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Help Me Decide, GPX 6000 Or GPZ 7000?

Which is best for me, GPX 6000 or GPZ 7000:  

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  1. 1. Which is best for me, GPX 6000 or GPZ 7000:

    • 6000 kit. Plus the 17" mono.
    • 7000 kit. Plus the 19" and probably NF12.

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Hi Guys,

New forum member here. My 40th birthday is coming up, and my wife's onboard with a new machine. I'm thinking the GPX 6000 or GPZ 7000. I can only afford one, plus an extra coil or two. I could use see help deciding. This is not a case of what detector is better; this is a case of which detector is better for me.

Overall, I have done a lot reading on the forum (and watching youtube videos) trying to get up to speed. Many thanks to all who post here sharing their experience. Thank you Steve, JP, and everyone else who has contributed. Seriously, thank you guys for the wealth of knowledge. 

For fun, I've also set up a poll. But I would very much appreciate written responses and dialog.

I realize this got long. But I wanted to explain my use case. I've tried to summarize, skim over as you see fit.


Background info: 

I'm a long time hand panner, I also run a Gold Monster 1000.

I'm primarily work in the Rocky Mountains in BC Canada; on the site of a major gold rush (Wild Horse River). Terrain wise, it's very similar the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I'm currently working a mix of friends and acquaintances claims, or other claims in the area. Sometimes (rarely) I make trips to other regions.

Since the 1860's gold rush, the river and source creek have been heavily worked over the years. Typically I stick to areas less worked. Lots of hillsides, newly washed out areas, old tailings, water cannon bowls (aka; hydraulic mining), old possible gravel channels, difficult to access old ledges, etc... 

Outside of the river, typically there is 12-15ft of material to bedrock. Either covered with layers glacial till, or old river gravels from as it moved, or both, plus overburden. The bedrock does surface in places. The area's where it peaks out have been previously worked, but I'm hoping they could be reworked with a better detector. I would like to find areas where the bed rock gets near the surface (say within a few feet), but doesn't break through, and thus are still virgin ground. These represent great potential if I can find them.

As a side, not many people seem to use detectors up here. Those that do usually have a Gold Monster. I've been told most people who have shown up with them (non locals) usually give up. Partially because of the limited access to claims (it takes time to make friends), and the lack of understanding of the area, and how it's been worked. As I've shared, it's been heavily worked. Almost all the easy gold is gone. Part of why I want a detector to try and speed up the discovery of new areas. Another thing I would like to try is, to dig holes in areas which are known to be gold bearing, and try to find pockets with the detector. Extend its reach so to speak. Which I can then work with a high banker if water is available. Or with a detector where access is remote/difficult and/or water is no longer available.

So there is really a mix of scenario's and use cases. I would like to use the detector both as a primary and secondary tool.


Gold wise:

This varies depending where you are, and the claim. Beyond fine gold which is continually moved and redeposited in the river, small pickers are the most common. Many in the 0.3 - 0.5g range. Large ones are in the 1-2 gram range. Really nice larger ones are up to the 5 gram range. Anything over that would be considered exceptional in this area (based on what's being found currently, that people are willing to talk about anyways 😉 ). This type of variety would represent a regular season for those who work a good claim. However, larger nuggets do come out. The largest I can personally vouch for is just over 2oz (seen below). The record was 36oz during the original gold rush. I've shared photos below for reference.


Ground wise:

There are lots of hot rocks here, of multiple types. Lots of iron, so heaps of magnetite and some pyrites, galena, etc). I can't say it's as bad is Australia, but it's not great. Even the gold monster jumps back and forth. I dig all targets.

Not to mention all the old timer trash, and even more modern trash.... 

I do wonder if the DD coil will outperform the mono's here. The 19" Super D looks very attractive.


Now, 6000 or 7000?

Here's a quick summary of my understanding, starting with the high points:

  • 6000: Great all around machine. Excels at small (sub gram) gold. Super light, easy, and fun to use. Very zippy. Ergonomics are great, which is not to be underestimated. Over all good value for money. Almost like a Gold Monster, SDC2300 and GPX5000 in one upgraded machine, which is better than all of them, while being lighter.
  • 7000: Takes more skill. One must work slower and more methodically. Keeping good coil control, paying attention... but once learned it's a fantastic all around detector. What it gives up in small gold (where the 6000 excels) it gains with big deep stuff. It's still king, but very heavy and much more expensive.

Weak points:

  • 7000: I see three weakness. Its first weakness is with small gold, which can be mostly mitigated with a NF12 coil. Its heavy weight will always be there, so wear a harness and deal with it. Finally, it costs a lot more in Canada. Compared with a 6000 kit + 17", the 7000 kit + 19" costs 54% more. I have no idea why the price jump is so big here. Plus more money for the NF12 on top of this. 
  • 6000: Weak points are depth and heavy mineralization. I can deal with the mineralization, in that I dig all targets (although less digging is better). But its depth capabilities is what I'm most wondering about. How much can this be helped with the 17" mono coil? And what is the likelihood a better coil for larger deeper gold will come out? Something like the 19" Super D would be ideal (Minelab, please make a larger D coil which can punch deep! Or let someone else. 🙂  ). These are probably my two biggest questions. As trying to find shallow bedrock is something I see good potential with. Otherwise the 6000 seems like the machine for me.

Help me Decide:

Kit wise, I'm thinking either:

  • 6000 kit. Plus the 17" mono. And I pray a bigger coil (for larger deeper gold) comes out eventually.
  • 7000 kit. Plus the 19" and probably a NF12. I think this covers all bases.

Both machines make trade offs. Both are good. I'm just trying to decide which is right for me. I go back and forth here. 

  • The 6000 fantastic for sub gram stuff. I much prefer its price and weight. I'm just not sure how much benefit the 17" mono will bring to depth. If I knew a larger coil would come out later, to help me hunt deeper, I would probably take the 6000. As I want to find areas of shallow bedrock close to the surface, and speed up the discovery of new patches which can be worked. 
  • 7000: The 7000 does do everything. At the expensive of price and weight. The NF12 closes the gap on the small stuff. The 19" is great for the deep stuff. Overall a great combo. Price wise (while expensive) I can probably swing it (pun intended 😉 ). Buy once, cry once. But the weight never goes away... 

I would love to get everyones input.  I think depth is potentially my biggest concern (based on how close it gets), with weight, then price being close behind.

How much depth does the 6000/17 give up to the 7000/19? Secondly, what are the odds a depth focused coil will come out for the 6000?  If one does come out, how close to the 7000/19 do people think it will get? 

Depth could potentially get better with a new coil (if Minelab allows it). However, weight and price of the 7000 never will. 

I can see pro's and con's to both for my situation. Ideally I would have both, but I need to choose one. Thus I defer to the greater community who has vastly more experience, many of whom have run both machines at length. 

Please help me decide. I'm flip flopping. 

Many Thanks,

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Here are some photos showing the type of gold which comes out of this area. These are from the Nip & Tuck mine Facebook page. Steve (Nip & Tuck) has a machine digging placer operation and can move a lot of material. These photos are over various years. The deposits do vary.

Note: My gold is nothing like this. Mine has been smaller fine gold panned from the river. I want my gold to be like this. 😉 

But this is what's here, once you can get into some fresh gravels. Finding them is the key. I'm hoping a detector could be used to help me find areas quicker.

As a side, Steve was recently on Freddy Dodge's mine rescue. It is worth a watch. As you'll see, some years are better than others. He's had some real lean years recently. Sometimes you move heaps of material and don't get much.


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No contest, the 6000. I spend most of my time chasing pocket gold in the PNW woods. No harness, just a backpack and GPX in hand. Try swinging a GPZ with the harness, bungee, and swing arm for a few hours in the brush. Or even just bushwhacking to that mine a mile up the mountain. I did for a year and then got a GPX6000 when it came out.

That and the fact that you are chasing small gold makes it an easy choice to me.

Keep in mind if the areas you are detecting have been worked, you will have days where you dig hundreds of pieces of iron, lead, and tin. I just got off one of those trips and it can be frustrating. But the days where you find some nice gold make it worth it!

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I prefer the 7000, but it's really up to the end user, I've had a bad run with my 6000 which doesn't help.

This statement you've said goes for both, although I think more so for the GPX than the GPZ

"Takes more skill. One must work slower and more methodically. Keeping good coil control, paying attention."

I don't think you'll see a big coil for the GPX, the aftermarket guys have already demonstrated that with their planned coil releases.  I'd be very surprised if there was ever a big coil for it.

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Jeff is right, what about considering a used 5000 or 4500 with a larger coil for depth and a 6000 with stock coils for scouting new ground?

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From the gold you have shown us I know that you know where the gold is at.

With that being said if it were me I would go with the 6000 for it's weight. The 6000 is simple to use and once you are used to it, I am sure that it will do you right.

Good luck on your decision and good luck on your next hunt.

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Nice gold Geoff and I agree with the wording too. If I already owned a GM1000 and wanted to buy just one single detector to use in the Rockies, it'd be the 6000. Just be ready to noise cancel it often if you use the speaker or work close to EMI sources. 

The 7000 was an absolute bear to use in Colorado the one day I tried (I dislocated my shoulder falling after trying to detect a steep incline, so trip ended), and having also been to BC, things are just as steep and even more vegetated up there. 

It's been long enough since the 7000 release that a new one must be on the horizon soon so it's not really a machine I'd recommend anyone to buy right now really until we see what the next one costs and how it performs. 

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A GPX6 for my mind.  

Better for your terrain.

Actually optimum for the size of gold you’re targeting. 

Not 100% sure but I imagine swinging the 19” coil for the 7000 would last about 1 hr and you’d give up.  

Re: coils for the GPX6, at some stage  there will hopefully be a smaller, elliptical, DD coil that will eliminate any EMI concerns/hot ground and make tight space use better.

I can’t find it but I’m sure JP said on here that when large coils came out for the GPX6 that performance will match (better?) a 5000.  

And a GPX6 is heaps cheaper.  And when things go really well you can get the GPZ 8000 when it’s released next year  🥷 🥸

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