An Offer You Can’t Refuse!

Flush with Money?

Someone asked about the various detectors I owned and used over the years and whether or not I thought they would still find stuff today. The answer is of course they would. What they won’t do I’m sure is go as deep as the models currently on the market. The technology has changed drastically AND so has the end user strategy.

When I first got involved in the great pastime I new nothing about detectors. Nada! Zilch! I bought my first detector (big box Coinmaster) because the only person selling them in my area told me it was the best one for what I wanted to do….find coins. It was also the “only” one I could afford and that’s even somewhat of a lie. I never told Fay I was buying one and I didn’t actually get it until I had paid it in full at around $30 a week.

My first detector was a Coinmaster very similar to the one in this photo….

Fortunately for me the Coinmaster did indeed find coins even though all I knew to do was turn it on and set it to metal (as opposed to mineral). I dug it all, every damn beep, every bottlecap, nail and piece of foil and you know what? It didn’t really matter, the coins were coming and I was happy as a pig in you know what….

As I continued having fun I started buying magazines, looking at other brands, other models and in the process becoming a little more knowledgeable about what else was available. A natural progression I suppose. Next on my wish list was a TR machine. According to the magazine ads they could eliminate those pesky trash items and if so, I had to have one. My first was a Compass Judge II. Why that particular detector? Because it was the only one I could afford and it was advertised as a great coin machine.

Compass Judge 2

The Judge performed as advertised and my coin finds increased.  It was lighter, a lot easier to swing and it was more versatile. I could use as much and as little discrimination as I wanted. It also had push button tuning. Great machine for me at the time.

Then I sort of graduated, splurged, whatever, moving up to a White’s 6000D, then a Garrett Goundhog VLF/TR. Two excellent detectors that accounted for a noticeable uptick in my silver finds, though admittedly back then there wasn’t a whole lot of competition and you weren’t chased from parks or schools.

Next, and in no particular order – a Fisher 553, Garrett AT3, Freedom 3, Master Hunter 7, Grand Master, White’s Eagle and as a field tester, most White’s models as they came out. Forgetting the field test models most every detector I purchased was the model I could afford, NOT the top of the line.

Fisher 553D

Today you hardly ever hear anyone talking about anything but the top of the line detectors and I think one reason for this is that years ago the finds were more plentiful and the beginning hobbyist tended to stick with the lesser expensive, low end detector. Today it’s much harder to find the better treasures and beginners equate spending more with finding more.

It’s also apparent many of you are flush with disposable cash. Either that or you’re going into hock in order to find a few more shekels, but hey it’s your money to do with as you please. Go crazy! If however, after buying that top of the line detector, you still feel frustrated, I’m offering good, useful, backed up by years of experience, can’t miss tips, secrets and advice for the very low price of $499.95 (interest free payment plans available) I accept cash, money order or wine…


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45 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

45 responses to “An Offer You Can’t Refuse!

  1. Tony

    Cool memories of beep and dig detectors. I came into the hobby/sport and some were still around. I still have my Garrett Grand Master and need to take it apart and fix the battery connections. I just might give it to my grandson – he will love it because as we all know – “It will find Treasure!”

    There are a few forums that allow folks to post about vintage detectors and believe it or not folks do post about them. There is also a Modification Forum where folks post mods of those oldies but goodies.I enjoy talking about the past with detectors and live – mainly because of the fun we had back then.

    • “and believe it or not folks do post about them….” Of course I believe it. That’s what old farts folks do! You should know better than anyone Tony!

  2. john taylor

    a “wise” man “never” lies to the better half!..now you know this “stouty”! but then again, you are in a “unique class”..i’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

  3. john taylor

    i have my “moments” dick, when i want to exhibit them! ehe! heh he!
    i’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

  4. Great post as usual, and a pleasant trip down memory lane.

  5. I do remember how great it was to grab the old Garrett Deepseeker and hit a park or school on a hard-earned weekend. It was a real adventure then and nobody bothered you, no one yelled and threw you off the property, and if you even saw the police, they would ask if you found anything good and would smile. The old machines were mysterious, and you garnered a certain pride in learning to operate them. Big toggle switches closed with that solid CLICK (no “touch pads” then), graduated dials and meters on a heavy-metal, thickly-enameled control box with those solid dinner-platter co-planar coils at the end of the shaft. They were built like bulldozers then. Nowadays, you put a little pressure the shaft, and the entire thing breaks off the plastic control box. I remember using one of my old detectors, back in the day, as a paddle, trying to get back to our ship from a deserted island when the skiff’s motor quit. I wouldn’t try that nowadays. Good post Dick…interesting list of machines you have owned! Several boxes of wine are on the way..

    • “They were built like bulldozers then”….Sure were, especially the Garrett models.

      “Several boxes of wine are on the way”….You meant CASES right?

  6. In another 10 years I’ll be able to post about my archaic E-trac, and how I used to find coins at cellar holes with it. The post will include pics of my grandaughter, now 15, with all the coins she found at Oma’s old cellar holes (a mere 15” down), with her new “Super Duper Depth Trac Awesome X” machine.

    • I hope that comes to be Diva, but I’d be worried that there would still be places to use a detector. No one seems to worry about that anymore….

      • john taylor

        everyone “should” worry about that! keeping’ “sampsons” out of the parks, and learning to dig properly need to be required learning “before” one takes to the field! restricting digging to one’s own back yard definitely has it’s drawbacks.”some” in the hobby “need” to reflect upon what they are doing, before they do it! ..i’m just sayin’

        (h.h.!)
        j.t.

  7. john taylor

    reverend! you have to ‘stick up for yourself” or you ain’t never gonna see that “groundhog!” he disparaged you! show some “grit!” my god! man! what would the queen think?.i’m just sayin’
    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

      • john taylor

        ??? huh?..(w.t.f.) maybe need to back off on the “red” dick! seems like cat’s got your tongue!..meeeoowww!.ehe he he! hey dick! i got a suggestion for a blog subject for ya!..why not tell in detail how you got the job working for charlie garrett. gotta remember, ya can’t lie to nigel,john,or myself. we ain’t related to ya! i’m just sayin’

        (h.h.!)
        j.t.

      • J.T. Give it a break please….

  8. Ed B.

    Thanks for another excellent post Dick…..many if not most of us old timers can certainly relate to it. It seems though that no matter what you write there’s always someone to spew some kind of “babble” about it……I’M JUST SAYIN’

  9. john taylor

    ok! dick! we are all “adults” here! my suggestion is a good one! i believe people would like to hear about your
    “adventures” at garrett. when e.f. hutton talks..(fill in the blanks!)..i’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

    • J.T. I shared all that a few times here over the years -just recently in February of this year (a throwback post) and in fact five of the 23 comments were yours so I’m not sure what your angle is but cool it.

  10. Joe Patrick

    OK Dick, now you’ve done it!

    I suppose you’ve raised a sore spot of mine which is that for some strange odd reason many in this hobby/sport today think that success only comes with owning the “best” and most expensive top-end metal detector(s) available. Does it help… yes, BUT!

    Let’s throw out a couple of valid analogies. Can buying the best baseball bat made make you star hitter? How about owning the best and fastest race car? Does that mean you will win every race? Likely, not even one if you are going up against professional drivers. How about owning a full line of expensive auto-mechanic tools? Does that automatically make you a master mechanic? I could go on and on with examples. But the bottom line is… are you ready? It’s not the tools but the education, training and experience that make one successful no matter what they do. After you know what you are doing, then the best tools become vitally important.

    So then, why in our hobby do so many believe that success is guaranteed and only comes from owning the best and most expensive metal detector? I mean, really think about it guys. A concert pianist can make almost any piano sound great. A good mechanic knows how to fix almost any car problem regardless of the quality of his tools, but good tools do help. I am sure that you get the picture and I could name scores of other examples.

    You cannot surpass and short-cut knowledge and experience by throwing dollars at the problem. Want success? Find good places to detect. Fully learn what each and every control does on your metal detector. Practice, practice, practice. No matter what metal detector you own. Learn its sounds and nuances.

    You might notice from my recent post that I own and use many very old metal detectors. Why? Because I have put decades of time into learning everything about them and have successfully used them for untold numbers of hours in the field. They truly talk to me. Although many new metal detectors are very good, at my age, I simply may not have decades of time left to learn to use them as well as my “old-timer” machines.
    There is nothing wrong with owning the best equipment. But don’t make the mistake of putting the cart before the horse. For the most part, you will get out of this hobby what you put into it. I wish you much success!

  11. It’s called technological advancements…Old people don’t understand, and that’s understandable! Still sour on life I see…why did I even click that link?

  12. Thanks for the input Ozarks….

  13. Joe

    Kind of a loaded subject/question, Dick, as I’m sure that the majority of your readers are well past the entry-level detector stage. And that’s not a knock on cheaper/simpler units, but just a calculated assumption, since most of the diehards in this hobby tend to buy middle of the line or higher end equipment. As for if the more expensive units are needed, it all comes down to the user and what the applications will be.

    Someone newer to the hobby, or maybe a person who just likes getting out to coinshoot for clad a few times per month can get away with almost any sub-$200 machine. Same is true for those who do heavy, heavy research, and go way off the beaten path, where few others have been before. Even truer for the door knockers, since most of what they find will be shallower to mid-depth targets.

    Like you though, I’m mainly chasing the older coins & relics. Where I hunt (mostly pre-1900 parks & fields), the stuff that’s left is either extremely deep, or co-mingled with trash. This means using detector that can not only hit deep, but equally as important, one that can RELIABLY & CONSISTENTLY give me a good ballpark indicator on what the target might be, and can separate fairly well. Unfortunately, a machine having these abilities doesn’t come cheap.

    As others have said (better than I can), it’s not the equipment as much as it is the user. I agree with that 100%. I know people that shoot pool who will whip anyone with a $300 stick using a warped, beat up house cue. Or the fisherman who uses a basic set-up and can pull fish out like there’s no tomorrow. But when it comes to sophisticated electronics, in general, you get what you pay for in most cases.

    Bottom line, even the most expensive detector won’t find what’s not there. And knowing your machine – whatever it cost – is critical. But this hobby has so many niches and subsets that it isn’t as black & white as saying just buy the cheapest, or just purchase the best. What will you be hunting for? Where? What’s your experience level? How often do you get out? Ad infinitum.

    The biggest sector of this hobby are the coin hunters. And most of us tend to hunt many of the same places due to convenience, enjoyment, availability and so forth. All else being equal (knowledge, technique, etc.), I’ll gladly use any added edge I can get, even if it means spending a bit more (within reason).

    Believe you me…I’m a pretty frugal guy. If I can get away with using a $200 or $300 detector, I’d do it in a heartbeat! But this hobby isn’t getting easier, it’s getting harder. Coins don’t reproduce like fish. Any help I can get finding the crumbs that are left over is alright with me 🙂

    • Hi Joe (and for those reading these comments this is Joe Grasso, not Joe Patrick) good to hear from you again. Your take on this is well stated and your points very valid. You have to remember I’m older, tired and look at this pastime a lot different than you. That’s why it’s labeled “Musings from an old beeper”….

      I detect now to have fun so having the latest and greatest is not important not to mention I don’t have any extra shekels. I look at everything twice now when it comes to spending my money and despite the pleasure I might receive I just can’t justify spending $500 and up for a few extra coins at the park I’ve already beat the hell out of.

    • john taylor

      hi joe:
      you echo my sentiments exactly..after 35 big ones in this “all encompassing” hobby, i have drawn pretty much
      the same conclusions.since we are both of a similar mind, looking for an “edge” to “snatch up” what’s left is a
      never ending quest, and due to a limited budget, may end in being an exercise in futility for me.in any event,i will soldier on, and enjoy receiving whatever the coin gods should bless me with.

      (h.h.!)
      j.t.

  14. Joe

    I understand, Dick! Wasn’t nitpicking or trying to argue 🙂 Rather, was simply pointing out our current sad state of affairs, where for certain types of hunters, not having a more advanced machine can be a drawback…unlike how it was 20 or 30 years ago. Case in point…

    Hit a VERY old park today with my buddy. He hunted it about 15 years ago with his former partner in crime, who has since passed. Said they found gobs of silver, indians, v nickels, etc., all roughly at or under the 6″ mark. Using the “older” Whites machines. He hasn’t been back there since then, aside from today.

    Well, wouldn’t you know it, we were digging targets 7, 8 & 9+” deep and pulling out memorials & bottle caps. Didn’t even get a wheat between us in about 2 hours. Which means that the place has been hoovered by others, they “revitalized” it to death with a bunch of fill dirt, or a combination of both.

    So, our expensive, fancy-pants, space age equipment did us zero good, because what we were looking for was no longer there, or our coils didn’t go over it. But…

    Had it been there, under those same conditions, I feel fairly confident in saying that an entry-level unit would’ve struggled mightily compared to the tech we were using.

    It’s the reality we are faced with today, and must do our best to overcome.

    P.S. – Thanks for clarifying who the two Joe’s are. JP is a legend in this hobby, and I agree wholeheartedly with everything he said. At the end of the day however, we can choose to embrace new technologies (both the good AND the bad), or leave them at arms length. Certain tools are becoming a necessary evil for this hobby, and while I too long for simpler times, the former makes the most sense for my hobby needs, under the present circumstances.

  15. Joe

    Thanks, Dick, I will! As always, a fun, debatable topic…which is why I check in here whenever I can. Keep up the good work. One final note of clarification before I imbibe & gorge…

    I am NOT referencing old tech vs. new tech, as some of the “older” stuff can still rival (if not beat) today’s whizbang units. What I WAS trying to get across, is that’s it’s tough to honestly compare a $200 or $300 detector to one costing double or triple that, and the capabilities that go along with them. Nuff said!

    New Jersey misses you 😉

  16. Don

    Had to comment on this. I think the old White’s 6DB + 6000 D were two of the best machines ever made. You did need to have the mount conversion kit. The box was quite heavy and the faster you swung the coil the better that machine worked. Wish I still had my old machine for seeded hunts. You’d fly by everybody else.

    • Don the 6000 series was without a doubt my favorite. Accounted for a lot of my coin finds. I still have a 6000di Series II (hipmount).

      • john taylor

        yes! i had both the 6000 ‘series 2 and series 3 detectors back in the 80’s,and between the two of them, accounted for the vast majority of my finds as well, until i “up graded” to one of the best coin snipers of all time, the wonderful whites m6. i’m just sayin’

        (h.h.!)
        j.t.

  17. Joe Patrick

    Joe Grasso,
    For detectorists like yourself that have the necessary experience and knowledge, high-tech top-end metal detectors can and do make a difference in the quantity and quality of your finds. As I stated in my post, “After you know what you are doing, then the best tools become vitally important.” So true! Your post is well stated with lots of valid points. My initial post, although I did not make it clear, is geared more and mostly toward new detectorists in our hobby who feel that they can easily buy metal detecting success… and perhaps they can to some degree.

    I have a friend, new to the hobby, who asked my advice a few years ago on which metal detector he should buy. I tried my best to steer him to what I thought best for him which was a somewhat basic metal detector. But the magazine ad’s and advertising “hype” won out and he purchased a top-of-the-line $2500 metal detector package. After receiving it, he admitted that he was just totally overwhelmed with it and that perhaps he should have followed my advice. I recently saw him again and he admitted that he has not been out detecting with it once, not one time, since buying it. So that is the type of thing that I am addressing in my post. Trust me; I have nothing against high-tech top-of-the-line metal detectors. I too like many of them and I have owned and used my share of them. I will likely own more of them in the future. But there are many good reasons why I have and use my old “dinosaur” metal detectors. Most important, use what works for you!
    Joe Patrick

  18. njfella007

    Well stated, JP, and thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    For the record, I didn’t/don’t have ANY issues with anything both you & Dick said…total agreement.

    The only sticking point for me, was that Dick’s thoughts could be construed by some that expensive automatically = bad, or unneccessary, and we obviously know that isn’t the case. Again, it comes down to wants, needs & circumstances. Price will dictate from there. Some might be able to get by with a basic beep & dig type unit, and others might need something more costly.

    As for how old a piece of equipment is, it really matters little. You have your good, bad & ugly regardless of age, and the costs can still swing wildly. Case in point…

    I got my hands on an “old” 1021 model CZ3D a few years back. These were the hotter units Fisher made in Los Banos, CA, many moons ago.

    Hot damn, was probably the deepest detector I’ve ever used to this day, and it helped find me a bunch of goodies. But I still paid about $500 for the machine used, because of it’s rarity & performance. Worth every penny though!

    There are still many units from yesteryear out there that can perform at peak levels. One would be foolish to assume older tech means less ability. Price & age of equipment are irrelevant. The ONLY deciding factors should be: do you enjoy using it, and does it compliment the task at hand based on your circumstances? If yes, that’s all that matters.

    • Joe what I thought I was saying was that over the years I only bought what I could afford and today you hardly ever hear chatter about mid-range or lesser expensive machines. Machines that might be every bit as deep as the top of the line but perhaps lacking a feature or two.

  19. Joe

    As a whole, I agree agree with that, Dick. But surprisingly, I think the manufacturers are starting to wake up. They realize that most within this hobby (including myself) can in no way justify buying a $2,000 machine like the CTX. Which is why you’ve been seeing more mid-tier models like the AT’s, the Equinox’s, etc. being introduced into the marketplace.

    There’s a whole LOT more people who can rationalize a $600 or $700 purchase versus one costing northward of $1,200, so it makes sense for them to corner that niche. While I know a lot of people who have CTX’s (and other high dollar units), overall, I’m sure those sales only represent a tiny sliver of the market compared to the entry-level & mid-tier offerings. So maybe we’re witnessing a sea change?

    I also think their feet are now closer to the fire than ever, because you have a bunch of young, new players overseas who are helping to shake things up. These are smaller, nimble companies who don’t spend a fortune on advertising, but instead, direct those resources directly into R&D, and can quickly deliver new products with features we actually care about, instead of a bunch of frivolous bells & whistles. Folks like Makro and XP come to mind.

    I know there are a lot of Minelab haters out there, but in my opinion, they deserve a lot of credit for what they did with the Nox, and even more credit for offering it at about the $700 price point. Not cheap by any means, but not a bank breaker either.

    It all balances out in the long run. That $150 “affordable” detector you had 30 or 40 years ago would be about $500 or $600 today with the adjusted cost of inflation. But in terms of all the cameras, detector accessories, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, and a million other things, yes, this new generation has definitely found a way to complicate what was once a very simple pastime.

    • “I also think their feet are now closer to the fire than ever, because you have a bunch of young, new players overseas who are helping to shake things up” Yes Indeed and the folks here in the states better get with it.

      “But in terms of all the cameras, detector accessories, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, and a million other things, yes, this new generation has definitely found a way to complicate what was once a very simple pastime” Geez ya think?

      Thanks Joe. You need to start a blog, write a book or go to work for a manufacturer.

  20. Sonny

    Had an old fishing buddy tell me something one time about sporting equipment or any other “tool”. He said “buy the very best you can afford”. That was 50 years ago and I still follow that advice to this day.

  21. Sonny

    Yes sir. “Afford” is the key word. In my case, “afford” means what the wife will let me spend.

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