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CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: Waterboy64
Date: December 24, 2019 10:19PM
It's down to these two options for me. This is for midwest freshwater diving 25'-60' average depth.
My impressions from digging into these two are that the Excalibur is more electronically advanced and allows more thorough and accurate searches, but is mechanically less durable
the CZ-21. Since the machine will be used in very low visibility and structure prone waters and suffer the rigors of bouncing around in an inflatable full of
weights, tanks, etc., the physical integrity and design (exposed and unshielded controls) is an important issue and near controlling consideration.
I've seen neither machine, just reviews and videos.

I will appreciate insights from those with experience and knowledge in this regard.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: vlad
Date: December 25, 2019 11:52AM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/25/2019 11:55AM by vlad.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: vlad
Date: December 25, 2019 11:54AM
I would not say the Excal is more advanced; they both were designed near the same time, with different features. I've owned both.
And I would not say the Excal is less durable--sooner or later all water unit seals leak. (FRL repairs are miles ahead of ML.)
The Excal has more tones, motion pinpoint and auto ground, while the CZ has manual ground, non motion pinpoint and a audio boost.
You might look at ML's Equinox and Vanquish too; newer units with some features that make them more versatile in doing some things the older units cannot.
There are no bad units in the bunch; its just personal preference.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: WaterWalker
Date: December 25, 2019 04:44PM
Neither the Equinox nor the Vanquish are spec'd out for 60 foot depths.
do not dive, I own the 1280X (similar to the CZ) and 2 Excaliburs and would have to recommend the Excalibur. I would hip mount the controls to my belt and leg if diving and the coil to a short dive shaft then... "Set and Go". No real need to make an adjustment while detecting with the Excalibur once it is set the first time.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: Waterboy64
Date: December 26, 2019 12:25AM
Thank you for the thoughtful replies. Vlad, have you used both units at depth?
Waterwalker, not certain if you dive by your message text. I prefer to have nothing mounted on me beyond the basic dive gear. Anything that protrudes will inevitably
attract entanglements (vegetation, under water structure, even fishing line with the lure firmly embedded in a downed tree). Even dive knives are forearm mounted in spite of what 'Mike Nelson' did on the old Sea Hunt TV show :))
and the weight belt needs to be immediately ditch-able in the event of a need for emergency ascent.
All natural light/ color disappears below about 15 feet and in my region visibility is usually less than 10 feet.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: tvr
Date: December 26, 2019 02:07AM
I don't dive. That said, the Excalibur has been a little more maintenance than the CZ for me, but not a lot more. For most detecting trips to a beach I pack at least one of each. Always good to have a back up. If you go with an Excalibur, get a knob guard. It is cheap insurance against whacking the knobs. I have managed to develop hairline cracks in two Excalibur battery pods some how, not real sure how; but that has been over many years. Keep a back up battery pod nearby just in case.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: Waterboy64
Date: December 26, 2019 04:49PM
Thanks, tvr. I was not aware a knob protector was available as an accessory.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: Dancer
Date: January 10, 2020 09:16AM
It takes a lot of guys to dive in those conditions. Can't imagine myself working threw that. Good luck on your finds. And be safe.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: January 11, 2020 07:52PM
Another consideration is that the CZ is silent search. Ie.: no background threshold. Some people might like that, but others prefer a threshold There is also some dispute as to whether deep bent nails and deeep coins, can be very hard to differentiate on the CZ (ie.: a bit of weakness on some iron targets). But the Excal is very adept at passing iron.

The excal has very annoying tones that can take a LOT of getting used to. Versus the CZ which is much simpler to use and adjust to.

Lots of pro's and con's here, but I preferred the Excal. You might also want to consider a 3030, which is like an Exp. II, only water proof. But then again, it too has tones that take-time-getting-used to.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: Waterboy64
Date: January 13, 2020 09:35PM
Thanks for the comments, Tom. I looked at the 3030 specs and had to rule that one out.
I'm an advanced and rescue diver, so I need a machine that is waterproof at depth for search and recovery applications.
I'm leaning toward the Excal as that seems to be the preferred detector by the majority of forum users.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: mrcolin2u
Date: January 14, 2020 10:52PM
I have a CZ20 and an Excel II . Both excellent underwater machines. I've found lots of jewelry and coins in saltwater with both machines. The CZ uses 4X 9volt batteries whereas the excel has a rechargeable battery.

I bought both my machines used and they have paid fro themselves multiple times ! You can't go wrong with either one.

Re: CZ-21 or Excalabur II?
Posted by: GeorgeinSC
Date: January 16, 2020 11:36PM
When I was in the market for a waterproof salt water machine I gave a lot of thought and research to which of the two that I would purchase. Talked to a number of guys. I purchased the Excal II and absolutely no regrets. Mine has reimbursed me the cost on a number of occasions. Plus the pleasure I get from using the machine. I did get rid of that crooked shaft that minilab puts on the machine. Replaced it with a straight shaft and the balance is far better. At 79 years of age I can still swing it for a number of hours.

Minelab Sovereign GT With an assortment of coils
Garrett Pro Pointer
Leche digging tool
Minelab Excalibur II
T-Rex 9.5 wet sand scoop