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which detector for a beginner


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So I am beginning and I am limited to craigslist and ebay for my first detector.

my options are

Garrett scorpion gold stinger - $325


Tesoro Mayan - $250

Which one of these will be easier to use or more effective when looking for nuggets in the superstition mountains? is it worth the extra 75 dollars for the other one?

I will probably upgrade in the future but this is about my price limit for now.

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V.G....welcome to a great hobby...if possible I would go with the Tesoro Lobo...

if that's to much then the Tesoro Mayan hands down....

Another good idea why not talk to Bill Southern the owner of this site...maybe he

has some specials...

Good luck!!!

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Hello Victor! Save your money, and don't purchase either! In my opinion, there are two or three VLF metal detectors that will find gold in Arizona: 1) Tesoro Lobo SuperTraq; 2) Fisher Goldbug II; Whites GMT. Used, these machines run $400-$500. Take your $200, and buy some pans, classifiers and digging tools. Get Chris Ralph's book, "Fists Full of Gold." Start doing your research. There are no magic books or guides that will show you where to go- or not to go. FYI - The Superstision Mountains have never given up a lot of gold. Start looking into joining a local prospecting club, as you will learn a lot more, a lot faster, and have areas to hunt where gold has been found before. Good Luck and Big Nuggets! - Terry

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Hi Victor,

I don't think that you can get better advise than what Terry offered.

I was in the same situation as you a year and a half ago so I took up panning. I learned when, where and how to find gold by panning. A prospecting lesson that I would not have learned as fast by jumping into detecting right off. I can't say that I am expert(not like the guys that you read about in this forum that walk around in the desert and nuggets seem to stick on their boots).

Pan and persist in an area where gold has been found and You will find gold. This is important! The first gold is a kick. You will most likely by far, find first gold by panning. If you have the impression like I had, that with a metal detector I would go out and pick up nuggets right and left what you will probably only find disappointment. I have a detector now and after and hours and hours of searching with no results except for holes in my boots I go back to panning to find color and keep the faith.

If you don't have water and gold in the same place spend your money on a small dry washer. Prospecting 101--with a pan or dry washer is the ticket.

Good luck,

Bill C

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I would also look into the Minelab Eureka Gold, X-TERRA 705, or X-TERRA 70 new or used....

Buying a good quality gold detector to begin with can help one enjoy the hobby more as dealing with the frustration of using a detector not designed to handle the hot soil in the goldfields can be a real set back for a beginner.

Perhaps ask at the forums classified section for used models mentioned in my post and others if spending the 700 to 1000 dollars a new gold VLF will cost (they are all in same price range new).

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Hi Victor,

Given your choices, I would select the Gold Stinger. It certainly isn't popular by any means but it does have its following on other forums and most of those who have had them for a while are satisfied. I had one many years ago and found it to be reasonably sensitive. However, the one I had would false if the coil was banged against a rock. I suspect that problem has been resolved by now. Keep in mind that both detectors you mentioned are quite old in design.

If you are not in a big hurry, then you might check other forums as well as craigslist for other detectors that will also work. I have seen some decent prices actually beating those you mentioned. In fact, I sold an XT1800 for $300 some time back and it certainly is better than the two detectors you mentioned.

Someone mentioned the Lobo also. I suspect they meant the Lobo Super Track (LST) rather than the original Lobo. So, there are two models of that detector and the LST is far superior. I have a modified Lobo that works fine but it took some mods that the average person won't be able to do to get it to where it is now. I have the LST also so I know the differences first hand. When the original Lobo came out, it was a decent detector but that was almost 18 to 20 years ago also.

So, my recommendation is to have patience and find a newer model. That is what I would do.

So, unless you have already bought one, you might keep an eye out for others and ask about them also.

BTW, I still have an XT 18000 I might sell in the future but haven't decided yet.


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