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Deepest VLF On Small Gold?

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My 800 gets about 70-80% of the Air depth of a whole flock of VLF nugget detectors.  This is using 40 kHz single freq.  Prospecting modes multifreq a bit less.

test object is a 14kt gold bead, the diameter of a #7 1/2 shot.

Other Detectors on the same target at the same location included Gold Bug 2, GMT, Goldmaster 3, Goldmaster 4b and Compass AU 52.

These are air tests only. Higher frequencies could expect more ground effects.

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Air tests are close to worthless for determining how gold nugget detectors perform in actual field conditions. The factors that make a detector air test well are the same factors that can prevent good penetration in mineralized ground and enhance the response to hot rocks.

Air tests can reveal the smallest item that is theoretically possible for a detector. It can also reveal theoretical performance in ground that is perfectly lacking in mineralization. However, the number one most important factor for how any nugget detector performs is in how well it handles the ground and hot rocks. That information is not only lacking when doing air tests but air tests actually favor detectors with poor in ground performance.

I recommend that if you are serious about gold prospecting look at units made specifically for the task. For top performance on the smallest gold focus on models running at 30 kHz or higher. Examples include the Fisher Gold Bug 2 (71 kHz), Makro Gold Racer (56 kHz), Minelab Gold Monster (45 kHz), and the White’s Goldmaster/GMT. (48/50 kHz). The soon to be released Makro Gold Kruzer (61 kHz) is also a likely contender. There are many posts and information about all those models on this forum and website. For sheer numbers in the field and past history if put to a vote the Fisher Gold Bug 2 would probably win the popularity contest.

Steve’s Guide To Gold Nugget Detectors

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Agree with all of the above.

there’s a reason why where the ground allows, nothing finds tiny flakes better than the gold bug 2.

it does, however make me wonder if the folks enjoying the performance of the Deus HF coils have ever compared them as relic hunters to the GB2?


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Take what I provide for what it is worth.

I have two buddies that I detect with, one runs a SDC2300 the other has the gold bug2. I have the gold racer and now a monster.

We have been hunting two washes with little over burden, but lots of cracks.

The gold bug has picked up flakes yes. The SDC2300 also picks up near flake gold in some cases. My racer has picked up near the same stuff. Now in all the time we have been working these washes, not once have they found something I missed on the same trip ( ground changes each trip, so more is found). This being said I bought a monster last  month and found a .05 grain speck of gold I a shallow crack. The Sdc2300 hit on it but passed it by not knowing if it was gold or ground. That is one small piece of gold people.

My last outing to the same area was right after it rained, there was still pools of water in the wash. Steve can a test that water and our desert don't mix for  metal detecting. It makes a clay that sounds like gold and makes the vlf hate life. But the monster found a 1.1 grain piece in a crack with water and mixed up in clay.

So I guess what I am saying is any one of these three units will suit your needs just fine.

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I have been detecting for a few years with my GMT it has found me some nice pieces but nothing really small I manually ground balance it most of the time. The area I work is loaded with smaller pieces that i know i should be picking up I tried the shooter coil for my GMT but its too erratic the first one I had worked great for about a week then it failed I sent it in and got another replacement which seems to be just as erratic as the previous one ended up no matter what the gain is set at. From my reading it seems to be a common problem some people get lucky and get a good one I didnt so I just gave up on it but the 10" coil have found some decent pickers but I know its not cleaning up the area like I want. Id love to grab me a PI and go deeper in the area but I cant justify myself spending that much for the limited amount of time I get in the area and the short season I have due to work so I just will get a more sensitive detector and pick up the small bits in the area hopefully. Here is some of my Wyoming gold. Its hard to miss a 1.67oz nugget no matter the detector lol But I wouldnt have a problem digging those up all the time. I dont have pictures of my smaller pickers they are in another bottle i use for testing in the field.


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1 hour ago, phrunt said:

Very nice gold.  You're doing well.  Either the GB2 or the GM1000 would be perfect for your needs, the GM1000 is really just a pick up and go machine, anyone can use it. The GB2 requires a bit more knowledge and skill to operate but is just as sensitive if not more so than the GM1000. The auto ground tracking on the Monster is great and it comes with 2 coils and some headphones you'll want to put into the rubbish bin instantly.  It's a true turn on and go machine, there is nothing you need to do.


Thanks hopefully I'll be able to add some more smaller nuggets to the collection this year with one of those machines. Yea I haven't heard anyone who has complemented those headphones hahaha shame they didnt do better with them but I heard the external speaker is pretty loud so thats good.

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On 27/03/2018 at 6:00 PM, kiwijw said:

Dead bloody right....Not a truer word spoken. Amen.....

From my experience with VLF gold dedicated detectors that I own & use, being the Whites GMT & 48 khZ with the 10 x 5 coil, Gold Bug 2 at 71 khZ with the little 6 x 3.5 sniper coil :wub: & the Minelab Gold Monster at 45 khZ with a 5" & 10 x 6 coil.


All being high frequency detectors, is that they will all find very tiny gold. Way smaller than a small picker. What do you call a small picker & what do you call deep? The reality is that the high frequency machines are limited in depth but deadly on small/tiny gold on or close to the surface. Size of coil & frequency have there trade offs. Small coils & high frequency deadly on small/tiny shallow gold but losing depth & punch quickly, unless the gold is a LOT bigger. VLF detectors getting better depth in the 19 khZ or thereabouts range on gold bigger than the higher frequency machines will miss but they will miss the small tiny gold that the high frequency machines do get.  Thats the frequency trade off. I find it hard to split the GB2 & the Gold Monster for the tiny shallow gold. I would give the GM the nod on slightly bigger deeper bits due to the 10 x 6 coil & its deeper punch into the ground due solely to it larger size than the GB2's 6 x 3.5 coil. Both the GM's coils find equally tiny gold but the 5" just allows you to get into tighter spots than the 10 x 6 & the 10 x 6 gives you a bigger sweep cover in more open ground.

Here are some examples of shallow gold found with the Gold monster & the 5" coil.


Shallow ground


Tiny gold








Then there is the 10 x 6 coil on the Gold monster.




Tiny Tiny gold








The Whites GMT


The Gold Bug 2




The little 6 x 3.5 coil just ideal for getting into these tight spaces.




Tiny gold


Then Minelab have thrown a cat among the pigeons with the Equinox 800. In gold mode it runs 20 khZ or 40 khZ or both at the same time simultaneously in Multi IQ. This too is proving quite deadly on small/ tiny gold. Especially in the Multi IQ setting. What is more staggering about this machine on gold is that the 11" DD coil is not that ideal for gold prospecting due to its size & that it is an open web design which lends itself to get caught up on rocks, twigs etc when trying to hug the ground. Its size & shape not being ideal for getting into tighter places or for rough, rocky uneven terrain where you can't get the sweet spot of the DD coil windings on the ground closest to the gold. But in open ground it is deadly.









The GB2, Gold Monster with 10 x 6 coil & the EQ 800 all hit on this tiny bit of gold caught up in very shallow bedrock.


If you left click on the above photo & let it focus, then left click again it will go full screen & you will see the gold in the scoop.


None of the above gold was any deeper than 3" with a lot of it being a lot less. It is small/tiny gold & not many I would call pickers.

Hope this is of some help.

Good luck out there

JW :smile:


Some nice small gold there mate I’m guessing by how small it is the GM and GB2 got the majority of that!  So did the Equinox get any at all or was the Equinox just there for good looks lol.

With the 6 inch coil on the Equinox it should find some smaller gold I’m guessing and will be very interesting to see the difference between the GM and the Equinox.

Anyway nice hunting look forward to your future posts and finds.


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