12th July 2024
Nokta Ultra

The budget metal detector market has changed beyond all recognition over the past few years. It used to be the case that you get what you pay for. Until Nokta released the Simplex+. A machine that incorporated a lot of higher-end features at an entry-level price point. It proved to be extremely popular. 

This year, Minelab finally realised that not everyone needs or wants a simultaneous multi-frequency machine and so, released their own budget detector in the form of the X-TERRA PRO. This is a machine styled on the Equinox but instead of incorporating simultaneous multi-frequencies, it provides four modes and three selectable frequencies. Also a fixed 8 kHz for beach mode, effectively providing 4 x single frequencies to work with.

The X-TERRA PRO is also fully waterproof and submersible to 5 meters. The Vanquish, which is Minelab’s only other contender in the budget sector is not even shower proof let alone submersible. Although it does boast Multi-IQ as featured on the Equinox but no selectable single frequencies. 

Nokta is never one to rest on its laurels and has come back with an improved version of the Simplex. There are actually now three models in the Simplex range. The basic Simplex Lite is more or less a direct replacement for the Simplex+, the Simplex BT which adds Bluetooth wireless connectivity and the machine we are discussing here the Simplex Ultra which adds a full carbon fibre shaft, Bluetooth connectivity and several enhancements to the firmware. All these models now work at 15 kHz. The older Simplex+ ran at 12 kHz.

The Spec

  • Operating Principle: VLF.
  • Operating Frequency: 15 kHz.
  • Search Modes: Field, Park, Beach, All Metal.
  • Notch Filter: Yes, 99 individual sections.
  • Frequency Shift.
  • Recovery Speed: 1-5.
  • Iron Volume.
  • Ground Suppressor function.
  • Mineralization graph.
  • Adjustable Tone Break.
  • Tone Pitch Adjustment.
  • Pinpoint mode.
  • Vibration mode.
  • Screen Backlight.
  • Keybed backlight.
  • LED Flashlight.
  • APTX Low Latency compatibility audio.
  • Fully submersible up to 3m/10ft
  • 11″ Double-D Coil
  • Full carbon fibre stem.

(spec subject to change for retail models)

Specifications for the other two models in the range are not available but the model just below the Ultra is we think called the Simplex BT. It will have similar specs but the stem will not be all carbon fibre. Possibly aluminium and plastic. The entry-level Simplex Lite model will not have Bluetooth audio and there may be a few other features missing. 

We also know that new coils have been designed for these machines and that the existing Simplex+ coils are not compatible.

Conclusions

We have seen very little in the way of tests for these new machines. Indeed the only machine seen so far is the Simplex Ultra. But even though it is still in the prototype stage is shaping up to be an impressive machine for the money. Talking of which, we have no confirmed price for the Ultra at the moment but I would be surprised if it costs more than the Minelab X-TERRA PRO.

The big question will be, is the Nokta Simplex Ultra a better buy than the Minelab X-TERRA PRO? 

It is tempting to look at the spec sheet and conclude that the X-TERRA PRO with its selectable single frequencies and compatibility with existing Equinox coils is the better deal. The Ultra, after all, has only one frequency set at 15 kHz.

However, the Nokta Simplex Ultra is not without its plus points. Not least being that the Ultra allows users to choose their own APTX Low Latency Bluetooth headphones. The X-TERRA PRO requires the not-yet-available and overly expensive Minelab ML85 headphones. 

The Nokta Simplex Ultra is fitted with a full carbon fibre stem as standard. This will reduce weight and improve balance considerably.

And finally, Nokta is well known for its high level of customer support and service. Something that is often lacking with Minelab.

We don’t yet know when the Ultra or the other models in the improved Simplex range will be released, although we are given to understand it is not far off. 

Look out for our full review of the Nokta Simplex Ultra coming soon!

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