I have been itching to try the 10" X Coil out in Nevada salt for almost 2 years now, but life has always prevented me from making it to Nevada until now. And luckily, I also now have an 8" to try as well, plus a 15" and 17" concentric.
Welcome to salt country! Sodium, even lithium salts here, all kinds. Salt everywhere, just ask Elon Musk!
The 8" kills salt. I can't be more plain than that, it does great in places the stock coil is utterly unworkable. And it kills salt while retaining a good bit of sensitivity and depth too. The 10" definitely cuts salt down too, but the 8" takes it down another level again. Patches I had laboriously, slowly struggled to detect with the stock coil in bone dry dirt in July were almost silent with this 8", even though the soil was slightly damp past 2 or 3 inches in many places.
That said, what I'm discovering is something Steve has mentioned in the past - the gold out here in a lot of cases is simply just not very deep. This is largely due to soil deflation, or what is sometimes called lag deposits. It just means that the light dirt blows away or otherwise erodes away, leaving behind the heavies fairly close to the surface. You know how when you drywash you can lightly blow the blonde sands out from behind the riffles and expose gold and other heavies? Similar thing, except over and over and over for eons.
Anyways, my point is this: even though this 8" is an absolute pleasure to run in places that caused me a lot of frustration from salt response in the past, I managed to get most of the gold with the stock coil years back. I am finding a few dinks in each patch now, and it's because the gold just isn't there anymore. But this 8" is definitely the cheapest way to get 6000-like performance in salt for current GPZ owners, in my opinion. Actually, having run both machines, I believe this 8" may actually be more sensitive than the 11" mono on the 6000, but that just a guess since I didn't get a chance to compare them before the patch lead broke.
The response on this coil is crisp and sharp. It goes from 0 to 60 on targets, often skipping all the steps in between, and it's a perfect compliment for running settings like I do with low threshold (around 13) and low smoothing.
Here's 3 I got today at an old dink patch. The big flat one was 9" under a basketball size rock, which means the coil heard it from the edge. Which to me was impressive as hell at that depth. The tiny bit of iron was at 1" and a great target. It's literally verging on pen ball size, and that I'm slamming it with a GPZ is just kinda impressive to me. The 3 nuggets might weigh 0.3 grams combined.
I had no illusion the concentrics would work any kind of magic in the salt, but this is simply the first time I've been able to get into the field to try them since they were sent to me, so I'm making the best of it. That said, I've run them enough now to say that I do feel they do slightly better in salt than the stock coil. I don't know if it has to do with the smaller TX or what. The improvement is slight though. What I can say is these concentrics are definitely a lot deeper than the stock coil. I pulled a 1 grammer up from what is easily my most gridded spot in NNV, and I know it had zero diggable or even questionable signals left in it. The nicest, most museum quality piece of gold I've ever found came from about 6 feet away so I had hopes, but this one turned out to be average. This crystalline gold is stealth gold, it's very hard to detect. It was a very obvious signal on the 15" concentric though.
Unfortunately, the concentric doesn't only struggle in salt but it also struggles in bushy areas since the sensitive part of the coil is well inside the rim of the coil. So if you have areas that look like this:
Then this is not the proper place for a concentric, even if you do a bit of weedwacking with the coil. So, I switched to the 8". However, what I wanted to mention is that the concentrics actually are sensitive enough on the edges to pinpoint with on the coil edge. It's not easy, and you really need to be close to the target, but it is doable, which surprised me.
I wandered around the brush haphazardly and more or less randomly for a few more hours and got two more little crystalline pieces. Here they are all cleaned up, including the bigger piece I got with the concentric. A drastic difference between the flatter type gold, and you can see why it's harder to detect.
In summary: 8" is a great coil for NNV salt. And the concentric is definitely deep seeking, as AraratGold had posted in the past, I very much agree. But I'm unsure if the restricted sensitivity towards the outer edge which limits the coil's use in rocks and heavy bush cover will mean I end up going back to my 17" spiral, or if the depth gain makes these concentrics worth running outside of wide open fields. Since I'm getting a 6000 I probably won't be using the 8" as much, but the whole reason I'm keeping my 7000 is because I still see a use for these bigger X Coils and I believe these concentrics are going to do great next winter in AZ for me if I get them in the right terrain, and I definitely am not ready to lose the ability to run the 17" round spiral yet either, which I also didn't get to test against the 6000, but I definitely feel is outperforming the 17" elliptical on the 6000 at depth. But that's a 100% guess right now, and something I can test later.
One thing to add on from my Arizona 8" post: this coil ran dead stable with zero knock sensitivity here in Nevada. There is something either with the ground or the vegetation causing this 8" to have knock sensitivity down there in Arizona, but not here in Nevada. It happened daily in AZ, it wasn't a mirage. It felt like the machine was trying hard to stay balanced, then when I'd knock it against a rock or just slightly rub against a branch it'd go crazy, then back to normal. I mean 80 or 90 times a day, not my imagination. I'd have to go out of my way detecting not to touch anything. But here in Nevada, not once did it happen with either my pre-repair or post-repair patch lead, and I could knock the coil against anything, no problem. So whatever is happening there in AZ has to be related to either the ground or vegetation. Most of the knock sensitivity was against vegetation, not rocks. It felt like the machine would go out of balance a bit when hitting the vegetation, but that doesn't make sense, and I'm really not sure what the deal was.
Part II: the adapter failure next.
By Steve Herschbach
I wanted to clarify this, in case people are thinking x coil is not welcome here, due to some x coil related members leaving the forum.
I support anyone or anything that legitimately extends our metal detecting capabilities. I applaud x coils efforts.
What I did not like was the fact that you have to take a perfectly good coil, and use it to create an adapter. The process is not simple, and if done incorrectly can fry a GPZ 7000. The repair will cost thousands of dollars, and that is not an exaggeration. Further, there appears to be nobody who will make these for people, and warranty that if the work blows up the detector, that they will insure those costs. In others words “do this at your own risk.” Seems simple to me. No drama, just “do this at your own risk.”
The knowledge of that risk was suppressed, and people who expressed concern were attacked and ridiculed. ANY mention of the risk was met with swift damage control that attempted to shout down the offending party.
THAT is what I objected to. I’m a pragmatic facts based guy. I could care less about the adapter. I do care that it is something that should be a disclaimer on any “oh these are the greatest thing since sliced bread” coming from parties who received many thousands of dollars in free product. And I mean seriously, who actually buys x coils? Because from this dumb Alaskans perspective, nearly everyone reporting on x coils is sporting free coils.
Are there people out there that have to buy your x coils? I’d like to know who those people are, and hear what they have to say. Even then, I’m surprised how little you can trust even reports from purchasers. I was under the impression from several people that the QED was a pretty good product. Now, the ex-dealer is revealing that they are in fact a crap shoot, with very poor reliability, and poor physical construction. The truth now seems 100% the opposite of what I was being told by people, including people who berate others for concealing things. I gave QED quite a bit of positive coverage here that I now regret, because the so-called honest reporting of purchasing owners turns out to be quite suspect. When people buy junk, they prefer to quietly move it along with little fuss. In the meantime, the rest of us are not getting a clear picture of the truth.
The same thing was going on with the Impulse AQ testing. Parties experiencing issues are protective of the developers, kind of a Stockholm Syndrome thing, where you protect your abuser. Because, you know, maybe the next thing they do will be good, and would not want to get shut out of that! So relevant facts about issues that might be perceived as problematic are suppressed or hidden. I bailed out of the project over that.
Anyway, back to X Coil. I just want to let people know discussion of them is welcome. What is not welcome is berating people for being concerned over the adapter. That should simply be the default position for wise people. “Do this at your own risk.” Concerned care, not panic. Second, since free coils rained down like crazy, it would be nice if reporters clearly identify themselves as people getting free gear. I’m serious. I’m truly an outside observer to all this nonsense, and there appear to be almost no people who report on x coil, that do not have at least one free x coil.
So that’s my question. Is there anyone out there that is just a person that bought these, and made or paid someone to make an adapter? A straight up no question purchasing end user? If so, I’d sure like to hear from you!! If you have free coils, love to hear from you also, but please let us know the whole picture.
And to mention one last time. Never did, still do not have any issue with x coil discussion. It’s ok to great product, exploring new ideas, and I thank them for that. It was all the skullduggery and drama that bothered me. I’d welcome sane discussion of the product, and if they ever make a coil for a GPX 6000, I’d be interested.
Thanks to Davesgold and the X-Coil manufacturer, I got a gifted 17x12 Spiral Wound coil. The manufacturer took notice of my multitude of problems with the connector modification and sent me a new coil from Russia. Bravo Zulu X-Coil for prospector support. The weather has improved here in Sunny Yuma so I replaced the 17" round with the new coil and took it for a spin. I balanced it over the ferrite with no problems and I experienced no bump sensitivity.
The first thing I noticed is how well the coil balances on my modified hip stick rig. I do a lot of detecting in the walls of desert washes, putting the coil on its side. The 7000 tends to get the "wee waas" if you don't keep them flat, but this coil seemed to really tone it down and it balanced really nice for less strain on my arm and shoulder. On relatively flat ground I think I could swing this coil all day for less wear and tear on my 65 yr old frame. I ultimately didn't find anything in the walls, but I hit some old hillside drywash tailings and popped these 3 nuggets. All were at moderate depths but I was amazed at some of the deep iron bits I found. Without some side by side target comparisons I can't say that my depth is improved, but I'm getting a lot better ground coverage and I can poke it in between rocks and obstructions. Even if this coil is no better than the original Minelab 14", it's a lot more versatile. This will be my go to coil from here on. I'll stick the 17" round on over worked out patches, but this is my new secret weapon.
Again, many thanks to Davesgold and X-Coil
X Coil 2021 News
I got my GPZ back from Minelab last month, which included a new 14" coil and lower rod. Only $3600.00 AUD lighter in my wallet. As you may recall, I bricked the detector after the Patch Lead was defective. It's still crazy hot here in Sunny Yuma, but I was bored and still curious about the X-Coil, so I shook off my concerns and cut the connector off my brand new coil and built the Patch Lead myself. I was extra careful with the heat from the soldering iron and did a respectable job of putting together the connection. I did a few practice runs on scrap wire and connectors so I was a little more confident of my skill.
I got out 5 mornings last week for a total of about 12 hrs run time. At sunup the morning temps were still in the high 80's and jumping to 100 by 9:00am. Unbearable in the desert washes with no breeze. The one thing that saved me was the synthetic chamois cooling cloths, one around my neck and one under my cap hanging down my neck.
The first morning I did a complete set-up with the detector since it was, for all practical purposes, a brand new machine with all new printed circuits etc. I waved the 17" X-Coil over the ferrite and got the machine nearly silent, though still reacting some to the ferrite. I started in the area where I found the 28 gram rippa last May. This area has a fairly hot layer of clay about 12" under the overburden. Last May we were able to run this zone using HY, Normal, Sens 12, (Threshold 27) with the Patch Search mode to quiet down the machine. The 17" X-Coil in those same settings was way too sensitive, so I had to switch to Difficult to quiet it down. Because I knew I could only be out for a couple hrs, I focused on trying to get that coil over gold hoping to then play with the settings. No joy the first morning.
The next morning I went out to an area that had produced half a dozen 1 grammers when the GPZ first came out. I knew it was deeper and a little quieter ground. We tried Paul's 19" GPZ here when it first came out to no avail. This time I was able to zero out the Ferrite and switch back to Normal from the Difficult setting. The machine was still a little twitchy so I backed off the Threshold to 22 and got it humming along nicely. I gridded the area pretty good and came up with a few deep trash targets and then, right as it started to get unbearable hot, I got a faint, sweet rising tone. A lot of digging and sweating produced a sweet 4 grammer right on the hardpack, about 14 inches down. Now a 4 grammer at 14 inches should be well within the range of the GPZ and standard 14" coil, but I've been over that zone at least 6 times over the past 3 years. The only significant difference is the ground is bone dry this year. Last year there were still pools of water from late season rains.
The next morning I was back to the area of the 28 grammer. I found that the machine was more stable and I could run in Gen, Normal, Sens 14. I got a couple deep trash targets and chased a number of hot ground seams and hot rocks. The settings were really sensitive to hot ground, but in my mind that's the only way to find good missed targets. Right at the end of the morning I got what sounded like another bit of hot ground. I switched to High Yield from General and it brightened up the target, but still hadn't convinced me that it was gold. The target was in the sidewall of a drywasher's hole, so the 17" coil was pretty awkward. I dug out the ground so that I could get the coil level and the target brightened up a little more. By then I had hit the hardpack which tends to hide these small, reddish hotrocks. I dug dozens in this same area, but I needed to check this coil's capabilities. The hardpack was brutal in the morning sun so I had to go back to the truck and get my handy Aussie (DavesGold) made pick. I'm not going out without it now. About 8 inches into the hardpack out popped a nice 1.5 grammer. I can guarantee I stuck the GPZ standard coil in the hole a half a dozen times over the past 2 years.
Thur morning I got out in the same area. I chose a wash that a produced 5 small nuggets, in the sub-sub gram range, in May. I concentrated on the deepest gravels thinking deeper nuggets must be in there, just beyond the reach of the 14" coil. I gridded the zone where a bench had formed on the inside bend of the wash. I went at it from every angle and was about to surrender to the heat when I got the faintest of faint tones. Again I switched to High Yield and it brightened up some. I switched to Difficult, nothing. I started pulling down the bank so that I could get a good level swing with the 17" coil. Slightly improved tone, still unconvincing. I pulled down another few inches and got a much improved tone. I switched to Difficult and got a dull growl, more convincing yet. After much digging into the hardpack out came a nice 1.8 grammer. I even photographed the hole for this one. The Aussie pick is 28" long.
I'm really starting to like this coil. It's light enough for all day use with the addition of my homemade hipstick. I run the hipstick to the bottom of the frame in my lightweight framepack, which moves the weight to the back of the hipbelt and off my shoulder. I'm also running the SteelPhase amp plugged directly into the GPZ, no wireless connection between. As per some of JP's guidance, I'm running the GPZ volume at 2, adjusting loudness at the amp. I'm running the Threshold between 20 and 22 depending on how twitchy the ground is. For the most part I'm running General instead of High Yield trying to reach those deeper targets. The first 2 targets were well within the reach of the standard 14" coil, but somehow I didn't find them over the past 2 years. The last one, doubtful for the standard coil. As the weather cools I'll start doing a quick change to the 14" coil over new targets for a comparison. Right now, it's still to friggin hot to bother.
X Coil 2021 News
The x-coils aren't water proof? Is that right?
Was heading away for 4 days of nugget hunting in the caravan this week but it looks like it's going to rain??️
Any thoughts on whether the rain may cause any problems to these coils?
I know i used to detect in the poring rain with the coiltek elites and the 11" and 18" were fine but my 14" used to false when pressed against the ground. This only ever happened when it rained and i think moisture was getting in where the cable entered the coil.. I was thinking maybe taping some plastic over where the cable inters the coil on the x-coils just to be safe.
Any other time id just cancel and go the following week but this is the last opportunity according to my wife to go for sometime. (new puppy that will need toilet training etc)
Im keen to try out the new x-coils and hit a spot that may soon be exempt from prospecting in a few months time.
X Coil 2021 News
Have the 10" x-coil sitting at home and now waiting on the 22"x 21" to arrive. Was wondering if others have purchased lower shafts for each of there x-coils or just use the original one and undo/fit the coils to that one? (haven't done the chip mod yet so haven't bothered fitting the 10" x-coil.)
X Coil 2021 News