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Is The New Gpx4500 Better Than An Old One

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I have stumbled across an opportunity to buy an old GPX4500, it's one that was made in Australia.

There seems to be conflicting opinions of if the new or old one is better, I have read the new one has a gpx 5000 guts in it with things disabled so it runs smoother and ground balances better in hot ground but then others saying they would rather chop off their arm with a toothpick than give up their old GPX4500 for a new one as the old one punches deeper on bigger gold and runs hotter.

It seems most people think the new one is better, would I be right in thinking this? 

I've decided I'll get one either way, be it new or this older one.

Thanks

 

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Most feedback i have seen from people is that the newer 4500 seem to run smoother however depending on where you look there are some who say the opposite, hard to know what to believe. Whether it is just the assumption because it is a newer machine it must run better than the old one or on the flip side people with an older model who refuse to accept that a newer release could be better.

A fairly safe assumption would be that the newer 4500's would likely have fixes/adjustments made to it from many years of repairs and warranty claims  - it has been around for a long time and I'm sure that minelab would tweak certain things in the newer release to minimize the number of warranty claims/repairs, also updating firmware etc. whether these make enough of a difference to be noticeable in is another question, 

rather than worrying about a potential difference in performance i would be more focusing on the below

1. how important is warranty to you?

2. How old is the "old gpx4500"? do you know how it has been treated, age and electronics particularly in prospecting conditions can cause havoc with components as they get older.?

3.does the old 4500 come with any extra accessories coils etc that add value?

If a well looked after machine came up for sale with a couple of "new" coils (evo's or elites) for around AUD$3K i would certainly be considering it as each of the new age coils cost between AUD$400-$600 so you would be getting a good value package if it included a couple of coils+ things like harnesses and control box covers all which add up when purchased new.

There have been a few used units for sale recently which where good value coming with a couple of extra coils and some even having a good portion of warranty remaining.

i have also seen some great new deals for $3700 AUD which included a pick, control box cover, the 2 standard 11 " coils and a factory 2nd (marked) NF Evo coil all with full warranty. this deal has finished now but they are out there - current one includes a pro sonic system.

https://cwpsupplies.com.au/collections/gold-detectors/products/gpx4500-christmas-bundle

no affiliation with seller just an example of the deals that you can get. 

Call around to a few dealers and see what sort of a package they can put together - they don't always advertise all the options online. Tell them what other coils you would be interested in you never know they may have some factory refurb/floor stock/marked etc that they can chuck in to the package to get your sale.

Good Luck

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Thanks for the advice, warranty is not overly important to me, the parts that wear out like switches and buttons and so on I could replace myself, also if there is capacitors leaking or anything I too would just fix it myself, if there was anything I couldn't fix I've spoken to Minelab who said they would repair anything no problems for me.  It has no extra coils or anything other than the original gear and the battery is likely to be shot but I will repack that myself rather than buying a new battery.  I believe I'll have to get a smaller coil than stock as we have small gold around here.  Kiwijw is sure to advise me the best coil to buy for our location so I'll hit him up for advice on that once I've got my detector.

The main thing was the difference in performance, Minelab have said I can send it in for a "service" which I assume means updating the firmware.  I like the fact it's made in Australia.

 

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Not sure if this helps but a Gold Gem and Treasure magazine from 12 months ago had an article by Peter Woodland about the difference in the internals of the 4500. He mentioned that when doing a mod to a newer 4500 it didn't seem to punch as deep compared to the older 4500. So he went about trying to find out why. I cant remember the name if the parts but he said he scratched off the white paint and found (serial numbers or some other identification) that a couple of components had a lesser capacity or strength (not sure how to explain it  - sorry) than the ones used in the older 4500. He said they were also the same components used in the 5000. He said the particular parts used were to make the newer 4500 and 5000 more stable but it was at a trade-off for a little depth compared to the old 4500. 

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from what you have mentioned above, you seem to be pretty familiar and handy with electronics, I certainly am not experienced in those type of repairs which is why the warranty and the age of the machine would be a concern for me. if those are not an issue for you then a 2nd hand machine at the right price is a great option especially if it is significantly cheaper than a new one.

in regards to coils Kiwijw will know hat works for your ground types & locations. 

on the smaller new gen coils the NF Evo 14 x 9 is a very popular coil over here for its size and sharp signal responses, there is also the ubiquitous NF Sadie coil the 8 x 6 which is well loved and there is the new coiltek elite 9" which may prove to be very hot on the tiny stuff at depth. there are also the detech coils which are gaining in popularity but i don't think there is much online about these and comparisons between the NF & Coilteks. 

Nenad @ Phasetech has some really good coil videos with lots of info on his channel,

 

And Aussie Gold prospector with the 8 x 6 Sadie

 

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The Evo looks good to me, I'm a bit disappointed to see the Sadie isn't waterproof, even if it doesn't touch water I'd still rather a waterproof coil for the added security.  But knowing me, it's likely to go in water.  Thanks for all of the advice.

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6 minutes ago, phrunt said:

The Evo looks good to me, I'm a bit disappointed to see the Sadie isn't waterproof, even if it doesn't touch water I'd still rather a waterproof coil for the added security.  But knowing me, it's likely to go in water.  Thanks for all of the advice.

Thanks Phrunt, i didnt realise the sadie was not waterproof like the EVOs are, looks like detech do a range of smaller waterproof coils for the GPX as well, an 11" x 6" elliptical and a 6' little brother, i wonder if anyone on here has used them? i wonder how they compare to the sadie for sensitivity, depth and stability.

 

 

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I've got the detech 6". Found a few bits with it but most of the time forget I've got it. As a matter of fact, I was planning on using it next week if I manage to get away detecting. I have a couple of spots I want to test to see if there's tiny gold present so was planning on using the 6". I previously used it in creeks and rivers and its great to use because its lite and waterproof but I always seem to have a particular rock that signals a response and I lost patience so didn't pursue the river detecting.

Heres a video of the 6" Detech 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJcnpm6EmVk

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All detectors are made of electronic components that have allowable variances. Usually the pluses and minuses average out, but sometimes you get a machine that is a little hotter than the norm, and some a little weaker. A major variance can occur with coils especially, and many a good detector out there is hobbled by a coil that is not all it should be. I believe these variances account for most of the stories of older but hotter machines.

The reality is almost all detectors undergo some tweaks over time that the manufacturers are careful to keep quiet about. Firmware glitches get fixed and newer components substituted for old. This happens enough that I will always personally get the newest version of any detector I am interested in. If I was looking at an older 4500 and a newer one, I am hands down getting the newer one. It’s going to almost always be the safer bet. There are rare exceptions to this, but that’s my advice in general.

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9 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

All detectors are made of electronic components that have allowable variances. Usually the pluses and minuses average out, but sometimes you get a machine that is a little hotter than the norm, and some a little weaker. A major variance can occur with coils especially, and many a good detector out there is hobbled by a coil that is not all it should be. I believe these variances account for most of the stories of older but hotter machines.

The reality is almost all detectors undergo some tweaks over time that the manufacturers are careful to keep quiet about. Firmware glitches get fixed and newer components substituted for old. This happens enough that I will always personally get the newest version of any detector I am interested in. If I was looking at an older 4500 and a newer one, I am hands down getting the newer one. It’s going to almost always be the safer bet. There are rare exceptions to this, but that’s my advice in general.

Thanks Steve, I ended up buying the 2nd hand one, It's made in Australia and I liked that about it.  The price ended up being too good to say no and Minelab verified its a genuine product.  It's barely been used, had a 1 month holiday in its entire life where it got some action.

I expect the battery to be a bit crappy but I see they're just packed with 18650's so I'll just repack it myself. 

Now I need myself a few coils as it just came with the 2 stock coils, The mono will be on it until I can get my hands on a Coiltek.

Kiwijw has kindly said he'll give me instruction on how to use it, maybe this weekend if I'm lucky and it arrives on time.

Simon

 

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      I always considered ergonomics to be the easy low hanging fruit for anyone considering manufacture of a detector to compete with the Minelab PI series, and I am frankly amazed anyone could make something even heavier I am less excited about handling. It is an absolute fact I would put the GPX aside for an alternative, even if that alternative was next best in overall gold ability, if it offered a big advantage ergonomically. I in fact often do decline to "harness up" and set the GPX aside in favor of a lightweight VLF at times because I am just too tired or not in the mood. More importantly, in steep terrain bedrock is often shallow and so when hunting hillsides and slopes there really is no advantage to using a GPX in ground only inches deep.
      I would very gladly use a properly designed Garrett ATX instead of a Minelab GPX in many situations that I currently encounter. In particular areas where bedrock is less than a foot deep or in areas where large nuggets have historically never been seen. The only reason right now that is not going to happen is I do not want the ATX on my arm. Yes, the ATX has an inherent advantage on small gold but nothing I can't negate by putting on a small mono coil and running the GPX hot. No, in my opinion Garrett missed a major opportunity to wow somebody like me by putting a fantastic prospecting circuit in a package very inappropriate for the target audience.
      Metal detectors are tools. Now the fact is that for the average person Craftsman tools do just fine and represent good value. But the guy making his living with his toolbox is probably going to be investing in Snap-on tools. It is an apt analogy accentuated by the real performance difference that exists between the Garrett ATX and Minelab GPX detectors on the kind of gold most pros are looking for. The vast number of accessory coils and other aftermarket options on top of a well proven platform makes it an easy decision for the serious prospector. Minelab makes a tool designed specifically for a certain job. The Garrett ATX unfortunately I feel is a duck out of water when employed for normal prospecting uses.
      I do have to say my hat is off to Garrett for producing a detector that is the first to really give Minelab a run for the money. I hope they do follow up and produce a model expressly designed from the ground up as a dry land prospecting machine. It may well become my primary prospecting detector if they do so. If you have read this review carefully you should understand the issues involved. For many people wanting maximum bang for the buck a Garrett ATX straight up and used properly is a real bargain in a PI prospecting machine. It can and will find gold and find it very well. The guys like me (you know who you are) that probably already have a Minelab PI plus extra coils, batteries and so forth can continue waiting for the next big thing in nugget detecting. You may also consider the Garrett for exactly the reason I did. It is waterproof, and currently is the closest thing you can get to a Minelab PI in a waterproof package.
      In closing I am curious to see how both detectors do for me this year. The ATX has the lead with about 2.5 ounces of gold and platinum jewelry found so far. I plan on using it often to hunt jewelry every chance I get in 2014. The GPX I will once again be taking to Alaska for a couple months of nugget detecting which may or may not pay off with a large nugget found. I will be hunting the right places but large gold is rare almost anywhere you go. Given the lead the ATX already has the GPX has its work cut out for it so it should make for an interesting year. For those of you trying to decide between these two very fine metal detectors I can only sympathize and count my blessings for not having to make such decisions. However, I hope this helps you with your decision because I have done my best to try and do just that. Good luck and good hunting!
      Detailed information on the Garrett ATX
      Detailed information on the Minelab GPX 5000
       
    • By Steve Herschbach
      ATX, TDI, GPX. What is it with detector companies and three letter acronyms? I liked it more when they were called Coinmaster or Goldmaster. At least that gave you a clue about what the detector was supposed to do.

      The three detectors representing the state of the art in ground balancing pulse induction (GBPI) metal detectors. The Garrett ATX, White's TDI, and Minelab GPX 5000. You rarely see them all pictured together so I thought I would post one.

      Garrett ATX, White's TDI, Minelab GPX 5000
      These three detectors are all very good at what they are basically made for, which is dealing with ground mineralization and hot rocks that make using VLF detectors very difficult. In particular VLF performance is severely impeded in extremely mineralized ground. In low mineral ground a good VLF prospecting detector running in all metal mode can deliver results rivaling PI detectors with the added benefit of having good discrimination options. Anybody doing much prospecting, however, will eventually run into locations where ground mineralization and hot rocks makes using a VLF such a challenge that a good ground balancing pulse induction detector is the only real option.
      The GPX 5000 represents the current state of the art, and is the easy option if money is no object. It is well designed for long hours of prospecting, has an incredible variety of optional coils, and can handle most any ground conditions with many tuning options.
      The Garrett ATX provides performance that comes close to the GPX at a much lower price, with the added benefit of being waterproof to ten feet. Actually, this is only a benefit if you need it. Otherwise it makes the detector heavier than need be and limits the available coil options. Still, if the GPX is not an option the ATX would be my next choice in a new detector with a warranty. For those needed waterproof it is the only real option along with its predecessor, the Garrett Infinium.
      The White's TDI is an older design but still very capable. It costs less than the other two options, and unlike the Garrett it has light weight versions and models that can be hip or chest mounted. It is a good option to explore for those on a budget or needing the most ergonomic solution. The TDI is also a very respected beach detector, like the ATX above, but it has no waterproof option.

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