I was pretty excited about this one so I couldn't resist posting the video of it, it's a 12x6" prototype test coil being used on the GPX 6000 to find gold, it found 3 bits on it's first run. This was one of my favourite coils on the older model GPX and if I end up with the new GPX it will be a size I'd have to have. It's long sensitive nose was great getting up between the rocks I regularly hunt in. This is purely for information for those interested in following the progress of the coils.
These coils are not being sold by them yet, it's in a testing stage and they will require an adapter which involves removing a chip from the original coil.
You'll see in the photo the adapter inline on the coil cable which has the chip in it that was removed from the standard mono coil.
And the video
The 3 bits of gold found while testing it.
The one to the left was the one found in the video.
Grab a bag of popcorn and a beer, this is gonna be a long read. (Skip to the third paragraph if you are only interesting in my review of the GPX 6000)
Before getting into why I decided to purchase a GPX 6000, I would like to give some background into what got me to the point of making that purchase. My friend "Brian" (Yes the one from Gerry's visit to SD) had been nagging on me that detecting is WAAAY better than sluicing or highbanking for gold. Me being stubborn, I would not listen to him as I was told by many of old prospectors "Theres no nuggets here". Were they hiding something or just oblivious to the truth, I do not know. After a year of recirculated highbanking on my dry claim and "Brian" detecting, it became clear to me that there is some truth to the message he had been preaching to me. That fall I purchased a Gold Bug 2. I loved that it is all analog inputs that require you to actually understand what the different knobs do. It allowed me to gain a better understanding of what the detector was doing. Not just letting the computer on it think for me. That fall gained me no nuggets as I was learning not only the detector but how to be successful at detecting. Many frustration finally led to my first small nugget that next summer. I was getting pretty good I thought as I would come home with a pocket full of tiny lead beebees and if I was lucky, a small nugget. I felt comfortable with the GB2, until I noticed that even though I felt I was doing well with the GB2, "Brian" was doing even better with his SDC2300 and GPZ7000. He would go back over areas I had just detected and pick up what I left behind. It was a perfect game for him as i would clear the garbage and shallow smaller nuggets and he would get the deeper larger ones. 😤 😄 I would even come back over to where he would have a target and check it with my GB2. It became obvious to me that ML technology had a clear advantage over my GB2. About the time I decided to go all in on purchasing a GPX 6000, I joined the detector prospector forum. I did more research into my GB2 and read Steve Herschbach write up on the GB2. Running the settings "hot" still didnt match the performance of the Minelabs detectors. After talking it over with the wife, I gave a call to Gerry at Gerrys Detectors, and after a pleasant 20min call with him I was sold. I gave him my deposit and waited patiently for my GPX to show up at my doorstep.
Gerry, being the outstanding man he is, hand delivered it to me as soon as it had shown up at his store. (perfect timing pays off 🙂 ) Our first day out was a total success. I bagged the largest nugget of the day weighing in just under 2g, my largest at the time. Gerry and "Brian" also did well, both scoring more nuggets and pickers than me. This was also my first gold from this patch. The ground at this patch was very mineralized and had many hot rocks. Listening to my GB2 was a nightmare and I had not been successful at getting any gold from there until this day. There is probably more I can learn on the GB2 but I feared with the larger nuggets being around 10" deep my only chance was to run hot. The GPX ran like a dream comparatively. I was not used to the wobbling threshold that this detector has and it took me some getting used to. We were also less than 500' from a larger powerline and I was still able to get two nuggets that day.(and yes we were just running the 11" Mono) I was able to learn from Gerry while he was there on his trip, but he made the comment to me that I was already doing very well. Everything I learned up this point was from "Brian" who took Gerry's class from one of his past purchases. Gerry and his team must do extraordinary training as I only have had second hand training thru "Brian". I hope to make one of Gerry's training trips to get a chance to do some more detecting with him and his team!
On to the GPX6000. This detector has been a dream!! And I really mean that! Ergonomics are very important and ML has indeed hit this one out of the park. I never ran a 4500 or 5000 so I cannot compare to them, but "Brian" has let me run his GPZ, and I was tired after an hour with that detector. Even though the GPX is slightly heavier than a GB2, I do not notice the weight. I can go for 8 hours and not be completely dead, unless of course I am digging a lot of targets! 😄 The controls are very straight forward. One thing I always liked about the GB2 is it is quite literally turn it on and go. With at least the SDC and GPZ (as these are my only other references) there seamed to be a long start up. Not with the GPX, turn it on and in 10 seconds you can be swinging. The onboard speaker is decent. I think I would have preferred it to be by the display as the sound is coming from behind you instead of in front of you. Its not a huge deal, I can still hear it fine, I just find that when your coil is making noise going over grass and banging on rocks, I find it harder to concentrate on the threshold. With that being said, I do prefer to run with the headphones as this allows me to concentrate better on what I am listening to. I know there have been alot of complaints about EMI. I would say that the first 15min seem to be extra chatty but after that it seems to settle into it. Maybe it is just my mind canceling it out, but I do not find much issues with EMI. I even leave my IPhone on in my backpack which is usually anywhere from 20'-100' away from me. When I do notice more EMI, I just click the noise cancel and in roughly 12 seconds I am going again. The one thing I noticed is there is about a 5 second delay after running the noise cancel(7 seconds) before it is running properly. (probably has something to do with an averaging function that it is running) The threshold is a bit different to listen to for me at least. Its more of a wobbly hum. Once you get in tune with it you just listen thru it and the targets are obvious. Even when you think you've heard a target, just a simple swing back over the same spot and you will have your answer.
The collapsible shaft is spot on. It packs down small so it does not take up much space. Its also nice for getting thru thick areas in the woods. I do not like to overtighten the nuts as this then allows me to twist the coil about the shaft instead of twisting my wrist or arm to keep the coil parallel with the surface. It is also more comfortable for me to not hold the display straight up but more turned in towards me. I do not like to run on the automatic sensitivity settings as I do not like the idea of the computer making changes that I am no controlling. (even though I know it is doing some automatic changes with ground tracking) I have been mostly running on 8-10 for sensitivity and normal soil. The spots I have mostly been to are fairly mild soils. When I get a target, I will give it a little scrap and check again in difficult. If the target is still there then I go after it. I have found that the normal soil setting can give you maybe an inch or so of extra depth. If there is a target there, It will go off on both after scraping a little off the surface. I have noticed that the difficult ground settings will give a better response to small nuggets.
On to the gold! When I say that this has blown me away, I mean it! I know I am not very versed with other detectors, so for some of you this may not be as impressive as it has been for me. My first trip out after Gerrys visit, I go to a patch we call the E patch. We have worked this patch on and off for several years now and had felt fairly certain we were done here. There is a lot of garbage here, and I mean A LOT of garbage and most of it is tiny shrapnel and the thinnest pieces of wire I have ever seen. My first day here with the GPX banked me 42 pieces of trash and 5 nice nuggets with the two larger ones weighing in both just over 1g.
As you can see, that pinpointer is about 10" long and there is another 2" of soil above that. This piece was right at 1g.
This was my gold from that day. The top left is the one shown in the hole above. Needless to say, I was a happy camper that day.
My next day out with the detector would net me 10 more little nuggets. I have to say, it is a blast when you are getting that many pieces no matter how big they are!
It is hard to read, but that total was 1.14g. The smallest of these was 0.03g and this was about 2" deep. In fact this scale would not register it. I had to use a more precise scale to get a measurement.
The last day I was out once again surprised me. Both the detector and this location! In about 2 hours I was able to pull out another 10 pieces! this time though the weight would be 8.25g of gold! With the largest piece coming in at 4.25g! My largest pieces yet! This also puts me in the lead for largest nugget of the year in one of my running bets with "Brian". These bets are for a beer for each bet 😉
The depth of the largest nugget was about 14". The image is deceiving. I dug a narrow hole but if i put my hand straight across from the scoop, there was at least another 2" of soil above my hand and the scoop is roughly 12" long.
The depth of this piece was about 8". Again this image is deceiving as the hole was fairly wide at the top so the scoop is laying down more. This piece weighed in at 0.35g
To sum things up, YES I am well pleased with this detector. It has delivered me gold that I missed with my GB2. It has given me the confidence right from the get go. I know that if there is gold under my coil, this is giving me the best chance of seeing it. I no longer have to wonder if I am missing targets that other detectors would see. Overall I find this detector fairly easy to use and the light weight makes it easy to use all day. Will I ever pay this detector off, that depends on what you mean. It has already paid for itself in fun! It may very well pay for itself financially someday, but I will rely on my full time job to feed me. 😆 I can not wait for further usage of this detector and will always remember the awesome time I had detecting with the legendary Gerry McMullen! Like I said above, the GPX6000 is not just a detector... It is a thrill ride!
So, my beach season hunting has officially started. I was going to shoot for two days hunting but a wash out on Thursday made me change some plans. I had reserved Thursday for the GPX 6000 and the 14” DD coil, but had to settle for trying the 6000, 5000 and Equinox on Friday. I changed beach locations too and ended up at the less EMI beach for the day. Started out using the GPX 5000 for clearing out some of the recently deposited junk in an area that has produced silver before. I thought the storms that ripped through the previous day would remove some sand, but it was just the opposite…. sand deposited along 3/4 of the beach (top to bottom). Also, high tide reach to the highest point of the beach, so I could only hunt where the waves did not constantly reach up top. The 5000 did well considering the beach was really sanded in and gave me my first silver of the season – a 1955 Washington quarter. The rest was clad, but for 2 copper pennies. Some junk jewelry, and maybe some iron shot or just a ball bearing, - it measured .75 caliber. The big spoon was found at 20” and I thought I was going to get a beer can or some big iron, so that was a nice surprise. Hunted with the 5000 for 6 hours and decided I cleared enough to try the 6000 in that spot. The EMI was a bit more than usual but not really bad. I’m still not sold on that 14” coil. I tried both ground settings, as well as both Salt mode and EMI mode. I tried auto, auto +, manual (full) and manual (setting 1) and some in between. I just could not get the 6000 to not false on the sand. It was partially damp, as high tide receded a while ago, but with a sensitivity of 1, I would have expected a smooth clean machine. IDK maybe the coil is not good. I did not bring the 11” mono as I really wanted to see if the salt mode would work on the 14” DD. Being a bit disappointed, and after trying all combinations of settings, I called it after around 10 minutes. So, the tide was getting as low as it was going to be, so I hunted for 3 hours with the Equinox and traded my spade for my scoop. I didn’t use the Nox much last season as the 5000 was killing the silver, so the Nox sat idle. But I wanted to see if the heavy waves dropped anything on the beach along with all that sand. There weren’t many targets, so I dug everything to get a feel for all the numbers. The hairpins and tiny wire all read a steady -2, -3. The Nox did well for the short time I used it and if I wasn’t beat from the hunt, I would have stayed in the area that was producing some coins. It was the best machine for the day to give me a chance at some gold. It felt really, really good to get out and just walk the beach. Next week all 3 machines will be at the crazy EMI beach. I will have the mono coin and the DD to see if this beach (dry sand) will be ok for the 14” coil. Can’t wait!!!
By Steve Herschbach
It should be getting obvious the GPX 6000 is a great nugget detector. I think it also has great possibilities for beach detecting for jewelry.
If somebody was to ask me about relic detecting, I’d tell them the same thing I say about the GPZ 7000 - way too sensitive to tiny ferrous. There is such a thing as too sensitive, and the fact that the GPX 5000 can be set up to miss the tiniest ferrous is actually an advantage. The 6000 will bang hard on the tiniest slivers of ferrous stuff, like almost invisible bits of hair thin wire.
However, it might be something those who already have the machine might want to play with, and I have already been learning a few discrimination tricks while beach detecting. Anyone familiar with the Minelab PI detectors knows you get two main tone responses, either a high tone, or a low tone. The simple way to think of what these tones mean is high tone = small or weaker / low conductive targets, and low tone = large or stronger / high conductive targets. The dividing line between the two is not fixed, but varies with the ground balance setting. This means people in lower mineral ground will not get the same results as those in high mineral ground. It’s a complex subject, one I go into great detail at here.
The GPX 6000 has one bit of magic for this task. The Normal/Difficult ground setting button. It allows a change in the tone response by simply pressing a button. I do not know the details of Normal vs Difficult, but it changes the timings enough to flip the tone response on many targets. I found I could use it to get four different target classes.
Hi tone normal, high tone difficult = Aluminum foil, misc aluminum, wire, most bottle caps, misc small ferrous - low VDI targets. Small gold. Hi tone normal, low tone difficult = Nickel range targets, larger aluminum. Larger gold. Low tone normal, low tone difficult = Zinc penny range targets. Even larger gold. Low tone normal, high tone difficult = Quarters, dimes, copper penny, high VDI targets, nails (larger ferrous). Silver rings. The results closely mimic my coin detecting results with other ground balancing PI detectors, but with a big difference. With all the other machines I had two classes of targets. High tone small stuff, low conductors, and low tone large stuff, high conductors. This new method delivers four target classes, potentially a big step up in discrimination capability with a PI. Ferrous can show up in any of the ranges, just depends on size and type.
By digging the fourth category, it’s basically just high conductive coins, and nails. No zinc pennies or aluminum screw caps. Not good if you have lots of nails, but I will be doing this in a park soon, as many parks are not loaded with nails. Others might be, so it’s site specific.
The other big caveat I already mentioned. This assumes bad ground, with a ground balance setting to match. The GPX 6000 is automatic and sets its own ground balance. You have no way to set and lock it, unlike a TDI. So I have no idea where the tone shifts will occur in other ground. The good news is that you really don’t need a PI as much in low mineral ground. This might allow people to get more depth on silver coins in really bad ground. The DD coil also skews results, depending on which mode it is in, salt or cancel.
In other words folks, I’m looking for people who are willing to experiment, and document. I will be doing more of this and adding new information here as I go. Any adventurous souls, please do the same. There is a definite crude discrimination system included with the GPX 6000, by way of an easy button push. Let’s figure it out, and it may open up some new detecting possibilities.
I blew it on my first go at this, as I dropped finds into different pockets of my pouch, to separate them by category for a photo, along with the trash. Then I got home and by habit just dumped it all in my sieve to sort the sand and trash out - oops. So will do better at that next time. Bottom line is I got real good at calling out the coins before digging. There are some real possibilities here for the adventurous types - PI naysayers need not apply!