Almost every year a few new metal detectors from one or more of the major manufacturers is released to the metal detecting community. We have come to expect some new features, better performance, and an all-around better metal detector in whatever particular price range it falls in and rarely are we let down. It is very uncommon though that a new metal detector is introduced that completely shakes up the metal detecting world. Let me introduce you to the Nokta Makro Simplex!
The Simplex was announced in 2018 at Detectival (England’s largest metal detecting event) and almost instantly there was a lot of talk about it. Over the next few weeks, I was getting reports on the features and I was struggling to believe some of them. A big DD coil, Iron audio, a saltwater program, fully waterproof… The rumors just kept coming in and it seemed to good to be true!
Most of the features mentioned are rarely if ever found on metal detectors at the entry level price range. It just felt like there had to be a catch. I just could not wrap my mind around a metal detector with all of these features coming in at the price range Nokta Makro was saying.
At this point a price had not be established by Nokta Makro, just a range. If what I was hearing about all the features the Simplex was going to be released with was true then I suspected that the price, once released, would be much higher.
As time went on not only were the features mentioned earlier true but Nokta Makro delayed it to add manual ground balancing, a must for saltwater and highly mineralized soils. Again, this led me to believe once released there would be a higher price adjustment that better fit a metal detector with so many features. Rarely if ever do you see some of the features the Simplex has on metal detectors in the same price range, usually they are reserved for the much more expensive metal detectors. It just seemed to good to be true.
Nokta Makro stuck to their word and released it in the entry level price range they initially mentioned leaving many of us in the metal detecting world scratching our heads in amazement. How did Nokta Makro accomplish this? The Simplex can be purchased without wireless headphones for $254.15 and with wireless headphones $339.15 if you’ve been in the hobby for a while, know the features to expect in the different price ranges I’m sure you understand why I feel There had to be a catch!
Nokta Makro Simplex Metal Detector Review
The very first thing I noticed when unboxing the detector was the quality build of the Simplex. In most cases it is pretty easy to spot the build quality differences between an entry level metal detector and a high-end detector. Absolutely nothing about the Simplex feels or looks like we have come to expect in the entry level price range. The telescoping shaft, heavy duty push buttons, the molded in rubber grip, the Simplex felt a lot nicer in my hands than most of the much more expensive metal detectors I have used.
Although I do not believe in judging a metal detector by how it performs in a test bed I do have three dimes buried at six, eight and ten inches that I use to hear the tone, see what the corresponding number is, observe what kind of depth it will get right out of the box and if the metal detector won’t detect any of these dimes I will adjust for more depth (when possible) to see if I can reach them. I think it is ESPECIALLY important to add I will not adjust beyond the ability of the metal detector. What I mean by this is if I have to adjust it to where the metal detector is super chattery and unstable when using it just to pick up any of the three coins I have buried then I don’t consider that a success. The metal detector has to still run stable in normal conditions for me to consider what kind of depth the metal detector is capable of.
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Nokta Makro Simplex+ Metal Detector
Out of the box with no adjustments other than ground balancing the Simplex, it was able to easily detect all three dimes without a problem. For those who have been in the hobby for a while know that for a detector to be able to detect a dime at ten inches is a great start to a great metal detector. I will tell you I have never had an entry level metal detector able to pick up the ten inch dime and I have metal detectors that come in at a much higher cost that can’t even accomplish this!
Great depth capabilities are a start but there is much more than just depth that makes up a great metal detector and things like recovery speed, how well it works in iron and trash just cannot be determined with a test garden.
Fortunately, I was headed to Ohio for a few months to care for a family member and get some time in metal detecting. Although I planned on mostly relic detecting I wanted to test the Simplex out in some old yards.
One of the first places I metal detected was in a farm field where a house and blacksmith shop had been in the mid 1800’s, the house had disappeared pre-1900 so I knew there would be little to no modern trash but an abundance of iron. I had no desire to use the Simplex at this location due to all the iron and only the eleven-inch coil being available for it at this time. At these sites I will usually run an eight-inch coil or smaller which can handle the abundance of iron much better. I did however bring it along because I had permission to metal detect a house on the property that dated back to the 1850’s and was still standing.
Losing light quickly I decided I was not going to metal detect the house still standing and after trying three of my other metal detectors I decided to pull out the Simplex and give it a try. I did not have high hopes, again an eleven-inch coil for these types of sites is just to big where the iron is concentrated and believe me, it was thick with iron!
I ground balanced the Simplex and started off in field mode with the iron volume at one notch. I quickly realized the Simplex not only handled the iron great it handled it better than most of the high-end metal detectors I have used over the years! I got in about a half an hour of metal detecting with it before it was time to leave, I had found an Indian head and a few other relics. To say I was impressed would really be an understatement!
I went to Ohio with six metal detectors and had no interest in using the Simplex for relic hunting in the fields with all the heavy iron yet I found myself often picking it up and using It instead of the others. All except one of those metal detectors is much more expensive than the Simplex! It worked flawlessly in the heavy iron sites and of the few still standing houses I detected with the Simplex, it handled modern trash with ease as well.
While Ohio was a blast and I had a lot of fun with the Simplex it was time to head back home to Texas. Since being home I have put close to another twenty hours on it. I have yet to find a situation where the metal detector does not perform exceptionally. I currently own something like ten metal detectors and the Simplex has become my go to metal detector for most sites I detect.
The Simplex is a well built, well designed metal detector that is comfortable in my hands and easily able to swing it for long periods of time. The handle is comfortable, the ergonomics are amazing and I love how it collapses down so small making it easy to stow away just about anywhere. If you are petite, have shoulder or arm issues or thinking about purchasing for a child the weight might be an issue. By no means is it a heavy metal detector but there are lighter detectors on the market.
Performance wise I have been nothing but impressed with the Simplex. Most of the time when I do a review, I heavily rely on my knowledge of other metal detectors in the price range and compare the metal detector I am reviewing to those. With the Simplex it was easy to compare it to metal detectors in all of the different price ranges including the most popular, high end metal detectors on the market. It can reach the depth that metal detectors in much higher price ranges can, its ability to separate and recover from target to target are phenomenal. It handles the heavy iron better than most high-end metal detectors which I was absolutely surprised by. I own a few of the latest and greatest high-end metal detectors currently on the market and the others I have at least got to use and the Simplex is right up there at the top when it comes to performance in my opinion.
When it comes to Programs & Settings, once again it is impressive. The ability to turn down the volume of the iron tones and even turn the iron sound off completely is amazing and rarely found on metal detectors in this price range. Very few metal detectors in my arsenal do not have iron audio, it is a feature I will not do without unless it is a metal detector with a specific purpose. The ability to turn down the iron volume is like running discrimination without the bad side effects. it allows the good tones to really stand out without overworking the processor that is constantly trying to determine if a target is good or not.
The stock Eleven-inch coil works flawlessly and a great, all around size for most metal detecting needs. As I mentioned before I would not usually metal detect in heavy iron with such a big coil but the metal detector and coil did amazing, better than most. The ability to not only ground balance the Simplex but manual ground balance feature is a huge plus and a must when working in especially difficult ground that is highly mineralized.
The programs are excellent, Each one is great for what it is intended for but I tend to mostly run in field mode which can be a little complicating at first especially if you’re not using high quality headphones made for metal detectors. I find the recovery speed phenomenal in this mode and great at sites with heavy iron.
The Simplex is not jam packed with confusing settings but it has everything that is important to me. The Simplex is simple to use with good, solid programs that you can minimally customize making it easy for beginners but suitable for serious detectorists as well. The Simplex has become my go-to metal detector because it does everything I need it to do and better than many other metal detectors I’ve used throughout the years.
Nokta Makro built an excellent, Innovative, waterproof metal detector for a price that does not make sense. With roughly twenty five years of metal detecting I am a snob when it comes to my go-to metal detector and I will be the first to admit, I never expected a metal detector that can be purchased for $250 dollars to become my favorite metal detector in my arsenal!
The Simplex is one of those metal detectors that only come around every so often. A metal detector that defies everything we have come to know about what to expect within a certain price range. If the other manufacturers are paying attention, they should all be scrambling to make more affordable, high performance metal detectors.
If you are wanting to get into the hobby you will find the Simplex easy to learn and use. If you are a seasoned veteran I believe you will be happily surprised to find out what the Simplex is capable of and might possibly become your go-to metal detector. Simply put the Simplex is a beast!