What is the difference between the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold?

What is the difference between the Garrett AT Pro and Garrett AT Gold?

AT Pro Versus AT Gold


I had a customer ask me this question via website submission…he came to the right place.  Not only do we sell a LOT of these metal detectors, but I happen to hunt with the Garrett AT Pro and Scrap Iron hunts with an AT Gold.  So, I get to experience both machines side by side.  Another factor which helps  answer this question is that scrap iron used to use the Garrett AT Pro and recently switched to his AT Gold.  When we use a new machine we like to check the signals in the ground with the new machine and the one we are used to. This helps us learn the metal detector’s signals much faster.  I wanted to make this posting very brief because the answers are rather simple.  Simply put the AT Gold is more suited towards gold prospecting and the AT Pro is more suited towards relic and coin hunting.  However, both machines are very effective in doing both tasks.   Below are the specifications of each machine side-by-side directly from the manufacturer.  If you have any further questions on functionality, Contact Us or call the office toll free 888-236-6580.

They walk alike. They talk alike. They’re cousin’s. But they are not two of a kind. The Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold.  Look similar, but they have many differences in terms of performance.  Below are side by side specifications from Garrett on both.  See for yourself.

AT Pro and AT Gold Specifications
Target ID Segments – These are the little digital squares on the display screen along the top.  You can “notch” or remove certain ones whereas on the AT Gold only provides notching for the lower segments (basically iron) as well as you have three distinct modes.  The AT Gold does not allow notching or “accept/reject discrimination).
Iron Discrimination Segments – Each machine has a total of 99 Digital Target IDs.  This is the large number on the screen that shows conductivity.  You will notice your Target ID Segments along the top are broken down to segments of 5 each.  This gives you a more general idea of what the target may be.  On the AT Gold you can discriminate out iron up to 44 whereas on the AT Pro you are limited to 40.  This basically means the gold is able to discriminate out larger iron objects.  However, since you can “notch” on the AT Pro, you are able to discriminate out larger iron objects.
Frequency – The AT Gold offers a little higher operating frequency.  This helps the user detect smaller targets such as small gold nuggets, earrings, etc.
Search Modes – The AT Gold offers more “one touch” search modes and the AT Gold keeps it simple.  However one thing that the AT Pro offers is several different pre set modes (i.e. jewelry, relic, coin, etc.)  The Gold only has three settings. The Pro’s standard modes are much like the ACE series but you get more punch with the higher frequency and still have iron audio.
Standard Search Coil – The AT Pro comes standard with the larger 8.5″ x 11″ and the Gold comes standard with the 5″ x 8″ coil.  In the graph above, we show the comparison with the same coil on the detectors.  However, the smaller coil is roughly a quarter of a pound lighter than what is shown.  The smaller coil helps get into tight spots better and it is lighter.  The larger coil may help penetrate deeper but with the added extra power the AT Gold delivers more than compensate for this.

Best Prices on AT Pro/Gold Here


Adjustable Audio Threshold: The AT Gold has an Adjustable Threshold (constant background sound) that allows the user to manually adjust the audio threshold to better hear targets. A threshold is better defined in this Wikipedia article about Dynamic Range Compression where it defines it as, “Dynamic range compression, also called DRC (often seen in DVD and car CD player settings) or simply compression reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds by narrowing or “compressing” an audio signal‘s dynamic range….Downward compression reduces loud sounds over a certain threshold while quiet sounds remain unaffected. Upward compression increases the loudness of sounds below a threshold while leaving louder passages unchanged. Both downward and upward compression reduce the dynamic range of an audio signal.[2]”   The AT Pro does not allow this and the threshold is set at a constant level.

Both detectors have the really useful Iron Audio mode which can be switched on and off with a single button.  This signal is a low hum that signals the presence of iron regardless of the level of iron discrimination.  Both offer manual and auto ground balance, and you can interchange coils and headphones between the two detectors (which comes standard with both).
So which one is better?  I think that depends on the user and what they are using it for.  The AT Pro offers more modes through its Standard and Pro Mode options.  Standard mode makes the machine sound more like the  ACE series.  This is a feature that is extremely useful for someone switching from a lesser metal detector.  The AT Gold, much like the AT Gold in “Zero Mode” with the Iron Audio on, puts out a lot of audio and can confuse a beginner.  This allows a transition period when moving up to a professional machine.
Other considerations are the use of the machine.  If you are going to go prospecting, looking for small objects like earrings, or if you are a bit more advanced, you may be better of with a “hotter” machine like the AT Gold.  One that can detect smaller pieces and be adjusted more acutely for mineralized soil.  If you are looking for flexibility and a little more ease of use, the AT Pro is the machine for you.


42 Responses to “What is the difference between the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold?”

  • Joe Kellam:

    Can’t make up my mind between the Garrett AT Pro and the Garrett AT Gold. I will be looking for Civil War relics and buried coins in and around the mountains and old mining towns in WV. I have just retired and have always thought I would enjoy this hobby.

    • I would go with the AT Pro if you are mostly relic hunting. It can be used for prospecting too and will give you a wider variety of uses. It is a little more versatile than the AT Gold. You certainly have some good hunting grounds in close proximity…I am a bit jealous! Good luck and happy hunting!

  • I spend three months in phoenix each year and i want to gold detect in the bradshaws. In ohio I just look for coins mostly. would an at gold be the best for me ?

    • The AT Pro or AT Gold would probably work just fine in your situation. The AT Gold in Arizona would be preferable for gold prospecting. It is a little more sensitive for small nuggets. Let me know when you are ready to order, we have some good specials going on right now on both!

  • Ole:

    How At pro and AT gold compare in depth for same size objects using their standard coils?

    • My experience is they are not too awfully different in terms of depth for say a dime sized object, however when detecting small objects, the Gold is far more sensitive and able to pick them up at a greater distance. Whereas on the AT Pro, to detect an earring for instance, you have to be right up against the coil, for the AT gold, you will be able to detect it several inches away. Good luck and happy hunting!

  • Hi there
    After watching the Diggers I decided to buy a metal detector so I went to D&K in Portland Oregon and I told the guy I wanted one to hunt coins in parks and schools etc. And he sold me a AT Gold is it good to hunt coins with because I don’t look for Gold.I didn’t realize it was more for Gold. Thank you let me know please. WAYNE

    • I would have sold you an Ace 350 which is about half the price.

      • Bob:

        I completely disagree with this comment about buying an ace 350 instead of the AT gold. Because of the recovery time issues and linear audio it is not in anyway a serious coin hunters device. I hunted with the ace 350 and now own an AT Pro. If you want to go treasure hunting get the better machine and have a lot more fun and find a lot more good stuff. You made a good purchase.

  • Hi,

    I am a newby and searching with a Euro Ace. Already saving up for an AT. Thank you very much for the information. Now I know that the AT pro is the right choice for me.
    Thanks again!

    Marieke (from the Netherlands)

  • Wow. Great article. I can’t thank you enough for the details and hints. Also, posting back a response to the people who email you. AT Gold will be for me. (I Think) I’m in Greensboro, NC and want to try to find whatever I can. Gold and fresh lakes. I’m excited to start this hobby. Thanks again. Please keep up the wonderful work.

  • Wayne Kemp:

    Thank You for the comparison. Looking seriously at the AT Gold. I am wondering if the AT Gold will find gold jewelry as well as placer gold? Thanks and Greetings from The Great White North (Canada)

    • Thanks Wayne! Yes the AT Gold is a good jewelry machine. Especially with small items like chains and earrings that other metal detectors will confuse as thin foil and sometimes discriminate out. It is important to hunt in all metal mode when your target is small gold pieces. Thanks for tuning in! Good luck and happy hunting up there!

  • Martin:

    Thanks alot for the compersion
    Looks like AT PRO is my machine sens ive mostly Will be hunting relics and coins ????

    A Big thanks from Denmark ????

  • Hi,i am from Romania,i want to buy one metal detector,i look before and i stop to this two models about what you was write here but still i have a question for you because in my country we have a lott and big mountains where i will want search gold,so may i ask you which one is good for me to choose for rocks {mountains} At PRO or AT GOLD?please give me an answer,thank you very much

  • Mike:

    Great blog! Lot of info on the two. I understand if I’m going to mostly gold prospect, the AT Gold is the way to go. I know it’s do to the 18kHz. But what makes the AT Pro a better relic detector then the AT Gold? Is it do to the larger coil? I very new at detecting but been prospecting for years now. My buddy got me into metal detecting. He loaned me his spare “RadioShack” metal detector. His upgraded detector is a Whites CoinPro. I’m not impressed with that detector. He has lots of problems with ground balance and doesn’t pick up nuggets. We place a .516g gold nugget on the ground with all metal on with very little response to the nugget.
    I’m planning to purchase the AT gold w/adventure pack. I’m a weekend prospector. My grandparents own land with old 1890 gold mines and I want to run that machine over every inch on the property. The gold is in quarts veins and sulfide replacement veins. But there are old cabins on the property that belonged to the miners that HAD claims in 1890-1910. Loads of tailing pails with gold already found in them when sampled.

    • Mike, thanks for watching. That sounds like an exciting property to metal detect. It also sounds like you definitely want to go with the AT Gold since you are hunting gold. It will find the small gold a little better than the AT Pro. It will work fine for relics and coins as well. It is just more suited for the minerally soil conditions you are likely to find when prospecting. I think the gold will be perfect for you. Give me a call when you decide to order and I will be happy to give you our “greenhorn” discount (although you’re not a greenhorn to prospecting you will be a new client to us!)

  • Glenn Harrelson:

    I have a question. I have owned the 350, sold it and bought the GTI 1500. I love the 1500 but
    for me (62 years old) it is a little heavy, BUT, I love to coin hunt and relic hunt. While the 350
    was much lighter, I went behind it with the GTI 1500 in my yard (house built in 1909) and
    found more coins. The 350 found the majority, but, the 1500 found the older more valueable
    ones. I live in Marion County, SC and while there is a lot of history here, it is in condensed
    areas where permission is not allowed, so, old homesteads are the target. 2 things I loved
    about the 350 was the weight and the ability for it to show the depth without mashing a
    button. The 1500 does that but you have to mash a button and it drains the batteries much
    quicker. I don’t use the imaging coil on the 1500 at all. I use the DD 14″ coil and get much
    better penetration when coin hunting than I did with the 350. When I bought the GTI, I was
    seriously considering the AT series but, at the time, they were beyond my cost range. I can
    now afford it. I guess my question is this, considering weight, my age, what I am hunting, what I like to find-(coins, old jewelry, old tools), would you recommend the pro or gold?
    Also, will the AT series find coins as deeply or deeper than the GTI series? Or, should I just
    keep the 1500, even though it is heavy, I usually take more frequent breaks. This has been
    a long story but I wanted to give complete information so you could make a more
    knowledgeable recommendation.

    • Glen,
      Thanks for the inquiry. I know what you mean about the GTI being heavy. I have used one extensively. I think the AT Pro is the best metal detector you can buy for less than $600. It is an excellent machine for coin and relic hunting and it will work as a gold getter too. It weighs about the same as the 350. I think you will be very pleased with that purchase. I have NEVER had one returned because someone did not like it. The AT Gold on the other hand is not an ideal relic hunter but will work. It is really made for those who are primarily gold prospecting where the soil is heavily mineralized. Stick with the Pro. Give me a call at 888-236-6580 and I will hook you up with a discount when you are ready. – Turp

  • Paul McGrath:

    Hello, Thankyou for the comparison, I was having difficulty working out which of these 2 beautiful Machines would be the one I chose, I too am a returned serviceman, but from Australia not America. After serving in 2 war zones I left the service after a near fatal parachuting accident in 1990, and in 2011 here in Aussie had a bad accident while helping someone in the bad floods here. To which left me unable to use my left leg and I walk all the time on crutches. I like the AT Pro the most because I want it for beach work as well as searching and feeding my Yellow Fever (Gold) in the many Gold fields here in Queensland/Australia.. My question is can I get good searching while walking on crutches and is there any equipment that could help me. Please feel free to give me some advice, waiting patiently for your answer. Paul.

    • Paul, thanks for your question and for reading our blog. I would go with the AT Pro if you are looking to do any saltwater beach hunting at all. The AT Gold is not suitable for those conditions. The AT Pro will work just fine for some of that Aussie gold too!

      I think you can do just fine on a crutch. Just take it slow and steady (which is the best way to proceed anyway). The getting up and down digging may present an issue. A possible solution to this is to have a kid and let them do the digging!

      Good luck and happy hunting!

    • JJ:

      Quite an advantage you already have . If you are already swinging two sticks around why not just duck tape an at gold to each side and cover twice the area . Better get a good energy drink though as the extra weight will be a workout. The day could end twice as nice for you. The coverage area could be easily doubled. Might want to consider accurate detectors detector blanket though and get a utv to drag it around to cover larger areas then you could pinpoint with your pro. I always end up looking for an easy way to work harder.

      • Interesting idea…I would love to have a pull behind blanket metal detector, I think it would be real nice for finding meteorites out on the plains. Thanks for the comment!

  • Ray Hicks:

    I very much enjoyed Mr. Roderigas story of his son getting his first detector. I to am a combat disable vet from the Original Gulf War and my doctors believe that if I took up this hobby I may be able to gain strength in my legs again. I work in the VA Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina which sits next to the Atlantic Ocean. Detecting in the soft beach sand sounds like fun and I can’t wait to try it. I now know from this article that the AT-PRO is the right machine for me unless the highplainsprospectors advise against it and reference a different machine. Your web site is awesome and I read as many blogs from here that I can to learn how to detect. Keep up the good work. Respectfully

    • Thanks Ray. Get well soon man. If you are ever in this area, stop in and see us! North Carolina has quite a bit of gold too…I have found some. A little panning or sitting by a stream feeding a sluice may be something you would enjoy too.

  • Brad Riffey:

    thanks for the comparo- ive been looking for a detector with a slightly higher frequency to use for small gold and somthing that i can use for coin hunting also- im thinking the at gold will work good for this

    • No problem brad. Thanks for reading and the encouraging comment. I am sure you will be happy with the AT Gold. It is an excellent metal detector. Good luck and happy hunting!

  • Tim:

    Thanks a ton for the information! I have been undecided between the two and now realize that the Pro will be my choice. I look forward to learning more from this site.

  • The engineers at Garrett apply decades of learning to their innovative designs, and the result is a detection system for almost any environment.Garrett metal detectors have been helping people to do just that for four decades. This blog is very useful professional knowledge.

  • Well done on a nice blog metal derector. I was searching for information on used metal detectors and came across your post this post – not quite what I was looking for related to used metal detectors but very interesting all the same!

    • Thank you very much and thanks for reading! A lot of it is just my opinions or ramblings but I get a chuckle out of us sometimes so I figured others might too!

      • Thank you sir for the information on the At Pro verses the AT Gold! I am a civilian contractor working for the military in Djibouti Africa and have decided to buy a professional metal detector for my son who is a medically retired Army vet. He was wounded in Iraq and discharged from the service due to his injuries. My son has his 40th birthday this month and I decided to give him metal detector so as to help provide him with a constructive hobby which could maybe help him deal with his medical issues by getting him out of the house and in the field again. I could not decide rather to get him an AT Pro or At Gold and have been researching both. Your article is the best comparison I have come across and I wanted to thank you so much for this simple and understandable comparison. My son has always been a history buff and during his last months in the military he was on the Wounded Warrior Program at Ft. Seal Oklahoma and was assigned to the military museum at that base. His function when he was not taking care of medical issues was helping to restore old military equipment and he loved that job. Now that he is discharged he no longer has the position he loved so much. He was so excited when I told him of the gift he was about to receive and I wanted him to have the AT Pro to start out with but was confused about the difference in the Pro and the Gold. Thanks to your article I am sticking with my original choice the AT Pro.
        Thanks again,
        Henry Roderigas

        • Awesome to hear! Thanks so much for the comment. It is great to see that he has found this hobby. It is so fulfilling in so many ways! Please let us know if we can help. Additionally, I am happy to give you/him a promo code (for his scrifice) for a discount upon ordering if you decide to purchase from us. Simply give me a call and we can discuss. 888-236-6580. Thanks again, – Josh, HPP

        • manny:

          Hi Henry,I too am veteran and found metal detecting very relaxing ( takes all that stuff out of my head )not to mention that finding silver coins, gold jewelry and artifacts very rewarding. Thank your son for his service

        • Strange enough, by little brother is going to Djibouti very soon. I just read this. Hopefully things aren’t too crazy over there?

  • hi. anyone know where i can buy this metal detector carry bag? http://www.suprm.com/garrett-at-pro-international-carry-bag/

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