Hit this deep, 10 gram Platinum ring on the beach recently. Initial signal was a faint, choppy tone, jumpy 12/13 ID. After the 1st and 2nd scoops the signal went to negative #'s and gave me the iron tone. After the 3rd scoop the signal was gone. I utilized pinpoint mode thereafter and recovered the target after the 5th scoop. Solid 13 out the hole. Wet sand was hard packed so I don't believe the target was moving or sinking, no water filled the hole. Has anyone else experienced an initial good target going to negative #'s/iron readout? Halo effect on non-ferrous? Positive this target was at the brink of detection range...14" - 15" inches. Impressive depth but I will not trust that iron reading/tone if it is mixed with a positive reading/tone going forward.
I run Beach 2 with no discrimination almost exclusively on the beach.
GL & HH!
By Steve Herschbach
The White's Goldmaster 24K is a new 48 kHz gold nugget detector released in the fall of 2018. Production models started shipping in September and White's forwarded one to me to check out. What follows are my thoughts after a couple days of detecting for gold on several northern Nevada nugget patches.
The Goldmaster 24K marks a break with the past as White's moves from the older metal box designs of the past to newer plastic cases. The Goldmaster 24K physical design is the latest in the evolution of the MX series. The control box itself is derived directly from that used on the White's MX5. The control pod / display originated with the TreasurePro and later used in the MX Sport and MX7 designs. Basically the Goldmaster 24K is in the same housing and rod design as the White's MX7.
Manufacturers face a difficult design choice these days. In general users want metal detectors to be as light as possible. However, weight is not everything - balance matters every bit as much. The problem is that a metal detector search coil is basically a weight on the end of a long stick. Coils can only be made so light due to engineering constraints requiring a certain amount of copper wire and a reasonably robust coil housing. The coil then has a lot to do with determining the final ergonomics of the detector. If the coil weight is not balanced at the other end with some kind of offsetting weight, the detector is nose heavy. This in turn creates torque everytime the detector changes directions which puts stress on the operators arm.
The detector can be made as light as possible, or can be perfectly balanced, but it is almost impossible to do both in one detector. Any detector that weighs less than 3 pounds is almost certain to be nose heavy because enough weight does not exist to balance the weight of the coil. In order to have enough weight to work with it appears the minimum is about 3.5 lbs for detectors that are well balanced. The extra weight is almost always in the form of a battery box located under the elbow. White's has gone this route is the MX series designs with a battery box holding 8 AA batteries under the elbow acting as a balancing weight. This results not only in a well balanced detector but a detector with enough batteries to operate for multiple days between charges or battery changes.
White's Goldmaster 24K metal detector for gold prospecting
Another big choice manufacturers have to make these days is whether to use a straight rod or a "S" rod design. Users tend to be evenly split as to which they prefer, and so this is a choice the manufacturer cannot possibly win. About half the people are going to be unhappy whichever way you go. Industrial type users like beach hunters and prospectors tends to prefer straight rods. Coin, jewelry, and relic hunters seem more inclined to "S" rods. I have used many detectors with either setup and have been happy with both or unhappy with both. The deciding factor for me has been more about the exact size, shape, and angle of the hand grip than the actual rod design. I do not have over-sized hands, and so I tend to prefer a smaller diameter grip. Other people like a larger grip.
I went into all that detail to be sure the reader understands that weight and balance is very much a personal preference item. Getting a detector to fit right for everyone is like making a pair of boots that fits everyone. You can't do it. Therefore when I say that the MX physical design as employed in the Goldmaster 24K is a very good fit for me don't take that as meaning it will be great for you. Yet it is a very good fit for me and quite comfortable on my arm, with just enough forward weight to keep my elbow in the arm cup without having to use the arm strap. The design is also lighter than the White's GMT by nearly half a pound, so the Goldmaster 24K is both well balanced and lighter than what came before. The Goldmaster 24K with 10" elliptical coil and with batteries installed weighs 3 lbs 7 oz (3.4 lbs) or 1562 grams on my digital postal scale.
The Goldmaster 24K has an IP54 rated enclosure that has a high level of protection against dust particles, and a fair amount of protection against water. The coils are waterproof but the detector itself is not submersible so keep that display pod out of the water. The "S" rod is a three piece design with excellent quality twist locks that create a firm, wobble free rod assembly when fully engaged. The armrest position is not adjustable but it is well placed.
The 24K is powered by eight AA batteries in a battery holder that pops out of the rear of the battery box. The 24K is supplied with eight alkaline AA batteries but rechargeable batteries may be substituted for use in the battery holder. The 24K can get up to 40 hours operation using high quality alkaline batteries and while using headphones (external speakers use more power). The Goldmaster 24K does have a speaker built into the rear of the display pod, and there is a female 1/4" headphone jack directly above the battery door. White's thoughtfully includes a small plastic plug to insert into this hole when not in use.
White's 24K battery holder and headphone jack location
The Goldmaster 24K is available in two versions. One comes with a 5.5" x 10" DD coil as the stock coil. The other package also adds a 6.5" round concentric coil for a two coil package. Scuff covers for the coils are not included with the detector.
The 5.5" x 10" DD search coil weighs 14.5 oz or 412 grams. The coil is 1" thick. The 6.5" round concentric coil is 3/4" thick and weighs 13.1 oz or 370 grams. Therefore the 24K when outfitted with the 6" concentric weighs in at 3 lbs 5 oz (3.3 lbs). White's also has a 13.5" x 8" DD available soon that weighs 1 lb 8 oz or 682 grams. Finally, a version of the 4" x 6" Shooter DD is in the works also. Do note that all pre-existing coils for other White's Goldmaster or GMT models are not compatible with the Goldmaster 24K. The 24K pumps about 50% more voltage to the coils than previous models, requiring tighter tolerances in the new coils. The coil connector has been changed to prevent confusion.
5.5" x 10" DD search coil and 6.5" round concentric coil for White's Goldmaster 24K
The Goldmaster 24K shares many functions with the White's GMT model but there are differences. The most obvious being that the GMT uses knobs for control adjustments. The 24K uses a sealed touchpad which is more water and dust resistant, but some controls have secondary functions that necessitate having the Quick Guide near at hand when learning the detector.
The 24K like the GMT does of course have a sensitivity control, and like on all hot VLF detectors it is a critical control. The solution to most problems regarding metal detector instability or interference is to reduce the sensitivity.
The 24K features both automatic ground tracking or a fixed ground balance adjusted via a tap of a "ground grab" button - in this case the pinpoint button, which doubles as a ground grab when given a quick tap. Ground tracking can be a great function for variable ground and people new to detecting. Personally I prefer to lock the ground setting (via the "Lock" button) and update it manually via the ground grab function. I did use the ground tracking however, just to try it out. It is lightning quick, taking just a pump or two to track into the ground. Ground grabs are instantaneous.
The White's GMT allowed for a locked ground balance to be tweaked up or down manually via plus or minus buttons on the control pod. The 24K takes a slightly different route by allowing a "ground balance offset" to be dialed into the detector. The ground balance offset is a powerful feature and so deserves some explanation. Prospectors often prefer manual ground balance because they can choose their own setting that for various reason might be different than what a machine will choose using a preset function like ground grab. Ground grab may be set to deliver a very neutral ground balance. The prospector may prefer that the balance be slightly positive to help enhance tiny nugget signals. They may want to choose a ground balance setting halfway between the ground itself and some pesky hot rock, which may mean adjusting either positive or negative from the neutral setting. This might require that the operator first do a ground grab, then hit the plus button a couple times to manually offset the ground balance.
The 24K has a "Follow The Black Sand" mode like on the GMT but it is now called Ground Scan. Ground Scan is enabled by pushing and holding the ground balance "Lock" button. While in Ground Scan the "Up" and "Down" buttons create a ground balance offset. This offset is retained when you leave Ground Scan mode and will be applied both when doing a ground grab and even while in ground tracking mode.
The Ground Scan / Follow The Black Sand thing is intended to allow a prospector to locate and trace shallow magnetic sand deposits that might indicate potential gold concentrations. This is a rarely used function, but including the offset ability means this function may be accessed much more often just to create these ground balance offsets. With the GMT you could ground grab and then manually tweak the setting, but the tweak had to be applied every time the ground grab is performed. Now the offset can be dialed in and automatically applied. The real zinger however is that this also allows the 24K ground tracking function to be directly tweaked - very, very rare indeed. Almost every detector I have ever used has a preset ground tracking circuit that puts the ground balance where it wants, end of story. With the White's Goldmaster 24K you can create a tracking offset to deal with hot rocks in a way that simply can't be done with most other ground tracking systems. Really cool White's!
White's Goldmaster 24K with 13.5" x 8" DD coil (prototype lacking decal)
The 24K has the volume control the GMT lacks which is quite handy for those who want to run without headphones but not necessarily at full volume. There are 8 levels of volume plus two boost settings, Boost 1 (b1) and Boost 2 (b2) that kick in when you adjust the volume control above 8.
The GMT features a Variable Self Adjusting Threshold (V/SAT) control that governs the rate at which the audio resets itself when passing over a target or ground variations. The GMT has a knob that runs from 1 to 10 and on the Goldmaster 24K the SAT setting has been simplified to three settings - off, medium, and fast. The default setting of medium is all most people will ever need. However, in extreme low mineral ground the off setting can enhance weak signals, although the detector may need very careful coil control and slower coil sweeps to allow the circuit to keep up. Conversely, extreme high mineral variable ground may require the fast setting to smooth out variations in the ground signal.
The threshold control itself is interesting. Normally on an old school threshold based all metal detector the all metal mode and threshold are one and the same. The Goldmaster 24K like some newer digital models appears to employ what is referred to as a "reference threshold". The threshold may be adjusted, but appears to be disconnected from the all metal channel and is instead layered on in parallel. The SAT control above does directly affect the all metal channel as described above. Yet it does what it does whether the threshold is present or not. Reference thresholds often exist for the sole purpose of nulling or going silent when passing over items that have been discriminated out, but this does not happen when the Iron Cancel (see below) is engaged. While bench testing in all metal with the SAT set at zero I thought I might just be able to hear a waver in the threshold. I would be interested in hearing from other nugget hunting experts on this matter, because in my opinion the threshold as it exists on the Goldmaster 24K is not coupled to the all metal channel in the manner one would observe on the GMT for instance. The only effect seems to be with threshold completely off the 24K will no longer give any ground feedback at all if out of ground balance. Based purely on what I am observing in actual use I would say the 24K is a silent search detector with a reference threshold added as opposed to a true threshold based all metal circuit like on the GMT. The difference is subtle but there for my ear at least and if there is a connection there between threshold and all metal channel, it is too minimal for me to discern while in actual use.
Now we get into the real meat of where the GMT and Goldmaster 24K part ways. The GMT has an iron (ferrous) probability meter as does the Goldmaster 24K. The GMT meter is merely a bar graph - far left means 10% chance of ferrous and far right means 90% chance of ferrous. Somewhere in the middle means 50% chance of ferrous. The Goldmaster 24K puts a blacked out block at the top of the screen with similar positioning, but the actual percentage numbers display out as a "target id" number. This is not a target id number as thought of on coin detectors, but instead intended to be a display of the odds that an item is non-ferrous.
White's Goldmaster 24K controls and display screen
If you look at the display above there is a colored bar at the top of the 24K LCD meter - red on left, wide yellow middle, and dark gray on right. The three colors taper one into the other to indicate overlap. The red on the right indicates the probable ferrous range, and dark gray indicates items reading too high to probably be gold, but more likely a copper, brass, or silver item (high conductors) or certain ferrous items that "wrap around" and "read high". These include hardened steel items like large bolts, almost any washers, ax heads, etc. In theory this scale could be used for coin detecting but the coins with few exceptions like a nickel tend to bunch up all on the right. The intent really is to be more of a ferrous/non-ferrous meter but I do think I could make do with this for some general detecting scenarios. In air tests a nickel read 88, zinc penny 95, dime 96, and quarter 97.
The Goldmaster 24K has an Audio Mode button that engages and disengages something analogous to the "Iron Grunt" feature on the GMT. Engaging the Audio Mode replaces the normal VCO type "zippy" audio with a simple high or low beep. Any meter reading below 50 will deliver the low "ferrous" beep and anything 50 or higher a high "non-ferrous" beep. Since the gold probability range runs much lower this is helping the operator concentrate only on the high probability targets - anything with over a 50% chance of being non-ferrous. This "over 50% equals non-ferrous" audio mode could be useful for direct hunting in some situations. However, when pushing the detector hard in all metal mode and then switching the Audio ID mode on I found that I would have to reduce sensitivity or encounter quite a few false signals in mineralized ground. That being the case I was more prone to using this as a ferrous check by engaging the button for a quick audio reading, then back again to all metal mode.
The Audio Mode as I described it above acts much like the Iron Grunt feature on the GMT, but on the GMT the ferrous audio alert only kicks in when there is an 85% or greater chance of the item being ferrous. It is not a certainty on how the percentages correlate, but the 24K audio ferrous tone does kick in at readings of 50 and below (greater than 50% chance of being ferrous). Borderline gold targets can read lower than this however, down into the 40s and even lower. A 30% chance of gold is still pretty good odds. So what to do now except read the numbers?
White's has addressed this with another control, the Iron Cancel button. Engaging Iron Cancel activates an adjustable iron rejection setting. The default is for anything reading 15 or lower to simply not beep. This corresponds to the solid red area on the bar graph display at the top of the meter. Borderline or mixed content items will break up or give erratic readings. The best part however is that the setting can be adjusted from 0 all the way up to 62. This allows the operator to completely block out a chosen range of low end readings that is either more conservative or more aggressive than the Audio Mode preset. As noted before, the threshold, if any is used, will not blank over rejected items - they are simply ignored.
I noted above that highly conductive items and some steel items can read at the very high end of the scale, typically 95 and above. If the goal really is gold it is very unlikely that readings this high will be gold and so White's also offers the ability to block out this high end range. Tapping the "lock" button while in the ferrous adjustment mode will automatically block all readings of 94 and higher, which is where most iron high end false signals will occur.
Other controls on the Goldmaster 24K - a pinpoint function, frequency shift to help avoid electrical interference or for running two 24Ks close together, a backlight for the meter for low light conditions, and finally, a factory reset.
White's Goldmaster 24K with stock 10" x 5.5" DD coil
Now for the part everyone has been waiting for - how does the Goldmaster 24K at finding gold? When I test nugget detectors I tend to concentrate on smaller gold. First, because it is more plentiful and easier to find in limited time frames for testing purposes. Realistically small gold also challenges the detector the most. A metal detector must be tuned as hot as possible to find very small bits of gold. Yet this also causes problems with mineralized ground and hot rocks. It is not so much the small gold sensitivity that matters but how the metal detector handles the ground while tuned up for tiny gold. This is why air tests are minimally useful for nugget hunters. They can reveal theoretical information about how small or how deep a detector can find gold under perfect conditions. Air tests give no indication however of how the detector will handle bad ground and hot rocks when tuned to the max. A detector can air test extremely well and fail completely in the field. Therefore when you see my metal detector test reports, pay attention to the smallest nuggets I find, not the larger ones.
The 10" DD coil is a good all around nugget hunting coil, with DD coils having the advantage for handling difficult ground. It was the 6.5" round concentric that wowed me however and after I got it on the detector I really did not want to take it off. The 10" DD will be a better choice for really bad ground, but lacks that magic edge on the tiniest bits of gold. I also appreciate that concentric coils are easier to pinpoint with, and generally have better ferrous identification performance compared to DD coils. One nice thing about the 24K being well balanced is the 13.5" x 8" coil is less nose heavy than would be the case for an unbalanced detector. This is the coil to use for covering ground in search of larger gold nuggets.
For medium to milder ground and the smaller gold however I really do like that little concentric. In particular there is a lot of grass growing in some desert areas, and the 24K with 6" coil was perfect for mowing through the grass to keep the coil on the ground. This is another area where an "S" shaft has the advantage. A straight shaft detector wants to roll to the side when forcing the coil against resistance, where a balanced "S" shaft being in line with your arm does not produce that kind of rollover torque.
The 10" x 5.5" DD coil was a little more prone to false signals when bumped hard than the concentric coil, to the point where I could run higher sensitivity with the concentric on this particular ground. The ground in lots of Nevada is rather mild, often with alkali (salt) content, and it may or may not have bad hot rocks. This particular location had two types of hot rocks to deal with. The bottom line is I was able to run the concentric at full sensitivity of 10, and in audio boost 2 (b2) while in all metal mode and SAT set at medium (default). Even with the machine maxed out like this the detector ran well, and as I said before falsed less than the DD coil would if I attempted the same settings.
White's new XGB ground balancing system really does seem to do a good job finding a setting that works well with both hot rocks and the ground by tracking multiple ground balance points. I liked to engage tracking, run over a mix of ground and hot rocks, and then lock the setting. I was scrubbing and pretty much digging everything. The Goldmaster 24K with the little concentric is hot as a pistol and as usual if you give me a hot detector I was able to find some really tiny gold. The eight nuggets below weigh a total of 8.3 grains (not grams - 480 grains per Troy ounce). The largest nugget is 1.8 grains and the smallest are in that under 1/10th gain range. Now, none of these were super deep because you can't find tiny gold super deep, but they were all good zippy targets - and I was not using headphones!
Gold nuggets found by Steve with new White's Goldmaster 24K - smallest under 1/10th grain
The proof is in the pudding and there is no doubt the Goldmaster 24K can find the gold, and some really small gold at that. I am not going to try and convince anyone that there is some kind of magic breakthrough here - at the end of the day the 24K is a hot 48 kHz single frequency metal detector just like the GMT in many regards. Some oldtimers may still prefer the GMT for its threshold being tightly connected to the all metal channel while the threshold connection on the 24K is much weaker. Although the Goldmaster 24K can be run hot and noisy, all it's design features point to a detector that is intended to be set up as quiet as possible, and this may even mean running without a threshold. I did not see any evidence that this would really hurt the performance at all. This kind of quiet hunting tends to appeal more to people new to nugget detecting, especially those who cross over from coin detecting. Add this to the lighter weight and lower cost package and White's has done a great job producing an alternative to the admittedly long in the tooth GMT.
White's Goldmaster 24K Information Page
White's Goldmaster 24K & GMT Compared
Little gold nugget on coil fresh out of the ground
By Steve Herschbach
The following is a very detailed review of the new Makro Gold Kruzer... but first a little back story.
I was asked to review a new gold detector in the fall of 2014 from a company I had never heard of before then – the FORS Gold by the Nokta company based in Istanbul, Turkey. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Nokta FORS Gold to be a very capable 15 kHz VLF detector that could serve well not just for nugget detecting, but almost any detecting tasks.
The FORS Gold did have some odd design quirks, like the use of mechanical rocker switches instead of touch pads. I listed a few of these things, expecting that would just be the way it is. I was almost shocked when within a short period of time Nokta fixed or changed every item I had mentioned in my review as possibly needing improvement. This was unusual as normally once a machine has gone into production manufacturers are extremely resistant to design changes, especially changes in the physical design. It was a sign of what people have now found to be fact – that this company is serious about listening to their customers as a prime driver for product improvement.
New Makro Gold Kruzer
It was revealed that Nokta had a sister company called Makro, and the two officially combined forces shortly after I made my review. In other words, both Nokta and Makro now share the same ownership and management, but continue to be marketed separately under the two brand names. The detector models that each sell are unique, but there is an obvious sharing of the underlying technology between some models that the two brands sell.
I had commented at the time that I would prefer a more standard configuration for a LCD based detector rather than the non-standard configuration as presented by the FORS Gold. By the fall of 2015 I was using the new Makro Gold Racer, which incorporated many ideas I had lobbied for over the years with detector manufacturers. I had been trying for some time to get somebody to create a metal detector that ran at nugget detecting type frequencies over 30 kHz but with a full target id system. It seems strange now but at that time nobody made such a detector.
The Makro Gold Racer was quite unique in 2015 by offering a detector running at 56 kHz that also offered a full range LCD based target id system and dual tone based audio discrimination modes. This made it a detector useful not just for nugget detecting, but low conductor hunting in general for relics and jewelry. It is even a halfway decent coin detector for regular park type scenarios. The versatility and well thought out control scheme scored points with me, and I still have the Makro Gold Racer even after selling most of my other detectors.
It seems that the moment the Makro Gold Racer hit the streets, that everyone else was working on similar ideas, as other detectors running over 30 kHz but with a full feature set started to appear on the market. High frequency detecting is suddenly in vogue for more than just gold nugget detecting.
The one thing obvious now about the Makro / Nokta partnership is that they never sit still, but continue to work on and release new models at a pace that puts all the other manufacturers to shame. The companies are also big believers in seeking public feedback and then implementing the suggestions to create better products for their customers. This is readily apparent in the progression I have personally witnessed in going from that original Nokta FORS Gold to the new 61 kHz Makro Gold Kruzer just now hitting the market. In less than four years the company has gone from “catching up” to meeting or surpassing detectors made by other companies.
The Makro Gold Kruzer has a full suite of functions, is fully waterproof, incorporates built in wireless headphone capability, and can be firmware updated over the internet. That short feature list alone puts the Makro Gold Racer in a very select group of detectors offering those same 21st century “basic features” that were lacking in almost all detectors made in the last century.
The Makro Gold Kruzer obviously builds on the Gold Racer feature set with the following key differences. The Gold Racer runs at 56 kHz and the Gold Kruzer at 61 kHz, one of the highest frequencies available in consumer metal detectors. This continues the focus on detecting small low conductor targets. The Gold Kruzer is waterproof to 5 meters (16.4 feet) whereas the Gold Racer is not waterproof at all. Finally, the Gold Kruzer adds a three tone hunt mode, taking things up another step from the dual tone modes available on the Gold Racer.
Now let’s look at the Makro Gold Kruzer in detail. Makro switched things up in that the Gold Kruzer comes with two coils, a 5.5” x 10” concentric coil, and a 4” x 7.5” DD coil; both include scuff covers. The 5.5” x 10” concentric coil, which was an option offered for the Gold Racer, has been redesigned and cut from 1” thick to ¾” thick and the weight reduced to 384 grams (13.5 oz). The coil is hollow and therefore slightly buoyant, so the 25% reduction in thickness is quite welcome in reducing that buoyancy to where it is basically unnoticeable underwater.
The little 4” x 7.5” DD coil is a solid epoxy filled coil which works extremely well in smaller coils where epoxy filling does not result in too much weight. The small DD coil weighs 368 grams or 13.0 oz. There is one accessory coil available at this time, a 5” x 9.5” epoxy filled DD. This coil weighs 14.3 oz or 404 grams. It should be noted that because of the frequency change and with the Gold Kruzer using waterproof connectors, that Makro Gold Racer coils will not work on the Gold Kruzer.
Makro has also learned lessons as regards coil ear durability. The coil ears on the Gold Kruzer are about twice the mass of those on my older Makro Gold Racer. Taller, wider, and thicker – these extra beefy coil ears should all but eliminate breakage issues.
4” x 7.5” DD coil showing beefed up ears
The Makro Gold Kruzer employs a fairly standard “detector pod on an S rod” design forgoing the underarm battery box used on the Gold Racer. This confers a large advantage when it comes to waterproofing the detector in that only the pod has to be sealed. The change from AA batteries to a built in sealed LiPO rechargeable battery also aids in eliminating battery doors, which are always at risk of leaking.
The three piece S rod itself is quite stout with no flex or wiggle. The cross hatch carbon fiber lower rod is not only strong, but lends an air of high tech quality to the look of the detector. The Gold Kruzer does not have the separate underarm battery compartment and in handle vibration mechanism featured on the Makro Gold Racer. This means the pod is totally self contained and can be removed from the handle assembly. This in turn allows for other rod options and the ability to break the detector completely down fitting in a small backpack or carry on bag.
When the stout rod is combined with the beefed up coil construction you have a design that should survive those spills a person can take when working in the surf and there the detector ends up acting like a walking stick for support.
It has been interesting to watch the company experiment with different handle designs. It is a thankless task because you never can please everyone. For me at least the handle / rod may be the best yet from Makro, with a molded hard rubber grip that will serve very well for a detector that may see underwater use. I personally found the Nokta Impact handle to be large for my hands and the smaller Gold Kruzer handle near perfect. Others may feel just the opposite so there you go.
The arm cuff is a little different. It is narrower than some – good for me but maybe not so much for somebody with huge forearms. The adjustment is non-standard, with the arm cup sliding up and down the upper rod over a set of threaded holes. A small screw inserted into the top of the armrest and into one of these threaded holes secures the armrest in place.
Kruzer upper rod showing cuff adjust holes and hand grip (control box removed)
A unique feature on the Gold Kruzer is an optional external AA battery pack that can provide extra operating time in the field should the internal rechargeable battery go dead. The pack is designed to be held into the bottom of the detector armrest / stand by a separate plastic cover bracket that is held in place with two screws. I found the holes these screws go into will fill with sand if this bracket is left off, so I advise installing the bracket even if the external battery pack is not in use. The external battery pack with bracket is an option and so dummy screws or plugs should be installed to keep the screw holes clean and free of debris by those who down not have the bracket.
I don’t think most people will ever need the external battery pack as long as the detector is regularly charged after use. It is a very nice touch however, especially for off grid use, as all you need is the external AA battery pack and a box of AA batteries to off grid for as long as the batteries will last. Some people may want the optional battery pack for travel into the field just in case the battery runs short on power in the middle of a hunt.
The port where you attach the external battery pack also acts as a port to attach a USB style charger cable. The detector is charged using this cable by employing the included USB wall charger. You may also use most USB charging adapters and newer computer USB ports.
The USB cable also allows the Makro Gold Kruzer to be attached to a computer so that updates can be made in case any bugs are found in the future. This update feature is very nice insurance that should be standard on all new detectors.
Another item that should be standard on all new detectors is built in wireless headphone capability. Makro uses a proprietary low latency system that exhibits no discernible lag at all. A really nice thing about being proprietary is there is no pairing process. All you have to do is enable the wireless feature on the control box, turn on the headphones, and boom, you are in business. The downside is you only have one choice of headphones – the included Makro wireless headphones. These are a nice, light set of phones but they are just a bit too small to fit over most people ears. I have fairly small ears and they still rest on instead of over my ear. The sound quality is good, but like most wireless headphones they seem less “bright” than wired headphones. All in all the wireless headphones are quite good however and a pleasure to use.
Makro wireless headphones
The Makro Gold Kruzer does have a waterproof speaker with decent volume that can be used instead of the wireless headphones. If you prefer other headphone options, be sure and get the optional waterproof port to ¼” headphone adapter cable. This cable attaches to the same port used for charging and software updates and allows any wired headphones to be adapted to the Gold Kruzer.
The LCD display is well laid out with a very large target id number displayed. The other setting indicators might be a little harder for those with poor eyesight to make out, but should present no issues once the layout is learned. One big change from the Gold Racer is that the four large navigation buttons, trigger switch, and rotary dial power / volume switch have all been replaced by ten small buttons on the control panel. All the buttons can be reached and controlled by the operators thumb, but the small size and closeness of the buttons may make for some navigation errors early on, and especially when trying to change settings underwater or with gloves on.
Makro Gold Kruzer display and controls
The Makro Gold Kruzer User Manual is available for download so I will refer you there for all the little details. What you have in the Makro Gold Kruzer is a hot 61 kHz metal detector waterproof to 5 meters (16.4 feet). The Gen (General) mode is a fairly standard VCO audio all metal gold nugget detecting circuit. The Gold Kruzer in Gen mode is very reminiscent of other hot gold nugget detectors running in the all metal prospecting mode.
The Gen mode acts exactly like one would expect a threshold based all metal mode to function. There is a nice smooth threshold that gives feedback about the ground and reacts to hot rocks with classic nulling signals and small nuggets with that classic “zip-zip” VCO audio. Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO) audio increases both in volume and pitch when a target is detected, giving a distinct response very common on many gold detectors. The only thing different here is that since the Gold Kruzer has an LCD readout; you can get target id number results while running in all metal Gen mode. The audio is far more sensitive than the meter however, so do not be surprised if the deepest and smallest of targets give no target id information.
In a break with the Gold Racer the Fast and Boost modes are not dual tone modes, but instead are silent search (no threshold) single tone modes. Items either signal audibly or not based on the current discrimination settings. The discrimination setting, like that of the Gold Racer, is a simple up and down control. Everything above the setting gives an audio signal of “beep”. Anything below the discrimination setting level is rejected or ignored with no sound at all. The Gold Kruzer has no notching capability i.e. the ability to pick and choose individual target id numbers for rejection.
Fast mode is just what it sounds like – a fast setting for working in really dense trash. Target recovery speed has been increased at the expense of outright depth, but sheer depth is useless where target masking is the main problem. Boost mode is exactly the opposite. Boost is the deepest discrimination mode on the Gold Kruzer but due to the increased sensitivity is more suitable for less mineralized ground and sparser targets.
It should be obvious that the Makro Gold Kruzer is all about gold. This explains the shift from dual tone to monotone audio in the Fast and Boost. Dual tones as employed in the Makro Gold Kruzer can be problematic when hunting the smallest gold targets, especially in highly mineralized ground. It is hard for a detector to get a clean separation of ferrous and non-ferrous targets when the targets are very small.
This is because the actual dividing line between ferrous and non-ferrous is not a line at all, but a zone. The Makro Gold Kruzer uses a fairly standard discrimination scale that ranges from 0 – 99. The range from 0 – 40 is considered to be the ferrous range, and 41 and above non-ferrous.
Yet the discrimination default for both the Fast and Boost modes is 25. This is because if you bury small gold in highly mineralized ground or large gold extra deep in mineralized ground, the ferrous ground signal can overwhelm the very weak non-ferrous signal. It really is not about the object size. A deep large nugget is a very weak signal just the same as a shallower small nugget, and either can end up reading as a ferrous target.
The solution is to lower the discrimination setting into the ferrous range and accept that you have to dig some ferrous items to get all the gold items. This actually applies to any metal detecting. If you dig absolutely no ferrous trash, you are almost 100% guaranteed to be passing up some non-ferrous items reading incorrectly as ferrous. This can be acceptable of course depending on what you are doing, but passing on a deep six ounce gold nugget because it reads ferrous can be an expensive mistake. The Gold Kruzer default discrimination setting for Fast and Boost is 25 instead of 40 for this very reason.
Dual tones have issues for this same reason, with decisive results on the weakest targets difficult if not impossible to obtain. The difference is quite small, but monotone is slightly more stable and proficient at working with the tiniest and faintest of signals right at the dividing line between ferrous and non-ferrous, wherever you have set the control to tell the Gold Kruzer where that line is for your particular situation. There is no pat answer as the where to set the discrimination control. It is a judgment call based on experience, but when in doubt, use less discrimination and dig more trash. Welcome to gold detecting!
Makro chart showing gold occurring in 0 – 40 ferrous range
The Makro Gold Kruzer has a new control that relates to this overlap between ferrous and non-ferrous readings. The Extra Underground Depth (E.U.D.) control acts to directly impact the tipping point between ferrous and non-ferrous readings. The E.U.D. control only works in one of the three discrimination modes and when used on a suspect target that is reading ferrous may reveal by a different tone that it is actually non-ferrous. It is noted in the manual that it can reveal some targets misidentified as ferrous, but it will also give more false positives on ferrous targets.
I was unable in the time allowed to figure out just how efficient this control is. In theory you can just set the discrimination lower, digging more ferrous but getting those missed non-ferrous items. Or set the discrimination a little higher, and now examine suspect targets individually by engaging the E.U.D. control momentarily. Finally, you can run E.U.D. on at all times. Is higher disc with E.U.D. on at all times going to get better results than just using a lower discrimination setting? Sadly, I just do not know at this time. I do know it is no magic bullet so the efficiency of employing the E.U.D. control will have to be determined over time by users around the world
What? You say you wanted tones? Well, the Makro Gold Kruzer has you covered. The new Micro mode is a three tone mode similar to that on other company models, but running at that hot 61 khz. The 0 – 40 target id range produces a low tone. The 41 – 66 range produces a medium tone, and 67 – 99 range a high tone.
Micro mode allows the “ferrous break point” to be adjusted. This is that magic point where you decide what is going to read as ferrous and what reads as non-ferrous. Note that unlike the Fast and Boost modes, the default ferrous breakpoint is set at 40 instead of 25. This is good for coin type detecting but again may be too high for other types of detecting. While in Micro mode you may use the Tone Break control to vary this all important setting. You could mimic the other two modes by setting the Tone Break at 25. Now 0 – 25 will be a low tone, 26 – 66 a medium tone, and 67 – 99 a high tone.
Tone Break can only be used to set the ferrous breakpoint. The upper high tone region of 67 – 99 is preset and fixed by the factory with no adjustment possible.
You may use the Ferrous Volume setting to control how loud the low tone response is. The medium and high tone responses are set with the main volume control.
The discrimination control still functions in Micro mode, with a default setting of ten. Hot rocks and ground responses occur this low on the scale, and so having at least some of the low end blocked or rejected with reduce the number of low tone responses generated by the ground itself. The control can be set as high as you want and will override the other settings, blocking all targets below the desired target id setting.
The Makro Gold Kruzer does have a tone control, but it does not allow the tones to be changed in Micro mode. Those are factory preset, with the Tone Break between ferrous and non-ferrous plus Ferrous Volume as the two adjustments you can make. The Tone setting allows the tone of the audio response and threshold to be changed in Gen, Fast, and Boost modes only.
Micro was designed first for hunting micro jewelry. Micro jewelry is a loose term that applies to all very small jewelry items, like very thin chains, single post earrings, tie tacks, etc. Micro is perfect for hunting tot lots and beaches and focusing on the “gold range” targets represented by the mid tone reading in Micro mode. Many jewelry hunters consider digging coins a waste of time, and so ignoring high tones can save digging pocket change when the real goal is a woman’s diamond and platinum ring.
The Makro Gold Kruzer has a nominal non-ferrous range of 41 – 99 which is a 59 point spread. Normal U.S. coin responses are 63 for a nickel, 83 for a zinc penny, 84 for a copper penny, 86 for a clad dime, and 91 for a clad quarter. The high 61 kHz operating frequency acts to push target id numbers higher and most coins will respond at 83 and higher. I was surprised a zinc penny and copper penny for all intents read the same.
The good news is the low conductor range is expanded, which offers the ability to help discern different pull tabs and other trash items over a wider range. This in turn may help eliminate at least a few pesky trash items while hunting gold, although ignoring gold range items of any sort can be risky. Still, with a U.S. nickel reading at 63 and most women’s rings reading under the nickel, you get the 40 – 63 zone as a 23 point range where much of the most valuable jewelry will turn up. The default high tone breakpoint of 66 – 67 is clearly focusing the Gold Kruzer mid-tone on this very important gold range. Do note that large men’s rings and nearly all larger silver jewelry will read above 66 and therefore give a high tone reading.
The Gold Kruzer has some obvious applications but there are a couple catches. First, it is running at 61 kHz, which means it is very hot on low conductors, but that it will have just adequate performance on high conductors like silver coins. Second, its extreme sensitivity to low conductors means it will not work well if at all in saltwater or on wet salt sand. Saltwater is a low conductor and will respond quite strongly on the Gold Kruzer, and getting it to not respond to saltwater gives up all the sensitivity to small gold. The Gold Kruzer will work very well around freshwater or on dry sand, it is not intended as a detector for use in or near saltwater. I would suggest the new Makro Multi Kruzer as an alternative to those who want to hunt in and around saltwater on a regular basis.
Makro Gold Kruzer with optional 5” x 9.5” DD coil
There are many features I could delve into but at over six pages this report is getting long, so I will again refer people to the User Manual for the details. Suffice it to say that the Makro Gold Kruzer has a full set of features like frequency shift for reducing interference, temporary audio boost for the Gen all metal mode, adjustable backlight, and the ability to save settings when the detector is powered down, and more.
I got the Gold Kruzer prototype during a period when I was quite busy and the weather was not helping. I did have time to do a few tot lot hunts plus make a trip to the goldfields to evaluate the machine. The Gold Kruzer is well behaved in urban locations, with only a little static from electrical interference sources. I found the new Micro mode to be just the ticket for quickly blasting through a tot lot recovering prime gold range targets. I dug everything as is my practice when learning a detector, and ended up with the usual pile of aluminum foil, junk jewelry, and coins. Nothing special found but no doubt in my mind that the Gold Kruzer acts as intended in this type of setting.
There were no surprises in the goldfields. At 61 kHz and in Gen mode the Gold Kruzer is a real pleasure to run, with all the response and nuance one expects from a great threshold based all metal circuit. Boost Mode also works very well as an alternative for small nugget detecting. I had no problem at all finding a couple little bits of gold weighing under a grain (480 grains per Troy ounce) on my first and only nugget hunt so far with the Gold Kruzer.
Two tiny gold nuggets found with Makro Gold Kruzer
To sum up, the new Makro Gold Kruzer once again ups the ante at Makro. It comes standard with two coils and is fully waterproof for about the same price as the Makro Gold Racer so I would have to assume the Gold Racers days are numbered. The one thing I am not sure about at this time is that the Gold Racer has a 15” x 13” DD coil option. The Makro Multi Kruzer has the 15” coil option, but no such accessory has yet been announced for the Gold Kruzer. This is probably not a concern for very many people, but it bears mentioning.
I have no problem at all recommending that anyone interested in a detector with a focus on gold take a very serious look at the new Makro Gold Kruzer. It’s performance on low conductors of any type means that the Gold Kruzer is not just for prospectors and jewelry hunters but may also see favor with some relic hunters who focus of low conductor targets like buttons and bullets. This is a solid detector with 21st century features at a very attractive price.
Makro Gold Kruzer Information Page
Makro Kruzer Color Brochure
Download a pdf copy of this report
By Steve Herschbach
Which metal detectors have the most reliable target ID numbers?
Target ID is a function of depth - the deeper the target, the more difficult it is to get a clean target ID as the ground signal interferes. Other items directly adjacent to the desired target can also cause inaccurate numbers. The more conductive the item, the higher the resulting ID number, but also the larger the item the higher the number. Silver is more conductive than gold, so a gold item will give a lower number than the same size silver item. But a very large gold item can give a higher number than a small silver item, so numbers do not identify types of metal. Gold and aluminum read the same and vary in size so to dig one you dig the other. Only mass produced items like coins produce numbers that are more or less the same over the years but a zinc penny will read lower than a copper penny due to the change in composition.
In general iron or ferrous targets produce negative numbers or low numbers. Aluminum, gold, and US nickels produce mid-range numbers. And most other US coins produce high numbers. Other countries coins, like Canadian coins with ferrous content, can read all over the place.
The scale applied varies according to manufacturer so the number produced by each detector will vary according to the scale used. The 0-100 range for non-ferrous targets is most common but there are others. Minelab employs a dual number system on a 2D scale with thousands of possible numbers, but they are now normalizing the results produced to conform more closely to the linear scale used by other manufacturers.
Increasing ground mineralization has a huge effect on the ability to get a good target ID. Ground mineralization is nearly always from iron mineralization, and this tends to make weak targets, whether very small targets or very deep targets, misidentify. The target numbers get dragged lower, and many non-ferrous targets will eventually be identified as iron if buried deep enough. Small non-ferrous readings and iron readings actually overlap. That is why any discrimination at all is particularly risky for gold nugget hunters.
If you want target ID numbers to settle down, lower sensitivity and practice consistent coil control. The target number will often vary depending on how well the target is centered and how fast the coil moves.
Higher sensitivity settings lead to jumpier numbers as the detectors become less stable at higher levels. The interference from the ground signal increases and interference from outside electrical sources also increases, leading to less stable numbers.
Higher frequency detectors are inherently more sensitive and are jumpier. So lean lower frequency for more solid results. Multi frequency detectors act like low frequency detectors and tend to have more solid target numbers due to the ability to analyze a target with different frequencies.
Another issue is the number of target categories, or ID segments, or VDIs, or notches, or bins (all names for the same thing) that a detector offers.
For instance here are the number of possible target id categories or segments each detector below offers:
Fisher CZ-3D = 7
Garrett Ace 250 = 12
Minelab X-Terra 305 = 12
Minelab X-Terra 505 = 19
Minelab X-Terra 705 = 28
Minelab Equinox = 50
Fisher F75 (and many other models) = 99
White's MXT (and many other models) = 190
Minelab CTX 3030 = 1750
Fewer target categories means more possible items get lumped together under a single reading, but that the reading is more stable. Many detectors will tell you the difference between a dime and a quarter. The Fisher CZ assumes you want to dig both so puts them under one segment along with most other coins.
People who use detectors with many target numbers usually just watch the numbers jump around and mentally average the results. Some high end detectors can actually do this averaging for you! But I think there is something to be said for owning a detector that simplifies things and offers less possible numbers to start with. The old Fisher CZ method still appeals to me, especially for coin detecting. So do detectors like the Garrett Ace 250 or Minelab X-Terra 505 for the same reason.
The problem is that as people strive to dig deeper targets or smaller targets the numbers will always get less reliable. But if you want to have a quiet performing metal detecting with solid, reliable target numbers look more for coin type detectors running at lower frequencies under 10 kHz or at multiple frequencies and possibly consider getting a detector with fewer possible target segments. And with any detector no matter what just back that sensitivity setting off and you will get more reliable target numbers.
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Detectors often use tones to identify targets and often use far fewer tones than indicated by the possible visual target id numbers. The X-Terra 705 for instance can use 28 tones, one for each segment. However, most people find this too busy, and so simple tone schemes of two, three, or four tones may be selected. I think it is instructive that many people often end up ignoring screen readings and hunting by ear, using just a few tones. This ends up just being an ultra simple target id system much like the simpler units offer. Reality is that most people do not need or care about huge numbers of target numbers. For many just three ranges suffice, low tone for iron, mid tone for most gold items, and high tone for most US coins. The meter could do the same thing, but for marketing purposes more is better and so we get sold on detectors with hundreds of possible target ID numbers. Perhaps that represents a digital representation of an old analog meter with its nearly infinite range of response but the reality is we do not need that level of differentiation to make a simple dig or no dig decision.
Finally, a picture often says it all. Below we have a shot of the White's M6 meter. I like it because the decal below illustrates a lot. You see the possible numerical range of -95 to 95 laid out in the middle. Over it is the simplified iron/gold/silver range. Note the slants where they overlap to indicate the readings really do overlap. Then you get the probable target icons. -95 is noted as "hot rock" because many do read there.
The M6 can generate 7 tones depending on the target category. I have added red lines to the image to show where these tones sit in relation to the scale. It breaks down as follows:
-95 = 57 Hz (Very Low) Hot Rock
-94 to -6 = 128 Hz (Low) Iron Junk
-5 to 7 = 145 Hz (Med Low) Gold Earrings, Chains - Foil
8 to 26 = 182 Hz (Medium) Women's Gold Rings/Nickel - Small Pull Tabs
27 to 49 = 259 Hz (Med Hi) Men's Gold Rings - Large Pull Tabs
50 to 70 = 411 Hz (High) Zinc Penny/Indian Head Penny - Screw Caps
71 to 95 = 900 Hz (Very High) Copper Penny/Dime/Quarter/Dollar
Note that the screen reading of +14 is noted as being a nickel or ring but it can also be the "beaver tail" part of an aluminum pull tab or the aluminum ring that holds an eraser on a pencil, among other things.
The best book ever written on the subject of discrimination is "Taking A Closer Look At Metal Detector Discrimination" by Robert C. Brockett. It is out of print but if you find a copy grab it, assuming the topic interests you.
Always remember - when in doubt, dig it out! Your eyes are the best target ID method available.
Disclaimer: I've only really been interested in Gold hunting so I'm pretty clueless in using my Nox for jewellery hunting.
This might be a challenging one, a farmer I knows wife lost her wedding ring in a paddock and didn't realise, Later the same day they run a plough or some sort of farming gadget over the paddock as they planted it out with grass seed so the ring is likely buried. They're pretty certain it was lost in this paddock.
I have been recruited to try find this ring, it's 24k gold with about 20 diamonds on it. The guy originally gave me the wrong description of the ring, probably his ex-wife's ring he described as he said it had 1 diamond and sapphires 😄
The paddock is really junk filled, I went and swung my detector over it yesterday morning before skiing and there was iron I assume setting the detector off everywhere in all metal mode.
I know the VDI numbers are extremely useful for coin hunting but will they help for finding this ring, I really don't want to have to dig everything! Is there a range I should be targeting? I assume Field 1 will be the best mode or maybe Park 1 seeing there is a lot of junk?
Small gold when prospecting always comes up under 10 on the VDI's, I am guessing a ring will come up higher?
Would the Equinox be my best choice or would I be better off using my T2 with Mars Tiger 10x13" or 15" round Stock T2 coil for more ground coverage? I also have a Garrett Euroace with Nel Tornado 12x13" I could use if that would be best. That's the biggest coils I own.
I have a GPX 4500 with a 15x12 DD Commander I could use but I don't want to dig lots of junk and I was hoping VDI's would be useful.
I told them I'd do the hunt for nothing when they tried to pay me as it's a bit of fun for me anyway but they said they can't allow that and they'd give me a few sheep for my freezer for my efforts even if I don't find it but I'm sure if I find it they'll force me to take some sort of payment, I will try refuse as I really don't want it but it will be difficult to not take it when they're forcing it....
The paddock is about 3 hectares!!!!! Just over 7 acres so I really have a job ahead of me. The soil is extremely mild but it seems to have its share of junk. I assume rusty old nails and tractor bits and mower blades whatever else over the years.
Any help appreciated.
The following is a compilation from my Rutus testing and useage.
Very long, but anyone wanting some info, this here may help folks.
Btw to my knowledge currently no dealers for this detector line in USA.
They can be purchased from abroad.
The Rutus Alter 71 may not be very well known, but make no mistake a very good detector for what they cost.
There is some comparison info too with other detector models.
Overall weight and feel of unit is IMO nice,,not heavy feeling.
Btw. Concentric measures 8.125" outside to outside diameter.
Supposed 11" dd measures 11".
I even with little time I have run this unit,,this unit designed to be a Deus killer for the $$$. Question is, is it??
Using concentric coil user likely not to dig steel bottle caps, hodograph paints a good pic of junk target,,a backwards C in the meter. Haven't tried DD coil yet to see what happens here.
Depth is dependent on mask setting,,meaning for fringe depth the lower the better.
Interesting how they gave a user options here to have their targets ID in the meter.
Three choices real-- ID is directly reflective of frequency run and conductivity of target.
Then 2 other options,,you can select either 6khz or 12khz for target ID normalization.
So with saying all this here is some data using each of the above selections for target ID.
I should say the Rutus uses a different scale when comparing to most other detectors-- 0-120.
Real ID option selected and frequency selected on detector at max 18.4khz
Normalized setting of 6khz selected,,detector still set to 18.4khz
Normalized setting of 12kh selected,,detector still set to 18.4khz
Frequency changed on detector to 7khz,,real ID option selected
Frequency still at 7khz,,6khz normalization selected
Frequency still at 7khz,,12 khz normalization selected
Preliminary test using 3D test with coin and nails,,detector seems above average with what I see,,,Deus like results,,,not giving either detector yet no advantage,,with time maybe.
Audio,,,Rutus audio not as smooth as Xp Deus,,not as blendy sounding,,leans more toward what I call beeps. This is not meant to say Rutus audio is terrible or anything.
I am still trying to nail down how I want my tones set up using the user programs,,,not there yet.
Does take time though,,user must select each number TID wise and singularly adjust,,,no blocking of groups of tones to adjust.
I do reserve the right here to correct anything I say about this detector in the future.
From what I can tell right now,,Rutus will retain settings when turned off.
Turn back on,,user will need to ground balance though.
Also what ever you have selected,,this is where the cursor will be when you go back in and open menu-- not sure if this happens if you turn detector off though.
Now,,here is where other manufacturers like White's should be paying attention,,Xp as well.
I have read countless Internet forum threads and post associated with just when does the White's V3i and even the Vx3 model need to be ground balanced.
Rutus depending on what you change setting wise will give you ground balance prompt.
This is exactly what White's should have done on the 2 models I mention here.
Xp Deus,,you change freqs,,ground balance doesn't carry over,,should be a prompt..
Now detector companies,,if they do this for future models,,,they could offer a way to override the prompt,,so it doesn't appear in screen. This might be more handy for someone say who is more experience with the detector in question.
Emi,,this detector ranks right up there as being one of the quietest I have run for Vlf,,,even runs as quiet IMO as CTX and etrac,,and DST Fisher units.
Now this from judging in 2 different places with loads of light wires,,and a few transformers.
I should also say,,this concentric coil I received with Rutus is the very first one I have ever owned,,I did run a gents White's XLT with concentric some 6 years ago for around 15 minutes.
Navigating around using Rutus is different,,but not hard,,just gotta get used to it.
Unit seems to ground balance nicely here in my soil.
More to come.