best pi machine for slat water beaches with a lot of black sand

River Hound

Full Member
Dec 17, 2011
172
67
Primary Interest:
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I recently visited a beach that I couldnt work effectively with a excal 2 , Black sand was pretty thick so now thinking of a pi for those conditions
any input would be appreciated
 
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WaterWalker

Sr. Member
Jan 31, 2007
491
605
Cape Cod, Massachuestts
Detector(s) used
Garrett (Infinium, ATPro, ATX), Minelab Excalibur, Troy (X2 X5), Tesoro Conquistador, Whites (Surfmaster PI, Quantum), JW Fisher 8X, DetectorPro Underwater 8", Minelab Equinox 800, Pro-Find 35
Primary Interest:
Beach & Shallow Water Hunting
Every PI I have used will out perform a VLF in heavy black sand. It really comes down to performance and cost of a specific PI.

In order of the ones I have owned: the Whites 500 PI was my first I sold it and bought a SurfMaster Pro. I saw and liked the dual tones of the Garrett Infinium - great success with the 8 inch mono coil over an 7 year stretch, then the Garrett ATX hit the market and read the improvements over the Infinium - I had to have one and have not seen anything like it since.

My major PROs of the ATX: Dual Tone, Iron Check, Auto Frequency select, Re-Tune, sensitivity and audio adjustments, compact-ability for traveling, changeable coil size and headphone.
My CONs: shaft cam-locks require extensive cleaning and can be difficult to loosen, weight out of water (I use the Minelab ProSwing 45 when I use the ATX out of the water), the coil is rear mount - not center mount, learning curve, oh yes the location of the Iron check button - it is hard to push and hold with 31" gauntlet gloves on. BUT it is a BIG improvement over the turning of a know that is required on the Infinium. HIGH Cost: it just took longer to pay for itself than the other detectors at a third the price.

Of the PIs I have used the Garrett ATX is the easiest to adjust while detecting - all push buttons, the deepest "seeing", and most sensitive to small gold. Of course, the sensitivity to small gold (nuggets) is what the ATX was designed to be best at. I still own the SurfMaster Pro and the they still have a use in my arsenal. The SurfMaster Pro for its light weight and the Infinium for its 8" mono coil.

All this being said, I use the PIs mainly in the salt waters of New England. I find the Minelab Exclaibur better in the water of Florida. Each detector shines over the other in different locations. Visit a club near you and ask them...they will have more local knowledge of the area you are planing on detecting with a PI and other opinions on detecting.
 
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ARC

Gold Member
Aug 19, 2014
31,539
99,120
Tampa Bay
Detector(s) used
JW 8X/ML X2/VP 580
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I recently visited a beach that I couldnt work effectively with a excal 2 , Black sand was pretty thick so now thinking of a pi for those conditions
any input would be appreciated

? ? ?
Hmmm. sure it was set right ?... coil cover clean ?

If money is not a factor... buy a JW 8x Version 2 with a 7.
 

Terry Soloman

Gold Member
May 28, 2010
19,229
29,507
White Plains, New York
🥇 Banner finds
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Detector(s) used
Nokta Makro Legend// Pulsedive// Minelab GPZ 7000// Vanquish 540// Minelab Pro Find 35// Dune Kraken Sandscoop// Grave Digger Tools Tombstone shovel & Sidekick digger// Bunk's Hermit Pick
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
The Tesoro Sand Shark has worked very well for me.
 

Treasure_Hunter

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 27, 2006
45,658
47,648
Florida
Detector(s) used
Minelab_Equinox_ 800 Minelab_CTX-3030 Minelab_Excal_1000 Minelab_Sovereign_GT Minelab_Safari Minelab_ETrac Whites_Beach_Hunter_ID Fisher_1235_X
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I recently visited a beach that I couldnt work effectively with a excal 2 , Black sand was pretty thick so now thinking of a pi for those conditions
any input would be appreciated

What happened when you tried to hunt with the excal in all metal mode (pinpoint)?
 

MTJosh

Full Member
Jan 23, 2014
117
146
AZ & Deer Lodge, MT
Detector(s) used
AT Pro, Garrett propointer Sovereign GT
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I use a Whies DFPI and works good in thick black sand. Same location friends with CTX and sovereign GT had no hope. With thick black sand PI is only think to use. DFPI frequency adjust helps. Adjustment will help with falsing and signal depth
 

cudamark

Gold Member
Mar 16, 2011
11,993
11,406
San Diego
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
3
Detector(s) used
Equinox 800, Fisher Impulse AQ, E-Trac, 3 Excal 1000's, White's GM3 V-sat. White's TM808, VibraProbe, 15" NEL Attack, 5X10 Joey, Steath 920ix and 720i, TRX, etc....
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
With an Excal in heavy black sand, these tips might help you. Work slower than normal, keep the coil very level and at a consistent height off the sand, and try not to bump the sand or set the coil down on it.
 
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River Hound

Full Member
Dec 17, 2011
172
67
Primary Interest:
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Waterwalker thank you for sharing your experience
 

acemagurgle

Greenie
Jan 12, 2016
13
17
Dana point CA
Detector(s) used
whites mxt pro / whites surf pro dual field/minelab xterra 705
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
White's dual field pi is great in black sand and highly mineralized sand
 

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