By Steve Herschbach
High Frequency Gold Nugget Detector Roundup
Our cup runneth over!
Just a few years ago the market for "over 30 kHz nugget detectors" was quite limited. For a long time there were only a few options:
Fisher Gold Bug 2 (71 kHz) $764 with one coil
Minelab Eureka Gold (6.4, 20, & 60 kHz) Discontinued $1049 when new with one coil
White's GMZ (50 kHz) Discontinued $499 when new with one coil
White's GMT (48 khz) $729 with one coil
Things were that way for over a decade. Then in 2015 Makro introduced the Gold Racer (56 kHz) $599 with one coil. Sister company Nokta released the AU Gold Finder (56 kHz) $799 with two coils
Then in 2017 we see the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 (45 khz) at $799 with two coils. And although not a dedicated nugget detector, the Deus high frequency coil options (up to 80 kHz) were also released, $1520 for complete detector with one HF coil.
Now in 2018 we get another general purpose machine, the Equinox 800, that can hit 40 khz, $899 with one coil. And just announced...
the Makro Gold Kruzer (61 kHz) $749 with two coils and
the White's Goldmaster 24K (48 khz) $699 with two coils
These last two announcements have made barely a ripple in the prospecting world, or at least going by other forums that seems to be the case. There are various reason for that (forums not being prospecting oriented or being Minelab centric) but still the lack of buzz is interesting. I do believe people are both burned out by all the new introductions and that the market is saturated with high frequency models. Leaving out the general purpose machines to sum up the current options it looks like the current "sweet spot" for pricing is a high frequency model at $749 with two coils.
Makro Gold Racer 56 kHz - $599 one coil
White's Goldmaster 24K 48 kHz - $599 one coil
White's Goldmaster 24K 48 kHz - $699 two coils
White's GMT 48 khz - $729 one coil
Makro Gold Kruzer 61 kHz - $749 two coils
Fisher Gold Bug 2 71 kHz - $764 one coil
Minelab Gold Monster 1000 45 kHz - $799 two coils
Nokta AU Gold Finder 56 kHz - $799 two coils
High frequency nugget detectors compared
White's Goldmaster 24K, Minelab Equinox 800, Gold Monster 1000, Makro Gold Kruzer
Minelab Gold Monster, Fisher Gold Bug 2, Makro Gold Racer, Nokta Impact
I've been trying to make a PI detector as a learning exercise in another forum(Geotech). Asked the question below but haven't got a reply. Maybe someone here could answer the question.
Nugget sizing info:
We are often asked how many pieces per gram or ounce. It is very hard to predict how many pieces there are per gram or ounce as the # of nuggets by weight varies quite a bit per batch. But in general you can expect around 1-2 pieces of gold for 4 mesh, 2-4 pieces of 6 mesh per gram, 7-12 pieces of 8 mesh per gram and around 15-20 per gram for 10 mesh. You can expect many more pieces for smaller 12 (around 20-25), 14-16 (around 30-50 or more) pieces and hundreds for fine gold. Every batch is very different and each piece of gold is natural and of course therefore unique. Some may be flat and light or rounded and very dense (heavy).
How small a nugget can a good PI detect? What mesh size would make good test targets for smaller nuggets? 8 mesh, 10 mesh, both or other?
Any guess on typical TC for 8 or 10 mesh nuggets?
By Ridge Runner
I myself like the looks of screen of my MX Sport but not the weight. It would be great for it to trim some fat off of it. Out of all the ID numbers it has to offer I’d like to be able to notch out one at a time.
We all know that different frequencies is better than others depending on what you’re detecting. If I can I’d like it to be multi frequency where I can run in all and single one if I do wish.
What I want is a detector that it will do the major part of my detecting. My thing I’m a coin hunter first be it on a beach are around some old homestead . I’ve never been a relic hunter but it would have to offer the same for that person too .
I love nugget hunting but it’s just not a lot of gold in Texas but it would be great to have some high frequencies to nugget hunt. I don’t see the need that I should have to buy another detector for what little I do get to nugget hunt.
We all different and our wants runs different too.I know too it’s other detectors offer the things I’m wanting from White’s right now but I’d like to see America made on the side.
Today I tried something different, trying to cherry pick only deep high tones. Had the 6 inch coil on my 800, very trashy small 100+ year old park.
Set it on Park 1, noise cancel, manual GB, 5 tones with the first 3 segments set to 0 volume 1 tone the last 2 were both set to max volume and tone,
set the recovery speed at 5 and 0 iron bias. My question to those that know is, am I losing depth with this kind of setting? It seemed to work well, I have been
trying to figure out how to park hunt deep silver,.All the pieces in the image were only giving tone, no numbers and were all carrot deep. Suggestions?
By Steve Herschbach
When I saw a video showing the Makro Gold Racer recovery speed using two nails and a gold ring, it caused me to reflect on the various internet nail tests. Nearly all employ modern round nails, when these items rarely present issues.
The common VDI (visual discrimination scale) puts ferrous items at the low end of the scale, and items with progressively increasing conductivity higher on the scale. The problem is the size of items also matters. Small gold is low on the scale, and the larger the gold, the higher it reads on the scale. A silver quarter reads higher than a silver dime, etc.
All manner of ferrous trash including medium and smaller nails fall where they should when using discrimination and are easily tuned out. The problem is large iron and steel items, and ferrous but non-magnetic materials like stainless steel. Steel plates, large bolts, broken large square nails, axe heads, hammer heads, broken pry bar and pick tips, etc. all tend to read as high conductive targets. Usually it is just the sheer size pushing it higher up the scale.
Detectors also love things with holes, which makes for a perfect target by enabling and enhancing near perfect eddy currents, making items appear larger than they really are. Steel washers and nuts are a big problem in this regard, often reading as non-ferrous targets.
Oddball shapes cause problems, particularly in flat sheet steel. Old rusted cans often separate into irregular shaped flat pieces, and roofing tin (plated steel) and other sheet steel items are my number one nemesis around old camp sites. Bottle caps present a similar issue in modern areas. These items produce complex "sparky" eddy currents with both ferrous and non-ferrous indications. Many thin flat steel items produce remarkably good gold nugget type signals in old camp areas.
Two general tips. Concentric coils often handle ferrous trash better than DD coils. A DD coil is often the culprit when dealing with bottle caps where a concentric coil often makes them easy to identify. Another thing is to use full tones. Many ferrous items are producing both ferrous and non-ferrous tones. Blocking ferrous tones allows only the non-ferrous tone to be heard, giving a clear "dig me" signal. This was the real bane of single tone machines with a simple disc knob to eliminate ferrous objects. You still heard the non-ferrous portion of the signal. Multi tones allows you to hear the dual ferrous/non-ferrous reports from these troublesome items, helping eliminate most of them.
Certain detectors can also show multiple target responses on screen at once, like the White's models featuring the SignaGraph (XLT, DFX, etc.) and CTX with target trace. These displays show target "smearing" that stands out differently from the clean VDI responses produced by most good items. A machine with a simple VDI numeric readout can only show you one number at a time and the only indication you might get is "dancing" numbers that refuse to lock on. Usually though the predominate response overrides and fakes you out. This is where a good high end visual display capable of putting all VDI response on screen simultaneously can really help out.
I have been collecting these odd iron and steel items to practice with and to help me evaluate which machines might do best in ferrous trash. The main thing I wanted to note here is contrived internet videos with common round nails often present a misleading picture. Many machines do very well on nails yet fail miserably on flat steel.
Steel Trash Testing