Jump to content

Recommended Posts

OK, final note. Just in case novices or newcomers to the forum are reading all this and taking it as a full blown endorsement of the White's TDI SL. Far from it.

I have rigged the game here by placing an reasonable (in my opinion) but artificial set of limits in place. The reality is that many detector users really only care about one thing - pure power. If you are a gold prospector who finds substantial amounts of gold (money) while metal detecting, all else is secondary. Cost is less important because your tools are paying for themselves. Higher cost just means more hours before reaching the breakeven point. For some people price is just not an issue. And ergonomics? I once jokingly told a Minelab engineer he could put spikes in the armrest that made me bleed every minute I was detecting, and if it meant I found a lot more gold, I would do it! Exaggeration perhaps but not that far off the mark either.

Given that reality the fact is there just is not a huge demand for machines near last place. The TDI SL shines here because of the parameters I have set up, but it only shines as far as weight and cost. Being a 2 on my "Minelab Scale" means there are a lot of detectors out there with far better performance, especially as not all of them are on that list, like the ATX and SDC 2300. The TDI SL is pretty low on the totem pole.

The reality I faced when using the TDI SL was that in low mineral ground it truly is not any better than any good VLF run in all metal mode. In fact given that most VLF detectors will hit smaller gold, and offer some form of ferrous discrimination, the TDI SL is a step backwards. White's own GMT and MXT models both are more compelling choices for most people working in lower mineral environments. You have to get into ground so mineralized or with hot rocks so bad that the GMT or MXT are really struggling before you really see the benefit of the TDI SL. Having a hard time ground balancing, machine overloads unless sensitivity backed way, way down? Hot rocks nearly every swing? Break out the TDI SL and those issues just go away.

This is why many people who don't get around much or have not experienced those types of ground conditions are truly puzzled by the TDI SL. Their VLF pretty much kicks its posterior, so they just don't get it, and even go so far as to think the machine is a rip off. A lot of the ground I have encountered in Northern Nevada, for instance, is mild enough that I believe I would be better off running a GMT than a TDI SL, especially given the prevalence of small and porous type gold. Bottom line is that for the TDI SL to look good compared to a decent VLF, you need some really bad ground.

So before you go thinking "aha, Steve says I should buy a TDI SL" think again. What I am really trying to do here is get more and better machines into this under 4 lb, under $2K region. The TDI SL simply wins by default.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Novices and newcomers and extreme fans may want one just because you put it on the list...it is just human nature to skip over the explanations and facts to get to a conclusion...

No one can say you have not given clear explanations of your desires and opinions...kudos!


  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve I'm not that up on the workings of the current or past Minelabs. Is it the weight of the battery, electronics or search coil that causes a PI to weigh over 4lbs or the combination of all three? I know with the TDI the weight of the battery and 12" search coil make the detector on the heavy side, but if the smaller coils are used the detector is manageable for all day use. If it is the battery that causes a PI to be on the heavy side, is there technology out there to power a PI today that would make it lighter?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is just everything - it all adds up. Certainly newer modern battery systems will go a long way to making detectors lighter. There are still quite a few detectors using eight AA batteries. The TDI SL is under 4 lbs but honestly looking at the weights below just getting under 5 lbs is doing good. Unlike all the others the TDI SL could actually add a little weight and still look very good.

Here is a list of nugget detectors sorted by weight with my own somewhat arbitrary categories. Weight is not everything as balance is also very important, as is the handle design. Obviously the ability to hip mount counts for a lot. Properly designed bungee systems can render even heavy detectors weightless on the arm.


Fisher Gold Bug / Gold Bug Pro  - 2.5 lbs. with 5" coil and one 9v battery (2.7 lbs with 10" elliptical coil)

Fisher Gold Bug 2 - 2.9 lbs. with two 9v batteries (may be hip mounted)

Minelab X-Terra 705 Gold - 2.9 lbs. with four AA batteries

Garrett AT Gold - 3.0 lbs. with four AA batteries

Makro Gold Racer - 3.0 lbs. with four AA batteries


Minelab Gold Monster 1000 - 3.5 lbs with eight AA batteries

Tesoro Lobo Super TRAQ - 3.5 lbs. with eight AA batteries (may be hip mounted)

White's TDI SL (GBPI) - 3.5 lbs. with eight AA batteries (3.0 lbs. with 7.5" coil)

White’s GMT - 3.9 lbs. with eight AA batteries


Nokta FORS Gold / FORS Gold+ - 4.3 lbs. with four AA batteries

White’s MXT - 4.3 lbs. with eight AA batteries


Minelab Eureka Gold - 5.3 lbs. including rechargeable battery pack or optional eight AA batteries (may be hip mounted)

Minelab GPX 5000 (GBPI) - The GPX weighs 5.3 lbs. not including the harness mounted proprietary rechargeable battery, which weighs another 1.7 lbs (7 pounds total). Detector weight normally supported by bungee.

Garrett Infinium LS (GBPI) - 5.6 lbs. including rechargeable battery pack or eight AA batteries (may be hip mounted)

White's TDI and TDI Pro (GBPI) - 5.6 lbs. including proprietary rechargeable battery (may be hip mounted)

Minelab SDC 2300 (GBPI) - 5.7 lbs. including four C batteries


Garrett ATX (GBPI) - 6.9 lbs. including eight AA batteries

Minelab GPZ 7000 - 7.2 lbs. with standard rechargeable battery

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread and couldn't agree more Steve. 

If anyone can do it, it is Minelab. Why? They already have the technology to place themselves anywhere on your number list. They also have a big Engineering team. Pretty much throw the Gold monster and the SDC into a pot, stir it around and pull out some sort of hybrid. 

Yes agree with your comment about the TDI, in mild ground any decent VLF will ping small gold better, and will even keep up with it depth wise when bigger coils and lower frequencies are used. That is the beauty of the GPX series in particular, optional timings and various adjustments like Rx Gain, Audio Type and optional Timings means that they can be optimised regardless of ground type. With a small mono coil they are so sensitive they will pick up smaller gold then a lot of VLF's except for dedicated very high freq machines. 

You forgot to add the Gold Racer into your Very Light section :rolleyes: It is also the best balanced machine due to having the battery compartment under the armrest.  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah Nenad, it was late so I figured on finishing up today but welcome the reminder. I added the Gold Racer at 3.0 lbs and also the Gold Monster at 3.5 lbs with batteries (the specs quote it without).

Manufacturers - none of us swing detectors without batteries. I want to know what's hanging on my arm. State weights with batteries. And some catalog weights are understated. Nearly all Nokta detectors weigh more than stated in their literature. All weights quoted on my website pages are normally derived from my actually weighing units with batteries included on my digital postal scales. The Nokta FORS Gold units, for instance, are catalog quoted at 3.9 lbs including batteries but weigh 4.3 lbs with batteries on my postal scales. Its not just Nokta - I have caught others out on this before.

The TDI SL as I note above is dramatically lighter than other GBPI options, so much so White's could add nearly a half pound of battery mass and still have a detector weighing under 4 lbs. Really no excuse not to go to a larger, more powerful battery. The other guys just getting under 5 lbs with batteries included would be a real accomplishment.

I agree Nenad. How many years have to go by with Minelab watching people strap external batteries and speakers on GPX detectors before we can just get a stripped down GPX with built in speaker and integrated rechargeable or drop in battery? I don't mind changing batteries mid-day if that is what it takes to get decent ergonomics. Here is a picture from Minelabs own Pro-Sonic video showing wireless audio being adapted to a GPX 5000 that has a Minelab half-size battery strapped to the side. I understand Minelab not wanting to undercut existing model sales, so if it has to be a limited control set locked into just Normal or Fine Gold timings, I am all for it. Better for beginners that way anyway. Or as a second unit for people who own the full blown rigs.

minelab-gpx-5000-with-integrated-battery-and -wireless-audio.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

The problem with the little half battery is the battery life, i unlike you steve need a battery that lasts all day like the current GPX battery does, the little half battery although i would love to be able to stick it to the side and become "wire free" is not viable when im kilometres from the car prospecting on the side of a hill somewhere... i tend to walk around quite a lot and dont carry spares with me ....What i need is a little battery that has a big batteries "life"! ahh in an ideal world :)


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the White's SPP it may work great in some ground that a VLF can't go but it's under powered and eats AA batteries like they grow on trees.

Right now I'm just going to live with what I got and that's a Gold Monster 1000. I find a place I can't hunt I'll just move on.

If I'm finding gold the pain of the weight of the detector don't hunt so bad.

GPZ 7000 Where are you ?

It's so many detectors out there and i don't want to buy them all to have what I want. So I'll just live with less and be happy.

you can now call me less happy Chuck


  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2017 at 11:53 AM, Aussieau said:

i unlike you steve need a battery that lasts all day

I need full day operation also. My attitude is that if a detector needs a battery swap during my lunch break to stay light then so be it. If running time on one battery is paramount then we already have detectors that do that anyway so no issue really. I agree though and that all day operation on a charge is preferable and should be no problem with modern Lithium Ion batteries.

Chuck, I personally would take a GM1000 over the TDI as a general nugget hunter. The problem as I have noted is that unless the mineralization is pretty severe then I think a good VLF is a better choice than the TDI SL. The GM1000 running in full auto is as close to a PI as you can get in a VLF, and even easier to operate. The main thing is it will bang hard on smaller bread and butter gold the TDI can't touch. The TDI does a decent job as a PI in high mineral ground but is poor in low mineral ground compared to a good VLF.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Steve Herschbach
      This is actually connected to detecting if you bear with me. It especially explains my audio tuning style. I dedicate this post to my wife, who knows me better than I know myself, but who for some reason has put up with me now for over 30 years.
      Anyone that follows me for a long time on the forums may note that I appear to be a different person at times. I can be incredibly patient, but sometimes very short. People who know me more wonder how I have the time to do the things I do sometimes. I always seem to have many diverse balls in the air at once. And then there is me demanding peace and quiet on the forum. That’s me managing my inputs.
      This is not an official diagnoses, but it’s very likely I have adult ADHD, with Bipolar I / Unipolar Mania as a weak possibility, as there is overlap, and debate over that overlap. ADHD fits best as my symptoms are induced by my environment, and I lack a depressive state. I’ll say right now don’t let any of this be a bummer. It has caused me difficulties in life, but like many similar people, I would never want this to be taken away. I understand myself now, and with that knowledge I manage my life much better. I did have to give up drinking, as I was self medicating. Retirement helped a lot, as the key for me seems to be to manage my inputs. Too many inputs leads to a scatterbrained condition where I bounce off the walls and won’t shut up.  Different levels of mania can kick in, and I drive my wife crazy. It’s funny for a few hours. Days or weeks not so much. However, it can be a gift. I am at my most creative when my brain is firing off like crazy, but it’s a bit scary, kind of like the wheels are coming off the cart. The easiest way to spot it is I just won’t shut up. Many of my extremely long in depth posts come from here. Unfortunately sleeplessness and irritability are part of it, as I’m hypersensitive and overreactive, literally like a motor firing off randomly, and out of sequence. It’s seductive but a bit dangerous. I’m coming down off one of these right now, but was happy as I predicted it this time, and was waiting for it. Finally got the triggers figured out.  Anyone still reading this, I use CBT to manage things, and it is a lifesaver if applied steadily. I think this post is symptomatic actually… too much sharing!  So yeah, still winding down. I’ve been posting and deleting said posts erratically, and I’m a bit on edge.
      There is the other part though, and just today I suddenly realized, duh, it’s my detecting superpower. That is my ability to hyperfocus. If things do not interest me, it’s almost impossible for me to do them. Painful actually. But if I’m interested, I can dive very deep, and for a very long time. Too many inputs makes me scatterbrained. Literally. So heaven is one input, something I can focus on to the exclusion of everything else. I love complex singular goals. I loved coding before it was a thing as it is all consuming and pure logic. Or tell me to build a 50 node computer network. I’m addicted to “flow”, where time disappears, and I am fully in the task, so things that stretch my abilities are best, as I have to fully engage. I’ve done some pretty amazing stuff in retrospect, but it’s because those things became obsessions for up to seven years. It’s cycled enough times now I see it. It lets me hide from the world.
      Detecting provides a repetitive motion, and a singular audio input that I can lock into for amazing lengths of time. I always max the audio. If I’m using tones it will be full tones. If nugget detecting I run extremely hot and noisy. I have lots of people say they can’t run detectors like that, but I am just the opposite. I can’t stand a quiet detector. I like hearing everything, and I always ride the edge to purposefully create full audio feedback of not only targets, but the ground. My brain locks on and all that noise you all hear is for me the detector talking to me. There is a pattern to the noise, I learn the pattern, and then breaks in the pattern stop me. I often get what I call “imaginary targets” where I do not know what stopped me. I might go a couple paces even before I stop, and go back. I run the volume very low as it is not the signal intensity I am listening to, but the entire flow of the sound. People are trying to tune the audio for their mind. I’m adjusting my mind to the audio.
      I can listen to this for 12 hours a day, for 30 days in a row, and never be bored, but engaged for every moment. Steve’s Insanely Hot Settings are textbook Steve style for any machine I run. If the machine is silent, I can’t focus as well. I’ll start thinking about something. Flow is particularly useful for wandering around, as I seem to tap into the whole of my 50 years of prospecting experience when I’m in that state. It’s what makes me go right instead of left. When it all comes together it can get a little spooky almost. That’s one part that gets lost when I grid. I’m replacing that instinct with a brute force method. I want to go back to patch hunting, as it favors this particular state, and is the type of detecting I enjoy most.
      I prefer to hunt alone, because I do not like to waste time moving. A perfect hunt for me is two weeks of 12 hour days, by myself, in one spot. Nobody to distract me, no suggestions we move here or go there. Just drop into low and slow take the place apart methodically hour after hour, day after day. A day is over before it starts as long as I can get into the flow, and it’s a state I enter easily if the subject engages me.
      This all came to mind when I was telling somebody I like running detectors more than finding things. I almost never park detect unless I am detector testing. I dig everything, and again am fully engaged in the audio, analyzing targets. Hmm, what’s that? Sounds like a bottle cap. Cool, it’s a bottle cap. What’s that? Sounds like a pull tab. Awesome, pulltab. I just don’t care, I’m enjoying it. I’m learning the detector, and I enjoy that as an activity in itself. I want to learn it’s language. Oooooo… sounds like a silver dime. Dopamine hit! ADHD has roots in dopamine deficiency, so I’m basically a dopamine addict. I’m literally addicted to the process of detecting.
      I had the opportunity to watch a lot of people detect for gold at Ganes Creek and Moore Creek in Alaska. What I observed was most people want to find gold with a metal detector, but they find detecting itself boring. They are doomed. They can’t stay engaged, and are literally missing targets because their head is anywhere but in that audio. They wander around in a daze, going through the motions, because they were told they have to do these things to find gold. The coil will often be way off the ground. These folks basically can’t find gold with a metal detector, unless the nugget bangs out hard. They tend to find lots of trash, but no gold.
      I can usually pick the good detectorists out. They tend to move slower. The coil control is spot on all the time. They are not just swinging, they are actively engaged with the coil as an extension of their body. The audio is a true extension of their ears. The focus is visible.
      I’ve never really hunted with Lunk enough to know this, but I always knew his secret. He hunts alone for long hours, and I’d bet bottom dollar on extreme patience and focus. Not the settings. We use opposite settings to get similar results. I am pretty darn sure that the reason why so few detectorists are producing the bulk of the finds is their ability to focus is not normal. Normal people are bored by detecting itself as an activity, and without constant “good” finds, get bored easily, and quit. We don’t get bored by detecting, and I’m an extreme example. It’s therapy and meditation rolled into one.
      I’m at that point in life where I don’t care much what people think about me, but understand why most people want to conceal such things. But I am genuinely curious. How many of you prefer to hunt alone? Are introverted, or have other personality quirks that are strengths when it comes to detecting? I do suspect the ability to hyperfocus, or achieve flow for long periods, is a key to all this, but due to the nature of the subject it gets reported as “he is really good at detecting”. I’ve told people for ages I have no secret settings. My settings are probably not what most people should use, because they are not for a normal mind.
      If I am right, there may be a reason why some of us are really good at this stuff, while others never are able to “get into it.” No matter how hard you try, if detecting does not genuinely engage you at some level, I do not know how you can ever get to the next level. It really is just going though the motions, and there is far more to detecting than having the same settings, and going though the motions. You have to be engaged, and you have to have lots of patience. When I am on top of my game, I have near infinite reserves of those two things I can draw on.
      How about you?
    • By Tnsharpshooter
      See NASA-Tom’s comments
    • By Tnsharpshooter
      Don’t know any other better subforum to place this.
      When manufacturers design make sure platform can allow at least 2 software versions or at the very least allow what I call both newer version update (whole) and a older subset (portion of older version) to be used.  
      Makes testing easier if and when a newer version is designed and requires pre release testing in the field for validation.   Would allow users after version release to use different versions and gain first hand feedback of the benefits or lack thereof of different versions or version subset(s).  Case in point.  Notice Minelab left old iron bias to be user selected when they released newer version with iron bias F2 option.  
      So in a nutshell this allows the detector versions ( or version subset) to be compared to the themselves in the field by the user.
      Xp should have done this too.  They should have designed Deus imo where at least  2 complete version allowed to be uploaded to unit.
      Notice the later released Ace Apex.  Garrett should have allowed on it too.  
      Don’t know what added production cost this would cause.  Hopefully not much.
    • By Northeast
      This was mentioned by geof_junk in another thread and had a little Google.  
      Found this  https://www.phys.k-state.edu/reu2011/nnorvell/Metal_Detector_Research.html
      I don’t really understand the technical side of metal detectors.  Does this have any application to current day detectors?  Will it help cancel out ground noise more?  Will the current crossing/not crossing the ‘bridge’ tell you something about what is under one of the receive coils.  
      Although I don’t understand it, I am amazed and a little in awe of those that do  👍
    • By GB_Amateur
      This is a topic relevant to every(?) form of detecting -- ground coverage.  I'll list several questions concerns I've had but any replies of course aren't limited to these, nor do they need to address  any of them.  Just tossing out some ideas to prompt further discussion.
      1) What methods and efforts do you apply to ensure full ground coverage in the cases where that is one of your goals?
      2) Is your sweep a straight line path or an arc?
      3) How long is your sweep?
      4) How much do you overlap consecutive sweeps in the direction you walk?
      5) How much do you overlap side-to-side swings when following parallel paths (e.g. when walking two side-by-side swaths in the same direction how much does the left end of one path overlap the right end of the next path or vice-versa)?
      6) Have you ever measured your coverage?  How well do detectors with GPS (e.g. Minelab GPZ-7000 and Minelab CTX-3030) monitor ground coverage to this detail?  Have you used other devices to measure ground coverage.  E.g. I can imagine a drone with camera could provide useful data.  Are there smartphones app that would help quantify coverage?
    • By nebulanoodle
      Just dreaming...
      What'dya think? Minelab technology going on the next moon mission?
      X6 must be space-worthy.
  • Create New...