Steve Herschbach

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Steve Herschbach last won the day on January 19

Steve Herschbach had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

4,072 Excellent


About Steve Herschbach

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location:
    Reno, NV
  • Interests:
    Prospecting, metal detecting, building websites
  • Gear Used:
    Fisher Gold Bug 2; Minelab GPZ 7000, CTX 3030; Whites DFX/BigFoot; XP Deus; Garrett ATX; Makro Racer 2, Gold Racer

Recent Profile Visitors

10,464 profile views
  1. There are lots of ways to spot a fake Minelab, but the easiest is the price. Minelab controls advertised prices. Right now a Minelab GPX 5000 cannot be advertised for less than US$3999 in the United States. Anything advertised for dramatically less is probably a counterfeit detector. The price may vary in other countries, but will still be consistent at genuine dealers. Same old rule applies - if it is too good to be true....
  2. I was just emailed this question: "Just one question - Is this unit any better, or is it identical to the WM 12 Wireless Audio Mobile included with the GPZ?" The WM12 is designed to connect wirelessly with the GPZ 7000. The Pro-Sonic has a transmitter that plugs into a detector audio jack, and then its receiver connects wirelessly to the transmitter. This allows it to be used with most any detector. The Pro-Sonic receiver will not make a direct wireless connection to the GPZ 7000 – the transmitter must be used. Different frequencies, and so they are not the same. You could use the Pro-Sonic with the GPZ but only by plugging the transmitter into the headphone jack, at which point the WM12 would not work since the headphone connection takes over. The Pro-Sonic includes a volume control on the receiver/speaker module. The WM12 does not. I have not used the Pro-Sonic myself but according to JPs review above “When comparing the inbuilt speaker of the WM 12 to the PRO-SONIC, the PRO-SONIC seems to have a crisper response compared to the WM 12, this could be down to the Volume control.” and “I prefer the way the WM 12 behaves when it drops audio, it is smoother and less intrusive to the ear when compared to the PRO-SONIC.”
  3. Such a beautiful country!
  4. A new Treasure Talk blog from JP
  5. People confuse good settings with good prospecting skills. I find gold so people want to know my settings. Maybe my settings suck, and I am just good at getting my coil over gold nuggets. I actually would tend to argue that more than claiming I am a settings wizard. That is another reason I hate to get into specifics because I am darned if I can say my own settings are even what is best for me. My own opinion is that I am sloppy on settings and succeed mainly though hard work. My technique boils down to crank that baby up and start swinging! JP knows far better than I what makes for a good setting given any circumstance.
  6. There are two types of Gain or Sensitivity settings. One type boosts the actual transmit (TX) power of the detector. The other type boosts or amplifies the receive (RX) signal. The GPZ 7000 Sensitivity setting is the second type. That being the case increasing the sensitivity is not actually making the machine more powerful. You amplify signals from nuggets, but also from ground noise and electrical interference (EMI). Ground setting controls directly affect the signals being generated. One ground setting may cause certain hot rocks to create signals. Another ground setting may eliminate those same hot rocks. Increasing the sensitivity in the first instance will make those hot rock signals and gold nugget signals louder. In the second instance, there is no hot rock signal that can be increased, so increasing the sensitivity control will not make those hot rock signals louder but will boost the response on a gold nugget. The Gold Mode and Ground Type are primary controls as they determine what the detector will or will not detect. The Sensitivity or Gain is a secondary control that amplifies the signals generated. The audio settings, Volume, Threshold Level, Threshold Pitch, Volume Limit, and Audio Smoothing all also act in their various ways to change how you hear the signal after the fact. They are less about changing the generated signal and more about customizing the sounds for your particular hearing. People still play one against the other however, lowering one while increasing another. The main problem when you dig into the details is that THERE ARE NO MAGIC SETTINGS. Different ground types, hot rocks, gold types, and background EMI call for different primary settings. Then our own hearing and brain signal processing call for different secondary control settings. Primary controls like ground type are actually simpler in my opinion. If you have a certain pesky hot rock, and one ground setting really lights it up, and another eliminates it, it is obvious with a bit of experimentation which setting is best. After that however things get messy. What we all want really is a detector that is dead quiet, and then gives a loud, unmistakable beep on a gold nugget, and nothing else. People often strive to reach this ideal level of perfection. The problem is that we all discover that a perfectly quiet detector gives up certain signals, typically the weakest signals. The Threshold control is an easy example. Many people do not like listening to a detector that makes a constant noise. Just turn the threshold down until the machine is like a coin detector - quiet until it goes beep. Most nugget hunters however live and die by the threshold and feel lost without it. It is those faint threshold disturbances that signal a very small or very deep nugget. Games then develop. Lower the Threshold but increase the Sensitivity is an example. It is like putting your foot on the brake while increasing the pressure on the gas pedal, with the great benefit being you can't burn up the brakes. You can still have your silent machine while boosting some signals that may have been lost, but finding the magic combination depends on what signals the primary controls are creating for you to modify in the first place, and that depends exactly where you are detecting. After years of going over this with hundreds of detectors and thousands of people I have come to understand it really is more about our ears and brains. We all have different combinations. We all have different ears, that is fairly easy to understand, and so the threshold setting you find too loud I may find too quiet. It normally just needs to be set as low as possible while still being audible, but that setting may vary due to our hearing. The second part is more to do with our brain. If you hate hearing a noise all day, you may want to set the threshold to just below where it is audible. I may want to set it where it is just barely audible. That may have a bit too much waver in the sound for some people as the ground varies, so they will raise the threshold even more in an attempt to smooth the signal. Which is correct? An engineer can tell you from a technical standpoint, but they would be wrong in my opinion. The trick to prospecting is in the end more mental than almost anything else. For most casual hunters it has to be enjoyable. If it is not, it is a burden to be borne, and we all can only bear a burden for so long. In my opinion the detector has to match your personal style in the way that makes you most comfortable and most likely to persevere and continue detecting. My brain and my style demands constant audio feedback. In theory I want a machine to be perfectly quiet and only make a sound over gold. Forty years of detecting has taught me it does not work that way for me. I like to have the machine deliver constant audio feedback, and so at a minimum I need to have a constant threshold tone. I like to hear faint ground variations as I go. Each detector has its own language, and apparently I have a brain that from long years of detecting has been trained well in these languages. People hear noise, I hear the symphony. It does not matter that much that I have poor hearing - I fix that with the controls and headphones, etc. What matter most to me is getting all the audio into my ears and to my brain, where the real work occurs. EMI makes one noise, ground makes another, rocks make something else, but with time it is the nugget signal that stops me dead in my tracks. Many people when coin detecting just want the machine to beep. Others want a couple tones. Most will balk at more than four tones. I prefer what is called full tones, which on my DFX means 191 different tones. I also do not like rejecting targets, but prefer for them to just have their own tone. It is all music to my ear, and I literally experience all attempts to reduce raw signals as a deadening of information to my brain. Critical information is being withheld and I am not happy. Too put it simply, if my machine is dead quiet, I feel deaf. That is a long explanation of how I detect. I am at one extreme. Another person will be at the other far end, trying hard to make their machine dead quiet unless over a nugget or a coin. In between we have the vast majority of people. seeking their own perfect combination that works for them. None is actually right or wrong - it is what works best for them. I am the renegade on this one because detectorists with more of an engineering bent will insist that no, running too noisy is bad, or running too quiet is bad. From an engineers perspective there is indeed a perfect signal to noise ratio for any given circumstance that is correct, and anything else is incorrect. The problem as I have found it is trying to impose one style of detecting on a person with a different style is hammering a square peg into a round hole. What matters in my opinion is to put very many hours on your detector while learning what every control does by way of experimentation. Then use that knowledge to develop settings that work best for your own situations and detecting style. Reading stuff like this is a very good start but at the end of the day it is like learning to play the guitar by reading about it. To learn and get good with a guitar requires constant practice and a detector is no different. I almost never discuss specific settings, but did so by publishing my Steve's Insanely Hot GPZ 7000 Settings. I kind of regret doing so now. The problem is people latch onto this stuff like it is some kind of gospel. Then you get Lunk's ZED Settings and the debate begins, which is "right" and which is "wrong". The answer is Lunk's settings are right for him, and my settings are right for me, and both of us would change them in a heartbeat if we thought it would be beneficial. More importantly, neither of us would ever advocate just using some settings gleaned off the internet as anything more than a starting point for your own experimentation, to find what works best for you in given locations depending on your own detecting style and preferences. Using some setting off the internet is like buying a car and then getting on the internet and asking which gear setting and throttle setting combination is best. It all depends on the road and the driver. The key thought I want to leave you with is that you just need to be in the ballpark. Detectors are actually pretty forgiving. The most important thing is to work on getting into good locations and practicing good prospecting habits like good coil control and long hours of detecting. Things like that have more impact on the gold you will find then the chase to find the perfect setting. Most nuggets I find to this day I would have found with a wide range of settings and indeed with many different detectors. You have to get the coil over the nugget, first and foremost. Well, way more answer than a simple question asked for, and maybe I just confused the issue. That's what happens when you give me a cup of coffee and put me in front of a keyboard in the morning! Below it says "using the highest stable sensitivity setting will achieve the best performance" (emphasis added). Or go back to Fred's answer above if I have thoroughly confused the issue.
  7. Always nice to hear good news!
  8. People generally want to believe what they want to believe, and as long as you play to that it is relatively easy to con people. I could have been a great con man but my parents raised me right. Being in business I did see many played however. The three most common I saw in Alaska were: 1. Selling worthless ground by association/proximity. All you have to do is stake worthless ground on or near good proven ground, the more famous the better. For example, Bonanza Creek produced tons of gold, but only in the last five miles of its eight mile length. Stake claims on the worthless upper three miles, point at all the history and production downstream - easy sale. Regular folks do not understand how gold deposits work and think if found in one part of a location it is found everywhere else. 2. Just a little more money needed. We have this great ground, and have invested much time and money, and are now almost to the fabulous glory hole. All we need is for you to invest XXXX dollars now and by this fall you will get ten times that back. Somehow most of the money goes to paying my expenses/wages and the glory hole never gets found. Goes well with number 1. above. 3. Believe it or not I have seen the gold from water scam played repeatedly. Glacial silt in water is a popular source of micron gold that can be recovered with the right magic filters. Due to all the glacial silt in Alaska waters and the general Alaska mystique it is a popular destination for people running this scam. The fun part is you are generally wasting your time trying to talk people out of being conned. They will often defend the scammer and even get angry if you push it too hard. The "sunk cost" fallacy from the post above also applies to minds made up. We have invested ourselves into a decision, and will resist being proven wrong. So much so that when presented with contrary evidence, we will decide the evidence is wrong before admitting we are wrong. Attempting to talk someone out of being conned can actually make people more inclined to accept the con. Outright scams blend seamlessly into legal marketing and so caution is always called for. In general, if you are being told what you want to hear, be cautious. A. If you buy this detector device, learn it well, put in the time to research and hunt the right places, and work real hard at it, you may do well. B. If you buy this detector device, it will easily pay for itself. The difference is obvious - beware easy answers.
  9. If you try to go to Rob's forum at it's old address at you get a 404 Not Found error. The forum has been moved to a new location at A lot of links just broke - looks like I have some housekeeping to do. Update any saved bookmarks you may have.
  10. Geobotany: Plants Associated With Mineral Deposits by Alex Dolbeare Science has shown, over the past few centuries, that there is a direct correlation between certain plants and their geophysical surroundings. ICMJ Article November 2014 (Vol. 84, No. 3)
  11. "NASA recently announced it's latest endeavor: Explore a giant metal asteroid the size of Massachusetts. Made up of mostly nickel and iron, the giant hunk of space metal is about three times further away from the Sun than Earth. Psyche is both the name of an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter — and the name of a joint NASA/ASU mission to visit that asteroid. The mission was chosen by NASA for one of its series of low-cost missions to solar system targets. The spacecraft will likely launch in 2020 and travel to the asteroid using solar-electric (low-thrust) propulsion. After a six-year cruise, the mission plan calls for 20 months spent in orbit around the asteroid, mapping it and studying its properties." More at and
  12. The article linked to above goes into this subject in great detail. The short answer - this site does not strip GPS info automatically. Never upload any photo with included GPS info intact to any website if you do not want it to be shared. I personally would never trust a website to do it for me - it would be easy to make a website that strips and collects the information instead of stripping and discarding it. Do it yourself first as explained in the link above. Best solution is to use a camera that never collects it in the first place - i.e. a camera without a built in GPS.
  13. The Garrett specs out as faster at 17 milliseconds claimed (see spec sheet in first post) versus Pro-Sonic claimed at "less than 50 milliseconds". A GPZ WM12 tested out at 20 ms
  14. I have not even scratched the surface of this website link. All kinds of diverse articles and photos from all over the country. There are many photos of legends in the prospecting world. I tripped over this site years ago, forgot about it, and then found it again yesterday while doing research. Check it out at
  15. Now that is some fine gold! I have always been a nugget chaser myself, but there is something very fascinating about the recovery of very fine gold. It is an art in itself, and the plain fact is you can find tiny gold in a lot more locations than you can find gold nuggets. For many people developing skill at fine gold recovery is a far more productive path to finding gold than chasing gold nuggets.