One of the three Garrett AT machines, Garrett AT Pro is a high quality, stable, and versatile metal detector for users having higher than average skills in treasure hunting. AT Pro does not seem to be specifically fit for a particular type of search, but it shows a steady and seamless operation on many terrains and with many targets. The machine is stuffed with features created to simplify and optimize the search process. While mastering the features and tuning will require some time and effort from the user, especially a newbie, the combination of Garrett AT Pro specs and settings is obviously created to serve the user’s best interest under any conditions.
One of the best variants of a search coil, effective and productive on mineralized grounds and in salty waters.
Various search modes allow to quickly tune the detector according to the location and desired target type.
The user can spot targets on different depths due to the machine’s ability to track ground mineralization.
Up to 10 feet waterproofness will enable the user to spot targets in deeper water.
Gives specific signals for items containing iron, to prevent the treasure hunter from reacting to them as potentially valuable.
False signals and chatter are cut due to shift from electromagnetic interference, including neighboring metal detecting machines and cellphones.
It was released in 2010, and since that date, it enjoys steady demand from treasure hunters all around the world. AT Pro is often mistaken for other AT lineage models, but this review will explain all the unique features of the model. AT Pro is more like the youngest brother among the three models in the lineage, and yet it cannot be called simple or easy to handle.
Garrett AT Pro is an All-Purpose, All-Terrain metal detector for detectorists with medium level of skill. The device is versatile and diverse, it has a bunch of compatible accessories both by Garrett and by other brands, which makes it even more universal in use. The whole thing is powered by 4 AA batteries, and has two years warranty by the manufacturer. This metal detector seems to be suitable for gaining experience, growing metal detecting skills from medium to expert level.
The control box has the LCD display making it easier for the user to tune the settings, and to analyze signals given by the metal detector. There is actually a bunch of buttons and controls on the Control panel, including On\Off plus Mode plus Reset Button, Sensitivity Setting, Mode Indicator, Iron Discrimination, Target ID Legend, Digital Target ID and Ground Balance Indicator, Coin Depth Indicator, Battery Level Indicator, Ground Balance Button, Notch Discrimination Button, Pinpoin and Frequency Shift Button, and Iron Audio. As you can see, the Control Panel is very informative, but can also be hard to master for a beginner detectorist. Some test drives are definitely needed.
Six different search modes provide freedom of choice and tuning for various locations and various targets. Preset modes are handy for both beginners and seasoned detectorists alike, because they facilitate quick tuning of the metal detector.
The main difference of the standard modes is the constant binary audio beep to indicate the target or its absence. Standard modes are good for learning to work with AT Pro, but in fact, many detectorists just prefer this type of signal.
The main difference between these three modes in Pro section is that Pro modes have Proportional Audio and Tone Roll Audio features, giving a more audible chatter and variations of sound. Beginners may find Pro signal type hard to comprehend, but eventually, it provides more information about the targets.
Customizable settings combination created by the user to meet their specific needs on a certain location, or to spot a certain target, can be saved in this search mode slot.
Classic search regimen for coins and other tiny targets. This one will be handy for most small items, and beginner detectorists are likely to use it a lot.
Zero means zero discrimination, and full-force sensitivity to all types of metals. Can be useful especially in the underwater search, when all information about targets is valuable.
Garrett AT Pro offers a set of features and functions that are handy and effective for almost all types of search. While this metal detector cannot be considered the top technology nowadays, when there are so many other decent machines by other brands, AT Pro is still equipped with an impressive toolkit that will provide a metal detectorist with generally everything needed for successful search:
Most often, signals from iron targets are filtered with the help of the Discrimination feature. When the Discrimination settings are tuned to dicriminate ferrous targets, these targets are either ignored completely by the metal detector, or give specific sounds that help the user understand that the item is ferrous.
With AT Pro by Garrett, double-checking ferrous items is even easier. When you switch on the Iron Audio feature, the metal detector will show you silenced (normally discriminated), preventing you from digging doubtful targets, but this is not all. Iron Audio actually adjusts the tones, and in addition to low tone meaning ferrous item, the machine is able to catch the response of other items nearby, if any, and give higher tones for these items. So, the user can both avoid ferrous items, and distinguish potentially valuable targets better.
In contrast to some other metal detectors which are waterproof and fit for deeper underwater search, Garrett AT Pro is fit not only for freshwater use. Due to its high quality 40 segments Discrimination, and also its outstanding Auto Ground Balance feature, this metal detector shows decent performance in saltwater, too.
The search coil provided in the basic kit is the elliptic DD type sized 8.5×11 inches. This comparatively small coil’s configuration makes it versatile and maneuverable in many different locations. The size best fits for smaller and not very deep targets like coins, jewelry, rings, etc, making it the best coil for Garrett AT Pro. However, there are several additional compatible coils for this metal detector, enabling the detectorist to optimize their search virtually under any conditions.
The list of compatible coils includes waterproof Garrett 5 x 8 inches DD PROformance Search Coil, the largest among Garrett coils compatible with AT Pro Garrett concentric 9 x 12 inches PROformance Search Coil with faster recovery speed and bigger areas to be covered, small and perfect for highly littered locations Garrett 4.5 inches Super Sniper Search Coil. There are also compatible coils by other brands, including those by NEL and Cors.
Considering the number of functional buttons on the Control Panel, tuning AT Pro may seem somewhat intimidating. However, there are some basic things that are simple and comprehensive, and only after the detectorist gets used to them, it will make sense to cover more complicated methods.
First things first, the order of switching the metal detector on for basic operations is to switch it on, and select Search Mode before you adjust Discrimination or Sensitivity. Search Mode actually provides enough tuning to start searching immediately, but Sensitivity and Discrimination may indeed require some additional tuning depending on the amount of trash on the location, and type of desired targets. Beginners should use Auto Ground Balance, but for highly mineralized grounds or unusual conditions of operation, Manual setting may be required.
To tune the Discrimination feature adequately, the user shoudl pay attention to the Notch Discrimination and Elimitation functions. You can switch on or off any combination of the pixels, depending on what targets you want to reject.
Now, as for highly trashy areas or areas with high concentration of iron or ferrous items, it is highly recommended to switch the Iron Audio feature off. If you already know there’s lots of iron there, additional Iron Audio will give you too many signals all over the place. Let the Discrimination do its job, and only switch Iron Audio on to double-check specific targets.
Every metal detector has its problems, and Garrett AT Pro is not an exception. While it is a high quality machine which has been in steady demand since the time it was released, one of the most obvious problems with AT Pro is that the technologies used for it are a bit outdated by now. While AT Pro has all that it takes to bring valuable finds on various grounds, it has just rendered itself obsolete by the time of writing the review.
The other obvious problem which arises from the previous one is that Garrett AT Pro software cannot be updated online to fix bugs or upgrade the software at least a bit. In 2010 when the machine was first released, online software updates were not the case yet. However, today this is a huge disadvantage.
Another point to pay attention to is the fact that AT Pro cannot be used with wireless Z-Lynk headphones by Garrett.
And eventually, there is one clear structural problem that many metal detectorists from all over the world report. Because of some peculiarities of the shaft design, many AT Pro machines eventually see their control boxes coming off the shafts. This is a very unpleasant breakage which is not easy to fix, especially on the field. Different people manage it in different ways, but be aware that since the model is very old, Garrett is unlikely to fix this problem in the future, considering that it has not bothered fixing it during all these years. So, if you own Garrett AT Pro, just know that this breakage might happen, and be prepared.
If you own a Garrett AT Pro metal detector and would like to learn some Garrett AT Pro tips and tricks, you will actually know most of them after reading this review, since it covers most of the nuances on settings and features. However, there are two more tips that may come handy at some point.
While AT Pro is fit for saltwater operation, overall any VLF continous wave metal detector faces additional challenges in highly mineralized conductive salt waters. The most important feature to utilize for efficient saltwater search is Ground Balance. For saltwater beach metal detecting, consider Ground Balance between zero and 20. You may want to reduce Sensitivity to stabilize the signal under saltwater conditions.
If you believe all your settings are tuned properly and are relevant to the environment, then facing intermittent signals may mean that you have stumbled across a deeply buried target. Another version is a target placed at an unusual angle so the metal detector has hard time processing its response. To make head or tail of the signal, try scanning the patch that gives this signal from different directions. If you suspect more than one target giving the response, use Zero search mode, or use Pinpoint mode to locate every target separately.
Garrett AT Pro is a versatile metal detector, but additional accessories make it even more multi-functional and efficient under various conditions. Check out the list of accessories below:
The basic package for AT Pro Garrett metal detector includes the following items:
Local retailers may add additional accessories and form their own kits and packages. Please check your local retailer to see what bundles are available to you.
User manual is something you want to read carefully, and more than once, before you start assembling and using the metal detector. Even experienced treasure hunters take time to explore and remember theory before they get to practice; and this rule is especially applicable to newbies. The more you know about your metal detector before you switch it on, the less problems you will have in the field.
Download Garrett AT Pro User’s Manual
Some beginner detectorists want to know how to use the Pinpoint mode, because obviously a full-fledged metal detector cannot be used as a pinpointer tool to stick it into the dirt and locate targets. Instead, you can use the search coil above the ground, to identify where the potential target is, whether there is more than one object, etc. There are two ways to pinpoint with Garrett AT Pro.
The first method is to move the search coil according to a grid-like pattern, approaching the patch of ground from different sides, and swinging the coil above it. Eventually, the expected target should be placed directly under the center of the coil, by finding the spot where the signal is the strongest.
The second way is to pinpoint off the tip or tail of the search coil. For this, move the search coil from side to side via center and locate the spot where the signal is the strongest. Then, stop and slowly pull the coil to you, and as soon as the signal drops, you will know that a shallow target is located right in front of you, at the tip of the search coil. If you reverse the technique, the shallow target will be found at the coil’s tail.
Garrett AT Pro is one of those metal detectors that seem to fit into any searching strategy, location, or method. The device is equipped with versatile and all-purpose features that will come handy for all kinds of targets. The machine is not for beginner-level usage, but medium-level users will find it extremely convenient and diverse.
Garrett AT Pro
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Hi detectorists! I’m Michael Moore, founder of this website, and a dedicated treasure hunter since 2013. If you want to be posted about the most recent news and updates in metal detecting, releases, and trends, subscribe!
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«Keep the coil swinging speed steady; do not swing too fast or too slowly»