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GPX 5000 or TDI Pro?


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I asked this question a while back on another forum and only one person replied so either the question sucks or I need to find a place with more GPX user’s maybe? Any ways I am currently in the Process of a move that will see me living in the Barstow CA area, also my in-laws live in the gold basin area of AZ, so from what I understand plenty of fertile area to prospect. I was able to speak with a local who said for sure I should get a PI machine as these areas have seen a lot of VLF detecting over the years and I will be working over areas for gold other machines missed? That was his opinion and so far since it was the only one I have had expressed to me I'm sort of going with it. I have been researching both machines and the area allot over the last month and most of my reading seams to support what I was told. Now the dilemma, I understand both machines will find gold, and both have their strengths. It just seems that allot more people are running ML machines. If the TDI is good is the GPX really $3000 better? I understand the whole how much extra gold I will find with the GPX versus the price difference thing. But every time I think I'm ready to pull the trigger on a TDI the thought of some giant "retirement" nugget I might miss keeps me up at night. I have got the money saved for a TDI and an extra coil or two saved right now and it would probably be a few months before I could save up the cash to make up the price difference between the two. Please help me make up my mind, as it is at this rate with my indecision I will never buy either one and my wife will have found a way to spend my detector money. In closing other than thoughts of “Nugget Kong” keeping me up at night is the amount of ML users on the web and the ML users who are still using older machines. To me that says people love them and are loyal to them and there has to be a good reason for it. Or maybe it’s like my wife said, if I spent that much on something other than a car I would think it was the greatest too.

Ps. is the ML as easy to use as touted in the lititure?

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Leithan- I was in the same spot you are in. I bought the TDI when it first came out and tried to hunt with my buddies who had the Minelabs. After several months of frustration and not finding anything,I sold it and bought a GPX 4500. I now have the GPX5000 and have found around 1 oz of GOLD in the last 6 months. Don't get me wrong, the TDI is a good machine,but if you're going to hunt areas that have been hammered by Minelabs, you need a Minelab. PM me if you need more info. Dave

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If the TDI is good is the GPX really $3000 better?

Well not to knock the tdi or anything but i personally have used one and could tell you that i would take an old green 2100 over it any day. Too answer your question it is no doubt worth every cent , Good luck.

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Thanks for the input Highbanker and Border boy! Another probably really stupid question, are those fancy Icons shown in the GPX 5000 video displayed on the LCD, or are those just visual aids for the demonstration? I'm leaning toward visual aid, but I had to ask. Its whole heck of a lot easier to convince the wife of an object’s techy goodness if it has an “I phone” like screen on it. Bonus if it can play "Angry Birds".

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Leithan,

I would not give up my gpx 5000 for anything... I fell in love with a minelab when I owned a sd2200 years ago. I would say it would be worth it to buy a 5000 if you are a serious prospector, and go out hunting regularly. If you get out once every couple months, I would not spend that much money on a detector your not going to use that much, and stick with a minelab 3000, 3500, or 4000.

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I plan on getting out at least once a week weather permitting or else I wouldn't bother, can’t find anything if I’m not looking....nugget Kong is waiting... although my golf clubs would love some company in the closet. And that right there is what’s got me thinking Mine lab, you never hear someone go I got my brand X years ago and I have never looked back. MLs aren’t cheap by a long shot, but my way of thinking is if you dropped that kind of money once before it would have had to really impress in order to get you to open your wallet again. Does that make sense? I'm all about brand loyalty, but in this economy my loyalties are as deep as my wallet which is to say not very, and I’m thinking most people are coming around to that way of thinking too. So by extension MLs gotta be more than just the fancy ads if folks who should know better keap coming back to them.

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L, I don't have a GPX5000, but I have a GP 3500 and can't say anything bad about it. Forget the whites, and go with a trusted leader in the prospecting industry for finding deep gold. Granted, Whites is a very respectable company, but if your are hunting pounded areas, go with the ML. Just my late night :twocents:

Jason ;)

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For strictly nugget hunting and money is no object...get the 5000! For strictly nugget hunting and money is limited consider any used Minelab Pi. For nugget hunting, old coin hunting and beach hunting consider a new or used TDI...but the TDI is not a detector that you can use without some serious study...that is if you really want to maximize the TDi potential...

Since you have not done much nugget hunting you might want to invest less with a used machine...and by the way a good vlf nugget machine will still find gold...

fred

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Money is defently a consideration, I don't know enough about the older Mine Labs and which ones to look for, I'm defently not above buying a used machine. I just don't want to end up with something that's too fiddley and I will end up spending more time learning how to get the machine working right and less time prospecting with it. I'm not scared of having to learn how to use it, I have been spending my free time reading everything I can on detecting and PI machines and how they work. Also the main reason I was looking at a PI machine over a VLF was the type of ground I was told I would most likely be detecting in. Thank you all for all the help and suggestions.

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Gotta ask yourself At what Level do you want to beep af----HYPER speed orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ?????? if you can afford it choice is yours...Best of luck with what ever choice you make :head: Mike C...

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And there is the other side of the coin mike. Will I trully get 5ks worth of enjoyment out of it. It's an exspensive closet ornament if it comes to that. The one upside is how well the Minelabs seem to hold their value, good if your trying to get some of your money back, bad if your lookin to save a bunch of dough going used. Desisions, desions.

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Sounds like I may be the exception here. I own both and yes the GPX5000 is the better machine here. But I do love the TDI. I would rate it just under the minelab in my book. Once you understand the controls the TDI is very easy to operate. I feel its easier to operate on the go and less junk to strap on. No it does not perform as good as the GPX, but it will find gold at it does so pretty darn good.

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How steep of a learning curve is the TDI Whylee? I think I read that pro was a bit easier to dial in because of the gross and fine gain nobs? Does that sound right? Honestly I am a bit intimidated by the "it has to be dialed in just right" statements I keep seeing related to the TDI, how difficult is it to achieve "just right"? I have read success stories, just a whole lot less then I do of the Minelab machines.

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I own both a TDI Pro and a GMT. Would I take a ML5000? Sure I would. I got a good deal on a used TDI Pro and a GMT, so that's what I went with. The way I figure, is that I'll use the TDI Pro to find enough gold to pay for a ML???? (or whatever the latest and greatest is at the time) and then just keep trading up as I go. Believe me... once you find gold and have your own little secret patch, you'll be hitting it every time you upgrade detectors anyway just to see what you missed with the last one. So whether you start out with a TDI Pro or a ML5000 is all relative. Bottom line, they're both very good at finding gold. ;)

BTW... the TDI Pro is a piece of cake to use once you understand it. Buy the best headphones you can afford, and it won't be but a matter of time before you'll know pretty much exactly what your swinging over just by the way it sounds.

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Well it’s decided, unless I can find a decent used Minelab in the same price range as a TDI pro, it’s going to be the TDI. My wife happened to glance over my shoulder as I ogled Metal detector porn. She didn’t want to hear about DVT, MPS, and SETA…… She wanted the hard questions answered, could I eat it, drive it, sleep under it, and she was pretty sure I’d be sharing the couch with it, so it better be able to get up and cook my breakfast too. Thank you all for all the help and suggestions.

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I agree the TDI Pro (which is what I own) was a piece of cake. The GPX was much more involved in my opinion. I really dont think I have found anything with my GPX5000 that I couldnt have found with the 5000. Yes the GPX will perform better I know that for a fact.

I run the stock coil and the 6x10 Jimmy dual mono on my TDI Pro with good results. I run the 11 inch round mono and DD coil on the GPX, I just bought a 18 inch commander mono coil but have not had it out yet. The coils will interchange on the GPX and TDI by using nylon spacers because the minelabs use a wider mounting system.

By the way, my offer still stands, when you get moved, and your ready, im in your area at least once a month and your more than welcome to try them out and I would be more than happy go over them with you, there are some good spots close to you.

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Guest Gripper

It seems you were looking for a reason to buy a TDI from the start of your posts. We all know Minelabs are a cut above. I sold a 10+ year old Minelab to one friend in my circle for more than my other friend got a brand new TDI for. He hasn't found any gold with the TDI but ounces (and some Chinese coins) have been found with the Minelab. My advice is to be patient, which is really really hard, and buy a Minelab. Watch all of the detector forums and ebay. There are good deals to be had at times. Strike quickly. It might take 6 months. I have seen them on this site. If you get the TDI and don't find anything, you will wonder if you would have found nuggets if you had purchased a Minelab. Just my two cents based on the nuggets I have seen.

Gripper

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Leithan,

I have about given up on posting on ML forums for one reason or another but I will one more time to try to provide some info for you.

First, the TDI is a great detector that will work where other PI's won't. However, it will not go as deep as the more expensive PI's if you go head to head on many targets and you are in an area with little or no noise to contend with. Personally, I would recommend a GP series or the GPX. The SD designs are very similar to the TDI and have many of the quirks without the advantages of the TDI. To be honest the fundamental design of the SD models and the TDI are not that dissimilar.

BTW, the TDI is built on the foundation of the GS 5 built by Eric Foster. Contrary to what is often stated, Eric built the first ground balancing PI for sale many years before the ML. The original Goldscan series were the first ground balancing detectors in production back in the 80's.

If you do decide to purchase the TDI, practice, practice, and practice. Learn the detector. Unfortunately, there is a lot of info out there that isn't accurate or beneficial. The Internet has made experts out of a lot of people who can't even spell expurt right. It isn't hard to learn the TDI but there are tricks that can really make a difference.

What you can do are other things you can't do with the other detectors regardless of what is said.

As for a used detector, well be careful and find out more about the potential costs of repairing one. In fact, you might want to go back through posts on this site and read some of the stories written by owners. One that wasn't that far back was a post by a guy who was told it was going to cost about $400 to have his detector repaired and this model was one of the later generations. Fortunately for him, there wasn't much wrong when he sent it in and he posted his concern all over a multitude of forums. Also, dealers were assisting him also. When it was all said and done, it was determined his detector wasn't fried and was repaired free.

Now, just what might have happened if the detector really had a problem isn't known but it is something to think about.

Personally, if you are unsure of how serious you will get with a detector or how often you will be hunting for gold then you may want to purchase a used machine and save a few dollars even on a TDI pro. Whites is great on customer service and will go out of their way to fix any detector they have made, regardless of the age. Regardless, if you decide to buy the Whites, don't try to make a ML out of it. Instead, find what works best on the TDI.

Now, with that said, if you firmly believe you will become a serious nugget hunter, will stay with it, and want the best detector that goes the deepest, the the latest ML is the answer as to which is the best and will go the deepest.

If you decide to still go with the TDI, then visit some of the websites specifically aimed at the TDI for more information that will help.

Reg

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Thank you Reg, I think before I open my wallet I’m going to get some hands on, A few members have offered to let me test Drive a TDI pro and a GPX5000. I’d just like to say too that I have never experienced a hobby with people who are so welcoming and willing to share their knowledge and also meet up so you can play with their toys. Being in the Army I defiantly appreciate comraderey and this hobby seems to have it in spades. Thank you all for all the help.

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I just wanted to add that Reg is an expert when it comes to the TDI so when he offers any advice its best to save it and read it multiple times.

At the recent Diggers outing @ RyePatch I got to watch some folks test several sizes of RazorBack coils made for the TDI's and a sneak peek at something new from....

Anyhow my opinion is that you wont miss much once you get your head around the TDI. It shines in an iron littered site, you can "cherry pick" the non ferrous targets with depth and ease.

We can thank Reg for that feature!

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NVChris,

Thanks for the kind words. Now, as for the sneak peak you mentioned, I suspect it was something digger Bob was using. I was lucky enough to get one also. I was told to not discuss it until after the 1st of June but it was ok after that. So, I am surprised more hasn't been said.

Now, on a different note, I tried something new tonight on a GS 5 which is my test unit. BTW, if what I try on it works, it will work on a TDI also since they use the same technical platform. Anyway, one of the struggles with any PI is the detection of the famous "invisible" nuggets John Blennert used to display or nuggets so small they are also invisible to any PI.

Well, my simple mod seems to make them visible. So, now I need to do some testing to see what negative side effects there are, if there are any. I suspect there will be some effects on the disc feature or maybe some on the near perfect ground balance, but without more extensive testing, I won't know for sure. Even if there are some negative aspects, I may make it available as a switchable feature.

So, now it is simply a matter of finding time and place to do the testing.

Reg

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Hi Whylee,

I was asked to hold off briefly with more specifics due to some minor snags, so I can't say too much at this time, except, I did show my toy to a fellow gold hunter and he was impressed with just how light the unit was. Right now, I ask for a little patience and hopefully, the delay won't be long at all.

On a little different note, I mentioned I came up with another idea for a mod to my PI and did get a chance to test it today. Wow, I was impressed. I was able to easily detect my very small gold as well as my two invisible nuggets with impressive responses. It appears I can get real VLF sensitivity to small gold with my PI without the negative side effects one has to deal with when using a VLF.

Now, I need to take a good look inside the latest version of my PI and see how easy or difficult it will be to make this mod. I am hoping it will be simple. If it is, I may ask a couple owners if it is ok to add the mod to their detectors.

The beauty of the mod is one can make a very simple adjustment to put the detector back to where it was if desired. So, I probably won't add a switch to disconnect it at this time.

I will do more testing, but the initial results are extremely impressive.

Reg

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