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Advice on selection


Race

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I am a recreational detectorists who up to recently has been using a Bounty Hunter Land Ranger for hobby ddetecting. I have recently decided to plunge into the gold prospecting side of things.

I have decided to purchase a gold metal detector and have narrowed the choice down to two choices; the Minelab Eureka Gold Digger and the Whites GMT. I am looking to get additional advice as to which is better for gold prospecting. This new detector would be used exclusively for gold prospecting.

I have heard a lot about the Minelab reputation especially with the high end PI models but cannot afford them, so I am thinking about the Eureka, but I've seen several bad reviews regarding it. as far as the Whites GMT, I have yet to read or hear anything bad at all about any of their models.

So I am looking to hear from any and all experienced electronic gold prospectors.

Gratefully,

Race Bannon

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I am a recreational detectorists who up to recently has been using a Bounty Hunter Land Ranger for hobby ddetecting. I have recently decided to plunge into the gold prospecting side of things.

I have decided to purchase a gold metal detector and have narrowed the choice down to two choices; the Minelab Eureka Gold Digger and the Whites GMT. I am looking to get additional advice as to which is better for gold prospecting. This new detector would be used exclusively for gold prospecting.

I have heard a lot about the Minelab reputation especially with the high end PI models but cannot afford them, so I am thinking about the Eureka, but I've seen several bad reviews regarding it. as far as the Whites GMT, I have yet to read or hear anything bad at all about any of their models.

So I am looking to hear from any and all experienced electronic gold prospectors.

Gratefully,

Race Bannon

I am not an experienced gold prospector, but I have been following the pros reviews on the 4500 and TDI very closely. I would like a new Minelab 4500 myself, but the next best thing IMO is the Whites TDI, which is very close in terms of performance with the 4500 at only a fraction of the cost. I am stuck with the minelab Xterra 70 and plan on getting a TDI once funds allow for it. You can check out my other post about the TDI for links to some of the reviews.

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I have partners who use both the Minelab and the Whites. The GMT seems to have a better track record. The new TDI by Whites seems to being good although I personally have not tried one. My choice in the VLF is the Gold Bug 2.

Ol'29er

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Race,

Two key words in your post......(Recreational Detectorist)...... Several things enter my mind when giving out advice as to what detector will meet a persons needs now and down the road. You may decide that prospecting is not your thing and be stuck with a detector that is of no use if you chose a unit that is designed strictly for prospecting. Keep in mind that a large majority of the surface and shallow sub-surface gold has already been found, a VLF will confine you to what gold has been left behind at these depths. A good deep seeker will cost much more than than a VLF and you will sacrifice the small gold and specimen gold with most of those units. If you plan to be a part time recreational detectorist that wants a good shot at finding some of the gold that is within the reaches of a good VLF and at the same time might want to do some coin and relic hunting as well as beach detecting, the Minelab X-Terra 70 is a great all around detector. I have a Minelab GP3000, 2 GMT's, a GM3 and a X-Terra 70, in other words, I pretty much have all bases covered, but if I was limited to only one detector, I would choose the X-70, simply because I enjoy detecting for gold, meteorites, relics and coins, not to leave out all the lost jewelry.

If gold is the only thing you are interested in and the Bounty Hunter fits your needs in other categories, then the GMT would be my suggestion. Easy learning curve, user friendly and quite reliable. Good on batteries, especially when using earphones. I could go on and on.........Love my GMT's, one stick mount and the other is hip mount..... Hip and chest mounts are a little hard to find.

Much luck in your quest

Jim

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Race, of the two machimes mentioned, the GMT significantly outshines the Eureka. So, if gold is all you desire, then get the GMT. But if you want to "do it all," give serious consideration to the MXT. In really bad ground (such as AZ) the MXT works a bit better then the GMT. But, the GMT finds smaller nuggets. Personally, I use a chest-mounted MXT, and a chest-mounted TDI. Both provide awesome performance. Hope this helps; HH Jim

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Race, I believe you will be well served by considering an older Minelab PI, such as the SD2100 original...They can be had, with accessories, for under $1,000 and they can substantially outperform any VLF for gold nuggets, except for sub-grain dinks...I have had all the different White's gold machines and still have the GMT and a Gold Bug 2, but 98% of my beeping is with the SD2100...I can't remember exactly where I saw it, but on one of the gold nugget forums, someone has an SD2100 for sale...I strongly advise you consider it...Cheers, Unc

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Race you may also want to check out what the good folks on these non dealer forums have to say:

http://www.arizonagoldprospectors.com/invision/

http://highdesertgold.myfreeforum.org/forum1.php

Hmmmmmm,

I don't recall saying anything and I am the only dealer here :innocent0009: Others do not push their wares here either (some do give advise) and all discussion is more than welcome good or bad about anything I sell or do not and this is not a dealer biased forum.... But if you figure there is better info than we can offer so be it, but I think the folks here are pretty darn honest. :innocent0002:

Listening to folks actually using a machine is always the best and folks not using a particular detector really shouldn't spout off too much about performance and comparing to other detectors. Not saying there isn't good info and knowledgeable folks at the other forums as there are indeed and the two you mentioned have many. I do not however think anyone answering here is less experienced or or less honest dealer or not.

That said I will answer the original question: You have already gotten some good advise by some very capable hunters. I would suggest a PI detector used or new over a VLF if you plan to hunt the high mineralization soils in the SW. A used 2100, 2200, GP Extreme, or even a 3000 can be had for about the same price as a new Eureka or GMT and will handle the ground much better in my opinion and I have tried all named above at one time or another. If the higher end new units do not fit your budget I would definitely look at some used Minelab PIs before making my final decision.

The VLF units you are looking at are very good detectors as well, but will be somewhat limited in very hot ground.

Good luck and whatever you pick once mastered you will find nuggets.

Cheers, Bill

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Race you may also want to check out what the good folks on these non dealer forums have to say:

http://www.arizonagoldprospectors.com/invision/

http://highdesertgold.myfreeforum.org/forum1.php

Hey thanks for this post the highdesertgold forum was one of I don't know how many I hadn't stumbled upon yet. ....

Bill is right about alot but the particular point at the moment is the fact that the VLF detectors will find gold. I recently purchased the Gold Bug 2. It does a good job at what it says it can do. However in highly mineralized dirt it is limited severely and looking in alluvial or other areas is almost not worthwhile.... I have found gold in tailings just like everyone said I would, but in deep dirt in SW Arizona I have found nothing so far. I am no Pro by far but in my stage I can see the beginnings of my limits and I suggest that if you are planning on searching deep AZ desert you should invest in the PI machines mentioned above.

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Please do, I enjoy reading the information you have posted so far and would enjoy learning more. It's not often you get to learn from someone whom has experience with so many different detectors.

Bob,

I thank you for the compliment, I have far less detecting experience than many of the fellows that you will meet at any of the Nuggetshooter or WSPA outings. You would be amazed at how many of them have had or still have many different detectors. Attend one of the GBasin outings and you will go home with a satchel full of knowledge.

I bought one of the first GMT's to hit the market, retired an old Whites 6000D that I hunted coins and relics with. It just didn't hunt gold very well. After using the GMT for some time, I realized that I was not getting the depth that I needed. As Bill stated, VLF's suffer in ground with high mineralization. I was getting shallow gold, pin head gold on the surface and shallow specimen gold. I got me a Minelab GP3000 and 3 very good coils, this solved the need for more depth. The addition of the X-70 gave me a very good coin unit that also could be used for prospecting. I picked up the GM3 because I had met a chubby guy from Tucson, AZ. that had found a table full of gold with one. John B. is a master with that machine and it just goes to prove what Bill said.....(whatever you pick once mastered you will find nuggets). I have not mastered my GM3 yet, can turn it on and off quite well though.... :laught16: The GMT spoiled me.

I might add that the latest and greatest Minelab GPX-4500 is in my opinion, one hell of a detector. I have not used one, but have hunted with a friend in some ground that gives my GMT fits. The GP3000 with the stock 11" DD struggles in this ground. He has been hitting on rice size spongy nuggets, some at 5" to 8" with a 14" NF E-mono. Quiet running machine.......

Jim

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Bob,

I thank you for the compliment, I have far less detecting experience than many of the fellows that you will meet at any of the Nuggetshooter or WSPA outings. You would be amazed at how many of them have had or still have many different detectors. Attend one of the GBasin outings and you will go home with a satchel full of knowledge.

I bought one of the first GMT's to hit the market, retired an old Whites 6000D that I hunted coins and relics with. It just didn't hunt gold very well. After using the GMT for some time, I realized that I was not getting the depth that I needed. As Bill stated, VLF's suffer in ground with high mineralization. I was getting shallow gold, pin head gold on the surface and shallow specimen gold. I got me a Minelab GP3000 and 3 very good coils, this solved the need for more depth. The addition of the X-70 gave me a very good coin unit that also could be used for prospecting. I picked up the GM3 because I had met a chubby guy from Tucson, AZ. that had found a table full of gold with one. John B. is a master with that machine and it just goes to prove what Bill said.....(whatever you pick once mastered you will find nuggets). I have not mastered my GM3 yet, can turn it on and off quite well though.... :laught16: The GMT spoiled me.

I might add that the latest and greatest Minelab GPX-4500 is in my opinion, one hell of a detector. I have not used one, but have hunted with a friend in some ground that gives my GMT fits. The GP3000 with the stock 11" DD struggles in this ground. He has been hitting on rice size spongy nuggets, some at 5" to 8" with a 14" NF E-mono. Quiet running machine.......

Jim

Thanks for the info Jim; info like this is gold (no pun intended) to newbies such as myself, and it has opened my eyes to detectors I had not even considered.

Race, it looks like you have received some excellent advice. I usually do not say much on these technical topics since I am still learning myself, but be sure to read every single thread on this forum since there is a wealth of information to absorb here. Good luck with whatever choice you make and I hope you find some nice gold.

Bob

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Happyprospector ... please don't take offense from correction. We all make a mistake once in awhile. None of us want to jump on your case or cause you pain. However, there is enough bad information out there that most of us here on this forum would prefer to avoid. Correct and true information helps all of us and grows our hobby in a positive way. I hope you will continue to contribute to the forum in the future ... and also learn a little from others who might know or have experienced a little more than you at the same time.

Happy Hunting

Mike F.

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Bill,

Sincerely, I appreciate the fact that you took the time to personally provide me with some advice on my quandry related to which detector to buy. Especially the fact that your running the Nugget Shooter Forum for new guys like me to benefit from. To be quite candid, it's primarily because of your website and and an article I read in 'Lost Treasure' magazine, that I'm even taking the plunge and buying a a gold detector. So thanks for what you do for folks like me to influence our decisions to get into the prospecting sport.

I'm in the Army, currently TDY here at Ft. Huachuca, and I really want to get gold detector and get out there prospecting especially since I'm so close to some really good sites, i.e., Greaterville, Dragoon and Mule mountains, etc. Any advice you pass along is greatly valued and appreciated.

Again thanks for the advice from you and the other good folks that patronize you web site.

Very Respectfully,

Race Bannon

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Geeze a guy makes an simple error around here and you guys come and start beating him up!
I wouldn't

call that a beat down. Just setting the record straight.

Hi Race,

You may want to check out the Huachuca Mtns also specifically ASH Canyon east side of the mountain range also

The GPAA I think they have some claims down there. Good Luck

Rich

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