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Steve Herschbach

Detailed Review Of Makro Gold Racer By Steve Herschbach

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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!.

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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      White's 24K battery holder and headphone jack location
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      White's Goldmaster 24K with 13.5" x 8" DD coil (prototype lacking decal)
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      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.
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      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 Data & User Reviews
      White's Goldmaster 24K Quick Start Guide
      White's Goldmaster 24K Advanced User Guide
      White's Goldmaster 24K & GMT Compared

      Little gold nugget on coil fresh out of the ground
    • By Tnsharpshooter
      This will be where I will post information.  I will try and answer any questions I can about detector.  Other folks who have experience with detector and wish to join in, by all means do so.
      Should have detector today sometime.  Thought I would get this thread started to save time later.  I will only be using Tarsacci on turf, not salt water/sand application.
      I may do some testing on freshwater beach due to lower minerals present.
      For refererence  - Quick start guide
       https://drive.google.com/file/d/12ecPA1jFF7JOGZLYYywMxZeeyW5qqkMd/view
      User Manual
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jYhFnstUqLuo5eV28aEZsj9wfeY2TRt-/view
      Tarsacci MDT 8000 Data & Reviews
    • By Steve Herschbach
      Nokta/Makro Gold Racer User Guide, 2.97 MB pdf file, 28 pages
      Nokta/Makro Gold Racer Data & Reviews
      Nokta/Makro Gold Racer - Steve's Review
      Nokta/Makro Metal Detector Forum
    • By Steve Herschbach
      Nokta/Makro Gold Racer Brochure, 2.66 MB pdf file, 4 pages
      Nokta/Makro Gold Racer Data & Reviews
      Nokta/Makro Gold Racer - Steve's Review
      Nokta/Makro Metal Detector Forum
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