Jump to content
Steve Herschbach

Detailed Review Of Makro Gold Racer By Steve Herschbach

Recommended Posts


Frankly, that about wore me out! That review was for general consumption and will no doubt get posted around elsewhere. Exclusive to the members of this forum will be more technical details and blatant opinions on my part, but for now I need a break from the keyboard. More on this thread soon. In the meantime, post any question you may have and I will answer to the best of my ability - after the pizza!.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will you always have one with you while out on a trip?  Will it be one of your special use detectors to go with the 7000?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the review. I find myself more and more interested in the technical aspects of this sport and it's machines. your writings are the meat.

 

almost forgot, would you consider this a good choice for a one machine user? coin and jewelry hunting sometimes, nugget hunting other times. 50/50 ratio? what about 70/30 nugget/coin jewelry?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the 2 discrimination modes have differing separation/reactivity speeds? How do the reactivity of these modes compare to a Deus, 2,3,4, or ?

Thanks,

Merton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Merton,

Until the final version hits the street I am not sure. What you are describing is what they have in the new FORS Gold+. On my prototype Disc2 just seems like Disc1 on steroids. I simply do not have enough experience with the DEUS to pick numbers but I am guessing nothing much different than what you are seeing on your standard Racer.

Which answers the is this a general purpose machine for a one machine person? In my opinion, not particularly. If you want a general purpose machine I would get a general purpose mid-frequency detector. On normal size targets there is little difference between the Gold Racer and the standard Racer or the Nokta units. It is only as the targets get smaller that the gap appears. In a nutshell, this is a machine for people looking for tiny targets first, everything else secondary. That is not to say it won't find the larger gold, it will. I just don't think it will do so any better than the standard Racer. Again though, when the production models get in people's hands that view might change based on more people using the machine under more varied conditions, but I would not at this time recommend a person without a detector get the Gold Racer as a general purpose detector. Sit back and let it sort out.

What is it? Well, mn90403 it is pretty simple for me. I right now use a GPZ 7000 for 98% of my nugget detecting. I do need a second machine however. For sniping tiny gold. For checking quartz specimens. For working trashy areas. If nothing else just in case the GPZ dies! I want something compact and light weight that I can just toss in the back of my truck with no worries, and always have handy if I need it. Cheap accessory coils, runs forever on four AA batteries. GPZ 7000 and Gold Racer it will be for me. All the other nugget machines are going away or already gone.

What about this? There is a person out there that has no detector. They basically want a nugget detector, and desire what the GMT and Gold Bug 2 offer by way of small gold capability. Yet they do not want a 100% dedicated nugget machine, just in case they want to do a little coin detecting or something else. So maybe 90% nugget detecting and other stuff now and then, or so they think. That is a totally made up but reasonable scenario to me.

makro-gold-racer-with-2_4-gram-nugget.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously there are only two other options for me. It would be the Fisher Gold Bug 2 or the White's GMT. Both are excellent detectors used by thousands of people successfully. The one that really seems to get hit by the Gold Racer is the GMT. The Gold Racer simply packs a heck of a lot more on a lighter more compact package at what I suspect will be a lower price. I don't care about price myself, the Gold Racer basically is just in a configuration I prefer over the GMT.

Gold Bug 2 with 6" coil? Probably still will end up when it shakes out as king of the crumb pile. The Gold Racer does give it a fair run for the money but I have not had a Gold Bug 2 at hand to do direct comparisons with. When I knew what was coming with the Gold Racer I sold my Gold Bug 2 immediately. For me in the case of the two it is more a features fight, and if all you need is something to hit tiny gold the Gold Bug 2 gets the job done. Heck, it may be at the end of the day that I just want a newer toy to play with and been there done that with the Gold Bug 2.

Now if you toss the big coil in the mix it gets more interesting and the Gold Racer caught me off guard in that respect. You just can't get a big DD coil for a Gold Bug 2 and that alone right now is enough to have me packing the Gold Racer around instead.

Guys, no sales pitch here. Stick with tried and true and proven unless you can afford to do the buy and try thing. Just too early yet in several ways to be doing serious head to head comparison/decision type stuff. All I can say is the GPZ and GR suit me for now.

makro-gold-racer-with-15x13-dd-coil.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great report Steve!

Is the stock 10” x 5.5” DD coil epoxy filled?

Did you experience any falsing from the coil when hitting rocks and brush?

Bryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good review Steve. Waiting for Keith to report on relic hunying with it, as that is my preference. But its nice having s dual purpose machine when detecting in gold country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Small coil is epoxy filled. Both 10 x 5 coils are hollow. Initially that kind of turned me off as hollow coils knocking around kind of bug me. This is stupid but they sound funny bouncing off stuff. But after comparing to the Gold Bug Pro and even my F75 with the Fisher epoxy filled version, I realized just how heavy those coils are out there on the end of the stick. The Fisher being epoxy filled weighs in at 1 lb 2.6 oz whereas the Makro coil weighs 12.8 ounces. The Gold Racer is simply better balanced as a result and now that I have gotten used to them I am happy with the coils.

I have experienced a false now and then with the Gold Racer but only on rare occasions, and I want to be sure and again note the coils have changed since I got my last prototype. I believe they will look more like what is one the new FORS Gold+, redesigned with beefed up ears and cable entry point. But you can't hold Makro to that as I have not been told that directly, just makes sense. Bottom line is I did not consider coil falsing to be an issue but it might happen now and then. Might be I did not have my cable wrapped tight enough so I am giving the benefit of the doubt until we see production units. I promise you I hate detectors that are coil sensitive and would tell you in a second if that was bothering me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Tnsharpshooter
      More Equinox data.
      On another forum the detector’s ground tracking circuit was mentioned.
      I had made some comments about this early on when my Equinox arrived.
      So I will share some data here.
      This particular data here is using the small 6” coil.
      I will do 11”stocker to make sure there are no large differences.
      Anyway Equinox tracking circuit SLOW compared to some other detectors.
      For my testing over clean ground (area) I obtained a pumping ground balance using Nox using park 2 and multi freq.  Speed 6 iron bias 0.  Even did a noise cancel.
      I intentionally dialed GB 10 points high.  Ground read 38 so dialed to 48 manually,  Turned tracking on and started the stop watch.
      Sweeps were speed wise a rate a medium speed with coil close to ground just like if Inwere detecting.
      It took Equinox a full 6 minutes and 30 seconds to finally track to a ground reading of 38.
      I got curious and went to same settings above except 15 kHz single freq ops.  Again dialed GB to 48 turned on tracking and started the stop watch,
      Seemed Equinox beat the tracking time here vs using Multi by approximately 2 minutes around 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
      So what about Deus and the new X35 9” coil?
      I did the same experiment above as I did with Equinox and small coil.
      Deus would track to actual ground phase in under 4 seconds.
      I even dialed Deus 20 points over actual ground setting and detector was tracked to actual ground in under 6 seconds.
      What about Nokta Anfibio while wearing 7”concentric coil?
      Maybe Dilek won’t fire me. Lol
      It acts very Deus like.
      Doing the same experiment Anfbio wastes no time tracking to actual ground phase.
      With detector dialed 10 points high it would track in while sweeping in less than 4 seconds.
      I disn’t try dialing it 20 points high as I was very satisfied.
      I am wondering why is Equinox so slow.
      As a side note , I even dialed Equinox 10 points over and tried pumping coil to see if it would speed tracking up some.
      I disn’t see anything based on my tests that indicates it helps at all.
      I also dialed Equinox just 2 points high and timed it.  After one full minute of constant sweeping the detector still hadn’t tracked to actual ground reading achieved when sweeping coil.
      Thought I would share.

      Minelab Equinox vs XP Deus X35 vs Nokta Anfibio
    • By Ridge Runner
      I myself didn’t buy but just one detector and that was a Equinox 800 . 
      I found it to be a great detector for coin hunting and that’s the reason I bought it . The first thing I done was print the owners manual full size for easy reading. I never found the Nox a problem to run . If you had the instruction manual and you could read plus understand you were good to go .
       The only trouble I did have was with the on and off switch. I’d had it having to wait on the 6” coil so I sold it . I told the guy about the switch when I sold it . He used it for a while but called Minelab and they fixed it . I guess it was in trouble from day one .
       Right now I’m just going to sit back and see what 2019 has to offer.
       Chuck 
      PS Everyone who post here puts their name in for a hard cover book on Rocks and Minerals. I will ship free to anyone on this earth. You can post as much as you want but your name only goes in one time for the drawing This will end on November 16 at 6 PM CST

    • By rled2005
      Has anyone read the review on Equinox 800 at detecting365.com website? Nothing good to say about the Equinox.
      http://detecting365.com/honest-review-minelab-equinox-800-warning/
    • By Steve Herschbach
      This is a quick comparison of 14 khz waterproof single frequency metal detectors. 13 - 15 khz has proven to be an excellent frequency range for all around metal detecting. For those seeking bang for the buck in a single frequency metal detector these models offer excellent performance at affordable prices. Click on chart for larger version.

      14 kHz single frequency waterproof metal detectors compared
      To see other frequencies compared go here

      Makro Kruzer, White's MX Sport, Nokta Anfibio, Garrett AT Max
    • By Steve Herschbach
      The White's Goldmaster 24K is a new 48 kHz gold nugget detector released in the fall of 2018. Production models started shipping in September and White's forwarded one to me to check out. What follows are my thoughts after a couple days of detecting for gold on several northern Nevada nugget patches.
      The Goldmaster 24K marks a break with the past as White's moves from the older metal box designs of the past to newer plastic cases. The Goldmaster 24K physical design is the latest in the evolution of the MX series. The control box itself is derived directly from that used on the White's MX5. The control pod / display originated with the TreasurePro and later used in the MX Sport and MX7 designs. Basically the Goldmaster 24K is in the same housing and rod design as the White's MX7.
      Manufacturers face a difficult design choice these days. In general users want metal detectors to be as light as possible. However, weight is not everything - balance matters every bit as much. The problem is that a metal detector search coil is basically a weight on the end of a long stick. Coils can only be made so light due to engineering constraints requiring a certain amount of copper wire and a reasonably robust coil housing. The coil then has a lot to do with determining the final ergonomics of the detector. If the coil weight is not balanced at the other end with some kind of offsetting weight, the detector is nose heavy. This in turn creates torque everytime the detector changes directions which puts stress on the operators arm.
      The detector can be made as light as possible, or can be perfectly balanced, but it is almost impossible to do both in one detector. Any detector that weighs less than 3 pounds is almost certain to be nose heavy because enough weight does not exist to balance the weight of the coil. In order to have enough weight to work with it appears the minimum is about 3.5 lbs for detectors that are well balanced. The extra weight is almost always in the form of a battery box located under the elbow. White's has gone this route is the MX series designs with a battery box holding 8 AA batteries under the elbow acting as a balancing weight. This results not only in a well balanced detector but a detector with enough batteries to operate for multiple days between charges or battery changes.

      White's Goldmaster 24K metal detector for gold prospecting
      Another big choice manufacturers have to make these days is whether to use a straight rod or a "S" rod design. Users tend to be evenly split as to which they prefer, and so this is a choice the manufacturer cannot possibly win. About half the people are going to be unhappy whichever way you go. Industrial type users like beach hunters and prospectors tends to prefer straight rods. Coin, jewelry, and relic hunters seem more inclined to "S" rods. I have used many detectors with either setup and have been happy with both or unhappy with both. The deciding factor for me has been more about the exact size, shape, and angle of the hand grip than the actual rod design. I do not have over-sized hands, and so I tend to prefer a smaller diameter grip. Other people like a larger grip.
      I went into all that detail to be sure the reader understands that weight and balance is very much a personal preference item. Getting a detector to fit right for everyone is like making a pair of boots that fits everyone. You can't do it. Therefore when I say that the MX physical design as employed in the Goldmaster 24K is a very good fit for me don't take that as meaning it will be great for you. Yet it is a very good fit for me and quite comfortable on my arm, with just enough forward weight to keep my elbow in the arm cup without having to use the arm strap. The design is also lighter than the White's GMT by nearly half a pound, so the Goldmaster 24K is both well balanced and lighter than what came before. The Goldmaster 24K with 10" elliptical coil and with batteries installed weighs 3 lbs 7 oz (3.4 lbs) or 1562 grams on my digital postal scale.
      The Goldmaster 24K has an IP54 rated enclosure that has a high level of protection against dust particles, and a fair amount of protection against water. The coils are waterproof but the detector itself is not submersible so keep that display pod out of the water. The "S" rod is a three piece design with excellent quality twist locks that create a firm, wobble free rod assembly when fully engaged. The armrest position is not adjustable but it is well placed.
      The 24K is powered by eight AA batteries in a battery holder that pops out of the rear of the battery box. The 24K is supplied with eight alkaline AA batteries but rechargeable batteries may be substituted for use in the battery holder. The 24K can get up to 40 hours operation using high quality alkaline batteries and while using headphones (external speakers use more power). The Goldmaster 24K does have a speaker built into the rear of the display pod, and there is a female 1/4" headphone jack directly above the battery door. White's thoughtfully includes a small plastic plug to insert into this hole when not in use.

      White's 24K battery holder and headphone jack location
      The Goldmaster 24K is available in two versions. One comes with a 5.5" x 10" DD coil as the stock coil. The other package also adds a 6.5" round concentric coil for a two coil package. Scuff covers for the coils are not included with the detector.
      The 5.5" x 10" DD search coil weighs 14.5 oz or 412 grams. The coil is 1" thick. The 6.5" round concentric coil is 3/4" thick and weighs 13.1 oz or 370 grams. Therefore the 24K when outfitted with the 6" concentric weighs in at 3 lbs 5 oz (3.3 lbs). White's also has a 13.5" x 8" DD available soon that weighs 1 lb 8 oz or 682 grams. Finally, a version of the 4" x 6" Shooter DD is in the works also. Do note that all pre-existing coils for other White's Goldmaster or GMT models are not compatible with the Goldmaster 24K. The 24K pumps about 50% more voltage to the coils than previous models, requiring tighter tolerances in the new coils. The coil connector has been changed to prevent confusion.

      5.5" x 10" DD search coil and 6.5" round concentric coil for White's Goldmaster 24K
      The Goldmaster 24K shares many functions with the White's GMT model but there are differences. The most obvious being that the GMT uses knobs for control adjustments. The 24K uses a sealed touchpad which is more water and dust resistant, but some controls have secondary functions that necessitate having the Quick Guide near at hand when learning the detector.
      The 24K like the GMT does of course have a sensitivity control, and like on all hot VLF detectors it is a critical control. The solution to most problems regarding metal detector instability or interference is to reduce the sensitivity.
      The 24K features both automatic ground tracking or a fixed ground balance adjusted via a tap of a "ground grab" button - in this case the pinpoint button, which doubles as a ground grab when given a quick tap. Ground tracking can be a great function for variable ground and people new to detecting. Personally I prefer to lock the ground setting (via the "Lock" button) and update it manually via the ground grab function. I did use the ground tracking however, just to try it out. It is lightning quick, taking just a pump or two to track into the ground. Ground grabs are instantaneous.
      The White's GMT allowed for a locked ground balance to be tweaked up or down manually via plus or minus buttons on the control pod. The 24K takes a slightly different route by allowing a "ground balance offset" to be dialed into the detector. The ground balance offset is a powerful feature and so deserves some explanation. Prospectors often prefer manual ground balance because they can choose their own setting that for various reason might be different than what a machine will choose using a preset function like ground grab. Ground grab may be set to deliver a very neutral ground balance. The prospector may prefer that the balance be slightly positive to help enhance tiny nugget signals. They may want to choose a ground balance setting halfway between the ground itself and some pesky hot rock, which may mean adjusting either positive or negative from the neutral setting. This might require that the operator first do a ground grab, then hit the plus button a couple times to manually offset the ground balance.
      The 24K has a "Follow The Black Sand" mode like on the GMT but it is now called Ground Scan. Ground Scan is enabled by pushing and holding the ground balance "Lock" button. While in Ground Scan the "Up" and "Down" buttons create a ground balance offset. This offset is retained when you leave Ground Scan mode and will be applied both when doing a ground grab and even while in ground tracking mode.
      The Ground Scan / Follow The Black Sand thing is intended to allow a prospector to locate and trace shallow magnetic sand deposits that might indicate potential gold concentrations. This is a rarely used function, but including the offset ability means this function may be accessed much more often just to create these ground balance offsets. With the GMT you could ground grab and then manually tweak the setting, but the tweak had to be applied every time the ground grab is performed. Now the offset can be dialed in and automatically applied. The real zinger however is that this also allows the 24K ground tracking function to be directly tweaked - very, very rare indeed. Almost every detector I have ever used has a preset ground tracking circuit that puts the ground balance where it wants, end of story. With the White's Goldmaster 24K you can create a tracking offset to deal with hot rocks in a way that simply can't be done with most other ground tracking systems. Really cool White's!

      White's Goldmaster 24K with 13.5" x 8" DD coil (prototype lacking decal)
      The 24K has the volume control the GMT lacks which is quite handy for those who want to run without headphones but not necessarily at full volume. There are 8 levels of volume plus two boost settings, Boost 1 (b1) and Boost 2 (b2) that kick in when you adjust the volume control above 8.
      The GMT features a Variable Self Adjusting Threshold (V/SAT) control that governs the rate at which the audio resets itself when passing over a target or ground variations. The GMT has a knob that runs from 1 to 10 and on the Goldmaster 24K the SAT setting has been simplified to three settings - off, medium, and fast. The default setting of medium is all most people will ever need. However, in extreme low mineral ground the off setting can enhance weak signals, although the detector may need very careful coil control and slower coil sweeps to allow the circuit to keep up. Conversely, extreme high mineral variable ground may require the fast setting to smooth out variations in the ground signal.
      The threshold control itself is interesting. Normally on an old school threshold based all metal detector the all metal mode and threshold are one and the same. The Goldmaster 24K like some newer digital models appears to employ what is referred to as a "reference threshold". The threshold may be adjusted, but appears to be disconnected from the all metal channel and is instead layered on in parallel. The SAT control above does directly affect the all metal channel as described above. Yet it does what it does whether the threshold is present or not. Reference thresholds often exist for the sole purpose of nulling or going silent when passing over items that have been discriminated out, but this does not happen when the Iron Cancel (see below) is engaged. While bench testing in all metal with the SAT set at zero I thought I might just be able to hear a waver in the threshold. I would be interested in hearing from other nugget hunting experts on this matter, because in my opinion the threshold as it exists on the Goldmaster 24K is not coupled to the all metal channel in the manner one would observe on the GMT for instance. The only effect seems to be with threshold completely off the 24K will no longer give any ground feedback at all if out of ground balance. Based purely on what I am observing in actual use I would say the 24K is a silent search detector with a reference threshold added  as opposed to a true threshold based all metal circuit like on the GMT. The difference is subtle but there for my ear at least and if there is a connection there between threshold and all metal channel, it is too minimal for me to discern while in actual use.
      Now we get into the real meat of where the GMT and Goldmaster 24K part ways. The GMT has an iron (ferrous) probability meter as does the Goldmaster 24K. The GMT meter is merely a bar graph - far left means 10% chance of ferrous and far right means 90% chance of ferrous. Somewhere in the middle means 50% chance of ferrous. The Goldmaster 24K puts a blacked out block at the top of the screen with similar positioning, but the actual percentage numbers display out as a "target id" number. This is not a target id number as thought of on coin detectors, but instead intended to be a display of the odds that an item is non-ferrous.

      White's Goldmaster 24K controls and display screen
      If you look at the display above there is a colored bar at the top of the 24K LCD meter - red on left, wide yellow middle, and dark gray on right. The three colors taper one into the other to indicate overlap. The red on the right indicates the probable ferrous range, and dark gray indicates items reading too high to probably be gold, but more likely a copper, brass, or silver item (high conductors) or certain ferrous items that "wrap around" and "read high". These include hardened steel items like large bolts, almost any washers, ax heads, etc. In theory this scale could be used for coin detecting but the coins with few exceptions like a nickel tend to bunch up all on the right. The intent really is to be more of a ferrous/non-ferrous meter but I do think I could make do with this for some general detecting scenarios. In air tests a nickel read 88, zinc penny 95, dime 96, and quarter 97.
      The Goldmaster 24K has an Audio Mode button that engages and disengages something analogous to the "Iron Grunt" feature on the GMT. Engaging the Audio Mode replaces the normal VCO type "zippy" audio with a simple high or low beep. Any meter reading below 50 will deliver the low "ferrous" beep and anything 50 or higher a high "non-ferrous" beep. Since the gold probability range runs much lower this is helping the operator concentrate only on the high probability targets - anything with over a 50% chance of being non-ferrous. This "over 50% equals non-ferrous" audio mode could be useful for direct hunting in some situations. However, when pushing the detector hard in all metal mode and then switching the Audio ID mode on I found that I would have to reduce sensitivity or encounter quite a few false signals in mineralized ground. That being the case I was more prone to using this as a ferrous check by engaging the button for a quick audio reading, then back again to all metal mode.
      The Audio Mode as I described it above acts much like the Iron Grunt feature on the GMT, but on the GMT the ferrous audio alert only kicks in when there is an 85% or greater chance of the item being ferrous. It is not a certainty on how the percentages correlate, but the 24K audio ferrous tone does kick in at readings of 50 and below (greater than 50% chance of being ferrous). Borderline gold targets can read lower than this however, down into the 40s and even lower. A 30% chance of gold is still pretty good odds. So what to do now except read the numbers?
      White's has addressed this with another control, the Iron Cancel button. Engaging Iron Cancel activates an adjustable iron rejection setting. The default is for anything reading 15 or lower to simply not beep. This corresponds to the solid red area on the bar graph display at the top of the meter. Borderline or mixed content items will break up or give erratic readings. The best part however is that the setting can be adjusted from 0 all the way up to 62. This allows the operator to completely block out a chosen range of low end readings that is either more conservative or more aggressive than the Audio Mode preset. As noted before, the threshold, if any is used, will not blank over rejected items - they are simply ignored.
      I noted above that highly conductive items and some steel items can read at the very high end of the scale, typically 95 and above. If the goal really is gold it is very unlikely that readings this high will be gold and so White's also offers the ability to block out this high end range. Tapping the "lock" button while in the ferrous adjustment mode will automatically block all readings of 94 and higher, which is where most iron high end false signals will occur.
      Other controls on the Goldmaster 24K - a pinpoint function, frequency shift to help avoid electrical interference or for running two 24Ks close together, a backlight for the meter for low light conditions, and finally, a factory reset.

      White's Goldmaster 24K with stock 10" x 5.5" DD coil
      Now for the part everyone has been waiting for - how does the Goldmaster 24K at finding gold? When I test nugget detectors I tend to concentrate on smaller gold. First, because it is more plentiful and easier to find in limited time frames for testing purposes. Realistically small gold also challenges the detector the most. A metal detector must be tuned as hot as possible to find very small bits of gold. Yet this also causes problems with mineralized ground and hot rocks. It is not so much the small gold sensitivity that matters but how the metal detector handles the ground while tuned up for tiny gold. This is why air tests are minimally useful for nugget hunters. They can reveal theoretical information about how small or how deep a detector can find gold under perfect conditions. Air tests give no indication however of how the detector will handle bad ground and hot rocks when tuned to the max. A detector can air test extremely well and fail completely in the field. Therefore when you see my metal detector test reports, pay attention to the smallest nuggets I find, not the larger ones.
      The 10" DD coil is a good all around nugget hunting coil, with DD coils having the advantage for handling difficult ground. It was the 6.5" round concentric that wowed me however and after I got it on the detector I really did not want to take it off. The 10" DD will be a better choice for really bad ground, but lacks that magic edge on the tiniest bits of gold. I also appreciate that concentric coils are easier to pinpoint with, and generally have better ferrous identification performance compared to DD coils. One nice thing about the 24K being well balanced is the 13.5" x 8" coil is less nose heavy than would be the case for an unbalanced detector. This is the coil to use for covering ground in search of larger gold nuggets.
      For medium to milder ground and the smaller gold however I really do like that little concentric. In particular there is a lot of grass growing in some desert areas, and the 24K with 6" coil was perfect for mowing through the grass to keep the coil on the ground. This is another area where an "S" shaft has the advantage. A straight shaft detector wants to roll to the side when forcing the coil against resistance, where a balanced "S" shaft being in line with your arm does not produce that kind of rollover torque.
      The 10" x 5.5" DD coil was a little more prone to false signals when bumped hard than the concentric coil, to the point where I could run higher sensitivity with the concentric on this particular ground. The ground in lots of Nevada is rather mild, often with alkali (salt) content, and it may or may not have bad hot rocks. This particular location had two types of hot rocks to deal with. The bottom line is I was able to run the concentric at full sensitivity of 10, and in audio boost 2 (b2) while in all metal mode and SAT set at medium (default). Even with the machine maxed out like this the detector ran well, and as I said before falsed less than the DD coil would if I attempted the same settings.
      White's new XGB ground balancing system really does seem to do a good job finding a setting that works well with both hot rocks and the ground by tracking multiple ground balance points. I liked to engage tracking, run over a mix of ground and hot rocks, and then lock the setting. I was scrubbing and pretty much digging everything. The Goldmaster 24K with the little concentric is hot as a pistol and as usual if you give me a hot detector I was able to find some really tiny gold. The eight nuggets below weigh a total of 8.3 grains (not grams - 480 grains per Troy ounce). The largest nugget is 1.8 grains and the smallest are in that under 1/10th gain range. Now, none of these were super deep because you can't find tiny gold super deep, but they were all good zippy targets - and I was not using headphones!

      Gold nuggets found by Steve with new White's Goldmaster 24K - smallest under 1/10th grain
      The proof is in the pudding and there is no doubt the Goldmaster 24K can find the gold, and some really small gold at that. I am not going to try and convince anyone that there is some kind of magic breakthrough here - at the end of the day the 24K is a hot 48 kHz single frequency metal detector just like the GMT in many regards. Some oldtimers may still prefer the GMT for its threshold being tightly connected to the all metal channel while the threshold connection on the 24K is much weaker. Although the Goldmaster 24K can be run hot and noisy, all it's design features point to a detector that is intended to be set up as quiet as possible, and this may even mean running without a threshold. I did not see any evidence that this would really hurt the performance at all. This kind of quiet hunting tends to appeal more to people new to nugget detecting, especially those who cross over from coin detecting. Add this to the lighter weight and lower cost package and White's has done a great job producing an alternative to the admittedly long in the tooth GMT.
      Steve Herschbach
      DetectorProspector.com
      White's Goldmaster 24K Information Page
      White's Goldmaster 24K & GMT Compared

      Little gold nugget on coil fresh out of the ground
    • By Steve Herschbach
      The following is a very detailed review of the new Makro Gold Kruzer... but first a little back story.
      I was asked to review a new gold detector in the fall of 2014 from a company I had never heard of before then – the FORS Gold by the Nokta company based in Istanbul, Turkey. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Nokta FORS Gold to be a very capable 15 kHz VLF detector that could serve well not just for nugget detecting, but almost any detecting tasks.
      The FORS Gold did have some odd design quirks, like the use of mechanical rocker switches instead of touch pads. I listed a few of these things, expecting that would just be the way it is. I was almost shocked when within a short period of time Nokta fixed or changed every item I had mentioned in my review as possibly needing improvement. This was unusual as normally once a machine has gone into production manufacturers are extremely resistant to design changes, especially changes in the physical design. It was a sign of what people have now found to be fact – that this company is serious about listening to their customers as a prime driver for product improvement.

      New Makro Gold Kruzer
      It was revealed that Nokta had a sister company called Makro, and the two officially combined forces shortly after I made my review. In other words, both Nokta and Makro now share the same ownership and management, but continue to be marketed separately under the two brand names. The detector models that each sell are unique, but there is an obvious sharing of the underlying technology between some models that the two brands sell.
      I had commented at the time that I would prefer a more standard configuration for a LCD based detector rather than the non-standard configuration as presented by the FORS Gold. By the fall of 2015 I was using the new Makro Gold Racer, which incorporated many ideas I had lobbied for over the years with detector manufacturers. I had been trying for some time to get somebody to create a metal detector that ran at nugget detecting type frequencies over 30 kHz but with a full target id system. It seems strange now but at that time nobody made such a detector.
      The Makro Gold Racer was quite unique in 2015 by offering a detector running at 56 kHz that also offered a full range LCD based target id system and dual tone based audio discrimination modes. This made it a detector useful not just for nugget detecting, but low conductor hunting in general for relics and jewelry. It is even a halfway decent coin detector for regular park type scenarios. The versatility and well thought out control scheme scored points with me, and I still have the Makro Gold Racer even after selling most of my other detectors.
      It seems that the moment the Makro Gold Racer hit the streets, that everyone else was working on similar ideas, as other detectors running over 30 kHz but with a full feature set started to appear on the market. High frequency detecting is suddenly in vogue for more than just gold nugget detecting.
      The one thing obvious now about the Makro / Nokta partnership is that they never sit still, but continue to work on and release new models at a pace that puts all the other manufacturers to shame. The companies are also big believers in seeking public feedback and then implementing the suggestions to create better products for their customers. This is readily apparent in the progression I have personally witnessed in going from that original Nokta FORS Gold to the new 61 kHz Makro Gold Kruzer just now hitting the market. In less than four years the company has gone from “catching up” to meeting or surpassing detectors made by other companies.
      The Makro Gold Kruzer has a full suite of functions, is fully waterproof, incorporates built in wireless headphone capability, and can be firmware updated over the internet. That short feature list alone puts the Makro Gold Racer in a very select group of detectors offering those same 21st century “basic features” that were lacking in almost all detectors made in the last century.
      The Makro Gold Kruzer obviously builds on the Gold Racer feature set with the following key differences. The Gold Racer runs at 56 kHz and the Gold Kruzer at 61 kHz, one of the highest frequencies available in consumer metal detectors. This continues the focus on detecting small low conductor targets. The Gold Kruzer is waterproof to 5 meters (16.4 feet) whereas the Gold Racer is not waterproof at all. Finally, the Gold Kruzer adds a three tone hunt mode, taking things up another step from the dual tone modes available on the Gold Racer.
      Now let’s look at the Makro Gold Kruzer in detail. Makro switched things up in that the Gold Kruzer comes with two coils, a 5.5” x 10” concentric coil, and a 4” x 7.5” DD coil; both include scuff covers. The 5.5” x 10” concentric coil, which was an option offered for the Gold Racer, has been redesigned and cut from 1” thick to ¾” thick and the weight reduced to 384 grams (13.5 oz). The coil is hollow and therefore slightly buoyant, so the 25% reduction in thickness is quite welcome in reducing that buoyancy to where it is basically unnoticeable underwater.
      The little 4” x 7.5” DD coil is a solid epoxy filled coil which works extremely well in smaller coils where epoxy filling does not result in too much weight. The small DD coil weighs 368 grams or 13.0 oz. There is one accessory coil available at this time, a 5” x 9.5” epoxy filled DD. This coil weighs 14.3 oz or 404 grams. It should be noted that because of the frequency change and with the Gold Kruzer using waterproof connectors, that Makro Gold Racer coils will not work on the Gold Kruzer.
      Makro has also learned lessons as regards coil ear durability. The coil ears on the Gold Kruzer are about twice the mass of those on my older Makro Gold Racer. Taller, wider, and thicker – these extra beefy coil ears should all but eliminate breakage issues.

      4” x 7.5” DD coil showing beefed up ears
      The Makro Gold Kruzer employs a fairly standard “detector pod on an S rod” design forgoing the underarm battery box used on the Gold Racer. This confers a large advantage when it comes to waterproofing the detector in that only the pod has to be sealed. The change from AA batteries to a built in sealed LiPO rechargeable battery also aids in eliminating battery doors, which are always at risk of leaking.
      The three piece S rod itself is quite stout with no flex or wiggle. The cross hatch carbon fiber lower rod is not only strong, but lends an air of high tech quality to the look of the detector. The Gold Kruzer does not have the separate underarm battery compartment and in handle vibration mechanism featured on the Makro Gold Racer. This means the pod is totally self contained and can be removed from the handle assembly. This in turn allows for other rod options and the ability to break the detector completely down fitting in a small backpack or carry on bag.
      When the stout rod is combined with the beefed up coil construction you have a design that should survive those spills a person can take when working in the surf and there the detector ends up acting like a walking stick for support.
      It has been interesting to watch the company experiment with different handle designs. It is a thankless task because you never can please everyone. For me at least the handle / rod may be the best yet from Makro, with a molded hard rubber grip that will serve very well for a detector that may see underwater use. I personally found the Nokta Impact handle to be large for my hands and the smaller Gold Kruzer handle near perfect. Others may feel just the opposite so there you go.
      The arm cuff is a little different. It is narrower than some – good for me but maybe not so much for somebody with huge forearms. The adjustment is non-standard, with the arm cup sliding up and down the upper rod over a set of threaded holes. A small screw inserted into the top of the armrest and into one of these threaded holes secures the armrest in place.

      Kruzer upper rod showing cuff adjust holes and hand grip (control box removed)
      A unique feature on the Gold Kruzer is an optional external AA battery pack that can provide extra operating time in the field should the internal rechargeable battery go dead. The pack is designed to be held into the bottom of the detector armrest / stand by a separate plastic cover bracket that is held in place with two screws. I found the holes these screws go into will fill with sand if this bracket is left off, so I advise installing the bracket even if the external battery pack is not in use. The external battery pack with bracket is an option and so dummy screws or plugs should be installed to keep the screw holes clean and free of debris by those who down not have the bracket.
      I don’t think most people will ever need the external battery pack as long as the detector is regularly charged after use. It is a very nice touch however, especially for off grid use, as all you need is the external AA battery pack and a box of AA batteries to off grid for as long as the batteries will last. Some people may want the optional battery pack for travel into the field just in case the battery runs short on power in the middle of a hunt.
      The port where you attach the external battery pack also acts as a port to attach a USB style charger cable. The detector is charged using this cable by employing the included USB wall charger. You may also use most USB charging adapters and newer computer USB ports.
      The USB cable also allows the Makro Gold Kruzer to be attached to a computer so that updates can be made in case any bugs are found in the future. This update feature is very nice insurance that should be standard on all new detectors.
      Another item that should be standard on all new detectors is built in wireless headphone capability. Makro uses a proprietary low latency system that exhibits no discernible lag at all. A really nice thing about being proprietary is there is no pairing process. All you have to do is enable the wireless feature on the control box, turn on the headphones, and boom, you are in business. The downside is you only have one choice of headphones – the included Makro wireless headphones. These are a nice, light set of phones but they are just a bit too small to fit over most people ears. I have fairly small ears and they still rest on instead of over my ear. The sound quality is good, but like most wireless headphones they seem less “bright” than wired headphones. All in all the wireless headphones are quite good however and a pleasure to use.

      Makro wireless headphones
      The Makro Gold Kruzer does have a waterproof speaker with decent volume that can be used instead of the wireless headphones. If you prefer other headphone options, be sure and get the optional waterproof port to ¼” headphone adapter cable. This cable attaches to the same port used for charging and software updates and allows any wired headphones to be adapted to the Gold Kruzer.
      The LCD display is well laid out with a very large target id number displayed. The other setting indicators might be a little harder for those with poor eyesight to make out, but should present no issues once the layout is learned. One big change from the Gold Racer is that the four large navigation buttons, trigger switch, and rotary dial power / volume switch have all been replaced by ten small buttons on the control panel. All the buttons can be reached and controlled by the operators thumb, but the small size and closeness of the buttons may make for some navigation errors early on, and especially when trying to change settings underwater or with gloves on.

      Makro Gold Kruzer display and controls
      The Makro Gold Kruzer User Manual is available for download so I will refer you there for all the little details. What you have in the Makro Gold Kruzer is a hot 61 kHz metal detector waterproof to 5 meters (16.4 feet). The Gen (General) mode is a fairly standard VCO audio all metal gold nugget detecting circuit. The Gold Kruzer in Gen mode is very reminiscent of other hot gold nugget detectors running in the all metal prospecting mode.
      The Gen mode acts exactly like one would expect a threshold based all metal mode to function. There is a nice smooth threshold that gives feedback about the ground and reacts to hot rocks with classic nulling signals and small nuggets with that classic “zip-zip” VCO audio. Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO) audio increases both in volume and pitch when a target is detected, giving a distinct response very common on many gold detectors. The only thing different here is that since the Gold Kruzer has an LCD readout; you can get target id number results while running in all metal Gen mode. The audio is far more sensitive than the meter however, so do not be surprised if the deepest and smallest of targets give no target id information.
      In a break with the Gold Racer the Fast and Boost modes are not dual tone modes, but instead are silent search (no threshold) single tone modes. Items either signal audibly or not based on the current discrimination settings. The discrimination setting, like that of the Gold Racer, is a simple up and down control. Everything above the setting gives an audio signal of “beep”. Anything below the discrimination setting level is rejected or ignored with no sound at all. The Gold Kruzer has no notching capability i.e. the ability to pick and choose individual target id numbers for rejection.
      Fast mode is just what it sounds like – a fast setting for working in really dense trash. Target recovery speed has been increased at the expense of outright depth, but sheer depth is useless where target masking is the main problem. Boost mode is exactly the opposite. Boost is the deepest discrimination mode on the Gold Kruzer but due to the increased sensitivity is more suitable for less mineralized ground and sparser targets.
      It should be obvious that the Makro Gold Kruzer is all about gold. This explains the shift from dual tone to monotone audio in the Fast and Boost. Dual tones as employed in the Makro Gold Kruzer can be problematic when hunting the smallest gold targets, especially in highly mineralized ground. It is hard for a detector to get a clean separation of ferrous and non-ferrous targets when the targets are very small.
      This is because the actual dividing line between ferrous and non-ferrous is not a line at all, but a zone. The Makro Gold Kruzer uses a fairly standard discrimination scale that ranges from 0 – 99. The range from 0 – 40 is considered to be the ferrous range, and 41 and above non-ferrous.
      Yet the discrimination default for both the Fast and Boost modes is 25. This is because if you bury small gold in highly mineralized ground or large gold extra deep in mineralized ground, the ferrous ground signal can overwhelm the very weak non-ferrous signal. It really is not about the object size. A deep large nugget is a very weak signal just the same as a shallower small nugget, and either can end up reading as a ferrous target.
      The solution is to lower the discrimination setting into the ferrous range and accept that you have to dig some ferrous items to get all the gold items. This actually applies to any metal detecting. If you dig absolutely no ferrous trash, you are almost 100% guaranteed to be passing up some non-ferrous items reading incorrectly as ferrous. This can be acceptable of course depending on what you are doing, but passing on a deep six ounce gold nugget because it reads ferrous can be an expensive mistake. The Gold Kruzer default discrimination setting for Fast and Boost is 25 instead of 40 for this very reason.
      Dual tones have issues for this same reason, with decisive results on the weakest targets difficult if not impossible to obtain. The difference is quite small, but monotone is slightly more stable and proficient at working with the tiniest and faintest of signals right at the dividing line between ferrous and non-ferrous, wherever you have set the control to tell the Gold Kruzer where that line is for your particular situation. There is no pat answer as the where to set the discrimination control. It is a judgment call based on experience, but when in doubt, use less discrimination and dig more trash. Welcome to gold detecting!

      Makro chart showing gold occurring in 0 – 40 ferrous range
      The Makro Gold Kruzer has a new control that relates to this overlap between ferrous and non-ferrous readings. The Extra Underground Depth (E.U.D.) control acts to directly impact the tipping point between ferrous and non-ferrous readings. The E.U.D. control only works in one of the three discrimination modes and when used on a suspect target that is reading ferrous may reveal by a different tone that it is actually non-ferrous. It is noted in the manual that it can reveal some targets misidentified as ferrous, but it will also give more false positives on ferrous targets.
      I was unable in the time allowed to figure out just how efficient this control is. In theory you can just set the discrimination lower, digging more ferrous but getting those missed non-ferrous items. Or set the discrimination a little higher, and now examine suspect targets individually by engaging the E.U.D. control momentarily. Finally, you can run E.U.D. on at all times. Is higher disc with E.U.D. on at all times going to get better results than just using a lower discrimination setting? Sadly, I just do not know at this time. I do know it is no magic bullet so the efficiency of employing the E.U.D. control will have to be determined over time by users around the world
      What? You say you wanted tones? Well, the Makro Gold Kruzer has you covered. The new Micro mode is a three tone mode similar to that on other company models, but running at that hot 61 khz. The 0 – 40 target id range produces a low tone. The 41 – 66 range produces a medium tone, and 67 – 99 range a high tone.
      Micro mode allows the “ferrous break point” to be adjusted. This is that magic point where you decide what is going to read as ferrous and what reads as non-ferrous. Note that unlike the Fast and Boost modes, the default ferrous breakpoint is set at 40 instead of 25. This is good for coin type detecting but again may be too high for other types of detecting. While in Micro mode you may use the Tone Break control to vary this all important setting. You could mimic the other two modes by setting the Tone Break at 25. Now 0 – 25 will be a low tone, 26 – 66 a medium tone, and 67 – 99 a high tone.
      Tone Break can only be used to set the ferrous breakpoint. The upper high tone region of 67 – 99 is preset and fixed by the factory with no adjustment possible.
      You may use the Ferrous Volume setting to control how loud the low tone response is. The medium and high tone responses are set with the main volume control.
      The discrimination control still functions in Micro mode, with a default setting of ten. Hot rocks and ground responses occur this low on the scale, and so having at least some of the low end blocked or rejected with reduce the number of low tone responses generated by the ground itself. The control can be set as high as you want and will override the other settings, blocking all targets below the desired target id setting.
      The Makro Gold Kruzer does have a tone control, but it does not allow the tones to be changed in Micro mode. Those are factory preset, with the Tone Break between ferrous and non-ferrous plus Ferrous Volume as the two adjustments you can make. The Tone setting allows the tone of the audio response and threshold to be changed in Gen, Fast, and Boost modes only.
      Micro was designed first for hunting micro jewelry. Micro jewelry is a loose term that applies to all very small jewelry items, like very thin chains, single post earrings, tie tacks, etc. Micro is perfect for hunting tot lots and beaches and focusing on the “gold range” targets represented by the mid tone reading in Micro mode. Many jewelry hunters consider digging coins a waste of time, and so ignoring high tones can save digging pocket change when the real goal is a woman’s diamond and platinum ring.
      The Makro Gold Kruzer has a nominal non-ferrous range of 41 – 99 which is a 59 point spread. Normal U.S. coin responses are 63 for a nickel, 83 for a zinc penny, 84 for a copper penny, 86 for a clad dime, and 91 for a clad quarter. The high 61 kHz operating frequency acts to push target id numbers higher and most coins will respond at 83 and higher. I was surprised a zinc penny and copper penny for all intents read the same.
      The good news is the low conductor range is expanded, which offers the ability to help discern different pull tabs and other trash items over a wider range. This in turn may help eliminate at least a few pesky trash items while hunting gold, although ignoring gold range items of any sort can be risky. Still, with a U.S. nickel reading at 63 and most women’s rings reading under the nickel, you get the 40 – 63 zone as a 23 point range where much of the most valuable jewelry will turn up. The default high tone breakpoint of 66 – 67 is clearly focusing the Gold Kruzer mid-tone on this very important gold range. Do note that large men’s rings and nearly all larger silver jewelry will read above 66 and therefore give a high tone reading.
      The Gold Kruzer has some obvious applications but there are a couple catches. First, it is running at 61 kHz, which means it is very hot on low conductors, but that it will have just adequate performance on high conductors like silver coins. Second, its extreme sensitivity to low conductors means it will not work well if at all in saltwater or on wet salt sand. Saltwater is a low conductor and will respond quite strongly on the Gold Kruzer, and getting it to not respond to saltwater gives up all the sensitivity to small gold. The Gold Kruzer will work very well around freshwater or on dry sand, it is not intended as a detector for use in or near saltwater. I would suggest the new Makro Multi Kruzer as an alternative to those who want to hunt in and around saltwater on a regular basis.

      Makro Gold Kruzer with optional 5” x 9.5” DD coil
      There are many features I could delve into but at over six pages this report is getting long, so I will again refer people to the User Manual for the details. Suffice it to say that the Makro Gold Kruzer has a full set of features like frequency shift for reducing interference, temporary audio boost for the Gen all metal mode, adjustable backlight, and the ability to save settings when the detector is powered down, and more.
      I got the Gold Kruzer prototype during a period when I was quite busy and the weather was not helping. I did have time to do a few tot lot hunts plus make a trip to the goldfields to evaluate the machine. The Gold Kruzer is well behaved in urban locations, with only a little static from electrical interference sources. I found the new Micro mode to be just the ticket for quickly blasting through a tot lot recovering prime gold range targets. I dug everything as is my practice when learning a detector, and ended up with the usual pile of aluminum foil, junk jewelry, and coins. Nothing special found but no doubt in my mind that the Gold Kruzer acts as intended in this type of setting.
      There were no surprises in the goldfields. At 61 kHz and in Gen mode the Gold Kruzer is a real pleasure to run, with all the response and nuance one expects from a great threshold based all metal circuit. Boost Mode also works very well as an alternative for small nugget detecting. I had no problem at all finding a couple little bits of gold weighing under a grain (480 grains per Troy ounce) on my first and only nugget hunt so far with the Gold Kruzer.

      Two tiny gold nuggets found with Makro Gold Kruzer
      To sum up, the new Makro Gold Kruzer once again ups the ante at Makro. It comes standard with two coils and is fully waterproof for about the same price as the Makro Gold Racer so I would have to assume the Gold Racers days are numbered. The one thing I am not sure about at this time is that the Gold Racer has a 15” x 13” DD coil option. The Makro Multi Kruzer has the 15” coil option, but no such accessory has yet been announced for the Gold Kruzer. This is probably not a concern for very many people, but it bears mentioning.
      I have no problem at all recommending that anyone interested in a detector with a focus on gold take a very serious look at the new Makro Gold Kruzer. It’s performance on low conductors of any type means that the Gold Kruzer is not just for prospectors and jewelry hunters but may also see favor with some relic hunters who focus of low conductor targets like buttons and bullets. This is a solid detector with 21st century features at a very attractive price.
      Makro Gold Kruzer Information Page
      Makro Kruzer Color Brochure
      Download a pdf copy of this report
      Steve Herschbach
      DetectorProspector.com
×