Teknetics G2 review
“In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love”. For the not-so-young man (me), in the Fall my fancy turns to thoughts of metal detecting. The Teknetics G2 arrived just in time to tickle my fancy! (read more...)
I had the honor of receiving an early version of the new Teknetics G2. The G2 is primarily designed as a machine for seeking out gold and relics. However, as you will read in this review, it is also a very, very capable coin machine! Could this be the most powerful single frequency metal detector I’ve ever used? I knew from the first air test that this metal detector was going to be something “special”.
I waited with GREAT anticipation for the G2 to arrive. I had been following the excitement on various online metal detecting forums for weeks. Although I consider myself primarily a “coin hunter”, the prospects of a detector that was designed to be “hot” on low conductivity targets (gold, lead, brass) by the great Engineers at Teknetics had me speculating on the possibilities! Could it be a great “old nickel” detector? Would it be an awesome jewelry machine? The answer was “Yes!” The new Teknetics G2 is “first cousins” with the Fisher Gold Bug...with minor software tweaks.
The Teknetics G2 circuitry was designed by Chief Engineer Dave Johnson. The software was coded by Jorge A. Saad. Numerous other people both in and out of the Engineering Department also played support roles in bringing the G2 to life. The G2 operates at 19kHz and uses a single 9 volt battery.
The Teknetics G2 arrived double boxed at my home. After the always exciting “deboxing” of a new detector, assembly was a breeze. All the poles fit nice and tight with no unwanted “wiggling” or creaking while swinging the coil. Speaking of coils, the G2 ships with an awesome 11” DD elliptical coil...no doubt serious relic hunters were in mind! The G2 uses the familiar silver and black color scheme seen on other recent Teknetics releases. Included in the box with the G2 you will find two velcro cable straps, an instruction manual and an adjustable arm cup strap.
Folks familiar with the Teknetics Omega will instantly see the Teknetics family resemblance...very similar physically. However, like “beauty”, the resemblance is only skin deep!
According the Teknetics Chief Engineer Dave Johnson...
“The starting point for the Gold Bug /G2 platform was the Teknetics Omega, but about 80% of it is new. The biggest single change was going to two microprocessors, which was necessary to keep up with the increased performance of the new analog circuitry.”
There’s a nice golden trim around the faceplate that reminds the user it’s definitely a detector designed to find the yellow stuff!
Another thing you’ll notice right off the bat are the dual headphone jacks...AWESOME feature allowing the detectorist to use headphones with either a 1/8” or 1/4” plug.
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do after assembling a new detector is turn it on! Firing up the G2, I observed how the LCD display is nice and crisp. Although the G2 does not have an internal backlight, I found it to be very legible in all light conditions so far (and easy-to-read at night with use of a LED headlamp!)
Grabbing the G2 reminds you of all the thought that went into the science of good ergonomics... the handle has the familiar curve seen in other First Texas metal detectors. The handgrip material is a soft, yet tough rubber material that is plenty “grippy” even when your hands are sweating or wet from rain.
Reaching up to thumb the controls is a cinch...everything is where it feels like it should be. The two knobs mounted prominently on the faceplate offer enough resistance to prevent an accidental bump from changing the settings...yet the resistance is light enough to make it “thumb friendly”. The membrane style buttons feel great and give a nice “click” when pressed.
The interface is simple and intuitive!
GAIN Knob -The “GAIN” knob on the left is also the on/off switch. Rotating the knob Clockwise turns up the heat! (and the G2 does have plenty of heat!).
ARROWS-Next you’ll see left and right facing arrows. These have different functions depending on whether you’re in Discriminate mode or All metal mode. While in Discriminate, the arrows adjust the amount of discrimination to use...with an interesting twist. The G2 is a “2 tone” detector while in discriminate. The discriminate setting offers a moving break-point for low tone and high tone. For example, if you adjust the discriminate setting to “40”, all metal falling below 40 in conductivity will be a low tone, while all higher conductive metals will be a high tone. The current discrimination setting is reflected in a target ID arc along the top on the LCD display, as well as in the bottom right hand corner.
When you’re in “ALL METAL” mode, the arrows function as manual ground balance controls. The ground balance offers very high resolution to allow for tweaking in any kind of soil.
Pinpoint/GG- The pinpoint button has double duties as well. When in discrimination mode, the pinpoint button...well...pinpoints! The LCD display will switch over to an “inches” readout based on coin sized objects. So far, the depth reading has been extremely accurate. The pinpoint function on the G2 also allows you to “shrink” the target by pressing the button while near the target (but not centered) so you can make it smaller, and easier to locate.
When in All Metal mode, the pinpoint button acts as a “ground grab” for quick, on-the-fly ground balancing. Just pick a spot without any metal (easy to do since it’s in all metal mode), press and hold the pinpoint/GG button and raise & lower the coil to the ground (around 12 inches will do it), listening for the audio to level out. I found this easiest to do with the GAIN at around the 12 o’clock position. When the audio levels out (no change when lowering or raising the coil), just release the button. You’re all set!
MODE/Threshold knob- The knob on the right side doubles as a mode switch and threshold control. If the knob is “clicked” in the fully counter-clockwise position, the G2 is in Discriminate mode. A turn to the right puts it into “ALL METAL” mode. To adjust the audible “hum” you hear, continue rotating the knob to the right. The adjustment goes from -40 to +40...at zero, you’ll begin to hear the “hum”. While using “ALL METAL” mode, you’ll notice the LCD turns into a ground phase reading.
That’s about it for controls! How simple is that? Now to the good stuff....
Using the Teknetics G2
I’ve mentioned that I’m mainly a coin hunter and while the G2 is going to become a legend for relic and jewelry hunters, it can also clobber coins!
I’ll be honest with you...I did not expect much from the G2 in the way of coin hunting abilities. After all, it’s an 19 kHz machine (higher frequencies love low conductors but not silver....usually!). It also doesn’t have fancy little “icons” to tell me what it thinks will be my prospective find. What it does have, however, is a “no nonsense” approach of raw power, razors edge precision and amazingly accurate ID. My first trip out the the ol’ coin test garden was mainly to see how it did on my buried nickels. I had visions of the G2 being an old nickel killer! My guess was right...it kicked butt on all the nickels...even one that is near an old piece of iron! I quickly was slapped in the face with the realization that the G2, combined with the awesome 11” DD elliptical coil sorts through targets like a laser pointer! The G2 offers a darned-near “real time” view of what’s in the ground. The knife edge of the DD coil separates amazingly well...and the processing power of the G2 can keep up with it. Somehow, coins are still VERY visible even when nestled amongst junk and iron...more-so than with any other detector I’ve used.
Okay...next up was to try it out on some buried silver coins. 4 inch Quarter...yep, no problem. Accurate ID and depth reading. 6 inch Dime, once again...loud and clear. Okay now...surely this thing won’t be able to hear or see my 8 inch silver dime? But...it did! Not only did the G2 “see” the dime, it LOCKED on the dime with an amazingly consistent ID! The audio was very modulated and soft, but consistent. Folks that are going to use the G2 as a coin machine; Invest in some good headphones! The G2 “talks” to you with the amazingly descriptive audio. One thing I wish the G2 had is an internal volume control, but most serious hunters will have good headphone with their own audio controls.
Away from the test garden, the G2 continues to impress me. It’s rugged enough to handle the rigors of swingin’ in the woods...and a MUCH better coin machine than I could have ever predicted. On lead and brass...wow! Easily THE DEEPEST DETECTOR I’ve ever used on low conductors! I’m not really a “relic guy” but I’ve been digging lead shot and .22 caliber bullets at depths I’m afraid to put into writing! (disclaimer time...in my dirt!) There’s a lot of discrimination resolution on the lower conductors too. On coins....it’s right up there with the “big boys” at much higher retail value! Now...the G2 is not designed as a coin machine. However, it DEFINITELY can find ‘em!
I hunted one area I’ve hunted dozens of times (literally). This spot is THICK with old iron, aluminum fragments, foil, etc. The area is only around 10 feet by 20 feet. I cranked up the Discrimination on the G2 and started hunting. The G2 picked out two copper pennies very quickly...neither one was deep (only about 2 to 4 inches), but they had been “masked” in the past by the trash...and invisible to at least a dozen other detectors. The G2 had no problem sniffing ‘em out... Not valuable finds, but an example of the “see though” ability of the G2. I was impressed!
During my G2 adventures, I hunted near an electric cattle fence. On most of my detectors I have to crank down the gain or sensitivity (or twiddle with threshold). The G2 handled the fence in Discrimination mode with gain “cranked”...within 20 to 30 feet. No audible “pulses” from the fence were heard. Switching to All Metal mode, I could “hear” the fence, but it wasn’t distracting. The G2 circuitry handled it quite well! All indications are that the G2 seems to run smoothly in areas that have given me problems due to electrical interference.
The Teknetics G2 is definitely a multi-purpose metal detector! Want to search for gold nuggets? Want to go crazy deep on brass buttons and bullets? Want to still have the ability to hear deep silver with amazingly accurate ID? If so, check out the G2!
What will owners of the G2 notice? Here’s what Teknetics Engineer Dave Johnson has to say:
“The stark simplicity and effectiveness of the user interface. The amazing "see-through" in iron trash. The hots on low conductivity targets.”
He also says this:
“This platform sets a new industry standard for simplicity combined with leading-edge performance, going well beyond the previous such standard, the Omega.
Although this platform is primarily a gold prospecting and relic hunting machine, it is also very good at finding coins in trashy areas. Its characteristics are not optimized for "deep silver", so customers whose beeping is primarily deep coin hunting in non-trashy areas should probably look into some other machine such as the T2 or F75 with boost mode, CZ3D, or Omega with 11" accessory searchcoil.”
Teknetics G2 Specifications:
- Mechanical: S-rod with electronics housing on rod, 3-piece breakdown construction, nonmetallic telescoping lower rod, adjustable position arm rest
- Weight: 2 Ibs, 8 oz with battery installed
- Standard searchcoil: 11" elliptical biaxial DD
- Batteries: Single 9 volt rectangular alkaline
- Operating principle: VLF induction balance
- Operating frequency: 19 kHz, crystal controlled
- Reactive overload: 10,000 micro-cgs (with standard searchcoil)
- Resistive overload: 1,200 micro-cgs (with standard searchcoil)
- Ground balance range: From ferrite to salt water inclusive
- Discrimination ground suppression: Combination of 2nd and 3rd order methods
- Target ID ground suppression: 3rd order
- Battery life: 15+ hours on good quality alkaline
- Operating temp range: 14 to 122 degrees F (-10 to +50 C)
- Operating humidity range: 0 - 90% non condensing
Find out more about the Teknetics line of metal detectors at www.tekneticst2.com