Hello all -
Going back and reading some of Steve's Journal posts on the GPZ, has got me wondering if the GPZ would be the best bet for finding gold in my area (Virginia).
I currently hunt with a GPX4800 but have yet to have success with it. I do extensive research and find areas that have produced large gold in the past, and i use lidar to figure out the vein trends that the old timers were working, and in a number of locations i find large course gold, and specimens dredging. But for the life of me, I have not been able to get a nugget with the GPX. When im out detecting i find plenty of buck, shot, bird shot, small pieces of old square nail and other things that tell me if there detectable gold for the gpx id hear it.
I wonder if the thickness of leaf mat (1-2 inches) plus the thickness of topsoil (1-6 inches) is just putting the gold out of reach of the gpx, that plus the course nature of a lot of the gold in VA.
Seeing what the GPZ is capable of in regards to detecting small gold at depth is what impresses me the most about it, and i think it is that ability that would give me the best chance of finding gold here in VA. The soil here ranges from mild to fairly hot. The biggest interference issue would probably come from EMI since civilization is never far from any location.
Im interested in what everyone here thinks, especially people who have experience with the GPZ and conditions similar to mine.
I am new here. Want to buy a GPZ 7000, but also want to wait until the next model of GPZ technology coming out. It would feel horrible to buy GPZ 7000, and new model come out in half a year.
So does anyone know or hear anything about when new GPZ metal detector will come out?
Thanks a great deal.
By Steve Herschbach
Minelab GPZ 7000 metal detector
Are you tired of it yet? All the Minelab GPZ 7000 posts? The implication that what you have is no longer the best?
The following is from a post I made February 24th at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/686-minelab-sdc-2300-vs-gpz-7000/?p=5883
The thing I am always trying to convey is no one detector is best for all people under all circumstances. Life does not work that way. If it did there would be one model of car and we all would drive it. Just because the GPZ 7000 came out all other gold detectors did not become obsolete. I think it is 80% operator and 20% detector and that is probably giving the detector too much credit.
As things stand right now the GPZ 7000 has some areas that would make a person consider other detectors:
1. The price
2. The weight
3. The lack of small coil option
4. The lack of large coil option
5. Lack of discrimination
Until we get the GPZ 10000 at 3 lbs for $1000 with full discrimination and full range of inexpensive coil options there will be plenty of room for alternatives.
I will be amazed if there are not a good number of people who have a Minelab GPX 5000 or earlier model that prefer to just stick with what they have. Anything otherwise would not be normal. The main reason this would make sense is that a. They already own them and b. They are not only comfortable with the machine but quite expert with it.
There is a great deal that can be said about becoming expert in the use of a particular detector and then just sticking with it. Switching detectors constantly can be a bad idea in that you can never really become "one with the machine". There are many, many expert detectorists out there using older model detectors that can run circles around people using the latest and greatest.
I bet Ray Mills can find more gold with a $499 Gold Bug than most people could find with a GPZ 7000. I am saying that to puff Ray up but to put a real point on what I said above about this detecting thing being far more about the operator than the detector. It is not that good detectors excel, it is that good detectorists excel. The majority of people who buy metal detectors never fully learn how to operate them and never fully commit themselves to getting out and using them regularly. Ray knows the Gold Bugs inside and out and uses them almost daily.
So you have a GPX 5000 (for example) which you know inside and out and you have a full set of coils and other accessories. You have that setup dialed to perfection. Do you need a GPZ 7000?
Of course not. Honestly, that is just silly. The GPX 5000 in my opinion at this time still represents the best value in pulse induction prospecting detectors. The model has a solid history as a performer and nothing has changed overnight. In fact right now, a person can buy a used GPX 5000 with remaining transferable factory warranty in like new condition for as little as around $3000. I know this because that is what I recently sold my like new GPX 5000 with remaining warranty for! That is a smoking good deal, great value proposition. Even brand new full warranty from a dealer a few phone calls will get you a GPX 5000 for half the cost of a GPZ 7000. The point being 10K is a whole lot of money and other viable alternatives exist for a lot less money, all the way down to that $499 Gold Bug.
The coil thing is a biggie. Right now the only coil for the GPZ 7000 is the one that comes on it. A three pound 14" x 13" coil. Even though I have decided to jump in with both feet with the GPZ 7000 I have felt compelled to have a couple other detectors available to address this lack of accessory coils. Small coils are a real necessity for me to work in very uneven ground that has crevices and depressions a larger coil can't get into. A mono coil in particular with its superb on edge sensitivity can be a real boon for working in thick brush, trees, or cactus. The edge of the coil gets the detection area right up against the base of a tree trunk or rock, something that will be difficult if not impossible with the GPZ 14 coil with its unique DOD winding configuration. My answer to this problem has been to hang on to my SDC 2300 with its hard wired 8" mono coil.
When people think big coils they tend to think depth but I am not worried about that with the GPZ 7000. What concerns me is ground coverage. When I stand on one side of a huge area in northern Nevada and want to scan it all I need a large coil. It is all about getting over the target - extra depth if any is secondary. Since I did decide to sell my GPX 5000 with large coils I have to say I only did so by having an insurance policy in the form of my Garrett ATX. The ATX is indispensable for me as a water hunting unit, the best I have ever used for my own particular needs. It also is a capable prospecting machine and so I was only able to justify selling my 5000 by getting a 20" x 15" mono coil for the ATX.
I really do intend to seek out areas where the GPZ will do what it does best. But inevitably I am going to run into areas in the Sierras where I need a small coil and in Nevada where I need a big coil. There will come a time when the GPZ offers those coil options (at a cost!) and the issue will be alleviated to a large degree. For now however I am plugging the holes with two other detectors and a person with a GPX 5000 and a coil selection may want to possibly hang onto it at least until the GPZ coil options become available. No matter what though I do not see the GPZ as ever coming remotely close to the GP series when it comes to having over 100 available accessory coils. I do not expect GPZ coils to be cheap and it will greatly limit how many coils a person will be willing to invest in. That in turn will limit the number of coils made for the machine to just the few that have a very good chance of selling.
The weight. It is just a joke with me now. I want detectors to get lighter but prospecting PI detectors keep getting heavier. Oddly enough I see comments about the GPZ being nose heavy when it is actually perfectly balanced if the rod is kept at the proper length for operator height. However, I see that most people want to swing that coil in a wide arc and so they run the coil out longer than good ergonomics calls for, and that is going to hurt. There are solutions with harnesses and bungees, etc. but nothing changes the fact the GPZ weighs over seven pounds. That alone could be a show stopper for physically challenged people, especially in uneven terrain that requires more than just pushing the detector around on a bungee.
Obscure stuff. The GPZ audio is not as lively as the SDC 2300 audio but it is livelier than the GPX audio which reached levels of smoothness that put many VLF detectors to shame. The GPZ can be smoothed but to get best performance you have to go back to getting used to a sparky threshold. Some people just will not like this. It is a regular comment with the SDC 2300 and I expect it to be also with the GPZ though to a lesser degree.
The display? It is absurdly faint given the price of the detector. The CTX display was not state of the art when it came out and for Minelab not use something better in the GPZ is annoying. Honestly, that is all it is, an annoyance, but it is real. If I want to make adjustments in the field most of the time now I automatically just stop and turn until I can see the screen clearly instead of trying to make out the barely visible screen. Luckily once things are set there is little need to do more than turn the detector off or on. The problem is I really, really like the built in GPS and mapping capability myself, but the inability to see it clearly at all times takes the shine off the system.
Another minor niggle. The coil feels and sounds like a hollow drum on the end of the rod. Not too bad when using good headphones but quite loud if you let it ride on the ground, as I often like to do because of the weight. I like being able to use an external speaker but then that coil bangs away loud and clear.
These last few things may seem like I am being picky, but I am trying to call out some issues that some people coming from a GPX series will notice and may not like.
Finally, the discrimination. I never trusted the Minelab PI series discrimination and never used it so I do not miss it. But for some people they are having what they feel to be reliable results with the GPX discrimination and the lack of it on the GPZ could again be a real show stopper.
My genuine intent here is not to trash the GPZ 7000 but to show why the GPX 5000 and its kin are still machines to be considered and in many cases may be the better alternative for people for the reasons listed above and probably others I may have missed. Some people flat out will not like the GPZ because it is not what they are used to. I truly believe the GPZ represents the future and that it has real performance advantages, but I also truly believe that people using other detector models can do every bit as well with those detectors as with a GPZ. It is all about being a good prospector and applying whatever tools you have at your disposal to best effect. If getting gold was the only measure we may as well throw dredges, highbankers, and excavators into the mix as to what may or may not put the most gold in a prospectors pocket. The GPZ is just that, another tool for your consideration. But not the be all and end all of all tools.
One last note. I made this post with a purpose. I am afraid people believe critical thinking is not allowed on this forum. That is 100% not the case. What I do not like is product and company bashing, especially from people that do not even have the product. You notice how I could be critical and point out issues with the GPZ without going on a tirade about Minelab? As if they have some evil intent? The reality is the people there have worked very, very hard and invested a lot of money in producing the best detector that they could at this point in time. Nothing is perfect and it has shortcomings, but it was not from lack of trying. There are a great many problems to be overcome and compromises to be made when designing a detector like this. Not everyone will be happy and there is no need for everyone to be happy with the GPZ. If you do not like the detector or something about it than I encourage free discussion of these things. But please, just stick to the facts and state what does or does not work for you. Thank you!
Minelab GPZ 7000
Minelab GPX 5000 Package