All the gals I took to the dance…..

When you get older you tend to think a lot about the past, or as they say, the “good ole days”,  and I am no different. Someone emailed me last night, and wanted my opinion  on which detector to buy. My response to his question, (and others I receive just like it)? What are you planning to use it for, what are your expectations, where do you live, how much time do you have to  participate, and most  important, how much money are you willing to spend? It got me thinking about all the various brands and models I have used over the years,  and how each one actually added to my overall enjoyment of this pastime.

It was in the early 70’s that I first begin to think about buying a metal detector. I was an amateur coin collector of sorts…one of those guys who tried to fill in  the holes in the various coin books. I subscribed to Numismatic News and Coin World, and  inevitably my eyes would be drawn to those metal detector adds. Finding coins for free sounded a helluva lot better than paying for them.

My first detector....

My first detector….

One day at work I brought up the subject to a co-worker, and he told me about a friend of his whose father sold metal detectors. A few days later I called the
gentleman, and bought my first metal detector….a White’s Coinmaster. Paid it off by giving him what few extra dollars I  had each week (unbeknownst to my wife), and after about six weeks, I had it in my hands.

After beating around the bushes I finally told Fay what it cost (if I remember right it was about $250), and of course she wasn’t overly happy, and  she was right on my heels when I took it out to the front yard and turned it on. I had no clue what to do with it, but somehow I managed to dig every nail  and bottle cap ever manufactured. That did not help in convincing Fay that I not had been “taken for a ride”.

The next morning I took it down to a park in Frenchtown, New Jersey. Turned it on, still not understanding what the hell metal/mineral meant, and dug the first  beep I heard, and to my surprise and relief, it was a 1964 quarter. Of course Fay wasn’t there to see it, but this “thing” apparently could find coins! Keep in mind too that silver hadn’t been out of circulation  all that long at the time, and finding that same coin today is a lot more exciting, but it was still nice knowing that maybe I hadn’t wasted my money.

My interest in metal detecting grew in leaps and bounds, as did my finds, and my metal detector purchases. I went from the Coinmaster to a Compass Judge II, and  then onto a Garrett Groundhog VLF/TR (remember reverse discrimination?). Next was a Fisher 553D (double stacked tuners….you could turn knobs forever), a White’s 6000,  and 6000di Series2 (my sentimal favorite), a Garrett AT3 (one of the first waterproof detectors), a Garrett  Freedom 3, Grand Master, and for the past 22 years I have finally  settled in with my first love….anything White’s.

Compass Judge 2

Compass Judge 2

Fisher 553D

Fisher 553D

Garrett Ground Hog VLF/TR

Garrett Ground Hog VLF/TR

I have used all of the 6000 series, the Eagle, Spectrum, XLT, Classic, MXT, DFX, V3i, and I am now very happy with my MXT Pro.

Detectors I still own? Garrett Freedom 3, Garrett VLF/TR Groundhog, White’s Liberty Di (Fay’s detector) White’s V3i and MXT Pro. Is there  one I am sorry I got rid of? Yes, the White’s 6000di Series 2 (have been looking for a used one now for some time (preferably hip mount). I have  also field tested other brands and models over the years, but did not keep them or use them for any extended period.

My current girlfriend...the MXT Pro

My current girlfriend…the MXT Pro

If this sounds like an advertisement for White’s Electronics, so be it. There are a lot of reasons for my close association with the company, but I will not go  into it here. Suffice to say they make a great product, and the people at the factory are like family to me. Let me also add that there are a lot of other  manufacturers out there who also make great detectors. The ultimate decision of what to buy is yours and yours alone. Whatever you choose, good luck and good hunting.



Well, it figures. I agree to do the show, and nothing works. It’s the ole Dick Stout curse. The folks at Relic Roundup could not work out  their audio problems last night, and after about twenty minutes of trying, decided to cancel and reschedule. So for all of you who were so anxious to hear me  (all two of you) you will have to tune in again on December 17th.  Sorry.



Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “All the gals I took to the dance…..

  1. Robbie

    Different detectors will feel different in each individuals hands. Try and purchase one that feels good in your hands with the features you want. You don’t need the best detector but you should —BE the best with the detector you use.

  2. Robbie

    Dick, You might try contacting some of the Whites service centers, to see if they have a hipmount conversion kit for the older blue box detectors, laying around….that way when you do find an old detector to buy, you will have the kit for it.

  3. Joe(TX)

    …..I have come back around full circle…I started with a Garrett (Sidewinder BFO)…and thru the years went thru most detectors made….Now I use mainly my Garrett Groundhog and a Compass XP-Pro……I think that it is just finding the detector that you are most comfortable with and sticking with it……Joe

  4. Word on the street has it that Whites are doing a Zimmer Frame conversion. Ideal in a lot of ways, as you can hang a pickaxe from it for the hard Texas soils.

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