Minelab SDC 2300 Gold Detector

The SDC 2300 gold detector is one of Minelab’s mid-range gold detectors released back in 2014 during ‘the global gold rush’. It’s probably one of the easiest gold detectors to use on the market and one of the most rewarding. 


The SDC 2300 looks tough and is tough, the mechanics of this detector are based on the Minelab’s military specification detector platform. The dark blue that minelab has chosen for the coil and main body really ties in with the black carbon fibre shaft, handle and armrest. By using the dark blue it helps differentiate itself from a military detector but still maintains its rugged good looks.

It weighs 5.1lbs or 2.3kg and folds up into an impressively compact 8.5” (216mm) by 15.7” (400mm) package. Its compact size is perfect for throwing into a back pack and light enough to keep it on your back for an all day hike and more importantly it’s light enough to keep you swinging it all day long.

The sliding handle and armrest feel solid while the shaft made from carbon fibre maintains its rigidity, while remaining light weight. There’s no ugly curly cable either as this has been concealed within the carbon fibre shaft.


Detector technology: This pulse induction detector is perfect for finding small nuggets in those troublesome, mineral dense soils. Minelabs MPF technology allows the SDC 2300 to find very small gold, by rapidly switching its pulse induction between transmit and receive signals. This reduces any remaining transmit signal while it’s receiving.

Unlike many other pulse induction metal detectors, the SDC 2300 uses an approximate 3khz transmit frequency. This has allowed target signals from very small gold, to be clearly heard on the SDC 2300.

Controls: Simplicity comes to mind when looking at the user interface on the SDC 2300, there are 9 LEDs at the top of the display that give the user a size and proximity visual indication. The battery check displays how much charge is left in the batteries by utilising the 9 LED top display. 

Noise cancel: There’s a noise cancel button located on the user interface, which the user can press to allow the detector to automatically choose the best operating channel.

Audio Threshold: Again located on the user interface, the threshold button is used to adjust the background audio level.

Ground balance: The SDC takes advantage of Minelab’s AGT or Automatic Ground Tracking, where the detector automatically adapts to changing ground mineralization. Theres also a button on the handle, just below the user interface so the user can do an initial fast ground balance before detecting.

Submersible: Detecting in water is no problem for this rugged metal detector as its waterproof to 10’ or 3m. There are two choices for the audio output, it has a waterproof onboard speaker or the supplied minelab headphones. Just remember that the supplied ones aren’t fully submersible, sold separately are waterproof Koss headphones.There’s also a well lit LED display on the handle, which will give an approximate size of the target and how close it is to the coil. Targets that are small or further away from the coil may only light up a couple of the LEDs whereas a large or very close target will cause it to light up across all of the LEDs.

Warranty: Minelab provides owners with a warranty for 3 years (36 months) from Date of Purchase. Remember though, general wear and tear isn’t covered by this.


The 8” monoloop has been specifically selected and designed for the SDC 2300, and is ideal for finding small gold that is typically closer to the surface, this also means that the coil is fixed and you won’t be able to use other coils on this unit. The coil is neatly concealed within the carbon fibre shaft and adds some ‘spring’ to the retracting of the shaft.


One of the best features of the SDC 2300 gold detector is its simplicity. There are two modes being normal mode which is where you will end up most of the time and salt for when you want to hit the beach or anywhere that has salty conditions. This is controlled by a rugged rotary switch on the side of the unit, which is lifted and rotated to make a selection. The switches for on/off, mode/sensitivity and even the headphone connector have all been cleverly recessed into the plastics, so there is no chance of bumping or snagging on clothes.

Normal mode is shown as the orange numbers 1 to 5. Number 2 is in green and is the starting point or default setting and should be adjust from here to suit your conditions. Salty is shown in blue and numbered 1 to 3.

The best way to set the sensitivity is to start with the default and turn up the sensitivity until you get some false signalling and then drop it back by one. This way you should be able to hear your targets. 

Noise cancel on the SDC 2300 is easy enough, you just keep the coil still and away from the ground and hit the button . This will reduce any of the unwanted interference that may be around the area you’re detecting. This takes around 50s, which at times feels like a lot longer.

Ground balancing is also pretty easy on the SDC 2300, you basically clear a small patch of ground (not targets), press and hold the green button on the handle and pump it up and down in a steady and controlled manner, without hitting the ground. This gets rid of any of the noise from the ground so you can again better hear your targets.


The SDC 2300 takes 4 C-cell batteries, most of the latest packages available will come with a lithium ion battery pack and charger, but you can always throw in some alkaline batteries in a pinch.

This detector feels solid and the high quality parts are well-put together, the level of refinement of its folding action is excellent. There’s no concerns of the detector falling to pieces after a few thousand folds, that’s for sure.

Minelab has really kept usability in mind, the ability to have an inexperienced user to turn it on and get detecting straight away is a massive selling point. Advanced users will also be impressed with its capabilities and have plenty of fun searching over already detected sites for the smaller gold that other detectors have missed. A lot of advanced users enjoy having the ability to detect underwater up to 10’ or 3m, opening a completely new world of detecting for some.


As with most things in life, there are a some things that are not so great. Although most of these issues are almost to the point of nitpicking, they are something that are worth mentioning. They are certainly not deal breakers by any means.

The first being that it can be hard to collapse, especially when straight out of the box or when the mechanisms have dirt in them. It does take a little getting used to collapsing the SDC 2300, but once you get the hang of it there is no problem. Make sure you keep the shafts and mechanisms clear of debris and you shouldn’t have any issues.

Some users reported that the rotary switch can be hard to adjust, especially when using gloves or with sweaty fingers. This might not be such a big issue, as most times you’re sticking to the same settings and rarely changing it.

The head phone connection can be tricky to remove, its another thing that you just need to get the hang of. The connector is designed so that it can’t be pulled easily from the socket and must be pinched on the slide collar to be removed. It also should be said that for the price, it would be nice if waterproof headphones were included with the detector, rather than be an optional extra.

Finally a word on the SDC 2300 price, It is on the slightly more expensive side but if this detector fits your criteria, there would be no hesitation in recommending it. 

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