Ok so I’m going to once again be asking opinions of the pros (you all). In my last post I asked what would be a better detector between the Teknetics T2+ and G2+, and it seems the G2+ would work better for gold which is what I’m going to be in the hunt for. But along the way I was introduced to the idea of saving up a little more and buying the equinox 800. What would you do? Option 1, Order the G2+ now and use it for a while in hope of finding a few good nuggets and then buying the Nox. Option 2, keep using my pawn shop kids detector and save up another 2-3 months to buy the Nox. Option 3, buy the Nox now on credit and have my wife hang me...?
By Steve Herschbach
Fisher Research originally released the 19 kHz Gold Bug model about 1987. It was a real breakthrough design at the time with a compact control box, S-rod, and elliptical coils. The detector is a good unit but is strictly all metal (no discrimination). It has no LCD readout and looks much like the current Gold Bug 2 but has a white lower rod and a black control panel face. Some people are confusing this old model with the new so be aware of this when looking at used detectors. The 19 kHz coils for the old Gold Bug will not work on newer versions of the Gold Bug below.
Around 2010 a number of new Gold Bug models were released by Fisher. First came the Gold Bug. Then came the Gold Bug SE (Special Edition) which added manual ground balance at a bargain introductory price. The SE with minor tweaks later became the Gold Bug Pro at a higher price. So now we have two basic versions, the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro. They differ from the old 1987 model by having an LCD readout. The standard version of either detector comes with a 5" round coil. There is a Gold Bug DP (Deep Penetrating) which is nothing more than a Gold Bug Pro with an 11" x 7" DD elliptical coil instead of a 5" round DD coil.
The only difference listed by Fisher between the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro is that the Gold Bug Pro has a manual adjustment option for the ground balance and also offers "higher sensitivity".
Both models use a "Ground Grab" button as a simple ground balance method that is quite effective. The Gold Bug Pro allows you to also manually adjust the ground balance setting up or down. The manual adjustment can be used in conjunction with or separately from the Ground Grab button.
The big question is the "higher sensitivity" claim. There are two possibilities here. First, that the Gold Bug Pro actually allows for higher gain or sensitivity levels. However, I was in marketing too long and have a more jaded thought. Manual ground balance allows for a higher degree of control that if used properly can get you more sensitivity. There is a very distinct possibility the higher sensitivity claim follows directly from the ability to manually ground balance the Gold Bug Pro. This could be tested with both units set side by side with identical ground balance settings and max gain. If the Gold Bug Pro is inherently more sensitive an air test should show it. I have not had the chance to do this my self but if somebody wants to there you go.
ads by Amazon...
My opinion? I believe the Gold Bug and the Gold Bug Pro if outfitted with the same coil are basically the same detector. The only real difference is the manual ground balance option on the Gold Bug Pro. Do you need it? Not really, and especially when you consider that for $499 vs $649 that is probably all you are getting. The Ground Grab function is remarkably effective and would suit most people just fine.
I personally do like manual ground balance and so for me spending the extra money to get it is a non-issue. I do as a rule tell people that if cost is not an issue get the Gold Bug Pro. It is far more popular and would be easier to resell. But in all honesty I think the Basic Gold Bug is the real bang-for-the-buck unit. There is nothing else close to it at the $499 price point that offers full LCD readout target discrimination while in full power all metal prospect mode.
I should note that First Texas owns both Fisher and Teknetics. The Fisher Gold Bug DP (Gold Bug Pro with 11" coil) is marketed by Teknetics as the G2. The Fisher Gold Bug DP goes for $699 and the Teknetics G2 is $749. The $50 extra gets you a pistol grip rod instead of the Gold Bug S-rod and an arm strap. Nice gray paint scheme also. Really boils down to pistol grip vs S-rod, purely a personal preference thing.
I use the 5" x 10" elliptical myself and consider it to be the best all around coil for the Gold Bug. However, right now you have to get it as an accessory or as part of a two coil package. Fisher would be doing us a service to release the Gold Bug with this coil as standard on the unit.
My Gold Bug 2 is slightly better on the tiniest of gold but the Gold Bug Pro easily outperforms the Gold Bug 2 on larger nuggets at depth. For all around nugget detecting the Gold Bug or Gold Bug Pro (and G2) have a better balance of both small gold and large gold capability than the Gold Bug 2.
To recap first came the original 1987 era Gold Bug with knobs and switches:
1987 era analog Fisher Gold Bug
Then about 2010 we got the new Gold Bug:
Fisher digital Gold Bug
Followed quickly and briefly by the Gold Bug SE. Note how the plus and minus buttons now have dual functions, both Disc and Ground Balance, compared to the basic Gold Bug above:
Fisher Gold Bug SE
The Gold Bug SE was basically the prototype for the Gold Bug Pro, which got a new faceplate decal and a higher price:
Fisher Gold Bug Pro
And finally, the Gold Bug Pro was also marketed under the Teknetics line as the G2 with a different rod/handle assembly:
Gold Bug Pro DP compared to Teknetics G2:
Click on images below for larger versions.....
By Steve Herschbach
First Texas is the company that owns the Bounty Hunter, Fisher, and Teknetics metal detector brands. KInd of like Chevy and GM putting out similar models under different brands you can often find similar Fisher and Teknetic models.
My choice for an affordable high performance all around VLF detector with an emphasis on gold prospecting has been and continues to be the Fisher Gold Bug Pro. Lightweight, inexpensive, hot on gold, and good and dealing with dense ferrous trash. Great for nugget detecting, plus relics, coins, jewelry, etc. Right now the Fisher Gold Bug Pro with 5" round DD coil sells for $649 online.
The main problem with the Gold Bug Pro is it comes with the 5" round coil, which is a great little coil for sniping small areas, but no good for covering large areas. You can also buy the Gold Bug Pro with an 11" x 7" DD coil - it is the exact same detector but they call it the Gold Bug DP to indicate it comes with the larger coil. It also tacks $50 onto the price and so you see it online at $699.
The problem even then is I think perhaps the best coil for all around nugget detecting with the Gold Bug Pro is the 10" x 5" elliptical. Great all around sensitivity, covers ground well, and pokes around in nooks and crannies without getting hung up like an open design coil. The problem? Fisher does not sell the Gold Bug Pro with just the 10" x 5" coil as stock. The only way to get it is as part of a dual coil package. That's fine but guess what - the price goes up another $50 and so you see the dual coil package advertised at $749 online.
You can find more information on various Gold Bug versions past and present at this thread.
It turns out the Gold Bug Pro is a great relic detector (Best Ever Made! according to Fisher) but the name was a problem. Overseas especially Gold Bug Pro is an odd name due to the "Bug" part not translating well, but it also says the machine is a gold prospecting detector and not a relic detector. Fisher sidestepped this initially by coming out with the Teknetics G2. This is the exact same detector as the Gold Bug DP above but with a different rod and grip assembly.
OK, long lead in! Fisher took the 19 khz Gold Bug Pro and added a few features and called it the Fisher F19. This machine is marketed as a relic detector, but it is still the same 19 khz Gold Bug Pro under the hood. Extra features include:
Adjustable volume, both master volume and ferrous volume. The Gold Bug Pro runs at max volume at all times. No volume control built in. The F19 adds a normal 1 - 10 volume control. It also adds a secondary 1 -10 control that only affects the ferrous 0 - 39 region of the id scale. So you can have gold nugget make a loud beep but a nail make a very soft ground. This is great when working in lots of ferrous trash as it lowers the barrages of ferrous signals. The Gold Bug Pro has a very loud external speaker, and the ability to lower the volume when working without headphones is welcome. Red meter backlight. The meter can be lit for low light conditions, with the red tone chosen to not affect your eyes low light capturing ability (same as in aircraft cockpits). The backlight is adjustable and can be turned off. Notch discriminate. A discriminate "window" can be created of variable size, and set to either "notch out" or "notch in" any certain segment of the target id scale. For instance a certain pesky pulltab reading can be individually blacked out. The Gold Bug Pro lacks this ability. But here is the big one - the F19 comes standard with the desired 10" x 5" elliptical DD coil! The catch is that the Fisher F19 normally sells for $799 though it has seen recent price reductions in some versions to $699. Still, at that price I still have in the past recommended the F19 as an option to the Gold Bug Pro due to the stock coil and extra features.
Fisher Gold Bug Pro Owners Manual
Fisher F19 Owners Manual
First Texas just went ahead and made this all a real no-brainer. Until the end of November or until stocks run out you can now get the F19 for only $449. That is less than a Gold Bug Pro or even basic Gold Bug model sells for. For anyone interested in a Gold Bug Pro, this is a real bargain and an opportunity to pick up the extra features of the F19 at an actual savings over a Gold Bug Pro.
Finally, the Teknetics G2+, which is exactly the same machine as the F19 but with a different rod assembly and coil (11" x 7" DD), can also be had now for only $449.
By Ridge Runner
I’m going to tell you what little I know from a friend from a friend of his that is saying very little as in next to nothing.
It started out this guy wanted to get into coin hunting. He looks around and find himself a used Teknetics. Now remember all this is new to him.
He’s out there just swinging his new used detector and he gets a signal. Well like all good American boy he starts digging. He gets a hole dug about a foot down and hits a brick. Then he makes the hole bigger and low and behold there is another brick next to the first one. The thing is the two bricks are not next to each other but has a space in between. He’s thinking I didn’t detect the bricks and he didn’t because here is this tin laying in between the two bricks. I haven’t got the straight of the type of tin but maybe that will come later.
Here he is with this so called tin in his hands trying to pry it open. Now hold on because this is the things that can dirty your pants.
Okay now he’s got it open. He pops it out into his hand and there lays a Double Eagle better known as a twenty dollar gold coin.
Of all things it’s a walking Liberty with a flying Eagle on the backside . Oh yes I did leave the date out didn’t I.
This old girl is carrying a date of 1907. If you look in a coin book none of them come cheap. He told the guy I know that he knows that it’s worth no less than 6000.
My friend wanted his to send a picture on the phone but the guy said no and he wouldn’t say where he found it. Because it’s a rare coin he just wanted to keep it under wraps at this time.
If can at a later date I’ll give you the rest of the story.