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  1. #1
    us
    Feb 2008
    South Dakota, B&R in Montana
    Tesoro Silver Umax
    172
    1 times

    Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    Ok, so I know everyone has their own preferences when it comes to their equipment, but what are some ideas of the best MD for under $500? I'm looking at searching old farmsteads dating from around the late 1800's, the area I grew up in is littered with old indian settlements where you can still see the teepee rings, as well as some of the local lakes (swimming holes). Pro's and cons of different units are appreciated, thanks!

    JW

  2. #2
    us
    "Is that a Geiger Counter?"

    Feb 2006
    South Central Upstate NY in the foothills of the headlands
    Minelab Musketeer Advantage Pro w/8" & 10" DD coils/Fisher F75se(Upgraded to LTD2) w/11" DD, 6.5" concentric & 9.5" NEL Sharpshooter DD coils/Sunray FX-1 Probe & F-Point/Black Widows/Rattler headphone
    10,816
    11464 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    Well, I was going to say for relic hunting & deep coins a Minelab Musketeer Advantage has been a great performer for me, but it looks like they had an '08 price increase of $79 and went over the bar.

    There are better choices if you don't want to dig aluminum bottle caps and pull tabs, but it will find any silver or gold to the-width-of-the-coil deep if you have the patience to dig some trash. As you learn it's vocabulary you can bypass a lot of trash (if you dare miss some treasures).

    All good 'ol honest analog technology.
    America was founded by tough hell-raisers. Rugged citizens who evaded taxes, spoke strongly against tyranny, grew tobacco, brewed beer, distilled spirits, and smuggled weapons. And it will be saved by those same types of citizens.

  3. #3
    us
    May 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    E-trac, Explorer II, Xterra30, Whites Prizm IV
    4,910
    30 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.p...topicseen.html

    This is a great deal on a good machine...
    "It isn't the age, it's the mileage" IJ

  4. #4

    Dec 2007
    Tierra del Fuego
    Tesoro.Fisher.Garrett
    3,297
    24 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    It would be a good idea for you to take the time to read through the threads.
    Learn a lot more than asking opinions.
    I like Tesoro, and, you get a lifetime warranty!
    rmptr
    I am a pathological liar and a functional illiterate.

  5. #5
    us
    May 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    E-trac, Explorer II, Xterra30, Whites Prizm IV
    4,910
    30 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    Got a Tesoro Deleon a Minelab Explorer II and I love both machines. Each one has its good and bad points. Tesoro is a great machine and you should be able to get a good one for $500.
    "It isn't the age, it's the mileage" IJ

  6. #6
    us
    Feb 2008
    South Dakota, B&R in Montana
    Tesoro Silver Umax
    172
    1 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    Thanks for the info, it's much appreciated! The more research I do and from the input I receive it sounds like the best thing to do is to just get one and get some 'hands on' experience and go from there. Like they say: practice makes perfect! Thanks again for your input(s)!

    JW

  7. #7
    us
    "Is that a Geiger Counter?"

    Feb 2006
    South Central Upstate NY in the foothills of the headlands
    Minelab Musketeer Advantage Pro w/8" & 10" DD coils/Fisher F75se(Upgraded to LTD2) w/11" DD, 6.5" concentric & 9.5" NEL Sharpshooter DD coils/Sunray FX-1 Probe & F-Point/Black Widows/Rattler headphone
    10,816
    11464 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    The "stick to it" part seems to be lacking with a lot of folks. They change detectors like I change underwear - a different one every month. We have guys in our club with 25 year old machines that still find coins - because they know their equipment. Stick with a name brand and for $500 you should have a detector you can stick with indefinately.

    Every machine is unique and takes time and field practice to learn. Forget air testing. That's like shaking a fishing pole in a sporting goods store and trying to guess how well it will cast and how sensitive it is to detecting strikes. Better than never touching one before buying . . . but not conclusive. Get outdoors and set a coin on the ground if you want to practice making adjustments.

    Get out and dig everything. Bury some things yourself to practice on known objects. Find a nearby town park or tot-lot and hit it as often as possible. I have one near where I work and spend 45 minutes a day playing with the clad. Occasionally something better pops up.

    As Tommy Dorsey said: "Swing, swing, swing."
    America was founded by tough hell-raisers. Rugged citizens who evaded taxes, spoke strongly against tyranny, grew tobacco, brewed beer, distilled spirits, and smuggled weapons. And it will be saved by those same types of citizens.

  8. #8
    us
    May 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    E-trac, Explorer II, Xterra30, Whites Prizm IV
    4,910
    30 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    Small piece of advice which will get me in trouble with a LOT of people here. When you first get your machine dig everything... This is the fastest way to figure out what it is trying to tell you. Also don't expect to feel like you know anything about your machine for at least 3 months or so...
    "It isn't the age, it's the mileage" IJ

  9. #9

    Dec 2007
    Hancock Street, Folsom, CA
    Minelab Explorer SE
    1,074
    13 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    Well, for $500 you can get any number of good machines.
    Depends what you are shooting for, but from your description, sounds like you pretty much can't go wrong. The only thing is if you are a dedicated gold hunter or prospector, or if you go diving, then you might need a specialized machine, but the all-purpose machines from Whites, Garret, Tesoro, etc will
    serve you well. I found as a beginner that notch filtering and target ID is a must-have.
    Good luck.
    In this world of trouble and strife,
    bring some peace to someone's life

  10. #10
    us
    Feb 2005
    Menominee, Michigan
    T-2,
    1,271
    7 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    for that price i would look at tesoros or a used minelab xt 70 or my faverate the teknetics T-2, these all have good depth and fast target recovery speed
    where's the good stuff

  11. #11
    us
    Jan 2007
    Mesquite Texas
    MXT F2
    1,245
    13 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    Tesoro Deleon 479.20
    Whites Prism IV 467.45
    Minelab Xterra 50 499.97
    Garrett GTAx 550 424.96

    Four very good machines under 500.00
    These prices from my dealer are about six months old and may have changed some.
    They are not all the same. Research each one a little. Meters? Tones? Pinpointing?Ground Balance options? ETC.
    There are plenty of users here to answer questions on each.
    There are others but for under 500.00 these would be my choices and I would probably end up with the Tesoro, maybe.

    Good luck with your decision and have fun!
    FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

  12. #12
    us
    Feb 2008
    South Dakota, B&R in Montana
    Tesoro Silver Umax
    172
    1 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    You guys are great!! Thanks for all the info I've gotten from this thread as well as many, many others that I've read. I think I've got it narrowed down to a bounty hunter sharp shooter II. Probably do some final research and purchase sometime in the next month. I look forward to sharing (hopefully!) my finds in the spring once the weather warms and the snow melts. Thanks again!

    JW

  13. #13
    us
    "Is that a Geiger Counter?"

    Feb 2006
    South Central Upstate NY in the foothills of the headlands
    Minelab Musketeer Advantage Pro w/8" & 10" DD coils/Fisher F75se(Upgraded to LTD2) w/11" DD, 6.5" concentric & 9.5" NEL Sharpshooter DD coils/Sunray FX-1 Probe & F-Point/Black Widows/Rattler headphone
    10,816
    11464 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    If that is what you think your next stop should be to the Bounty Hunter forum and ask specifically for input from owners (not friends of neighbors cousins who kne someone who once said that saw a BH Sharp Shooter II in use.

    http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php?board=210.0

    Ask specifically about depth and durability. I've got zero experience with Bounty Hunter, though they are now kissing cousins of my Fisher. I can tell you I was very, very leary on approach.

    America was founded by tough hell-raisers. Rugged citizens who evaded taxes, spoke strongly against tyranny, grew tobacco, brewed beer, distilled spirits, and smuggled weapons. And it will be saved by those same types of citizens.

  14. #14
    us
    DFCA

    Dec 2006
    Kansas
    XP DEUS
    5,905
    50 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    I would be careful about bounty hunter. I have a time ranger and while it does find metal it is extremely touchy and the ID is off. Ask a local dealer about any used detectors w/warranty. that way you can get more detector for the buck

  15. #15
    us
    Sep 2007
    Sweet Home, Oregon
    Primarily my Fisher cz-70 and Compass Relic & Coin, plus many others
    476
    4 times

    Re: Asking the experienced ones!! Best MD for under $500?

    I can't bite my tongue on this any longer...

    Unless I can't read right, I believe that the party in question lives in ND!


    Won't ANYONE please tell him that he lives in a State that has enough iron in the soil to stop a freight train?

    ANY HIGH GAIN detector will be a real pain in the cachukas to operate in that type of soil. It's a totally different state of affairs if he or she searches in Ohio or Illinois, etc, where the soil is mild and meek. For example, in ND, the soil will read a "1" to a "3" on a Fisher GB adjustment, but in Iowa or Ohio it will read at a 5 up to a 9! There is an amazing difference in how badly a high gain detector will handle all that magnetite and hematite in the soil there. In fact, it will likely really suck.

    Fisher 1265 through 1270 will have a real tough time there, but a cz3d or or cz-70, cz6 or cz 7 won't. . So will Minelab Explorers and Sovereigns have a hard time of it. So will Garrett 100's, 150, 250, 300, 400, 550, 750, 1350, 1500, 2000's, and 2500's, but the Infinium will run in it like a brand new Rolls Royce, because it's a PI and the bad soil is little problem for it. A Minelab x-terra 70 does ok, but the 30's and 50's don't do very well and the forums are full of their complaints and they quickly go up for sale. The soil in ND is way too much for the high gain detectors, Garrett, Fisher, or Minelab, or whatever. Even with the factory Garrett add-on aftermarket chip designed to help counter-act the high ground minerals in that part of the country they still have the same problems, too much gain built in.

    A Nautie is one of the deepest detectors made, but does not handle the soil in the iron belt well at all. It sure does in the deep south though, in fact, it is the best thing available for deep relics in that soil, and their record proves it.

    Additionally, Tesoro Deleons, Cortez's, Tejons, Vaqueros, etc. have a real tough time [ground balancing] in it, but the low end Tesoros work BEAUTIFULLY there, even though they rely on auto GB combined with the best of super-fast self adjusting threshold.

    Tesoro can and will re-adjust their high gain detectors for you though if a person sends in a soil sample for them to match it to, and Tesoro does a WONDERFUL job of it too! The newest low-end Fishers work excellent in high iron soil too, and much better than in the eastern and southern USA, Especially if one swings the coils at 4-6 FPS, but they really suck when going too slow, as much as 3 inches less. They are designed to GO DEEPER IF SWUNG FASTER just as the White's 6000, 6db's, 500's 4900's, low-priced White's, all Compasses, Red barons, Bounty Hunters, some Tesoros, older Teknetics, etc were. .

    Mostof the other White's do well if you throw the d--m #^^&$$#() 950 coil in the garbage truck as it goes by, and then you go out and by a smaller or larger coil for it. There is a world of difference if this is done, night and day as far as it running smoothly, no matter which White's you buy. That coil was designed primarily as an "all purpose" for Europe and the eastern USA market and by now most people know it..

    Anybody who has been in this hobby for ten years or more is supposed to know not to recommend a detector that works well in his or her area to someone who lives and operates one in an entirely different one, especially if it's super-high iron type of soil. I know better, and its not just because I repaired detectors either, it's because we just wake up and learn this stuff one day, and then pass it on for the rest of them to be aware of. Oftentimes people really mean well by recommending a detector, but that's not the way to go.

    As a couple of people here have implied, the best thing to do is to go to the detector shops and actually use them before you buy. And then after that, go check out a club and see which ones work the best in your area. If you don't, you may wind up hating the detector and the person who recommended it to you too. You can't get a lot of the right information you need by reading these posts, you have to do the "hands-on" thing too. It wil serve you the best, and the most.

    BTW, I'll be buying a 1 year old Garrett 1350 for $250 tomorrow. This is not a joke. The poor guy lives next to the high iron/salt beaches in southern Oregon, and it can't handle the bad ground at all. I'll be using it now and then in the tot lots, or maybe I'll modify the GB and reduce the gain so that it will work a little better. Maybe I'll sell it for a little extra $$, but not to anyone from around here. I don't need any enemies..

    HH, and I think it's time for a nice cup of jo and maybe a cookie or two.

    EasyMoney

 

 
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