm ″ Headphone socket
  • Power supply: 9V battery 6LR61

Build Quality:

This is a budget machine but the general build quality is fairly good. There is a lot of hard plastic of course but the display is big and bright, and the stem is adjustable and can be set for children or tall adults. The machine is also very light and only requires one 9V battery to power it. The backlight is a nice touch at this price point. 

The 9.8’’ coil is waterproof but the control box is not. The control box is not even showerproof so that is something to bear in mind if you are apt to detect in the rain. And definitely don’t drop it in the water!

The machine I received came as part of a kit along with a small shovel, finds bag and wired headphones. 

Do be aware though. There are currently two versions of this machine available. In terms of features, they are identical but they have different length shafts. The first version is shorter and for anyone over 5’9″ (179cm) it may prove to be a problem. But the real issue is you have no way of knowing which version you will receive and there is no option to specify the longer version when ordering. 

The company says that “Currently in Amazon. these two versions are shipped at random until the first batch of short stems is sold out.” This means it is a bit of a lottery as to which one you will receive. We received the longer shaft version but we know of others that have received the shorter shaft and were left with no option but to return the machine and claim a refund. 

The company should address this issue directly and not simply wait for old stock to sell out. As far as we know, there is no system in place to replace the shorter shaft with the longer one.

Performance:

Now to the important question. How does the MTXE perform and more to the point, is that “SAND” mode a gimmick or does it really work?

I must admit I was quite surprised at just how good this machine was. I did not expect much but it punches way above its weight. 

I did, of course, perform the usual air tests which were impressive but pretty meaningless. Most detectors will hit targets without much trouble when there is no dirt or sand in the equation. What we want to know is how it performs in a real-world situation. To find out I took the MTXE down to Brighton beach on the south coast. 

Now anyone who knows Brighton Beach will confirm that it is full of trash and not the most pleasant of beaches to search on. Many cheap detectors will not perform well here. Especially as you get close to the pier and start hitting all those bits of iron, rusty nails and melted aluminium cans from countless barbecues and bonfires. Not to mention the monumental amount of bottle caps strewn all over the beach every night by the many students and clubbers in the town.Dr.Otek_MTXE_Beach

I can confirm that the MTXE definitely detects all that junk. Although on standard SAND mode settings, it does knock out some of the iron and thankfully some of the rusty old bottle caps. It picks up the newer ones though!

On my first sweep, I stuck to the dry sand/shingle parts of the beach and I kept the machine in SAND mode. This was not because the other modes were unusable, they were, but the point of this particular exercise was to see if that SAND mode worked. 

Depth wise the MTXE goes fairly deep. It will hit most targets down to about 8 inches, which, for the money is pretty respectable. And it does pick out small aluminium which unfortunately there is a lot of on this beach. However, that shows that it is capable of hitting smaller targets at depth. 

Moving onto the wet sand I was expecting a lot of chatter but, complete silence! I had to check that the machine was still switched on and that the headphones were working. Everything was working just fine. This is impressive indeed but I would guess that it has been factory set to zero ground balance in this mode. Nothing wrong with that of course but it can affect depth.

My first target on the wet sand turned out to be a penny. Which under normal circumstances would have passed without mention but, we are looking at a £100 single-frequency machine here and that makes it more interesting. More so because that penny was about 7 inches down. Not a huge depth but very respectable under the circumstances.

I continued on and even went into the surf but the machine was still silent, which again confirms my suspicion that the ground balance is set to zero. But also having quite a low operating frequency of just 6.5 kHz helps. I have only come across one other single-frequency machine that was silent on the wet sand and in the surf and that was the Quest Q30 but that machine costs almost £200 more than the MTXE. However, it also had more user adjustment and it is fully waterproof.

One thing I did notice is that the recovery speed of the MTXE is not particularly fast. This is the time a machine takes to register a target and then drop that target before picking up the next one. With the MTXE the best results will be achieved by slowing down your sweep speed. The company recommends a sweep speed of no more than 1 meter per second.

Alternatives:

DR.ÖTEK also produce another machine called the MT-XR. This machine is promoted as their top-of-the-line detector but I would disagree. The MTXE is, in my opinion, a better machine. 

DR.ÖTEK-MT-XR

The MT-XR is not a bad machine but it is much older than the MT-XE and the recovery speed is even slower. It also has no “sand” mode although in my testing it did work fairly well on the beach. It won’t detect a target much deeper than around 8″ which is the same as the MTXE but due to the slower recovery speed, there is a chance that many targets would be missed. The MT-XR is also more expensive than the MTXE.

I have seen some “experienced” detectorists who should know better, advising those new to the hobby and the MT-XR that they can notch out “all” bottle caps and still detect everything else. This is a little misleading. Different machines have different target id ranges. With some, such as the Minelab Vanquish 440 and 540 you can indeed notch out most bottle caps and still detect £1 coins and silver rings. This is because the target id for those items generally falls below the range for many bottle caps. But on other machines such as the Nokta Simplex Ultra, most bottle caps fall within the same target ID as a £1 coin and so if you notch out one you are also notching out the other. 

The MT-XR can ignore some bottle caps and still detect non-ferrous targets such as a £1 coin because the target ranges of coins and bottle caps are different. However, this should always come with the caveat that you will most certainly miss some good targets if you notch out bottle caps, no matter what target id they fall under. 

MT-XR Spec:

  • 5 x Modes Pinpoint, All metal, Discrimination, Memory, and Jewelry
  • Large LCD Display 7.6 x 5.1 cm
  • LCD Backlight
  • 25cm (9.8 inc) waterproof search coil
  • Adjustable stem 108 – 136 cm
  • 5 x Sensitivity levels
  • Notch function (Memory Mode)
  • Headphone socket: 1 / 8/3.5mm ″ Headphone socket
  • Powered by 1 x 9v battery

Conclusions:

These days you often don’t get a lot for your money. Metal detectors can be an expensive purchase and many who would love to take up the hobby are often put off by the cost of getting started. DR.ÖTEK has spotted a niche in the market and developed a machine to fill it. The MTXE is a budget machine with fairly good performance and some mid-price features thrown in. Add to that the inclusion of a digging tool, finds bag and headphones, all for £100 and It makes for really good value for money. 

If you want to get started in metal detecting and want a good quality machine at a budget price, the MTXE is worth considering.

Check out our review of the DR.ÖTEK MT6-PRO Pinpointer.

Where To Buy:

DR.ÖTEK Store Amazon UK

DR.ÖTEK Store Amazon USA

Links:

https://www.drotekor.com/home-page

https://www.facebook.com/Drotekor/

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6 thoughts on “DR.ÖTEK MTXE – A Beach Detector For Just £100?

  1. Saul,

    As always you have provided a very informative review. Just wondering. How would you rate the MTXE against the Quest X10 Pro?

    Scott

  2. Hi Scott. Whilst both machines are good the X10 Pro is in a different class. It is more refined. Better build quality and more options. Also fully waterproof.

    The MTXE is a good machine for those looking not to spend too much but wanting something that isn’t at the “toy detector” end of the scale. For the money it is a really nice machine.

  3. Thanks for the response Saul. In your opinion, is one better than the other on hot rocks?

  4. Both are sensitive to hot rocks. Single frequency VLF machines struggle with mineralised rocks and coke. It is easier to spot them with the X10 Pro because they often come in right at the very top of the scale and will give an initial good tone followed by gradually breaking tones. And if you kick away some of the sand or dirt the signal will really start to break up. Often only giving a good tone one way.

Let us know what you think?