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Back at the end of 2013 I made a post about trying to choose between the Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Garrett AT Gold, Minelab X-Terra 705 Gold, Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ, and White's MXT. The real point I was trying to make was not that any were better than the others, because in my opinion in all metal prospect mode they are all so close as to hardly matter. My contention is that you should choose one based on all the other features included, such as weight, waterproof or not, tones, coil selection, etc. In my case I just wanted a light, simple detector for looking for gold in the middle of ferrous trash. I went with the Gold Bug Pro mainly because of the simplicity of the machine combined with the under 3 pound weight.

Since then I kind of went down the rabbit hole. The Makro Gold Racer came along and at 56 kHz versus the Gold Bug Pro 19 kHz and about nearly the same weight it ended up replacing my Gold Bug Pro. Then I picked up a good deal on an XP Deus with 11" coil in anticipation of getting the new high frequency coil. Then the Nokta Impact came along and now the Minelab GM1000 plus there are more on the horizon.

Then there is the fact I am a sucker for a deal and an impulse buyer! First Texas started aggressively blowing out some models at exceptional low prices recently, and the temptations for me have been continuous. I sort of missed that Gold Bug Pro and so when this deal on the basic Gold Bug came along at $337 I was really tempted. However, I wanted a larger coil and so I passed.

Then along came this smoking discount on the Teknetics G2 for only $390 with free shipping. Or less. The deal is offered by First Texas direct on eBay and they included the "Make Offer" button. I decided to offer $375 and leave it up to fate. If they accepted the offer it was meant to be, if not I would pass. They accepted! Who knows how low they might go? I guess I should have started lower then ramped it up but $375 at half original price seemed quite fair to me.

So why the Teknetics G2? Well, it is exactly the same machine as the Fisher Gold Bug Pro (DP 11" coil version) but with a different rod. It sports what is basically the same rod and handle as used on the F75, which fits my hand better than any other I have ever used. Something about the unique design of the handle that tapers to the top and angles forward. And I like the gray color after all the gold and black machines I have used. The main thing is the Gold Bug DP and G2 both come with the 7" x 11" DD coil as stock, giving me that larger coil. I might have preferred the 5" x 10" coil but First Texas only sells that as a stock coil on the Fisher F19 so this was as close as I could get at a great price.

(Click on all images in this post for larger versions)

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Long story short though is to this day I consider the Fisher Gold Bug Pro to be the best starting unit for anyone wanting a VLF for gold prospecting in the U.S. It is nearly as hot as a Gold Bug 2 on small gold but with better depth on large gold, and easier to operate, lighter weight, lower price - just can't go wrong starting out with all that. It is also very popular, and that being the case it is a benchmark detector against which other machines can be measured. With all the new units I have or will have soon I decided I needed the Teknetics G2 mostly to use as a baseline for comparison tests I am doing this year. At the price I got it at if I decide to ditch it later I will not get hurt much, and who knows, I just might keep it.

Especially with the second coil I picked up to go with it. The Nokta Impact I have came with two coils, a 7" x 11" DD coil almost identical to the one on the G2, plus a great little 4" x 7.75" (10.5cm x 19.5cm) DD coil. The closest I could get to that with the G2 for comparative purposes is the slightly smaller NEL Snake 3.75" x 6.75" (9.7cm x 17cm) DD coil. Both are epoxy filled and just 0.7" (1.8cm) thick with coil cover. The G2 is a bit nose heavy with that 11" coil but light as a feather with the little elliptical mounted.

Anyway, that's my story and I am sticking to it. The G2 will be used in the field alongside the Gold Racer, Deus V4, Impact, Gold Bug 2, Gold Monster 1000, and whatever else comes along over the next year as the baseline test unit. What I often do is overload myself with new models and then let nature run its course. As time goes by I will grab certain ones I like for various uses, and others will tend to sit in the corner. It may not be efficient but it does work for me in deciding what I like to use. And that is the final thought I want to leave you with when it comes to VLF however is this. It is not all about just sheer performance, as these machines are all so hair splitting close these days. That is why each model has thousands of fans on the internet - they all work well. Like a good pair of boots you just have to find the ones that fit you best. At the end of the day the only way that has ever worked out for me is to try them out myself. I will let you all know what I think over the course of the year.

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Always looking forward to your reports. I've been tempted to get a G2 for a while now but learning self control with detectors has kicked in finally. I have always been better at buying stuff then selling stuff....Trading is an option that I have utilized at times. Thanks to Ridge Runner's April fools joke  a new Gold Monster 1000 will arrive a month or so after my birthday...Minelab has not disappointed me yet so I assume I will end up with a good VLF to hunt the trashy areas when the 2300 and 7000 start to annoy me. 

strick

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I took my trusty Fisher Gold Bug Pro to my favorite park just this afternoon, with the 5x10 in^2 DD (12.7 cm X 25.4cm) coil.  Over the past 8 months I've been going back and forth between the GB-Pro and the Minelab X-Terra 705.  Objectively (the way I like to stay) they are both excellent detectors.  I currently have five coils for the GB-Pro and four coils for the X-T705.  I also tried out my new Bose earbuds for the first time today.  (More on that in the appropriate thread.)

Last night and this morning I decide to reread the operations manual for the GB-Pro, and I'm glad I did.  As simple of a detector as it is, and as well written and concise the manual is, there were several things I hadn't appreciated in previous readings, and I'm sure I've read it at least times prior to last night.

I mostly use small coils with all my detectors.  The parks I hunt are loaded with iron, because 1) they were either industrial or agricultural sites prior to becoming parks, and 2) they really haven't seen a lot of detectoring (I know that is surprising, but based upon the finds I've made, I'm pretty sure it is true).  The 5X10 DD is intermediate between the 5 in round DD and the 7X11 in^2 elliptical DD that you discuss.  It is a good compromise in terms of coverage (covers more ground but not so much that it is swamped by the iron).  However, it is not very good at distinguishing bottle caps (the old kind -- made of steel) from coins.  Both read in the low- to mid-80's on the VID scale.  The smaller coils (e.g. 5 in. diameter Fisher stock) do a better job at that.  Of course for gold prospecting you are going to dig everything in the non-ferrous range and even some in the ferrous, so the 5X10 coil does great for that application.  For coin hunting where discrimination can be key, it falls a bit short compared to the smaller coils.

I gotta say I'm a zealot when it comes to weight.  With the exception of the XP Deus (and maybe a few others) the GB family (and that includes the Tek G2's) is as light as it gets.  And it's pretty well balanced to boot, over the spectrum of available coils.  It is simple to set up and run, but don't translate that into sub-par in performance.  It hits hard on small targets and goes deep (in all-metal).  Simple doesn't mean substandard, and the GB proves it.

Ironically, Fisher has downplayed the GB's coin hunting ability.  I'm pretty sure (and this is based on First Texas engineer Jorge Saad's article) that they were afraid they would turn off prospectors if they tried to sell it as a coin machine when it was designed as a gold machine.  As evidence, look at the Fisher F19 (Tek G2+) which is basically the same detector with a couple more bells and whistles.  They market it as relic/coin detector, and for good reason.  But it's just the Gold Bug in sheep's clothing!  Yes, the GB is designed for prospecting, but for a 19 kHz detector, it's a pretty damned good all-purpose detector, too.

Tomorrow I'm going to "gold country" (what we in the Midwest have for that, which is the weak second/third cousin to what you fortunate Western North Americans and Australians enjoy).  I'll take both my GB-Pro (with the 5 in coil) and my White's TDI/SPP (with the Miner John 5x9 in^2 folded mono plus my modified 150mm neutral buoyant mono) and see what sounds I can generate.  It's probably a long shot, but I'm not discouraged by firing blanks -- if I were I'd have quit this hobby long ago.

To quote a cliche' used in many pursuits:  "the next best thing to hunting and finding gold, is hunting and not finding any."

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Does the G2 or Gold Bug Pro have any kind of stability control for the threshold? If not, does it have a fast, slow or medium retune? I.e. is it smooth or jittery? When the first Africa gold rush was on, there were reports that the F75 was a hot seller over there so I quickly got hold of a unit to try. I did some air tests on various nuggets and it seemed capable enough, actually I was mildly impressed. I took it out to the goldfields but very quickly realised it just wouldn't cut it. The threshold was all over the place and the same nuggets I tested at home couldn't be picked at 1/3 of the distance once buried in the ground. My old Minelab goldstriker which I still had at the time ate the F75 for breakfast in the field. 

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If you don't like the Fisher F75 for gold nuggets you would probably not like the GBP/G2 either. The retune rates are fixed and not that different. For me at least running a 19 kHz Gold Bug Pro/G2+ in all metal is like running the 13 kHz F75 in all metal, just the bit hotter due to the frequency difference.

Surely all VLF detectors lose depth in the worst Australian ground? Most African ground is not nearly as bad - tons of Gold Bug Pros in use there.

Teknetics G2+ Owners Manual

Gold Bug Pro Owners Manual

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Interesting question really Nenad. For much of the world the Gold Bug Pro represents a good benchmark for mid frequency VLF nugget hunting performance. In Australia however I am guessing it would be a Minelab VLF? The best comparative article I have ever seen on the Minelab VLFs (excluding the X-Terras) is on this forum.

Nenad, what do you think should be the benchmark VLF model for Australia? That does not maybe mean the very best, but just an all around good performer used by many people. Benchmark in my mind means something lots of people have ready access to. The Eureka Gold perhaps? My favorite of the series personally was the XT 17000. Here I am with my XT17000 back in the early 90's in the Wrangell Mountains, Alaska...

steve-herschbach-minelab-xt17000-alaska.jpg

In the U.S. most of the Minelab models offered advantages in really bad ground, but for most places with milder ground all they really were was heavy, slower, and expensive. They were a poor seller for me as a dealer, and a rare sight on the goldfields. The X-Terra 705 was the only one that really caught on here. I went round and round with the 705 in prospect mode with 5" x 10 " DD and Gold Bug Pro with 5" x 10" DD and could see no real difference in some pretty nasty magnetite ground. Since you have not used the Gold Bug Pro, what is your take on the F75 in all metal mode versus X-Terra 705 in manual ground balance all metal mode? The F75 does not have tracking so advantage 705 in that regard. The X-Terra does not seem to recover very fast either and also has no SAT type control.

In general U.S. VLF machines are set up to handle tough magnetite conditions, Australian detectors do better in severe maghemite.

I think another reason the Minelab VLFs like the Eureka XT18000 and Eureka Gold never really caught on here was the Minelab dealers were all pushing Minelab PI detectors instead. The U.S. VLF models were plenty capable plus light and inexpensive. If the complaint was ground they could not handle, the answer was get a Minelab PI, not a Minelab VLF.

An interesting side note is high frequency VLF. I left that out of this mid frequency discussion. The Gold Bug 2 and GMT are respected both in the U.S. and Australia. Yet Minelab overlooked that area forever, considering the Eureka at 60 kHz to be good enough. Looks like finally they are addressing something they should have done long ago with the Gold Monster 1000.

For what it is worth I had a chance to give the Gold Bug Pro a spin on some pretty tough ironstone ground in Australia running the 5" round DD coil and had no real issues I can recall, and came up with some nuggets in a couple hours hunting. I am loath to ever talk about or recommend detectors for Australia as it is not my home ground but there it is for what it is worth. Here I am looking chubby! Click on photos for larger versions.

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nice report, I sold my G2 when the G2+ came out (looooong wait after F19).

the iron audio rocks. I'm now using a NEL sharpshooter and like it. great balance.

I also added a 6 AA battery pack (9V still works in a pinch), mounted under the armrest. Lasts a veeeery long time with a set of rechargeables.

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Yeah kind of wanted the G2+ myself but not enough to pay twice the price. For people that do not know the Fisher F19 and Teknetics G2+ are the same detectors just with different rod/coil options. And both are just upgraded Gold Bug Pro / G2 models with extra features like a cool red meter backlight, ability to adjust the iron tone volume, and notch disc. Not features a nugget hunter would have to have but both machines would be every bit as capable at nugget detecting as the GBP / G2. The iron volume would be nice if all your nugget detecting was done in iron trash infested locations.

The best part about the F19 is that it comes standard with the 5" x 10" DD coil, which in my opinion is the best nugget hunting coil for the Gold Bug Pro. Which is of course why you can't buy a Gold Bug Pro with one unless you get a dual coil pack or buy it as an accessory coil! If you want the 5" x 10" DD getting the F19 looks more attractive. The F19 was also available in camo for you camo fans. That version was recently discontinued but can probably still be found at some retailers.

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Click image to enlarge - Fisher F19 11DD vs Teknetics G2+

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Hi Steve, great thread as usual and very comprehensive. My first detector was a GT 16000 which was around the 6.3 Khz, back in those days there was a fair bit of decent sized gold still laying around for the lower freq VLF machines especially in conjunction with an auto GB. If you'll remember the GB PRO was way behind in numbers when we used the GBII on those patches in WA and required careful coil control in the super noisy variable ground to try and ping what was available, whereas the higher Freq GBII nailed piece after piece.

In Australian soils I feel the High Freq VLF is a better option purely because the depth differences between the lower and higher frequencies are not that great due to the levels of mineralisation, yet the sensitivity gulf on small targets is massive; in other words depth suffers tremendously with VLF's in high mineralisation regardless of the frequency so you may as well target areas where the shallow little pieces are plentiful. If you want the deeper bigger pieces then get yourself a PI like the SDC to chase the deeper 1 tenth gram and bigger gold.

The bench mark for any VLF detector in Australia to target gold regularly in competition with the PIs is high frequency and Auto Ground balance. Auto GB is a MUST for Australia and to this day the XT 17000 was the detector to beat for accessing all areas not just quiet ground types. I was not a huge fan of the XT 18000 and hated the Eureka Gold. The GBII holds its place for sheer sensitivity and ergonomics, in my opinion its taken 22 years for someone to take its crown here in Australia. 

If it is an all rounder type VLF machine in my opinion the GB PRO (and all its variants), AT GOLD and Xterra 705 are the go to bench mark machines.

JP

 

 

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Got the F75dst with the small fisher elliptical 6X3 and i detect in highly iron trash well i think i found my perfect machine for now it deep enough considering the size of coil....and fluffy ground or layer of pebble it is excellent i am not using my deus at all..........

https://www.joanallen.co.uk/fisher-6x3-elliptical-coil-p/10105.htm

 

RR

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