What About The Garrett Infinium For gold Prospecting?

Hard Prospector

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I've been using my Whites TDI for some time now and have been very pleased with its performance but have always wondered about the Garrett PI detector. Any input, opinions and experience with the Infinium would be appreciated. Thanks....Rob
 
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Jim in Idaho

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Steve Herschbach

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I have used both the Infinium and TDI and in both cases paid for the machines with gold found. They are fairly comparable for sensitivity and depth. There is no advantage in you getting an Infinium except it being waterproof. The TDI has more adjustability and a better coil selection by far.

That said I have been holding out for an underwater TDI. If Carl can't put one in my hands before too soon I may have to get another Infinium. I want to do some mask and snorkel nugget detecting.
 

gunsil

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Infinium has five coils available, isn't that enough?? Look up Infinium on youtube, there is a guy out west making some nice little videos of himself gold hunting with his Infinium.
 

Steve Herschbach

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I was not knocking the Infinium. I'm sure I've found more gold than most people with an Infinium. But since you asked, no, in my opinion, five is not enough. Many Infinium owners have wished for a 16" or larger coil.
 

Jim Hemmingway

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Hi Rob… my comments are predicated strictly on silver hunting. The depth / sens so desirable for comparatively small gold is not nearly so important for our larger silver. Both these units acquire excellent depth on silver in tougher ground mineral here, with the added advantage of decent high conductive iron handling… mostly elongated re: nails, spikes, drill rods… as described in the silver report mentioned above. You may want to see even more Infinium information at this link http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/c...erfields-ontario-revised-february-2011-a.html.

As Steve says, unless you have a need for a waterproof unit, I’d stick with your TDI for gold hunting. At bare thresholds it is the more sensitive and deeperseeking unit. It has flexibility with its manual GB adjustments to variable ground conditions, such that reduced GB settings over more moderate ground minerals can improve depth to low conductives and improve threshold stability. The TDI definitely feels lighter on the arm.

Infinium can certainly be used for gold hunting over tough ground minerals where VLFs struggle, and in areas where hotrocks are prevalent. The threshold can be increased to improve signal response such that it matches the TDI over a wide range of target sizes. But a threshold increase must be compensated with a corresponding reduction in headphone volume to preference.

Infinium has a limited coil selection. The sensitive 8” round mono is a lightweight, good all-around nugget hunter. The 14” mono isn’t quite as sensitive to small stuff, but improves coverage and goes deeper on larger pieces. I’m not fussy on Infinium’s DD coils for prospecting applications… the 14" is too heavy and insensitive, while the others are not deepseeking, and the 14" DD has a tendency to signal large iron as a good target compared to the mono coils. But fortunately the mono coils have handled any mineralizations encountered here to date. I wish Garrett had produced an 8” to 10” elliptical mono for searching in and around rocks and brush. And as Steve notes, a larger coil to improve depth and coverage.

Infinium cannot selectively eliminate either high or low conductive target signals, an important TDI attribute in elevated EMI environs or when searching mining camps where trash abounds. Multiple hi-low / lo-hi Infinium signals in high-density trash sites are a challenge that TDI easily handles by comparison.

Neither of these units is a Minelab for depth / sens. But in bad ground / hotrock areas where the gold size is sufficient to generate a signal, either of these units is a significant improvement over VLFs that struggle in those conditions.

Jim.
 
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Hard Prospector

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Your input is very much appreciated Jim and Steve, thanks. The reason my interest in the infinium is mainly because its waterproof.
 

Terry Soloman

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Your input is very much appreciated Jim and Steve, thanks. The reason my interest in the infinium is mainly because its waterproof.

HP, the Tesoro Sand Shark is also waterproof, and I have found a couple of nuggets with it but the Infinium and the Sand Shark are not good nugget shooters. ALL of the low power PI machines (including the TDI) will find gold. The problem is that none of them are as good as a single frequency VLF machine at finding small gold between 1” – 7” deep. You would probably do just as well in freshwater with a Garrett AT Gold.
 

GarretDiggingAz

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Terry says yes to the ATG. Thanks Terry.

That's why I got mine. At least to start. Lol then after I find my 2 oz of gold I'll get my PI to hit the fields. While my kids then use the ATG to save up for theirs. Won't be till another couple weeks till hopefully dr says good. :(
 

GarretDiggingAz

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If like to try the sand shark and the infinium for some snorkeling. I've got a couple areas to try. Anybody got a couple I could borrow come summertime? My boat will hopefully be ready by then.
 

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You really do not like the TDI and Infinium, do you Terry? Is it possible for you to conceive of circumstances where they might be useful for finding gold? Do you have any helpful advice for the owners of these detectors?

The way you come across to me is that as an owner of a GPX 5000 these "low power PI machines" are unworthy of your consideration.

Steve Herschbach
 

Terry Soloman

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You really do not like the TDI and Infinium, do you Terry? Is it possible for you to conceive of circumstances where they might be useful for finding gold? Do you have any helpful advice for the owners of these detectors?

The way you come across to me is that as an owner of a GPX 5000 these "low power PI machines" are unworthy of your consideration.

Steve Herschbach

No Steve, I really don't like either one of the machines. I have used them both and compared them side-by-side with the Whites Dual Field and Tesoro Sand Shark. At $1,500.00 the TDI is overpriced by about $700.00 - in my never humble opinion. It is a "Gimmick" machine, that is marketed as, "The poor man's Minelab GPX." The often heard argument of, "Well not everyone can afford a GPX," is a redirect, and should be countered with, "Well, they shouldn't pay twice what a machine is worth either." You will find everything that you would find with a TDI, using the Dual Field or Tesoro Sand Shark - at HALF the price. None of these machines are as good as a used Minelab SD2200 or GP3000, which you can pick up for less than a new TDI.

You know, I found a 2.7 gram nugget on the east side of Rich Hill, Arizona with a Garrett Ace 250, in 2007. I guess any machine can be a gold nugget machine in the right circumstances. I found several three and four- gram nuggets in the Bradshaws with my Tesoro Sand Shark. If the gold is big and shallow enough, like the "Boot of Cortez," a $99.00 Radio Shack machine will find it.

For gold nugget shooting (anywhere but maybe the Sudan or the Klondike), low powered PI units like the TDI, Infinium, Dual Field and Sand Shark, are all in the same class - second.
 

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Steve Herschbach

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Apparently you have not shopped used Minelabs lately Terry.

is there a forum on TreasureNet where people with an interest in these detectors can discuss them without being treated as second class citizens?

Steve Herschbach
 

Terry Soloman

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Apparently you have not shopped used Minelabs lately Terry.

is there a forum on TreasureNet where people with an interest in these detectors can discuss them without being treated as second class citizens?

Steve Herschbach

I'm not "treating," I am "expressing" Steve. This is my opinion. It comes from my experience. My opinion may have no bearing on your reality. I accept that without malice.
 

Steve Herschbach

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"You will find everything that you would find with a TDI, using the Dual Field or Tesoro Sand Shark - at HALF the price"

Terry, that statement clearly indicates to me that you have never encountered conditions requiring the use of the ground balance on the Garrett Infinium or White's TDI. Lacking that experience you lack an understanding of the value of a ground balance circuit on a pulse induction metal detector. You therefore accuse Garrett and White's of ripping people off by charging twice as much as you believe they are worth, since machine costing half as much perform just fine for you in your limited experience. You are like a person in low mineral ground using a Gold Bug 2 complaining that a GPX 5000 is a rip off because it can't find any gold that the Gold Bug 2 will easily find. After all, the GPX 5000 costs over six times as much as a Gold Bug 2 so it should do what a Gold Bug 2 does, right? You think $1600 is charging too much for a detector and are fine with almost $6000?

If Minelab had believed as you do the SD 2000 would never have been developed and everyone in Australia would be swinging a Sand Shark. I do not for one second believe the Infinium or TDI are nearly as good as a GPX 5000 and I recommend anyone who can afford it should get one. If you want to shop used you can get used older model Minelabs for about twice the price of an Infinium or TDI. That right there should tell people how good the Minelabs are.

The fact is however is that the TDI and Infinium are the clear second choices after Minelab. For people in places that require the use of a ground balance circuit on a PI - and that quite clearly is not you Terry - they are low priced options. By definition a non-ground balancing PI will outperform a ground balancing PI in conditions that do not require the ground balance circuit. The TDI with the ground balance turned off will get more depth in ground that does not require the ground balance. The GPX 5000 will go dramatically deeper with the ground balance system shut off in ground that does not require the system. But then, you have probably never encountered that ground with your GPX 5000, have you Terry?

One reason I very much prefer the TDI compared to the Infinium is I can turn the ground balance off on the TDI. The TDI outperforms the Dual Field under most conditions that do not require ground balancing when you turn the ground balance off. When you encounter conditions where engaging the ground balance provides an advantage, only then do you do so. Again, you clearly do not understand what the advantages are of a ground balance setting on a PI nor understand when it should or should not be used. There is a reason it can be turned on or off. Sometimes you need it, most times you do not.

Never encountering something does not mean it does not exist. What makes you interesting Terry is your professed lack of humbleness. You actually are proud of that? Well maybe if you would be a little more humble you would be a little more open to learning things. You can't learn when you are convinced you already know it all.

Your pronouncements fly because for most people under most conditions they are indeed good advice. I do agree that most people are better served by a good VLF. I do think they should just dig deeper and get a Minelab if they can afford to do it. But I know the engineers who worked on the Infinium and the TDI because I tested prototypes of both machines. Frankly I find the implication that the machines are worthless and that the companies are ripping people off by selling them at higher prices insulting. A lot of people put in some work developing those machines. I know the engineers are to a large degree prohibited for speaking up for themselves so I feel compelled to speak out on the subject. I would hate to see your lack of experience pass off as fact to people who do not know any better.

Steve Herschbach
 

Jim Hemmingway

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Steve… any experienced operator can attest to the truth behind your comments about the ground-balancing PI units. Below are a few quick thoughts… I have to run into town shortly.

I own the Infinium and TDI Pro. In my moderate ground here at home, the TDI Pro has to be ground-balanced at a setting of 8 ½ to work effectively. And that is not anything close to its best depth setting over low conductives that can be had over less mineralized ground. But that’s the setting required here… it cannot be operated at a reduced GB setting, and the ground balance control certainly cannot be turned off. If it could be… even more depth can be had. But that is neither here nor there because as many realize... these units are designed to work over bad ground where VLF units either struggle or don’t work at all. That is the main benefit of a ground-balancing PI unit.

With these PI units ground-balanced here…there is little difference in the detection depth achieved by my VLF prospecting-capable units and my TDI Pro or Infinium over “freshly buried” deep nickels or lead “nuggets” in the pennyweight range. As expected… the VLF units are much more responsive to smaller stuff. But if you get over more highly mineralized ground in prospecting country, then things change dramatically and these PI units show their real value. Short example…

I’d discovered a small productive spot years ago. Silver was mixed in with predominately a diabase substrate and other high magnetic mafics. I found many shallow ores with both MXT and F75. Lots of diggings… but never much beyond roughly a foot depth. That was the depth limit of my VLF units over that ground… typically GB90ish and nearly max on the Fe3O4 readout on the F75. These units just would not penetrate further.

A few years later I returned to the same spot with my PI units, hoping to get a bit more depth. It came as quite a surprise to find one signal after another at much improved depths… absolutely no comparison. By the end of several days that area was completely pockmarked with deep holes, many were approaching two feet depth or what I think of as “shoulder-in-the-hole” depth. It wasn’t fun digging those deep holes but it was more than worthwhile.

At that point, realizing I was over a productive deposit…I excavated… moving tons of worthless material over the next five weeks and recovering just under 280 lbs of quality silver. That is not a boast… and it’s no secret up this way… there were lots of visitors and of course family members were present as well. I’d hit silver stringers where silver was so plentiful that at times I didn’t even bother to look over specimens… but tossed them safely aside to be collected and bagged later.

What made this windfall possible? One answer… those ground-balancing PI units... the Infinium and TDI Pro... were entirely responsible for discovering precious silver at depths that my VLF units did not, and could not possibly see. If the PI units couldn't have been ground-balanced... they simply could not have worked there.

Jim.
 
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Carl-NC

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There are places where a GPX will run that a TDI/Infinium won't, making the GPX worth the add'l cost over the TDI/Infinium.

There are places where a TDI/Infinium will run that a SMPI/Sandshark won't, making the TDI/Infinium worth the add'l cost over the SMPI/Sandshark.

There are places where a SMPI/Sandshark will run that a VLF won't, making the SMPI/Sandshark a better choice than a VLF.

And there are nuggets that a VLF will detect that a SMPI/Sandshark or a TDI/Infinium or a GPX won't detect, making a VLF a... errr... better choice than all those PI detectors.

Best thing is, buy one of each.

That said I have been holding out for an underwater TDI. If Carl can't put one in my hands before too soon I may have to get another Infinium.

DOH! I'm hurrying, really!
 

Steve Herschbach

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"Best thing is, buy one of each"

I do, I do! Sometimes more than once!! I am talking myself into another GMT at the moment. I will try to be patient for the waterproof TDI but from the moment I ran the prototype in Hawaii I have been wishing for one. I have never had a detector behave better for me on Kauai than the TDI and it was killing me standing on the beach wishing I could jump in the surf with it.
 

Terry Soloman

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"You will find everything that you would find with a TDI, using the Dual Field or Tesoro Sand Shark - at HALF the price"

Terry, that statement clearly indicates to me that you have never encountered conditions requiring the use of the ground balance on the Garrett Infinium or White's TDI. Lacking that experience you lack an understanding of the value of a ground balance circuit on a pulse induction metal detector. You therefore accuse Garrett and White's of ripping people off by charging twice as much as you believe they are worth, since machine costing half as much perform just fine for you in your limited experience. You are like a person in low mineral ground using a Gold Bug 2 complaining that a GPX 5000 is a rip off because it can't find any gold that the Gold Bug 2 will easily find. After all, the GPX 5000 costs over six times as much as a Gold Bug 2 so it should do what a Gold Bug 2 does, right? You think $1600 is charging too much for a detector and are fine with almost $6000?

If Minelab had believed as you do the SD 2000 would never have been developed and everyone in Australia would be swinging a Sand Shark. I do not for one second believe the Infinium or TDI are nearly as good as a GPX 5000 and I recommend anyone who can afford it should get one. If you want to shop used you can get used older model Minelabs for about twice the price of an Infinium or TDI. That right there should tell people how good the Minelabs are.

The fact is however is that the TDI and Infinium are the clear second choices after Minelab. For people in places that require the use of a ground balance circuit on a PI - and that quite clearly is not you Terry - they are low priced options. By definition a non-ground balancing PI will outperform a ground balancing PI in conditions that do not require the ground balance circuit. The TDI with the ground balance turned off will get more depth in ground that does not require the ground balance. The GPX 5000 will go dramatically deeper with the ground balance system shut off in ground that does not require the system. But then, you have probably never encountered that ground with your GPX 5000, have you Terry?

One reason I very much prefer the TDI compared to the Infinium is I can turn the ground balance off on the TDI. The TDI outperforms the Dual Field under most conditions that do not require ground balancing when you turn the ground balance off. When you encounter conditions where engaging the ground balance provides an advantage, only then do you do so. Again, you clearly do not understand what the advantages are of a ground balance setting on a PI nor understand when it should or should not be used. There is a reason it can be turned on or off. Sometimes you need it, most times you do not.

Never encountering something does not mean it does not exist. What makes you interesting Terry is your professed lack of humbleness. You actually are proud of that? Well maybe if you would be a little more humble you would be a little more open to learning things. You can't learn when you are convinced you already know it all.

Your pronouncements fly because for most people under most conditions they are indeed good advice. I do agree that most people are better served by a good VLF. I do think they should just dig deeper and get a Minelab if they can afford to do it. But I know the engineers who worked on the Infinium and the TDI because I tested prototypes of both machines. Frankly I find the implication that the machines are worthless and that the companies are ripping people off by selling them at higher prices insulting. A lot of people put in some work developing those machines. I know the engineers are to a large degree prohibited for speaking up for themselves so I feel compelled to speak out on the subject. I would hate to see your lack of experience pass off as fact to people who do not know any better.

Steve Herschbach

Gosh Steve, that was quite the rant! You put a lot of words in my mouth, and called me a know-nothing. Wow.

Well, at least now I know it's personal and not professional.

Do you think there are that many places in the United Sates that have soils so hot that only a TDI or Infinium will work, and a Dual Field or Sand Shark won't? Where are they? There is no place in California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon or New Mexico, that I have detected where the TDI or Infinium would be an advantage over a Whites GMT, or Dual Field for that matter. Ground balancing on such a low power machine is like putting tennis shoes on a 350-pound man, and calling him a "track star."

I loved this one! "Your pronouncements fly because for most people under most conditions they are indeed good advice." Sweet Mother of Pulse Induction Steve! Is that your way of saying, "Well, you're right Terry, but we REAL experts don't like you making it seem so simple"?

Let's get real Steve, and just be honest with folks. A full 90-percent of the people that own a Minelab GPX, a TDI, or an Infinium, live and prospect in areas where they would do just as well with a Goldbug, Lobo, or GMT.

You don't know anything about me or my experience Steve. You have never hunted with me or looked into my eyes. You have no idea how many hours I have on the TDI or Infinium – or where I have used these two machines to form my opinion. Yet, you have no problem at all assuming I have “no experience” and don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m sorry, but being insulted because I personally believe the TDI is way overpriced is mental hurdle you’ll have to overcome in your own time. I never said your friends machines were “worthless,” Steve – that is your word. I said they are WAY overpriced, and are no better than a Dual Field or Sand Shark when it comes to gold prospecting.
I’ll stand by my opinion, without attacking you personally. I just don’t see the need.
 

Steve Herschbach

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Hi Terry,

I am being honest and I offered my opinion including my professional opinion of your level of knowledge on this subject. It is there and I will leave it at that. I welcome the opportunity to contrast my opinion with yours. People are free to judge for themselves.

Steve Herschbach
 

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