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FAQ: What is The Difference Between The Garrett Ace 400 and Garrett AT Pro?

FAQ: What is The Difference Between The Garrett Ace 400 and Garrett AT Pro?

Anytime I face myself answering the same question several times in a row, I begin to think perhaps it is a topic I need to address in an article so as to share the knowledge with the world.  The question of what the difference is between the Garrett AT Pro metal detector and the ACE 400 is one of those very questions.

Predominantly this question is asked by metal detectorists that are on the edge of deciding whether they want to go ahead and pay a couple hundred more bucks to get what the AT Pro has to offer or if the ACE 400 is enough for what type of metal detecting they are doing. 

With the ACE 400 versus the AT Pro, let me start by saying they are both excellent metal detectors developed by one of the best metal detector manufacturers in the business.  Nobody can stand up to the customer service and dealer support that Garrett Metal Detectors offers.  So, either way you go, you are in good hands with Garrett.

Typically I answer this question with a question.  Which is, "What are you going to be doing with it?" followed by, "Where are you going to be metal detecting?"  These questions help me decide which direction I want to point them. When it comes to comparing the AT Pro versus the ACE 400, it is important to know that I am a person that appreciates the value of a dollar.  I will never point someone to a higher priced metal detector just to make more money.  In fact, most of the time I end up selling someone a less expensive metal detector simply because they don't need the features of a more expensive one.  

Once I find out what type of metal detecting and where they are going to be doing it, I can proceed to tell them the difference.  The main differences between the Garrett AT Pro and The Garrett Ace 400 are three MAIN things:

  1. Frequency - The Garrett AT Pro operates at 15kHz versus the 10 kHz the Ace 400 operates at.  Higher frequencies are better at detecting smaller, less-conductive objects like small gold pieces.  So, if you are planning on taking your detector into the gold fields, you will want a little higher frequency metal detector.  However, if you are simply relic hunting, coin shooting, or looking for rings and such, a lower frequency would be better.  The lower the frequency, typically, the more depth you can get as well.
  2. Where They Can Be Used -  The Garrett AT Pro is fully submersible up to 10 feet making it ideal for hunting in water and can be used for diving or snorkeling in shallow water hunting along the shoreline, streams, and rivers.  Additionally, the AT Pro has a manual ground balance feature which will allow you to detect in places with harsher metal detecting such as the heavily mineralized soil found in many gold bearing regions and wet saltwater beaches and saltwater shorelines.
  3. Audio and Visual Output - For the most part all metal detectors perform the same task.  They send out a radio wave and retrieve it back.  That information is then sent to the control box (or the brains so to speak) of the metal detector.  The control box translates what the search coil sends it and then the detector does its best to tell the user what the buried target potentially is.  They do this by sending an audible single along with a visual cue which the user must then interpret.  The difference between the Garrett AT Pro and the Garrett Ace 400 are different in how much of this information is output to the user.  The AT Pro, from an audio perspective for instance, provides a lot more "noise" than the Ace 400 by offering more different tones when a target is located.  Whereas, the Ace 400 only offers three audio tones it does have Iron Audio, which allows the user to "hear' iron objects and discriminate them from digging -  a nice feature.  Visually, the they are very similar in output (or what you see on the display screen).  Both detectors show notch discrimination in several segments and both display a target id number.  These things combined can be very useful in helping a user learn what they might be digging up.  The good thing about the AT Pro is it has 6 total search modes.  It provides three standard modes and three Pro modes.  The standard modes make the machine function much like the Ace 400 in terms of audio output - a perfect segue when a user is moving up from an Ace 400 to an AT Pro.  The Pro mode offers a different and more complex audio output giving the user more information to determine what a target is.

In the end Garrett Metal Detectors has done a great job keeping its Ace series metal detectors up to date.  For instance the old Ace 250 and 350 did not offer Iron Audio or a pinpoint function.  The new Ace 400 does.  This is a huge benefit to the treasure hunter.  These seemingly tiny upgrades to the line have helped Garrett stay at the forefront of the metal detector industry by offering more bang for your buck than almost any detector brand out there.  They have also created a nice little bridge between the Ace series metal detectors and the AT series by providing the standard mode on the AT Pro that is similar in function to the Ace series thus allowing the user to easily transition between the two.  

My final advice to most people who are new to the sport of metal detecting is: When it comes to the Ace 400 vs the AT Pro, if you have it in your budget, go ahead with the AT Pro.  You will not go wrong with this metal detector.  However, if you are limited in budget the Ace 400 is perfectly suitable for most metal detecting applications.  You can always upgrade down the road.  And, at High Plains Prospectors, we are more than happy to trade in a gently used Ace 400 for a brand new AT Pro metal detector for those who do want to upgrade.  We will simply pass it along as a Used or Demo Metal detector to another metal detector enthusiast wishing to get into the hobby.

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  • Josh Turpin