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Steve Herschbach

Results Of Nugget Detector Survey

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A week ago I started an informal survey on seven US metal detecting oriented prospecting forums including this one.

 

The survey was not meant to prove anything per se. I was basically just curious to see what the detectors were that were employed to actually find gold nuggets in the last year.

 

The survey has many shortcomings. It only polls people who were on the US forums in the last week who cared to respond. The forums have tended as a whole to be Minelab oriented and so it is not surprising results might skew in that direction. Still, I got a large number of responses and so some conclusions can be drawn.

 

I eliminated duplicate and joke responses. I eliminated a couple borrowed units. It was winnowed down to just detectors that found gold for their owners in the last year. Everything else was pretty straight forward. The only thing of note is I put a couple Gold Bug SE responses under the Gold Bug Pro because they are basically the same detector. The SE was just a precursor model. Everything was compiled on a spreadsheet and totaled.

 

114 people responded as having used 220 detectors to find gold nuggets. That is an average of a couple detectors per person but the reality is a lot of people owned three detectors, and then quite a few just one detector. In general you could say many nugget hunters own a couple PI detectors (or a PI and a GPZ) plus a good VLF detector. If you really want to generalize things your could say people own a couple Minelab PI type detectors and a Fisher VLF. The Gold Bug 2 and the Gold Bug Pro were the runaway favorites in the VLF category.

 

Tesoro is conspicuous in their absence. Only one Lobo ST listed. I was a bit surprised to see not one Garrett AT Gold listed. Except for a few ATX units Garrett is pretty much a no-show. White's does a little bit better but still only just over a dozen units out of 220. The TDI PI models are the most popular alternative to the Minelabs with 8 listed.

 

As I noted Fisher totally dominates the VLF detectors with the Gold Bug 2 and Gold Bug Pro. And I was surprised at the very large numbers for both the SDC2300 and GPZ7000. The GPZ in particular due to it being very expensive and out for only the last 6 months. The adoption rate is phenomenal in my opinion.

 

Here are two sets of results. The first is simplified for easy digestion. I have lumped similar models together and not listed onesies and twosies. The second list is the full per model breakdown. Make of it what you will, and thank you for participating!

 

Simplified Results:

 

51 GPX5000/4500/4000

33 GPZ7000

33 SDC2300

32 Gold Bug 2

15 Gold Bug Pro

13 GP3500/3000/GPExtreme

8 White's TDI/DIPro/TDISL/SPP

5 White's GMT/GM3/VSAT

5 Nokta FORS Gold

4 Makro Racer

4 X-Terra 705

3 Garrett ATX

3 XP DEUS

 

Full Results:

 

33 GPZ7000

33 SDC 2300

32 Gold Bug 2

31 GPX5000

15 Gold Bug Pro

11 GPX4500

9 GPX4000

6 GP3000

5 GPExtreme

5 FORS Gold

4 Makro Racer

4 X-Terra 705

3 Garrett ATX

3 White's GMT

3 White's TDI

3 TDI Pro

3 XP DEUS

2 GP3500

2 Fisher F19

2 CTX3030

1 TDI SL

1 White's SPP

1 Troy X5

1 XT17000

1 SD2200V2

1 SD2100V2

1 Tesoro Lobo ST

1 White's GM3

1 White's V/SAT

1 Minelab F1A4

1 Garrett Scorpion

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Interesting information! I too am surprised at the number of 7000's. Better start saving my $ or sell some au.

 

Thank you Steve.

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Dick ... If you want to try out my GPZ this coming week in GB you can ... It is really becoming a great machine ... at least in my eyes! :)

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This is great info Steve and I appreciate you sharing. The results aren't incredibly surprising to me based on our sales for the past few years and the conversations I've had with people via phone and email. It feels as if Minelab has dominated the gold scene for the past decade, with Fisher and Whites coming in at second, and now Fisher pulling ahead. Garrett moves a ton of product nationwide, so I am a bit shocked that weren't better represented in the numbers. I would gamble and say that Nokta will rank considerably higher if the poll is taken again next year.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to put this together. I sure wish this info would have been available when I was looking to buy my first machine.

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You are welcome Chris. I am not surprised on the PI scene but the sheer dominance of Fisher in the VLF side did surprise me a bit, though it should not have. Garrett I think is selling tons of detectors; obviously the AT series are big hits. But more to relic hunters and such. Nobody needs special waterproof connectors and greasy orings in the desert so a Gold Bug Pro is far more practical. The ATX also I am convinced would have done far better in a dry land configuration under $2000

 

Whites has just sat on their hands for way too long with the GMT and endless versions of the MXT. The TDI SL was a big disappointment for a lot of people wanting a TDI with more horsepower. It is light and less expensive but Minelab is living proof that people want more power, not less, even if it costs more and weighs more.

 

But yeah, right now it looks like Minelab and Fisher with Nokta/Makro as the up and comers.

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A week ago I started an informal survey on seven US metal detecting oriented prospecting forums including this one.

 

The survey was not meant to prove anything per se. I was basically just curious to see what the detectors were that were employed to actually find gold nuggets in the last year.

 

The survey has many shortcomings. It only polls people who were on the US forums in the last week who cared to respond. The forums have tended as a whole to be Minelab oriented and so it is not surprising results might skew in that direction. Still, I got a large number of responses and so some conclusions can be drawn.

 

I eliminated duplicate and joke responses. I eliminated a couple borrowed units. It was winnowed down to just detectors that found gold for their owners in the last year. Everything else was pretty straight forward. The only thing of note is I put a couple Gold Bug SE responses under the Gold Bug Pro because they are basically the same detector. The SE was just a precursor model. Everything was compiled on a spreadsheet and totaled.

 

114 people responded as having used 220 detectors to find gold nuggets. That is an average of a couple detectors per person but the reality is a lot of people owned three detectors, and then quite a few just one detector. In general you could say many nugget hunters own a couple PI detectors (or a PI and a GPZ) plus a good VLF detector. If you really want to generalize things your could say people own a couple Minelab PI type detectors and a Fisher VLF. The Gold Bug 2 and the Gold Bug Pro were the runaway favorites in the VLF category.

 

Tesoro is conspicuous in their absence. Only one Lobo ST listed. I was a bit surprised to see not one Garrett AT Gold listed. Except for a few ATX units Garrett is pretty much a no-show. White's does a little bit better but still only just over a dozen units out of 220. The TDI PI models are the most popular alternative to the Minelabs with 8 listed.

 

As I noted Fisher totally dominates the VLF detectors with the Gold Bug 2 and Gold Bug Pro. And I was surprised at the very large numbers for both the SDC2300 and GPZ7000. The GPZ in particular due to it being very expensive and out for only the last 6 months. The adoption rate is phenomenal in my opinion.

 

Here are two sets of results. The first is simplified for easy digestion. I have lumped similar models together and not listed onesies and twosies. The second list is the full per model breakdown. Make of it what you will, and thank you for participating!

 

Simplified Results:

 

51 GPX5000/4500/4000

33 GPZ7000

33 SDC2300

32 Gold Bug 2

15 Gold Bug Pro

13 GP3500/3000/GPExtreme

8 White's TDI/DIPro/TDISL/SPP

5 White's GMT/GM3/VSAT

5 Nokta FORS Gold

4 Makro Racer

4 X-Terra 705

3 Garrett ATX

3 XP DEUS

 

Full Results:

 

33 GPZ7000

33 SDC 2300

32 Gold Bug 2

31 GPX5000

15 Gold Bug Pro

11 GPX4500

9 GPX4000

6 GP3000

5 GPExtreme

5 FORS Gold

4 Makro Racer

4 X-Terra 705

3 Garrett ATX

3 White's GMT

3 White's TDI

3 TDI Pro

3 XP DEUS

2 GP3500

2 Fisher F19

2 CTX3030

1 TDI SL

1 White's SPP

1 Troy X5

1 XT17000

1 SD2200V2

1 SD2100V2

1 Tesoro Lobo ST

1 White's GM3

1 White's V/SAT

1 Minelab F1A4

1 Garrett Scorpion

boy there are a lot of misinformed people out there, the Teknetics T2 will smoke every vlf on that list !

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