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Detecting In Small Creeks / VLF Vs SDC Vs GPZ


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Hi everybody,

I'm a european prospector. I use shovel. sluice, pan, pry bars and crevice tools in creeks in Europe and Alaska. Till now, I had a Whites GMT VLF detector, to check my spots after I worked them, i.e. to check if I missed some gold. I rarely go prospecting with a detector on large areas, like the aussie or US pros. Now I broke my GMT (after 10 years). I have three options for replacement:

- a new Whites GMT, i.e. staying with VLF

- SDC 2300

- GPZ 7000 (I could buy a used one from a friend)

It seems to me, the GMT and SDC are better for my application, as they have small coils and are light etc. When I check my spots in the creeks, its often narrow between rocks etc. and I'm not able to make large sweeps with the coil. But the GPZ obviously is far better in depth.

My question: Is the GPZ also practical for detecting in creeks between rocks etc, as I described above? Or is it only practical to detect large areas like the aussie or US pros?

Many thanks in advance for your appreciated advice!


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Welcome to the forum!

You say you pan, sluice etc. and only use the detector to see if you have missed any gold. Has it been the case that the detector has revealed lots of gold you would have otherwise missed? If not, I can’t see wanting to spend much money for a detector for the task as described. A light weight and relatively inexpensive VLF should do the job just fine. In other words, if the GMT has served you well all these years, why switch? 

On the other hand if money is no object the SDC 2300 has lots going for it. Power, ease of operation, plus a very compact, waterproof design. The GPZ honestly just seems a poor match for the job.

If you stick with VLF, and are interested in GMT type performance but waterproof, check out the Makro Gold Kruzer.

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Thank you very much for your welcome and your advice! You confirm what my gut feeling told me. Unfortunately...

Answer to Steve: Yes, over the years, we found quite a bit some gold with our GMT, which we probably would have missed without. Or at least we found it faster, i.e. we didn't have to clean every grain of sand. Not only on/in the bedrock. But also in the adjacent gravel or in stuck rocks etc. We have a lot of large and stuck rocks in our creeks and it requires a huge effort to really work the whole creaks trough to bedrock, sometimes impossible with our allowed tools. So we have to decide, when to stop and when to proceed and when to invest huge efforts, or in which direction to proceed respectively etc. Our detector often helped in the decision-finding. Not only by detecting gold, but also by detecting heavy minerals, which point us to the gold. And if we stop a project, its very calming to check all the adjacent material to be "clean". If we didn't, we would have nightmares of stopping an inch before a nugget :-). So in this context, detecting-depth of course also helps. That's the reason, why we took the GPZ into account. But I think, the SDC fits better to our demand. Also regarding power line sensitivity, right?

Am I right in the assumption, the SDC goes a bit deeper then the GMT? Or is the SDC simply better in high mineralized ground (we have only medium mineralized...).

Thank you for mentioning the makro gold kruzer. very interesting. I would like to buy them all ?


Answer to kiwijw: We can fix it (the rod and the coil cable are broken). We will fix it for sure. But I had the detector for about 12 years and it has quite a bit some wear and tear. And its generally time for a new toy :).  But you are right, we don't really need a new one. On the other hand, how knows, what we would find with a SDC or even a GPZ...


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SDC is a PI detector, so yes on more depth and stable threshold.   None of that awful noise you have to put up with while using a vlf.

Unless you only have tiny flake gold, get the sdc! Most guys that dig out creeks here in the Motherload of California run these.

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1 hour ago, Andreas Schwendener said:

thank you JW.

Do you guys think, the SDC has more depth on nuggets of lets say 10g, than a good VLF?

I would say that depends on the mineralization. In very low mineral ground the GMT will hold its own for depth on larger gold and hit tinier bits than the SDC. As mineralization ramps up, the SDC looks better by comparison, and in extreme mineral ground it is no contest - SDC all the way. Given that most gold bearing areas have more mineralization than is the norm, the SDC looks really good. Do remember that is areas loaded with ferrous trash, the GMT can provide discrimination. The SDC is dig it all unless you want to gamble with the tones.

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thanks again for your advice, Wes and Steve!

There are of course some heavy minerals in the european gold deposits, a lot of hematite, pyrite and some magnetite. Really hot rocks are relatively rare. So I guess its not very high mineralized, compared to California or even Australia.

Steve, do you consider the creeks in the fortymile district around Chicken as low, medium or high mineralisation? I had my GMT in Chicken a few years ago and it seemed to me it was noisier than in the typical european creeks. But I didnt spend much time for finetuning to the  fortymile conditions, as  I spent more time highbanking....

I  think I'll simply try the SDC. A colleague uses an SDC in Europe and he is very happy with it.

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Well there you go different "courses for different horses". Started out 40 years back with VLFs( all coil sizes), got an odd specimen from the creeks. Along came the PIs and suddenly those creeks were producing, the GPZ has just made those creeks more productive again.  If a creek is 14inch wide (coil width) you just push the coil ahead, "linear" detecting. The GPZ 7000 runs in normal in those creeks wheras below the gold sheds I find I have to switch to difficult, thus it`s not about mineralization, the GPZ and PIs just have a depth advantage over the VLFs but of course no discrimination. The GPZ in particular has the ability to sniff out those small pieces right out to the coils outer, especially on the left & right sides.  A disclaimer the creeks I talk about are dry for 1/2 the year as JW points out it would be difficult to use the Zs coil submerged, also I own and use a GM1000 and chase coins with other VLFs.

That you have got gold in those creeks with a VLF and If you can borrow a GPZ7000 and are prepared to dig all signals, I`d suggest you try it, you may find like I have the GPZ7000 is magic.

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