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.
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.
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.
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.
RELIC ROUNDUP SHOW RESCHEDULED
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.