Featured image of The Garrett ACE 400 Metal Detector

Garrett Ace 400 Review: A Comprehensive Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector Review

Garrett Ace 400 Review: A Comprehensive Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector Review This guide, Garrett ACE 400 Review, is the perfect choice for beginners venturing into the exciting world of metal detecting. It offers a wallet-friendly price without skimping on features. With a variety of preset detector modes and adjustable settings, it’s your ideal companion…


Garrett Ace 400 Review: A Comprehensive Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector Review

This guide, Garrett ACE 400 Review, is the perfect choice for beginners venturing into the exciting world of metal detecting. It offers a wallet-friendly price without skimping on features. With a variety of preset detector modes and adjustable settings, it’s your ideal companion as you embark on this treasure-hunting journey.

To educate you, what sets it apart is its user-friendly factory-preset ground balance. This means you will be able to handle the frustration of adjusting it yourself. This feature alone makes it a top pick for newcomers.

However, let’s keep it real. There might be better choices than the ACE 400 for seasoned detectorists or those exploring challenging terrains. While it offers more than just the basics, there are more advanced tools for tackling the most challenging hunts.

But for most everyday scenarios, this detector provides amateurs with the upper hand in distinguishing between treasure and trash, mastering adjustable settings, and becoming a pro at pinpointing with the searchcoil. So, if you’re new to the game, the Garrett ACE 400 is your trusty sidekick for uncovering hidden gems.

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How Does the Garrett ACE 400 Metal Detector Stack Up?

Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector
Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector

Here’s the exciting scoop on how the ACE 400 performs. For an entry-level metal detector, it pulls its weight and then some! It’s like your trusty sidekick in the world of treasure hunting.

First off, it’s got a knack for telling one metal from another, and it doesn’t keep the secrets to itself. Nope, it flashes all the vital info on its snazzy LCD. You’ll know what kind of metal you’ve stumbled upon, its conductivity, and even how deep it’s hiding.

And let’s not forget about the built-in speaker that adds a little zest to your hunts. Plus, the ClearSound Easy Stow headphones give you the power to control the volume. How cool is that?

With discrimination and notching, you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing your targets. It’s like having a secret decoder sniff out the treasures and leave the junk behind. And if that’s not enough, the Iron Audio feature even lets you listen to different tones to decide if it’s worth grabbing that shovel.

The ACE 400 doesn’t just get you started; it’s your partner in crime that leaves room for your skills to grow. So, when you’ve mastered this gem, you’ll know it’s time for an upgrade, and the adventure continues!

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Features: How Does Garrett Ace 400 Perform?

Sure, let’s dive into a more detailed and informative breakdown of the ACE 400’s features.

Three-Tone Audio System: The Garrett ACE 400 is equipped with a three-tone audio system, which is a valuable feature for metal detection. It emits distinct tones based on the conductivity of the detected metal. High-conductivity metals trigger a belltone, while lower-conductivity materials produce either medium or low-pitched signals. This audio system helps users quickly identify the type of metal they’ve found, enhancing the overall detecting experience.

Pulse-Width Modulation Audio: The ACE 400 features Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) audio technology. This advanced audio system provides highly responsive and precise sound feedback. The sharpness and clarity of the audio feedback contribute to more accurate target identification during metal detection.

Iron Audio and Discrimination: A standout feature in the ACE 400, especially compared to other models in the ACE series, is the Iron Audio system. This proprietary Garrett technology allows users to audibly detect iron targets that have been discriminated against by the detector. When activated, the Iron Audio feature emits multi-toned responses for iron targets, which are typically silent in standard modes. For example, a nail might produce several low tones, while a bottle cap could trigger a low-high-low response. This feature proves invaluable in distinguishing valuable targets from undesirable iron or trash items.

However, it’s essential to note that the effectiveness of Iron Audio depends on ground conditions. In areas with minimal iron trash, this feature dramatically enhances target discrimination and retrieval. In contrast, in regions with a high concentration of iron debris, users may opt to deactivate Iron Audio to prevent excessive signal interference.

In addition to Iron Audio, the ACE 400 has improved iron discrimination with four distinct segments. This enhancement significantly enhances the detector’s ability to separate iron junk from valuable targets, making it more efficient in identifying the sought-after treasures.

Digital Target ID: The ACE 400 addresses a common complaint about the previous ACE 350 model by introducing a digital target ID system. This feature is represented by a numerical scale from 0 to 99, which is displayed prominently on the screen. The digital target ID provides a more accurate and detailed assessment of the detected targets. Targets such as foil and iron fall within the lower range of the scale, while highly conductive coins appear in the upper range. The expanded scale offers greater precision, reducing the likelihood of digging up undesirable targets.

Ground Balance: While the ACE 400 provides impressive functionality, it lacks the option for manual ground balance adjustment. Unlike more advanced models that offer both automatic and manual ground balance settings, the ACE 400 comes preset from the factory. This limitation is less problematic for beginners, as ground balance adjustment requires some experience and is not a critical factor for most environments. However, the absence of manual ground balance adjustment can pose challenges when dealing with highly mineralized soil conditions, such as wet beach sand or gold-rich areas.

Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector
Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector

Search Modes: The ACE 400 offers a flexible discrimination system with 12 notches for fine-tuning target detection. Additionally, it includes five preset search modes, which are:

1. Zero-Disc Mode: While not a true all-metal mode, it serves a similar purpose. It allows users to detect all types of metal without discrimination. This mode is ideal for situations where the metal type is unknown or when a target’s signal is inconsistent.

2. Jewelry Mode: This mode minimizes the detection of iron trash while focusing on valuable items like bracelets, necklaces, and rings.

3. Relics Mode: Relics mode eliminates smaller iron items while targeting materials with lower conductivity, such as those made from bronze, brass, and lead.

4. Coins Mode: Designed to exclude pull tabs, foil, and other everyday trash items, this mode enhances the detection of coins. However, it may occasionally miss medium-sized jewelry items.

5. Custom Mode: The ACE 400 stands out by offering a custom mode that allows users to program their discrimination pattern. By selecting “Custom,” users can employ the Accept/Reject discrimination buttons to adjust the detection segments according to their preferences. Notably, these custom settings are retained when the detector is powered off. Custom mode provides users with exceptional versatility, enabling them to fine-tune their settings for specific metal-detecting objectives.

Waterproof Searchcoil: The ACE 400 comes with a standard 8.5″ x 11″ DD searchcoil that is waterproof, providing an optimal balance between sensitivity and depth. Furthermore, users have the option to explore additional search choices for their ACE detectors, including a Super Sniper 4.5″ search coil, a 5″ x 8″ DD coil, and a 9″ x 12″ PROformance coil. The flexibility to choose different search coil sizes and types allows users to adapt their metal-detecting equipment to specific hunting conditions and preferences.

In summary, the Garrett ACE 400 boasts an array of features that make it a highly capable and versatile metal detector, suitable for users with varying levels of experience and diverse metal-detecting objectives. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced treasure hunter, the ACE 400’s features enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your metal-detecting adventures.

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Other Features of the Garret Ace 400

Now, let’s explore some more features of the ACE 400 that add to its charm and functionality.

Pinpointing Function: The ACE 400 comes with a handy pinpointing function designed to help you locate your target precisely. While I prefer a dedicated pinpointer, having this built-in option is a nifty addition. Notably, this feature is present on the ACE 300 and ACE 250 models but is absent in the basic ACE 200 model.

Sensitivity Adjustment Segments: You’ll have control over eight sensitivity adjustment segments with the ACE 400. This feature allows you to strike the perfect balance between detecting depth and sensitivity, which can be invaluable in varying ground conditions. Whether you’re in an area with mineral-rich soil or a location where depth is your top priority, this flexibility gives you the upper hand.

Target Depth Indicator: As with all ACE series metal detectors, the ACE 400 includes a target depth indicator. This handy feature provides you with valuable information about how deep your detected targets are buried. It’s a real time-saver, sparing you from unnecessary digging when your target is just a few inches below the surface.

Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector
Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector

Control Panel and Display:

If you’re already familiar with Garrett ACE metal detectors, you’ll instantly feel at ease with the ACE 400’s control panel. While it doesn’t introduce groundbreaking innovations, it has undergone evolutionary improvements to enhance readability and user-friendliness.

One of the standout qualities of the ACE series is its simplicity and clarity. You won’t find cryptic button sequences to memorize. Everything is thoughtfully labeled and straightforward to navigate, making your metal-detecting experience more enjoyable. The visual display offers an array of valuable information, including an expanded Target ID Legend that even covers different coin denominations.

However, there’s a minor gripe about the legend on the control panel being somewhat challenging to read outdoors. Rest assured, the target ID display remains visible under various conditions, and it’s what you’ll be primarily relying on.


One of the most compelling aspects of the Garrett ACE 400 is its price. With a suggested retail price of $400, this metal detector delivers remarkable performance and features. It strikes a fantastic balance between affordability and functionality. If you’re in the market for an entry-level metal detector and are willing to invest a bit more than you would for models like the Fisher F22, the ACE 400 offers exceptional value.

Performance in the Field:

Using the Garrett ACE 400 in the field is a breeze. Even if you’re a beginner, you can get it up and running within minutes after a quick read of the manual. Its lightweight design, impressive accuracy, and stellar performance make your metal-detecting outings truly enjoyable.

The ACE 400 shines in the field with its high-sensitivity settings, effectively detecting targets with precision. Even if you need to dial back the sensitivity, it continues to deliver strong performance. Its distinct bell tone for coins is not only straightforward but also easy to distinguish amidst the ambient sounds.

You’ll find the ACE 400 to be adept at discriminating against trash items. This means less time wasted on digging up unwanted objects, making it a standout performer in its price range. The inclusion of iron audio further elevates its trash-target discrimination capabilities.

The standard search coil does an admirable job of separating targets in areas cluttered with debris. Additionally, it provides decent depth on dry land, although for smaller targets, you may want to consider one of the smaller search coils available.

As with all metal detectors, the maximum detection depth varies based on factors such as machine settings, ground mineralization, target size, and more. However, you can expect the ACE 400 to excel in sensitivity for its price range, capable of discovering medium-sized coins buried at depths of up to 8 inches.

It’s important to note that the ACE 400’s lack of ground balance adjustment makes it unsuitable for regions with highly mineralized soil. Also, if you plan to hunt on wet sand, be aware that it may experience some signal interference, although it performs admirably on dry beach sand.

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Comparing the ACE 400 to Other Detectors

Let’s take a closer look at how the ACE 400 stacks up against some of its metal detector peers. As you’ve probably gathered, I have a lot of enthusiasm for the ACE 400, which falls into the category of entry-level and mid-range detectors. It offers features typically found in more expensive models, like Iron Audio and Accept/Reject discrimination, all at an affordable price. But how does it measure up against its counterparts?

ACE 400 Vs. AT Pro

Garrett 1140460
Garrett 1140460

The “All Terrain” series, represented by the AT Pro, is a step up from the ACE range. You’d naturally expect the AT Pro to come with more features. It operates at 15kHz, making it more sensitive to smaller targets, and provides a rapid recovery time for separating closely located targets.

One of the most significant differences is that the AT Pro is submersible up to a depth of 10 feet, making it suitable for underwater treasure hunting, especially in freshwater conditions. It also boasts both automatic and manual ground balance settings, a feature that significantly outperforms the ACE 400 when handling highly mineralized ground.

The AT Pro is undoubtedly the superior metal detector (for a full review, check here). However, it comes with a considerably higher price tag. If you’re budget-conscious, the ACE 400 remains an excellent choice without compromising quality.

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ACE 400 Vs. ACE 350

The ACE 400 was introduced as a replacement for the ACE 350, marking a significant upgrade. Even though the ACE 350 has been phased out, you might still find the remaining stock available. It’s crucial to understand the distinctions between these models.

One of the most notable enhancements is the inclusion of a numerical target ID in the ACE 400, offering far greater accuracy in target identification. The ACE 350 lacked the option to adjust its frequency, which can be helpful when detecting in groups or near powerlines.

Moreover, the ACE 400 introduces the iron audio feature, which is invaluable for avoiding the frustration of digging up junk targets. While the ACE 400 hasn’t revolutionized the ACE series, these additions and several other improvements collectively make it a far superior detector compared to the ACE 350.

ACE 400 Vs. Fisher F44

Fisher F44 Metal Detector
Fisher F44

The Fisher F44 is another formidable contender in the same price range. How does it fare against the ACE 400?

Both models are solid choices, offering robust performance and an array of features at their respective price points. They both feature numerical target ID, adjustable iron audio, and notch discrimination, providing excellent value for your investment.

However, there are distinctions to consider. Notably, the Fisher F44 includes manual ground balance, making it an excellent option for hunting in areas with high mineralization levels.

On the other hand, the ACE 400 provides more discrimination segments (12 compared to 9) and operates at a higher frequency, rendering it more sensitive to smaller objects. Your choice between the two will depend on your specific needs and hunting conditions.

ACE 400 Vs. Whites TreasureMaster

Although the ACE 400 comes at a higher price point than the TreasureMaster, it generally offers a broader range of features.

The TreasureMaster boasts one notable advantage: automatic ground balance. While it doesn’t include manual ground balance adjustments, the machine automatically adapts to the current ground conditions. This is an impressive feature, especially for an entry-level detector, and proves invaluable when you’re dealing with challenging ground conditions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Garrett ACE 400 a good detector?

Yes, the Garrett ACE 400 is generally considered a good metal detector, offering a balance of features for both beginners and intermediate users.

How deep will a Garrett ACE 400 go?

The depth to which a Garrett ACE 400 can detect objects depends on various factors, including the size and type of the target, ground conditions, and settings, but it can typically detect objects at depths of up to 8-10 inches or more.

Can the Garrett ACE 400 find gold?

The Garrett ACE 400 can find small gold items like jewelry and gold nuggets, but it is not specialized for gold prospecting. There are detectors better suited for gold prospecting.

Is the Garrett ACE 400 better than the 300?

Yes, the Garrett ACE 400 offers some improvements over the ACE 300, including enhanced features and performance, making it a better choice for many users.

Which Garrett Ace is the best?

The best Garrett ACE model can vary depending on your specific needs and preferences, but the ACE 400 is considered a good choice for many detectorists.

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