By Rob Allison
I figured we can stir the pot just a little while we wait out the release of the Minelab GPX 6000, right?
That being said, Minelab still claims the GPZ 7000 can get "up to 40% more depth" over previous GPX detectors. We can all question, does the GPX 6000 still fit in this category, as Minelab stated GPX detectors. The upcoming Minelab GPX 6000 is still a GPX series detector, but primarily using GeoSense Technology. I don't see where GeoSense really talks about any more depth ability over the previous GPX 5000, but it does mention about better ground response/clarity, maybe allowing you to hear something in higher mineralized ground over previous GPX series.
I don't claim to be an expert electronic prospector, but my specialty is in detecting for gold nuggets with the best detectors available. We call all talk about how much gold we found, years of experience, regions we hunted and such .....
The bottom line is I still feel the Minelab GPZ 7000 is the KING of detectors when it comes to depth. Many Australian, African and US prospecting friends still feel the same. I personally have found many large gold nuggets and specimens at max depth where I doubt any detector with a similar sized searchcoil would have found. I also know that probably 1% or less of those large gold nuggets/specimens are out there still and the ones at max depth range of the current detector technology.
Does this justify the purchase of a Minelab GPZ 7000 over the upcoming GPX 6000, or should GPZ 7000 owners dump their units now? These are questions I personally can't advise anyone on, but it's something to consider when you make a purchase of a metal detector in the thousands of dollar range.
What I can leave you with is my personal experience over the last 25 years chasing gold nuggets .... If you are in areas where there has been historically large gold nuggets, overburden to bedrock/paylayer/caliche/false bedrock that can be several feet and deeper in depth, you might seriously consider either holding your current GPZ 7000 or consider a purchase of one at some point.
I personally will not be parting with my trusty GPZ 7000, we have a 5+ year personal relationship. We have been through tough times, bad weather, I even yelled at her and dropped her a few times! Like Steve mentioned before, you could actually fall in love with your detector.
Wishing you all much success with whatever detector(s) you swing.
P.S. Below is a recent GPZ 7000 find, max depth, just a break in the threshold (yes the GPZ 7000 has one). Nearly a pound in weight (uncleaned in picture)
By Gerry in Idaho
I've read a few posts from those who have both and their input is pretty much what I expected.
Having fun (especially with others) is the majority of why I enjoy detecting. Only a select few actually do it for a living and do well. The rest of us (me included), enjoy the hunt, adventures, comradery with like minded friends, and getting some gold on occasion. It's looking like the GPX-6000 is getting the majority of gold better than the GPZ-7000. So, is the extra weight worth the rare occasional big nugget? Lets go a step farther. Say the ZED hits a 4 ounce nugget at 34". Will the 6000 hit that same nugget at 30", 32" 33" or 34". Say it's 2" less and only gets the chunk at 32". It's still near 3' deep which is deeper than most folks enjoy digging and or most other detectors out there.
So the reality for most folks, the GPX-6000 at a cost savings of $2000 and over 2 pounds lighter, better ergonomics, no more tethered into a harness, more user friendly, real wireless Bluetooth phones, is the best option for most.
Like I said in another post. There should be a convoy of GPZ users heading down the highway to get the new GPX-6000 and having more fun, more gold more often. I can help make that smile happen.
Anyone have a point I am missing or totally off, please chime in.
Pic of the nugget will probably only be a few inches in depth difference between the 6 and 7. But the majority of us would probably hear if with both machines at 30 or more.
By Ridge Runner
I know myself over the years liked to hunt with a small coil but you had the option of a round coil and really was it
Now days you can get them in about any variation one would want.
I’d like to hear from others if you see the need for a smaller coil like the one I started this post with.
Up front I want everyone know I think the beast 12” coil is great and I don’t have trouble swinging it. For myself I see the need of having a small coil would be a advantage to me when not a BeachHunter .
The main advantage to a small coil to start with is you can get it in places that 12” won’t fit.
As always the Best To all!
By Steve Herschbach
I was on the development team for both the Minelab GPZ 7000 and GPX 6000 detectors. I’m also a well traveled detectorist, familiar with the type of gold and ground conditions commonly encountered in the U.S. There are questions about how these two detectors compare, and I think I am ready to make some recommendations for U.S. prospectors. I make zero claims about these opinions applying to Australia or anywhere else. This is just my take on the current situation on the ground in the U.S. as regards these two metal detectors. This commentary is aimed specifically at a person considering both models, never having owned either one. You want to step up from what you have, to either the Minelab GPX 6000 for US$5999, or the GPZ 7000 for US$7999. What do you get for the extra $2000, and is it worth it?
Famed detectorist Lunk was in the area, and gave me a yell a few days ago. We met for a couple days of GPX and GPZ hunting. I’ve never hunted with Lunk, and wanted to, as I admire his detecting skills. He of course wanted to see the 6000, so we got together to do a little testing, and to compare thoughts.
The reality of nugget detecting in the U.S. is that we are on the tail end of the electronic gold rush. We never had the quantities of very large nuggets that Australia had, and many locations are nothing but small gold. People do not like to hear it, but the bigger the gold, the easier it is to find. The larger it is, the faster it goes away. Each nugget detected is one less to find, and anyone who has worked the goldfields for many years knows the patches are playing out. The determined detectorist can always find gold, but finding large nuggets, or large quantities of gold, is an ever more difficult task.
The technology is mature, with gains there hard won, and usually only on a certain class of gold, like specimen gold. The technology to find large, solid lumps of gold, is not improving as fast as the nuggets are depleting. Ultimately the geology rules, and the U.S. has many shallow placers that do not extend to depth. In the areas I hunt, gold is found down to, and on top of the caliche layer. The old timers and more recently bulldozer scrapes show that more often than not, gold does not extend at depth. A deeper detecting machine offers no real benefit in the expectation of super deep, large nuggets.
In my opinion, straight out of the box, the GPX 6000 is the better choice for most people in the U.S. who are considering the two detectors. The GPX 6000 simply does a better job without modification, on bread and butter, 2 gram and smaller gold. On larger stuff, the GPX 6000 will almost always hit the same gold the GPZ 7000 will find. I no longer recommend the GPZ 7000 to anyone but the most committed power users. Literally, the people who must have the most power obtainable. To actually make this happen, you will need not just a GPZ 7000, but some aftermarket coils for it to really get the full potential out of the machine. If you are that person, budgeting $10K for a GPZ 7000 and a couple accessory coils is not crazy, or out of the question. If you want to get the most power you can buy, go GPZ 7000. If you are convinced large multi ounce nuggets teams in at depth, and you want to get them, a GPZ with some aftermarket coils is probably your best bet.
0.037 gram bit, decent signal, not surface
I argue however that for anyone else, anyone else but the most committed power users, that the GPX 6000 is the better choice. I’ve said I have no issue hunting with GPZ owners as a 6000 user. I’ll now go a step farther, and say that as far as I am concerned, stock detector to stock detector.... I think I have the edge on the GPZ user for finding gold in the U.S.
The GPX 6000 out of box will clearly and easily hit small gold targets the GPZ 7000 misses entirely, with performance more like GPZ users experience when running a small aftermarket coil. The GPZ can match or exceed the 6000 on small gold with the use of the aftermarket coils, but you have to invest even deeper than the already large $2000 differential. The GPX 6000 with the 11” mono is close to Gold Monster sensitivity, though a smaller coil is needed to really make that obvious.
Further, the 6000, even without the DD coil, handles salt ground better than the GPZ 7000. Finally, the 17” mono can be added to the 6000 and still be under the price of the GPZ 7000, so you have a three coil machine for less than the single coil GPZ costs. The 17” mono is almost as hot on small gold as the 11” mono, while giving excellent depth on the larger stuff. It's light weight, and small gold capability, make this a near perfect patch hunting coil.
To sum up, if dropped on random locations in the United States, and I have to go with one of these machines, and my buddy gets the one I do not choose... he can have the stock 7000, I’ll take the 6000. I honestly think it’s my better choice for getting the most gold signals out of the majority U.S. ground.
Just my opinion, and feel free to argue otherwise. But from what I saw the last couple days, I have nothing to fear from going head to head with GPZ operators in U.S. ground. If anything, I think I have the edge. Toss in aftermarket coils and that changes, but stick to stock, I’ll choose GPX 6000 every time, not just for ergonomics, but for actual performance. If the gold in the photo below is your bread and butter, the GPX 6000 is a great way to go.
GPX 6000 Initial Report
Full manual sensitivity with threshold, low mineral setting, external speaker employed (no headphones):
5.68 grams added to 6000 running total, 27.26 grams
Minelab GPX 6000 Data & Reviews
Minelab GPX 6000 Accessories and Spare Parts
Minelab GPX 6000 Owner’s Manual