The Gold Scanner Pro is the newest addition to the Scan-ner line of metal detectors from Compass Electronics. Having successfully used both the Scanner XP-350 and the XP-Pro models ex-tensively during the past year, I had been looking forward to trying out this addition to the Scanner family. When Compass contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing a field test of the Gold Scanner Pro, I quickly accepted.
As with the other Scanner mod-els, the Gold ScannerPro is mounted on a modified Scanner S-Shape rod and, at 3-3/4 pounds, is extremely well balanced. The control hosing slips easily from the bracket onto the rod to convert it to hip-mount use, and the loop comes with seven feet of cable, eliminating the need for an extension.
Also useful are the velcro strips attached to the rod used to secure the loop cable. The strips keep the cord wrapped securely around in either the pole-mounted or hip-mounted configuration, and they cant fall off as the plastic clamps often do.
The meter is easily visible and serves several functions. It provides target I.D. in both the VLF Motion Discriminate and VLF All Metal modes, indicates target depth to 12 inches, indicates battery strength, and provides a signal intensity refer-ence scale for more precise target identification.
The control on the face of the Gold Scanner Pro are Trash Out (discrimination), Power Level (sen-sitivity), 10-turn Ground Balance, Threshold adjustment, and touch pads for changing modes.
One extremely important differ-ence between the Gold Scanner Pro and the XP scanners is in the power level control. On the XP scanners, the power level adjustment controls only the VLF-Discriminate sensi-tivity, as the front-end sensitivity is preset.
In the Gold ScannerPro, the power level controls both the VFL-Dis-criminate sensitivity as well as the front-end sensitivity when in the VLF All Metal mode. This feature pro-vides more useable depth of detec-tion when searching in the All Metal mode while prospecting or relic hunting.
After assembling the Gold Scan-nerPro and reading over the instruc-tion manual, I proceeded to perform an air test to check the response of the unit to known targets at various settings. Over the years, I have de-signed a test in which I use a stan-dard set of objects to test various detectors allowing me to develop a relative number indicating the sen-sitivity of each unit. Using 10 ob-jects ranging from coins to jewelry to relics, I am able to check how each unit performs relative to others.
While an air test does not give a true indication of the depth an object will be detected in the ground, it does provide a method of comparing the sensitivity of each detector.
After completing the air test, I took the Gold Scanner outside to see how the 10-turn ground balance adjustment worked in the mineral-ized red clay of this area. As shown in the instruction manual, the initial setting of the ground balance control is set by turning the control fully clockwise until it stops, and then turning it once counterclockwise.
The threshold control is then ad-justed until a slight tone can be heard either through the built-in speaker or headphones. The adjustment is checked by processing and releas-ing the All Metal touch pad at a height of 12 to 18 inches, lowering the coil to within one inch of the ground.
If the tone decreases as you ap-proach the ground, raise the loop, increase the ground balance (turn it clockwise), and repeat the last step.
In order to obtain the maximum depth possible and eliminate chatter from rejected ferrous targets, it is best to tune the Gold Scanner slightly positive when ground balancing. This is achieved when the tone in-creases slightly as the loop gets close to the ground.
One important point to mention regarding the ground-balancing procedure with any metal detector, is that the more precise you are in making the initial adjustment, the more sensitive and stable the detec-tor will be. With the additional power and sensitivity of the Gold Scanner, making the initial adjustment be-comes even more critical.
Also, anytime you make a change in the setting of the power level control, the ground balance needs to be checked. Even though this sounds like additional effort, the increase in useable depth of detection is well worth It. I found that with the Ground
Balance control and All Metal touch pad being easily accessible, making the adjustment was quite simple.
Another feature which I tried out for familiarity was the Fast Audio Tune function which is particularly useful when hunting in the VLF All Metal mode. The Gold Scanner Pro circuitry uses a slow auto tune to maintain the threshold set by the Threshold control. In most areas, this is sufficient to automatically adjust for gradual changes in miner-alization; however, in extremely mineralized ground where the min-eralization changes rapidly, the Fast Auto Tune setting should be used for smoother operation.
By turning the Threshold control
fully counterclockwise, the Fast Auto Tune circuitry is activated. The re-sponse is recommended before us-ing this in the field. The Fast Auto Tune is quite useful when prospect-ing in highly mineralized ground or when beach hunting in the area where the waves are intermittantly wetting the sand.
When field testing a new detec-tor, I prefer to take it to areas that have been heavily hunted in the past, or are difficult to work either due to ground conditions or trash levels.
The results of using a detector in these areas gives a better indication of how it will perform in day-to-day treasure hunting. Also, when doing afield test, I use a notebook to record what each target is and how it re-sponds.
The first place I took the Gold Scanner Pro was a beach on a nearby lake that was lowered for the winter. The beach had been heavily hunted since the water level bad gone down and was also littered with a great deal of trash.
I walked out to the area that had been underwater during the summer and easily ground balanced the de-tector. I set the power level at eight and the Trash Out control at five in order to reject small ferrous objects.
The first four targets indicated TABS (and read between 28 to 30 on the signal reference scale) and were pulltabs ranging from two to five inches deep. The next target indi-cated NICKEL (20) and locked.
Pressing and holding the All Metal touch pad indicated that the target was at six inches. A 1964 nickel was retrieved from exactly six inches.
Several other targets were de-tected that indicated TABS or S. CAP between two to six inches, and after recovering them, the target I.D. was found to be right in each case. The next target indicated DIME (62) I at about five inches. The target was a small silver ring at 4 1/2 inches. After two hours of searching, I headed back to the car to look over my finds. Despite having to retrieve each target, good or bad, I found 23 coins and the small silver ring at depths ranging from three to eight inches. The Gold Scanner Pro had accurately identified the trash items, and had this not been a field test, I would have been able to ignore most of them by observing the target I.D. meter.
The next site was an older ele-mentary school that had both ex-tremely bad ground and a high amount of trash. I set the Power Level at nine, and the Trash Out at six. After finding a spot free of metal, I quickly ground balanced the Gold Scanner.
After the first few sweeps, some chatter was caused by both the trash and mineralization. I lowered the Power Level to eight, readjusted the ground balance, and continued to hunt. The chatter stopped, and the Gold Scanner ran completely silent.
On several occasions, the detec-tor gave a positive audible indica-tion, yet the meter failed to lock on. the needle would bounce between the upper right end (coin and silver area) and the lower left end (iron) of the meter. In each case, when check-ing the target in the All Metal mode, the detector indicated that the tar-get was actually two separate tar-gets close together.
The first time it happened, the target was a 1912 wheat cent at five inches. In the same hole, at about the same depth, was a large rusted bolt.
After the wheat cent was removed, the Gold Scanner no longer re-sponded either audibly or visually when in the DISC mode. A 1936 Mercury dime at six inches and a flattened rusty can at seven inches next to each other gave a similar response. The Gold Scanner Pro proved that it can detect good targets at impressive depths extremely close to large trash objects.
I spent a total of six hours over several days at this school, and re-covered over 100 coins including a number of wheat cents and silver dimes. The Gold Scanner Pro did an excellent job rejecting both trash and the mineralization while allow-ing me to recover coins at depths of up to nine inches.
Next I took the Gold Scanner Pro to a Civil War skirmish site near Kennesaw Mountain outside of At-lanta. I accompanied fellow relic hunters Tim Geib, Gerry Solomon, Earl Young and his son, Marshall, to the site, which had been located by Gerry and Earl.
Most of the site was overgrown With tall grass and briers which made hunting extremely difficult. Despite the mineralized red clay in the area, ground balancing the Gold Scanner Pro was quite easy. I set the power level at 8 1/2 and the Trash Out at
Preset to reject the small nails in the area.
Less than five minutes after we started searching, I had located a Williamson cleaner bullet at seven inches. Several other bullets were located at between six and nine inches.
Searching in an overgrown field, I received a faint, but definite signal. After removing the ground cover and checking the signal in the All Metal mode, the meter indicated that the target was about nine inches deep. At a measured 8 1/2 inches, I recov-ered an 1861 Indian head cent in extra fine condition. Earl looked at the hole and the coin and said he knew his detector wouldnt have picked it up.
The final test for the Gold Scan-ner Pro was the annual, seeded coin hunt put on by the club I belong to, the North Georgia Relic Hunters Association. The hunt was held in a local park, and to say that it was trashy would have been an under-statement.
Despite the temperature of 27 degrees at the start of the hunt and the amount of trash in the field, the Gold Scanner performed flawlessly. With the power level at Preset and the Trash Out control set at seven to reject iron and foil, I used the meter to visually discriminate out the pull tabs and screw caps. After three hours, I had found enough point tokens to win the grand prize which was an 1877S Trade Dollar in fine condition.
I feel that the name Gold Scan-ner Pro is a little misleading. While the detector is a capable gold hunter and prospecting tool, it proved itself to be an extremely effective coin shooting and relic hunting detector as well.
The 10-turn ground balance con-trol is extremely easy to master, and it allows you to adjust the unit pro-vide for maximum depth in all pos-sible situtations. The Gold Scanner Pro performed admirably in trashy areas, and was able to find good targets in the midst of large ferrous targets.
Even at high power level settings, I experienced no falsing or chatter as seen as on other units. As on other target I.D. units, the Gold Scanner Pro detected targets deeper than it could accurately identify them on the meter. The visual target identifi-cation proved to be accurate on tar-gets down to about eight or nine inches, with deeper targets provid-ing only a positive audio response.
When using the Gold ScannerPro, always check the depth of the target if the meter does not provide a prob-able I.D. If the target is below eight or nine inches, yet gives a good audio response, the target is worth retrieving.
I would heartily recommend the Gold Scanner Pro to the novice as well as the expert treasure hunter. With the addition of both the three-inch and 12-inch optional search coils, the Gold Scanner Pro comes about as close to the ideal, all around metal detector as any Ive seen.
Before you buy your next detec-tor, stop by your local dealer and take a look at this latest addition to the Compass line.