By Steve Herschbach
I got this question via email:
"Is it worth buying a Garrett LS Infinium?? I have a White's GM3 and a Gold Bug Pro. What say you at $550.00?
The Garrett Infinium is not a bad detector, but I have to say I had more hardware failures with it than any other detector I have used. About half coil failures, and half control box failures. Since the Infinium is no longer made and all existing units are out of warranty, be careful to go with something in “like new” condition. I would not buy one that has seen much if any underwater use. $550 is ok for a spotless unit but given my previous comments seems a little high for run of the mill used units.
My best advice is shop for a White's TDI SL unless you have to have waterproof. The TDI SL has similar if not better performance and is an overall better choice since they are still made. You can probably pick one up with remaining warranty at a decent price used. Given that you seem geared to prospecting with your other detectors a TDI SL would serve better for that purpose due to the large array of inexpensive coil options. If you have to have a waterproof ground balancing detector on the cheap however, the Infinium is about the only option.
Hi Ya'll! Well, I'm in Tennessee this week visiting with the family, so all I can do is read the forum and look wistfully at tide charts 'til next Wednesday. I'm shopping for a mono coil for water detecting when I get home. That stock coil is pretty hard for me to control in our usual rough surf. I've heard the 10'x14' is the best for beach/ocean, but it doesn't look any easier to sweep with than the 10' x 14' elliptical. The 8' would probably be easy in the waves, but it looks like you'd give up alot of coverage area per sweep. I've ordered a straight shaft, so that will probably help a bunch too. I'm starting to see Steve's issue with the limited coil selection. If only there was a 10" or even a 12"! I'm leaning toward the 8" right now. It would probably be more useful in Grizzly Gulch, Montana for the small gold. As always, thanks for any input. You guys are awesome.
Well, the Infinium arrived this morning, and I just couldn't wait to get some sand on the coil. So I headed for the closest beach about 1/2 mile from our house and hunted for about 3 1/2 hours. I didn't get past knee-deep as I was just trying to find some targets to dig and get used to it first. First impressions of my new Infinium:
1. I don't like the stock shaft at all. I'll be upgrading that thing ASAP.
2. Hip-mounting the control box is the way to go. My arms and shoulders are usually hurting after 3 hours of swinging the DFX, but after some food and iced tea I think I could take the Infinium out again!
3. This thing goes deeeeep. These are guess-timates on depth, but a lead sinker at about 10 inches down in wet sand? pull-tabs at 8? There were a couple of targets I just gave up on because my scoop wasn't up for it (gotta upgrade that too). The Infinium didn't find any gold or silver, but it found an abundance of junk, so the good stuff will eventually show up in the scoop too. Looking at my junk pile, I would estimate that the Infinium found me about twice as many targets as the DFX did in wet and damp sand on the same beach in the same amount of time. Yay!
4. Iron junk wasn't really a problem. I didn't try that reverse-disc thing on every target, so I dug two nails that I probably would have passed by with the DFX. One of those nails did that "double signal". I dug it anyway to see what it was.
5. I'll have to rig an external speaker of some sort on it before next summer. In Montana, people are not the top of the food chain, and I need to hear what's sneaking up behind me.
6. All that stuff I read about "hard to learn"? Nah, it seems pretty simple to me, but I've only run it at the beach, so that might be the reason. It is a little bit noisy in the shallow water, but when it hits a target for real, you know it! I was running the DFX pretty hot anyway, so I was used to it and it didn't bother me at all.
7. Gotta dust off that PADI card and probably take a refresher course at the local dive shop. This thing is going to be awesome in the water!
8. If there's a speck of gold left in a river in Montana, my Infinium is going to find it for me. It LOVES lead sinkers, which, from what I hear, are the redneck relatives of gold nuggets.
The bottom line is that I REALLY like it. We all know it's a numbers game. So what I'm thinking is that double the pull-tabs will equal double the goodies in the long run. I can't wait to get in the water with it!
Ya'll have a great weekend!