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Steve Herschbach

Under 4 Pound, Under $2000 Gbpi Challenge

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I like the ATX because it is a repackaged Minesweeper which is fine with me but the weight is an issue, and over here the price has rocketed up, where it is cheaper to buy a GPX4500, They need to rethink this sudden price hike considering it is very old Tech now and If a person is serious about Gold then the GPX gets my vote, How hard can it be to put the ATX on a Diet ?

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There was no reason to put the ATX in the Recon housing. The option existed up front to use the Infinium housing and they went with the Recon housing instead. My theory is the Recon never was a real winner either so they wanted to try and get the sunk costs out of the housing development by sticking a consumer detector in a military housing.

Even the water hunters have lost enthusiasm for the ATX due to never ending issues with the rods locking up from sand intrusion and cable deterioration issues that Garrett seems to never address. I actually loved mine for saltwater use since it is stout and is nearly neutral in weight underwater but when my last one flooded (was replaced under warranty) I lost faith in the unit. I am convinced the ATX packaged properly could actually have given Minelab some decent low end competition and would have sold much better in the nugget detecting world, where it has now all but been forgotten. For the company that really helped launch electronic prospecting Garrett’s complete lack of interest in getting serious about gold detecting has always puzzled me. I tried to work with them but when it came to the area they most need to listen to someone like me about (practical prospecting ergonomics) they completely ignored me. When asked I said the Infinium housing, even with it’s own issues that need work (the rod sucks) would be preferable for the ATX. Not what they wanted to hear obviously, and to this day one of my greatest failures as a consumer advocate. Garrett so far refuses to make the Garrett LTX and until they do I will never touch another Garrett detector with a ten foot pole. It does not need to look like the unit below but under 4 lbs and under $2K should be no challenge at all for Garrett... if they simply cared to try.

Garrett LTX Prototype

4.73 perfectly balanced pounds including 8 AA NiMH batteries
Control box can be moved forward and back to re-balance for larger coils
Control box removable and can be chest or hip mounted
Employs standard inexpensive cable type coil options
PBSRP* $1999
Construction thread with more rod options here


*PBSRP - Prototype Builder Suggested Retail Price before discounts. No, I'm not building any more and not selling these! :smile:

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Every point you hit on Steve, is SPOT ON! Could not AGREE with you more.

That's why I sold my ATX...

Many more (if there are any owners left) will do so as well


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An excellent report on the latest version of QED optimized for U.S. conditions found here.

Honestly, anyone with a Garrett ATX who does not need it to be waterproof would be wise to take a hard look at the QED. With exchange rates what they are you can get a new QED delivered to the U.S. for about what a used ATX will sell for! The QED weighs half as much, has a five-year warranty with free upgrades if desired during the warranty period (the cost to return to Australia actually nominal for just the control box). The best part is the compatibility with over 100 Minelab type coils on the market.

The QED is basically what Garrett could have done but has refused... so ditch your ATX and support those who actually are listening and giving us what we want.


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The next new challenger is now in view and almost sure to show up in 2020 according to this post. Two differing technologies are being evaluated for best results in the upcoming prospecting version of the Fisher Impulse. I am going to get the beach version, the Fisher Impulse AQ and hunt jewelry while I wait and see what develops with the prospecting version of the detector. I’ll keep an eye on QED developments also, but to get my interest beyond where it is they will need to establish a U.S. dealer network. I’ve never bought a detector yet that did not have U.S. dealers and service support and am not changing that policy at this late stage of my detecting career.

White’s is still the safe choice in this category with their revamped TDI Hi-Q but I have owned too many TDI models now to go back down that road. And despite all my drum pounding on this subject I’m still pretty practical about the price performance ratio. Right this minute, January 2, 2020, if I had to pull the trigger I’d probably still choose the Minelab GPX 4500 at 5.3 lbs weight on arm (battery not included, on backpack) and $2699 as getting me as close as possible to my goal without giving up more power and reliability than I am actually willing to give up. The Fisher is looking more like maybe 4.5 lbs (battery included!) and $2500 but that’s just educated guessing. A big step in the right direction though. Nokta/Makro is in the game but other than that we know nothing. Not a peep from Garrett or Minelab but the year is as young as it can get so we will see.


White’s TDI Hi-Q metal detector

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