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I have a theory that bad ground essentially removes what small differences exist between most VLF detectors. My ground cuts depth approximately in half compared to Florida soil for instance. So a dime there at 11", which is approaching air test type depths, only makes it to 6" here before turning into a ferrous reading.

So I air test the Impact, for example, against the G2 and see a solid 1/2" advantage on a dime. But in the ground that advantage compresses to only 1/4" which is actually almost nothing. I mean, if I go over ground with a machine that goes to 6", and come along with another that goes to 6-1/4 inches, don't expect the coins to just leap out of the ground. And the reality in nearly all the cross testing I do is that the differences compress to almost nothing at all. It is real hard to find a single frequency VLF that really "goes deeper" than the best of what we already have. One might get me thinking I have it on one target, but then the situation will reverse on a different target.

Nugget hunting and hunting in a carpet of nails are a bit different, but for park style coin detecting there are a pile of single frequency machines that will serve just as well as another. The tech really is maxed out, and most all the difference I think we see out there says more about the operators than the detectors.

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Using multiple detectors to detect and cross check one another is a pain.

It is WORK not enjoyment as far as I am concerned.

I try to just do spot checks sometimes,,and base doing this spot check on just how a certain target responds,,how deep,,how coil position sensitive is the signal,,and how does the iron tone report near the target.

I have to ask,,what level on Impact did you have the ID setting at?? Low, intermediate or  High on Impact?? Default I think is intermediate.

One nice thing about Impact,,uaing non normalized setting,,,a user can draw some pretty good conclusions on targets,,,as far as conductivity and quality of metal.  Won't work for gold though.

For example,,,if using the high freqs detecting,,and you get a 90s reading target,,flip to 5khz and you get a 90s reading,,most of the time= iron.

I usually let the amount of iron tone I hear drive me a lot of times if the TID reported is not ideally aligned when checking a target comparing the different freqs with Vdi non normalized.

Just the other day I was out with a friend in a new to me site,,,I got a signal reading in the 90s uaing both 14 and 20khz with smallest coil,,,5khz wouldn't hit the target period.

I dig it just because I hadn't found anything else really,,yep one of those 22 short rims fire cases about 5" deep.

Actually for the day,,I dug little trash unintentionally with Impact,,I did dig one junk target,,one of those small lids,,like off of a medicine bottle,,,I dug it cause when I switched to 5khz the ID stayed in the mid 50s.  Some times those really worn dimes can do this. 

Deus 4.0,, I agree it does seem to have more punch,,actually for modern site mixed with old site,,,I think 3.2 version might be better,,but if just an older site 4.0 is better.

Using 4.0 those pesky 22 cases seem to hit real hard tonally,,a person will get fooled on them easier than 3.2 in my opinion.

I have never used a Gold Bug.

Remarkable forum.

Thanks for sharing Steve.


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I was running the Target ID Depth setting at the default Intermediate (Medium) setting.

Warning - another Steve ramble....

I want to note I am not at this point trying to push the units to the max, with the exception of the G2, where max is just the default mode. I am not really trying to determine anything in particular for anyone but myself, which is why I rarely post about these sorts of comparative tests that I am always doing. In particular I do not claim to be some sort of whiz bang fantastic coin and relic detectorist. I have a more casual approach and what I find time and again is that for me personally over analyzing targets is a waste of my time. If I am that unsure of the target I will normally just dig it. I want a machine that feels good and sounds good and that basically just delivers some sort of "dig me" response with a minimum of fuss. When doing tests like this I "Mode Flip" a lot looking for modes or settings that work best for me. As a general observation each mode detects the target, but just delivers different visual and audio results. I find it true time after time that if faced with machines with lots of modes, I settle eventually into just one or two modes for two specific types of hunting I do, and all the rest of the modes end up getting ignored.

The best example I can think of is the MXT with its Coin & Jewelry Mode, Relic Mode, and Prospecting Mode. In general if you do lots of cross checking you will find the MXT will see almost all targets just as well in any of the three modes. All that changes is the way the audio works and the meter responses change to match the mode. In the end you settle on the mode that just works the way you like best for what you do most. For me on the MXT the Relic Mode pushed all the right buttons and I almost never used the other two modes. My F75 spent nearly all its time in Boost All Metal.

You face a similar issue as regards the Impact or Deus. What mode or modes work best for you personally? What I see are two scenarios. I mostly just want to hunt, get a target, recover it, and move on. Efficiency is the name of the game. Getting the ultimate in depth may not be the best idea for this type of hunting, just overall separation and clean signaling. Then there is down and dirty pounding some specific spot at a crawl trying to eke that one last great find out of the ground. This often requires a totally different setup and frame of mind.

I spend most of my time covering ground and recovering targets. I count hours and ground covered as more important than another 1/2" for the majority of my detecting. So for me personally I am seeking what for me is the most efficient detector, not necessarily the deepest. Yet for specific site/patch pounding maximum depth and/or target separation are all important, and so that does also factor into what I am doing. That is where I end up with one mode I use 90% of the time, my "hunt mode", and then a mode for those times I am pounding a location, a "patch killer mode".

I have to admit that coin detecting for me and gold prospecting are just different. When nugget detecting it is generally just dig it all detecting, and so all that matters is pure horsepower. It makes choosing detectors pretty easy, with clear differences observable in the field. Toss in trying to discriminate modern mixed trash in your average park setting however, and a whole different thing happens. First, I am doing it less for a pound of gold and more just to have fun. Swinging a GPZ 7000 is not what you do just to have fun. Coin detecting in a park however I am just having fun, and so the choice of detector for me does tend to be more about which one enhances the fun factor. And since I jewelry hunt more than coin detect, there is a good chance I will just fall back into digging all non-ferrous targets anyway. It was kind of bugging me chasing just coins yesterday while passing on lots of what were clearly aluminum targets - except they may have been gold!

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On the subject of efficiency. I am a prospector first and foremost. I spend 90% of my actual hours metal detecting looking for gold nuggets. What do I use?

No nugget detector is perfect for all detecting in all locations. Unlike coin detecting the gold varies by mining district, and so what works well in a large nugget district does not work well where no gold can be found larger than a pinhead.

I do chase larger gold but want as much small stuff as I can find at the same time. So I normally swing a GPZ 7000 with 14" coil as the machine with the best response on the largest range of gold targets. In an area with flyspeck gold I might have to break out a Gold Bug 2 with 6" coil to get the job done. And for big deep gold a 19" coil might have to get put on the GPZ. But for the vast majority of the hours I have to just choose a machine to use and the GPZ 7000 with 14" is the most efficient use of my time. No matter what however, I may miss small nuggets my Gold Bug 2 would hit or big deep nuggets the 19" coil would have hit.

The same thing goes I think for coin or jewelry or relic hunting. There is no perfect detector, and the best of the best are all so good it really will drive you crazy if you think you can find one that clearly rules on all targets under all situations. At the end of the day we have to pick one detector with one coil we are going to use today for whatever we do, and all the factors that go into making that choice mean each detector will always have plenty of fans convinced their detector is "the best".

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LOL.... After reading this I can see why the V3i would get a little tedious for you Steve...:biggrin:

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On the contrary I really enjoyed the V3i. I kind of regret selling my last one and I have about decided that I need to get another one when I can snag a good deal on a brand new one. The V3i is like owning a college course in metal detecting technology, and it can be used to illustrate almost any concept known in metal detecting. Frequencies, filters, both transmit and receiver gain, on and on. Anyone that can own a V3i, read the manuals, and fully understand what each and every control really does and how it interacts with the others will truly have passed a graduate course in metal detecting. I am not saying you have to do all that to own one and use it effectively - far from it. But I am going to treat myself to another one eventually and I swear I will keep the next one. The fact is I do not think there will ever be another detector like it so it deserves a permanent place in my collection.

For actual use however I am of the Dave Johnson school of detector design. Dave was involved in most of the VLF gold machines on the market including your MXT. Dave favors lots of power hidden behind simple control interfaces and packaged in good ergonomic housings. As much as I am attracted to complexity as the basis for having plenty of tuning options, the reality for me at least is that I just want to turn the darn things on and get on about my detecting! Here is a quote from Dave at http://www.fisherlab.com/hobby/davejohnson/Interview with David Johnson.pdf

"I like products that are easy to use. I don't like complicated stuff. I don't like gadgets and don't own a television, stereo, or cellphone. But I do have a computer of course; I wouldn't be able to do my job without that! Sometimes in order to achieve good performance with a simple exterior requires a lot of complexity hidden inside. The CZ's are an example: horribly complex inside the box, but simple outside. The new GB/G2 machines have a very simple user interface, but to get the performance and smoothness of response we had to hide a lot of complexity in software. Some customers like a complex user interface with lots of programmability, and there are companies out there who target their designs to those customers. We can't do everything, so we concentrate on what we're good at, which is exterior simplicity. I do believe this is the wave of the future, but only time will tell if that prediction is correct."

Picture from today - more cross checking.....


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I have been told that Dave keeps threatening that his next detector will have one control - marked "On" and "Off".  Don't know if that would ever happen of course!  But the possibility of highly adaptive and intelligent ground response cancellation, even without discrimination, would be truly innovative.

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Many good points, one I 100% agree with is the ergonomics of the F75 and Gold Bug Pro, very easy to swing for hours.  The ground where I live also reduces the detection/ID depth to about half.  Most good coins, deeper than 7" will give a solid iron tone and ID in the extreme bad ground areas.  That is one reason why I use the TDI even though it loves iron.  I keep waiting for 1st Texas to release the machine you had posted and hope it will be a variant of both a PI and VLF when it comes to ground rejection, or rather see through abilities.  I can only imagine a machine with PI functions with good ID capabilities.  I guess time will tell. 

Also wondering if the new Minelab Monster will hurt the Gold Bug sales at Fisher.  If it is prices right, simple to use and performs = to or > than, the answer is quite obvious.





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