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Steve Herschbach

A Little California Gold With Minelab Sdc 2300

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Chris Ralph and I spent the last couple days at a location he knew of, each of us with our SDC 2300 detectors. We found 79 nuggets totaling nearly a half ounce in total. Chris got the most gold, as is fitting since it is his location - thanks Chris! I got 27 nuggets at 5.3 grams total. The smallest piece in lower right hand corner is only 0.7 grains on my freshly calibrated digital powder scale. That's 0.045 grams. The largest nugget is 0.67 grams. Great little machine for pulling small gold out of hot ground. Yeah, other detectors would have found some of this gold. I am not trying to convince anyone otherwise. The point is the SDC does it and does it easily, with no fuss or muss, no magic settings or coils, and virtually no ground or hot rock response.

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Here is my part of the results of 4 days nugget hunting with the SDC 2300 in that same spot in California: 79 nuggets, 15 grams (almost half an ounce). I was there a day with my father, a day with ICMJ editor Scott Harn and two days with Steve. Mostly very small nuggets, but when you get on a patch of these little bits of gold, the weight does add up. The SDC really sounds off very plainly, even on these little pieces of gold. I would dig a 3-4 inch hole on a fairly loud target and be surprised to see this tiny little nugget in my scoop. This is an area where I have had limited success with other detectors because of an abundance of hot rocks and generally small sized gold, but the SDC 2300 has really opened this place up to making new finds. The smallest piece I got was only 0.03 grams and the largest was 1.6 grams.

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Hey, Steve,That's nice looking gold. Very bright and shiny. What did you clean it with?

Hi Harry,

I soaked overnight in oxalic acid then tossed in my ultrasonic cleaner for a few minutes. Ultrasonic is great for stuff like this, deep cleaning without abrading the delicate surfaces. It does shake out loosely attached quartz which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending.

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 Chris- A while back you did a thread on really small gold that you found with your Gold Bug 2. In comparison, I would be interested in you and Steve both , giving a break down between the two detectors, pro and con, from field operation to the cost of purchasing both the GB2 and the SDC.----K Rose

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I own both the Gold Bug 2 and SDC 2300 and right now they are both essential parts of my prospecting kit.

 

In a nutshell the Gold Bug 2 is the hottest VLF you can get for gold prospecting, with the ability to hit extremely tiny gold. It also is extremely sensitive and reactive to mineralized ground and hot rocks. The SDC largely eliminates the reactivity issue while retaining ALMOST all the sensitivity to tiny gold. If you were trying to detect a speck of gold in clean quartz the Gold Bug 2 is the clear winner. However, bury small stuff in magnetite laden soil and the issue is not clear cut at all and the SDC will often have the edge due to the ability to ignore the mineralization. It requires almost no expertise to operate in heavily mineralized ground whereas you need to be very expert with a Gold Bug 2 to work in highly mineralized hot rock laden soil. The SDC will easily punch deeper on larger gold (gram plus) in highly mineralized ground than the Gold Bug 2.

 

The Gold Bug 2 has a fairly effective iron discrimination circuit that allows it to ignore much man-made ferrous trash. The SDC lacks all such ability, giving the Gold Bug 2 a clear edge in trashy locations.

 

Gold Bug 2 weighs 2.9 lbs with batteries, SDC 2300 weighs 5.7 lbs with batteries.

 

SDC 2300 is waterproof to 10 feet - rainproof. The Gold Bug 2 hates water in the control box but is submersible up to the control box, and may be chest or hip mounted. The SDC is a single piece design,

 

The Gold Bug 2 has two accessory coils. The SDC 2300 is hardwired with an 8" round coil.

 

You can buy a Gold Bug 2 for $764 and you can buy the SDC 2300 for $3750, just a slight price difference!

 

I consider the SDC 2300 to be more useful as a primary prospecting unit due to the ability to handle almost any ground and perform well on a wide range of the most common gold sizes. The Gold Bug 2 is more a specialty machine for specific situations, in particular hunting low mineral ground for tiny gold or scanning quartz specimens for enclosed gold.

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Thanks for the quality write-up Steve and Chris.  It's always a pleasure to here it from you both.

 

K Rose mentioned a very good point.......I can purchase 5 GB2 for the price of 1 SDC2300.  Can somebody shed some light on that difference?  

 

I believe in using the best money can buy,  but the best bang for the buck is always part of my own decision process.

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Hi Rod,

I thought I did. The price difference simply is what it is. It is not as easy as saying this detector will find five times as much gold as that detector so that detector is worth five times as much. The SDC price will be palatable for some people, and ludicrous to others. Some people find enough gold in a day to pay for a SDC. Kind of a no-brainer for them. Others will never find that much gold in their lives. Total waste of money for them.

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I don't own an SDC and I haven't even used one yet but from what I see and read I'm impressed.  I like the way it folds up into an small efficient package for backpacking.  Looks almost like some sort of James Bond weapon.  The portability alone almost makes the cost justifiable.   I bought an extra rod to cut down to make my White's detector more portable and I think White's in particular is missing the boat with their old school metal control boxes. I don't think the injection molded parts are much more expensive to manufacture than the sheet metal stuff.  

 

I thought that non-interchangeable coils were the hallmark of a lower end detector (I also have a Tesoro Compadre) but I'm guessing that the SDC's pulse delay is so short and the coil so fast that a connector or plug would mess up the signal.  The hackers have probably already started making their own coils so we'll see how they turn out.  

 

I was really surprised and disappointed how my TDI ignores small gold, even on the surface.  I knew before I bought it that it wasn't good with small gold, but didn't realize how bad it really was.

 

Chris and Steve, you guys have really found your calling. Good job and please save some gold for us amateurs!

 

 

 

Bob

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Newbie here.  Just trying to figure out my profile.  Having a heck of a time getting a photo uploaded and can't figure out why my location info doesn't appear.  Oh well, guess I'll hit the hills instead!

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