As most of you know, I am a big fan of the Fisher F5! The F5 blew me away with the "control" I had over how I wanted to hunt...and its amazing flexibility to handle various soil and radio noise pollution situations. However, as much as I love the F5 and despite its growing "cult" following, the Engineers at First Texas knew there was even more potential in the basic electronic platform from F5. The always amazing Dave Johnson wanted to create a machine that exceeded the performance of the F5 and simplified the controls. (One thing for which I'm very thankful.... Dave Johnson is NEVER satisfied with status quo!).
When I was given the chance to field test the Teknetics Omega 8000, I jumped all over it! I knew it grew from lessons learned on the F5, so expectations were high. The Omega did not disappoint .
The first thought that pops in my mind when I think of the Omega? Buttery Smoothness! I dare say this is the "calmest" metal detector I've ever used...by calm, I mean there's nearly no (as in ZERO) audio noise when it's set correctly..and when you're not hitting an accepted target. Do not be fooled...just because it's quiet does NOT mean it's not sensitive! The Omega hit targets both in my test garden and "in the wild" plenty deep! As a matter of fact, with the optional 11" DD biaxial coil it was getting nearly as deep as my F75! Now, not all is perfect (darn close though!). The Omega is NOT as good at identifying Nickels as the F70 or F75, but on silver coins it flat-out kicks butt!
Let's start with the basics... The Teknetics Omega is the pinnacle of the latest batch of machines flowing forth from the braintrust at First Texas. Lead Engineer of the Omega project was Jorge Saad (of Fisher F5 fame) with major contributions from Engineer John Gardiner. The line of "newest" machines includes the Alpha, Delta and Gamma. The current "King" of the Tek line is still the legendary T2...but the Omega is nipping at its heels! The Omega follows the basic silver and black color scheme as seen in the other Greek named units. Each unit has its own unique trim colors too...the Omega's is a nice blue!
The first thing you'll notice when looking at the Omega is the Zen-like simplicity and balance. The face has two prominent knobs which control on/off , Sensitivity and Discrimination. There are also several membrane style buttons, but they are flush with the surface of the face plate making the Omega look very, very sleek. I found out from Teknetics Engineer's that one of the goals of the Omega was simplicity coupled with outstanding performance...and in my opinion, they succeeded completely.
Checking out the physical design and ergonomics, you'll find a very balanced and lightweight detector that you can swing for hours. The grip has a nice rubberized texture and the handle has an ergo-friendly curve that helps to relieve stress in your hand over the long haul. Even when using the larger 11" DD coil balance is great...a little bit heavier up front, but nothing you'll pay much attention to. Even if you did notice the extra weight, you'll soon forget it when you're bent over digging dimes at 8 to 10 inches! (yep...confirmed in my dirt!). The overall physical package of the Omega is nice and solid. No clicks or creaks while swinging the coil. All the locking collars are secure.
Operationally, the Omega rocks! The cool analog style knobs offer just the right resistance for "thumbing" the controls...not too loose, not too tight. The membrane buttons seem to follow design cues from the Delta...flush with the faceplate. This took a little getting used to, but once you swing it a while, you'll learn how to get to the commonly used options...and in typically brilliant Dave Johnson design style, everything you need is accessible with no more than a button press or knob turn. I think he's winning that "war on bad user interfaces"!
I've spent many, many hours hunting with the Omega. I've used both the stock concentric coil and the optional 11" DD coil. Both are great for various applications...but I LOVE the 11" DD (more on it later in this report)! I owned a Fisher Coinstrike for quite a while, and while a few things about it bugged me, one thing it did very well...It LOVED round objects! The Omega seems to as well...it sounds off HARD on even small targets when they are round. I was hunting a local park and heard a nice "round sounding" target that pinpointed at 5 inches. I "X'ed the target and started digging... up came a TINY copper washer at 4 inches! I wasn't so much astounded at hearing such a small target, but I was amazed at how good it sounded at that depth!
The Omega ships stock with a 10" elliptical concentric coil. I've always loved this coil design... It's a great balance of weight and performance. Pinpointing is dead-on in the center of the "tear drop" shape. This coil also separates targets well (better than most concentrics I've used). Depth is very good and can accurately ID coins in my test garden at 8 inches!
Display and Audio:
LCD display on the Omega in very intuitive. Everything is where it "feels" like it should be. The ID digits are nice and large...and the display is very visible in various types of light. One thing that instantly grabs your eye is the cool "horizon" style ground phase monitoring.One quick glance and you can tell whether you need to ground balance or not! The further out of balance you are, the more bars show...you'll also notice a little arrow above or below the display indicating which way to adjust to get things balanced. Speaking of ground balancing, it's a snap. You have the option to manually balance or use a one button "grab". The quick grab seems to always be very accurate in my local soil...so I tend to use it most often. If you do desire to manually tweak the GB, the resolution is incredible. There's an "up or down" arrow above and below the "GND GRAB" button that lets you physically adjust the balance.
Another new visual feature on the Omega is the "signal" graph. It works just like it sounds...when you locate a target, this will give you a signal strength reading on the fly. It can be very useful for sizing targets or cherry picking for deep stuff.
Something else I really like about the Omega display is the "Setting" window. It changes to reflect whatever option you're adjusting at any given time. For example, while tweaking ground balance, the adjustment is shown here...same for tone modes, frequency, sensitivity, etc.
The Omega 8000 audio is spectacular! There is TONS of information in the how the signal sounds...it is very hard to describe with words. The closest example is the old style analog detectors of years past... a lot of the "Old Timers" could tell you whether a target was good or bad with a single audio tone! How? Well, it was HOW that single tone sounded...smooth or harsh. Their ears were self-trained to distinguish amazing amounts of information. The Omega audio has similar characteristics.
There are 4 tone options available: Single, 2 tones (ferrous and non-ferrous), 3 tones and 4 tones. Each can have advantages depending on your hunting style.
Let me just say this...if you discriminate out an unwanted target on the Omega...it's gone! No spitting or sputtering...it's just "gone"! The discrimination on the Omega is splendidly designed..and very smooth and linear. I spent a bit of time testing to see if you lose any depth when cranking the discrimination...my observation is no. Even when it is "cranked" for cherry picking silver coins, the depth seems to hold steady (reminds me of the CZ line...another Dave Johnson creation!). Iron handling on the Omega is great...and my experience with co-located targets (a coin butted up against iron that's been discriminated out) is great. The machine seems to reset almost as fast as the F75 for these situations.
The brand-spankin' new 11" DD coil!
I have never, ever seen a great detector transformed into an AWESOME detector by something as simple as an optional coil! (simple for me to say...I didn't have to design or build it!). The new coil makes the Omega into a butt kickin' depth demon on par with (or exceeding) the "big boys" of the industry. Side-by-side testing with my F75 indicated it is almost as deep on silver coins! Wow! In real world use, the new coil genuinely makes the Omega feel like an entirely different beast...I keep having these Clark Kent and Superman mental images! It is THAT good! Word of wisdom...if you already have an Omega, run, don't walk, to your nearest dealer and grab one! It is indeed worth it!
In a recent conversation with First Texas Engineer Dave Johnson (designer of the CZ series, Gold Bug, T2, F75, etc., etc.) he said:
"There is (in my opinion, which seems to be shared by others) an overall character to the "O-8" (as I see some are starting to call it), of straightforwardness, elegant simplicity, smoothness and predictability of response, and high level of performance which is difficult to sum up in a short catch-phrase. It's a good tot-lotter in the hands of a beginner, as well as a versatile high-performance coinshooter & relic hunter in the hands of the experienced enthusiast. It's the machine you can recommend to almost anyone and not go wrong.
Lots of the stuff I've designed is stuff that other people liked but which didn't really excite me personally. Guess you can tell that I really like the Omega.
--Dave J. "
When I hear something like this coming from someone with Dave Johnson's background...I stop and take notice!
The Omega reigns supreme in "quiet" operation...deceptively so. This machine is somehow still sensitive to small targets...and gets great depth...ESPECIALLY with the optional 11" DD coil. In my opinion, the Omega 8000 is a brilliant addition to the Teknetics line-up. It has simplified the user interface without sacrificing control or power...Outstanding performance, intuitive controls and stability. Quite a combination!
Teknetics Omega 8000 Features:
- Two-Digit Numerical Target ID System
- Tone Discrimination
- Number of Tones: 4
- 64 Levels of Adjustable Discrimination
- Multiple Notches Selectable by Categories
- Fully Static Push-Button Pinpoint
- Adjustable Sensitivity
- Battery Life Indicator
- On-Screen Operation Status Readout
- Running Signal Strength Indicator
- Audio Pitch Proportional to Signal Strength
- Push-Button & Adjustment Knob Control Interface
- 2 Search Modes
- Discrimination Mode
- All Metals Motion Mode
- Selectable All Metals Tones
- Overload Alarm System
- Transmit Frequency: 7.8 kHz
- Ground Grab
- Manual Ground Balance
- Continuous Ground Phase Readout
- Ground Mineralization Readout
- 10" Concentric Elliptical Open-Face Coil System
- 5 Year Limited Warranty