Interview with Gary Storm of DetectorPro
List of Products:
Headhunter line of Metal Detectors (Headhunter Pirate PRO, Headhunter Pirate, Headhunter Wader, Headhunter Pulse)
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself , your company and your products! Www.DetectorStuff.com enjoys communicating with the people “behind the scenes” of the technology of metal detecting.
How long have you been involved with metal detecting?
"I bought my first metal detector in 1977. It was an UW JK Gilbert Treasure Ray. In 1979 I started selling part time under the name of Treasure Hunting division Marsh Scuba Supply. In 1982 I opened full time under the name of Hudson River Metal detector sales. To help build my business I dove for gulf balls to make money. I added scuba in 1984 and became a full service dive shop. I got my biggest break in 1985 by becoming the Northeast Fisher distributor. Over the next few years I also distributed for Teknetics,Compass and Gold mountain. In 1990 I became the distributor for a small unknown company called Minelab. They introduced the new BBS technology in the Sovereign. Being a water hunter I saw how well it worked in salt water and tried to get them to build an UW detector using the BBS. I had a person working for me that was very talented and we came up with the Excalibur housing. We sold Minelab on it. It took about 2 years to develop but we finally did it. They would send us the boards, coils and boxes and we would do the final assembly here. We built them from 1994-1996. They are know as the NY Excals. The big decision came in 1996. I formed Detectorpro LLC and started manufacturing our own products."
Where is your company located?
Pleasant valley, NY 12569
How can potential customers contact you?
Where did you get the innovative idea to house metal detector electronics in the headphones for the Headhunter series?
I decided I wanted to build my own UW detector and I was looking for a different style muff. I saw the muff I liked on someone’s UW communications Equipment. I tracked down the manufacturer and brought them in. One day I was looking at the muff and said to my employee, You think we could build all the electronics in the headphones. Divers have enough equipment in the water. I wanted to eliminate the box and make it very comfortable to dive with. The rest is history. While we were developing the UW, I decided to make custom headphones. I loved the muff because it was so comfortable and blocked out outside noise. The Original Gray Ghost was my first headphone. My personal favorite design is the Uniprobe. All our customers that purchased them always give us the same comment. The Uniprobe is awesome and they can’t imagine hunting without them.
What's your favorite metal detecting find to date?
I get asked this all the time. I really do not have a number one find. I like a lot of things. I bought my first detector to find cannonballs which I have found many. My only gold coin was found in England a 50BC quarter stater. Where I live I have found my share of colonial coins. Last year using one of my Headhunters in the woods I found in one day 1782 Nova 1785 Vermont 1788 New jersey and 1798 large cent in decent condition. I would have been happy with just one.
In the water we have some spots where we find collectable type items. One of my favorites gives up Crackerjack toys . I have found one of the oldest ones late 1890’s.
I have found my share of good Jewelry but I never landed a super valuable killer ring. My biggest diamond is only ¾ karat. I like finding dated rings. My oldest dated one is 1872.
You always tell a newbie to start detecting in his own yard. I have lived on a lake for 25 years. I have dove it even longer. About 4 years ago I went down the wall off my property and found a gorgeous diamond Ruby antique ring. You never know. Everything is fun to find.
Your VLF detectors are single frequency...how well do they handle salt water hunting conditions?
Depends where you are. We see comments that they do not work at all. This is not true. I have personally used them on the Northeast coast and in the Caribbean. In all these spots I was able to run full power. There are some spots in Florida that are tough for most detectors. You can still use ours but not at full sensitivity. We have customers all over the country and they tell us they work fine.
What's one of the coolest finds you've seen from one of your customers?
There’s been a lot of nice finds but one of my favorites was a family purchased several Headhunters from me at a show. The wife loved my detector because it was the only one she could swing all day. She found a 2 ½ dollar gold coin in the dry sand on a beach in Connecticut.
Have the sky-rocketing gold prices helped motivate detector sales for
Not as much as I thought it would. I was a young dealer the first time gold went up and you could not get a metal detector. This time it is not the same. I not sure why.
Do you manufacture most of your products in-house?
Like every manufacturer we have to adjust. Originally everything was made in house. The costs have skyrocketed and you end up pricing yourself out. We still do most in house but also do some overseas.
Are you working on any “top secret” new products? (I have to ask!)
I wouldn’t say it is top secret but we are reworking our old Diver unit. It was always our bestseller. I took it off the market because I wanted to improve it. We had made it since 1997 and over the years we solved most problems we ran into. The one we couldn’t solve was the housing was not strong enough for being dropped or banging around with other dive gear. Customers also would have trouble sealing the battery compartment properly. We are now making our own molds therefore making a housing that will not crack. Our new Underwater will be rechargeable battery only. The customer will never have to open the unit. We are using Lithium Ion batterys that will give 50+ hours per charge. The unit will also be a little louder for those diving with hoods. If everything goes well late fall availability.
What do you see in the future for the Headhunter line of detectors?
I think they will become more popular. Not everyone needs a heavy complicated detector. There’s a lot said for simplicity. I call them my back to basics detectors. They are light, easy, waterproof or resistant and go deep.
I see you have a pulse unit in the lineup...how is it, performance-wise?
Very very deep but not for most customers. This is for a salt water hunter who has sanded in beaches and does not mind digging iron. I have personally dug gold rings down 15-20 inches. The only negative you will dig a nail that deep too.
How much work went into developing your line of high performance headphones?
I wouldn’t say a lot of work. We started with the original and through customers or ourselves we came up with different options that would be useful to various customers needs
Detectorpro also offers quite a few types of pinpointers...can you tell us about them and their benefits?
The Uniprobe is our high quality headphones with a probe built in. Plug the headphones into your favorite detector and hunt. When you get a signal reach up flip a switch and this will turn the probe on. Use the probe to pinpoint your target. It is very deep probe. The Pistolprobe is also as deep seeking but in a handheld version for less money.
Do you have any “pet peeves” about the hobby or misinformation among hobbyists?
I think one of the most negative things I see is the attacks on the internet in the forums. It does not help our hobby. We are being attacked from all sides just to keep our hobby.. If someone was interested in the hobby and saw some of the viciousness they may say to themselves that this is something I will not try if this is the type of people in the hobby. We want people to know that this is a fun family hobby not filled with nighthawks or pothunters.
Detectorstuff.com gets thousands of readers per year from all over the world...anything special you would like to relay to them?
If you have never tried a Detectorpro product, please give us a try. We have thousands of happy customers and we back our products with a good warranty.
THANK YOU for taking the time to talk to our readers! Folks, be sure to visit www.detectorpro.com to see Gary Storm's latest products!