Having used Garrett AT Gold for a while, I came to a conclusion that this metal detector is a better optimized for detection of low-conductivity units due to its 18khz frequency. The name of the detector also speaks for itself. However some one-for-all features are present in the device. But to enjoy them one must choose Garrett AT Pro version.
The AT Gold version is based on three-segment, S-shaped unit. The electronic module is located on the upper stick. The power unit is located in the electronic module. If necessary, the electronic module can be removed from the unit. The arm pad is standard and is equipped with a holding strap.
The middle stick features clamping units which adds stability of the construction. There is no looseness detected during usage. Moreover clamping units are easy to lock and unlock as well as removed. If the sand gets in the clamping unit, then it can be easily cleaned out.
The lower stick is standard. Everything is made in black. The only disadvantage in the entire construction of the detector is a too short cable of a search coil. Considering the dimensions of the detector we combined it with the coil AT Pro 8.5 x 11 DD which is quite the same. On default the AT Gold is supplied with a coil of a smaller size which is 5 x 8 DD. It is worth mentioning that all the search coils of AT Gold and AT Pro are fully interchangeable.
What about the headset supplied with the detector, then you will not notice any changes and improvements of the device either in design so in features and performance. The headset remains the same for the last 5 years or even more. It is high time to restyle and redesign the unit.
The jack plug of this headset is specific for AT series. However there is a connector you can buy to connect your standard headset to the AT metal detecting unit.
As we mention above the power unit is located in the main electronic module which is protected with waterproof cup. It is recommended to maintain the unit in the functional greased state if you plan to use the detector in shallow water immersing the unit in the water.
The detector is powered with 4 AA batteries which can be as standard so rechargeable batteries. To control the level of power the unit features a power level indicator. Its icon is located on the display on the right lower corner.
The detector is controlled with 8 buttons which are located on the front panel of control unit, directly under the display. The unit features high usability. It is well balanced and optimized for easy use. The only disadvantage is a short cable requiring to fold the stick.
By and large, the operation of the detector is a matter of another review as this detector is much different from ACE 250 featuring a much better signaling. The sound signal is clearer and more understandable (at least for me).
Just consider the sounding of detection of ferrous metal. The VDI feature availability is a great benefit which is a new option in the Garrett family of metal detecting devices. You will easier and clearer understand the sound signal with VDI option.
I was very pleased with manual ground balance option. This feature is of great use in those cases where ACE is unable to perform well and produces noise instead of clear sound. Garrett AT Gold can be somehow set. Ferrous metal sorting also optimizes the performance of the metal detector to better.
Finally the manufacturer put into focus the technologies other brands have already successfully realized in their units. After a couple of days of usage, I understood that you need to constantly listen to the unit attentively, but not only read the VDI data from the display. When you interpret visual and sound data you get a better result. Garrett AT Gold is much different from ACE 250 with its beltone. I appreciate the technology but is legs behind the sounding of AT.
I managed to try and test the device on the field. Unfortunately I did not manage to get on the beach with this device. I did not find any gold pieces, but several coins pleases me much. However that is not the issue. I got maximum pleasure when using the unit.
I did not notice in AT Gold sufficient changes and improvements or the manufacturer having realize some conceptual innovations. Garrett still legs behind other manufacturers and it is high time to produce the devices of such quality and power level.
Considering my experience with AT Pro I would like to stress that these devices are better optimized for beach search, for detection in riverside and shallow water. However long lasting immersing will not benefit for the device. If you plan to search in water, then it is better to buy a specific model with due water protection. Impulse devices are better for underwater search.
Summarizing the review I come to a conclusion that Garrett devices are rather traditional than innovative. The manufacturer adds new options and uses new technology but somehow slowly. But consumers would like to see something more than restyling of an old version of unit with some optimized software. A customer is now in need of conceptually new device featuring ultimately new approach to search and metal detection in general. Let it be Garrett.