Entry level gold detector for $500.00 or less.

Tom Emery

Jr. Member
Nov 9, 2021
36
35
Hello prospectors,
I just joined the group. I am planning on prospecting for gold in Arizona and California. I have no experience, but consider myself a quick study.
I will be purchasing a gold metal detector. I don't care if it is used. I don't care if it is vlf. What I will be looking for is the most bang for my buck. I have $500 to invest. I know there must be many threads on this topic. Forgive me for bringing it up again.
I don't want to start any arguments, but I would appreciate any input as to what you bought or would buy as your entry level gold detector for $500 or less. It is not necessary to explain your reasoning, but any information will be useful and appreciated.
A big " Yeeee Haaa" and "Thank You" to all.
 

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Terry Soloman

Gold Member
May 28, 2010
18,840
28,286
White Plains, New York
🥇 Banner finds
1
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab GPZ 7000// Vanquish 540// Nokta Simplex Plus// Nokta Pulsedive// Minelab Pro Find 35// Dune Kraken Sandscoop// Grave Digger Tools Tombstone shovel & Sidekick digger// Bunk's Hermit Pick
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Welcome! At $500.00 you are looking for a used machine. Fisher Goldbug ll; Whites GMT; Tesoro Lobo Supertrac; Minelab Goldmonster. Best of luck!
 

Jim in Idaho

Silver Member
Jul 21, 2012
3,080
4,189
Blackfoot, Idaho
Detector(s) used
White's GM2, GM3, DFX, Coinmaster, TDI-SL, GM24K, Falcon MD20, old Garrett Masterhunter BFO
'Way Too Cool' dual 18 Watt UV light
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
Go find a used Whites Goldmaster 3, or Goldmaster V-SAT. Great detectors, though manual ground balance. Not as simple to operate, but once mastered you won't do any better with any other VLF detector. You'll find them in the $250-$350 range on the used market, but have to be patient.
Jim
 

Jim in Idaho

Silver Member
Jul 21, 2012
3,080
4,189
Blackfoot, Idaho
Detector(s) used
White's GM2, GM3, DFX, Coinmaster, TDI-SL, GM24K, Falcon MD20, old Garrett Masterhunter BFO
'Way Too Cool' dual 18 Watt UV light
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
Ya know, Terry. I've got a GM2 and a GM3, and a GM24K, and once had a GMT. I still think, in terms of sensitivity, the GM3 is the best. I'm heading to Winnemucca in about an hour, and going to try the GM3, and the GM24K. Also taking the modified TDI SL.
Jim
 

Treasure_Hunter

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 27, 2006
44,209
44,216
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
Keep an eye on our classified section, good deals on used detectors pop up there quite often.
 

signal_line

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2011
3,452
1,688
Detector(s) used
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
XP ORX costs a bit more.
 

signal_line

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2011
3,452
1,688
Detector(s) used
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
The XP ORX will hit small gold better than the Monster. Super lightweight is a big plus.
 

Terry Soloman

Gold Member
May 28, 2010
18,840
28,286
White Plains, New York
🥇 Banner finds
1
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab GPZ 7000// Vanquish 540// Nokta Simplex Plus// Nokta Pulsedive// Minelab Pro Find 35// Dune Kraken Sandscoop// Grave Digger Tools Tombstone shovel & Sidekick digger// Bunk's Hermit Pick
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
The XP ORX will hit small gold better than the Monster. Super lightweight is a big plus.
No one I know would agree with this statement.
 

signal_line

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2011
3,452
1,688
Detector(s) used
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Around the 25 minute mark This guy uses both said the ORX wil hit small stuff better than the Gold Big 2 or the Gold Monster. Might not be this video he says it beats the Gold Monster, might have to do your own search on his youtube channel.

 

Terry Soloman

Gold Member
May 28, 2010
18,840
28,286
White Plains, New York
🥇 Banner finds
1
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab GPZ 7000// Vanquish 540// Nokta Simplex Plus// Nokta Pulsedive// Minelab Pro Find 35// Dune Kraken Sandscoop// Grave Digger Tools Tombstone shovel & Sidekick digger// Bunk's Hermit Pick
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Around the 25 minute mark This guy uses both said the ORX wil hit small stuff better than the Gold Big 2 or the Gold Monster. Might not be this video he says it beats the Gold Monster, might have to do your own search on his youtube channel.

Don't know him, and he is shilling for the Deus. NOBODY uses a Deus in the goldfields - at least here in the USA.
 

nuggetshooter323

Hero Member
Jul 22, 2005
687
335
Colorado Springs
Detector(s) used
Nokta Anfibio, XP ORX, Tesoro Tejon, Whites GMT, Nokta Gold Kruzer, Falcon MD20, Fisher F-Pulse, Nokta Pulse Dive, Vibra Probe.
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
For $500 you need to buy used. You can buy a used GMT, MXT Pro, or a Gold Bug II easily for under $500, and for a first detector you'd not be missing out on any feature that the newest detectors on the market offer. Accept for water resistance or being water-proof.
If you go new, you'll get a new detector coved by a warranty, but you have to spend a lot more money. Seeing how you're a newbie, your really not even sure that you'll like nugget hunting all that much to justify spending $1000 on a new unit.
The ORX is only 1.8lbs, breaks down to nothing, and ignores black sand like crazy. The HF 9.5" elliptical coil gives you 35 frequencies between 13khz to 81khz. I've got .12gm and .15gm nuggets that I use to tune my detectors in the field and around the Arkansas River in heavy black sand deposits, and the ORX has no problems finding these nuggets.
 

signal_line

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2011
3,452
1,688
Detector(s) used
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Don't know him, and he is shilling for the Deus. NOBODY uses a Deus in the goldfields - at least here in the USA.
I don't know why people have to put down others and try to make up derogatory stuff about them. I guess it's pride.
 

Treasure_Hunter

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 27, 2006
44,209
44,216
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 don't know why people have to put down others and try to make up derogatory stuff about them. I guess it's pride.
Shilling just means someone is engaged in covert advertising, it isn't derogatory.
 
OP
T

Tom Emery

Jr. Member
Nov 9, 2021
36
35
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #16
For $500 you need to buy used. You can buy a used GMT, MXT Pro, or a Gold Bug II easily for under $500, and for a first detector you'd not be missing out on any feature that the newest detectors on the market offer. Accept for water resistance or being water-proof.
If you go new, you'll get a new detector coved by a warranty, but you have to spend a lot more money. Seeing how you're a newbie, your really not even sure that you'll like nugget hunting all that much to justify spending $1000 on a new unit.
The ORX is only 1.8lbs, breaks down to nothing, and ignores black sand like crazy. The HF 9.5" elliptical coil gives you 35 frequencies between 13khz to 81khz. I've got .12gm and .15gm nuggets that I use to tune my detectors in the field and around the Arkansas River in heavy black sand deposits, and the ORX has no problems finding these nuggets.
I am going to throw you guys a bit of a curve ball. My wife bought me a Fisher Pulse 6x underwater detector for my birthday 15 years ago. At the time we were getting set up to go sailing around the world. Since I made my living underwater, it wasn't a bad gift idea. Problem was, I wasn't much into detecting, above or below. Surfing, fishing and sailing were my life. Fast forward. Things and priorities change. I now have this desire to prospect for gold, above and below the water.
Here is the curveball. Should I upgrade my Fisher Pulse 6x with the 8x coil and new headphones, or should I buy a dedicated land detector?
I initially thought I would just buy a land detector. Now I'm not so sure. The Fisher, after all, Is Pulse induction. The detectors we are talking about are all VLF. If I were a rich man...
I know everyone has their opinion. That's all I'm looking for here. Please...no animosity.
Thanks
 

signal_line

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2011
3,452
1,688
Detector(s) used
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I think that guy is a MInelab dealer. Calling him a shill is the B.S. that some people think they can get away with. I'm calling it.
 

signal_line

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2011
3,452
1,688
Detector(s) used
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hope you get your detector going good. Learning a Pulse on your own is a big task. Clive Clinick (clivesgoldpage) has as good book "Pulse Power" you just have to read up on pulse hunting or else don't waste your time.
 

signal_line

Silver Member
Nov 14, 2011
3,452
1,688
Detector(s) used
XP Deus
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Just so you know, nugget hunting is very difficult. You probably want a detector designed specifically for that. The pulse units go deep but they have issues picking up small gold which is most prevalent in the gold fields. You need plenty of practice with a tiny piece of gold. Attach it to something so you don't lose it when you bury it.
 

Treasure_Hunter

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 27, 2006
44,209
44,216
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 think that guy is a MInelab dealer. Calling him a shill is the B.S. that some people think they can get away with. I'm calling it.
You are entitled to believe what you wish, just don't insult or attack a Treasurenet member over it.
 
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