I purchased my Monster in March of this year. My original unit had an issue, it would reboot itself with no user input. I contacted Minelab via email and after trying a few things they provided a shipping label and I returned it. Since the unit was less than 30 days old they sent me a new detector. While nobody wants to get a defective unit I was impressed with their customer service.
Currently I have in excess of 50 hours using the detector. I describe this machine as a very easy to use and very sensitive to small gold detector. Four user adjustments is all it has: On/Off, Sensitivity (ten manual levels and two auto), Discrimination/No Discrimination and Volume, the detector does the rest. It’s up to the user to pick the correct sensitivity for the soil conditions (or use the Auto sensitivity setting and let the detector do it) and keep the machine ground balanced, other than that you just detect.
I run my Monster mostly in the first auto setting as it allows the detector to automatically choose the correct sensitivity for the soil conditions. I do on occasion use the second auto setting, Auto+, or one of the higher manual settings when I’m working a patch and want more sensitivity. Currently I’ve found over 70 pieces of gold with the Gold Monster, all but a couple of those pieces are sub grain sized stuff. Having that extra sensitivity has helped me find some really tiny gold but it does lead to the detector being bump sensitive for me. Since the Auto+ setting is picking the best sensitivity and then adding one level to that (in other words it’s running hot) any movement of the coil caused by bumping something is causing the coil wire to move. There is metal in the wire and if it moves it should cause a signal in my opinion. I don’t have a problem with this, I’m using the extra sensitivity to see extremely tiny bits of gold and I know what’s happening so it is pretty easy to deal with. When running in Auto if I find it getting bump sensitive I ground balance and it usually quiets down but if not I’ll turn the sensitivity down to a lower manual level until it does.
Since my hearing is not getting any better with age and this detector does not have a threshold it worried me prior to purchasing. I brought this up on a forum and another Monster user assured me not to worry. You know what, he was right. The audio boost in the detector does a great job of letting you know when you have a target and I have not had any problems working without a threshold. I’ve also found that if the wind is calm and I’m not working by running water headphones are not necessary, the detector is loud enough without them. I’ve come to appreciate this when working in the sun on hot days.
My prospecting partner, my oldest son, uses a Gold Bug II and loves it. He’s been using that detector for a couple years now and raves about it. Together we’ve detected over 160 pieces of gold since I got the Gold Monster and on many occasions we have compared targets with both detectors. So far there has not been any target, no matter how small, that both detectors did not see. We both agree that neither of us is at a disadvantage with either detector.
Something that I also like about this detector is the number of videos out there about it. The 'Nugget Shooter' Bill Southern and others have done a wonderful job of posting a lot of material on how to get the most out of the Gold Monster. I believe all detectors have a learning curve no matter how easy they make them to use, they all seem to have their little nuances. In the Monster's case though with all the material out there the curve goes way down.
Minelab describes the Gold Monster 1000 as an “Entry Level” detector. Being so easy to use I understand why they’re saying that but for me the detector is finding gold like a pro.