Garrett AT Max Metal Detector Review

Garrett is one of, if not the biggest metal detector brand available on the market. So does the Garrett AT Max live up to their reputation? Let’s see.

With the huge success of the AT Pro and the AT Gold (all-terrain pro and all-terrain gold) and the ever-advancing technology, it was time to release their next model. The Garrett AT Max Metal Detector (all-terrain max) to keep up to date with the new tech.

Taking all the best features from previous models and combining them into one serious powerful metal detector.

The Garrett AT Max even looks the business! Built to last and finished with a nice sleek look.

Garrett AT Max Metal Detector Review

Garrett AT Max Assembly

Assembly is very simple. Place the coil cover onto the DD search coil to keep it well protected from scratches and damage. Attach the lower and upper shaft (with the control box) together, these will clip securely together with a pin lock.

Next, at the bottom of the lower shaft we will connect using the wingnut and washer to the coil. Tighten. Then you will wind the coil lead around the shaft keeping as tight as possible without straining the leads and place the connector once at the top into the underneath of the control box.

There are 11 buttons on the Garrett AT Max control box as you can see in the picture.

Some of these options will require you to press the shift button first to enter the secondary menu of the respective button.

  • Iron Disc/Notch Disc – Change the iron and notch discrimination settings.
  • Frequency Adjust/Sensitivity – Change the frequency, adjust the sensitivity.
  • Manual Ground Balance/Threshold – Increase or decrease the threshold or change the ground balance settings.
  • Power/Mode – Turn on the AT Max or select the preferred detecting mode.
  • Iron Audio – Switch on or off the Iron Audio mode.
  • Pinpoint – Pinpoint the specific location of a target in the ground.
  • Elim/Light – Eliminate certain ID patterns and switch on the backlight.
  • Shift – to be used in conjunction with the above buttons to select the secondary option in orange.

The LCD screen displays the following – A coin depth indicator allowing you to see approximately how deep the AT Max thinks the target is in the ground. Battery Level. Target ID numbers.

The mode you currently have selected. The wireless headphones active icon. The Iron discrimination level. The sensitivity. The notch discrimination and the type of metal indicator.

AT Max Unboxing and Contents

Upon unboxing the AT Max you will see the Garrett Z link MS3 wireless headphones, an 8.5″ x 11″ DD Search coil, the battery, the lower shaft, the upper shaft with the control box, the manual, hardware, the warranty card, and the search coil cover. Oh, and did I mention a funky hat and a collectible gold Garrett coin?

Garrett AT Max Features

The Z-lynk wireless technology built into the AT Max has practically no delay in response time. Allowing the Garrett MS3 headphones to communicate flawlessly with the detector.

Cables of normal wired headphones have always been a problem for me their always in the way so this eliminates the issue.

In the past wireless headphones have had a little delay sometimes causing you to miss a signal or struggle to locate the target, these headphones have no delay so when you are above the target you will hear it instantly. In fact, its a near-zero delay of 17 milliseconds to reach from your detector to your headphones. Four times faster than other wireless headphones.

They are ultra clear allowing you to hear the difference in the discrimination tones. For me, these wireless headphones are a Godsend.

No more taking your headphones on and off, no annoying anyone with the loud tones, no more missing signals and a fantastic way of hearing more detailed tone information about the target.

Comfy to wear with the sponge ear padding, charged via USB, volume control and high fidelity audio.

Auto & Manual Ground balance

The AT Max includes both auto and manual ground balance. The auto ground balance will adjust itself as you swing away optimizing the detector for the ground condition while the manual will allow the user to fine tune to your ground or water conditions.

Optimized frequency & adjustment

The Garrett detector operates at a base frequency of 13.6khz which is a good mid-range frequency both for low and high conductivity metals, however, the metal detector also will allow you to make slight frequency adjustments which will allow for the reduction in interference.

Iron Audio

What this feature does is allow you to metal detect in all metal mode and hear the discriminated iron targets at the same time. The iron audio is very clear.

Other notable features 

A Back-light on the LCD screen for those that like to hunt early in the mornings before dawn or late into the winter afternoons. I personally wouldn’t ever stop detecting if I had the choice!

Notch discrimination allowing you to fine-tune your hunt even further getting rid of them pesky pull tabs.

Digital target ID numbers on a very large and clear LCD screen. These give you a good idea of if it’s a good target or bad target. Once you get use to this feature it’s pretty hard to live without.

Garrett AT Max Modes

  • Custom mode: The custom mode of the Garrett AT Max allows the operator to fine-tune the detector and store these settings as a custom mode. The metal detector will remember these settings even when switched off so you can go back to them at any time.

  • True All Metal: This mode will detect all different metals both ferrous and non-ferrous. Whilst also giving maximum depth capabilities and maximum sensitivity.

  • Zero discrimination: This setting is very similar to all metal mode, however, will give the detectorist a much more detailed informative response on the target using the iron audio.

  • Coins: The coins mode has been pre-setup by Garrett and optimised for coin shooting. Discrimination has already been set so you can use this mode if you’re in a hurry and you want to eliminate all ferrous metals.

Garrett AT Max Best Settings

These settings are in my own opinion and highly depend on the ground you are detecting on. If you have any advice on the best settings for the Garrett AT Max then please feel free to leave a comment below.

I would recommend putting the AT Max into Pro Zero mode, a discrimination setting of 30 and setting the sensitivity to two notches from maximum.

Garrett AT Max Owners Manual

You can download the Garrett AT Max owners manual in PDF format here.

Garrett AT Pro Vs Garrett AT Max

Many people are asking if there is much difference between the two all-terrain metal detectors.

In my opinion, I would say the biggest noticeable difference is the audio. The AT Max adapts the audio from the AT gold. So if you are used to the AT Pro sounds this could be quite a shock as they are totally different. If you’re already an AT Gold owner then you will be used to the change.

Where to buy Garrett AT Max?

The best places to buy the Garrett AT Max I’ve found so far are eBay and Amazon. Your purchase is secure and guaranteed this way. They are also very competitive in prices.

There are other places like Joan Allen or Detecnicks to these are high street stores where you will find metal detectors and accessories.

Garrett AT Max Pro & Con

Pro’sCon’s
Fully submersible and waterproofwireless headphones not waterproof
Fantastic Wireless techA little pricey
Very powerful in regards to depth capabilities
Heavy duty but lightweight

Garrett AT Max Technical specifications

True All Metal ModeYes
Control Box BacklightYes
Frequency13.6khz, adjustable
Iron AudioYes
Ground BalanceAuto & Manual
Threshold adjustmentYes
Waterproofup to 10 feet (3m) fresh and salt water
Search Modes4
Digital Target IDYes
Audio tones3
Notch discriminationAdjustable
Recovery speedFAST
Sensitivity/Depth8 notches
Length43″ to 56″
Weight1.4kgs
Batteries4 x AA
Battery level indicationYes
Warranty2 Years, Limited parts & Labor

Summary

All around this is a fantastic all-terrain metal detector by Garrett. Garrett, as mentioned earlier, is the worlds leading metal detector manufacturer so you can be sure they know what people want. They’ve produced some truly amazing machines setting the standards for the competition. They have not let us down with the Garrett AT max!

For a  seasoned detectorist, the Garrett AT Max will prove a very productive and reliable piece of kit. It does not miss targets and it goes a little deeper in comparison to its predecessors.

It’s designed for all different conditions so whether you’re in highly mineralized soil or in the sea the detector will not fail you. It will still find and perform.

The build quality is fantastic, it’s not going to break. It’s sturdy but lightweight allowing you to be out all day long and not fatigue.

I would highly recommend this machine. I’ve had a couple of days using one and when I can afford it I will have this in my arsenal.

Garrett also claims to have improved the performance when handling salt water in comparison to AT Pro & Gold. Which will be welcomed for beach detection.

How does it fair with the Minelab Equinox 800? Well, that’s something we will soon find out upon release. They are set to compete well I believe.