10 posts in this topic
A little over a week ago I received my repaired Gold Bug 2 back from Fisher in El Paso. I thought my threshold knob was bad, but Felix at Fisher said it was the ID and Mineralization toggle switches-probably from years of dirt build-up. They replaced the toggles, checked out the calibration and cleaned it. Turn around time, shipping included, was less than three weeks. We took it out four days ago and got this .7 gram nugget in shallow gravels on bedrock.
To preclude the problem from happening again I bought a thin neoprene washer and cut a round disc using a Henry rifle cartridge. After slicing a tiny x in the center of the discs with an Exacto knife they slipped tightly over the toggles. Not pretty but I think this will work.
By Steve Herschbach
I received this question via email, edited to remove any tips as to the source:
"Steve- been reading your reviews of detectors from way, way back. Now I'm looking for a bit of advice. I've got a claim where I've pulled nice gold, but the biggest single nugget has been just about a gram, pretty small stuff (but it's pretty plentiful). My GB-2 has really shined in this environment - shallow bedrock, low mineralization, and plenty of small gold. The issue is that my son doesn't want to let me use the GB-2, as he wants to use it all the time. That puts me in the market for another VLF machine. I've tried the GB-Pro, and didn't really care for it. Your review of the Nokta AU Gold Finder, and the Makro Gold Racer, both look pretty good. Other than the display and control box itself, are these machines really the same, or would one do better (coil size being equal) than another on small gold with low mineralization? The reason why I just don't go get another GB-2 is that it would be a nice bonus to use the new detector close by my son, while still hopefully having it excel and finding small gold. Any insights would be greatly appreciated. If there really isn't anything else that comes close, then I'll certainly go for another GB-2, even at it being as old as it is, but if there is another one that would excel in the above environment, I'd certainly appreciate your opinion on it."
Well, in my opinion the 71 kHz Gold Bug 2 with 6" coil has been and continues to be the top of the heap when it comes to finding the tiniest bits of gold. So the real question is whether you feel like giving up that little edge the unit has over all the rest in order to run a machine right next to your son without the two machines interfering. You also have the advantage of being very well versed in the use of the Bug.
Let's assume you do want to get something else however. You have mentioned the 56 kHz AU Gold Finder and Gold Racer, and they are indeed the same circuit in two very different packages. Coils from one will work just as well on the other. Other current new model alternatives would be the 48 khz White's GMT and probably the very soon to be available 45 kHz Minelab GM1000. Finally, I should mention the XP Deus V4 high frequency coil options hitting the market now in case you might consider a more exotic option. There also have been hints of a dedicated gold machine from XP this year.
I would assume a small coil as being a must have, and an advantage with the Gold Bug 2 is you can get it with the small coil as a stock variation. So let's compare internet prices.
Fisher Gold Bug 2 with 3.25" x 6.5" coil = $764
Makro Gold Racer with 5.5" x 10" coil $699 plus 4" x 7.5" coil $119 = $818 or Pro Pack $899
Nokta AU Gold Finder with 5.5" x 10" and 5.5" round coils = $999
White's GMT with 6" x 10" coil $729 plus 4" x 6" coil $127 = $856
Minelab GM1000 with 6" x 10" coil and 5" round coil = $799
A Deus runs $1250 plus the 4.7" x 9.5" elliptical HF coil at $425 = $1675 so not a good fit here for price and no smaller coil option than the elliptical. The only hope of that improving is if the dedicated gold machine shows up with the HF coil as stock.
I have to admit that the reports of warranty issues with early Gold Racer models have me concerned. This despite the fact I have what must be the oldest Gold Racer and AU Gold Finder units in the country, and both are going strong. I have to assume the issues, whatever they were, have been ironed out. I don't know that for a fact however. If you got one and still had a problem, Nokta/Makro is famous for resolving issues with customer satisfaction. The units carry a two year transferable warranty.
The GMT is the safe tried and true made in the U.S. option, and as far as performance the 56 kHz Gold Racers and 48 kHz GMT run neck and neck.
The big unknown at an attractive price is the 45 kHz Minelab Gold Monster 1000.
My best advice - wait! The flood gates are just now opening as regards reports on the GM1000 and at $799 with two coils it looks on paper at least to be an option worth waiting to find out more about. If you have to do something this minute, the GMT is the safe option if the reports of problems with the Gold Racers worry you. Personally, I have been very happy with my Gold Racer and would not trade it for a GMT. I have to note I finally did get another Gold Bug 2 with 6" coil however. If you are the sort of person who can't live without having that last small edge of performance, it is still the machine to beat for tiny gold performance in milder ground like you are describing.
Click picture for larger version.
Awoke to a light coming down from the attic access this morning. So I blew out the candle put down the beans, grabbed up the MD and headed up to the surface. Had no idea what I intended to detect in all this snow, perhaps pennies from Heaven. Wasn't long though before I got my first good signal and started digging. Was working this claim on the divide between the Stanislaus and Mokelumne rivers last "Fall" when winter set in and had to lay over for a spell. Don't know exactly what I have detected here but it appears to have crash landed during one of the big blows. I have included a couple photographs so you will be aware of what is headed downhill with the coming of "Spring".
The triangle pictured in the snow is a log cabin roof with access on the opposite gable. The green object in the other photograph hit in the "tin-foil range" but does not taste like metal. I knocked on what appeared to be a tank hatch but got no reply. Just I started to rebury the thing it started to hum the Marine Corps Hymn at which point I returned to the cabin for some push-ups.
In what range would a person expect to get for an empty 300 gallon propane tank at depth?