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Steve Herschbach

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Posts posted by Steve Herschbach

  1. "In your opinion or experience does the SDC have any particularly better ability to distinguish between, say square nails and nuggets, than other PIs or VLFs"

    Sadly, no, the SDC is a pure dig it all machine.It does feature the hi-lo and lo-hi tones similar to other Minelab detectors, but they are unique to the SDC. In general small gold gives a hi-lo but surprisingly small gold will also give a lo-hi tone. And some nails and larger items give a hi-lo tone. I consider the tones on the SDC to be unique to it and unfortunately not clearly connected to the target composition. The only safe thing to do with the SDC is dig it all, and because it is so sensitive it will be all but useless in very trashy locations. The only thing it will not do is have you digging nails two feet deep like I do with my GPX.

  2. Hi Fred,

    The question is not being avoided. I thought it was rhetorical. How the heck should I know what has hunted it before? Good question, tell me, what has hunted the ground in the last thirty years?

    As said, I found the patch and Chris and I hunted it with the SDC 2300s. That is the answer.

    It is 2014 in California and you can drive within a two minute walk from our location. There were no dig holes in the little ridge I found but I have to assume others have been there before. The valley has seen lots of detecting with dig holes and other signs of prospecting. Maybe every detector known to man passed over this spot before and missed the gold. But maybe everybody just walked around the little ridge. I just don't know.

    Is the intent of the question again some attempt to determine if you can hunt a patch to death with other detectors and then still go there and find gold with the SDC 2300? Sorry, but as far as I know this particular situation offers no clear evidence to answer that question.

    I guess the big problem is people are looking for answers, but at the same time doubting the answers and wanting ironclad tests and proofs. In my opinion the only way any individual can determine for themselves what the answers are to these types of question is to pony up, get the detectors in question, and find out for themselves. That is exactly what I do.

    Now, if you want my opinion I will tell you that I think the SDC 2300 can easily follow after or go head to head with a GPX 5000 and easily find gold the GPX misses. I would not have preferred to use my GPX to find the gold I found. I think it would have been harder to use, and would have missed some of the gold I found. I think 99% of GPX operators would have just passed right over this little patch and never have known it was there. So maybe some have. I am pretty sure if I was using my GPX 5000 scouting around the way I normally do I would have missed this patch. I think the SDC is simply better suited for finding these types of patches, and so I intend to keep using it to do just that. The GPX stays home for awhile.

    I think the smartest thing any new SDC owner can do is run post haste to every known nugget patch and hunt dawn to dusk. Before the doubters and hesitaters finally figure things out.

    Just my opinion Fred. Anyone wanting proof can go get their own. Except to maybe actually believe one other opinion......

    You will find more small nuggets and fine-threaded specimen gold in mineralised soils with the SDC 2300 than any other gold detector, including the GPX 5000.

    - Bruce Candy [Chief Scientist Minelab Electronics, GPX & SDC Inventor]

    That clear enough for you?


  3. I have a question wouldn't it seem likely that if you're finding small nuggets near the surface, that there might be much larger ones beneath you could be missing? :idunno:

    That is the beauty of owning multiple detectors. Chris and I each have an SDC. We each have a GPX 5000 with multiple coils. We each have a Gold Bug 2 and Gold Bug Pro. I have some other machines besides, like the GMT and ATX.

    Does anyone not think we would not hit places with everything possible until we can't find anything any more? The only limitation is time, and we both have a lot of that now.

    Nobody is saying ditch whatever you have and get the SDC 2300. At least, not Chris or I. Obviously we both think owning multiple detectors is the solution in our own situation.

  4. Hi John,

    For twice as much money the ATX better outperform the Infinium because as I noted there is little else about it that is better than an Infinium!

    The guy also could have had a bum unit. Sadly, all the manufacturers make one from time to time. I wonder how many people get their hands on sub-performing units and never realize it?

  5. Thanks for the plugs guys!

    I have used both the a Infinium and ATX extensively. The ATX easily outperforms the Infinium on gold nuggets. It will hit smaller gold the Infinium will simply not detect and will hit larger nuggets deeper than the Infinium. The ATX has a superior iron disc system.

    The ATX costs twice as much as an Infinium. It also weighs far more and unlike the Infinium cannot be hip or chest mounted without modification. The Infinium has a superior accessory coil availability. The accessory coils for the ATX must be purchased with an attached lower rod assembly and therefore cost three times as much as an Infinium accessory coil.

    Bottom line if all you care about is performance the ATX is the better unit. But the Infinium has a far better physical configuration and costs far less. I wish I could get an ATX in an Infinium box. Or better yet a custom light weight dry land version.

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  6. The SDC gets a nice sharp response in an air test on a 1 grain nugget at about an inch and what was interesting to me is it was in the middle of the coil, not on the edge as I normally see with mono coils and small gold. But I will be frank and tell you that in my opinion it is all about found gold not air tests. PI detectors generally suck in air tests. I plan to be pounding some small gold areas starting June 16 or so with the SDC and I am far more interested in seeing what it does in the field. If people want to put money down on one fine but they can also hold off a few days and see if a couple pounded locations I know of give up any gold in the near future and just how small it is. Though I do have to tell you that despite all the small gold talk I intend on finding chunkier stuff with the SDC. I just think some pretty small stuff will happen along the way.

    There is a sort of hot spot in the coil to the inner right hand side but I simply have tool little time on the unit to have figured out all the little tricks.

  7. I was able to get out a few hours Saturday thanks to Chris Ralph and give the ATX a go in some really mineralized ground conditions. It passed with flying colors and put these two nuggets in my vial. 1.48 grams and 0.45 grams respectively. Thanks Chris!


  8. Thanx much Bill and Steve as buying a dedicated water machine this spring(from Bill only) and ALL info greatly appreciated. My only caveat is--finding SMALL nuggets in a real world situation and not a 5+ oz massive chunk don't really prove that much to me as just not that many left out there. Thanx again for the additional input. Weight under water will be at least 20% less and not huge coils either. Speaking of coils , are they replaceable on both units at home/boonies??? Earphone also question as summer heat 115+ on full cuppers fill with sweat. Steve lube points????....yuck-John

    Hi John,

    The ATX is as good or possibly even better on small gold than the GPX out of the box. You need a small accessory coil on the GPX to pull ahead. I had no problem finding small gold in the real world with mine - http://www.detectorprospector.com/steves-mining-journal/gold-nugget-detecting-with-garrett-atx.htm

    Weight underwater is more like 95% less. I just scored a bunch of rings in Hawaii with my ATX and have over 50 hours of water time with it. It weighs maybe 1/2 pound underwater, so it will settle on the bottom.

    You are familiar with the Infinium. The ATX has the same silicone lubricated orings on the headphone and coil connectors plus on both of the two battery doors. They love to collect dirt and so care is needed to keep them clean. The coils are replaceable but unlike on the Infinium each ATX accessory coil includes the entire telescoping rod assembly. This makes the accessory coils very expensive, as bad or worse that GPX accessory coil costs. I believe it will also limit the number of coils that will be produced. Right now you have the stock coil plus a round 8" mono and huge 15" x 20" mono accessory coils. Infinium DD coils will work on the ATX (Infinium mono coils will not) if you chest mount the control box, which I have done with mine.

    Like Bill says you can get adapter and use whatever phones you like. Garrett phones included are not half bad. You need Garrett accessory waterproof headphones if you wish to fully submerge the detector and headphones. The supplied headphones let you stick the detector underwater but you must keep your head high and dry. The cord can go under, just not the actual headset.

    The ATX is a superior water detector and I am going to use mine in California low water rivers this summer to look for gold.

    Mind you, I do not want this to look like I am recommending an ATX over the GPX 5000. If you have the money the GPX is the way to go. But Garrett did a great job at less than half the price. The ATX is a very capable detector and if Minelab did not exist it would be the best prospecting PI on the market. If you want waterproof it is a no-brainer.

  9. I've run both the GPX 5000 and ATX since the day they were available. Is still prefer my GPX for prospecting, mostly because it is lighter, has a better coil selection, does not have silicone lubed orings everywhere to collect dirt, uses standard headphones without a special adapter, runs longer on a charge, etc.

    From a pure detecting standpoint however in the United States at least there are few nuggets one of them will find that the other will not. I can find gold about as well with either. Garrett did a great job with the electronics on the ATX, and it is a no brainer to operate compared to the GPX.

    The ATX is already heavy at 6.9 lbs. when one of you guys gets that rear mounted 15" x 20" monster mounted toss it on a scale and get a total weight with batteries. The ergonomics is going to be horrible running the full 20" of the coil out forward of the rod mount location. I have not got one for that very reason - I will stick with my GPX and 18" round Nugget Finder mono, thank you very much!

    Both great machines though. If Garrett sticks the ATX electronics in a light weight, dry land dedicated prospecting housing with standard coil and headphones connectors plus lightweight coils Minelab is going to have something to worry about. As it is the ATX is a lot of bang for a couple thousand bucks if you can put up with the ergonomic shortcomings. Mind you, all those shortcomings turn into a plus in the water. The ATX is a killer waterproof detector, perhaps the best I have ever owned.

    Steve Herschbach


    • Like 1

  10. Fantastic little detector, one of the best values out there in my opinion. I really like mine with the 10" x 5" DD coil. The best nugget I found with mine this summer was 9.1 grams. I've paid for it a couple times over.


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  11. OK folks, here you go. I have spent about two days of nugget detecting with the new Garrett ATX metal detector over the course of three actual days at three different locations. I learned a lot about the detector, and did actually find some gold with it, no small feat for this prospector from Alaska. I am a total newbie in the Lower 48 and were it not for good friends would have a much harder time placing myself in some decent locations. I learned enough I wrote up a very long article with photos on my website which is a lot easier for me to maintain and update with new information than posting on a forum.

    The bottom line is a big thumbs up for the ATX for nugget detecting. I was very impressed by the ability of the ATX to find very small gold nuggets straight out of the box with the 12" x 10" DD coil. No special tuning, just a high sensitivity setting and careful hunting. My two smallest nuggets weighed in at 0.12 gram and 0.16 gram which says more to me about the ATX than finding larger gold. 1.36 grams total in four nuggets. Check it all out in the article.

    Steve Herschbach


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