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I have seen a ton of ATX vs SDC2300 and ATX vs GPX5000, and a lot more. What I have not seen is a comparison of the SDC2300 and the XTerra 705 Gold Pack.

I had an XTerra 70 Gold Pack that I just sold. I was planning on getting the SDC2300, but when I consider all things, I wonder if the SDC2300 is worth the extra money? I know the XTerra will have an edge in a few areas:

  • Versatility: Xterra can use multiple coils for different types of hunting and varying depths (with different frequencies)
  • Price: Depending on performance of SDC2300, does it REALLY warrant a $3000 price difference?
  • Weight: XTerra= 2.5lbs vs SDC= 5.1lbs

The reason for this thread is that I have a couple of SD2000 Gold Machines. I love them, and have learned all their little idiosyncrasies over the years. The XTerra with Gold Pack (10x5 18.75khz coil) was designed for prospecting small gold at shallow depths. This seems like the same thing the SDC2300 is designed for. I know all about the differences between PI and VLF. I am even willing to accept the SDC2300 as being superior in performance, but would I REALLY be better off spending almost $4000 for a machine that seems to be designed for the same purpose as a $1000 machine?


Thanks - Mike

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Mike - this is the kind of thing only you can answer.

"worth it" depends on so many factors:


How often you hunt?

How much money you have?

How mineralized are the soils where you hunt?

The size of the gold where you hunt?

How brushy it is where you hunt (is a desert, is it grassy, is it a forest, is it a thicket of bushes?)

Would you ever use it underwater?

Does the compact transportability matter to you?


You see it does not matter if its "worth it" to Steve or me or someone else - what matters is if it is "worth it" to you. Only you can make that call.


The thing that the SDC 2300 does better than a VLF is find small gold in strongly mineralized ground. It very mild, low mineralization spots, a VLF would be sufficient. Did you have problems with hot rocks and ground noise on your Xterra?

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Thanks Chris. 


I understand what you say completely. I do hunt fairly often. Mostly in the California, Arizona, Baja, and Sonora Areas. The reason I got my old XTerra 70 way back when, was because it was advertised as a way to avoid carrying around my clunky SD2000 (its an Ismael modded SD). I mostly used it for carrying around and exploring new areas due to its' weight. I would bring a pan as well, and if I found some little stuff (with a pan or detector), I would come back with the big gun (so to speak), looking for bigger and deeper targets.


I haven't had to completely submerge it, although I do dunk the coil and it gets rained on sometimes.


I have seen nugs from the places I hunt from tiny flakes up to thumb size (biggest are mostly in Northern Mexico). Although I haven't spent a whole lot of time in Mexico of late! HAHAHA


My main concern is if I bought the XTerra 705 Gold Pack, would I miss a significant enough amount of smaller stuff to warrant buying a machine that costs $3000 more? I have to admit, that I will try about anything that I believe will do what I need, I am a "Minelab Guy". I've had a few Excals (since the original horseshoe coil to a 1000), Quattro, XTerra 70 GP, and 2 SD2000s. If Minelab made a Two-Box, I would not likely not own my two Fisher Geminis.


Just for a second though, forget all the extraneous details. Just look at head to head performance differences between the XT705GP (in Prospect Mode) and the SDC2300. Let's say I am wandering the Clipper Mountains in Mojave, Ca, prospecting to find the Lost Schofield Gold Ledge. Too hot to dry pan the washes (115+), so I decide to swing a detector. Would the SDC2300 outperform the XTerra 705 so significantly, that I would say to myself "WHEW! I'm glad I spent that extra $3000"?


Thanks - Mike

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I've never hunted the Clippers, so I have no idea about their conditions.

I can take you to places where you just could not use the XTerra - too mineralized.

You'd be glad you had the SDC. The XTerra would be a waste of time.


I could take you to places with low mineralization where the XTerra would work fine and have shallow gold.

You'd say why did I ever sell my XTerra 70?, glad I didn't buy that SDC.


For me, I'd rather have the SDC, but you dont know my finances and other situations. I'd much rather have the SDC just because its way more flexible.

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HAHAHA I gotchya


But Minelab says:



The specialised Prospecting Mode has improved sensitivity making the detector more sensitive to small target signals. The Prospecting Mode can be used in highly mineralised, 'difficult' areas. The high frequency Double-D coil that comes standard with the X-TERRA 705 Gold Pack offers advantages, as its great at handling these conditions.




Budget is not that much of a concern. In this price range, if the SDC would considerably outperform the XTerra, then I could rationalize making room for it. I guess what I would like to see is a head to head evaluation between the two. Take a variety of nugs, flakes, and specimens, plant them at the extreme depth the SDC will see them, and see how many the XTerra will see as well. For that matter, it would be nice to do a kind of "King of the Ring" Test. Plant a test patch and run all the gold machines over it. See what finds what. I know that the GPX5K will kill, but how different are the Eureka, SDC2300, and XTerra705? Just a thought.




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What you say makes no sense. You ask if its "worth it" but then say budget is not a concern.


Which is it? No concern or important to determine if its worth it?


In the end as I said quite clearly in my first response, its your call.


HAHAHA I gotchya

That also makes no sense.

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If you want to save some money just buy Garret ATX... This is more flexible machine with discrimination, Irion Check option and 3 coils to choose...

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Saving money on any tool is expensive. The 705 is a lot of fun but is not even close to  a good used GP Minelab with a couple of different coils for finding gold, Including small gold.  Also, what "Minelab says" (or Garret or Fisher or Tessaro or Bounty Hunter.....) isn't nearly as reliable as what the folks on this forum have to say.

 What can you tell us about hunting in Sonora. I have a good friend living down there.

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If money really was not a concern you could have all three...the only reason to justify is when you have to account for the cost-vrs-return.


Toys are not subject to economic considerations...otherwise most people would not have expensive boats, gold clubs, guns or Metal Detectors...



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