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By Steve Herschbach
I am pretty happy with 2015 looking back so not a whole lot different I plan on doing for 2016. Hopefully more detecting days.
The main resolution for the new year however is a rule to keep a lid on my detector collection. So in 2016 I am only allowed one model from each of the manufacturers at any one time. And before I can get a replacement the existing one has to get sold first. I worked on getting there this year and ended the year where I need to be. The CTX sale (thanks Rob!) at the last second got me to my goal.
Fisher F75 Ltd2
Makro Gold Racer
Minelab GPZ 7000
Nokta FORS Gold+
Out of those I am going to sell the Nokta FORS Gold+ soon as being extraneous to my needs and will wait for the Nokta Impact instead. The F75 I may replace with the F19 or maybe just wait for whatever it is new that Fisher has cooking right now. So my core units starting out for 2016 are the ATX, Gold Racer, GPZ 7000, V3i, and Deus.
I can't honestly say I NEED even this many detectors, but part of the game for me is checking out what new stuff comes along. This rule lets me keep doing that but will prevent me going crazy and loading up with stuff I really do not need. After all, I can only use one at a time, and there is only so much time in every year to go detecting. In any given year just two or three of my detectors see any serious hours of use.
I would be happy to do as well on jewelry and gold nuggets in 2016 as I did in 2015 so the only area I want to focus on a bit more is putting myself on sites where gold coins might be found. Another reason why I got another Deus - for hunting old camps and other habitations from days of old.
By Steve Herschbach
A week ago I started an informal survey on seven US metal detecting oriented prospecting forums including this one. The survey here is at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/1244-if-you-found-a-gold-nugget-in-the-last-year-what-detectors-did-you-find-it-with/
This is what got posted on all the forums. I have been compiling results all evening and it is after midnight so I am calling it a night. However, I will release additional details on this forum, probably tomorrow morning. I would like to post a screenshot of the entire spreadsheet if I can figure out how to get it all on screen at once. Or I may just post a copy of the spreadsheet in the download area for forum members to access.
I am proud to say that fully half the responses were on this forum alone, with the other six making up the remainder. There are a lot of active nugget hunters on this forum.
The survey was not meant to prove anything per se. I was basically just curious to see what the detectors were that were employed to actually find gold nuggets in the last year.
The survey has many shortcomings. It only polls people who were on the US forums in the last week who cared to respond. The forums have tended as a whole to be Minelab oriented and so it is not surprising results might skew in that direction. Still, I got a large number of responses and so some conclusions can be drawn.
I eliminated duplicate and joke responses. I eliminated a couple borrowed units. It was winnowed down to just detectors that found gold for their owners in the last year. Everything else was pretty straight forward. The only thing of note is I put a couple Gold Bug SE responses under the Gold Bug Pro because they are basically the same detector. The SE was just a precursor model. Everything was compiled on a spreadsheet and totaled.
114 people responded as having used 220 detectors to find gold nuggets. That is an average of a couple detectors per person but the reality is a lot of people owned three detectors, and then quite a few just one detector. In general you could say many nugget hunters own a couple PI detectors (or a PI and a GPZ) plus a good VLF detector. If you really want to generalize things your could say people own a couple Minelab PI type detectors and a Fisher VLF. The Gold Bug 2 and the Gold Bug Pro were the runaway favorites in the VLF category.
Tesoro is conspicuous in their absence. Only one Lobo ST listed. I was a bit surprised to see not one Garrett AT Gold listed. Except for a few ATX units Garrett is pretty much a no-show. White's does a little bit better but still only just over a dozen units out of 220. The TDI PI models are the most popular alternative to the Minelabs with 8 listed.
As I noted Fisher totally dominates the VLF detectors with the Gold Bug 2 and Gold Bug Pro. And I was surprised at the very large numbers for both the SDC2300 and GPZ7000. The GPZ in particular due to it being very expensive and out for only the last 6 months. The adoption rate is phenomenal in my opinion.
Here are two sets of results. The first is simplified for easy digestion. I have lumped similar models together and not listed onesies and twosies. The second list is the full per model breakdown. Make of it what you will, and thank you for participating!
32 Gold Bug 2
15 Gold Bug Pro
8 White's TDI/TDIPro/TDISL/SPP
5 White's GMT/GM3/VSAT
5 Nokta FORS Gold
4 Makro Racer
4 X-Terra 705
3 Garrett ATX
3 XP DEUS
33 SDC 2300
32 Gold Bug 2
15 Gold Bug Pro
5 FORS Gold
4 Makro Racer
4 X-Terra 705
3 Garrett ATX
3 White's GMT
3 White's TDI
3 TDI Pro
3 XP DEUS
2 Fisher F19
1 TDI SL
1 White's SPP
1 Troy X5
1 Tesoro Lobo ST
1 White's GM3
1 White's V/SAT
1 Minelab F1A4
1 Garrett Scorpion
Hi everyone , I'm new to prospecting and already addicted after 2 months . I was lucky enough to meet an old timer who has been prospecting for most of his life but is to old to go out these days , so instead refurbishes old detectors . I picked up a sovereign gt and an old a2b gold hunter . To cut a long story short mike (old timer) had his whole yard set up for detecting in highly mineralised soils to trashy beach conditions . I learnt a lot in the several occasions I have been there as mike has pumped as much knowledge as he could into me. I've learnt how to use both machines well and found some great treasures with both machines . As with any hobby I purchased an sdc2300 , good machine in mineral soils and hard hit areas . Problem: looking for an all purpose machine , I got pulled into the hype surrounding whites mx sport and sold my sdc2300 ( In addition I sold the sdc as my wife found out the price and threatened divorce) and put my a2b in my mancave in a glass cabinet next to my sporting memorabilia. So down to the sovereign gt , I have ordered a nel attack coil for it , which will slightly improve performance I'm told . So I need a gold detector and an all rounder to complement the sovereign get : anyone with advice - I'm thinking between the deus, gpx5000( price is so high though) garrett at pro and whites mxt.
By Steve Herschbach
I have been trying to consolidate my detector collection the last couple years to conform to my new reality of life in Reno. Lots of detectors have gone away, but new ones keep sneaking in as I fine tune the mix. I am making progress though.
1. The GPZ 7000 - this detector got the most detecting time last year and found nearly all the gold that matters. Lots of people have issues with the GPZ 7000 but I get along really well with mine. It works and works well and for me it is a joy to use. I have no doubt most of my detecting hours this year will be with the GPZ. It will not go away until Minelab pulls the next rabbit out of their hat. My main nugget hunting unit.
2. Garrett ATX - if I am in the water with a mask and snorkel it will most likely be with the ATX. It performs well at places with intense mineralization like Hawaii or Lake Tahoe. It is bullet proof and folds up nicely for travel. I also can cherry pick coins fairly well with it and so it gets a bit of park use. In theory it can handle hot rocks that would trouble my GPZ but so far I have not found a place where I have had to resort to that. Even if Garrett came out with a light dry land version I would keep this machine as my primary water hunting unit.
3. Makro Gold Racer - Goes where my GPZ goes. It can find tiny gold my GPZ can't find and so is a good specimen hunter and bedrock sniper. If the ferrous trash gets too thick for the GPZ, I am getting out the GR. I have only done it once so far but I was thoroughly impressed with the 15" x 13" DD coil on this machine and it would be my choice for hunting big cobble piles or other tailing piles where large deep junk is lurking. It is rapidly becoming a favorite for hunting jewelry. The Gold Racer is the highest frequency machine sporting adjustable discrimination and a target VDI and I have yet to fully explore its potential. My main VLF nugget detector and a sleeper for jewelry detecting.
4. White's DFX / Bigfoot Combo - this is more about the coil than the detector. The Bigfoot is unique in its ability to skim large areas like sports fields for shallow targets. I use a pinpointer and screwdriver only; the name of the game here is quick recovery of lots of targets. I run the DFX in 15 kHz un-normalized mode which expands the low conductive VDI range and run in full tones. All this combined with the DFX Signagraph display is a superb jewelry hunting combo. I have used the MXT with this Bigfoot and gave the V3i several tries but the DFX finally won out. The V3i is appealing but ultimately overkill. I thought the MX Sport might have a shot with its 20 tones at replacing the DFX with the bonus of my getting a VLF water hunter, but I am pretty doubtful of that now. Regardless, the Bigfoot goes nowhere, only the detector attached to it might change. My main dry land jewelry unit but the Gold Racer is challenging it lately.
That is the core units and they account for most of my detecting needs. What is missing there is a good deep silver machine for parks and yards, a good machine for extremely trashy old camp or cabin sites, and a waterproof machine with discrimination. One machine might do all that but I may settle for two, putting the full collection at no more than six units. I expect to be there by the end of the year. Current units in play...
1. Latest version Minelab CTX 3030. I sold my last one when the warranty expired. I honestly was thinking that since it has been over three years that a CTX 4040 might appear this year. I would like a better display, faster processor, and one more programmable target bin (split the ferrous). What we got instead was a minor 3030 update with better battery seal and locking armrest. I have one ordered and expect it soon. This machine can hunt the deep silver, hunt the old sites, and is waterproof. There is a high probability it takes position five in my permanent collection and there may be no need for a sixth.
2. XP Deus waiting on V4 update. Pretty much the top iron hunter at this time, and the ability to run 40 kHz intrigues me. The idea there for me was nugget hunting but I have a hard time thinking it can knock out the Gold Racer. I doubt there is a better iron unlocker, but truth is I do not do a lot of that. And the Deus fans will never convince me that buying a $500 smart coil is great when all I need is a cheap wired dumb coil. Fabulous machine though and very fun to use so who knows. It has a shot at the optional position six, which may just be for machines that come and go.
3. Makro Racer 2 - a really great all around detector. The main problem I am seeing is it overlaps so much with various specialty machines I also have. On the plus side it gives the Deus a serious run for the money and right this second if I had to keep one it would be the R2 due to my personal preference for the way it goes about doing things. That is not really fair though and I have lots of time yet to put on both units. The Deus V4 update with smaller coil could be a game changer.
4. MX Sport - this machine had a shot at being a waterproof VLF that could hunt deep silver and thick ferrous trash plus maybe replace the DFX. Multiple possibilities. First impression did not go well but I am trying to put that aside and see how round two goes. Now that I have a CTX coming things just got tougher for the MXS.
5. Nokta Impact - I am liking the thought of a selectable frequency machine that could replace at least two other machines. The Impact has just been revealed as having planned but not set in stone selectable frequencies of 4, 14, and 21 kHz. Given that it will no doubt borrow much from what is learned with the Racer 2 and my preference for wired coils this machine could replace both the Racer 2 and Deus in this shootout. All three should be playing together before the end of the year. I am drifting towards the idea of machine number 5 being a true multi frequency unit (CTX) and machine number 6 being a selectable frequency unit (Deus or Impact or ?). Selectable frequency is an underserved detector category at this time that I see as providing a marketing edge against the huge number of single frequency machines on the market so I expect we will see more of them going forward.
6. Fisher CZX? White's Half Sine or Constant Current? Possible wild cards are coming but I do not make plans around stuff like that. We will see them when we see them and other than rumors nothing appears imminent.
Anyway, just a ramble, nothing more. Kind of gelling my own thoughts about where I am heading I guess. Everyone has to make their own choices for their own budgets and detecting needs. In my case it may seem like a lot of bucks wrapped up in detectors but people that know me know that I am otherwise quite the frugal freddy. Detecting is my passion and I forgo other things to spoil myself there. And the fact is they do pay for themselves - not many big boy toys have that possibility. Swinging a golf club is a money pit - I would rather swing a detector!
I am looking for a simple and effective beach detector. If it wasn't too expensive that would be nice too. I used to use a Garrett Master Hunter so you know how long it's been since I hunted on a beach.
I own two top of the line PI's but all the trappings required make it hard to just jump out of the car and detect.
Any recommendations and why are appreciated. Feel free to move me if this is in the wrong forum Steve.
By JAMES MC LERNON
OK. firstly not talking about dedicated beach machines like EXCAL II, CZ21, AND THE TIGER SHARK.
What would be the best top 3 (decending order ) normal, single freq, prospecting, vlf machines that would be good on wet salt water beaches. I know they wont be as good or as ideal as a dedicated beach machine, but having this capability on a general purpose or prospecting machine would be nice. I'm assuming 14-15 kHz maximum freq, ruling out the AT GOLD, FORS RELIC & GOLD+.?
MAKRO RACER 2, WHITES MXT & MX SPORT, GARRETT AT PRO, FISHER GOLD BUG/F19/T2, etc,etc. How much are they giving away to the EXCAL II or the CZ21? 20-30% in depth?
Looking ahead, is this where the new multi frequency NOKTA IMPACT & FISHER CZX/MOSCA machines might be even better all rounders?