This field test covers the latest addition to the Teknetics family of state-of- the-art detectors being developed by Dave Johnson and his team of engineers. At the time the Teknetics moniker was first resurrected by First Texas a few years ago to support the introduction of their professional series of detectors, there was but one model in the line – the T2. Much the way the original line of Teknetics detectors did in the 1970’s & 1980’s, the T2 quickly gained the reputation of offering high-end performance, ease of operation and lighter weight than that found on other top-of-the-line detectors. Dave and his team continued their development efforts and over the last few years have added other detectors to the Teknetics line offering detectors with above-average performance incorporating a range of features at price points that can fit any family’s budget. When the Teknetics G2 was introduced some 4 years ago, it quickly become a favorite for prospectors and relic hunters alike. Building on that foundation, the engineers at First Texas have added features to the G2 to make it even more versatile and branded it as the G2+. Having used its predecessor, the G2, and cousin, the Fisher F-19, with success, I was looking forward to seeing how the newest addition to the Teknetics line performed in the field.
The Teknetics G2+ was intended to be an all-purpose detector capable of being used for virtually any application; however, based on its operating frequency of 19 kHz and circuit design which increased its sensitivity to low / medium conductive targets such as gold, brass, platinum and lead, coin hunters in search of high-conductive targets may opt for one of the other Teknetics models due to the slight reduction in sensitivity to those types of targets. On the other hand, relic hunters, prospectors and beach hunters will find that the G2+ stands out from the crowd in terms of performance for detecting the types of targets other detectors often miss. The only comment I had regarding the look of the G2+ LTD version was the Woodland camouflage applied to the control box, arm cuff and coil which while well designed, tends to raise a few eyebrows from non-hunters wondering if one is trying to hide what they are doing with the treatment. Personally I prefer a non- camouflaged design to avoid that perception from both detectorists and the general public but with the widespread use of camouflage on outdoor gear today, it's probably just that - a personal preference.
A pair of design features that Teknetics has built into all of their detectors starting with the original T2 are an ergonomic configuration that allows for hours of operation and a lack of weight. With the single 9V battery that powers the G2+ and its 11" elliptical Double-D search coil, the unit weighs just 2.8 pounds which is light enough for a treasure hunter aged 5 to 95 to swing all day without tiring. A single alkaline battery provides about 15-20 hours of operation. A NiMH rechargeable battery can be used if desired; however, battery life will be noticeably less and with the cost of 9V batteries today, it is not a recommended accessory. Battery strength is always displayed via the battery icon in the upper left corner of the LCD screen.
There are two separate search modes both of which are motion-based – a full-range discrimination and a true all-metal mode. Both search modes have a touchpad activated non-motion, all-metal pinpoint mode available to zero in on detected targets.
The G2+ is controlled through two knobs and four touchpads located beneath the large LCD screen with the function each providing dependent on the search mode selected. The left knob labeled POWER turns the unit on / off and adjusts the gain (sensitivity) in either search mode. The other knob labeled MODE places the G2+ in the Discriminate mode when turned fully counter-clockwise and when clicked out of the Discriminate mode, it adjusts the audio threshold in the All-Metal search mode. The lower touchpad in the center of the panel labeled PINPOINT activates the non- motion all-metal pinpoint mode when depressed and held. It should be noted that the display on the screen changes when the Pinpoint mode is activated and will show target depth in inches. When the shallowest value is displayed, the coil will be centered over the target. The upper touchpad labeled GG / MENU serves two functions depending on which search mode is active. When in the Discriminate mode, it cycles through the various menu options that can be adjusted. NOTE: if no touchpad is depressed to make an adjustment for a few seconds after entering the MENU option, the circuitry will switch back to the search mode requiring you to depress the GG / MENU touchpad again. In the All-Metal mode, the GG / MENU touchpad activates the Ground Grab ground balancing circuit which ensures the detector is quickly and accurately set to eliminate the adverse effects of ground mineralization in the search area. The two touchpads on either side of the MENU / GG touchpad designated with a (+) and (-) are used to make adjustments to any of the menu options, the discrimination level or fine tune the ground balance settings, again depending on which search mode has been selected.
The Ground Grab function deserves mention because many hunters tend to shy away from any detector that has a manual ground balance circuit on it. Having a detector with a fully automatic ground balance is the easiest option for most hunters but in many cases, it does not provide optimal performance under all ground conditions. Also, the ground balance used in the Discriminate mode is often preset and overall performance when searching in that mode suffers when conditions differ much in either direction from the mineralization that the engineers who designed the detector assumed would be present. Well, the good news is that the G2+’s ground balance can be easily set to compensate for virtually any ground conditions using the Ground Grab function and most importantly, the settings are applied to both the All-Metal and the Discriminate search modes resulting in maximum performance regardless of the search mode used. To use the Ground Grab function, select the All-Metal mode, adjust the threshold so a tone can be heard, press and hold the MENU / GG touchpad and bob the coil up and down a few times until a consistent reading is obtained. You can then continue hunting in All-Metal or switch back to Discriminate with the proper ground balance value selected. The entire process takes less than 30 seconds and the increased performance is more than worth the small investment at each hunt location.
The Menu options available in the Discriminate mode include:
* Backlight: A rather unique red backlight, selected so as not to impact one’s night vision, is adjustable from 0 (off) to 5 (max) allowing users to hunt in low or no light conditions. There will be some impact on battery life but sometimes hunting when the suns sets is the only option due to extreme temperatures or crowds in the hunt area during the day.
*Volume: A innovative function that is not simply a basic volume control found on most detectors. This circuit allows users to set the audio volume of ferrous and non-ferrous targets independently. There are times when you want to be able to hear iron items such as when relic hunting but want to ignore them based on the volume they produce. You can now set the audio response of iron at a low level which will alert you to when you have passed over iron which often is the first sign you've entered a productive area . Then slow down and focus methodically searching the area. Prospectors and beach hunters can use it to distinguish ferrous from non-ferrous targets based on the audio response which can reduce the time spent chasing junk targets.
*V-Break: This sets the point at which targets either produce a low tone or a VCO (pitch-based) response which again, aids in identifying targets based on their audio response allowing less discrimination to be used which can impact overall detection depth and hence missed targets.
*Notch Width: This works in conjunction with the Notch function and is used to set how many target ID values are encompassed in the Notch region and will be impacted by the Notch setting.
*Notch: A window that can be used to reject (or accept) a specific range of targets.
*Discriminate: As the name implies, this is the control used to set the level of discrimination; i.e., targets that register below the selected value will be rejected.
The LCD screen provides users with a great deal of information. In the center is a large numerical value that corresponds to the targets ID (ranging from 0 (iron) to 99 (silver) when in the Discriminate search modes; depth when the Pinpoint mode has been selected; or the Ground Phase signifying the type of mineralization present when in the All-Metal search mode. Along the top of the screen is a “semi-circle” that will illuminate 3 small segments to provide the probable ID of detected targets (ranges from 0 to 100). The 3- segment target ID indication is functional in both search modes which is extremely useful when using the All-Metal mode and everything is being detected. In the left corner of the screen is a bar graph that shows signal strength when in the Discrimination mode and Fe3O4 (iron oxide) level when in the All-Metal mode. The value displayed in the lower right corner represents the Ground Phase (the type of mineralization - not the Fe3O4 value - present) when searching and the value of the specific function being adjusted when the Menu is accessed in the Discrimination mode.
Target ID is provided through both the audio response and visual indication. In the Discrimination mode, there are two different audio responses based on the target composition and where the V-Break has been set. Any target that registers above the discrimination setting and below the V-Break setting will produce a low tone. Targets above the V-Break will produce the VCO response (signal response varies based on depth and size). You can fine tune the G2+ to meet your exact needs at each site when the Discriminate and V-Break functions are used in conjunction with the volume control. As mentioned above, the target ID will also be shown through the large numerical value in the center of the screen as well as above the “semi- circle” display in the top half of the screen. It is important to note that signals that are at the fringe of the G2+’s detection range (small or deep) will not produce any target ID indication in All-Metal but knowing that, you can decide if those signals are worth recovering rather than having the detector make a “wild guess” that can result in you missing a super find. - and this happens on other brands with Target ID capabilities.
The final feature that warrants a brief discussion is the Notch feature. If you are prospecting and come across an area littered with modern aluminum, you can set a notch just wide enough to eliminate it and focus on digging gold. The same holds true for relic hunters. Coming across an area with dozens of shotgun shells, a notch window can be applied that is just wide enough to eliminate them if time is limited and you want to focus on digging good targets. An interesting “quirk” about the notch function is that if you move the window into a region that you have rejected using the Discrimination control, you will accept targets that register in the window which provides a Notch-Accept feature that can be quite useful. For example, it can be used to locate a specific target while ignoring everything else. Again, not something you will use most of the time but having it available expands the versatility of the G2+.
The G2+’s stock search coil is Double-D design measuring 7.25" x 11.25" and serves as an excellent all-purpose coil. As I have said in previous test reports, I am a huge fan of Double-D coils as they handle highly mineralized ground better than a concentric coil and provide much more thorough coverage with each sweep helping to ensure targets are not missed. Even the larger coils are extremely sensitive making them well suited to detect even tiny targets such as gold nuggets, small relics or jewelry at maximum depth.
The G2+ provides a 1/4" headphone jack on the left side of the control housing. It requires either a pair of headphones with a stereo plug or a mono-to-stereo adapter plug that can be purchased anywhere electronics are sold.
A closing point to make here to stem off questions when someone picks a G2+ up and turns it on is that you will see a series of numbers flash across the screen before the main screen appears. I know I was wondering what the numbers meant but a quick check with the factory enlightened me and the numbers are simply the individual G2+'s serial number.
The first place I took the G2+ after reading over the manual was my test area in the side yard. The true test of any detector is not the shallow, separated targets but rather those that are pushing 10" deep and collocated with trash to see how sensitive the detector is and how well it can separate targets from one another. The G2+ hit all of the targets in the test area and while the Target ID readings were skewed on the deep, co-located targets, the audio response left no doubt that there were multiple targets present and it was up to be to determine if they were worth investigating.
At the time the G2+ arrived for testing, the Southeast was in the midst of a drought and the soil at most of the sites we would like to have visited were baked to a concrete-like consistency. Knowing that any plug would leave a brown spot in a few days, we were forced to dig deep so to speak and find a few sites that would support digging and not result in being asked to leave. With that in mind, we headed to a corner lot where a house had been raised recently and the site had not yet been smoothed over for its new use.
As might be expected, the site was quite trashy so the All-Metal mode was really not an option at this location. Opting to run with the discrimination a little higher than I might otherwise, I bumped it up to "40" since my testing had shown that nickels and similar type targets registered above that point. With the V-Break set at "50", the detector would produce a low tone for targets in the "40" to "50" range and a VCO response for targets above "50". With the Sensitivity set at "80" and the Volume at "10" which eliminated the response from ferrous targets, I started searching near the sidewalk that ran along two sides of the property. Apparently drinking soda or beer in cans with the old-style pull tab must have been popular when the house was occupied as they were everywhere. Recognizing that applying notch could result in an interesting target being rejected, I opted to apply some to reject the pull tabs and reduce the amount of trash I would recover. Adjusting the Notch Width to "8" which encompassed virtually all of the tabs I had recovered I continued hunting the lot without being bothered by the tabs. The first non-modern coin was a 1944 Wheat cent from just over 6" followed by a 1956 Roosevelt dime at about the same depth. A pair of pocket knives including one with a bone handle turned up less than 5 feet apart. As I approached the spot where the house had stood, I found that by slowing my sweep speed and checking questionable signals from different directions; i.e., turning 90-degrees, that I was able to separate good targets from trash and recovered several coins including a pair of Wheat cents and a 1958 Jefferson nickel along with two house keys. The V-Break option was helpful in using the audio to initially identify targets and then glancing at the screen for a more precise reading when determining what was worth recovering and was not. Overall, the site gave up a number of "keepers" from trashy sections even with the larger stock search coil.
The next stop was a private yard that I've swept with several different detectors over the past year or so. The house is not particularly old but the area dates back to the 1800's and some interesting finds have come out of the lot. Signals had become few and far between of late and it would give the G2+ a real challenge test in trying to find some keepers we had missed in previous searches. Pushing the Sensitivity to "90", dropping the Discrimination to "30" and setting the Volume at "15" which would allow me to hear the ferrous targets but at 50% volume when compared to the non- ferrous targets, I quickly used the Ground Grab function to set the ground balance and started searching. Near one of the flower beds I received a solid repeatable signal that registered about 7" deep and from just about that level, pulled out a small 2-blade pocket knife about 1.5" in length. An early 1900 vintage 12 Gauge shotgun hull turned up from under a large tree root at close to 9" and knowing I had swept around that tree multiple times, I was surprised to have found it and even more so at the clarity of the signal it produced. A few clad coins turned up along the sidewalk which demonstrated another benefit of a Double-D search coil . . . by moving it at a constant distance from the concrete & rebar, the G2+ was able to ignore the metal in the sidewalk and still pickup the coins laying nearby.
I'm sure the 5" optional Double-D coil would be a "killer" when searching around metal such as bleachers, parking meters, chain link fences and curbs or sidewalks that have metal rebar in them. As the sun started to set and the drizzle picked up, I packed up and headed home but the G2+ had pulled several keepers from a site that had really gone silent of late.
The G2+ builds on the proven performance of the G2 and provides users with new features that are not just window-dressing but rather those that will help find more in even the most heavily-hunted of sites. It is a true-all- purpose detector that with a few adjustments, will not disappoint even the most critical of treasure hunters even when used in specialized applications such as electronic prospecting, relic hunting or searching salt water / black sand beaches . Its ability to handle highly mineralized ground and black sand / salt water is clearly a notch above most single-frequency detectors and the engineer’s at First Texas have shown that innovation rather than simply repacking existing technology is how future industry-leading detectors will be born.
The Teknetics G2+ LTD lists for $849 and comes with the 5-year First Texas warranty. The optional 5" Double-D coil is well suited for searching in high trash or rocky / overgrown sites where the larger coil might not fit. Currently the G2+ is offered as an LTD model in both Woodland Green or Pink camouflage to suit both male and female detectorists. For more information about the new G2+ LTD, the rest of the Teknetics line or the name of your nearest Teknetics dealer, contact the factory at 1465-H Henry Brennan; El Paso, TX 79936, call them at (800) 413-4131 or visit their informative website at http://www.TekneticsT2.com. Be sure to mention you read about the G2+ in Lost Treasure Magazine.