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Best Detector For Up To 6in And Not Very Small Nuggets

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I already have a V440, GF 66 and a GM1000. I am getting too old to be digging all day and would rather walk in preference to digging. Thus I prefer sites where it is lesser known so it has not been worked to death. I don't dig beyond 6in and work on the principle that the old timers the old have missed the eluvial and alluvial that was lying just below the surface. Also the fact that not many have hunted there. Anyway that's my rationale for gentlemenly prospecting. After waffled on above what are your thoughts on the best detector that will find gold larger than 1 gm down to 6ins ie not interested in the tiny pieces .Also can find coins etc if possible. I am not interested in 2300,7000 etc as they are well outside my price range. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it thanks.

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Of the three detectors you have, Queensland............Gold Monster 1000. Even better for hotter ground would be an Equinox 800. Forget the GoFind. Vanquish 440 is an excellent detector for everything but gold prospecting. Plus, you may have trouble getting the Vanquish to be quiet on hot ground due to the internal ground balance limitations that can make it sound like the ground is full of iron with ghost -8 and -9 signals.

The Gold Monster and Equinox 800 could easily hit 4" .25 gram and bigger nuggets in the really bad ground I sometimes detect in. The target response is often an iron response instead of gold in bad mineralization.........but I just dig it anyway.

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This is a bit of advice others with more experience with the CTX may want to chime in on, however I think the CTX 3030 might be right up your alley.  Your aim is 1 gram gold or larger, quite shallow under 6" and avoiding digging tiny stuff and may as well throw some discrimination into the mix as well to make it even easier for you.   I took this photo before I bought the little 6" coil or else it'd be in it too.


It's not like the GM1000 where it's sensitive to the very tiny targets, it's not going to drive you nuts with small shotgun pellets and so on like the normal prospecting detector but gram size gold is absolutely no issue for it.  It appears it handles bad soil very well, others may want to comment there as I can't personally verify that, just by what I've read.

I'm new to the CTX myself although I love it so far, I have messed around with it a lot already and it has a feature that allows you to limit it's depth in a way, it's called volume gain, you can basically make it barely detect deeper targets by turning the volume gain down, deeper targets will just become a break in the threshold and targets at the depth you're after will scream out.  I guess you'd just bury a 1 gram bit of gold at various depths and adjust the setting to suit what you wanted to dig and how deep.

Here is a Minelab Treasuretalk on the feature that you may want to read.


It's also quite a reasonable prospecting detector for the size gold you're chasing.  It has options of 6", 11" and 17x13" coils from Minelab and Coiltek have had a 10x5" for it.  I'm not sure if it still exists as I've been unable to find one to buy so far so maybe they've discontinued the coil.

Here is some talk on it being used in OZ by Gold Hound that found a great use for it for his prospecting.  He has a bunch of settings you can download for it available on this site to suit various conditions in OZ too.

It's also Minelab's flagship coin detector, although with the Equinox now on the market some might say that's debatable.  Either way you'll find it excellent for your coin hunts and again, it has the settings you desire to suit your detecting style and really great accurate target ID's to assist you digging less junk and more good targets you are aiming for.

It's also getting long in the tooth but still a current model and you should be able to pick up a second hand one reasonably easily with some CTX users switching to the Equinox which has small gold performance more on par with your GM1000 and will have you digging crazy amounts of shotgun pellets 🙂

A potential downside is you may find it a bit heavy as it's about 2.3kg, compared to say your GM1000 at about 1.33kg with the 10x5" coil.

Obviously don't jump in and buy one without doing some research and others may chime in if my assumption it maybe suitable for you is correct, but it sure sounds like it suits what you're chasing.

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The OP already said he has budget limitations. I would just put the larger coil on the Gold Monster and run it in Deep Auto 1. If he digs too much small stuff turn it way down to 4 sensitivity or less or use the shallower discrimination mode. 

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You can pick them up second hand not much more than he paid for his Monster though


$1600 AUD.

His aims to not dig stuff much under 1 gram so that's a challenge with the Monster, even on lowest sensitivity it's going to ping on surface pellets.

If his Vanquish had ground balance it'd be the cheapest option, but being in OZ and looking for gold it's not likely to cut it without being able to balance.

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Posted (edited)

I am in a reasonable mineralised soil. And testing the GM1000 set at manual 6 it could not find 2 $1 Oz coins at 8in and 6in  which has a diameter of 1in but could find 5c coins ,diameter 20mm, at 2in and 4inHow does this translate. 

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2 hours ago, Lachie said:

I already have a V440, GF 66 and a GM1000. I am getting too old to be digging all day and would rather walk in preference to digging. Thus I prefer sites where it is lesser known so it has not been worked to death. 

If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it thanks.

I take it that you are new to the game, joined June this year. My advice is to get to know what you have. Most old VLF detector have capabilities to pick up 1 gm 3 inches and 20 year old PI detectors can pick up .2 or .3 gm nuggets close to 6" in most goldfields by a well set detector and proper use (meaning not many 1 gm nuggets left by them). If you like walking get away from locations close to towns (less junk and shotgun pellets ) and do the fringes of the workings. When you have got close to a magic ounce the price of an upgrade is not a handicap together with the experience gained.  

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Hey Lechie,

   Welcome to the forum! Please introduce yourself in the Meet And Greet section, and give us some background!👍👍

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Everyone would like bigger shallow gold.  Problem is everyone else has most likely found it before you. Your Monster is a very capable machine, learn it well.  Take what the ground gives, big or small, and be happy the ground is giving anything even if small......jmo

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1 hour ago, oneguy said:

Everyone would like bigger shallow gold.  Problem is everyone else has most likely found it before you. Your Monster is a very capable machine, learn it well.  Take what the ground gives, big or small, and be happy the ground is giving anything even if small......jmo

Very wise oneguy.  Sometimes I have to decide.......do I want to spend $30 to $60 on gas, find $10 or less in gold (there is always the possibility of a bigger find of course or getting skunked) or do I want to spend 50 cents on gas or walk to a local park, find $2.00 in change, some .925 silver jewelry (and maybe some gold jewelry once a month or so....) and come home with $10 in change and melt value silver like I did today for just the expense of walking the dog and digging 50 targets in 1.5 hours. That is a tough choice for me sometimes. 

So, welcome to the forum Lachie.  you have an excellent coin and jewelry detector in the form of your Vanquish 440 and you have one of the best shallow gold detectors for the first 6" of ground in the world in the Gold Monster 1000. If you sold both and picked up an Equinox 600 or 800 it would be an excellent replacement for your 440 and GM1000 and could handle everything they can do in just one detector. But really....you already have your needs covered in my opinion, especially if you are fairly new to gold prospecting and coin/jewerly hunting.

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