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Least expensive nugget detector


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Hi,

I'm looking to determine what might be the least expensive unit a person can buy new that has all the basic features needed in a nugget detector.

So far what I've come up with is the Tesoro Vaquero.

Operating frequency of 14.3 kHz, 14.5 kHz, and 14.7 kHz. Manual ground balance. Adjustable threshold based all metal mode. Bonus of hot disc mode. Can use all Lobo coils. Internet price $420.00

I found a couple nuggets with a Vaquero last summer and was impressed by what a good little machine it is for the price. And only 2.2 pounds!

So are there any other units new out there running over 10 kHz, with a ground balance and threshold based all-metal mode? And available for less than $420.00?

Steve Herschbach

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.....So are there any other units new out there running over 10 kHz, with a ground balance and threshold based all-metal mode? And available for less than $420.00?

Steve, my answer is a resounding NO! The only detector that comes close in this 'bought new' price range is the Lobo ST also made by Teseoro. IMHO I made a CHOICE between all dectector models available within MY finacial limits when I bought my first detector, a Lobo, which by the way I still own and use today.

With respect to the 'forum wars' going on today with Minelab introducing the GPX 4500, more power to them. Many people will be trading in their older Minelab models in one shape, form or another and buying the "latest and greatest" and that's fine with me, because the older models now become more affordable to the rest of us.

I MUST say this, Show Me a DETECTOR that can surpass the quality, standards and professional attitude, that Minelab has brought forth and made available to our prospecting/mining industry!

And yes, if I could build this "type" of quality equipment I'd be watching my back also! Do any of you remember the phrase....."Build-it and they will Come"?

Doing business and competition is just that and nothing more. And again it's a Choice!

Gary

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Hi Steve although I've never used a vaquero :hmmmmmm: -I do have a couple of questions--How is the recovery speed ----How is the sat speed--How is the sensitivity-gain--these are just a few important factors for nugget huntin--this where a lot of coin beepers come up short-unable to adjust to the changing ground conditions--$420.00 new is a good price buttttt cheeper is'nt always worth the headache :tisc-tisc: :twocents: -Mike C... :ph34r2:

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Hi Mike,

I'm not trying to sell you or anyone else a Vaquero! I'm simply asking a question posed to me by people on a budget. The Vaquero has a fast response time and the gain can be cranked into the "red zone".

"cheeper is'nt always worth the headache" I agree but I do not think people on a budget should be excluded. For some people $300 is a lot of money.

My question was not "is there anything better". My question was "is there anything better for less"? So no, an X-Terra 70 is not better for less. I have an X-Terra 70, think it is great, but it is not applicable to the question at hand.

Steve Herschbach

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Hi Mike,

I'm not trying to sell you or anyone else a Vaquero! I'm simply asking a question posed to me by people on a budget. The Vaquero has a fast response time and the gain can be cranked into the "red zone".

"cheeper is'nt always worth the headache" I agree but I do not think people on a budget should be excluded. For some people $300 is a lot of money.

My question was not "is there anything better". My question was "is there anything better for less"? So no, and X-Terra 70 is not better for less. I have an X-Terra 70, think it is great, but it is not applicable to the question at hand.

Steve Herschbach

I think you answered your own question, there isn't anything better for less..... :twocents: I was only planning on spending about $500 when I bought my X-terra, but a few dealers that the cheapest "gold" detector was the X-terra 70. I am on a very tight budget, so what I decided to do was wait another month to buy a "gold" detector, or a detector with gold prospecting capabilities. I am interested in hearing what everyone else has to say as well. :coffeetime:

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Hi Bob,

Well, reality is there are lots of good used detectors out there. But I find that many people do not want a used detector.

I'm rewriting my nugget detector guide, and one thing I wanted to add was a "bottom dollar" unit because the question gets asked so much. I've already figured the Vaquero was it but I wanted to see if anyone had a better idea before I "go to print".

Steve Herschbach

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The Garret Gold Stinger can be purchased new for under $500. I had one and never had any luck with it but perhaps it would work in less mineralized areas.

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Hi Old Salt,

The Stinger goes for an internet price of $469 so it a little bit more than a Vaquero. Having used both I can say I think the battery replacement scheme on the Stinger is the worst you can currently find on the market. Straight out of 1970. You actually have to pull the circuit board out of the housing and plug batteries right into the circuit board! There are several little pieces that can get dropped and lost in the process. And only one accessory coil available. The unit actually works ok but it is way overdue for a remake/facelift/update.

Steve Herschbach

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I'd tell people to save the extra money and get an X-Terra 70. They work very well for finding gold with the 18.75khz coil. The nice thing about the 70 is that you can use the same machine for coins and relics also. The beach hunting mode works great also. I bought a Minelab SD2100 V-2 for gold hunting. The problem was that I did not get out often enough to the gold fields to make the purchase worth my while, so I sold it and bought the 70 with several coils and still had money left over. The X-Terra lets me do all types of detecting in one package. It's not the ultimate gold machine, but does a very respectable job. It took me a little while and the loss of money from the sale of the 2100 to realize that an all purpose detector was what I really wanted. Some people have a different detector for every type of search they do. I just don't have the money to have 3 or 4 expensive detectors. Until you become very experienced, the higher priced gold detectors are a waste of money. Once you have the experience, they will pay for themselves if you have the time and good places to hunt. As they say, 5% of the people find 90% of the gold. There is just no subsitute for experience. With the 70, I can run out anytime and coin shoot and still have a respectable detector when I make the long drive to the gold fields. Just my 2 cents.

I know that my answer was a little off topic as you are trying to figure out which is the lowest priced gold detector, but I don't think the answer is to buy a low priced gold only detector. People will not be happy with the results in the field. I think that if your looking for gold, you have to spend enough money to get something that really works in the field and has an easy learning curve. The bonus to the 70 is a fairly low price compared to the expensive dedicated gold machines that really work and you can still use it for other types of detecting.

Good hunting, John K

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Hi,

I'm looking to determine what might be the least expensive unit a person can buy new that has all the basic features needed in a nugget detector.

So far what I've come up with is the Tesoro Vaquero.

Operating frequency of 14.3 kHz, 14.5 kHz, and 14.7 kHz. Manual ground balance. Adjustable threshold based all metal mode. Bonus of hot disc mode. Can use all Lobo coils. Internet price $420.00

I found a couple nuggets with a Vaquero last summer and was impressed by what a good little machine it is for the price. And only 2.2 pounds!

So are there any other units new out there running over 10 kHz, with a ground balance and threshold based all-metal mode? And available for less than $420.00?

Steve Herschbach

I think it was a well posed question and like you mentioned, one that is on the minds of many out there. I Have no major data to apply but I think with the responses you got from people that you can safely say the vaquero must be it.

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I have to agree with Steve on the Vaquero, although I don't like the speaker sound in the Vaquero I liked it better in the earlier bandido, great all around and gold machine. I would choose the Vaquero over the Gold Stinger anyday or save and get the x-terra 70 great all around also,

Allen

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Hi Allen,

Yeah, sounds better with headphones.

I'm not trying to sell anyone on the Vaquero. But try talking sometime to somebody who seriously does not have much extra money to spend. Lots of Gold got found with the old Gold Bug 2 and a Vaquero is easily a better unit than the original Gold Bug. And for people for whom weight is an issue the 2.2 lbs. is a bonus.

No doubt there are better units. I have an X-Terra 70 myself and really like it. Butplease realize "just spend more money" is not an option for some people. Can you imagine how peoplle like me with a $5000 metal detector must look like to some folks? Rich, elitist snobs! I know I can go find gold with a Vaquero and so have no problem trying to get some people into this that simply cannot afford it other wise. For people willing to consider used you can get some good buys on older VLF models for under $300.00

Steve Herschbach

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With out starting any BS or hurting anyones feelings :innocent0002: -I'm not a dealer by the way--If someone was to come up to me and ask me if I knew of a gold beeper for under lets say-$450.00 dollars I would never direct them to a coin beeper :tisc-tisc: it might work fair in a few areas but would choke in alot of areas I beep--theres alot of used gold vlf.s floating around out there and I would certanally sway em that way if money was the problem-I know this is'nt about used machines but why waist someones time and money and probably getting frustrated in the process-makes no sence to me- :tisc-tisc: -its kind of like the newbee who post on a forum for his first time saying he's got a dfx or something like it and wants to know what settings to use and the dealer told him he could beep gold with it as well--but only to find out from the responces he gets that he should have bought a gold beeper-very disapointed- :outtahere: --beleive it or not used beepers sell pretty good :innocent0009: -I've been buying and selling-trading for quite some time-thats the only way I could afford to try out so many- :twocents: --Mike C... :ph34r2: -PS-I don't like garrets---but I knew someone about 10 years ago who did really well with one--garret goldstinger :icon_mrgreen:

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Hi Mike,

If you think the Vaquero is just a coin beeper you'd be wrong. I'd use a Vaquero to hunt gold before I'd use a DFX, and yes, I have one of those also.

If you know what you are doing you can find gold with almost any detector. If you do not know what you are doing the best machine in the world is not going to help you. But like I said, I'm not trying to sell you on a Vaquero. My GPX-4500 will be here in a few days and I recommend you get one from Bill ASAP.

Steve Herschbach

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Hi Steve I would like to have a 4500 but its not in my budget right now :tisc-tisc: I'll manage with my one and half year old- still has two and a half years left of warrenty -old obsolete 4000 :icon_mrgreen: --good luck with your new beeper at moore creek--I'm waiting to see what the final whites PI package will look like and what it can do and PRICE :headphones: -Mike C... :ph34r2: --PS- :hmmmmmm: just for the record-you stated twice to me that you were not trying to sell me a vaquero---I never said you were :innocent0002:

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Anyone had any luck with one of these

http://www.falconmetaldetectors.com/

I wrote this review of the Falcon:

I have owned a Falcon MD20 for about a year now. It is extremely easy to use. It comes in very handy when scanning rocks for gold content. Some also use it for checking crevices for gold. It can detect an extremely small speck of gold at about ¼ of an inch from the probe. The larger the gold the further away it detects it. It picks up a standard shaped 1 ounce nugget at about 4.5 inches.

Another cool feature is when you move the probe towards a sample and it alerts, it is gold. If you move the probe towards a sample and it does not alert, but alerts when you move the probe away, it is not gold. The Falcon will not only detect gold and the method of moving the probe should not be 100% relied upon. It is important to remove magnetic black sands prior to scanning. There is a method that some use where you shovel your material through a classifier in to a bucket. You check the larger objects that did not pass through the classifier with the falcon. You then commence scooping the material from the bucket on to a shallow flat bottom plastic pan.

Before you check the pan, you must remove the magnetic sands with a magnet. It is a slow process but very effective and you do not need to lug around heavy equipment or water.

Falcon sells a hip holster, but I found that when ever I was bending down or twisting, I was accidentally bumping the knob adjustments. You must also be very careful not to pull the cable. I have never had a problem with it, but the way the cable enters the unit looks questionable and not very strong. I dropped my Falcon from a height of about 4 feet on to bedrock and it stopped working. However, Falcon repaired the unit at no cost. Since then I manufactured a little foam protection/holding case. Overall I am very happy with the Falcon and look forward to future developments. Key points are removing the magnetic black sand and treating the unit with care

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  • 1 year later...

I own a Vaquero and nugget hunt with it.No nuggets yet but its sensativity to small lead and foil is great.It ground balances easy,with the dd coil really easy.It will find .3 size nuggets a bit smaller.You can crank the gain I have used it super tuned (gain and thershold cranked in disk mode) in southern bc but be prepared to dig deep.All-metal is very sensative,the disk kills some sensativty but does a good job on hot rocks.Some hot rocks sound differant than a good target.In time and with practise I am convinced it will work and find gold.Once I can afford a real gold machine I will, but until then this is what I have.

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Steve and everyone,If you all remember old RD,He used a tesoro Vaqureo, As did a lot of the old VLF guy,s.Well that is what he used when he found area 51.Named for 51 oz of gold in one day,The machine works and works well.

Boy it would have been nice finding those old VLF patches .A smart man said most of the patches and gold are no more than 12 inches deep. A VLF can handle that just fine. That is why we need the new PI to find those few ones that were missed by the VLF,s.{ the deep jauns}

Also as a note most PI detectorist also have a good VLF because no one detector does it all.

The Vaqureo is a real gold machine, :twocents:

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Steve,

I agree with Denny. The Vaquero if I remember right was built from the Diablo Series of Gold detectors by Toroso. I personally have not used the Vaquero but have used both the Diablo 1 & 2. For people who are on a tight budget, I believe this to be the best way for them to go. They can always move up as they find gold, after all thats what RD did. A true friend to all who knew him and very good detectorist.

OL'29er :coffeetime:

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Steve, Denny and Bob,

I wanted to share this everyone.....the info below as quoted comes from a well known site about RD's discovery. I felt best not to share the sites URL and my search results because I'm very fimiliar with where he found that patch (as are Denny and Bob) and don't want to start a "new rush" to the area, nor did I want to post the picture of some of the gold found for that same reason.

Here's the quote from the other site.....

"Think the old timers got all the gold? Please do not try to tell that to our old buddy Dick. He hit the jackpot recently with his Tesoro Lobo Super Traq for a few smidgins of gold the old timers forgot to find. About 40 ounces of smidgins to be exact. As a matter of fact this hoard is just part of it, and it was all located in a very small area. The largest nugget shown here weighs in at 8 ounces and his little brother is a puny 7 ounces. Dick is a substitute school teacher when he is not stumbling into pockets of gold, and he fell into these particular beauties in the ***** mining district near , *****. He horse traded some of these to me for a Minelab super detector and proceeded to stumble into more nuggets".

RD's discovery occurred 2+/- years prior to my purchase of a newer detector, I had two in mind at the time. The Garretts PI Infinium and the Tesoro VLF Lobo Super Traq.....$1200.00+/- vs $700.00+/- respectively. I purchased the Tesoro Lobo because of ease of use and at the time the Infinium didn't have much of a "track record" with gold from the PI standpoint, needless to say the Tesoro was a tad 'cheaper' in cost, so I bought it, and happy that I did so. Depth limitations aside (8" to 10") on small targets, it's a good VLF machine.

Gary

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