Nokta Makro Simplex+ vs Minelab Vanquish 540

Nokta Makro Simplex+ vs Minelab Vanquish 540

Nokta Makro and Minelab are 2 of the most well-known metal detector manufacturers in the world. Both offer great products at competitive prices packed with the latest technology. In this article, we will discuss the Simplex + by Nokta Makro and the Vanquish 540 by Minelab. 

Both are relatively new to the market of metal detectors, and both have some amazing features to offer. So, lets decide who will win in the competition of Nokta Makro Simplex + vs Minelab Vanquish 540.

Nokta Makro Simplex+

The Nokta Makro Simplex + is one of my favorite metal detectors on the market currently. This model is tailored to beginning detectorists, yet it has numerous features that will keep an intermediate detectorist happy. The Simplex + is fully submersible up to 10 feet, making it perfect for shallow diving or shallow water hunting. 

It features a vibration upon detection alert that makes it easier to determine if you have found something underwater. This feature is also helpful for those who are hard of hearing or those who do not wish to make a lot of noise while detecting. 

The Simplex + is designed to find all treasure types and has 5 search modes:

Field – best for relic hunting. Provides a low tone for ferrous targets and a high tone for non-ferrous targets.

Park 1 – Best for coin shooting. This mode has 3 tones with low for ferrous, mid-tone for non-ferrous and gold targets, and high tone for copper and silver. This mode searches deeper but slower than Park 2. 

Park 2 – The same as Park 1, but faster with a loss of depth.

Beach – Best for use in highly conductive soil areas, like saltwater or high mineralization. Has more ground balancing settings to give the best results.

All Metal – This mode must be ground balanced. It gives a threshold tone consistent in the background.

Beach Mode is one of my favorite features on this metal detector. It works extremely well in areas with high soil mineralization. Where I live, the soil is full of minerals and metals. Most metal detectors give false readings or overload in this area, but the Simplex + in Beach Mode allows me to search and find objects more consistently. 

The detector may still struggle slightly in areas with saltwater. Saltwater is naturally conductive, and this is a single frequency metal detector. It will outperform many single frequency metal detectors in saltwater areas but may give more false readings than a pulse induction metal detector would.

Metal detecting on the beach: Can the Nokta Makro Simplex+ do it well?

The Simplex + has Iron Volume. This allows you to turn off or adjust the volume of iron targets. A low, grunting tone is emitted when iron is detected which allows you to differentiate between iron targets and other target types without sacrificing depth. It also features notch discrimination with 20 segments so you can accept or reject many metal types. Notch discrimination does not work in All Metal mode. 

The Simplex + features a large, easy to read LCD screen with backlight. The backlight can be lowered or turned off to save battery. It also comes with an LED flashlight built-in for hunting in low light situations. The screen shows numerical target identification, target conductivity, which metals are notched, search mode, sensitivity bar graph, magnetic mineralization indicator, and battery level indicator. This model has a collapsible stock so it can be shortened to make travel and packing easier.

The Simplex + comes standard with an 11” Double-D search coil. It operates at 12 kHz with frequency shift. This means the frequency can be adjusted up or down slightly to compensate for electromagnetic interference or high soil mineralization readings. This model features a pinpoint mode to help you better narrow down a search area. It is lightweight, at just under 3 pounds and operates on a built-in rechargeable battery pack. It can be used with wireless or wired headphones. 

Software is updatable on this model to ensure the operating system is kept up to date and any issues can be modified with a software patch. To do this, simply go to Nokta Makro’s Simplex + page, find the section labeled Software Update, and download any updates available. The site will detail what the update does and give you further information on the update. 

There is also a video underneath the Software Update section showing you exactly how to apply the update. As it stands, you can only update the Simplex + using a PC using Windows software. There is no capability to update on a Mac right now. Nokta Makro offers a 2-year warranty on the Simplex +.

This is a strong contender in the battle of Nokta Makro Simplex + vs Minelab Vanquish 540!

Minelab Vanquish 540

The Vanquish line of metal detectors is the newest offering from Minelab. These detectors are meant to cater to beginning and intermediate metal detectorists. The Vanquish 540 is the top dog in this line and has some excellent features. This model features Minelab’s patented Multi-IQ technology. 

This allows the metal detector to operate on multiple frequencies simultaneously. This detector uses frequencies of 5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kHz, 20 kHz, and 40 kHz. The lower frequencies are best for finding metals like silver. The higher frequencies of this detector will make it better for finding small or fine gold than the Simplex +. Gold is best found at frequencies above 18 kHz, so this detector will have more chance at finding small gold nuggets and fine jewelry

Use the Minelab Vanquish 540 to find awesome gems like buried jewelry!

Multi-IQ will also you to hunt areas that have already been detected. Scanning on multiple frequencies will pick up some things left behind. This technology allows the Vanquish 540 to maintain accurate target identification without sacrificing depth. It can maintain sensitivity across all target types while keeping ground noise to a minimum. 

The Vanquish 540 comes with 5 search modes:

  • Coin
  • Relic
  • Jewelry
  • Custom
  • All Metal
Minelab Vanquish 540

It also features a pinpoint mode to better narrow down the search area. This model features 19 channel noise cancellation so if you search in areas with high soil mineralization, you can cut down some of the ground noise. It also has adjustable Iron Bias. This model features a large LED screen with red backlight and numerical target identification. It has 10 levels of volume adjustment, 10 levels of sensitivity adjustment, and 5 target audio tones. The Vanquish 540 has 25 segments of discrimination so you can customize what metals you want to find.

This model is lightweight at just under 3 pounds. It operates on rechargeable AA batteries. The Vanquish 540 comes standard with Minelab’s V12 12” by 9” waterproof Double-D search coil. All models in the Vanquish series have interchangeable search coils, so you can use any Vanquish search coil with the 540. 

This model is also sold as a Pro Pack, which comes with the larger search coil and a smaller 5” by 8” search coil. The control box is not fully waterproof so the Vanquish 540 should never be fully submerged. This model has Bluetooth capabilities and can be used with wireless or wired headphones. Minelab offers a 3-year warranty on the Vanquish 540.

Nokta Makro Simplex+ vs Minelab Vanquish 540

Both models cater to beginning or intermediate detectorists. Both have several built-in search modes making them simple to use. The Vanquish 540 does not feature ground balancing, but the Multi-IQ does compensate somewhat for this because of its changing frequencies. This is not as sophisticated as a dedicated ground balancing system, however, and you may notice some ground noise or missed targets with this system. 

The Vanquish 540 will likely perform better in saltwater areas. Saltwater is inherently conductive, and this has been known to throw off single frequency metal detectors. The Simplex + does have a dedicated Beach Mode which helps compensate for some of the saltwater effects. Both metal detectors have pinpoint mode, lighted LED screen, numerical target identification, and discrimination features. 

The Simplex + is fully waterproof up to 10 feet. The Vanquish 540 has a waterproof search coil but the control box should never be submerged in water. If you plan to search in shallow waters or are looking for a shallow diving metal detector, the Simplex + wins out in this area. The Vanquish 540 can still be used in shallow waters, but great care should be taken to keep the control box safe and dry.

The Simplex + also has updatable software. While this may not seem important, if there is an issue with the operating system or a known bug in the functionality of the metal detector, Nokta Makro can simply put a software update download on their website and the problem can be fixed. If a problem arises with the Minelab Vanquish 540, it will likely have to be returned to the manufacturer to fix, or you would just have to accept the issue. 

Both the Vanquish 540 and Simplex + use rechargeable batteries, however, the Simplex + uses a built-in battery pack while the Vanquish 540 uses rechargeable AA batteries. The Simplex + can simply be plugged in to any outlet and charge. The Vanquish 540 batteries will have to be removed and charged in a dedicated battery charger. The Vanquish 540 can also be used with non-rechargeable AA batteries if you so choose. 


So, who wins in the difficult battle of Nokta Makro Simplex + vs Minelab Vanquish 540? This is a tough one for me to judge. I genuinely like and appreciate both metal detectors. Both come from great manufacturers who know what they are doing and what people are looking for. Overall, I would recommend the Nokta Makro Simplex + over the Minelab Vanquish 540.

The Simplex + has proven itself to be a fantastic metal detector perfect for entry level or intermediate detectorists. I was nervous when I purchased mine simply because of the difficult soil I encounter here in northeastern Utah. The composition of the soil makes most single frequency metal detectors give numerous false readings and even overload and shut down. The Simplex + has never had these issues in this difficult soil if I run the machine in Beach Mode or customize the other modes. 

I do really like the multiple frequency options on the Minelab Vanquish 540. This metal detector makes finding all treasure types quick and simple. And if you are in the market for a metal detector for gold prospecting, you may want to try the Vanquish 540. The 20 kHz and 40 kHz frequencies are perfect for gold prospecting. 

The Simplex + will still find gold if it is large enough. But it will struggle to find small gold nuggets, gold flakes, and fine gold jewelry. All single frequency detectors struggle with small and fine gold if the operating frequency is low. Also, multiple frequency metal detectors tend to be a little bit slower than single frequency or pulse induction metal detectors because they have a lot more data to relay and decipher. The Vanquish 540 is quick and efficient in this regard, but the Simplex + is quicker. 

I also really like the vibration target alert on the Simplex +. This is handy when you are metal detecting in an area that is populated and you either cannot hear your metal detector well, do not want to wear headphones (or it is dangerous to do so), or you simply do not want to draw too much attention to yourself or bother others with the constant beep of a metal detector. This feature is also handy when shallow diving without headphones. The vibration is easy to feel underwater and extremely helpful. It is also a good thing for those hard of hearing. 

Again, I have used the Nokta Makro Simplex + extensively and have never regrated purchasing this metal detector. It was simple to use right out of the box, and as I got more familiar with the metal detector, the settings were simple to learn and easy to adjust. There are plenty of features to keep me happy, while being simple enough for my 13-year-old son to use. This detector is a great option for new detectorists or those who are intermediate. 


A: Most multiple frequency metal detectors output between 3 and 5 frequencies simultaneously. Some output more. The main advantage of this technology is if a target is missed by one frequency, another might be able to pick it up. For example, the lower frequency of 5 kHz may not detect a small piece of gold 6” down. 

But the 20 kHz and 40 kHz frequencies have a chance of picking up this piece of gold as the detector utilizes its multiple frequencies. Multiple frequency metal detectors are much better in saltwater areas than single frequency detectors. As I stated, this can come at a loss of performance as there is much more data for the machine to interpret. 

A: Yes! Most state parks and national parks are strictly off limits to metal detectorists. Certain cities and counties ban the activity outright, while still other require a permit to detect within city limits. Most national forests allow metal detecting, but it is best to check with your local authorities to ensure you are detecting within the law. You may detect on private property if you obtain written permission. 

Do not trespass! 

When I lived in southern Idaho, there were many beautiful river areas to metal detect. But some of them had claims on them (gold claims, usually). Claims must be posted in a visible location, and you may not metal detect on someone’s claim. Always do your research and find the laws and restrictions in your area. They change by state, city, and county. There are also federal laws you must follow

A: On saltwater beaches, the Simplex + may give off more ground noise than some other metal detectors that are beach specific. It does feature a Beach Mode, which helps to cancel some of the effects of saltwater areas. As I mentioned, this feature works well in my area where the soil mineralization is remarkably high. 

On freshwater beaches, the Simplex + will have no problem finding targets quickly and easily. Remember, this model is also waterproof up to 10 feet so if you want to shallow dive, the Simplex + is a great tool to take along! 

The Nokta Makro Simplex + and Vanquish 540 were both released in 2019. Both have been on the market long enough to ensure they are good detectors, and that people are happy with them. As I mentioned, Nokta Makro releases updates for the Simplex + with a quick trip to their website so this will ensure the detector stays up to date with their latest available software. 

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