Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated October 2009
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Steve_Herschbach
17:25:19 Thu
Mar 11 2004
Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated October 2009
Moved to new location
Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors


oldrocker
17:58:14 Thu
Mar 11 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thanks!! Just what I have been looking for in information....

pipedreams
21:24:07 Thu
Mar 11 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thanks for the information........exactly what I needed!

alienbogey
03:41:32 Fri
Mar 12 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve,

Thanks for the info. I relied heavily on it when deciding on which detector to get.

I went with a White's GMT. I bought it from Gerry McMullen of Boise, we met last week at Rye Patch, Nevada, where he trained me on it's use.

I only had a day and a half there, but got great training from Gerry and found 6 small nuggets.

Loren

amxgerry
14:56:19 Tue
Mar 30 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
hey, thanks for all this info!

regards gerry

papillon69
16:45:10 Sun
Oct 17 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi!

First thanks for your advices on MD for nugget. I searched and searched the net until my eyes were cring of fatigue.

Ar last I stumbled on your site, and now I know a little bit more what nugget MD should I lok for.

I say a little bit more because I live in Costa Rica, Central America. I think when I will have bought the still "unknown" MD, I will be the sole owner of a detector in the whole country! Just joking! But I think it will not be far from the trutn.

So I have no clue if there are hot minerals, junk, or whatever. Unknow territory...yet! No references, just that there were gold at one time and there are still gold! That's all.

If you would have one and only ONE MD that you would bring in a complete new territory, what would be the detector of your choice??

Two things I must add>

I need one that will hipmount (front or side).
One that is reliable.

You see if it brokes, I will have to send it back in the USA to have it fixed. It will take time and add. money!

Last, I would prefer to buy a used one rather than a new one. Why? Because a brand new one is likely to break the first months than a older one.

I will keep an open mind here, any advice will be more than welcome.

Roger Pilon
Costa Rica
Central America





Steve_Herschbach
17:11:50 Sun
Oct 17 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Roger,

You ask "If you would have one and only ONE MD that you would bring in a complete new territory, what would be the detector of your choice??"

Well, I do not, and would not travel anywhere with only one detector. Period. I do not drive without a spare tire either.

If I were headed out prospecting for gold with metal detectors I would be packing at a minimum my Minelab GPX-4000 and Fisher Gold Bug 2. The GPX-4000 would be the primary unit. However, the Gold Bug 2 will hit smaller gold than the GPX-4000 and it also has better iron/steel discrimination. And it does hip mount as is... the GPX-4000 has to be modified if you want to hip or chest mount it.

All detectors are reliable, but all detectors can fail. The more you use them, the more it is a matter of when, not if, you will experience a failure of some sort in the field. In your case you may be sending the machine out-of-country for repairs. I would not consider a second detector to be optional under those conditions unless you do not mind having to quit for a few weeks while a detector is shipped off, repaired, and shipped back to you.

The only time I have one detector with me is day trips. if a detector quits on me then it just means a shorter day. No big deal. But I cannot imagine going to the expense of traveling to a remote site with one machine.

Remember, that is all just me talking. My opinions only. Others may be fine with a single unit, and different models besides. If so, hopefully they will chime in.

papillon69
18:18:07 Sun
Oct 17 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Gee!

That was a fast answer!

In a way you answered my question: when I will be able to afford a GP 3000 I will go for it! Meanwhile, I will start to hunt for a Gold Bug 2 as a first choice and the others brands as alternative choices on Ebay!

The second step will be a PI unit, maybe a lower end model, but at the very least one PI unit!

Question..do you have any other PI units beside the Garett and the Minelab that you could recommend (a little bit more budget oriented)??!!!

Thanks again for your advices! I take them seriously!

Roger Pilon
Costa Rica



Steve_Herschbach
20:36:24 Sun
Oct 17 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Roger,

For my purposes a PI detector must have a ground balance circuit, as I want to be able to use the PI in areas that have mineralization so bad the VLF units fall short. That pretty much means the Garrett or Minelabs. Since you are OK with used, I would recommend a used Minelab SD2100. In my opinion an SD2100 is about as good as anything Minelab has introduced since, although owners of the latest and greatest no doubt disagree. The newer units do have improvements, but it's nothing huge. Most gold a GP 3000 will find an SD2100 will find. Again, my opinion only.

If you wish to try a PI unit that does not ground balance, the Goldquest SS appears to be the best bet. It will serve very well unless you run into bad hot rocks or other very tough mineralization. But I could say the same about many VLF detectors, like the White's MXT or Tesoro Lobo.

DirtDog
23:25:53 Mon
Oct 18 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve,
Thanks for this latest update on the detectors out there on what they can and can not do.You get to the point and arent scared to say it like it is when it comes to a upfront and honest performance report.
I'm looking for a underwater detector that I can use that will have discrimination capabilities for use in swift currents in trashy/iron areas...most likely on bedrocks of different mineralization.I have literaly spent over 1000 hours of dredging in the rivers of the California Mother Lode area.Call it being overwhelmed or 'overburdened'...I want to drop the nozzle for a compatable detector that has the best iron/hot rock(bedrock) discrimination on big AU.
DirtDog,
Nevada

Steve_Herschbach
00:44:26 Tue
Oct 19 2004
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi DirtDog,

Great question. The Tesoro Tiger Shark has the best gold sensitivity of the underwater units, a ground balance, and a variable discrimination circuit. It is probably the best choice unless the hot rocks are real bad. Then you have to go with the Garrett Infinium, and you are going to dig lots of junk.

.

paratrooper
19:53:14 Sat
Apr 2 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
My main "go to" machine is a 2200 . I have been agonizing over which machine to get for the "wife/back-up" machine for quite a while . The Eureka Gold was on the "short list" but I didn't like the idea of a VLF machine . The Gold Bug 2 would be good also BUT , once again VLF . When we go to I-Bar the GB2 would keep her occupied working the cracks in the bedrock while I go "big game hunting" with my 2200 . But after your appraisals of the machines out there I am totally leaning towards the Infinium LS . It's probably not the "teeny weenie" piece of gold finding machine that the GB2 is BUT it seems that the underwater capabilities will come in handy for shooting around in shallow water or even getting in over one's head with the extra $100 underwater headphones . Looking at the prices I know I can walk out with this unit for $1100 complete with underwater phones . I would also consider this machine for packing in to more remote places and coming back with the 2200 if it shows promise (read GOLD) . Of course the 3500 is a great machine but I wonder if it is 3 times better since the money is 3 times more . I don't do this for a living but I also want to show results to sceptical acquaintances .

Steve_Herschbach
20:30:12 Sat
Apr 2 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Tom,

I've used the Minelabs extensively and the Infinium. The Minelabs have the edge on smaller gold so the Infinium would not help at all if crevicing smaller gold if the idea.

I tend to recommend when one considers getting second machines, that the two be opposites. VLF excels at small gold and discrimination. PI excels at ground rejection and deep gold. Put the two together, you cover lots of bases. One ends to work well at what the other is weak at.

Just for you to consider. The Infinium is a PI unit like the Minelabs and so has the same weaknesses. You'll not really be extending your capabilities much.

paratrooper
07:32:14 Sat
Apr 9 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
A fella is selling an Infinium on e-bay . One sentence in the description caught my eye "To take advantage of the pulse tecknology you have to swing it at 2 feet per second which is slower than I like to move." What's the story on that ? And would this be underwater as well ?

Steve_Herschbach
16:33:53 Sat
Apr 9 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi paratrooper,

All PI detectors work by measuring the decay of an induced current in the target item. As such they benefit from being moved slower than a VLF detector. It is not that you have to move them really slow so much as a VLF can be moved faster with less loss of signal.

There are times I really cover some ground with my VLF detector, but I generally do it knowing I'm not getting the best depth and sensitivity. Many detectorists would benefit from just slowing down. I consider coil control to be one of the real secrets to getting the best depth out of a detector. All machines have an optimal sweep speed. Just bury a target, and try slow, medium, and fast and note the results. Going too slow can dramatically cut depth as can going too fast.

But in general, A VLF detector can be swept faster than a PI detector with less risk of loss.

paratrooper
07:22:45 Mon
May 23 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve , what do you think of the Tesoro Sand Shark ? I am so tempted to try one of these in the desert . For the money it should be cheaper yet rival the performance of the Infinium . I have been asking for what seems to be an eternity about these underwater units being used on land . Many folks are interested in the answer but to date no one has "ponied" up the money to find out . I tried to get a "shoot out" at one of Chris Gholsons outings but there was lukewarm reception at best . My idea was to match inches for dollars . I'm sure the 3500 will perform well but will it outperform others in such a way as to clearly justify it's purchase price . If a $600 machine will find an ounce nugget at 18" the 3500 will perhaps find it at 30" . These are not accurate by means of testing , I'm just showing a comparison . Probably what I'm looking for can best be described as which of the more realisticly priced machines is actually the "better" investment . Any thoughts ??

Steve_Herschbach
16:14:14 Mon
May 23 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Tom,

You just have to ask the right people! That question has been asked and answered here before. But this time I'll go into more detail.

I have used the Fisher Impulse, White's Surf PI, White's Surf PI Pro, and Eric Foster's Goldquest. I have not personally used the Tesoro Sandshark, but I have no doubt it performs similarly to the units I have tried.

To simplify, there are two types of Pulse Induction (PI) detectors... those that ground balance and those that do not. PI detectors, especially the older, less sensitive units, are inherently less affected by soil mineralization and salt mineralization than Induction Balance (IB) detectors (commonly referred to as VLF detectors). This has lead to the myth, often perpetuated by the manufacturers, that the PI units totally ignore this mineralization. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Pulse Induction units are affected by ground mineralization and salt mineralization. In fact, the more sensitive you make the unit to gold, the more problem you will have in this regard. An ability to detect smaller gold nuggets comes with the penalty of the unit being more affected by ground mineralization or even saltwater.

Most diving type PI units are purposefully not very sensitive to small gold items as that would make them more affected by saltwater/black sand beach conditions. They work just fine on typical jewelry items, like rings. And for larger gold nuggets they would be OK.

The normal dive units will also be affected by adverse mineralization and hot rocks. In some areas non-ground balancing PI units are as bad or worse than IB/VLF units at picking up hot rocks. I've seen lots of attempts to explain how a non-ground balancing machine can be adjusted in various ways to help ignore hot rocks but all those methods reduce depth and sensitivity to gold also.

As far as I am concerned from my personal tests and for my personal use it all comes down to one thing - the PI unit must ground balance if it is to be used as a serious prospecting machine. That currently means the Minelab SD/GP units, the Garrett Infinium, and the soon to be released Eric Foster Goldscan 5.

Here is the conundrum. If the ground mineralization is easy enough to use a diving type PI detector, than one might as well use a VLF (IB) detector. If the ground mineralization gets so bad the VLF unitis having problems, than your non-ground balancing PI unit will also be affected, although to a lesser degree. Considering that the typical diving PI unit is already less sensititive to gold than a VLF detector there simply is little reason I can see to consider a normal diving PI detector for gold prospecting.

The Minelab units are my first choice for numerous reasons. The Infinium is my current second choice as a "budget" unit. The Eric Foster Goldscan 5 holds great promise, but unfortunately it will be priced such that it will actually cost more to buy than a brand new Minelab SD2100v2. It mainly will offer a better PI discrimination system than the Minelab units and lighter packaging, a real plus for some users. So you will have Minelab units and the Goldscan at the top end, and the Infinium as the budget unit still.

My personal opinion is that ground balancing Pulse Induction metal detectors represent the future of metal detecting. For sheer power they cannot be beat. The discrimination is currently crude by VLF standards but my understanding is that there is no reason it cannot be improved on. The ground balancing system itself is a form of discrimination and I've found the Infinium dual tone discrimination system to be a giant step up from the basic single tone "dig everything" PI detectors.

Let's face it, if a $600 PI diving unit could realistically be used as a prospecting alternative you would see people actually making use of them in the field. You do not, for a reason. And now you know the reason!

paratrooper
05:26:43 Sun
Jun 5 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Went into my local detector store and saw the darndest machine . A Detector Pro . It has NO control box . All the electronics are in the headphones . It's a PI unit . The clerk (a most knowledgable detectorist) told me that he took it to a beach near his house (Sants Monica area) and it worked him to death . It is a "beast like my 2200 BUT a heck of a lot lighter . The coil is waterproof also . He's selling them for $700 . What's your take on this Steve ???

akbushcop
22:44:51 Sun
Jun 5 2005
DetectorPro PI
I am no expert like Steve is. But from my understanding is
that these are mainly coin & relic machines. From reading
Steves post about PI units these types of machines are not
set up to be used on fine gold nuggets. There is another post he responded to on here where he went into great detail about the differences. Now, I can tell you this. I
have one of the DetectorPro Pocketprobes, it's a pinpointer
device and is a PI unit. These things are awesome. It cuts
down locating and digging time by a lot. And it has the best depth of any pinpointer I have used. 4 to 6 inches isn't unusal. And it puts you right over the center of the
target. Now, that's the extent of what I know.....

Steve_Herschbach
22:48:19 Sun
Jun 5 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Tom,

The DetectorPro units are great non-ground balancing PI detectors. I believe the circuit was designed by Eric Foster. The headphone design is really cool. I have a DetectorPro Uniprobe that is a combo probe/headphone I really like and have used their Gray Ghosts for years.

There is no reason a person cannot go out and find gold nuggets with a non-ground balancing Pulse Induction metal detector. In some areas they might work just as well as the more expensive units. But in my opinion as ground conditions worsen the ground balancing units will have more and more advantage, especially in areas with strong hot rocks.

Remember that coil size makes a difference, and nobody beats the Minelab units for coil selection. I just got the Coiltek 27" x 21" DD pro coil for my Minelab. Eric Foster really has scored a major coup in making sure the new Goldscan 5 can use all existing Minelab coils.

Steve Herschbach

paratrooper
01:22:05 Mon
Jun 6 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
To be honest Steve I was thinking about the Infinium LS as against the Detector Pro as a "turn on and go" machine . When I go to AZ the water will be far away and to be frank this unit is about $300 less . The guy that "road tested" this unit said he walked right up to the wet black sand and started getting good signals . The biggest question seems to be :could the ground conditions get so bad as to render this machine uselass since it won't ground balance? Or would it just get noisier as you go . As for coils , that's another deal .I'm not sure of the selection beyond an 8" (I think).

Steve_Herschbach
03:45:53 Mon
Jun 6 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Tom,

Well, as you've noted it all depends on ground conditions. It is not just how does a diving PI compare to the Infinium but how would it also compare to a VLF machine that might cost even less? If I was heading to Arizona and had the choice of a "diving type" PI detector or an old original Fisher Gold Bug I think I'd probably grab the Gold Bug.

You are betting on the hope that a less expensive diving PI type detector MIGHT get some better depth on a large nugget that would exceed that of a good VLF nugget detector. Impossible to tell without trying it where you intend to hunt, but I'm doubtful. What I'm sure of is the diving PI detector will miss smaller nuggets any decent VLF nugget detector will easily hit.

Decisions, decisions... ain't shopping fun?!

Steve Herschbach

paratrooper
04:56:36 Mon
Jun 6 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
The one I saw was not a diving PI . It was the Land version . I believe that they make 3 models . I think I'm trying to find the "perfect machine" . Turn on and go , PI for brute depth and not a lot of money . It would seem that the GB2 is the best when it comes to the "best of three" on my wish list . Ain't shopping fun ??? NO!!! My guy at the store tells me that the GB2 will get smaller gold close to the surface (as in exposed bedrock along streams and such) but the LST will find bigger deeper . He sells both so it's no skin off his (well, you know) no matter which one makes me whip out the Discover card . But listening to you the GB2 seems to be the smart move . Thanks . Excuse me now while I shuffle off looking for something ELSE to confuse me .

Tony_Michigan
01:43:21 Thu
Aug 18 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi All,
just wondering if any of ou have ever tried the Compass gold detectors AU 52 and AU 2000?

I have the MXT and was wondering how the Compass machines stacked up?

kamikaze1a
07:40:53 Tue
Aug 23 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve, how does the GM3 stack up against the new Whites? I bought a unit a while back hoping my Wife would get into it too but alas, no interest.

Steve_Herschbach
20:57:14 Tue
Aug 23 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Tony,

I used the Compass units years ago when they came out. Pretty good units, but they used to be really "touchy". If the newer models are more stable they would be worth looking into, but I'd sure want to actually try one first. But since you already have an MXT I'm not sure the Compass units would add much to your abilities.

Hi kamikazela,

I'm not very prone to the hype we get fed by manufacturers about their latest and greatest, as I've bought too many detectors over the years on the promise they were better only to find they were really about the same, but with a tiny improvement of some sort. The GM V/SAT, GM3, GM4/B, and GMT all offer quite similar 48-50 kHz performance. Some still consider the GM3, the last of the series to offer a convertible control box that could be chest or hip mounted, to be the best of the series. The only caveat is the GM3 is manual ground balance (not a bad thing in my book) whereas the newer GMT offers automatic ground balance in addition to manual (a good thing for many people).

Tony_Michigan
01:58:38 Wed
Aug 24 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thanks Steve,
Your replies are always appreciated!

Hope you are finding that yellow stuff.

Tony

kamikaze1a
21:21:23 Thu
Aug 25 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thanks for the info Steve. I had considered packing that GM3 to Moore's it as a backup but didn't to reduce the payload. In your opinion, is the GM3's disc any good for beach detecting? I have never beach detected and would prefer to not take my Minelab near the ocean. Thanks again, Gaine

Steve_Herschbach
23:19:37 Thu
Aug 25 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Gaine,

Any Goldmaster is totally unable to deal with wet salt sand... it beeps on it! The only way you can use it is to stick to bone dry sand. So high on the beach it can be used to pick earrings and thin chains other beach detectors will miss.

I almost took my Minelab to Hawaii last year to hit the beach. It is an awesome beach machine, if you want to expose it to saltwater air. I can understand your concern there! As it is most good finds are made in the water so I opted to just bring the Surf PI Pro instead.

rrtdave
21:01:49 Fri
Oct 7 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve,

Thanks for all your information and the "great opinions"!! I think you give the average-advanced nugget hunters at least an answer to most of our questions!

I have been trying to decide between a White's MXT or GMT, with more suggestions leading towards a MXT model. I travel mostly through Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota or New Mexico so looking mostly for smaller gold. I'm not sure we even have any nuggets in most of these areas, but need some ideas for a gold detector: Less than $900.

Thanks,

David

Steve_Herschbach
21:22:27 Fri
Oct 7 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi David,

The short answer is the GMT is dedicated to nugget detecting and is usually the better choice for someone who wishes to use the machine solely for prospecting. It is hotter on small gold than the MXT, very important in our local Anchorage area.

The MXT has given up a little sensitivity to small gold in return for it being a more versatile machine for coin, relics, jewely, and prospecting. It is the better choice for someone wanting an all-around unit. If you are not into small gold, the case can be made that the MXT might be a better machine for larger gold than the GMT.

I hate to quote gold sizes, as it always seems to draw nigglers. In general, however, figure the MXT will hit nuggets weighing as little as a few grains (480 grains per ounce) while the GMT can signal on pieces weighing as little as 1/10th grain. This may not seem much of a difference but it means I can find more gold at Crow Creek or Mills Creek with a GMT than a MXT. It also makes the GMT better for prospecting hardrock gold.

rrtdave
17:04:48 Mon
Oct 10 2005
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thanks Steve!!

You have great answers for commmon questions!!

Dave

paperweight
00:51:54 Wed
Oct 12 2005
Re: DetectorPro PI
hey Steve, how is the Infintium on coins?

Steve_Herschbach
02:37:11 Thu
Oct 13 2005
Re: DetectorPro PI
Hi Jesse,

I would not call the Infinium a coin detector, per se. But in the right hands it can find coins other detectors will miss.

The trick is to dig low tones only. High tones find zinc pennies, nickels, and 90% of the trash. Low tones find copper pennies, clad coins, and silver coins, plus some larger iron trash, large rusty bent nails being the most common. But the trash to coin ratio is quite acceptable in some places. I've done well detecting some "hunted out" areas with the Infinium as it will pull coins up from depths most VLF detectors cannot hit.

See my page Coin Detecting with the Garrett Infinium on the subject and The Garrett Infinium Guide for links to other Infinium information. make sure and read my "Infinium Tips" page.

Steve_Herschbach
21:55:31 Tue
Jan 10 2006
2006
Hi,

Well, here we are in 2006, and not much new to report. I did a small update to my "Nugget Recommendations". The new list price for the Minelab GP 3500 is now $3995.95. No new nugget detectors were introduced this winter, although two new detectors have some potential in the multi-use arena. The new Minelab X-Terra 50 has a 18.75 kHz option that may make it halfway decent as a part-time nugget machine, but that would certainly not be the main reason to buy it. It is basically a general purpose coin and jewelry detector.

A machine with even more potential than the X-Terra 50 is the new White's Matrix M6 for those wanting a unit mostly to coin and jewelry detect but still wanting to hunt a nugget now and then. A variation on the popular White's MXT, the M6 shares all the coils that are made for the MXT and it is very close to the MXT for performance as a gold machine. It sacrifices some versatility in favor of being a quieter and easier to operate model for $100 less than an MXT. The White's GMT, MXT, and Matrix M6 all share similar electronics internally. Here is a crude way to look at the White's selection -

1. White's GMT - 100% nugget detector, with only the rarest of applications for other types of detecting. For someone that wants to use the detector for nothing more than prospecting. Best sensitivity to small gold nuggets.

2. White's MXT - 60% coin, relic, and jewelry detector and 40% nugget detector. For the person who will mostly be looking for coins, relics, jewelry, etc. but who also will spend quite a bit of time using the detector to look for gold nuggets. Sacrifices some small gold sensitivity compared to the GMT in order to be a better all-around unit.

3. White's Matrix M6 - 90% coin and jewelry detector, 10% nugget detector. For a person who wants a simple to operate yet powerful machine for in-town detecting yet who might venture out every once in awhile to look for gold nuggets. Sacrifices threshold based all-metal modes in favor of quieter operation and so loses a small edge compared to the MXT for nugget detecting. But still a better nugget detector than the vast majority of the general purpose detectors on the market.

The GMT has its own coil selection. The MXT and Matrix M6 share coils with the White's DFX.

Heading into 2006 my own personal electronic prospecting arsenal remains the same. The Minelab GP 3500 is my main prospecting unit, with the Fisher Gold Bug 2 supplementing as a small gold sniper. My White's MXT rounds out the package, mainly for hunting larger nuggets in trashy tailing piles where the Minelab would have me digging too much junk.

rivetgun55
04:02:53 Fri
Jan 13 2006
Re: 2006
Hi Steve, Thanks for all the great info. I'm no expert of detecting but I do have a Fisher Gold Strike. The only one I have ever used so I really can't compare but I can tell you this, Like you said, What a chatter box. IF its not dirt its beeping! The few times I have used it it has worked me to death digging haha. Thanks

wintergrizz
20:01:06 Sun
Feb 12 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Steve better be carful giving out all that good advice. Could you imagine 15000 + customers showing up at your store, since feb 9th. Your store could only hold a few hundered at a time at best. People would be lined up down the street. Your employees would be swamped. And asking where the heck did all these people come from. Im going to stop by just for the heck of it, of course i can never leave with out something. Got thousands of dollar of go prospecting equipment, and barely found a speck. Ye ha what gold can do to a guy. I love it. Im going out side right now to rooot around in the mud for some. Spring is coming early this year i can smell it in the air. Almost 50 degrees here in palmer this day. Where the heck some of that gold. I think I smell some right now, got to go. later. I figured it out that feb 9th is the date of the last post date. still alot of attention to that one.

peet747
18:13:20 Thu
Feb 16 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Like all the reviews you made but i'm still wondering what detector would be best for me. I live in the Prescott Arizona area. I would have alot of hot rocks and mineralized soil to deal with. Being older and retired i'd guess maybe a couple times a mo. i'd get out. I'm between the Whites GMT the Gold Bug 2 or the Tesoro LoBo. What would you think would be the best choice given were I live? I'm thinking maybe the LoBo since it is made in Prescott I was thinking maybe it would handle the soil better here but i'm not sure about that either. As far as detectors I have now I have a Whites XLT a Whites DFX and a Fisher CZ20. Everyone i've talked to about gold detecting has told me i'd be way better off getting a gold detector. Is that true? Given the soil here I haven't had much luck finding anything with the detectors I have. What is the best advice you can give as far as if it would pay to get a gold detector and what would fit my needs the best in your opinion between the three gold detectors I named? The 3 being retired are about all that are in my price range. Thanks Chuck (Arizona)

Steve_Herschbach
19:25:03 Thu
Feb 16 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Hi Chuck,

Well, I'm no expert on Arizona. I highly recommend anyone, including myself, intending to detect a new area try and find out what the locals use.

Every area has a different set of requirements, and through trial and error the locals usually figure out what works. I do know that if money is no object that most serious Arizona hunters use the Minelab SD or GP series metal detectors.

The XLT, DFX, or CZ-20 can find gold nuggets. Any detector can find darn near anything if the target is large enough and near enough to the surface. But those machines will not do well on smaller or deeper gold nuggets, and so you certainly will improve your odds of using a detector designed specifically for nugget detecting.

Given that you mention "the 3 being retired are about all that are in my price range" you can either look for a used Minelab or use a VLF detector. Again, trying to get some advice from the locals is a good way to go, although I suspect most locals will confuse the issue as much as help when dicussing VLF machines. I'm certain I could use the Whites GMT the Gold Bug 2 or the Tesoro LoBo and find gold myself in Arizona but as to which is the "best" for that area I'd defer to somebody who has actually used them there. You may want to review information on Rob's forum at http://www.nuggethunting.com/forums/index.php? and Bill's forum at http://www.nuggetshooter.ipbhost.com/ as it is mostly Arizona folks that hang out on those forums.

I wish I could give a more definitive answer, but despite what I tell my wife I do not know it all. I can tell you however that it is the operator doing the research to make sure he or she is on good gold producing ground and then VERY PATIENTLY using whatever type of dedicated nugget detector they have that will make the real difference. There are successful hunters using every model of machine you have mentioned and then some. They all will bring home the gold in persistent hands and so whichever one you get, dedicate yourself to using it for long hours on nugget producing ground and you will get yourself some of those elusive gold nuggets.

peet747
20:25:38 Thu
Feb 16 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Thank you very much for your honest response Chuck

Steve_Herschbach
02:13:23 Fri
Feb 17 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Hi Chuck,

You are welcome. You also asked which out of the three you own would be best for gold. That would be the DFX, provided you could learn to proficiently tune the Prospecting Mode. At 15 kHz it has an edge over the other two units for gold. The CZ-20 is locked in what is referred to as a "salt mode" for saltwater use and that hurts it a bit on small gold. The XLT is running at about 6.59 kHz which is a bit low for good nugget detecting.

deanstone33
01:07:42 Wed
Feb 22 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
hi steve, i have the mxt with standard coil, for arizona gold, what would be best coil, smallcoil,or big coil. not alot of trash, but alot of hot rocks. thinks dean

Steve_Herschbach
04:15:02 Wed
Feb 22 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Hi Dean,

Well, see my answer to Chuck above for the disclaimer. But my favorite for the MXT and bad ground is the White's 10" elliptical DD coil.

If you have trouble with hot rocks try using the coin mode and just enough discrimination to knock out the rocks. It may cost you gold but will quiet the machine down if it is hitting rocks every swing or two. A last ditch attempt sort of setting.

deanstone33
15:44:11 Thu
Feb 23 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Thanks Steve, is the bigger the coil the better or is the 10 inch big enough. I know the mxt is not the best gold detector, but i live in the east and do coin hunting the most.I get to go out west once or twice a year I know they make a 18" excelerator coil for the mxt is it just to big. Thanks for the info. Dean

Steve_Herschbach
04:03:30 Fri
Feb 24 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Hi Dean

It depends on ground mineralization. Bigger is not always better. A large coil "sees" more ground, and in bad ground you may very well have to reduce the sensitivity of the detector to keep from overloading on ground signal. Thus, a larger coil can often work against you in bad ground. The theoretical gains in depth are lost by decreasing the sensitivity of the machine to compensate for ground conditions.

Where conditions allow larger coild do cover more ground, and sometime add a little extra depth. In my opinion the extra depth claims for larger coils are overstated by a huge degree. I do not see the 14" ellipticall DD coil as adding any real depth of detection compared to the stock coil. You will actually lose a tad of depth with the 10" elliptical DD coil compared to the stock coil in easy ground. But since DD coils "see" less ground than concentric coils they handle bad ground conditions better.

Only PI detectors really get extra bang for the buck out of larger coils as far as depth is concerned, due to their inherent ground ignoring performance. With VLF detectors I usually am just looking for extra ground coverage with a larger coil. Any extra depth is a bonus.The 18" Excelerator is a man killer. Good in flat terrain but it plumb wore me out at Ganes Creek in rough ground. And I was using a support harness! But if you are man enough to handle it it will cover a huge swath of ground. I think 14" is pushing the limits for long hours of use, at least for me.

deanstone33
18:46:38 Sun
Feb 26 2006
Re: DetectorPro PI
Thanks Steve for the response. I always take your advice, that is one of the reasons I got the MXT it is great on coins and jewerlry. Thanks Dean

Brian_in_AK
22:50:52 Fri
Mar 24 2006
What next?
Steve,
I see you sold your MXT. Are you replacing it with something better? Perhaps the Minelab X-Terra 70?
Brian

akbushcop
00:26:55 Sat
Mar 25 2006
Xterra 70
I am waiting to see that review too. From the few reviews I have read it sounds like a good machine. I haven't seen any reviews though on how it will do on gold.

Nuggetdigger
00:52:47 Sat
Mar 25 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Good info,as usual Steve

Keep up the good work!



Steve_Herschbach
17:11:41 Sat
Mar 25 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Brian,

I have an X-Terra 70 in hand, and I expect you'll see it added to my "nugget detector list" soon. I did not sell the MXT to get an X-Terra, however. My MXT was getting rough around the edges and so I am just going to get a shiny new one.

One thing I can say is MXT at list of $799 is still going to be the more competitive nugget machine compared to the X-Terra 70 at list of $899, plus around $100 for the higher frequency coil. So for those that are mainly after nuggets, you'll be looking at an MXT at a street price of $699 compared to the XT70 at a street price of about $899 if you get it with the higher frequency coil, or $799 if you give up a bit of small gold sensitivity and just use the stock 7.5 kHz coil. The MXT also has a much better coil selection at this time.

(Note for 2008: The X-Terra 70 was dropped to an MSRP of $850 and can be had for about the same price as the MXT. You still need an optional 18.75 kHz coil to boost the frequency, however. The coil selection has much improved since the model was released.)

But I do like the X-Terra more for in-town coin and jewelry hunting, so for those for whom that is the major draw the X-Terra fares well in features against the MXT. The X-Terra 50 is no slouch on small gold either, and so may be a lower price alternative to the X-Terra 70 that will stll do the trick. More soon after the snow melts.

Thanks John!

Brian_in_AK
14:58:29 Sun
Mar 26 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve,
Look forward to hearing your opinion on the x-70. I like the packaging with everything in one control box. One thing I don't like is all the menu buttons, reminds me of my Fisher Gold Strike. A real pain to make adjustments. The dial potentiometers on the mxt are much easier.
Brian

nitro74d
15:12:41 Sun
Aug 20 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
I have a DFX, and I am very new to it although I have onwed it for a few years now. I was told it wasn't good for nugget hunting, is that true? What would you suggest between the MXT or GMT if the DFX isn't as good?

Thanks
Charles

Steve_Herschbach
17:18:03 Sun
Aug 20 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Charles,

You can find nuggets with a DFX, but it is lackluster at best. In theory a DFX in 15 kHz mode should be the same as an MXT, but in practice the MXT is a superior unit for gold nuggets.

I think this stems from the MXT being based on the GMT circuit. It came from a gold machine design and so features an excellent ground balance system designed for extreme mineralization. The DFX was built to be a great silver coin hunter and was not optimized for gold nuggets.

The MXT is a hybrid unit designed for many uses. Since you already have a DFX, I'd recommend you keep it for coin, jewelry, and beach hunting, and get the specialized GMT for nugget hunting. The MXT is a fine machine, but the GMT hits much better on tiny gold nuggets than the MXT. With a DFX and GMT you have all the bases well covered.

By the way, I actually have and use a DFX. I was out with it yesterday. It is my preferred jewelry detector. So I do like the DFX and am not putting it down. It is just that nugget detecting is an area it is weak in.

wwace
03:38:16 Mon
Aug 21 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve, I stopped in and bought an MXT(my first detector) from you on the way to Fairbanks last thursday, I was not sure which detector I was going to get but had narrowed the choices down to the MXT or X 70, should I get another coil for hunting tailings or would it be best to get a Gold Bug II or other dedicated nugget detector? Also I cannot make the coil cover they sold me fit onto the stock coil, I would apreciate any advice and do you know of any good places near Fairbanks to detect for coins or gold? I have read most of the posts at this and other forums and everything you have written and I must say thanks for all the fine information you have made available to people like me.
Dave

Steve_Herschbach
18:28:23 Mon
Aug 21 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Dave,

The MXT is a superb machine for hunting tailing piles. It is not as hot on tiny gold as the GMT or Gold Bug 2, but that is not what you are after in tailing piles. I personally do not want to hit tiny stuff when I am on a chase for larger nuggets. They simply distract me from the real goal.

The stock coil on the MXT is underrated in my opinion. I know many people, including myself, who have done very well with the stock coil for hunting tailing piles. A slightly larger coil like the 14" White's 1400 DD or Sierra 12" round HotShot can cover a tad more ground per swing, and so are popular for hunting tailing piles. But any larger than 14" is generally not a good idea as the extra weight becomes an issue.

If you want a boost on small gold on bedrock, etc. the little 6" Shooter coil for the MXT will help, but ultimately if you want gold under a couple grains the GMT or Gold Bug 2 are the way to go.

The X-Terra 70 is a very viable alternative to the MXT but the MXT still has the edge for nugget detecting based solely on its vastly superior coil selection. Lots of people are still waiting for a small X-Terra coil.

Steve_Herschbach
22:27:29 Mon
Aug 21 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi,

I just updated my detector listing to include the Minelab X-Terra 70. It has cleared the bar that I personally set to be considered as a nugget detector. It has all the features and power needed to find gold nuggets, and indeed some people are making some nugget finds with the X-Terra 70.

Dan J visited my mine at Moore Creek this summer. We have horrible hot rocks, and previously the only VLF units I have found that can even be used at the mine without constantly sounding on hot rocks were the Fisher Gold Bug 2 and Tesoro Lobo.

Here is what Dan had to say about the X-Terra at Moore Creek "All my nuggets came from just west of camp down to Nevada Gulch. I used the stock 11" DD coil on a GP3000 for 9 of the nuggets. The stock coil is my favorite for Moore Creek, lightweight and easy to maneuver through the brush. The other 3 nuggets were found using the Xterra 70. High grading dig holes got me 2 of them, another Xterra nugget came off the runway in a real trashy area. The more I used the Xterra the more I liked it. I predict the Xterra will become the detector of choice for hunting trashy locations like Ganes Creek."

Dan is one of the best nugget hunters I have ever had the pleasure to observe when it comes to technical capabilites. He puts me to shame with his ability to pull nuggets out of ground detected by dozens of other hunters.

Some other serious nugget hunters discuss the X-Terra 70 at http://www.nuggethunting.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2664&hl=terra

The Lobo in disc mode set at 1.5, of the Gold Bug 2 in iron disc mode, or the X-Terra 70 in coin mode set to reject ferrous all do a good job of rejecting the hot rocks at Moore Creek while still hitting non-ferrous targets. Note that a VLF unit set like this does not see through the hot rocks. They are rejected, and so nugget near or under the rocks are masked. The X-Terra did also seem to do a better job of rejecting iron and steel trash than the other two units.

I think the reason you are not seeing lots of reports about nugget finds with the X-Terra is simply because it is not marketed for that use and few people are using it to nugget hunt. I'm as guilty as most, in that the only nugget detecting I have done this summer was with my Minelab GP 3500, and I was so short on time I was not inclined to spend time testing out VLF units. I ran the X-Terra 70 at Moore Creek long enough to feel confident in its abilities... but not long enough to find a nugget!

For people looking for a good multi-purpose unit that is strong on gold, the X-Terra 70 is well worth consideration. Its prospecting mode is quite powerful and the coin mode handles tough hot rock areas quite well. It has features, like tone id and notch discrimination, that are lacking on other "nuggets plus other stuff" detectors and so people who will be using the X-Terra 70 more for coins and jewelry than nugget detecting may find they prefer it for these extra features.



cheeser
07:05:14 Tue
Aug 22 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi, Steve.

Thanks for the info! It's been interesting reading the questions/replies over the years.

I live in Anchorage and enjoy Crow and Mills creek, so from what I've read a GMT or GB2 would be my best bet. But I also do a lot of vacationing/traveling across the state and would like to tote my MD with me to try my luck on the road.

What would your best edu-macated guess be for an "Alaskan Travelers MD"?

To give it a shot myself after trying to digest what's in this thread, it seems the MXT or X-Terra provide the ability to find gold locally but also provide the versatility to use while traveling to the various gold areas in the state. With the X-Terra sounding like it would be better in the depth category, such as with tailing piles. All given proper coils/setup, of course.

Did I get close or totally blow it? :confused:

Thanks again for the info.



Steve_Herschbach
18:25:50 Tue
Aug 22 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi cheeser,

Well, there is nothing says you cannot use the Gold Bug 2 or GMT anywhere in the state. They just happen to excel around Anchorage, but they sure will work almost anywhere else in Alaska. The only reason to go to an MXT or X-Terra 70 would be if you are into coins, jewelry, or beach hunting in addition to nugget detecting.

Of the two, the GMT is probably the better choice with its optional automatic ground balancing, which can be very helpful in bad ground. The GMT also hit big nuggets deeper in bad ground than the Gold Bug 2. The Gold Bug 2 is really hot on gold but suffers for depth in mineralized soils.

The MXT is very popular at Ganes Creek because people are not after larger gold at Ganes. But locally it is lackluster as it is not as hot on our tiny gold as the GB2 or GMT. Same issue with the X-Terra 70.

The MXT can get better depth than the X-Terra simply because you can get larger coils for it. Largest coil for the X-Terra 70 is 10.5". Coils for the MXT can be had in 12", 14", and even 18" sizes. In low mineral ground these can add extra depth and coverage.

One thing I really must emphasize a lot. Nugget detecting is all about location and operator expertise. Put me in a place with gold nuggets, and I'll go find gold with any detector on the list. One thing watching people at Moore Creek taught me the last couple seasons was how huge the gulf is between experienced nugget hunters and novices. Detecting is a skill that takes work and patience to get good at and most people simply do not seem inclined to really apply themselves to the task. It is also hard work! If it was just a matter of taking it easy, walking around waving the coil and putting nuggets in my pocket, I'd quit my job and go detect for gold instead!

The point being certain units do give you a bit of an edge in certain situations, but we are really only talking just that... an edge. So in some ways it is not all that important which detector you get compared to the task of learning how to detect and getting into good locations. That is what gets the gold!

Tony_Michigan
20:47:23 Wed
Aug 23 2006
White's GMT coil selection?
What, in your estimation, is a really good coil besides the stock coil that comes with the GMT? I see the HotShot is available. Does it detect much deeper than the stock?

I use the Hotshot on my MXT and DFX and really like it.

Thanks for any help!

You guys rule!

Tony

Steve_Herschbach
23:37:15 Wed
Aug 23 2006
Re: White's GMT coil selection?
Hi Tony,

I have the HotShot for my MXT and really like it. I've not tried one on the GMT, however. I have talked to some people who thought the HotShot was unstable compared to the stock coil on the MXT, but mine sure works good. I'd like to try one on the GMT. The only large coil I've used on the GMT is the Sierra Goldmax.

Larger coils rarely add as much depth as people think on VLF detectors. The larger the coil, the more ground the detector sees, and in mineralized ground this can greatly negate getting much extra depth. In fact, if the ground is bad enough, a larger coil will overload, and you will have to back off the sensitivity, giving up any gains you were hoping for. On VLF units I look for a larger coil mainly to give me better ground coverage. Any extra depth would be a bonus.

Steve_Herschbach
16:46:10 Thu
Nov 16 2006
November 2006 Update
Hi,

I've updated the list for November 2006. I deleted the Fisher Gold Strike, which was discontinued this year due to poor sales. I revised the Minelab portion to include the new GPX-4000.

So what is there out there for 2007? Well, Minelab just answered that with the GPX-4000. It is likely to be the most talked about machine in 2007. VLF detectors seem to be stalling out. Garrett has not revised the Gold Stinger in ages. The Tesoro Lobo, although a great unit, is getting long in the tooth. The Minelab Eureka Gold is fairly new, so I expect no changes this year. White's usually updates units fairly regularly, so I'm hoping for something in 2007, but this is only a gut feeling. I've heard nothing. That leaves Fisher of the major players as the only manufacturer promising a new unit for 2007. It is more aimed at the top end coin and relic hunters, though.

cubsqueal
03:58:34 Mon
Nov 20 2006
Re: November 2006 Update
For those interested, there is an interview with Dave Johnson concerning the Teknetics T2 and other issues:
http://j.b5z.net/i/u/2089773/i/Teknetics_T2_article.pdf

matthewt
07:30:33 Sun
Dec 17 2006
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated November 2006
The Nugget Detector Guide looks pretty cool!
:mad:
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Ephesians 4:2



Steve_Herschbach
01:25:10 Thu
Sep 13 2007
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated November 2006
Hi,

September 2007 update. I added the White's DFX to the list because it has a dedicated prospecting mode and because people often ask about it compared to the MXT. I updated some of the coil count info. White's has released a 12" round concentric coil for the MXT/DFX/M6 models and Minelab has just released a 6" round concentric 7.5 kHz coil and 6" round DD 18.75 kHz coils for the X-Terra 70. Tesoro released several new coils for the Lobo including the very intriguing 3" x 18" DD Cleansweep coil.

Rumors abound about new Pulse Induction units under development but they refuse to materialize. Hopefully something develops before next summer but we are about done for the year here in Alaska.

Steve Herschbach

Steve_Herschbach
19:44:59 Fri
Jan 11 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated November 2006
Hi,

Small update for 2008. Biggest change is the increase in price for the Minelab detectors. The only new thing on the horizon for 2008 is a possible new ground balancing pulse induction detector from White's Electronics. The price of gold continues to rise and is pushing up interest in gold nugget detectors with it.

Steve Herschbach

tlcarrig
03:51:39 Sat
Jan 26 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated November 2006
Hi Steve. Got any opinions on the MineLab Soverign GT? I'm trying to win one on the Lost Treasure's site.

Au_Seeker
14:42:12 Sat
Jan 26 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated November 2006
Steve,

I am going to be purchasing a White's MXT.

My question is, I have heard that the coils are waterproof for the MXT, is that right?

I would like to detect for nugget/ relics/coins in shallow water, and I just wanted to be sure before I drown a non-waterproof coil!

I am also looking at the X-Terra 70, and have heard the same about the coils?

Would you think that having both the MXT, and the X-Terra 70, would be an advantage, or just pick one or the other?


Skip

Steve_Herschbach
02:50:44 Sun
Jan 27 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi,

Almost all detectors have waterproof coils. Minelab is one of the few exceptions. In general a Minelab coil that is solid should not be submerged. If the coil has holes in it (a "spider" coil) then you can submerge it. So the X-Terra stock coil may be submerged, but the 10" x 5" elliptical accessory coil should not be submerged.

For nugget detecting the MXT and X-Terra 70 are really close, and it will simply depend on what the ground mineralization is like as to which unit might have a tiny edge over the other. Keep in mind that you will need one of the 18.75 kHz accessory coils to kick the X-Terra 70 up to the better gold detecting frequency since it comes stock set at 7.5 kHz. The MXT comes out of the box at 14 kHz.

I can't see any advantage to having both. The X-Terra 70 does have more features like multiple tones and notch discrimination that coin hunters find appealing.

Steve Herschbach

Au_Seeker
02:57:56 Sun
Jan 27 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thanks for the info Steve!


Skip

Steve_Herschbach
22:05:30 Wed
Feb 6 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi tlcarrig,

The Minelab Sovereign GT is a great all around detector and like all great all around detectors can find a gold nugget if it is large enough, and shallow enough. It is not a nugget machine, however, and I've not heard of anyone using it as such.

Steve_Herschbach
04:40:14 Mon
Mar 3 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi,

Small update for march 2008 to make note of the White's MXT 300 and DFX 300.

torrero
16:55:58 Sun
Mar 23 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
I saw this thread through the Treasurnet forum and wanted to ask a truly serious question regarding Gold Hunting in WET SALT WATER SAND.
I have been hunting for over 20 years and back 10 years ago, I lived in Spain and hunted a lot on the Salt Water Beaches of the Atlantic Coast and Meditaranian
coasts of Spain.
At that time I used the CZ5 and Tesoros for beach hunting, I generally used the CZ5 for the beach, and although I dug a lot of Gold Rings, after a year or so it became obviose that I was walking over small Gold such as chains and ear rings and bracelets and things. I am sure that I walked over many broken Gold rings as well.
After 2 years of using the CZ5 I got a Tesoro Stingray and started finding a lot smaller pieces of Gold, even a fine chain without a Medalian on it. (the only way I could get a Gold chain with the CZ5) I also go some small ear rings of gold. But the Stingray is an underwater machine with a weighted coil, and its heavy to carry for an all day beach trip, it also uses
headphones that can not be removed.

Considering that all that Gold I got there was 18k + or - the relative value of leaving a large rope chain on the beach because my CZ5 would not pick it up in salt water mode, made me very frustrated....

I want to find the BEST Gold detector for salt water beaches that I can find, so that I know I am not missing anything that those older machines just walked over...

(The CZ5 in Saltwater Mode would walk over Gold Rope Chains, regular Gold Chains, Gold Earings, small Gold Bracelets with a small plaque, and did not get much depth on Gold that it could see, not more than maybe 6 inches before reading it like Iron)

I have been considering some type of PI machine, but was told that PI detectors even though good with the Salt Water, are not very sensative to small Gold in Wet Salt Water Sand.
I also thought about the Lobo Super trac as it has a Salt water mode, but decided to ask someone with extensive experiance.

Can you tell me in your opinion, what is the BEST GOLD detector for WET SALT WATER SAND BEACHES Not made for land hunting as I currently do not nugget hunt, but use a Whites DFX to good use for coins and such on dry land...

Thanks in advance.
Richard

Steve_Herschbach
20:25:21 Sun
Mar 23 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Richard,

As always with detectors, there is no one simple answer to your question. It depends on the composition of the beach itself. Clean white sand made of bits of shell and coral? Black sand beach? You get it.

Second problem. Salt water is conductive.

In most cases the beach material has a mineral component that needs to be eliminated. Only in very rare cases do you get pure beaches with no magnetic mineral component. In such locations I'm told that old TR type detectors actually work very well. But in most cases you need a machine that can ground balance or tune out the mineral effect.

You also need a unit that will not pick up the salt water itself. Single frequency units have a hard time tuning out both the ground and the salt water at the same time, and so in general multi-frequency detectors like the Fisher CZ series, the Minelab Sovereign, Excalibur/Explorer, and White's DFX have an edge for overall depth on saltwater beaches. Pulse Induction units do better yet, but have no discrimination and so have you digging more junk than their VLF cousins. But none of these units is noted for sensitivity to small items.

So you can go to single frequency detectors running in the middle 10 kHz to 20 kHz range, like the Tesoro Stingray or newer Tiger Shark, the White's MXT, etc. If you go to a unit of this type it is good to have a "salt" or "alkali" switch to tune out wet saltwater sand. These detectors will be hotter on small stuff, but will tend to not hit larger items as deep as the multi-frequency and PI units. The worse the beach mineralization gets, the more the single frequency unit will suffer for max depth compared to the multi-frequency or PI units.

Here is another catch. The smaller a gold item gets, the closer it gets to making the same type of response as the wet salt sand. A machine hot enough to pick up the tiniest stuff, like a Fisher Gold Bug 2 or White's GMT, will also sound off on the saltwater itself. Thin gold chains and most small gold earrings are not detectable in saltwater soaked sand for this very reason. So you want a unit as hot as you can get but that will not detect the saltwater sand itself.

The mid-frequency units usually do this well in the drier sand but the salt or alkali switch may need to be engaged in the lower wet sand area near the waters edge to eliminate the salt signal.

You could hip mount your Stingray and get an lighter coil for it since the coils are interchangeable. There is ever an adapter that Tesoro makes so you can use their land coils on the Stingray. If you'd still rather get another detector, look into units like the White's MXT or Tesoro Lobo that run in the mid frequency range and that have a "salt" switch. You could also use a unit like the Tesoro Vaquero that has no salt switch, but you may need to run the disc control up just enough to eliminate readings off the salt sand should you encounter them. The salt discs out in the very low end of the range, just like very tiny gold items.

Most of these mid-frequency units like the MXT and Lobo also double as nugget machines and even units like the vaquero not marketed as such can do well nugget hunting. But again, avoid hot units like the GMT or GB2 if you plan to hit wet salt sand. They are however great in dry sand or fresh water beach locations.


Rob2003
13:45:14 Thu
Mar 27 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated March 2008
Question:
I uderstand the x-50 was the hot thing before the x-70 and that the x-50 has the same basic cicurity as the 70 but the 70 can DO more and find smaller gold.

Can the x-50 still find reasonable sized nuggets and is the DEPTH the same as the x-70.

People keep trying to get me to spend more money and get the 70 and I keep resisting that if I can fulfil my needs with the x-50

Need some advice.
Thanks

I'm really more interested in the relic and coin capacity
and not the prospecting mode.

Steve_Herschbach
15:20:47 Thu
Mar 27 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated March 2008
Hi,

"Can the x-50 still find reasonable sized nuggets"

Yes. Any detector can find nuggets if they are big enough and shallow enough.

"and is the DEPTH the same as the x-70".

No. The X-Terra 50 does not have an all-metal prospecting mode. The X-Terra 70 clearly exhibits more depth while in that mode.

"'m really more interested in the relic and coin capacity
and not the prospecting mode".

Then get an X-Terra 50.

Rob2003
20:00:32 Thu
Mar 27 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated March 2008
Ok...no all metal in prospecting, but does it have an all metal mode in general. I would get better depth if I dug everything .
Robert

Steve_Herschbach
01:46:19 Fri
Mar 28 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated March 2008
Hi Robert,

There is no true all-metal mode on the X-Terra 50. It is a discrimination mode with all items set to accept. Not the same thing at all and not as powerful as the threshold based motion all metal prospecting mode on the X-Terra 70. Lots of confusion on that one.

Steve_Herschbach
00:44:48 Wed
Apr 23 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi,

Small update April 2008 to reflect the new Minelab GPX-4500. There is a new White's unit on the horizon and other units rumored this year. Should be a good year for detectors and those who use them!

Steve Herschbach

prospectorjames
07:07:11 Wed
Apr 23 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Steve,
in your opinion, what would be a good detector for "tracing" the edge of a black sand deposit? Would it need to have a visual ID (like the Whites XLT) to determine when you are hitting the edge, or should I be able to hear it if it is a good deposit?

I have tried it with my Gold Bug2 without much success, but I am not a pro and have never had someone who is really good show me how to use it to it's best abilities.



Steve_Herschbach
16:03:45 Wed
Apr 23 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Hi,

Metal detectors are poor at best for racing black sands as the deposits have to be quite shallow, like in a dry wash. Forget deeper stuff.

The machine to use is the White's GMT, which of all the machines in my list has a unique "Mineral Amount" reading which combined with the Ground Balance Number tell you the type and amount of iron mineralization.

Ground balance numbers reflect the type of mineralization, not the amount. There is a lot of confusion on that and you will often see people quoting a high ground balance as meaning there is a lot of mineralization.

The GMT will also give an "Overload" signal in extreme mineralization if the Gain is set too high. Most detectors just go non-functional at that point but do not tell you about it. A cranked up Gain and the overload signal might also be used to trace extreme mineralization.

prospectorjames
18:03:23 Wed
Apr 23 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Thank you Steve,

That's what I needed to know. I didn't figure there would be much chance of tracing the edge of a black sand deposit if it were at any depth, so you confirmed that, I was thinking for use in drywashes and on beaches where there was little overburden....

The White's GMT sounds like it would be the one to try.

I'll have to pick one up while in Anchorage this next time and give it a try.

Thanks again,

Jim.

Steve_Herschbach
20:49:53 Wed
Apr 23 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Hi Jim,

Won't work on saltwater beaches as the GMT is so hot it will pick up wet salt sand. Be good for dry washes for sure though.

prospectorjames
03:37:05 Thu
Apr 24 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Glad you mentioned that. Thanks. I will still be picking one up for dry washes, I'll wait till I'm heading home though. No use carrying it to Nome with me.

Thanks again for all your help.

Articwolf
18:03:46 Thu
Apr 24 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
I'm new to this game and have been doing some panning here in Idaho. My daughter bought me a Garrett Gold Stinger with two coils. I'm going to the Wasilla area next month and I'm hoping the detector will be okay there and to the north of Wasilla. From your update it's going to be mainly me and getting some experience with the machine. Thanks for the update. A few tips would definately help.

Walt_Anchorage
04:20:49 Mon
May 5 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Have you tried the Fisher F75? We had a fellow out at the mine last summer who found quite a few nuggets with one.

Articwolf
14:37:59 Mon
May 5 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Thanks for the comeback, Walt. I haven't done anything with detectors before. Since I'm on SS I'm pretty much limited with what I have. My son lives in Wasilla and is having me come up to visit. I'm wanting to do some nugget shooting while I'm there and he's at work. I'll be there a couple of months and he wants to go fishing on the weekends quite often. I'll be there during June and July and possibly part of August if he can stand having me there that long. I plan on having a good time anyway. Larry:smile:

Steve_Herschbach
15:09:15 Mon
May 5 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Hi Larry,

I'll quote myself:

"Any nugget detector made will find gold in capable hands, and the owner is far more important than the detector model. I'll put a good operator with ANY detector up against a novice with whatever is deemed "best" and bet on the experienced operator every time. The person using the detector finds the gold. The detector is actually the least important factor in nugget detecting success or failure".

Thre is no reason at all why you can't go find gold with a Garrett Stinger. I know I could and so can you. But no matter what nugget hunting is not easy.

Hi Walt,

If you get an F-75 that works right they are great units. But ever since First Texas (Bounty Hunter) took over Fisher their quality control has suffered immensely. The units I tried were unstable and prone to false signaling. The net is full of stories about units having to go back to the factory multiple times to be repaired. See the thread at http://www.findmall.com/read.php?35,713309 for a sample.

Steve Herschbach

Articwolf
02:10:03 Tue
May 6 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Thanks Steve! I talked to Gerry McMullin the other day in Boise and he said the same thing. He thinks I'll probably do okay but I know I have a lot of learning to do. I'm getting a good picture of the situation and that is that it depends on me more than anything else. I have really been enjoying the forum and have learned some things to put to use in getting experience. I am coming up later this month and will drop by to meet you. Thanks for all the good info you and others put out for all us newbies. I am going to try and get to Nome and would also like to meet Peluk. Want to see the town and all the changes since I graduated from HS. Thanks again!! Larry:smile:

Albi
18:20:05 Wed
May 7 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Hi Steve, I purchased a Whites GMT Goldmaster after reading your reviews. My problem is...my property is on the pacific ocean in Canada, and whenever I wave the Goldmaster over the salt water, it signals loudly. I dig where it notifies me to, but don't get any gold? Do you know if the salt water affects the sensitivity?

Thanks,
Allan

boilerdude
22:03:45 Wed
May 7 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Gmt will pick up salt like crazy. Will work in fresh water forget about using it on wet salt water beaches or salt water. The Gmt can pick up the salt in your body when you pass your hand in front of the coil. My 2 cents worth. Dave

Steve_Herschbach
20:58:14 Wed
May 14 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated April 2008
Hi,

May 2008 update - Added new White's PulseScan TDI. I've added weights for most units but need to weigh a few myself to finish getting weights for all of them.

Steve Herschbach

mics_54
03:45:24 Fri
May 16 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
ok Steve..after reading some of your numerous posts on metal detectors...why would you prefer a gold bug 2 over a whites gmt?

Steve_Herschbach
14:32:26 Fri
May 16 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
Hi,

I don't anymore. I used to be a big user of the Gold Bug 2 as I was very fond of its compact and lightweight design. The unit is very hot on tiny gold. That is something I still like about the machine. Times change, however.

The Gold Bug 2 is an old detector, over 10 years older than the GMT, which by the way was designed by the same engineer, Dave Johnson. The Gold Bug 2 is manual ground balance only, while the GMT offers both manual ground balance and automatic ground balance. This makes the GMT a far better choice for beginners in particular. The GMT currently outsells the Gold Bug 2 in the Anchorage area by better than ten to one for this very reason.

I finally switched to the GMT in my quest for larger gold. The Gold Bug 2 may have a tiniest of edges over the GMT for sensitivity to tiny gold, but the GMT is clearly and markedly superior for depth on larger gold in heavily mineralized ground. The extreme high frequency of the Gold Bug 2 makes it hot on tiny gold but also impedes it's ability to penetrate to depth. It air tests great but depth in the ground suffers.

The Gold Bug 2 still has fans but in general I'd recommend the GMT for most people. I can hit gold so tiny with the GMT it amazes me and yet not worry I'm passing up larger nuggets at depth, always a concern with the Gold Bug 2.

Steve Herschbach

mics_54
15:11:57 Fri
May 16 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
thanks!

mics_54
15:29:29 Fri
May 16 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008


Thanks Steve, I saw a new GMT on ebay, I was thinking of bidding. I am now wary of not buying through a dealer that could check the unit before I got it. I'm in the market and you know what I need.. I also liked the compact design of the goldbug2 ..or the minelab eureka...or the tesoro lobo supertrak. What do you stock instore at the moment? If you have any smokin deals email me directly at sullfarm@alaska.net

Steve_Herschbach
17:31:00 Fri
May 16 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
Hi,

We stock all the gold machines, every unit listed in my review list and more. Out of the units mentioned the Eureka Gold would surprise you as it is not really that compact and actually weighs over a pound more than the GMT. The Lobo is an old favorite and another unit you can chest of hip mount.

To be perfectly frank there is little to worry about buying a used White's. They pretty much set the standard for product quality and support. I would buy a used one off eBay without hesitation, and if there was an issue White's takes real good care of it's customers, even those that buy used machines. They are the only manufacturer that offers a transferable warranty. They warranty the detector, not the owner.

I get used and demo units very often. No GMTs or Lobos at the moment but we do have a barely used Gold Bug 2 with 10" and 6" coils for $699.

The Infinium is selling far more a a beach and relic machine these days than a gold detector. TheGPX-4500 is a hot seller considering its heart stopping price tag. The MXT, Lobo, and X-Terra 70 enjoy strong sales due to the large number of people who want only one machine, want to look for gold with it, but want to use it for other things also. The GMT is a good seller locally due to our low mineral conditions and small gold on the Kenai Peninsula.

Dennis_G
21:54:20 Fri
May 16 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
Any recommendations for my area (Cache Creek/Petersville)? Some people have been asking, but I have no information for them. I remember some issues with hot rocks.

Dennis
http://www.alaskafreegold.com

Steve_Herschbach
00:57:18 Sat
May 17 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
Hi Dennis,

Absolutely. The graphitic slate in that area is the worst hot rock I've yet encountered. It is non-iron conductive and so reads like gold to a normal VLF. So it is a great place for a PI detector. Garrett Infinium, Minelabs, or the new White's TDI.

A White's MXT might work in that the rocks tend to all have the same visual target id and so they could be eliminated on that basis but it would be slow work and any gold under the rocks would be lost.

WildernessAU
16:00:18 Tue
Jul 15 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
Hello Steve, I truly enjoy reading your posts as they are most informative and helpful.
I have a Minlelab Eureka Gold and have spent roughly 35hrs with the stock coil. I've been detecting in a hard rock mining district of Colorado. I have found much trash down to the pin head size. I seem to locate many hot rocks/ pieces of ore, and have located two pieces of ore showing a tiny vein of gold.
I've mostly been running 20khz, boost signal, slow track, all metal......and no nuggets. Maybe I havn't passed over any nuggets? doubtfull.
Will a Coiltek 15" Wot coil or round 11" minelab coil enhance the capabilities of the EG? My current average depth of finds is 0-6".....not soo good.
I truly appreciate any input or suggestions.
Thank You.

Steve_Herschbach
17:02:05 Tue
Jul 15 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
Hi,

You say you have been detecting a hardrock mining district. Are you sure there are detectable nuggets to be found?

Case in point, the Hatcher Pass area north of Anchorage. Lots of hardrock mines, but the placer gold is quite small on all but one creek there. The only gold I've found in the area was gold ore with tiny gold enclosed in masses of rock. Tiny enough the only a White's Goldmaster or Fisher Gold Bug 2 can detect the gold.

The Eureka, although it has a 60 kHz setting, simply is not as hot on tiny gold as the machines just mentioned. It seems to work best at 20 kHz.

0-6" depths is not bad on small stuff. People expect feet but almost all gold finds are measured in inches. The larger coils get more depth on larger gold, but actually will lose depth on the smallest gold. The WOT coil in particular is recommended to be run at 6.4 kHz in all but the lowest mineral ground, and so is really only suitable for large nuggets.

Last comment I'd make is 35 hours of detecting time really is not much. I get people at Moore Creek or Ganes Creek that can detect 10 hours a day for six days straight who manage to find no gold in two locations where large gold is common compared to most places. It is very difficult to find gold with a metal detector and a skill few people really master.

So before you do anything I'd recommend you just put in more hours. And if it appears you have nothing to work with in the area but the smallest gold a move to a hotter unit may be in order. But not yet.

Duts
17:19:19 Mon
Aug 4 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated May 2008
Hi Steve
I want to tell you how much I enjoy the articles about your prospecting adventures in Alaska. I have had many enjoyable hours reading them, I have a question for you also! I recently bought a Golden Hawk by Minelab andwas wondering if you knew anything about this unit. If you do would you give your opinion about this detedtor and how effective it is. For some reason you can't find much of anything about it, but it seems to be a high quality unit. Any info would be much appreciated from you or any other forum members, and keep the stories coming.
Best wishes
Ron Moore

drayegon
00:08:54 Tue
Aug 5 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Steve Your Recommendations are right on from everything I can find. It has lead me to decide to buy the Infinium LS to Start as I am around water a lot. Also here In N CA there is a lot of hot rocks and such. I also go to both AZ and AK as well so my next purchase will be the Goldbug 2. Still after a little chance to recoup my expenditures from detectors and dredge/highbanker plus other tools. I will then hit the ground with what ever has taken the place of the Minelab GPX4500 by this time next year. That looks like I will have spent at least $15000 to be able to go out and find an ounce or two of GOLD. That plus the cost of gas and a travel trailer to drag with me to those places. It will then take me 25years to break even if I do even after that long. Still this is not my first hobby that did not pay for the air I breath. Are we having any fun yet?

dray

Steve_Herschbach
00:55:35 Tue
Aug 5 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hi Ron,

The Golden Hawk is essentially just a Minelab XT1800 stuck in an old Minelab SD series type box and rod assembly. So about anything you read about the XT18000 and newer Eureka Gold applies to the Golden Hawk.

Steve_Herschbach
21:13:58 Sat
Sep 20 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hi,

Updated for September 2008. Only change was to note the Minelab Eureka Gold increasing in MSRP from $1000 to $1250. Ouch!

Steve Herschbach

seb1008
13:26:56 Wed
Nov 19 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hello Steve, Could you tell me which detector would be better in the Wiseman, Coldfoot area Vlf or PI. I don't know how the hot rocks are in the area and haven't been able to find any info on the net. I would love to be able to afford both the whites GMT and sd2100 for exploring benches along creeks but I can really only afford one. I have read what you posted about the GMT at Moore creek, and how it reacts to hot rocks. That is my concern about the Wiseman area. I really enjoy reading all your postings . Hey why not start a blog about daily activites at Moore creek. Seb

tlcarrig
23:19:09 Mon
Nov 24 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hi Steve. I have a question re. the last post on page 1, and your reply, the first post on page 2 of this thread. I am leaning heavly to a GMT as we have very small gold here in Alabama and lots of hot rocks. Since the GMT is mainly a gold machine, will it work well enough on other things for me to be able to beep my daughters 4 acres in Douglasville, GA for Civil War relics. I would expect the base mother rock there to be Stone Mountain granite.

Steve_Herschbach
20:39:28 Wed
Dec 3 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hi Seb,

In general a PI unit would be best around the Wiseman/Coldfoot area. You can get a new White's TDI for under $1500 or look for a used Minelab, say an SD2200, also for under $1500. A used Infinium can be had for well under $1000.

The GMT would work but it is harder to predict just how well. All depends on the hot rocks. I'll have to get up that way one of these days and find out.

When at Moore Creek we usually have no Internet access. We had limited access last summer due to the geos being in camp. Main problem is even if I had the access I'm just to darn busy running the operation.

Steve Herschbach

Steve_Herschbach
20:47:48 Wed
Dec 3 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hi tlcarrig ,

The GMT is a very hot nugget detector. Too hot for most general detecting as the tiniest metal item will set it off. The unit has excellent iron/steel discrimination however, which also doubles to identify most iron based hot rocks.

The real issue just boils down to the number of targets. If you have lots of steel or iron or hot rocks then you can be getting signals every sweep. The GMT can be set to "grunt" on iron and "beep" on non-ferrous targets, but it can get to be mentally tiring listening to all the signals. I'd not hesitate to give it a shot myself but novices might find it overwhelming.

Steve Herschbach

sneakyweasle
01:27:45 Thu
Dec 4 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Try hunting with an Infinium on a sandy freshwater beach with tons of nails (of all sizes) on the hardpan mixed with other junk. Make a guy want to rip his ears off or do like that guy in 'Scanners' did and take a Makita to the ol' noggin. ..Willy. (gotta love carbide drill bits)

seb1008
04:54:41 Sun
Dec 7 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Thanks for your reply Steve, One other thought is I have read good reports from users on the X-terra 70 on small and large gold. The idea of a light weight detector that I could hip mount and use in the rain, In streams and just use AA batteries instead of a heavy battery pack is pretty appealing. Would the TDI get that much better depth compaired to the X-terra if the X-terra was able to handle the ground? Are we talking a few inches or a foot or more on say a 1/4 oz nugget? One of the problems with the PI is after buying the Machine you start seeing all these supper dupper coils for $350.00 and up that are just great and you know you need, and extra batteries to keep recharcged and the amp for external speakers so you can hear all those bears sneaking up on you. Don' get me wrong, I would really like to have a good P.I., It just makes the X-terra seem so simple considering I have never been to the area and don't know what I need for the area. I guess if I went to the area with a x terra and saw that the whites TDI would be alot better I could have you ship one up to Wiseman. Could you talk about the depth difference between these machines from what you have seen? Thank you and take care, Robert

seb1008
22:17:19 Mon
Dec 8 2008
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Sorry about the winey post above. I really need to put the mouse down and step away from the computer for awhile. I just bought a SD2100V2 brand new for a really good price. So now its time to get into coils and battery boosters and amps oh my. Thank you for all the info you put out for people. Take care , Seb

w6pea
05:46:08 Mon
Mar 23 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated September 2008
Thank you for the link I will look at them a little closer.:smile:

aumariner45
11:58:12 Tue
Apr 21 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Quote: Steve_Herschbach at 20:47:48 Wed Dec 3 2008

Hi tlcarrig ,

The GMT is a very hot nugget detector. Too hot for most general detecting as the tiniest metal item will set it off. The unit has excellent iron/steel discrimination however, which also doubles to identify most iron based hot rocks.

The real issue just boils down to the number of targets. If you have lots of steel or iron or hot rocks then you can be getting signals every sweep. The GMT can be set to "grunt" on iron and "beep" on non-ferrous targets, but it can get to be mentally tiring listening to all the signals. I'd not hesitate to give it a shot myself but novices might find it overwhelming.

Steve Herschbach


Hi Steve,

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your post- especially on the GMT. I was wondering if there are any accessory coils that can be used with the GMT to make it less sensitive and perhaps, work better at relic detecting. Are there any accessory coild for this machine? If thre are, what would hey be good for?

Thx

J.

Steve_Herschbach
15:56:52 Tue
Apr 21 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hi seb1008,

"Would the TDI get that much better depth compaired to the X-terra if the X-terra was able to handle the ground? Are we talking a few inches or a foot or more on say a 1/4 oz nugget?"

It could be no difference, a few inches, or a foot.

Depth between a VLF and a PI is relative to mineralization. The more mineralized the ground is, the more depth advantage a PI will have over a VLF unit. So a PI will have little or no advantage in one place, and a huge advantage in another.

Your new SD2100 will serve you well.

Steve_Herschbach
16:06:50 Tue
Apr 21 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated July 2008
Hi J,

Are there any accessory coils for the GMT? Yes, currently there are two. The 4" x 6" elliptical DD "Shooter" coil and the 8" x 14" elliptical concentric coil from White's. There used to be a couple more coils made by Jimmy Sierra but they are unavailable at this time.

The small coil is great for hitting the tiny stuff and particularly good for sniping bedrock. The larger coil covers ground faster and may offer a bit more depth in moderate to low mineral ground.

You can lower the sensitivity of the GMT to small objects by simply holding the coil off the ground but you of course also lose overall depth also by the same amount. You can also lower the gain. There is no reason why you could not use the GMT to relic hunt but get ready for lots of grunting on iron targets. But I would not buy it strictly for relic hunting. It is a nugget machine that might serve for an occasional relic hunt.

Goldinmyear
22:07:09 Tue
Apr 28 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Two is better than one, Im. the FNG..I really appreciate the invite to this wonderful forum. I can finalley have alot of my questions answered..for a change. I've had a number of Detectors...The SD-2200-D, The Whites Eagle Spectrum, The Whites PRL-1 ,a great detector for silver. The IDX-PRO, Whites V-SAT, Compass, But nothing really made me happier untill..I met the Tesero Super traq Lobo...This detector is Awesome I have found gold everywhere with it,as deep as 10''.s
this sucker is so dependable...I would challenge it to any other V.L.F out there. (just dare me) Can't wait for the New upgrade...Do you have any idea when that will be??....Gold in my ear.

Steve_Herschbach
22:54:10 Sun
Aug 9 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi,

New update August 2009 - the Minelab X-Terra 70 has been replaced by the Minelab X-Terra 705, a slightly upgraded model. The big news is the addition of the new White's GMZ, which sets a new low entry price for a dedicated nugget detector. And super ease of operation. You have a knob which doubles as the on/off and gain (sensitivity) control and another which acts as a ground balance. A switch has either the normal mode or a "salt" setting to handle alkaline soil conditions. And that's it. For somebody wanting simple this is as simple as you can get. I'll be real curious to see how this unit performs as the next closest units running in this frequency range are almost twice the price. With a small coil on it it should be a great Kenai Peninsula unit. For somebody with a GMT this could be a great second unit as they will not interfere with each other but can share accessory coils.

Nitro_54
00:11:11 Mon
Aug 10 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thanks for all the information Steve. When's the GMZ due to be releast??

Steve_Herschbach
05:15:25 Mon
Aug 10 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi Nitro_54,

It is available now.

Steve_Herschbach
23:12:53 Sun
Aug 30 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi,

Another update - I've added the Fisher F75 to the list. A very hot unit that can tolerate a very fast swing. I've had a chance to play with the F75 at Moore Creek and on some claims up in the Wrangells. It is more money and more features than you'd want for just prospecting but someone wanting a multi-purpose detector it is a very capable unit. It won't hit gold as small as a Gold Bug 2 or GMT but it is close. Depth on larger gold in mineralized ground is better than the Gold Bug 2. I hope to get the F75 down to Crow Creek soon.

Steve Herschbach

r49miner
05:20:06 Sat
Nov 21 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Steve you son of a gun. You could have at least let me ask the question before you give me the answer. LOL
Great information as usual. Still waiting for your website.

Thanks again

auldrider
11:45:38 Mon
Nov 30 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hello Steve, you have given me a little encouragement through your comments on this thread.

I know nothing about MD and was finding it very difficult to understand all the different observations, opinions and recommendations that experienced operators (kindly) offer up via the Webb!

I just bit the bullet and bought me a Minelab X TERRA 705 and set about learning how to drive it.

I chose the X TERRA for two reasons, number one was because it was there and number two, it covered the basics of both prospecting and coin and treasure hunting.

I am "slowly" getting the hang of this and have half a small coffee jar of coins and things I have dug up from all round the place!

The funny thing is that I am really enjoying it!

I have access to an old prospecting site that was only stopped being worked (way back) because of there being no water available!

Perhaps there wasn't any gold there either!

I don't know much about the history of the claim but have got exclusive access, so I thought I would give the X TERRA 705 a try and see if I can pick up a tone or two and try out the prospecting mode!

It seems it is not easy for me to buy the accessory coils currently but as the old workings are only 30 miles down the road I thought I will give it a go with just the standard coil.

Am I wasting my time or should I try to purchase a 6 inch 18kh double D before I bother to try?
:confused:

Steve_Herschbach
16:40:18 Mon
Nov 30 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Hi auldrider,

It is all about playing the odds.You have a chance at finding gold with the lower frequency coil. You have a better chance with a high frequency coil. How much better? Well, if it is a 1/10th ounce nugget one inch down, it will not matter. But the smaller the gold gets, the better your chances will be with a higher freqency coil.

As far as I am concerned it is never a waste of time to go metal detecting. If you are not serious about nugget detecting then there is no reason to get the high frequency coil. Just go and hopefully you get lucky. But if prospecting is something you intend on doing a lot of just bite the bullet and get it.

auldrider
22:27:33 Mon
Nov 30 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Thank you for the reply Steve,
The problem in supply of coils is with the local Minelab agent, it seems!
I think I will take a look on the internet instead.
I am very pleased with my choice of the X-TERRA-705 especially as a learning tool for metal detecting.
The 705 appears to have discovered for me an itch that I now have just gotta scratch! :devil: Cheers, John.

r49miner
01:35:41 Wed
Dec 9 2009
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska
Bump

r49miner
23:58:12 Mon
Jan 4 2010
Re: Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated October 2009
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Latest Nugget Detector Recommendations for Alaska - Updated October 2009
http://bb.bbboy.net/alaskagoldforum-viewthread?forum=2&thread=349
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