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Steve Herschbach

Understanding The Sensitivity Control On The Gold Monster 1000

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New Treasure Talk entry...


What the Automatic Signal Processing is actually doing (advanced description)

Another performance advantage of the two Auto settings (hidden from the user) is that both the sensitivity resolution and adjustment range actually go way beyond what can be displayed via the LCD segments:

  • Where there are ten Manual settings to choose from, the GOLD MONSTER signal processing will automatically make the optimum choice from well over 10,000 incremental steps.
  • Where Manual 10 is the maximum level that can be user selected, the auto level selected may range above 10 if the ambient and ground conditions allow, giving a greater sensitivity than manual will ever be able to achieve. 



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One might even hope that the rumoured not too far away GPZ software update may include this feature. 

Might be handy :happy:

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Minelab Gold Monster 1000 On Alkali Ground in Auto+ Sensitivity Setting

I am as guilty as anyone of running detectors "too hot". It's an old habit, and one that runs contrary to the vast amount of advice on running detectors. Nearly every expert and every written word on the subject recommends seeking a stable, solid threshold. The Sensitivity or Gain control is the primary method for doing this. The advice in general "when encountering noise of any sort, lower the sensitivity."

The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is running at extremely high levels of internal gain and also with boosted audio. I have always complained about detectors that can be run at full Gain under nearly all conditions, as it makes me feel like performance is being "left on the table". I like machines that become unstable at high Sensitivity levels, and which then must be backed off to find the realistic maximum setting for the conditions.

The problem metal detector manufacturers then face is people just automatically running the machines too hot, as they fear a loss of depth. This in turn leads to complaints of machines being unstable or "too noisy".

The Fisher F75 is my favorite recent example. The machine was originally designed with an exceptionally High Gain receiver circuit. However, this made the machine famous for being noisy, especially in high EMI environments. The answer was to turn the Sensitivity down, but people hated that. It just seems wrong!

So Fisher added filtering to remove the noise. This filtering (DST) does indeed tame the F75, making it far easier to run at full Sensitivity at all times.

And guess what. Some people now complain the new DST models are not as hot as old pre-DST models, especially in all metal mode. Some refuse to use the new ones because of this. Others love the new models for being more stable in urban environments.

Lesson? Metal detector manufacturers just can't win this one. If a detector comes out that can be run to the max limits of the hardware, it will generally draw complaints for being noisy. Conversely, machines that are nice and stable get complaints for being tame! Garrett for instance designs for stability, so the AT models were generally deemed as not being as deep as the F75, while the original F75 drew flack for being to unstable. It will be interesting is the new, more powerful AT Max will draw flack in some quarters for being noisier than the older models.

The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is a very High Gain boosted audio nugget detector. Doing this helps get it closer to performance attained by higher frequency machines like the 71 kHz Gold Bug 2. However, if you attempt to equal a high frequency machine by boosting Gain and audio, there is a point where noise will intrude. There are simply limits as to how far you can go at any frequency and the GM1000 absolutely is pushing the hardware as far as it can go and maybe a little beyond at max settings. My advice? Please pay attention to this article. Read it, and then read it again. In particular:

"If you set the Sensitivity too low when reducing noise, then you will miss detecting the deeper targets, but if you set the Sensitivity too high, you may make the detector unstable and therefore unusable through detecting too much ground mineralisation or ‘noise’, ‘hot’ rocks and EMI."

"While we strongly recommend running the GOLD MONSTER 1000 in Auto or Auto+, experienced detectorists may wish to use the manual settings." (Emphasis added)

"To manually set Sensitivity, we suggest backing all the way off to Manual 1, then gradually increase the Sensitivity whilst swinging the coil over ground, clear of metal targets, until you hear noise being detected. Then back off the Sensitivity slightly to select the highest possible level before too much noise makes the detector unstable and unusable."

And finally:

"Note: the GOLD MONSTER is a highly sensitive VLF detector, with boosted audio, and it may not be possible to run in Manual 10, in difficult ground, without some noise interference and false signals occurring. If this happens you may be running the detector past its maximum practical limits."

When we state that “the GOLD MONSTER 1000 turns beginners into experts with fully automatic operation”, the Automatic Sensitivity on this new gold detector is an important feature that helps achieve this!

For those of you who insist on running manual, my advice is consider Manual 8 to be the equivalent of the max setting on most detectors. Max 9 is hyper gain and about as far as is practical for many people even in low mineral ground. Consider it a Pro setting. Manual 10 is hitting the hardware limits and some coil touch sensitivity may exhibit itself at this level. The case can be made that maybe Minelab went to far in allowing people to get to this point but I for one begged that the machine not be toned down to what is considered "safe" levels. Manual 10 can reward proficient operators under the right conditions but don't think you can floor the gas on a race car without things getting a little squirrelly! Patience and careful coil control is required when running the ragged edge. People in highly mineralized ground should not even expect to be able to run at this level without encountering difficulty, if it can even be made to work at all. If you are encountering difficulties, reduce the sensitivity manually or employ the Auto Sensitivity settings.

minelab-gold-prospecting-detector-comparison chart-2017-large.jpg
Where Does The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 Fit In The Minelab Lineup?

I think people expecting the GM1000 to be the ultimate VLF replacing all VLF nugget detectors will be disappointed. I specifically wrote my first article on the GM1000 with the goal of trying to get people off that horse. First and foremost, it is designed and marketed as an entry level nugget detector! Hello! I have said it before and will say it again - if you are an old Pro running a 71 kHz Gold Bug 2 with 3" x 6" concentric coil in low mineral ground, such that you have the sensitivity at max and are running in the low mineral setting, then expecting the 45 kHz GM1000 to match or exceed it on the tiniest of tiny bits is expecting too much. Conversely, if you are running a 14 kHz machine with a 14" x 13" DD coil and expecting the GM1000 to beat it on larger deeper gold you are expecting too much. If you are expecting the GM1000 to come close to replacing a SDC, GPX, or GPZ, you are expecting WAY too much!

If you are looking for a great value in a high performance entry level detector designed specifically at running at higher frequencies in difficult ground with ease of use as the primary goal, you have the right idea. It really is optimized such that if run correctly it will handle tough conditions and deliver the goods. While the GM1000 can't beat the 71 kHz machine at what it does best, or the 14 kHz machine at what it does best, it straddles the line between both as well and as broadly as was possible for Minelab to make it, delivering as much as possible on the best attributes of both. If you use the GM1000 as intended and do not attempt to force the detector to be something it is not, you will be a happy camper.

Those who insist on doing otherwise I will refer to this thread in the future and say "I told you so". People complain about hype but I am now of the opinion people want hype. They want to be told whatever they want to hear, and if people won't tell it to them, they will just imagine it anyway. My original post linked below and this post are the "anti hype" and hopefully a reason why people read this forum.

I think the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is an excellent and very valuable addition to the choices we already have available on the market. I think Minelab is going to sell a ton of them. Since I do believe this to be the case I am going out of my way to attempt to head off people "hyping themselves" into being disappointed when their imaginings turn out not to be true. Please, I try hard to be straight up with you all. Read my previous "First Impressions thread" and the "Sensitivity Article" and this post as many times as needed to understand what is being said. Thank you!

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I admire your tenacity, Steve...even Jesus had the problem of people hearing what they want...not what was meant. 

But, please keep trying it is fun to watch the sparks when you get a little miffed...

I say that in the most respectful way.


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Hey Fred, thanks.

There has been this growing backlash on the internet against what has been perceived as "official tester hype". It has gone too far now with continuous personal attacks. One guy on Findmall and the so-called "Friendly Forum" has gone so far as to label testers as "trained monkeys".

As a tester I don't find that sort of talk to be very friendly and as a result I set up this forum and have basically stopped posting elsewhere. If people think testers posting reviews on forums is hype, then I just won't do it anymore except for on this forum. Anyone coming here and reading what I have to say by seeking me out and then complaining about it is an idiot and can expect to get the boot. You don't want to hear what I have to say then don't come here!

How is that for miffed? :biggrin:

Anyway, as time has passed I have been trying to better craft my posts so as to avoid this sort of accusations of hype developing. Much to my dismay people really do hear what they want to hear anyway so it seems a bit futile at times. In my book however trying to put the right tools in the right hands is always the better strategy for the long run. Hype just results in destructive blowback and so really should be avoided for sound long term business reasons. Good products just prove themselves over time. If anything Minelab fights an uphill battle each time as the troops of Minelab haters pile on first. It usually takes a year to sort out, and in the end Minelab products almost without fail (there are a few exceptions) have proven to be real winners.

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That's the good thing about you Steve, consistent remarks that are cemented in real world experience that stand the test of time. You're your own worst critic so the nameless brigade have nothing compared to your own personal code of ethics on what you say and how you conduct yourself. And then for good measure you draw a very solid "Trump's Mexican Wall" like line in the sand that even blind Freddy would find hard to miss!

I have to say though, a lot of this would not be happening if product was made available on the advertised release date. I'm sure there are a lot of very frustrated sales people at Minelab right now.


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On ya, Steve the hyenas will never get you.

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The naysayers will never stop and fools never learn; no matter how hard one may try...

therefore, integrity is the first, last and only bastion for one's self.


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I always look forward to your reviews and informative evaluations Steve. They are always factual and unbiased. Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged. We all value your input!

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