10 posts in this topic
By Steve Herschbach
Fisher Research originally released the 19 kHz Gold Bug model about 1987. It was a real breakthrough design at the time with a compact control box, S-rod, and elliptical coils. The detector is a good unit but is strictly all metal (no discrimination). It has no LCD readout and looks much like the current Gold Bug 2 but has a white lower rod and a black control panel face. Some people are confusing this old model with the new so be aware of this when looking at used detectors. The 19 kHz coils for the old Gold Bug will not work on newer versions of the Gold Bug below.
Around 2010 a number of new Gold Bug models were released by Fisher. First came the Gold Bug. Then came the Gold Bug SE (Special Edition) which added manual ground balance at a bargain introductory price. The SE with minor tweaks later became the Gold Bug Pro at a higher price. So now we have two basic versions, the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro. They differ from the old 1987 model by having an LCD readout. The standard version of either detector comes with a 5" round coil. There is a Gold Bug DP (Deep Penetrating) which is nothing more than a Gold Bug Pro with an 11" x 7" DD elliptical coil instead of a 5" round DD coil.
The only difference listed by Fisher between the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro is that the Gold Bug Pro has a manual adjustment option for the ground balance and also offers "higher sensitivity".
Both models use a "Ground Grab" button as a simple ground balance method that is quite effective. The Gold Bug Pro allows you to also manually adjust the ground balance setting up or down. The manual adjustment can be used in conjunction with or separately from the Ground Grab button.
The big question is the "higher sensitivity" claim. There are two possibilities here. First, that the Gold Bug Pro actually allows for higher gain or sensitivity levels. However, I was in marketing too long and have a more jaded thought. Manual ground balance allows for a higher degree of control that if used properly can get you more sensitivity. There is a very distinct possibility the higher sensitivity claim follows directly from the ability to manually ground balance the Gold Bug Pro. This could be tested with both units set side by side with identical ground balance settings and max gain. If the Gold Bug Pro is inherently more sensitive an air test should show it. I have not had the chance to do this my self but if somebody wants to there you go.
My opinion? I believe the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro if outfitted with the same coil are basically the same detector. The only real difference is the manual ground balance option on the Gold Bug Pro. Do you need it? Not really, and especially when you consider that for $499 vs $649 that is probably all you are getting. The Ground Grab function is remarkably effective and would suit most people just fine.
I personally do like manual ground balance and so for me spending the extra money to get it is a non-issue. I do as a rule tell people that if cost is not an issue get the Gold Bug Pro. It is far more popular and would be easier to resell. But in all honesty I think the Basic Gold Bug is the real bang-for-the-buck unit. There is nothing else close to it at the $499 price point that offers full LCD readout target discrimination while in full power all metal prospect mode.
I should note that First Texas owns both Fisher and Teknetics. The Fisher Gold Bug DP (Gold Bug Pro with 11" coil) is marketed by Teknetics as the G2. The Fisher Gold Bug DP goes for $699 and the Teknetics G2 is $749. The $50 extra gets you a pistol grip rod instead of the Gold Bug S-rod and an arm strap. Nice gray paint scheme also. Really boils down to pistol grip vs S-rod, purely a personal preference thing.
I use the 5" x 10" elliptical myself and consider it to be the best all around coil for the Gold Bug. However, right now you have to get it as an accessory or as part of a two coil package. Fisher would be doing us a service to release the Gold Bug with this coil as standard on the unit.
My Gold Bug 2 is slightly better on the tiniest of gold but the Gold Bug Pro easily outperforms the Gold Bug 2 on larger nuggets at depth. For all around nugget detecting the Gold Bug or Gold Bug Pro (and G2) have a better balance of both small gold and large gold capability than the Gold Bug 2.
To recap first came the original 1987 era Gold Bug with knobs and switches:
Then about 2010 we got the new Gold Bug:
Followed quickly and briefly by the Gold Bug SE. Note how the plus and minus buttons now have dual functions, both Disc and Ground Balance, compared to the basic Gold Bug above:
The Gold Bug SE was basically the prototype for the Gold Bug Pro, which got a new faceplate decal and a higher price:
And finally, the Gold Bug Pro was also marketed under the Teknetics line as the G2 with a different rod/handle assembly:
Gold Bug Pro DP compared to Teknetics G2:
By Reno Chris
I keep reading stuff printed in papers or on other media that is perhaps at best on the verge of sort of true. They are getting desperate for readers / viewers and seem to want to say dang near anything for eyeballs. I heard some funny stories at the GPAA show of folks trying to sneak into the construction area below the Oroville dam spillway - convinced there will be gobs of gold all around because they saw it on TV or in a newspaper. Here are a few recent story lines:
"Gold hunters in the area tell the Chico Enterprise-Record the floods have "rearranged the rivers" and "move things around." That means gold veins that have been hidden for 200 years are suddenly exposed."
"According to CBS San Francisco, the floods also swept gold out of abandoned mines and washed it downriver. "
"While KCRA reports that gold can simply be picked off the ground following major flooding, the best prospecting will come in the summer months when the water has receded."
C'mon gents! We need to head off to those hills if the gold can now just be picked up off the ground. No doubt gravels have been moved around, gold deposited into crevices and new paystreaks formed. But gold veins hidden since before the 49ers arrived now revealed? I'd guess there are not many. Gold washed out of abandoned mines? I'd guess not much. Gold can just be picked up off the ground? I am sure there are a few new sunbakers sitting around here and there, but not many. I do agree that the best prospecting will come in the summer months when the water levels go down and some good gold will be found, but the media is gone bonkers about saying anything to attract attention.
Okay, yeah, I took, as a first outing, a GB2 to a public park and a tot-lot for about 1.5 hours to practice with the 10x5" coil (all I own.)
First target out ... a hot rock. Uh oh.
Second target out...darnit ... I can't nail it down... what the heck ... turns out it was 8" of 16ga steel wire. Grr...
Third target ... oh yeah, I have discrimination! Target! Discriminate ... solid clean spike. Discriminate means no iron, pull it up ... rusty nail. *boggle*
Fourth target ... okay, signal...discrimination ... multiple-spike flutter ... due to last #3 target that must mean it's NOT iron since #3 was .... rusty wire. *boggle*
Things I learned which you all probably already knew:
1) I have no idea what I'm doing.
2) Manual GB is a lot of work. Doable, but still a bit of work to do it over and over and over.
3) The park I was in had hot-rocks. Granite-looking nodules of evil. Everywhere and at all layers. This is just obnoxious.
4) Iron discrimination either doesn't work, or more likely, I'm going about it all wrong so I need to work on this.
5) This GB2 is insanely sensitive. I chased a signal in the sand for almost 10 minutes only to find out it was, literally, the platinum puck off a spark plug getting kicked around.
6) At 12 cents clad per outing I'm never going to pay this thing off. =P (I bought it for the gold fields so this is very tongue-in-cheek.)
7) The mosquitoes are active now. They're huge and hungry.
8) Digging everything stinks when you're not allowed to actually dig. See #1 and #4.
9) Having a pointer (TRX) is nice. In trashy areas it's annoying to get it out, put it away, get it out, put it away, get it ou...
10) All pinpointers should have headphone jacks. Talk about drawing attention... 11) Foil + lawnmower = no fun 12) It's was a pretty darn good time. Well, except for the mosquitoes.
I cannot find any YouTube videos or anyone on "how to interpret the Gold Bug 2 tones." Even over lots of trash and some test targets it's not quite making sense. Anyone have any good resources on learning those tones? Especially the discrimination tones?
On the plus side - I cleaned out a bunch of rusty trash, beer bottle caps, wires and such so the park it 0.00000001% cleaner..