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01-23-2012, 10:50 PM
Hi All, Does any out there know what the difference is between a Fisher Goldbug 2 and a Fisher Goldbug 2 with the writing on the side of the control box Fisher M-SCOPE . I am confused. Any help would be very much appreciated. Regards, Hermann from Down Under.

Steve Herschbach
01-24-2012, 04:20 AM
Older units made in Los Banos California said "Gold Bug 2" on the control box side decal. The new units made in El Paso Texas say Fisher M-Scope on the side decal.

The earliest Gold Bug 2 units had a little vinyl cap over the switches and the threshold control.

01-24-2012, 02:03 PM
Hi Steve, Many thanks for your reply, that cleared up a few things. HOpe the Alaskan winter is not too harsh. Regards, Hermann.

rattlesnake jim
01-26-2012, 06:59 AM
Steve, is there any difference between the Gold Bug 2 built in Los Banos and the one built in El Paso besides the decal and vinyl caps?

Steve Herschbach
01-26-2012, 07:15 AM
Funny you should ask. I think there is in that my old Gold Bug 2 could be "super-charged" by turning the threshold control all the way up in disc mode. The disc sensitivity was directly affected by the threshold setting. New units do not do this. I am actually trying to buy an older Gold Bug 2 and hope to have one soon to compare directly. I will report back when I have more information.

I am not saying at this time the disc mode in the old units could be made hotter than the disc mode in the new units but it seems that way memory wise. I will not know for sure until I can compare side by side.

I think the old control box was slightly thicker and stouter but again will have to compare. The old arm cup was metal and the new ones are plastic.

Jim Hemmingway
01-26-2012, 08:01 PM
Steve...I recall you saying as much on one of the forums some time ago now. I remembered that and tried the same with my Goldbug2 purchased two years ago. But it had no effect I could discern. Your explanation above solves the riddle...

As good as the unit currently is, it could be better with a couple of simple changes. I wish the folks at Fisher would consider (a) installing a GROUND GRAB feature [in addition to the present manual ground balance control] for operator convenience, (b) extend the ground balance range further into the conductive zone. Presently its about equivalent with the F75's GB at a setting of roughly GB55 in terms of actual results...aside from operating frequency differences. I'd like to see it down to an equivalent of GB40 or so to be able to eliminate signals from all types of non-conductive hotrocks in a benchtest...at present this is not possible on some iron oxide rocks, and therefore the unit is not fully ore evaluation capable, (c) put the big volume dial into a smaller configuration and stick it on the front of the box alongside the threshold control. In its place install an adjustable iron discrimination control. That would permit the user to dial in only as much iron disc as needed rather than the current control that is fixed at hotrock discrimination.

Understandably Fisher may not wish to tamper with such a successful unit. I have read where DJ stated that last year was the unit's best sales year ever. But these are reasonable upgrades without infringing on the units overall "character".


02-02-2012, 04:10 PM
Steve, it sounds like you are saying that the "los Banos units" might be slightly better sensitivity-wise than the newer GB II's, if i'm interpreting you correctly?
So in your opinion, how would you say a Los Banos unit that could be "super-charged" would compare with the brand new Gold Bug PRO in terms of sensitivity and in overall performance?

Steve Herschbach
02-03-2012, 06:11 AM
Hi Beav,

I am saying no such thing. I am saying when I get the chance to compare two units directly I will report back. For all I know a new GB2 could be as sensitive as an old supercharged GB2. And again this was something unique about the disc mode, and so no difference in all metal.

If you are talking sensitivity to tiny gold the GB2 in any form is hotter than a Gold Bug Pro.

02-03-2012, 06:29 AM

Gotcha. Thanks for explaining.


Steve Herschbach
02-03-2012, 06:40 AM
Should be able to report back this weekend as I did buy an older unit on eBay that is in the way to me.

02-03-2012, 04:51 PM
Great Steve. Can't wait to hear your synopsis on the comparison. Thanks for taking the time to do it!

Steve Herschbach
02-03-2012, 07:02 PM
Well, got my Los Banos unit but it is not old enough. This one has a plastic arm rest and so is a later unit. A quick check shows no difference in disc mode.

Anyone have an old Gold Bug 2 with a metal arm cuff?

02-04-2012, 07:21 PM
Hi Steve,
I have in the 47xxx serial number range. It has the Gold Bug 2 on the sides of the control box, along with the nice adjustable aluminum arm cuff. It is interesting that so few of the subsequent Fisher detectors have the adjustable aluminum arm cuff, I believe it to be quite handy. I bought my Goldbug 2 new in the 90's, with both the 10 and 6 inch coils. It has been in the Fisher shop only once in all the intervening years since I bought it. Mine also has the plastic covers over the switches. I was never aware that other GB2's did not have them, but never really examined any others.
The only "mod" I ever did to my Gold Bug, was to put a fat O ring behind my threshold contol on the bottom of the box, to make it less sensitive to being moved.
This detector is my "confidence builder", so to speak. If my luck with my Minelab isn't up to snuff, I can almost always rely on my Gold Bug 2 to sniff out some small stuff, to make sure I don't get skunked...
I will have to try your Gold Bug "super tuning". I had never heard of it previously.


02-05-2012, 07:27 AM
mine is from the early 90's too...Gold Bug 2 on the side but with plastic arm cuff.

Mine has never been in the shop but i've replaced the "iron ID" switch 3 times(Radio Shack) and the Ground Balance switch once(part from Fisher) and on my fourth small coil(wish they would make them better)

Steve Herschbach
02-05-2012, 07:48 AM
Your fourth small coil? I do not see how a coil could be better made than that little epoxy filled coil. What is going wrong with yours?

If anyone has an old unit, go to disc mode and test with threshold at full and at minimum. Is there a difference? There was back in 2003 on my and my friends units.

Steve in Idaho
02-05-2012, 08:13 AM
I have had gold bug 2's ever since they came out and use the small coil more than the other 2 coils and never had one go bad. I use mine on dry land most of the time. Maybe dunking them in the water can cause them to go bad. They are supposed to be water proof. My small coil gives a lot of false signals when it is in the water.

02-05-2012, 10:17 AM
First coil went back new....Never worked when I got it so I don't know what was wrong with it. The other two developed broken wires where they go into the coil. My son had the same problem plus a friend of mine has had two do the same thing.

02-05-2012, 04:13 PM
I'll try testing mine too, Steve.
It's a Los Banos unit with Aluminum arm-cuff and those vinyl caps on the threshold control and switches and has M-scope on the sticker on the top of the control box.

Steve Herschbach
02-05-2012, 06:41 PM
Hi LipCa,

That is wild. I have never abused a coil as much as I have abused the small GB2 coil and I have never had one fail. Just lucky I guess!

02-05-2012, 07:08 PM
On my coils, when I install a coil cover, I silicone a bead around the edge of the coil cover to keep dirt, sand & water out of the space between the coil & cover. That eliminates the falsing signals for me.

Reno Chris
02-05-2012, 08:16 PM
I have never abused a coil as much as I have abused the small GB2 coil

I will testify to the truth of that statement. I have another friend who uses his GB2 daily and, while not as harsh on his GB2 coil as Steve, certainly gives it a full workout almost daily in the summer and I know of no problems he has had.

02-06-2012, 04:19 PM
Hi all,

I seem to lose in depth messages, for some reason.

In short, using Steves method makes the GB2 detect targets deeper, much stronger audio response.

Thanks for the tip, Steve!


02-07-2012, 04:26 PM
Yes Largo, I just tested my own GB2 and get the same "super-charged" results as you, like Steve described.
Awesome! Can't wait to try it out once the creeks get clear of ice here.

Steve Herschbach
02-07-2012, 04:57 PM
You will note also that the higher the threshold in disc mode, the more the unit throws off spurious pops and clicks. They do not sound like targets however so you mentally tune them out after awhile. You get to choose between how high to set the threshold and how much noise you can put up with.

02-07-2012, 06:04 PM
Hi Steve,
Apparently you have had some success with this method? I will give it a go before too long, out in the placers. The GMT has a similar unwritten capability to be supercharged by making certain adjustments. The Garrett Pro Pinpointer as well has some very interesting and amazing depth capabilities not talked about in the owners manual. Fun stuff!


Steve Herschbach
02-07-2012, 07:28 PM
Oh yeah, scored some major gold, including my 4.95 oz specimen at Ganes Creek, Alaska. Not in owner's manuals near you!

02-08-2012, 03:00 PM
This technique was first used years ago when discriminating VLF Silent Search units first came into use..We would load up the threshold in Disc supercharging the performance of the unit and it does work...Thanx Steve for bringing the tip back into use...Geo