How good are our fancy new metal detectors?

Moneybox

Philip & Sandra Box
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Fist full of gold.jpg

We have the new GPX6000. It's super sensitive, finds tiny gold deep and of course any other metal that's there as well. However since getting this detector a year ago I've continually wondered whether it is really doing the job as well as our previous detectors.

We started out like most, ignorant nubies with big dreams. I'm not sure when we purchased our first detector but it was just a few weeks before the release of the SDC2300. ( MINELAB RELEASES SDC 2300 GOLD DETECTOR 09 Jul 2014 )
We were trying our luck at panning at 6 Mile on the Tanami Track just south of Halls Creek in Western Australia. We were getting the tiniest of specks of gold and I couldn't see that sort of result in my future. I climbed to the top of a mullock heap, googled metal detectors, called Ray at Karratha Minelab and ordered an SDC2300. Ray said that he would have it delivered directly from Minelab. The next day I called again to be told that the SDC would not be released for another couple of weeks. I thanked him, hung up and called The Prospectors Patch in Perth and ordered a Garrett ATX. It was delivered to the freight depot in Broome a couple of days later.

We never found anything but hotrocks and rubbish on our way home to Capel but we were already several thousand dollars out of pocket so seriously committed. One thing was clear, Mrs M needed a metal detector as well so once home I ordered a Whites GMT for her.
It soon became very clear to me that we needed help from others with experience in metal detecting for gold. We joined the Detecting West Australian Gold forum and put our name down to attend their annual Muster. This was a week out with a small group of dedicated gold seekers at the Niagra Dam near Kookynie. I was a little surprised and disappointed to see how little gold was found, in fact some didn’t find anything at all.

We got lucky and with a bit of guidance and good advice by the end of that week we had our first nugget, a nice little 0.8g piece of gold. Shortly after we were prospecting off on our own so nobody could see us making a fool of ourselves when the ATX picked up a huge signal under the caprock. The rock was not terribly hard but still took ages to dig down to the coke can in the bunny burrow below.

By the time the group broke up and headed home we had the fever so there was no going home for us. We’d learned enough to know how to find a pending lease so we headed north to try our luck on a new patch. We continued to dig bullets and rust until Mrs M lost interest and wandered off up a steep rocky hill nearby. Once again the ATX detected a deep target, it wasn’t loud but clear enough to have me dig a hole about 400mm deep to uncover our second nugget. I yelled to Mrs M “We’ve got gold” she called back “How big” I replied “An ounce”. Well it took her just moments to make her way down that rocky hill and join in the celebration. The nugget weighed in at 35g.

The next morning we left and headed further north to find more gold. We ran into a couple and showed off our find. Their response was “What are you doing here? You never leave a spot like that” so back we went. That same day I pulled out a 6g piece less than a metre from the first and nearly as deep.
After a thorough search for more we moved on to a new pending patch. There Mrs M found her first nugget, a 2.8g piece with the Whites GMT.

We went home with swelled heads thinking we knew it all....:rolleyes:

After several more trips out we worked out that Mrs M needed a better detector so we bought our first SDC2300. It was my original choice anyway and after a frustrating start it proved to be a good choice. We bought it new from The Prospectors Pick on our way to the airport. We were flying out to Hawai and planned to detect the beaches for war relics. It was a huge disappointment because the SDC was way too noisy to use with the supplied earphones and embarrassingly noisy to use without. We ended up throwing it back in the boot and detected with the beautifully well behaved Garrett ATX.

Some time later I we made friends with a couple, he had an ATX and his wife had the GPX5000. They worked out that the Minelab was finding more gold and by that time I’d noticed the difference in the gold we were finding. I was finding bigger and deeper gold and Mrs M was finding small surface gold that the ATX couldn’t detect. Our friend sold his ATX and bought a GPX5000 and encouraged me to do the same. I did.
I sold my lovely Garrett ATX and bought a second hand GPX4500 fitted with a Coiltek 14” Elite coil. It was a good move because the Minelab detector still found the big nuggets but also found a lot more smaller nuggets.

Gold 2016 trip.jpg

This photo of Mrs M holding our finds was taken 2/10/2016. It was our first trip away with the GPX4500 and the SDC2300. We were still learning how to detect for gold but every year after that was better.

I first noticed how well we were doing when our friends traded their GPX5000s for a GPZ7000 each. They were well experienced detectorists by then but the results of their change was not encouraging. Then my brother decided to buy a detector and joined us on our annual trip away swinging a GPZ7000.

His finds were disappointing even though we were on the same ground but I put it down to his inexperience. The following year the result was the same, and then the following year. He didn’t usually come out for the same period of time but while he was there working the same ground I’d constantly find near double the gold with the GPX4500.

Now you might say some people find more gold than others. That’s true but we’ve spent half of our lives together and we usually do equally as well at whatever we do.

This year told the story. My brother saw how much small gold I found with the GPX6000 last year so this year he turned up with a GPX6000 as well. The result was that we found almost exactly the same amount of gold in the same time. The results pretty much confirmed my original thoughts. When he bought the GPZ7000 he spent all his time digging tiny pieces of gold and rubbish that I couldn’t detect with the GPX4500. Instead I walked on covering a lot more distance but finding a lot more gold because I only dug the bigger pieces.

169.4g.jpg

This is the gold I found last year on our annual trip away. Mrs M was not there but I was armed with a brand new GPX6000. I got 800 pieces for 169g. Not near my usual 500g with the GPX4500 but I was only away half of the time.

Every year the Garrett ATX or Minelab GPX4500 found gold nuggets in excess of 20g in size. So far the biggest I’ve found with the GPX6000 is 10g. Now I’m not saying that the GPX6000 and GPZ7000 can’t find big gold. Of course they can but we spend all day digging microscopic pieces of rubbish, lead shot and tiny nuggets that the older detectors ignored. Because of the extra ground covered in the same time the GPX4500 found big gold on a regular basis.

Lead.jpg

I recently revisited a patch where Mrs M and I cleaned it out and brought home about 80g or so of gold. I got the bigger gold with the GPX4500 and Mrs M got all the small stuff off the surface along with an awful lot of shotgun pellets using the SDC2300. This is the result of my revisit swinging the GPX6000. I spent a morning digging about 40 shotgun pellets that were too deep for the SDC2300 and three tiny nuggets that I couldn’t detect with the GPX4500 and Mrs M most likely missed.

Big Nuggets.jpg

I’m not leaving the GPX4500 at home next time......
 
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View attachment 4600

We have the new GPX6000. It's super sensitive, finds tiny gold deep and of course any other metal that's there as well. However since getting this detector a year ago I've continually wondered whether it is really doing the job as well as our previous detectors.

We started out like most, ignorant nubies with big dreams. I'm not sure when we purchased our first detector but it was just a few weeks before the release of the SDC2300. ( MINELAB RELEASES SDC 2300 GOLD DETECTOR 09 Jul 2014 )
We were trying our luck at panning at 6 Mile on the Tanami Track just south of Halls Creek in Western Australia. We were getting the tiniest of specks of gold and I couldn't see that sort of result in my future. I climbed to the top of a mullock heap, googled metal detectors, called Ray at Karratha Minelab and ordered an SDC2300. Ray said that he would have it delivered directly from Minelab. The next day I called again to be told that the SDC would not be released for another couple of weeks. I thanked him, hung up and called The Prospectors Patch in Perth and ordered a Garrett ATX. It was delivered to the freight depot in Broome a couple of days later.

We never found anything but hotrocks and rubbish on our way home to Capel but we were already several thousand dollars out of pocket so seriously committed. One thing was clear, Mrs M needed a metal detector as well so once home I ordered a Whites GMT for her.
It soon became very clear to me that we needed help from others with experience in metal detecting for gold. We joined the Detecting West Australian Gold forum and put our name down to attend their annual Muster. This was a week out with a small group of dedicated gold seekers at the Niagra Dam near Kookynie. I was a little surprised and disappointed to see how little gold was found, in fact some didn’t find anything at all.

We got lucky and with a bit of guidance and good advice by the end of that week we had our first nugget, a nice little 0.8g piece of gold. Shortly after we were prospecting off on our own so nobody could see us making a fool of ourselves when the ATX picked up a huge signal under the caprock. The rock was not terribly hard but still took ages to dig down to the coke can in the bunny burrow below.

By the time the group broke up and headed home we had the fever so there was no going home for us. We’d learned enough to know how to find a pending lease so we headed north to try our luck on a new patch. We continued to dig bullets and rust until Mrs M lost interest and wandered off up a steep rocky hill nearby. Once again the ATX detected a deep target, it wasn’t loud but clear enough to have me dig a hole about 400mm deep to uncover our second nugget. I yelled to Mrs M “We’ve got gold” she called back “How big” I replied “An ounce”. Well it took her just moments to make her way down that rocky hill and join in the celebration. The nugget weighed in at 35g.

The next morning we left and headed further north to find more gold. We ran into a couple and showed off our find. Their response was “What are you doing here? You never leave a spot like that” so back we went. That same day I pulled out a 6g piece less than a metre from the first and nearly as deep.
After a thorough search for more we moved on to a new pending patch. There Mrs M found her first nugget, a 2.8g piece with the Whites GMT.

We went home with swelled heads thinking we knew it all....:rolleyes:

After several more trips out we worked out that Mrs M needed a better detector so we bought our first SDC2300. It was my original choice anyway and after a frustrating start it proved to be a good choice. We bought it new from The Prospectors Pick on our way to the airport. We were flying out to Hawai and planned to detect the beaches for war relics. It was a huge disappointment because the SDC was way too noisy to use with the supplied earphones and embarrassingly noisy to use without. We ended up throwing it back in the boot and detected with the beautifully well behaved Garrett ATX.

Some time later I we made friends with a couple, he had an ATX and his wife had the GPX5000. They worked out that the Minelab was finding more gold and by that time I’d noticed the difference in the gold we were finding. I was finding bigger and deeper gold and Mrs M was finding small surface gold that the ATX couldn’t detect. Our friend sold his ATX and bought a GPX5000 and encouraged me to do the same. I did.
I sold my lovely Garrett ATX and bought a second hand GPX4500 fitted with a Coiltek 14” Elite coil. It was a good move because the Minelab detector still found the big nuggets but also found a lot more smaller nuggets.

View attachment 4588

This photo of Mrs M holding our finds was taken 2/10/2016. It was our first trip away with the GPX4500 and the SDC2300. We were still learning how to detect for gold but every year after that was better.

I first noticed how well we were doing when our friends traded their GPX5000s for a GPZ7000 each. They were well experienced detectorists by then but the results of their change was not encouraging. Then my brother decided to buy a detector and joined us on our annual trip away swinging a GPZ7000.

His finds were disappointing even though we were on the same ground but I put it down to his inexperience. The following year the result was the same, and then the following year. He didn’t usually come out for the same period of time but while he was there working the same ground I’d constantly find near double the gold with the GPX4500.

Now you might say some people find more gold than others. That’s true but we’ve spent half of our lives together and we usually do equally as well at whatever we do.

This year told the story. My brother saw how much small gold I found with the GPX6000 last year so this year he turned up with a GPX6000 as well. The result was that we found almost exactly the same amount of gold in the same time. The results pretty much confirmed my original thoughts. When he bought the GPZ7000 he spent all his time digging tiny pieces of gold and rubbish that I couldn’t detect with the GPX4500. Instead I walked on covering a lot more distance but finding a lot more gold because I only dug the bigger pieces.

View attachment 4594

This is the gold I found last year on our annual trip away. Mrs M was not there but I was armed with a brand new GPX6000. I got 800 pieces for 169g. Not near my usual 500g with the GPX4500 but I was only away half of the time.

Every year the Garrett ATX or Minelab GPX4500 found gold nuggets in excess of 20g in size. So far the biggest I’ve found with the GPX6000 is 10g. Now I’m not saying that the GPX6000 and GPZ7000 can’t find big gold. Of course they can but we spend all day digging microscopic pieces of rubbish, lead shot and tiny nuggets that the older detectors ignored. Because of the extra ground covered in the same time the GPX4500 found big gold on a regular basis.

View attachment 4599

I recently revisited a patch where Mrs M and I cleaned it out and brought home about 80g or so of gold. I got the bigger gold with the GPX4500 and Mrs M got all the small stuff off the surface along with an awful lot of shotgun pellets using the SDC2300. This is the result of my revisit swinging the GPX6000. I spent a morning digging about 40 shotgun pellets that were too deep for the SDC2300 and three tiny nuggets that I couldn’t detect with the GPX4500 and Mrs M most likely missed.

View attachment 4601

I’m not leaving the GPX4500 at home next time......
Thats the trouble with all detectors, You buy the very best only to find out that you have bought another detector that looks at targets a differant way, Idealy You need one person swinging the 6 or 7K and another person swinging the 4500 over the exact same ground following on behind,

Detectors of old use to have a wider target response, IE the 3500 then things like the TDI's you could sellect it to find either large or small targets but although that sounds good it's a PITA because it means going over the ground a second time and a third time using a VLF, The issues you are having is why I stopped chopping and changing detectors, I still have a brand new one still boxed I bought a few years back because I know if the target is there it will find it but every detector I buy after that needs to be differant tech to make sure I have another base covered, Much like you with the 6K and the 4500 etc,

All the new machines are good as are the old ones but your predicament proves that we are no further ahead than we were 10 years ago in respect of we still need other machines and that there is no such thing as the perfect or do it all machine,

Hope you narrow that gap and get your Tally back on track soon,

Good luck mate, 👍
 

grubstake

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What a great write up 🙂, I do recall your early posts when you were struggling with the SDC chatter after the Garrett.
Genuine gold detecting success story 👍
And here at Prospecting Australia, we've been lucky enough to share in that success story, all along along the way. Huge thanks to you for allowing us that privilege, Mr & Mrs Moneybox.

Your stories, along with numerous accompanying pics and occasional videos, are always a good read and let the rest of us feel the excitement when the gold cooperates for you. Long may you both continue and prosper. 🌟
 
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I’m not leaving the GPX4500 at home next time......
Great work MoneyBox

I won't be selling my 45 anytime soon.
They're a great detector, as versatile as it gets. I like to be in control instead of all this BS factory preset things these days.
I paid for my 45 in under a month, took only a few finds whereas the 2300 I had, I paid for it in under a month too but it took way more finds to do so!
I love my 45... works fine for me :cool:
 
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Moneybox

Philip & Sandra Box
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One problem with these detectors is that they are unreliable. I don't know how Minelab get on with the Lemon Laws in the US. My detector has always had a problem with crashing on startup, it brought back memories of Microsoft in years past. I sent them a short movie by email with an explaination of the problem and was advised to return the control panel when I got the chance.

Merv left to go home about ten days before me. Right when he was driving out he came and met me leaving the patch. I had the GPX6000 dangling from my right hand and was heading back to camp. It wasn't the crashing on start-up that brought it to a close but the 11" mono coil died for the second time. I spent the next ten days swinging Merv's new 6000 and he delivered mine back to The Prospectors Pick in Bunbury.

The one thing that Minelab do very well is honour warranty. With no argument they replaced the control panel with upper shaft and the 11" coil. No arguments or questions asked just immediate replacement and return. Thank you Minelab.

I picked it up at the post office yesterday and of course had to test it...

today.jpg

It works but there's been no improvement to the size of the nuggets....:confused:
 
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One problem with these detectors is that they are unreliable. I don't know how Minelab get on with the Lemon Laws in the US. My detector has always had a problem with crashing on startup, it brought back memories of Microsoft in years past. I sent them a short movie by email with an explaination of the problem and was advised to return the control panel when I got the chance.

Merv left to go home about ten days before me. Right when he was driving out he came and met me leaving the patch. I had the GPX6000 dangling from my right hand and was heading back to camp. It wasn't the crashing on start-up that brought it to a close but the 11" mono coil died for the second time. I spent the next ten days swinging Merv's new 6000 and he delivered mine back to The Prospectors Pick in Bunbury.

The one thing that Minelab do very well is honour warranty. With no argument they replaced the control panel with upper shaft and the 11" coil. No arguments or questions asked just immediate replacement and return. Thank you Minelab.

I picked it up at the post office yesterday and of course had to test it...



It works but there's been no improvement to the size of the nuggets....:confused:
Maybe you need to water the nuggets daily so they get bigger, 👌:D

It's good minelab done right by ya, Good on em.
 
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Love the read Phil.
Since I picked up my 2nd hand Zed, I havnt looked back. I wouldn't swap it for anything on the market today.
Now the 6000, that's another story.
I like it. But......I don't love it. I could easily live without it and make do with a 4500 or 5000 with a selection of coils.
I really don't like how it responds to EMI.
I hope that a software upgrade can help.
Maybe it's my machine? I know others don't think the emi is a problem, but it is with me. Coils....ahhhhh.....the 11" works well, but is a very cheap and nasty build.
I know the guys who use the coilteks are happy, and I guess the NF coil users will be to. I'm waiting to see how the new garrett goes in Australia, I like a lot of what it offers for sure.
I'm also really pretty excited for the 17x13 NF Zedsearch coil, which I should have in a couple of days I hope. Early rain in the NT today, so the emi ain't gunna get any better until about April!
Been a very exciting year or 2 for metal detecting, let's hope that there is enough gold out there to keep us all interested!
 
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Moneybox

Philip & Sandra Box
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The EMI on the 6000 is not just your problem. I've learned to turn the volume to the minimum on the detector and adjust if necessary on the headphones but keeping it as low as I can. That way the detector can carry on all it likes and you still pick up most targets. It has a good distinct target response that can usually be heard over the constant chatter.

The most serious problem is that the detector is so unreliable that I need to carry a spare. That's not good enough when you fork out $8000. I'm fortunate to have plenty of detectors lying around but for many their new GPX6000 is their only detector and in a lot of cases it doesn't last the trip out.
 
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The EMI on the 6000 is not just your problem. I've learned to turn the volume to the minimum on the detector and adjust if necessary on the headphones but keeping it as low as I can. That way the detector can carry on all it likes and you still pick up most targets. It has a good distinct target response that can usually be heard over the constant chatter.

The most serious problem is that the detector is so unreliable that I need to carry a spare. That's not good enough when you fork out $8000. I'm fortunate to have plenty of detectors lying around but for many their new GPX6000 is their only detector and in a lot of cases it doesn't last the trip out.
Hi Phil....what settings are you running the 6 in?
cheers
Tony
 

Pro-oz

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It's only one opinion Phil....but I would say your threshold is way too high...we run ours at around 10 o'clock for 99% of the time. It still arks up from time to time
but overall runs fairly smooth...it may be worth a try???
I haven't got a 6000 yet. But do you mean sensitivity to high?
 

Pro-oz

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I do. Basically...less is more. We run our sensitivity lower and trust the electronics. I have a youtube vid on it if your interested.
The principle is the same for all the pi detectors.
Yes Tony, I would be interested in watching your vid. If you can direct me how to find it.

Cheers
 

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