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Using The XP DEUS For Gold Prospecting

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Goldbrick did a superb review of the XP DEUS and his use of it in the field at XP DEUS In The Goldfields

I try to keep up with anything that might be of use for gold prospecting. I decided I wanted to be able to speak with some knowledge about the DEUS as regards prospecting, mainly to be able to add it to my Gold Nugget Detector Reviews. And the rule there is I can't review it unless I use it. There is a good lead up thread regarding this at XP DEUS For Gold Prospecting Ron (CA) makes some excellent commentary on that thread that you should take a look at.

There is no doubt the XP DEUS breaks new ground in what it means to be a metal detector. Totally wireless, extremely compact, and very lightweight. It has a well deserved reputation for being able to pull good finds out of thick ferrous trash, like around an old burned down cabin.


I have used the XP DEUS in downtown parks, in the goldfields, and around an old ghost town. I found some old coins with it, nothing spectacular, though I did find my first Buffalo nickel that I have seen in some time with it.

In my opinion the DEUS works a lot of its magic by not only being able to see between closely spaced targets, but by also being inherently biased towards digging targets. The target VDI number accuracy ranges from just ok to very poor. Therefore almost everyone recommends just digging all targets that sound good with the DEUS. You dig more junk, but you also make more good finds.

Now the DEUS is very good at what it does, but the reality is if I take any good detector and concentrate on digging all non-ferrous targets including the iffy ones, I will make more good finds, while also digging more trash. This is just good old fashioned common sense metal detecting. The DEUS is really geared towards hunting like that, and it works. Where another detector, when in doubt, might say "don't dig" the DEUS says "Dig!" Combined with its superb target recovery speed this formula brings home the goods.

The problem? Not everyone wants to detect like that. I think many of the used units up for sale are by people who thought they were going to get better target id capability than they ended up getting with the DEUS. If you are expecting something with superb ability to identify targets, like the CTX 3030, than the DEUS disappoints. For urban turf detecting it will have you digging a lot of trash. You will make some great finds doing that, but target id is not this units strength, though I do believe that with enough experience and tweaking for a particular user with time that ability can be attained. But it is not going to happen quickly.

I just wanted to warn people about that. Me, I love digging most everything so the DEUS way of thinking works for me and it may very well for you also. Just be aware of what you are getting into.

OK, gold prospecting. The Goldfield Program is an 18 kHz single frequency VLF all metal prospecting mode. It has a neat buzzy digital sound to it I found pleasant - others may not. I did try and find a gold nugget with the DEUS and sadly I just did not get lucky in that regard. But I did dig plenty of small non-ferrous stuff like small shell casing fragments. The bottom line is I found the DEUS to be a very capable VLF gold prospecting detector, but one that strictly as a VLF nugget detector is unexceptional. It fits right in with most of the mid-frequency VLF detectors in that regard.

I have a White's V3i and I just could not get over the parallel. Two very expensive highly programmable metal detectors, both with a Prospecting Mode. The truth in both cases is these detectors were not designed for prospecting. Their main market targets are coin, relic, and jewelry. Prospecting is more the "oh yeah, lets have it do that also" thing that was tossed in just to make a complete package. In the case of the DEUS it was literally added after the fact as an update to the software.

What you get in both cases are really cool detectors that a person may very well want to own, and if you own one and apply yourself they can be used for prospecting, and will do a decent job of it. The reality though is they are massive overkill and really do nothing in the way of prospecting any better than a $499 Fisher Gold Bug.

If you are shopping for a gold prospecting detector do not think that because these units cost a lot and have a zillion bells and whistles that makes them better prospecting detectors. In my opinion, they just are not. I am not saying they are no good; what I am saying is you should be buying a detector like the DEUS because you want to use it for a lot of other things besides prospecting. If that was the sole purpose in owning it, I would take a pass myself. And I have. Mine has been sold.

When it comes to wanting to have a machine with tons of programmability I am happy with my V3i. Pulling good finds out of ferrous trash? Honestly, it has never been an issue for me. I have more stuff to find than I can deal with in that regard, and it is the sort of detecting I spend the least time at anyway. The detectors I normally use prospecting do well enough for me in that regard.

The kicker for me personally was what everyone seems to love and rave about with the DEUS. It is totally wireless. The side effect there is everything has a built in rechargeable battery. I plugged in the charger and hooked it up to the coil, the headphones, and the control box. My preference is to be detecting out in the field, have my batteries go dead, slap in a new set of batteries, and get on with business. I am close to being totally standardized on AA batteries for all my detectors and pinpointers, GPS units, etc. The DEUS takes charging things to a whole new level, and I am not that excited by it. It is not that I mind charging stuff. It is that I do not want a dozen chargers each one different in its own way.

The coils on the DEUS are literally the detector. Each one is loaded with electronics and a battery, and so they are $400 on up, and right now there are only a few options. I am partial to just unplugging a coil and plugging in another one, and not needing to keep my coils charged. I like lots of coil options for prospecting, especially very small and very large coils, and XP offers neither for the DEUS.

Finally, the DEUS, for lack of a better word, just seems dainty. I want to go four wheelin in the mud, and it is like having a french made sports car. For better or worse, I really cringe at the thought of taking that pretty little thing and rubbing my grimy gloves all over the control box. I feel like I need to baby the headphones. Yeah, there are aftermarket ways around that, but the ones that come with the DEUS are - just cute as can be but not made to use and abuse like prospectors use and abuse stuff.

The DEUS is very light, but so is a Gold Bug Pro at 2.5 lbs. At the end of the day, add it all up, and if you offered me both for free, I would rather have the Gold Bug for prospecting.

This all seems just terrible when I read it again but it is not to take away from the XP DEUS at all as a detector. It simply is a remarkable detector with a well deserved reputation for making finds in trashy areas other detectors leave behind. But my job here is to speak to the prospecting angle, and there is just nothing here that makes me want to use the DEUS to go gold prospecting. My caveats about battery charging and perceived daintiness are personal issues only. If I was back east and this was my main machine and I was coming west for a week to hunt gold - by all means! No need to buy another machine. Or for guys like Ron that really use it for its primary purpose and appreciate its trash handling capability. And want to use it to hunt gold also. There is a real place for a machine like the DEUS.

I however, will stand pat with my recommendation for people in the market for a VLF detector primarily for gold prospecting to stay under the $1000 mark. If you have to go over $1000 then start thinking PI detector. I just do not see the extra dollars spent over $1000 on a flagship VLF detector from any manufacturer to be adding anything to the nugget finding capability, and in most cases actually detracting from it. These higher priced units should be looked to first for what they are really designed to do, and only secondarily as gold nugget prospecting detectors.

It was a pleasure using the XP DEUS despite how the above sounded. Just a great little detector, and I am very happy to see another entrant in the field offering new and exciting options for us. XP gets very high marks for responding to their customers desires and there are a lot of very happy DEUS owners out there. My best wishes to the people that work at DEUS and my hope is for for their continued success.


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The site hunters have been all over the XP GMP over at Dankowskis http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,27373,page=6 It is the machine that actually created the magic seen in the DEUS and at least Tom Dankowski and Keith Southern both think the GMP actually has an edge over the DEUS but that they are very close. The GMP is of course an old school design physically while the DEUS is cutting edge.

I have to admit I am pretty much done with any more do it all mid frequency detectors. Down to the F75 and the Nokta and eventually one of those will go. I do have a use for such a machine but they all are so close in basic nugget detecting performance that it really just does not matter. The decision to own any given one is more about what else they offer the owner rather than raw VLF nugget detecting capability. I am sure the XP Gold Max Power can do just fine as a mid frequency VLF nugget detector. At least compared to the DEUS it has some reasonable coil options. But I am also just as sure that it is JAMFND (just another mid frequency nugget detector).

Anyway, I am getting off that Merry-go-round. If you hear me start down that path again, remind me I said that Chris!

From now on it needs to be a PI, or a VLF offering some kind of advance in multi-frequency detecting. A VLF that could switch from 15 kHz to 60 kHz and do it well would perk me up. Or somehow run both at once combining the best of both. If it is JAMFND I will have to pass.

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Nice write up on the Deus!  Thanks for taking the time to give us all your views.

Being a relic hunter in the gold region of CA, it is nice to have  machine that "could" nugget hunt if needed.  And I have found gold with the Deus.

I have been eyeballing the Fisher F19 and hoping that it would be a little quicker in the iron but is it simply a GB Pro with a couple add ons?

I have heard dealers say the F19 is quicker and with the iron volume it makes a word of difference in the iron, (but they need to sell machines)  but then I spoke with someone at Fisher and was told that I would probably not see much improvement over the GB Pro.

Any experience with the F19?

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Hi Ron,

No personal experience, but I have been very tempted by the F19 mainly because of the iron volume control. As you know in thick iron listening to all that low tone machine gunning can be a bit much. So just turn the ferrous volume down - that alone would make the F19 worth the upgrade for me. But basically the F19 is a Gold Bug Pro at heart so I would not expect much change in the actual performance. I am betting that if set up identically to a Gold Bug Pro as far as volume settings and such the difference would be no more than that you would expect between any two identical models.

Another nice thing on the F19 is it does save most settings when powered down. From the manual at http://www.fisherlab.com/hobby/manuals/MF19-Reader.pdf

"When detector is powered OFF settings are saved, except for the ground setting and backlight level. When detector powers ON, ground is preset to 82.9 and backlight is always OFF."

I do think the F19 is about $100 too much just because it is in camo. Supposedly Limited Edition. How about they give us the regular edition in black and gold for $100 less?

Monte at Link deleted since Findmall update broke all old links believes the F19 has been improved in iron handling capability. I would go with what you heard from Fisher myself - better to be conservative and pleasantly surprised then expecting something that turns out not to be there. Only way to know for sure is try it.

Then again, having a DEUS, why have the F19?

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I have had my Deus for a while now but as so often happens when it comes to our hobbies, life intrudes, so I have not been metal detecting near as much as I would like to. I do have some experience with it though, mainly using it to search for coin and relics. I hope to do more prospecting with it in the future as it seems it may handle mineralization better/differently than some other VLFs. Did you have the opportunity to take the Deus to areas where you could use/test the ground notch feature to good effect?

Thanks for the in-depth review of the Deus, Steve.

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The ground I detected was pretty hot red stuff, but the DEUS handled it just fine. It did not require using the ground notch where I was. I can see where it could be useful though. I hope you get out soon and I would like to hear more from you and Ron about your experiences with the DEUS as a gold prospecting detector. Any tips or tricks you can offer will no doubt be appreciated by forum followers.

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Has anybody on the forum attended one of the XP DEUS Boot Camps?   Wondering if it's worth the money, time, and effort to travel to one?

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Never been but I do know Andy Sabisch really knows his stuff and is one heck of a nice guy also. He literally wrote the book on the subject! 2015 schedule at Link deleted since Findmall update broke all old links

I honestly did not find the DEUS hard to operate per se. It has very good preset programs for out of box running. Then as you get used to it you can experiment with settings. The key I think is to not to try and make it into some preconceived notion of what a detector should be but to learn its way of doing things. People who are newer to detecting though may greatly benefit from the class so really only you know the answer to your question. Attendees rave about it so I think the content is there.

If nothing else get Andy's book. I sold the DEUS but still have a copy of the book! http://www.sabischbooks.com/books/xp/ Well written explanations in a book like Andy's can be surprisingly enlightening ever for owners of other detectors who just like to understand how things work. There is a lot of stuff published on the White's V3i that is of interest to people that will never own one for the same reason. You can vary many things at a basic level not obtainable in most detectors and see for yourself how it changes things in the field.


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