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Steve Herschbach

Gold Bug Pro Vs AT Gold Vs X-terra 705 Gold Vs Lobo Supertraq Vs MXT

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Just bought a nice 2 month old Gold Bug Pro to go with my battery of VLF gold detectors (see my post above) for the great comparison. I'm interested in how the various machines do around iron. Both the Lobo ST and the GBP are Dave Johnson designs and it will be nice to compare how the discrimination works on the two machines. On the GBP you can tin in all metal and still see the meter, but the idea of running in discriminate with minimum or zero applied and listening to,the audio differences appeals to me. Will have to check how much depth is lost doing that however.

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For what it is worth, Rick, my experience is that I lose a good bit of depth on my GB Pro when running in discriminate mode.  In my "test garden" with buried coins, I find the "usable depth" difference is around two inches on a dime-type target, between all-metals and discriminate mode.  I have a sense that perhaps the depth loss is not quite as great on a low conductor, between the two modes, but would have to re-test to be sure (my testing was done when I first got the unit a couple of years ago).

I'll be interested to see if you find similar results in your testing.  As Steve H. mentioned, in all-metals mode, you do have ID information available from that "simultaneously running disc. mode," but -- as he said, you do lose that ID information on a deeper target (one that is easily detectable in all-metals mode) which, again, reflects that "depth loss."

No surprise here, I'm sure; just wanted to toss that out there FWIW.

Steve

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Every detector I have ever used goes gutless in discriminate mode. Might as well call it castrate mode. Disc mode even with the disc set to zero still is running everything though filters that rob depth.

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Interesting that for a mid-frequecy, general purpose detector, the GB Pro is probably the weakest of your group at coin and jewelry shooting. Great for gold, only OK for hunting coins and the like. Some of the choices you turned out are more truly general purpose, but when a design engineer is trying to build a do-it-all machine, compromises are required.

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So true Chris, and again why I hope I am getting the point across here that when making choices like this it is all about personal preferences. If I really was looking at the same group and coin hunting was top of my mind the MXT would be a prime contender. However, the Gold Bug Pro with 5" coil will pull coins out of trash that deeper detecting units will miss. It has an extremely fast recovery time and that little coil is tight as can be. I think the Gold Bug Pro has gotten a bit of a bum rap for coin detecting. For coin detecting in extreme trash it actually shines, like around old cabin sites. The key is its ability to put an extreme fine tune on the ferrous/non-ferrous break point. http://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,52741 The AT Gold with its 5" x 8" DD coil is another machine that people say does not get great depth on coins, but again excels in thick ferrous trash. These are all really great detectors if you get to know their fine points and use them for what they do best.

I have generally ignored the Tesoro Diablo uMax simply because it was only made a short while. It was Dave Johnson's favorite design, and I have tried to drop heavy hints to Tesoro that it should be reintroduced with the addition of a simple ferrous disc circuit. It was all metal only. But even just reintroducing the original model would be a good idea as it was a super light great detector at a very low price. I do not see how it could not sell for them, but maybe they are worried about undermining Lobo sales. Even the original got short shrift from marketing and so was quickly pulled from the market. I to this day am intrigued by the dual ground balance points which I think would be a great addition on any VLF detector. You had the normal ground balance on the detector, and a secondary ability to ground balance out a given hot rock. Basically a hot rock notch circuit. Really cool idea I would like to see revived.

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Regarding depth loss in discriminate, my MXT seems about as deep in coin and jewelry mode as prospecting mode with my 1.5 grain gold bead.

Also, Steve wrote some time ago how is older GB2 would function deeper in iron reject if the threshold knob was turned up all the way. He indicated that newer ones didn't seem to do that. Mine is a Los Banos unit, S/N 42223 and it clearly does it. I also believe it is very nearly as deep with iron reject on as with it off.

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For those of us interested in large gold a US nickel makes a good standardized test item. It reads more or less the same as a 1/4 oz gold nugget though of course nuggets vary considerably. The advantage to a nickle is anyone can obtain one and they all read the same.

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Steve wrote about the Diablo Umax's secondary hot rock ground balance that intrigued him . I agree it's a super handy thing to have , although there are some hot rocks you can not completely balance out it changes their signal so you can still tell when not to dig .

Why Tesoro have not revised the Lobo with this ability plus  manual ground balancing as well as auto is a mystery  ?  :rolleyes:

They could call it the Lobo Umax .

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Hi Steve, I know when the MXT first came out, i read your post on how you liked it and you are the one that made up my mind. I still have the MXT and use it most. I get to go to AZ. once a year and hunt for gold, but most of the time i coin hunt. Now you were talking about the 4.some # of the MXT. Whites has come out with the MX5, that is like the MXT PRO, but at about 3.some lb. Have you tryed it yet? I to would like a MXT a little lighter. I have found lots of rings and coins with the MXT but only one small nugget. But still love to be in the hunt. If you have tryed the MX5, and it is like the MXT, let me know and i will get a new detector,but untill i find something as good to me as the MXT i will never change. Thanks  Dean

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The MX5 weighs 3.9 lbs and the MXT 4.3 lbs. The MX5 is locked in full time ground tracking and you lose the full range discriminate knob instead having 20 notch discriminate settings. This makes it very hard if not impossible to fine tune the spot where ferrous targets are rejected and non-ferrous (gold) accepted. Just my opinion but the loss in capability as a nugget detector would not be worth the small weight savings. Stick with what you know best and works well until something dramatically better floats your boat.

It is interesting that nugget engineer guru Dave Johnson has said he is not fond of automatic ground tracking and has avoided offering it on new Fisher products. And at the same time White's has produced two models recently, the MX5 and Sierra Gold Trac, that can only be operated in full time ground track mode. I rarely use ground tracking myself, but I do like having it there in case I need it, as long as it can be shut off.

I was at a Minelab conference where the engineers highly recommended the X-Terra 705 be left in ground tracking mode. Their contention was that most detector owners do not know how to properly ground balance a detector, and more importantly, keep it properly ground balanced. They may get it right at first, but then the ground changes when the operator is not paying attention, and now the unit is not in proper tune. Therefore in their opinion most people were better off in track mode. When teaching newbies, I usually tell them to run in tracking until they learn the business, as it removes a possibility for error. So the case can certainly be made that running in tracking is better than using manual but not being on top of it. White's is probably just aiming to keep the detectors easy to run and less able to be affected by operator error.

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