The White’s Spectra V3i upgrade...Get it!
I was privileged to receive one of the early White’s Electronics “Vision” uber-detectors last year. Without a doubt, the most user configurable metal detector on the planet! Initially, all the settings and options can seem a little overwhelming. However...if you take the time to really learn this machine, you will be rewarded. The Vision/Spectra V3i CANNOT be mastered in a week or even a month. This is a detector that GROWS with you as a hobbyist. If you purchase one, be prepared to dedicate some serious time studying various forum posts and experimenting...but, boy, is it worth it!
I recently sent my Vision back to White’s headquarters for the V3i upgrade. I was more than a little curious about the new features and options... and reports of increased depth and stability. I can honestly report that I have indeed observed improved depth (and it was already world-class) at both beach hunting and the varying soils of North Carolina. Perceived stability was also an issue with the original Vision (mine) while using the stock D2 coil. After the V3i upgrade, the machine seems much smoother and less susceptible to electrical interference from power lines.
New features implemented by the V3i upgrade include:
- Support for Foreign languages (i -> international)
- On-board Quick Reference system
- Stereo mix-mode audio
- Polar analysis plot
- Prospecting analysis scan
- Single frequency salt tracking
- Several other minor improvements
...Plus you get a cool sticker on your returned machine saying it’s now a V3i!
Upgrades to the new software are FREE (excluding a $25 return shipping fee) if you purchased your V3 on or after November 1st , 2009. If you purchased a Vision or V3 PRIOR to November 1st, the upgrade cost is $100 (plus $25 return shipping fee). In my honest opinion, this is an awesome deal for an upgrade that essentially transforms a great detector into an awesome detector! White’s could have easily said “no upgrades” and just launched the V3i as another model. Instead they give early adopters the option to not be left behind...and for a reasonable fee. No one HAS to send their machine in to be upgraded...it works just fine as a Vision or V3. However, it’s pretty nice to know you can if you want to, especially with all the added features and improvements.
Overall, I highly recommend the V3i upgrade! I have found no negatives...only positives, as a result of sending it in to White’s. The whole process only took a week and arrived back home just in time for a trip to the beach for vacation! By the way...if you’re salt water beach hunting, I also recommend picking up one of the new “V rated” 950 loops! It performed flawlessly transitioning from dry to wet sand...more on this in an upcoming review!
A few critical links related to the White's Electronics Vision/ Spectra V3i
White's Electronics Official V3i Forum: http://forums.whiteselectronics.com/forumdisplay.php?54-Spectra-V3i-V3
DetectorStuff White's forum: https://detectorstuff.digdesigns.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=22
Findmalls Vision/Spectra V3i forum: http://www.findmall.com/list.php?66
Taking apart the Spectra V3! https://detectorstuff.digdesigns.com/2009/05/12/another-look-inside-the-whites-spectra-v3/