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Steve Herschbach

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Record Reviews posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. This is basically just a copy of the review I left for the Fisher F19. The Teknetics G2+ is exactly the same detector but with a different coil and rod setup as normally sold. Electronically and operationally it is the same detector as the F19 with identical performance. I actually kind of prefer the pistol grip design over the S rod on the F19 for comfort but both suit me very well and so frankly its a bit of a toss up for me between the two models.

    I am a Fisher Gold Bug Pro fan. The machine is lightweight, easy to use, and very effective for what it is designed for. However, the Gold Bug Pro is somewhat feature limited and the G2+ adds some extra capability that many people would welcome - things like a meter backlight or ferrous volume setting, for instance. This 19 kHz model is a very solid performer on low conductors like gold and small targets like ear rings or small gold nuggets. The 19 kHz platform is a little weak on silver coins but still does very well as a coin hunter. The main thing I like is the light weight, solid performance, and very simple operation. The 19 kHz circuit is also one of the best I have used for ignoring electrical interference in areas where other machines may have issues.

    To repeat, the Teknetics G2+ is the same unit electronically as the Fisher F19. The only real difference is the rod and grip assembly and the coil that comes stock. The F19 has the classic "S" rod handle, while the G2+ has a modified "S" rod with pistol grip design some people may prefer.

    • Like 1
  2. This is a duplicate of the review I left for the standard F19. The F19 Ltd is exactly the same detector except offered with a camo paint scheme. I prfer the plain black and gold color scheme myself so lean F19. Other than that however they operate and perform identically and I would use either from that standpoint.

    I am a Fisher Gold Bug Pro fan. The machine is lightweight, easy to use, and very effective for what it is designed for. However, the Gold Bug Pro is somewhat feature limited and the F19 adds some extra capability that many people would welcome - things like a meter backlight or ferrous volume setting, for instance. The main thing however is that if you want the 10" x 5.5" elliptical coil for the Gold Bug Pro you have to get it as an accessory coil, or buy a two coil package. It is odd to this day that the Gold Bug Pro, a machine aimed at gold prospectors, is not available with the 10" elliptical coil as the stock coil.

    For this reason I aim people who want that coil at the F19 because you can get it stock with that coil. You get all the 19 kHz performance of the Gold Bug Pro, plus extra features, by getting the F19, and for about the same price as a Gold Bug Pro two coil package.

    Either way, this 19 khz model in all its flavors is a very solid performer on low conductors like gold and small targets like ear rings or small gold nuggets. The 19 khz platform is a little weak on silver coins but still does very well as a coin hunter. The main thing I like is the light weight, solid performance, and very simple operation. The 19 kHz circuit is also one of the best I have used for ignoring electrical interference in areas where other machines may have issues.

    Finally, do note that the Fisher F19 is the same unit electronically as the Teknetics G2+. The only real difference is the rod and grip assembly and the coil that comes stock. The F19 has the classic "S" rod handle, while the G2+ has a modified "S" rod with pistol grip design some people may prefer. 

  3. I used both the earlier CZ-20 and the CZ-21. I am a fan of the CZ series in general, and consider the CZ-21 to be one of the two VLF detectors I personally favor for serious water detecting, the other being the Minelab Excalibur. I am purposefully excluding detectors waterproof to 10 feet when I say this. The CZ-21 at 250 ft and Excalibur at 200 ft depth capability are far more robust detectors for those that truly intend on using a detector almost exclusively in the water. Detectors good to 10 feet are ok for mask and snorkel use but the CZ-21 is a true SCUBA capable detector.

    The downside is that means it is built like a tank with the weight that goes along with that. Unless you actually need that 250 ft depth rating there are far lighter and less expensive options available now. One small thing tipped me from the CZ-20/21 to the Excalibur and that is the way its audio discrimination was designed for coins instead of jewelry, and audibly puts nickel range targets into the high tone coin category. As a detector designed more for jewelry use the CZ-21 should read nickel range targets as mid-tone. That it does not means that to use the discrimination you either have to accept on passing on nickel range targets if you dig only the mid-tone targets, or just default to a simple ferrous/non-ferrous setting. This flaw largely negates the benefit of even having a mid-tone audio response. The Excalibur dies not suffer from this flaw. That is unfortunate as I rather prefer the CZ-21 otherwise as having a standard control panel with knob arrangement that can be easily hip or chest mounted out of box without extra accessories. The battery setup is more straightforward than that on the Excalibur. The tone arrangement is also simpler and more understandable than the more complex audio produced by the Excalibur, again excepting the aforementioned flaw. Finally, the CZ-21 offers a true all metal ground balance mode which I like a lot. All in all a great detector but I wish Fisher would have updated the machine to put the nickel range back at mid-tone, which would make it a far easier choice for me as compared to the Excalibur. It's really that one thing that puts my off the CZ; other than that it is a near perfect VLF machine for use to SCUBA depths. Hip-mounted it actually is also a very effective coin detector .

    • Like 2
  4. One of my favorite detectors of all time. The F75 was a detector that initially turned me off due to the early units sensitivity to electrical interference. However, once I discovered how well the detector worked when I got away from urban areas it became one of my standard units for quite a few years. I used the detector mainly in the all metal mode using the on screen target id to make dig/no dig decisions. Not only is the F75 a very powerful detector used this way, but it has the best on arm feel of any detector I have ever used. Perfect balance and a handle that my hand really likes... though that is different for everyone. The only issue other than electrical interference that I had with the machine is the inability to adjust the ferrous tone break which is set too high in the preset tones modes.

    I have already written extensively about the F75 on this website and so will refer you to my detailed review page.

    • Like 1
  5. I am a Fisher Gold Bug Pro fan. The machine is lightweight, easy to use, and very effective for what it is designed for. However, the Gold Bug Pro is somewhat feature limited and the F19 adds some extra capability that many people would welcome - things like a meter backlight or ferrous volume setting, for instance. The main thing however is that if you want the 10" x 5.5" elliptical coil for the Gold Bug Pro you have to get it as an accessory coil, or buy a two coil package. It is odd to this day that the Gold Bug Pro, a machine aimed at gold prospectors, is not available with the 10" elliptical coil as the stock coil.

    For this reason I aim people who want that coil at the F19 because you can get it stock with that coil. You get all the 19 kHz performance of the Gold Bug Pro, plus extra features, by getting the F19, and for about the same price as a Gold Bug Pro two coil package.

    Either way, this 19 khz model in all its flavors is a very solid performer on low conductors like gold and small targets like ear rings or small gold nuggets. The 19 khz platform is a little weak on silver coins but still does very well as a coin hunter. The main thing I like is the light weight, solid performance, and very simple operation. The 19 kHz circuit is also one of the best I have used for ignoring electrical interference in areas where other machines may have issues.

    Finally, do note that the Fisher F19 is the same unit electronically as the Teknetics G2+. The only real difference is the rod and grip assembly and the coil that comes stock. The F19 has the classic "S" rod handle, while the G2+ has a modified "S" rod with pistol grip design some people may prefer. 

    • Like 2
  6. The Fisher 1280X was my first fully submersible metal detector. It was early days and I did very well finding rings and silver coins in fresh water swimming locations with this detector. The 1280X has an exceptionally low operating frequency of 2.4 kHz (VF or Voice Frequency) that makes it strong on high conductors like silver coins but it is weak on small gold jewelry. The unit is built like a tank, and the ability to chest or hip mount the control box was a plus due to the weight of the detector.

    Fisher sold the circuit rights for the 1280X to Detector Pro, who used the circuit in the VLF Wader series of detectors. They are only waterproof to wading depths but are interesting since all the detector electronics is built into the headphone - very light weight compared to the original 1280X.

    There are few detectors that have been produced for as long as the 1280X and it is a decent performer, but at this point in the 21st century there are other options available that are likely to be more attractive to most people. This was a top detector in its day and gets three stars from me now only because the 1280X is very heavy and feature limited by today's standards. The main feature of note that still has extra value is the 250 foot operating depth, which means the 1280X is one of the few options available for SCUBA divers.

  7. Over a decade ago I would have given the White's MXT a five star rating, and am only giving it a four star rating because it is showing its age. The MXT was one of the first detectors to really leverage a microprocessor design in a metal detector by having a switch that made it like owning three detectors in one - Coins & Jewelry, Relics, and Gold Prospecting. Yet it stuck with an analog knob type control interface that is one of the best examples of simplicity and ease of learning I have seen in any detector. The controls are not only clearly marked with "cheater" settings but an abbreviated set of instructions is printed on the bottom of the control box!

    The MXT also has one of the best coil selections of any VLF detector ever made. The only real weakness is that as a non-waterproof single frequency detector the MXT is not the first choice for saltwater detecting.

    The MXT 14 kHz circuit is one of the best of the 20th century and the machine is already a true classic. There are newer designs that make the MXT look a little old fashioned but the fact is that it is a very capable detector that would be hard to go wrong with to this day. I have moved on to other units myself but will always consider the MXT to be one of the best metal detectors ever designed. The fact it is still selling almost twenty years later is a testament to that. See my detailed review for far more information than I can present here.

    • Like 2
  8. I have owned the Minelab GPZ 7000 and have done very well with it as a gold prospecting detector. The GPZ 7000 is a very high power all metal (dig all metals) detector that acts very much like an extremely powerful all metal VLF detector. It gets exceptional depth on a wide range of gold nugget types, especially on porous wire or specimen type gold that can be hard for pulse induction detectors like the GPX 5000 to detect. On the other hand the GPZ 7000 will signal on some type of hot rocks and alkali (salt) ground that a pulse induction detector would handle, so there is a trade of sorts being performed. In general however I could not ask for a better nugget detector for the Western U.S. and pounded areas in particular. I have rated the GPZ as four stars instead of five due to its weight (over 7 lbs), minimal coil selection, and very high price. See my detailed review for far more information than I have presented here.

    • Like 2
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