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19 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

It deserves a new coil and the Nel Super Fly might just be the ticket.

As always I look forward to your review (if you get one of these new coils).  And you're the first person here that I can remember in a long time (since Steve's review) saying something good about the AT/Gold.  👍


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On 10/31/2020 at 7:48 PM, GB_Amateur said:

As always I look forward to your review (if you get one of these new coils).  And you're the first person here that I can remember in a long time (since Steve's review) saying something good about the AT/Gold.  👍

There are three things I do not like about the AT Gold which are the Iron Audio, it is not optimized for high mineralization despite what Garrett says and I have never liked the weight or where the coil connects on the 8.5 X 11" DD coil.

The iron audio even through the headphones can be heard for miles and really can't be used continuously by me anyway. I don't think Garrett intended for it to be operated like that in the first place. It is just for investigating a target. Garrett's iron discrimination works very well at breaking up on smaller iron objects anyway and I like how you can use a little iron discrimination even in All Metal.

I never could get it to ground balance in some places or get it to quiet down a bit on some pesky hot rocks in All Metal. The Ground Balance Window thing is iffy at best. I ended up just prospecting in Disc 1 often.

The 8.5X11" is really a boat anchor. The 5X8" is awesome. The Nel Super Fly  with coil cover seems to be 71 grams (2.6 oz) lighter than the 8.5X11" with coil cover and mounts in the middle of the coil. Could be great.

I like everything else about the AT Gold, especially the very short audio tone length (compared to the AT Pro which takes forever to stop sounding even in Proportional mode), and I like how the audio uses exactly the same medium tone in All Metal too. It has good recovery speed with iron audio off and is also not too shabby at unmasking if the iron audio is off and some iron discrimination is used. The Gold has a good threshold, is easy to operate and is almost as good as that new low cost Nok Mak detector as far as target ID accuracy. The Gold is well built and I have always trusted it under water and have had no problems so far. It is a very underrated and often maligned (by me too) detector.

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 Me and my friend did really well at one freshwater finger lake here in    N.Y. with the AT GOLD and it's  stock coil. It discriminated the bottle caps very well  that infested  this lake and hit   the gold with gusto. We found many silver coins  at the ghost pier that had many  nails.  This machine was paid back very fast and I have my  record of 6 gold in a day  with it even though I got 5 with the  Nox in a 2.5 hour hunt where  the 6 gold needed a 8  hour hunt. The iron audio would   get  to you in thick iron after a while.  It would be nice to  lower the volume on it.  A very fun machine to use at the beach and in tot lots.

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10 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

It has good recovery speed with iron audio off and is also not too shabby at unmasking if the iron audio is off and some iron discrimination is used.

Thanks for that review, Jeff.  I'm not familiar with the details of how the AT series operates.  From what you said (quote), is it fair to say that just ignoring the AT/Gold's Iron Audio setting completely (i.e. keeping it off), as if it doesn't exist, takes away this negative?

KG (George Wyant) and Ringy (Tim Saylor) get a lot of flack here.  (BTW, both are from Idaho and acquaintances of Gerry.  He speaks positively of them.)  Yes, they have a slapstick style performance and both are Garrett homers.  But if you can look past those (we all are capable, of course), there may be something to take away from their videos/TV show.  And people who have met them (e.g. a poster here not long ago -- don't remember who or what post/thread) also speak highly of them as people.  That matters in my book.

When I got back into detecting five years ago and started learning about modern detectors I noticed that they relic hunted with the Gold models, not the Pro.  I found that interesting.  Now that you've reviewed the AT/Gold yourself it's making more sense why they made that choice.

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I think KG and Ringy use the AT Gold for several reasons. It has a very good All Metal mode that is about an inch or so deeper than its discrim modes. No AM mode on the Pro. Despite the laws of single frequency detector physics and Garrett’s own hype, it is deeper than the AT Pro. Also, despite Garrett’s own insistence to describe the audio on the AT Gold and the “ Pro” audio on the AT Pro the same way, they are very different. The Gold audio and the Max audio are the same by the way. In Equinox terms, the recovery speed of the AT Gold’s audio is much faster and the tones are much shorter and cleaner. What is the same on both are the tone qualities of the obnoxious iron audio tone. 

In my opinion, the target separation and recovery speed of the AT Gold (not the AT Pro) without using iron audio is above average compared to similar vintage detectors and unmasking is about average. Using the iron audio for anything other than iron identification turns the AT Gold into an unspeakable mess. 

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When I got my AT Pro I had looked at the AT Gold and the single only reason I didn't get it was they said it would not work at the beach according to Garrett's specs. Hind sight and how I hunt now using AM more than disc modes I think I would have like the AT Gold better.

As with the AT Pro and AT MAX, if you are using disc mode you can nudge the iron disc up until the base iron chatter trims out. This will let you keep iron audio on and not be blasted by the loud grunt. There is a reason Garrett put an "Iron Audio" on/off button but many seem to leave it on and complain.

Having iron audio in AM mode can be a huge plus, something my Nokta machines don't have so I have to always look down at the display when hitting a target.

Not sure how well a round wider coil would work in high mineralization. It may smother targets, not sure how much target separation you would lose over the stock or the smaller elliptical dd.

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17 minutes ago, kac said:

Not sure how well a round wider coil would work in high mineralization. It may smother targets, not sure how much target separation you would lose over the stock or the smaller elliptical dd.

My only issues with the stock 8.5X11” coil are its weight and where the lower stem attaches to it. It works otherwise just fine for coin, jewelry and open field relic hunting here. No way would I take that coil into the gold fields near me due to extreme mineralization.  If the Nel Super Fly works equally well or better at a substantially lower weight and with a centered coil mount, that will be a big plus. Personally, every Nel coil I’ve used has outperformed the similar sized stock coil. 

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Yes it can be turned Off in AM mode. Every target will have a medium pitched proportional audio tone. If you want to use the iron audio On in AM you have to turn iron audio On and raise the discrimination level up from zero to a number in the iron range. If you turn iron audio Off again, your discrimination is automatically back to zero and you just get medium tones for all targets. I can turn it back On if I need to and the Gold remembers the discrimination setting I made previously.

Leaving it On continuously in All Metal for deep relic hunting or for very small gold nugget hunting in thick iron trash or hot rocks that register in the iron range is an exercise in extreme torture and makes hearing a faint, just breaking the threshold tone target impossible to hear and it can even obliterate larger targets too.

In situations like that I make sure I have brought my glasses, turn Off iron audio in AM most of the time and watch the screen a lot. Or, I use Disc 1 for target investigation with iron discrimination set around 32 which will break up most forged iron objects but not totally silence them and switch back and forth between AM and Disc 1 when I am griding an area.

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When I did my review the AT Gold was very unique - a waterproof nugget detector! Now that’s not so rare, but Garrett did it first. It’s still a solid little detector though, and not surprising to me many prefer it over the AT Pro, as that’s the way I’d go also between the two.


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