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Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?

Posted by Mark 
Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 12, 2011 10:15PM
Am confused as to what to buy for my first MD. Looking for un-biased opinions. Checked out Amazon am looking at 3 possibles. Basically need to know where the price breaks are. For example am sure a $100.00 maybe twice as good as a $39.00 one. Maybe a $200.00 one is twice as good as a $100.00, maybe not. Just looking to take it to the beach and putz around but want something that is half decent. Can I get one in this price bracket. I don't need to look for a specific element of the periodic table 25 meters below the surface but do want something half decent. Any advise or input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mark - Oviedo, FL



Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 12, 2011 10:58PM
First and foremost, I would not buy a detector from Amazon. I have nothing against them and have ordered books etc. from them in the past but, and this is a big but, if anything goes wrong or you need technical support, you will not get it from them. There are several good dealers online that have great reputations. I have bought a few machines from detectordepot.com and have always been satisfied .
Although I have never bought from him, I hear great things about Bart at bigboyshobbies.net. I have emailed him a few times asking his opinion and for help and he has always been quick to respond and very courteous. His prices are very competitive as well. If I do buy a brand that he sells in the future, I will buy it from him.

With the budget you specified I would look at the Fisher F2. I think it is hard to beat for the money.

(Edit) One thing to note, that I should have mentioned initially, is that I am not familiar with any detector in this price range when it comes to their ability to handle saltwater beaches. The dry sand should be no problem but the wet sand (salt water) may be difficult for them at best.

Just my 2c.

Good luck,

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2011 11:41PM by Neugene.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 12, 2011 11:58PM
There are a couple of Detecting Forums that have classified section. I have never had a bad purchase on a couple of them. Finds Forum is one. I would go with the Ace 250 or maybe a 350. You can pickup a used one
for a reasonable price. These are very good starter detectors. Good luck

Tom in SC
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 12:39AM
That 3rd choice, the 3300.
Did FT do a revamp on it more recently?
I've got a 3300 with which I found plenty of clad and amazingly
several silver and gold rings...sold them and came out way ahead.

If this is the same as the original, it would do ok as long as the conditions
aren't challenging.
The problem with the original is very slow recovery.
If FT has revamped it and made the recovery faster, I would say get that one.
The original will do alright, you may want to look at getting a F5 since you
are leaning toward Bounty Hunter and Fisher.
I almost bought a F5 several times in the past.
The F5 may cost you a little more than 216....you might try Findmall classifieds
and see if a used one comes up for sell by a dealer or user.
I think the F5 was actually a updated 3300...well maybe they threw out
a lot and added a lot.
Let Mike HIllis come on and give you the run down on these...I would trust
his judgement in this category.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 02:53AM
For around $200.00 I'll go with the Discovery 3300. Plus with Amazon, you have a generous return policy, if you do not like the detector. I bought my T2 from Amazon at a fantastic price. And $216.00 is the lowest price I have seen from a authorized dealer, for a Disc 3300, which Amazon is. So you do get the 5 year warranty. It's probably the best machine on the market at that price range in my opinion.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 11:57AM

If you plan on hunting the wet sand and/or in the salt water............you will need a detector specifically designed for this. There's only a few detectors that can do this. The (upper-end) Minelabs, the Fisher CZ's and Pulse Induction (PI) units (of which I would never recommend a new detectorist to attempt).

If you plan to hunt the dry sand (towel/blanket-line) and inland at parks/schools/old homes.........a good starter unit is the Garrett ACE-250.

( I recommend you purchase either one of the two DVD's offered on this site.....before you purchase a detector This should direct your monies more efficiently).
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 12:44PM
I would attend a local club meeting as a visitor and perhaps bring up the question for hands on advice..

In your category price range...Ace 250-F-2- Discovery 3300...

As far as wet sand perhaps a CZ or Sov with dual frequencies seem to work the best but are out of your price range
by quite a bit even used...
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 03:09PM
Thanks for you feedback guys. Still a bit confused though. If I raised my budget to $300.00 would that make any great difference from the $200.00 or do you have to start thinking in the $900.00+ range to hit the next level of ability. What is the deal with the wet sand, is it because it is more dense or that the machines are not water proof. The only reason I am looking at these machines on Amazon is because they are on Amazon and in the price range. If you had the choice and had this budget what would you guys buy and from who. Thanks again for all your input it is appreciated. Normally I rush into a purchase like this but end up unhappy so am trying to do a little more research this time.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 03:19PM
SALT in wet sand....yeah if you are going to do both then you need a CZ but for dry sand you can use a lot of machines...I use to think the beach was a great place till I found how many parks and schools there are and some are old...I would say a used Omega if you can find one on one of these forums for sale..Or the ACE 250




If you don’t dig it, then how are you going to know what you’re missing!
How can you have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat!
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 04:59PM
You can get old top of the line starting in the 400 to 650 range.
If you are mainly going to use in wet sand then you will likely need to get a multi-frq
which included the Fisher CZ or ML Sov and Explorer or maybe the Whites DFX.

If you are going to get into the water then it is better to start thinking waterproof then
it is better to get Fisher CZ 20 or ML Excalibur or Whites Beachhunter ID.
The ML is likely going to cost the most in this used category.

If you take out the need to detect in salt water or wet salt sand then you have more to choose from
including all of the Fisher CZ series, ML Explorer series, Fisher F75, Teknetics T2 or maybe the Whites DFX.

Dan's idea is good, go to a muli-dealer and take a look and try some out and/or go to a club meeting.
Re: Newbie - 9 to chose from, which one though?
June 13, 2011 05:53PM
OK. Took another look on Amazon since you guys were metioning other brands. I do like shopping Amazon for there free shipping and great return policy. It appears these are my choices at this time. I know you guys have more expensive toys then the ones listed below but maybe you could take a second and list your top 3 choices from this list. Bare in mind would like to use on the beach and I know from some previous posts this may not be possible in this price range. Thanks again, sorry to be a pain. Mark, FL

Fisher F2 Metal Detector with Pinpointer ...........$216.00

Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 Metal Detector..........$216.00

Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector..........$212.00

Bounty Hunter QUICKDRAWII Quick Draw II Metal Detector..........$167.00

Treasure Cove Professional Metal Detector (Model: TC-9700) ..........$240.00

Bounty Hunter Pioneer 505 Metal Detector..........$200.00

Tesoro Silver uMax Metal Detector..........$254.00

Bounty Hunter Sharpshooter II Metal Detector..........$153.00

Teknetics Delta..........$279.00
June 13, 2011 06:28PM

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2011 06:37PM by TerraDigger.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 07:36PM
The BH Discovery 3300 is like a first generation F2/F4. These machines were designed by Dave Johnson, and at the core are essentially the same. That being said the F2/F4 are more refined, with updated code, and faster processors. For the money, I think I'd go for the F2. The BH 3300, F2 & F4 all share the same coils (tip: pick up the 10" BH coil, I got one on Amazon when I had my F4 for $30 and it was an awesome coil!). Also the 11" DD is a GREAT coil. The BH has a manual ground balance, but I'm not sure if it's the same as the manual GB on the F4, whereas it only works in all metal mode. Discrimination mode has fixed GB on the F4, it may be the same on the BH. The frat boy line Teknetics Delta has it's roots in this platform as well. This machine would probably be my first choice from your latest list.

Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 07:56PM
The 3300 ground balances in all-metal, but it carries over to the discrimination mode.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 13, 2011 10:28PM

NEED to know if you plan on using the unit in the wet sand (slope)........and/or in the water (ocean). Salt is VERY conductive.....and requires specific electronics to handle wet salt. WE'RE HERE TO MAKE SURE YOU MAKE THE CORRECT DECISION!
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 14, 2011 12:34AM

Where in FL do you live. I'm in St. Pete area and president of Suncoast Reseach & Recovery club. We have a large club and would welcome you and a hundred questions if you have that many. Our meeting is 4th Monday (June 27th). Our membership has everything from newbies to 40 yr. detecting veterans. Go to www.srarc.com to learn more.

Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 14, 2011 04:24PM
To reply to NASA Tom. Not planning on putting in the water but would like to use on the moist sand slope. It seems that in my price range maybe that's not possible. Also will order one of the DVD's, is there a preference you would recommend.

To Wally. Am situated in the Orlando area.

Thanks again to everybody who took the time to share there thoughts, it has been very helpful
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 14, 2011 11:46PM
The wet slope (salt).......is where a large portion of gold jewelry is lost (usually during high-tide). You are not on the beach for coins. I would recommend the 2-DVD pack seminar DVD. Especially the beach seminar.
You will have folks (including Mfr's) that inform you that 'their' unit will work in the wet sand. -----Getting a detector to be 'stable' in the wet sand........vs........'performing' in the wet sand..... are two different parameters (worlds). Bottom line is.......you will need a detector that is 'SPECIFICALLY' designed for wet "salt". The upper-end Minelab's and the Fisher CZ series (along with PI's) are truly about the only choice.

Do not go to K-Mart and pick up a entire set of golf clubs for $50 ....... expecting to 'pick up' the sport/hobby AND enjoy it. You would need MUCH better clubs to enjoy golf.........AND to have any form of success/performance/happiness. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, As goes with detecting; Do it right the first time.......and you will genuinely have a good chance at truly enjoying the hobby. KELLYCO is about 9 miles from you. There are also plenty of other dealers out there also. Heck..... I may even have something that'll fit your needs. BUT......watch the DVD first.....BEFORE you vest any money into a detector.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 15, 2011 01:21AM

Gonna chime in and agree with the others. I am primarily a beach hunter in NJ, and have tried dozens of units over the course of the 25 years I have hunted. By far, it is best to save your money and get a dual/ multil frequency unit or a pulse unit for that application. The detectors you are looking at are single frequency units. I am not going to get into the technical details of single, dual, multi and pulse. You can pretty much research that on the internet and in the forums. Bottom line is, almost ALL single frequency units will be useless in the wet, salt sand. They will chatter, false and if you do end up setting it up to somewhat work, the ability to hit most of the gold jewelry would be totally lost ( and isn't one of the main objectives in beach hunting to find the gold ? ).

I say continue to save your money and get a good, quality unit . Do more research. Make decisions like do you want it waterproof ( cost is much higher but you have peace of mind if it gets wet and you can rinse it off with fresh water when done hunting...a BIG plus), do you need target ID ( this is for when you want to hunt parks and trashy sites...target ID is a moot point at the beach but TONE ID is a major plus since you can tell iron from non-iron targets. You HAVE to dig pull tabs, foil, can slaw bits, in order to find gold due to the conductive range of gold jewelry), etc.

Bottom line is, to really enjoy beach hunting, not get frustrated and have the ability to find all types of good targets, there are really about a dozen or so units to choose from. A lot less if you want a water proof unit with discrimination capabilities that can hunt the salt water ( only 3 I can think of...Minlab Excal, Fisher CZ21, Whites Beach Hunter ID 300. Some may chime in with the Garrett AT Pro, but that is a single frequency unit and will not be in the same league as the 3 mentioned).

Good luck in whatever decision you make but my advice is not to jump in too fast and get a detector for the sake of getting one...at least not for salt water beach hunting. The saying 'You get what you pay for' is very true when it comes to salt water beach detectors.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 15, 2011 11:36AM
Upping your budget to $300 helps a lot over the $200 detectors. Since you are also in central Fl., I can tell you that the Fisher CZ series work well for deeper relics [ Indian Wars ] ,, && on the beaches. Sometimes, you can find a nice CZ5 , 6a for about that price in good condition.
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 15, 2011 11:59AM
Re: Newbie - $200 Budget give or take ?
June 15, 2011 01:10PM
I would echo the advice of others, saving between $300 and $400 and getting a better unit. I would also suggest going the used detector route. Besides the first detector I bought in 1997, a Garret GTA 350, every detector I have owned since (about 8) have been used and I saved a lot of money because I was able to try them, and re-sell them for about the same, and in some cases slightly more.

If you are looking for something around $300 and for the beach, the Minelab Sovereign XS series is a good buy for the money, you can pick them up at very good prices sometimes below $300 and they do a good job on the beach, I can't think of another detector in this price range that would do well in wet sand, maybe someone can correct me? These can obviously be used on regular ground, but it's not an easy unit to learn and it is slow when it comes to trashy sites. So it depends how much beach hunting vs inland hunting you plan to do, because there are much better detectors fo inland hunting. In fact, it's really hard to find a detector that does both wet sand and inland hunting well, without going for the top of the line Minelab series, and even then the recovery speed in iron is debatable.

A used CZ is a good buy, and you can get good deals on them. Just look around, there are plenty of good deals on different forums. The two main questions that you have to ask yourself is what is the most I want to spend on a detector, and will I be using it for inland coin/relic hunting, or on the beach for gold jewelry, what percentage hunting on what.
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