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Recomended Detectors - Gold and General Finds

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Hello all. I'm new to the forums and I've been looking at four different detectors from two manufactors. I'm interested in mainly gold but also interested in going to locations like school yards, abanonded property and beaches. I know there are not many that can do salt water so I'm limited in what I can get based upon a $1000 budget. Can anyone give me any tips on which one would be the best one to get for what I'm looking for? I had one as a kid 30+ years ago so I know a little of the basics but I"m basically a newbie.

Garrett AT Pro

Garrett AT Gold

FIsher F70

Fisher HGold Bug Pro 2

If anyone can give their opioions that would be a great help.

Thanks and I'm looking forward to reading the boards.


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A "VLF" or very low frequency type metal detector works extremely well on dry sand, dirt, and in fresh water. It does not work as well in saltwater, or on wet ocean-water beaches. In highly conductive saltwater conditions pulse induction or "PI," and multi-frequency VLF "BBS" metal detectors excel.

The VLF metal detector sends 4,000 - 80,000 radio waves per-second into the ground. When the radio waves hit something conductive - like an iron nail, gold ring, coin or aluminum pull-tab, a magnetic field sets up around the object and a particular signal frequency is transmitted back to the detector's receiving coil. VLF metal detectors have the ability to "discriminate," or tell what type of metal they are seeing by "reading" the return signal frequency. VLF detectors must be "ground balanced" to work effectively in highly mineralized soil, or on highly conductive saltwater beaches. You must tune or adjust the machine to see through the "fog," or white-noise created by the salt and iron in the sand or water you are detecting. Unfortunately, this usually leads to a loss of depth and stability with most VLF detectors.

Minelab has a fully submersible VLF beach machine that can discriminate out iron in wet sand and saltwater. The “Excalibur” uses Broad Band Spectrum, or “BBS” technology, and retails for about $1,300.00. According to Minelab, their BBS operating system, “simultaneously transmits, receives and analyses a broad band of multiple frequencies to deliver substantial detection depth, high sensitivity and accurate discrimination for a wide range of target types.” The key takeaway here is “multiple frequencies.” Unfortunately, radio waves regardless of their frequency still have to be filtered and balanced in heavily conductive wet-ocean sand and highly mineralized saltwater. That limits the systems depth capabilities.

Unlike BBS and VLF metal detectors which constantly send and receive thousands of low frequency radio waves per second, a Pulse Induction (PI) metal detector fires high-voltage pulses into the sand several hundred times per second. If no metal is present the electric pulse decays at a uniform rate with no anomalies. When metal is present a small “eddy” current flows through it causing the voltage decay time to increase, which creates a measurable anomaly. Unlike VLF radio waves, electronic pulses are virtually impervious to the effects of conductivity and mineralization.

I have used the Tesoro Lobo Super Traq for nuggetshooting, coinshooting in parks, relic hunting in farm fields, and in the dry sand on Atlantic beaches with great success. From your list, I would go with the Fisher Goldbug, and look into also getting a $600.00 Tesoro Sand Shark (pulse induction) for saltwater and wet saltwater sand. Good Luck!

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All of the detectors you list are great detectors. But the AT gold is not designed for coins and relics.

One that you didn't list is the Fisher F75 with Boost. Much better then the original F75. I have read that it's hard to beat and is very well balanced. But it is more expensive.

GL in making the right choice!

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Tesoro Lobo Super Traq in everyway and any day-full life warranity-fixed free forever-full disctimination-salt-black sands-normal modes-ez to flip from all metal to dics to ID or ez pinpoint mode. Build in chest or belt mount and industrial tough AND Bill sells'm as I retired from retail years agao and proudly sold MANY 1,000S-John

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