2100 or 3500


Guest Bunk
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I am going to buy a PI. My question is witch one. I am going to buy used and the 3500 is aprox. $1500.00 more than the 2100. I am fairly new to detecting but not to gold mining in general.

Thanks for any help. Bunk

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Hello Bunk,

Well regardless on how I answer your questions there will be some debate. So this is my answer -

"In my opinion" I feel the GP3500 is a much better choice if you can justify the extra cash. The GP series detectors, especially the GP3500 will find much smaller gold, smaller gold at depth and even a slight increase in depth in moderate mineralization over the stock SD2100. I absolutely love my GP3500 and doubt I will ever sell it.

On a flip side, if you can't afford the GP3500 and decide to go with the SD2100 there are options to increase performance. One of the first options would be to invest in a "regulated Li-Ion battery system." One of the hottest selling regulated systems is the Coiltek Pocket Rocket Battery System that I sell. It's the smaller and lightest Li-Ion system available on the market. With a regulated system you can increase the voltage to the searchcoil and create a stronger electromagnetic field that will give you better performance and better stability throughout the day. There are other more expensive mods for the SD2100 out of Australia also.

Comparing a stock SD2100 vs. the GP3500 is like comparing Apples to Oranges "In my opinion!"

Feel free to call or email me anytime.

Hope to hear more questions from you here on the forums.

P.S. Pictured below are just a few gold nuggets I missed with the SD2100 the first day out with the GP Extreme. Now, keep in mind the GP3500 is even more stable and has more features than the Extreme.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Hello Bunk,

Well regardless on how I answer your questions there will be some debate. So this is my answer -

"In my opinion" I feel the GP3500 is a much better choice if you can justify the extra cash. The GP series detectors, especially the GP3500 will find much smaller gold, smaller gold at depth and even a slight increase in depth in moderate mineralization over the stock SD2100. I absolutely love my GP3500 and doubt I will ever sell it.

On a flip side, if you can't afford the GP3500 and decide to go with the SD2100 there are options to increase performance. One of the first options would be to invest in a "regulated Li-Ion battery system." One of the hottest selling regulated systems is the Coiltek Pocket Rocket Battery System that I sell. It's the smaller and lightest Li-Ion system available on the market. With a regulated system you can increase the voltage to the searchcoil and create a stronger electromagnetic field that will give you better performance and better stability throughout the day. There are other more expensive mods for the SD2100 out of Australia also.

Comparing a stock SD2100 vs. the GP3500 is like comparing Apples to Oranges "In my opinion!"

Feel free to call or email me anytime.

Hope to hear more questions from you here on the forums.

P.S. Pictured below are just a few gold nuggets I missed with the SD2100 the first day out with the GP Extreme. Now, keep in mind the GP3500 is even more stable and has more features than the Extreme.

Take care,

Rob Allison

Thank you Rob, I want the 3500 but I don't want mama to wig out on me!
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I swing a modded 2100 yet 2 weeks ago was able got to try out a 3500 for a day. I am now convinced to move up in detectors when possible, yet I will keep the 2100 as it has its place in my hunting arena.

As for others debateing Rob's statement, don't believe them! Rob has shown his honesty and good customer service to me since I first found the man. He has my current trust to speak the truth as he knows it to be.

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Dear Bunk;

Rob is correct in his statement, however maybe you ought to consider purchasing a new SD2100v2 from Rob instead of a used GP3500 for a couple of good reasons. First, the price of a new SD2100 makes it attractive and the $1,500 that you will be saving can buy a lot of enhancements and accessories. Next, since this will be your first PI detector, I feel the SD2100 is an EXCELLENT machine to start out on. With it's bare bones simplicity this means the learning curve will be very short in comparison to the GP series detectors. Us SD2100 owners absolutely love them! Go on eBay and have a look for yourself, my friend. Notice all of the GP3500s for sale? Now, notice all of the SD2100s for sale??? What, you don't see any SD2100s for sale on eBay? That's because us SD2100 owners don't want to sell ours and the reason why is because they work and they work very well. If you purchase a new SD2100v2 from Rob and learn how to use it very well, after 6 months or a year you should have NO problem selling it for close to the original purchase price and you can step into a GP series detector. My humble advice to you is to order an SD2100v2 from Rob, along with the Coiltek Pocket Rocket regulated lithium-ion battery pack and a couple of extra coils, such as the Coiltek 14" round mono and maybe a Coiltek Joey as well. Next, learn how to use it and then after you're comfortable with all of it's controls you can sell it and move up to Minelabs' newest flavor of the month GP series detector without any problems.

Your friend;

LAMAR

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I have to agree with Lamar on this point. Rob makes a fair assessment too and is indicating his reading of your needs rather than pushing for a sale.

The SD2100v2 is a good learning tool. It is a beefed-up version of the original Super Detector SD 2000. These were sold to professional prospectors in Australia who cut their teeth on the VLF machines like the Whites 6000/ deepseeker models and the the Australianised Garrett Ground Hog. With these older machines, you certainly learned to detect.

The SD2100 will give you a clear understanding of the issues with Ground Balance and freq tuning to remove local interference. Nothing is done for you with these machines. You have to adjust everything.

You will then have a better appreciation of the GP series, if you decide to move that way, but. . . the SD2100v2 will not miss anything these newer machines see. . . it all comes down to experience and that will come faster with the SD rather that the GP.

In my opinion.

lemons

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Which ever machine you buy, plan on spending about another $200 to $600 on coils. The Joey mono coiltec coil is a must have, next would be a Coiltek 14 inch Mono and the Platypus Coiltec coil which is a great coil and is waterproof. These coils can be used on either machine including the new GPX4000 series detector.

And of course that brings on all sorts of pro and con discussions! :)

Bigger coils mean deeper depth and again at the expense of the smaller nuggets. Everything ends up being a trade off some where down the road.

But Rob is the man! He is a wealth of knowledge and is always willing to share it.

As to dealing with Mama, well my approach (yea I bought it and it cost $#$%^ so what? Get over it! ) would probably get most of us shot! lol Seriously!

I have a GP3000 and a few months later she got a nice piece of jewelry to wear.....actually two pieces.

I sort of follow my dear old Dad's approach to buying the things I want. For Dad is was guns for him and jewelry for Mom. It always worked. Whenever Dad would give Mom her gift, she would ask Dad, "Ok Jack, where is the gun?" It was a cute game they played.

Either machine is a great purchase. The limits you will encounter will be more human in nature than machine in nature!

Enjoy!

Regards

Karl

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Hi Bunk,

The GP 3500 is easy to learn, read manual and practice in a test bed :blink: I got "Jim Straights" book "Fallow the drywashers 7th edition", great tips on test beds ;) I got my GP 3500 and goodies from Rob Allison, & Jim's book in the package :D

I never used a PI detector before getting mine in Febuary of this year :D:wub::D:wub::D I just jumped on it, and been finding a few dinks on a regular basis :huh:

I don't care about GPX 4000, Would be more interested in more ALLTERRAIN COILS from COILTEC B)

Take care,

Ed

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Dear bunk;

I have both the SD2100 and the GP3000 (both of which I purchased from Rob of course!) and I must admit that after using my GP3000 for over 2 years, I am still not as familiar with it as I would like to be. Of course, I could NOT take advantage of the free training that Rob offers as I live in Bolivia. If I could have then I am fairly positive that I would have became a better detectorist in a much shorter span of time. On the other hand, the SD2100 is extremely simply to operate, in fact I now prefer the SD2100 to the GP3000. Rob is correct with his assessment that a GP series will beat an SD2100 hands down, but I feel this is also comparing a STOCK GP series to a STOCK SD2100. Once you enhance the SD2100 with the pocket Rocket battery system and a good signal amplifier the playing field really starts to level out. The GP3000 still finds small gold slightly deeper than my SD2100 is able to, but the advantages which my SD2100 has outweighs this disadvantage. I can hunt in highly mineralized ground with my SD2100 using a mono coil, whereas I almost always need to use a DD coil while hunting the same ground with my GP3000. I've also noticed that using my SD2100 in CHANNEL 1 with a mono coil extends the depth beyond that of my GP3000. I am also able to use CHANNEL 2 on my SD2100 with a Joey mono and find some truly small nugs at shallow depths. Overall I feel that both are outstanding detectors, however the GP series is a bit more complicated to learn because there are more settings that can be incorporated. I consider the SD2100 to be more of a beginners detector and the GP series to be more of an advanced users detector.

Your friend;

LAMAR

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Hello Ruff & Tuff,

There is a huge difference between the X-Terra 70 and the SD2100. First off, the X-Terra 70 is really a coin/relic detector with a "gold prospecting" mode. The X-Terra series is the latest digital coin/relic detector released by Minelab. It has awesome discrimination and does fair in mineralized conditions, but can't be compared to the SD2100 when you're nugget hunting. The Minelab SD2100 is a Pulse Induction detector that is practically immune to even the worst mineralization. The SD2100 will get much more depth and run very smooth over some of the worst ground. However, the SD2100 doesn't have a discriminator, it's basically an "All-Metal" detector with no discrimination, so you must dig every target.

You would be able to find coins and relics much deeper than the X-Terra, but the X-Terra could run through a very trashy area and "Cherry pick" the goodies and leave most of the iron rubbish behind.

Hope this helps a bit,

Rob Allison

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Dear group;

When hunting for relics, there is no such animal as *iron trash* to a detectorist. If the area you are detecting in is rich is with antiquities, then every target should be dug to ascertain whether or not it is valuable. This is where a discriminator will hurt, instead of help the detectorist. So many valuable relics are iron based and skipping over them does not make a whole heckuva lot of sense, IMHO. And yes, the SD2100 is a SUPERB relic hunting machine!

Your friend;

LAMAR

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Guest goldstudmuffin
I consider the SD2100 to be more of a beginners detector and the GP series to be more of an advanced users detector.

Hi Lamar, take a look at a some nuggets a couple of beginners found with SD 2100's, about 65 ounces in the second picture. ;) We ran GP 3000's over the same nugget patches for a year and found only a few small nuggets that were missed with the 2100's!

Hi Rob,

I can discrimate with my 2100 on shallow targets just as well as the GP,s... maybe better, the deep ones you have to dig! :o We need to update our nugget pic's these are 2 years old but I'm afraid it'll make a few butt's pucker.

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Made me drool and shake all over!

I think I'm going to go and lie down now!

:)

Those are very nice!

Karl

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Hello Guys,

There will always be debates when it comes to comparing the various Minelab PI's. There are too many variables to compare. Both machines are great, but in my opinion the GP series is far more superior. It gets more depth, especially on smaller nuggets and is much more sensitive. I haven't seen a modded SD2100 that can find a nugget under a grain in size.

You have to use what fits your comfort level and this might not even be a Minelab PI for some.

Uncle Ron - The middle channel on the SD2100 is the "Search mode" or both channels working together. The Channel 1 and Channel 2 are for small and deep gold. I think the Channel 1 (up position) is for deep gold, but you loose some sensitivity. This is the channel I used when the mineralization was very nasty, but I could still use a monoloop coil. Hope this helps a bit. You should be able to use both channels in most areas here in Arizona. Oh, let me know the GPS cord of that nugget! :lol:

Rob Allison

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Guest goldstudmuffin
I haven't seen a modded SD2100 that can find a nugget under a grain in size.

Hi Rob, for $400 you can buy a used Gold bug II that will find nuggets under a grain, in fact it will find nuggets much smaller than the GP's, so small that it won't regestor on any scales. Why would I pay $4000 for a detector to find nuggets under a grain? One of the things I like about my 2100 is that I'm not bothered digging bird shoot unless I'm using the joey mono or NF 14 mono at 7.8 volts. I'm really not interested in spending 5 minutes pushing dirt around on top of my coil for a 20 cent nugget! :) It will find as small of gold as I want to find, but you are right I think the smallest nugget I've found with a modded 2100 was 1.2 grains! I should have taken a picture of it! LOL :rolleyes: I thought the whole reason for using a Minelab PI is to find BIG gold? ;)

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Bunk,

About have way down you asked about a Gold Bug 2. Well I run a GB2 and have had very good luck with it up to 6 inches on average. It will find big ones (8.5dwt) and so small you can not see it. What I mean by this is I found 3 small rocks that just set the GB2 off. I had to crush them to find the gold. Now these were on the surface. That being said I asked Rob for his honest oppion on the 2100V2 and the 2200V2. Why these 2 models, money. I cannot aford anything else, and its going to take at least a year to save up for them

Bob

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Dear goldstudmuffin;

When I stated the SD2100 was more of a beginners machine and the GP series was more of an advanced series detector I did NOT mean to imply that the SD2100 was any less of a gold finder than the GP series is because that is NOT true. I've had 2 different hunting partners since I've purchased my SD2100 and without a doubt the SD2100 was the much easier detector for them to learn and use. In fact, I had both of them up and running in under 2 hours. As far as which detector is better, the SD2100 or the GP series, that one is too close to call, IMVHO. In certain areas I prefer my SD2100 and in other areas I prefer my GP3000, while in others it doesn't seem to matter.

Your friend;

LAMAR

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Guest goldstudmuffin

Hi Lamar,

I was wondering what coils you used on the ML's when you did your depth tests? I copyed and placed here for those that didn't see it. Would love to see a test on 1" nuggets in severe mineralization.

Using a nugget with a 1/2" smooth surface area as an example, the detectors are capable of detecting it at this depth:

GMT=6" in moderate mineralization

SD2100=18" in moderate mineralization

GP3000=18" in moderate mineralization

GMT=2" to 4" in severe mineralization

SD2100=14" to 16" in severe mineralization

GP3000=12" to 14" in severe mineralization

Decreasing the surface area of the nugget to 1/4" the numbers came out like this:

GMT=6" in moderate mineralization

SD2100=14" in moderate mineralization

GP3000= 14" to 16" in moderate mineralization

GMT=2" to 3" in severe mineralization

SD2100= 8" to 10" in severe mineralization

GP3000= 12" to 14" in severe mineralization

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Dear goldstudmuffin;

I would love to see a test using a 1" nugget in severe mineralization too!!! The only problem is that I haven't located a 1" nugget yet!!! While Bolivia has lots of free gold and lots of coarse gold, it all seems to be small gold. There seems to be a couple of areas in Bolivia where large nuggets are the norm however I've yet to visit those spots as they are very remote. There are lots and lots of dinks here and on a very good day it's not unusual to be able to recover 1/2 to 2 ounces in nuggets, all under 5 grams apiece! This means a lot of very long days and a lot of digging!

Your friend;

LAMAR

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So far the 2100 has my vote!

I am sure I will hunt known places that gold has been found but I really think my interest is in prospecting for the unknown. From what I have read I think the 2100 will suit my needs very well!

Many thanks to all that have helped me!!

Bunk

So far the 2100 has my vote!

I am sure I will hunt known places that gold has been found but I really think my interest is in prospecting for the unknown. From what I have read I think the 2100 will suit my needs very well!

Many thanks to all that have helped me!!

Bunk

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