Which gold detector would be best for beginner

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Hi all,

After working out my budget and doing a little bit of research around that budget, Ai feel that it comes down to GPX4000/4500 (I have seen a few of the latter in the price range I'm looking at) GP3000 or SDC2300.

So I'd like some opinions on which would be best for a beginner and why you think that :) I appreciate any input that people are willing to offer.
 
Welcome to PA, diggerbro. That's a great question - we all had to start somewhere and there are so many choices available now.

Firstly, how much are you planning to spend and how often (days per month/year), do you expect to be out prospecting with it?
 
My thoughts.
Disregard the 3000 and 4000 as have been followed by better machines.
2300 - Top performer on small shallow gold and still at the top performance level on those. Will struggle on deeper (potentially larger) nuggets. Pretty sure fire when searching shallow ground in known goldfields. Cable free operation is an advantage.
4500 - Good all round performer and good on deep nuggets with medium to large coils. Will not match the small nugget performance of a 2300. Requires cable to separate battery.
5000 - Similar all round performance to the 4500 and with addition of fine gold timing its performance on small gold is improved especially with appropriately smaller sized coils.
When searching for nuggets remember that the number of nuggets you will find is proportional to the size (and depth).
Large deep nuggets = Rare
Small shallow nuggets - Common
Mid sized and depth - More than rare but much less than common.
If I am pressed for a recommendation, I would suggest the 2300 as it is the one most likely to get you on the board and you learn a lot by finding gold so the more chance of a find regardless of size the more you learn.
 
My thoughts.
Disregard the 3000 and 4000 as have been followed by better machines.
2300 - Top performer on small shallow gold and still at the top performance level on those. Will struggle on deeper (potentially larger) nuggets. Pretty sure fire when searching shallow ground in known goldfields. Cable free operation is an advantage.
4500 - Good all round performer and good on deep nuggets with medium to large coils. Will not match the small nugget performance of a 2300. Requires cable to separate battery.
5000 - Similar all round performance to the 4500 and with addition of fine gold timing its performance on small gold is improved especially with appropriately smaller sized coils.
When searching for nuggets remember that the number of nuggets you will find is proportional to the size (and depth).
Large deep nuggets = Rare
Small shallow nuggets - Common
Mid sized and depth - More than rare but much less than common.
If I am pressed for a recommendation, I would suggest the 2300 as it is the one most likely to get you on the board and you learn a lot by finding gold so the more chance of a find regardless of size the more you learn.
That's a great reply, thanks very much.
 
Welcome to PA, diggerbro. That's a great question - we all had to start somewhere and there are so many choices available now.

Firstly, how much are you planning to spend and how often (days per month/year), do you expect to be out prospecting with it?
My budget is 3k. The models I mentioned are what I've seen in that price range and have all been mentioned as good gold detectors. How often do I expect to be out? Well at least once a month is the plan. I'd like tonget out one weekend a month and go camping and do some prospecting. That won't depend on finding gold or nor, that's just my plan for this year. I thought I'd love to get into prospecting and so the two will go hand in hand.
 
I thoroughly recommend an SDC2300 for someone starting out but wanting a serious detector:

1) It has minimal controls - mode & threshold. You start at lower modes 1-3 as they are more stable and once you have quite some hours under your belt then you can turn it up to mode 4-5 which are more sensitive but harder to tell the target from the background warble. After deciding mode you set the threshold so it is just a purr when you swing an not silent or bouncy. Thats it ! Go play.

2) Whilst aftermarket coils available they are not at all necessary, the hardwired 8 " coil is perfectly good so you dont need to keep wondering what coil to use or if you should buy another.

3)It has one of the best automatic ground tracking & mineralisation handling systems going so you will have a lot less grief than with some other detectors. It is so good that in most places you wont even know how hard it is working to manage the ground for you as it is all happening in the back ground.

4) it is a reliable detector & rock solid proven build. Not the most ergonomic but you cant have everything

5) there is a lot more tiny gold out there than bigger gold so with the SDC you WILL find some - including stuff other detectors missed. Great way to start & build confidence.

6) The best bit because of 1-5 above you dont have to spend any time learning the technology so you can get out there straight away & focus on swinging & digging which is what it is all about.

PS: It is not just for tiny shallow gold. SDC will find 1/2oz at 400mm no prob. Wont find anything much below 550mm mm but not many other detectors will either without a big coil.
 
My budget is 3k. The models I mentioned are what I've seen in that price range and have all been mentioned as good gold detectors. How often do I expect to be out? Well at least once a month is the plan. I'd like tonget out one weekend a month and go camping and do some prospecting. That won't depend on finding gold or nor, that's just my plan for this year. I thought I'd love to get into prospecting and so the two will go hand in hand.
I agree with those above recommending an SDC for your purposes. If you'd said you were going to be out in the field 5 days a week for the foreseeable future, I'd perhaps have favoured a GPX for its multi-coil, multi-settings versatility (but with a longer learning curve than the SDC).

Another key factor in favour of the SDC is that it folds down into a compact package that easily fits into a backpack, for unrivalled portability. It's also waterproof, so if you're in an area with gold-bearing rivers, you can take it into the water if you want to.
 

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