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Found 84 results

  1. Coin to Coin: GoFind 44 easily beats Gold Bug Pro Test objective: to determine which detector can find the most coins over two weeks (to allow each detector a few swings at the title). Although the total coin value is obviously important, the main objective is shooting the most Australian coins – whether they be ‘silver’ 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c or ‘gold’ $1 or $2. Test site: The public beach at Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island, North Queensland. Local conditions: Narrow white sand beach with a thin layer (about 30cm deep) of newly introduced sand covering an older deeper layer. The beach slopes steeply into the Coral Sea and sits along a pub, restaurants, cafes and water-sports places, so there should be plenty of tourists dropping their coins (I just hope plastic cards won’t bugger up our coin count). Being popular, the beach yields a load of beer bottle tops, aluminium packaging (including a condom wrapper) and rusty crap deeper down. Weapons of choice: Erik favours the Gold Bug Pro whilst ‘Matey’ (not his real name) wields his mighty GoFind 44. Whilst Matey had the home bay advantage (Erik’s from another bay) he hadn’t had a looksee for about a year. It was only when he saw Erik on his old stomping ground that he decided to have another swing. The result of the meeting is this very informal ‘coin-shooting’ challenge and bragging rights at the pub. Influencing factors: Erik is a total newbie on the GBP. Matey is an old hand with the GoFind and recons Erik’s machine has got too many ‘bells and whistles’ for it to be any good on the beach. Play-by-Play: As mentioned GBP had already had a few swings before GoFind got into the game. It did so in great style, shooting a handful of gold within half an hour of the glove being thrown down. Not one bit unnerved GBP returned very early Monday morning (counting on huge coin drops over the weekend) and shot some gold and silver. GoFind had a few swings during the first week shooting gold, both large ($1) and small ($2), as well as large silver (20c and 50c). A bit more unnerved, GBP stuck with his game plan and had a good hard swing the following Monday morning, shooting small silver (5c and 10c) at great depth (about 40cm deep) and large silver a lot shallower. GoFind just kept hauling gold. The final epic week saw both detectors shoot a few more coins, but the feeling was that the site had been well and truly over-worked and Lady Luck was playing her hand (usually in GoFind’s favour). By now both detectors had also broadened their search areas, hitting nearby picnic and bbq areas as well as further along the bay where topless sunbakers hangout (yes, local testing conditions were very tough). Swinging around the bus stop and the back of the pub also proved lucrative. The Results: Gold Bug Pro: large gold (2 x $1), large silver (3 x 50c and 7 x 20c) and small silver (6 x 10c and 4 x 5c). Total: 22 coins valued at $5.70 GoFind 44: large gold (16 x $1), small gold (5 x $2) and large silver (5 x 50c and 2 x 20c). Total: 28 coins valued at a massive $28.90 The Verdict: The GoFind 44 is the ‘must have’ detector for both large and small beach gold! It is also handy for large silver but not too hot on the small stuff, shooting none at all. Whilst the Gold Bug Pro is universally recognised for its gold finding ability, on Australian ‘gold’ coins it rates poorly (shooting only large gold on a few occasions and no small gold at all). The GBP is the detector to get if you are after small silver at depth, its ability to find 5c and 10c coins is second to none (at least to the GoFind 44). Whilst this very newbie detector prospector has obviously got a lot to learn, he is seriously considering adding a GoFind 44 to his ‘beach gold’ arsenal. Until I get it, Matey has promised to keep his GoFind away from my local bay. Afterwards it’s open season on all the island’s beaches and bays, I can’t wait…
  2. The White's Goldmaster 24K is a new 48 kHz gold nugget detector released in the fall of 2018. Production models started shipping in September and White's forwarded one to me to check out. What follows are my thoughts after a couple days of detecting for gold on several northern Nevada nugget patches. The Goldmaster 24K marks a break with the past as White's moves from the older metal box designs of the past to newer plastic cases. The Goldmaster 24K physical design is the latest in the evolution of the MX series. The control box itself is derived directly from that used on the White's MX5. The control pod / display originated with the TreasurePro and later used in the MX Sport and MX7 designs. Basically the Goldmaster 24K is in the same housing and rod design as the White's MX7. Manufacturers face a difficult design choice these days. In general users want metal detectors to be as light as possible. However, weight is not everything - balance matters every bit as much. The problem is that a metal detector search coil is basically a weight on the end of a long stick. Coils can only be made so light due to engineering constraints requiring a certain amount of copper wire and a reasonably robust coil housing. The coil then has a lot to do with determining the final ergonomics of the detector. If the coil weight is not balanced at the other end with some kind of offsetting weight, the detector is nose heavy. This in turn creates torque everytime the detector changes directions which puts stress on the operators arm. The detector can be made as light as possible, or can be perfectly balanced, but it is almost impossible to do both in one detector. Any detector that weighs less than 3 pounds is almost certain to be nose heavy because enough weight does not exist to balance the weight of the coil. In order to have enough weight to work with it appears the minimum is about 3.5 lbs for detectors that are well balanced. The extra weight is almost always in the form of a battery box located under the elbow. White's has gone this route is the MX series designs with a battery box holding 8 AA batteries under the elbow acting as a balancing weight. This results not only in a well balanced detector but a detector with enough batteries to operate for multiple days between charges or battery changes. White's Goldmaster 24K metal detector for gold prospecting Another big choice manufacturers have to make these days is whether to use a straight rod or a "S" rod design. Users tend to be evenly split as to which they prefer, and so this is a choice the manufacturer cannot possibly win. About half the people are going to be unhappy whichever way you go. Industrial type users like beach hunters and prospectors tends to prefer straight rods. Coin, jewelry, and relic hunters seem more inclined to "S" rods. I have used many detectors with either setup and have been happy with both or unhappy with both. The deciding factor for me has been more about the exact size, shape, and angle of the hand grip than the actual rod design. I do not have over-sized hands, and so I tend to prefer a smaller diameter grip. Other people like a larger grip. I went into all that detail to be sure the reader understands that weight and balance is very much a personal preference item. Getting a detector to fit right for everyone is like making a pair of boots that fits everyone. You can't do it. Therefore when I say that the MX physical design as employed in the Goldmaster 24K is a very good fit for me don't take that as meaning it will be great for you. Yet it is a very good fit for me and quite comfortable on my arm, with just enough forward weight to keep my elbow in the arm cup without having to use the arm strap. The design is also lighter than the White's GMT by nearly half a pound, so the Goldmaster 24K is both well balanced and lighter than what came before. The Goldmaster 24K with 10" elliptical coil and with batteries installed weighs 3 lbs 7 oz (3.4 lbs) or 1562 grams on my digital postal scale. The Goldmaster 24K has an IP54 rated enclosure that has a high level of protection against dust particles, and a fair amount of protection against water. The coils are waterproof but the detector itself is not submersible so keep that display pod out of the water. The "S" rod is a three piece design with excellent quality twist locks that create a firm, wobble free rod assembly when fully engaged. The armrest position is not adjustable but it is well placed. The 24K is powered by eight AA batteries in a battery holder that pops out of the rear of the battery box. The 24K is supplied with eight alkaline AA batteries but rechargeable batteries may be substituted for use in the battery holder. The 24K can get up to 40 hours operation using high quality alkaline batteries and while using headphones (external speakers use more power). The Goldmaster 24K does have a speaker built into the rear of the display pod, and there is a female 1/4" headphone jack directly above the battery door. White's thoughtfully includes a small plastic plug to insert into this hole when not in use. White's 24K battery holder and headphone jack location The Goldmaster 24K comes with a 5.5" x 10" DD coil as the stock coil. A 6.5" round concentric coil is available as an option. Scuff covers for the coil are not included with the detector or when you buy an accessory coil - they are separate optional items. The 5.5" x 10" DD search coil weighs 14.5 oz or 412 grams. The coil is 1" thick. The 6.5" round concentric coil is 3/4" thick and weighs 13.1 oz or 370 grams. Therefore the 24K when outfitted with the 6" concentric weighs in at 3 lbs 5 oz (3.3 lbs). White's possibly has a 13.5" x 8" DD available soon that weighs 1 lb 8 oz or 682 grams. Finally, a version of the 4" x 6" Shooter DD is in the works also. Neither of these coils is available for sale as of March 2019 so for now the GMK has one accessory coil (the 6" concentric) available for purchase. Do note that all pre-existing coils for other White's Goldmaster or GMT models are not compatible with the Goldmaster 24K. The 24K pumps about 50% more voltage to the coils than previous models, requiring tighter tolerances in the new coils. The coil connector has been changed to prevent confusion. 5.5" x 10" DD search coil and 6.5" round concentric coil for White's Goldmaster 24K The Goldmaster 24K shares many functions with the White's GMT model but there are differences. The most obvious being that the GMT uses knobs for control adjustments. The 24K uses a sealed touchpad which is more water and dust resistant, but some controls have secondary functions that necessitate having the Quick Guide near at hand when learning the detector. The 24K like the GMT does of course have a sensitivity control, and like on all hot VLF detectors it is a critical control. The solution to most problems regarding metal detector instability or interference is to reduce the sensitivity. The 24K features both automatic ground tracking or a fixed ground balance adjusted via a tap of a "ground grab" button - in this case the pinpoint button, which doubles as a ground grab when given a quick tap. Ground tracking can be a great function for variable ground and people new to detecting. Personally I prefer to lock the ground setting (via the "Lock" button) and update it manually via the ground grab function. I did use the ground tracking however, just to try it out. It is lightning quick, taking just a pump or two to track into the ground. Ground grabs are instantaneous. The White's GMT allowed for a locked ground balance to be tweaked up or down manually via plus or minus buttons on the control pod. The 24K takes a slightly different route by allowing a "ground balance offset" to be dialed into the detector. The ground balance offset is a powerful feature and so deserves some explanation. Prospectors often prefer manual ground balance because they can choose their own setting that for various reason might be different than what a machine will choose using a preset function like ground grab. Ground grab may be set to deliver a very neutral ground balance. The prospector may prefer that the balance be slightly positive to help enhance tiny nugget signals. They may want to choose a ground balance setting halfway between the ground itself and some pesky hot rock, which may mean adjusting either positive or negative from the neutral setting. This might require that the operator first do a ground grab, then hit the plus button a couple times to manually offset the ground balance. The 24K has a "Follow The Black Sand" mode like on the GMT but it is now called Ground Scan. Ground Scan is enabled by pushing and holding the ground balance "Lock" button. While in Ground Scan the "Up" and "Down" buttons create a ground balance offset. This offset is retained when you leave Ground Scan mode and will be applied both when doing a ground grab and even while in ground tracking mode. The Ground Scan / Follow The Black Sand thing is intended to allow a prospector to locate and trace shallow magnetic sand deposits that might indicate potential gold concentrations. This is a rarely used function, but including the offset ability means this function may be accessed much more often just to create these ground balance offsets. With the GMT you could ground grab and then manually tweak the setting, but the tweak had to be applied every time the ground grab is performed. Now the offset can be dialed in and automatically applied. The real zinger however is that this also allows the 24K ground tracking function to be directly tweaked - very, very rare indeed. Almost every detector I have ever used has a preset ground tracking circuit that puts the ground balance where it wants, end of story. With the White's Goldmaster 24K you can create a tracking offset to deal with hot rocks in a way that simply can't be done with most other ground tracking systems. Really cool White's! White's Goldmaster 24K detector with optional 6" concentric coil The 24K has the volume control the GMT lacks which is quite handy for those who want to run without headphones but not necessarily at full volume. There are 8 levels of volume plus two boost settings, Boost 1 (b1) and Boost 2 (b2) that kick in when you adjust the volume control above 8. The GMT features a Variable Self Adjusting Threshold (V/SAT) control that governs the rate at which the audio resets itself when passing over a target or ground variations. The GMT has a knob that runs from 1 to 10 and on the Goldmaster 24K the SAT setting has been simplified to three settings - off, medium, and fast. The default setting of medium is all most people will ever need. However, in extreme low mineral ground the off setting can enhance weak signals, although the detector may need very careful coil control and slower coil sweeps to allow the circuit to keep up. Conversely, extreme high mineral variable ground may require the fast setting to smooth out variations in the ground signal. The threshold control itself is interesting. Normally on an old school threshold based all metal detector the all metal mode and threshold are one and the same. The Goldmaster 24K like some newer digital models appears to employ what is referred to as a "reference threshold". The threshold may be adjusted, but appears to be disconnected from the all metal channel and is instead layered on in parallel. The SAT control above does directly affect the all metal channel as described above. Yet it does what it does whether the threshold is present or not. Reference thresholds often exist for the sole purpose of nulling or going silent when passing over items that have been discriminated out, but this does not happen when the Iron Cancel (see below) is engaged. While bench testing in all metal with the SAT set at zero I thought I might just be able to hear a waver in the threshold. I would be interested in hearing from other nugget hunting experts on this matter, because in my opinion the threshold as it exists on the Goldmaster 24K is not coupled to the all metal channel in the manner one would observe on the GMT for instance. The only effect seems to be with threshold completely off the 24K will no longer give any ground feedback at all if out of ground balance. Based purely on what I am observing in actual use I would say the 24K is a silent search detector with a reference threshold added as opposed to a true threshold based all metal circuit like on the GMT. The difference is subtle but there for my ear at least and if there is a connection there between threshold and all metal channel, it is too minimal for me to discern while in actual use. Now we get into the real meat of where the GMT and Goldmaster 24K part ways. The GMT has an iron (ferrous) probability meter as does the Goldmaster 24K. The GMT meter is merely a bar graph - far left means 10% chance of ferrous and far right means 90% chance of ferrous. Somewhere in the middle means 50% chance of ferrous. The Goldmaster 24K puts a blacked out block at the top of the screen with similar positioning, but the actual percentage numbers display out as a "target id" number. This is not a target id number as thought of on coin detectors, but instead intended to be a display of the odds that an item is non-ferrous. White's Goldmaster 24K controls and display screen If you look at the display above there is a colored bar at the top of the 24K LCD meter - red on left, wide yellow middle, and dark gray on right. The three colors taper one into the other to indicate overlap. The red on the right indicates the probable ferrous range, and dark gray indicates items reading too high to probably be gold, but more likely a copper, brass, or silver item (high conductors) or certain ferrous items that "wrap around" and "read high". These include hardened steel items like large bolts, almost any washers, ax heads, etc. In theory this scale could be used for coin detecting but the coins with few exceptions like a nickel tend to bunch up all on the right. The intent really is to be more of a ferrous/non-ferrous meter but I do think I could make do with this for some general detecting scenarios. In air tests a nickel read 88, zinc penny 95, dime 96, and quarter 97. The Goldmaster 24K has an Audio Mode button that engages and disengages something analogous to the "Iron Grunt" feature on the GMT. Engaging the Audio Mode replaces the normal VCO type "zippy" audio with a simple high or low beep. Any meter reading below 50 will deliver the low "ferrous" beep and anything 50 or higher a high "non-ferrous" beep. Since the gold probability range runs much lower this is helping the operator concentrate only on the high probability targets - anything with over a 50% chance of being non-ferrous. This "over 50% equals non-ferrous" audio mode could be useful for direct hunting in some situations. However, when pushing the detector hard in all metal mode and then switching the Audio ID mode on I found that I would have to reduce sensitivity or encounter quite a few false signals in mineralized ground. That being the case I was more prone to using this as a ferrous check by engaging the button for a quick audio reading, then back again to all metal mode. The Audio Mode as I described it above acts much like the Iron Grunt feature on the GMT, but on the GMT the ferrous audio alert only kicks in when there is an 85% or greater chance of the item being ferrous. It is not a certainty on how the percentages correlate, but the 24K audio ferrous tone does kick in at readings of 50 and below (greater than 50% chance of being ferrous). Borderline gold targets can read lower than this however, down into the 40s and even lower. A 30% chance of gold is still pretty good odds. So what to do now except read the numbers? White's has addressed this with another control, the Iron Cancel button. Engaging Iron Cancel activates an adjustable iron rejection setting. The default is for anything reading 15 or lower to simply not beep. This corresponds to the solid red area on the bar graph display at the top of the meter. Borderline or mixed content items will break up or give erratic readings. The best part however is that the setting can be adjusted from 0 all the way up to 62. This allows the operator to completely block out a chosen range of low end readings that is either more conservative or more aggressive than the Audio Mode preset. As noted before, the threshold, if any is used, will not blank over rejected items - they are simply ignored. I noted above that highly conductive items and some steel items can read at the very high end of the scale, typically 95 and above. If the goal really is gold it is very unlikely that readings this high will be gold and so White's also offers the ability to block out this high end range. Tapping the "lock" button while in the ferrous adjustment mode will automatically block all readings of 94 and higher, which is where most iron high end false signals will occur. Other controls on the Goldmaster 24K - a pinpoint function, frequency shift to help avoid electrical interference or for running two 24Ks close together, a backlight for the meter for low light conditions, and finally, a factory reset. White's Goldmaster 24K with stock 10" x 5.5" DD coil Now for the part everyone has been waiting for - how does the Goldmaster 24K at finding gold? When I test nugget detectors I tend to concentrate on smaller gold. First, because it is more plentiful and easier to find in limited time frames for testing purposes. Realistically small gold also challenges the detector the most. A metal detector must be tuned as hot as possible to find very small bits of gold. Yet this also causes problems with mineralized ground and hot rocks. It is not so much the small gold sensitivity that matters but how the metal detector handles the ground while tuned up for tiny gold. This is why air tests are minimally useful for nugget hunters. They can reveal theoretical information about how small or how deep a detector can find gold under perfect conditions. Air tests give no indication however of how the detector will handle bad ground and hot rocks when tuned to the max. A detector can air test extremely well and fail completely in the field. Therefore when you see my metal detector test reports, pay attention to the smallest nuggets I find, not the larger ones. The 10" DD coil is a good all around nugget hunting coil, with DD coils having the advantage for handling difficult ground. It was the 6.5" round concentric that wowed me however and after I got it on the detector I really did not want to take it off. The 10" DD will be a better choice for really bad ground, but lacks that magic edge on the tiniest bits of gold. I also appreciate that concentric coils are easier to pinpoint with, and generally have better ferrous identification performance compared to DD coils. One nice thing about the 24K being well balanced is the 13.5" x 8" coil is less nose heavy than would be the case for an unbalanced detector. This is the coil to use for covering ground in search of larger gold nuggets. For medium to milder ground and the smaller gold however I really do like that little concentric. In particular there is a lot of grass growing in some desert areas, and the 24K with 6" coil was perfect for mowing through the grass to keep the coil on the ground. This is another area where an "S" shaft has the advantage. A straight shaft detector wants to roll to the side when forcing the coil against resistance, where a balanced "S" shaft being in line with your arm does not produce that kind of rollover torque. The 10" x 5.5" DD coil was a little more prone to false signals when bumped hard than the concentric coil, to the point where I could run higher sensitivity with the concentric on this particular ground. The ground in lots of Nevada is rather mild, often with alkali (salt) content, and it may or may not have bad hot rocks. This particular location had two types of hot rocks to deal with. The bottom line is I was able to run the concentric at full sensitivity of 10, and in audio boost 2 (b2) while in all metal mode and SAT set at medium (default). Even with the machine maxed out like this the detector ran well, and as I said before falsed less than the DD coil would if I attempted the same settings. White's new XGB ground balancing system really does seem to do a good job finding a setting that works well with both hot rocks and the ground by tracking multiple ground balance points. I liked to engage tracking, run over a mix of ground and hot rocks, and then lock the setting. I was scrubbing and pretty much digging everything. The Goldmaster 24K with the little concentric is hot as a pistol and as usual if you give me a hot detector I was able to find some really tiny gold. The eight nuggets below weigh a total of 8.3 grains (not grams - 480 grains per Troy ounce). The largest nugget is 1.8 grains and the smallest are in that under 1/10th gain range. Now, none of these were super deep because you can't find tiny gold super deep, but they were all good zippy targets - and I was not using headphones! Gold nuggets found by Steve with new White's Goldmaster 24K - smallest under 1/10th grain The proof is in the pudding and there is no doubt the Goldmaster 24K can find the gold, and some really small gold at that. I am not going to try and convince anyone that there is some kind of magic breakthrough here - at the end of the day the 24K is a hot 48 kHz single frequency metal detector just like the GMT in many regards. Some oldtimers may still prefer the GMT for its threshold being tightly connected to the all metal channel while the threshold connection on the 24K is much weaker. Although the Goldmaster 24K can be run hot and noisy, all it's design features point to a detector that is intended to be set up as quiet as possible, and this may even mean running without a threshold. I did not see any evidence that this would really hurt the performance at all. This kind of quiet hunting tends to appeal more to people new to nugget detecting, especially those who cross over from coin detecting. Add this to the lighter weight and lower cost package and White's has done a great job producing an alternative to the admittedly long in the tooth GMT. Steve Herschbach DetectorProspector.com White's Goldmaster 24K Data & User Reviews White's Goldmaster 24K Quick Start Guide White's Goldmaster 24K Advanced User Guide White's Goldmaster 24K XGB Ground Tracking Explained White's Goldmaster 24K & GMT Compared Little gold nugget on coil fresh out of the ground
  3. This was a rather large update. Not so much in any of my reviews but a major shuffle in prices which changes the equation on some units as far as desirability. Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors Here are the highlights. THIS IS NOT THE FULL REVIEW, IT’S THE CHANGES ONLY.... FOLLOW THE LINK ABOVE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW! The Nokta/Makro Gold Racer dropped from $599 to $509 putting it in direct competition with the Fisher Gold Bug (basic model $449) and Minelab X-Terra 705 Gold at $499 plus the Fisher Gold Bug Pro at $549. That's a killer deal for a 56 kHz full featured detector. All the Nokta/Makro models had serious price drops, as it appears the U.S. importer was keeping prices artificially high. Nokta/Makro stepped in and corrected the situation, leading to the decreases. The Nokta/Makro Gold Kruzer was reduced from $749 to $636, a couple bucks less than the Garrett AT Gold but the Kruzer is 61 kHz and comes with two coils. This effectively puts the AT Gold out to pasture as a “new with warranty” nugget detector option in my opinion unless Garrett lowers the price. Waterproof, built in rechargeable battery, wireless, 61 kHz and two coils... the Gold Kruzer may be the best package price available right now in a VLF nugget machine. The Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ was deleted from the list. Tesoro is out of business, and although a few of these may be on dealer shelves still the is no warranty on them so they are gone as far as I am concerned. The Nokta/Makro AU Gold Finder with two coils came down from $799 to $679, the same price as the now departed Tesoro Lobo. The Minelab Gold Monster went UP to $849! I still have it as a "Steve's Pick" but that could change to the White's Goldmaster 24K if White's gets more coils out. More and more users are giving the 24K a thumbs up. The 24K is $729 but do remember the Monster comes with two coils and the 24K just the one now that the Intro deal is over. My "Steve's Picks" are aimed at first time buyers so I am sticking with the Monster for now due to simplicity compared to other less expensive but more complicated options. The same reason I am still showing the Gold Bug basic as a pick - it's simple and effective. The XP ORX dropped from $899 to $795 with a $649 wired headphone option. At $649 it's a good deal. A note on the Minelab GPX 4500 - rumored to be discontinued soon but still on Minelab website as current. And finally Minelab SDC 2300 increased from $3750 to $3799 No doubt about it, competition really heated up in 2019 with lots of pressure on VLF prices. Now if we could get some competition going in the PI detectors in both price and ergonomics things would be great!
  4. This will be where I will post information. I will try and answer any questions I can about detector. Other folks who have experience with detector and wish to join in, by all means do so. Should have detector today sometime. Thought I would get this thread started to save time later. I will only be using Tarsacci on turf, not salt water/sand application. I may do some testing on freshwater beach due to lower minerals present. Tarsacci MDT 8000 Data & Reviews
  5. A week ago I started an informal survey on seven US metal detecting oriented prospecting forums including this one. The survey here is at http://www.detectorprospector.com/forum/topic/1244-if-you-found-a-gold-nugget-in-the-last-year-what-detectors-did-you-find-it-with/ This is what got posted on all the forums. I have been compiling results all evening and it is after midnight so I am calling it a night. However, I will release additional details on this forum, probably tomorrow morning. I would like to post a screenshot of the entire spreadsheet if I can figure out how to get it all on screen at once. Or I may just post a copy of the spreadsheet in the download area for forum members to access. I am proud to say that fully half the responses were on this forum alone, with the other six making up the remainder. There are a lot of active nugget hunters on this forum. The survey was not meant to prove anything per se. I was basically just curious to see what the detectors were that were employed to actually find gold nuggets in the last year. The survey has many shortcomings. It only polls people who were on the US forums in the last week who cared to respond. The forums have tended as a whole to be Minelab oriented and so it is not surprising results might skew in that direction. Still, I got a large number of responses and so some conclusions can be drawn. I eliminated duplicate and joke responses. I eliminated a couple borrowed units. It was winnowed down to just detectors that found gold for their owners in the last year. Everything else was pretty straight forward. The only thing of note is I put a couple Gold Bug SE responses under the Gold Bug Pro because they are basically the same detector. The SE was just a precursor model. Everything was compiled on a spreadsheet and totaled. 114 people responded as having used 220 detectors to find gold nuggets. That is an average of a couple detectors per person but the reality is a lot of people owned three detectors, and then quite a few just one detector. In general you could say many nugget hunters own a couple PI detectors (or a PI and a GPZ) plus a good VLF detector. If you really want to generalize things your could say people own a couple Minelab PI type detectors and a Fisher VLF. The Gold Bug 2 and the Gold Bug Pro were the runaway favorites in the VLF category. Tesoro is conspicuous in their absence. Only one Lobo ST listed. I was a bit surprised to see not one Garrett AT Gold listed. Except for a few ATX units Garrett is pretty much a no-show. White's does a little bit better but still only just over a dozen units out of 220. The TDI PI models are the most popular alternative to the Minelabs with 8 listed. As I noted Fisher totally dominates the VLF detectors with the Gold Bug 2 and Gold Bug Pro. And I was surprised at the very large numbers for both the SDC2300 and GPZ7000. The GPZ in particular due to it being very expensive and out for only the last 6 months. The adoption rate is phenomenal in my opinion. Here are two sets of results. The first is simplified for easy digestion. I have lumped similar models together and not listed onesies and twosies. The second list is the full per model breakdown. Make of it what you will, and thank you for participating! Simplified Results: 51 GPX5000/4500/4000 33 GPZ7000 33 SDC2300 32 Gold Bug 2 15 Gold Bug Pro 13 GP3500/3000/GPExtreme 8 White's TDI/TDIPro/TDISL/SPP 5 White's GMT/GM3/VSAT 5 Nokta FORS Gold 4 Makro Racer 4 X-Terra 705 3 Garrett ATX 3 XP DEUS Full Results: 33 GPZ7000 33 SDC 2300 32 Gold Bug 2 31 GPX5000 15 Gold Bug Pro 11 GPX4500 9 GPX4000 6 GP3000 5 GPExtreme 5 FORS Gold 4 Makro Racer 4 X-Terra 705 3 Garrett ATX 3 White's GMT 3 White's TDI 3 TDI Pro 3 XP DEUS 2 GP3500 2 Fisher F19 2 CTX3030 1 TDI SL 1 White's SPP 1 Troy X5 1 XT17000 1 SD2200V2 1 SD2100V2 1 Tesoro Lobo ST 1 White's GM3 1 White's V/SAT 1 Minelab F1A4 1 Garrett Scorpion
  6. I myself didn’t buy but just one detector and that was a Equinox 800 . I found it to be a great detector for coin hunting and that’s the reason I bought it . The first thing I done was print the owners manual full size for easy reading. I never found the Nox a problem to run . If you had the instruction manual and you could read plus understand you were good to go . The only trouble I did have was with the on and off switch. I’d had it having to wait on the 6” coil so I sold it . I told the guy about the switch when I sold it . He used it for a while but called Minelab and they fixed it . I guess it was in trouble from day one . Right now I’m just going to sit back and see what 2019 has to offer. Chuck PS Everyone who post here puts their name in for a hard cover book on Rocks and Minerals. I will ship free to anyone on this earth. You can post as much as you want but your name only goes in one time for the drawing This will end on November 16 at 6 PM CST
  7. Being new to these forums, if this is not the place for this, please move. Due to excitement just wanted to sing out here. I am adding a Gold detector to my arsenal.. I did research this for quite a bit and realized that gold detecting, nuggets anyway, would only be maybe 1%, well maybe less, use of the machine. It would also be used for general detecting and a unit for friends that want to give it a try (it’s a easy to use detector.) But, I do want a capable detector the will work for gold also. Reading Steve’s review and rating of this detector, I'm pulling the the lever. For these reasons I have chosen a Fisher Gold Bug Pro. Thanks for listening. Joe
  8. I can't help but notice over the Internet and the various metal detecting forums that I explored today there is very little current talk on many detectors, everyone seems to focus on a small few. Maybe I'm a little bit odd (probably) but I like using multiple detectors, I like learning them and finding out the differences in performance or in a lot of cases the lack thereof. Today I went for a bit of a detect between the weather and my detector of choice was my Euroace (Ace350) with Nel Tornado coil, a long way from my best detector according to general consensus, however I think it's a mighty good detector and I like using it for a nice easy relaxing coin hunt, it does well at it. I found a bunch of coins, all modern and enough to buy a decent lunch 🙂 I doubt if I tried I could find any current discussion on the Ace detectors. It's hard enough to find any current talk on the Fisher detectors or my beloved T2, everything I read on them is many years old even though they're still sold as current models. It makes me question if anyone is even buying these detectors anymore or using them, everything First Texas is selling is many years old, it's mostly the same with all the US manufacturers and their range. I doubt the dealers on here will be wanting to disclose their sales figures or even say if they can move stock of these detectors anymore but I'd love if they would. I have a few questions I'd like people to answer. 1) What detectors you have purchased in the past couple of years? 2) Where you happy with your purchase(s)? 3) Have you had to do a warranty claim on it, how'd that go? 4) If you had your time again would you still buy those detectors or do you regret it? 5) Do you still use any of your other detectors, if so why? last but not least...... 6) Your favourite detector of all time Thanks 🙂
  9. I am new to metal detecting. I just want an easy to use gold detector. I am torn with one to get gm1000. Or ? Desert. And $800.00 and rivers in summer." I want to thanks all of you for your support. " I am going to get gm1000. Thanks again
  10. Makro Gold Racer and a small Nevada gold nugget it just detected The Makro Gold Racer has been one of my most anticipated new VLF metal detectors in years. This completely new model represents something I have wanted for a very long time – a high frequency VLF metal detector that does not skimp for features, in particular as regards discrimination options. A little background. First, I have been testing prototypes of the Makro Gold Racer, and this review is based on those prototypes. The final version due soon has a completely new LCD display layout, audio boost, refinements to other settings, and physical refinements like a change in the handle angle, etc. That being the case this review should be considered preliminary and final specifications are subject to change, as well as details you may see in my photos regarding the physical design of the detector. Second, what is the intended market for the Makro Gold Racer? The machine looks deceptively like many other detectors aimed at general purpose metal detecting. I want to emphasize that first and foremost this is a gold prospecting detector. There are only a few other detectors that directly compare to the Gold Racer which is running at a very high frequency of 56 kHz. Comparable detectors would be the White’s GMT at 48 kHz, the Minelab Eureka Gold running in its 60 kHz setting, and the Fisher Gold Bug 2 at 71 kHz. The intent with very high frequency detectors is to sharpen the response on extremely small metal targets. High frequency detectors are in a niche all their own when it comes to finding the tiniest of gold nuggets. This sensitivity does come at a cost however, in that the detectors are also responsive to ground mineralization and hot rocks that less sensitive, lower frequency detectors might ignore completely. There is no free lunch in detecting, and I want to caution anyone thinking that the Makro Gold Racer is going to be a magical solution to all their detecting desires to be realistic about things. Inevitably when new detectors come out people fall victim to wishful thinking, and I would like to try and avoid that here. When it comes to reviewing detectors I do the best I can to describe detectors to help people decide if they might be interested in them or not. Do realize again however that this review is based on preliminary information. Also, I honestly do not want people buying new metal detectors based solely on my reviews. There will be some of who want the latest and greatest right now, and I appreciate that, but being a first adopter does have its risks. My normal advice to people is to never buy anything based on a single review, but to wait for more of a consensus opinion to emerge. I have used the Gold Racer in the field, and I have found gold with it. Right now though if it is just a matter of you wanting to know if the Makro Gold Racer can find gold then I refer you to the excellent field review with photos posted by Ray Mills at the Detector Prospector Forum. In outward appearance the Makro Gold Racer resembles its immediate predecessor, the Makro Racer, but this really is a new detector, not just a Racer running at a higher frequency. Feedback on the original Racer has been incorporated as well as extensive testing and commentary from prospectors around the world. Besides the obvious color difference, major physical changes include completely redesigning the layout of the LCD display to better differentiate what are all metal functions and what are discrimination functions. All metal functions are on the left, and discrimination functions are on the right. I think the new display is more intuitive and better accommodates the extra functions implemented on the Gold Racer. The angle of the bend in the S rod handle grip has been relaxed based on feedback from Racer owners. The vibration mode was eliminated, shaving a tiny amount of weight and freeing up room on the display menu. The Gold Racer with stock 10” x 5.5” DD coil and NiMH batteries installed weighs in on my postal scales at exactly three pounds. Coils available at launch are the 10” x 5.5” DD that is stock on the detector. Optional coils include a 10” x 5.5” concentric coil, 5” round DD coil, and a light weight 15.5” x 13” DD coil. Makro Gold Racer with 5" round DD coil Let’s take a look at the functions. Under All Metal on the left side of the meter are the functions that apply only to the All Metal mode. On the right are the functions for the two Discrimination modes. The settings are independent in each mode, and once set can be saved when the detector is powered down. This simple and intuitive setup is also part of the power of the Makro Gold Racer. It is incredibly easy once each mode has been customized to flip quickly between the three modes, cross checking target responses to make a dig/no-dig decision. All Metal is the heart and soul of nugget detecting, and the Makro Gold Racer has an extremely powerful, smooth, and sensitive threshold based all metal mode. The Sensitivity setting is familiar to anyone who has used a metal detector, except that there are three base levels of sensitivity or gain. Significant boosts occur between 39 - 40 and again between 69 - 70. Most detectors max out at what is a setting of 69 on the Gold Racer. Settings of 70 and above are a type of hyper gain setting that takes the machine above and beyond, but in extreme ground overload signals may occur. Overload signals are indicated by a “warning siren” audio and the machine is telling you that there is either a large metal object under the coil, or that you are encountering extreme mineralization. In the case of mineralization, either raise the coil slightly while scanning, lower the sensitivity setting, or both. Overloads occurring at 70 will almost always be eliminated by dropping to 69. Rest assured very little is lost by lowering sensitivity to 69 or below, again, because many detectors cannot be set as hot as the Gold Racer even at their maximum setting. Do you ever run detectors and have the distinct feeling some performance has been left on the table, because the detector can always be run at maximum settings? Makro has given you that extra power for where it can be used, but in doing so they expect you will lower settings in places where that extra power works against you. Luckily, the audio alert makes it easy to know when this is. Most people do not know it but many detectors simply shut down and quit working under similar conditions with no indication at all to the operator, a situation referred to as “silent masking”. The threshold setting is the normal control that sets the volume of the slight audio tone that is key to any experienced nugget hunter finding the tiniest or deepest gold nuggets. The most minute variations in the threshold tone can indicate a gold nugget, and the ability to read the threshold is what sets most really good nugget hunters apart from everyone else. Makro has added a feature to the Gold Racer called iSAT, for “Intelligent Self Adjusting Threshold”. This setting consists of several levels of adjustment that vary the rate at which the threshold tone steadies itself. Higher levels of iSAT smooth the threshold more aggressively which aids in maintaining a smooth threshold in rapidly varying ground. Lower levels allow for faint variations to be heard more clearly in milder ground for extra depth and sensitivity. The Gold Racer can be ground balanced three ways. Holding the trigger switch under the control pod in the forward position activates an instant automatic ground balance. Just pump the coil over the ground a couple times, release the trigger, and you are done. There is a short delay when you release the trigger, and during this delay you may manually adjust the ground balance setting. The instant ground balance is neutral to slightly negative. Those that like a slightly positive ground balance need only perform the instant balance, then tap the right hand control button three of four times. The Tracking function on the control panel engages and disengages automatic ground tracking. This is most useful where the ground conditions vary wildly, a perfect example being mixed cobble piles or river bars. The tracking is very quick yet resists tracking out genuine gold signals as much as possible. This can also be an aid to anyone new to ground balancing detectors as it makes the process entirely automatic. The Backlight setting adjusts the illumination level of the backlit screen. The FD/Save setting allows adjustments to be saved when the detector is powered off, while the FD function resets Factory Defaults. There is also a Frequency Shift setting to help eliminate outside electrical interference from power lines, or another Gold Racer being operated nearby. This is set through a combination of control buttons but not visible on the menu. Finally, although this is a true threshold based all metal mode, the meter acts independently in discrimination mode at all times and indicates target id information when the signal strength is sufficient to do so. Makro Gold Racer - clear, bold display Under the Discrimination menu are settings that are completely separate from the All Metal settings and also saved or reset separately. Disc 1 is a standard two tone mode with low tone ferrous and higher tone non-ferrous. Disc 2 is a similar but deeper, more powerful mode. Quick switching between these two modes, each with fully independent settings, creates a many layered and subtle approach to target discrimination. Both discrimination modes are silent search, no threshold based systems. However, new to Makro models is the ability to set the point at which low tones flip, or “break” over into being higher tones. Typically 39 and lower target id will cause a low tone, and 40 and above a higher tone. This ability somewhat replaces the three tone mode on the original Racer because by increasing the Tone Break setting it is possible to create various coin detecting scenarios. For instance, all targets with an id number below copper penny could register low tone, and therefore copper pennies, dimes, quarters, and dollar coins a higher tone. Conversely, lowering the Tone Break setting would create a more conservative approach for nugget detecting by accepting a little more ferrous digging in return for possibly finding another nugget or two. The Sensitivity control on the Disc menu is the same as but independent of the All Metal setting of the same name. ID Filter is a variable discrimination control, with higher settings eliminating or blanking out id numbers lower than the current setting. This setting is independent for each Disc mode, and again flipping back and forth can create some interesting scenarios for comparing targets at completely different sensitivity and ID Filter levels. This quick mode switching between All Metal, Disc1, and Disc2, all with independent settings, is a very powerful tool once you get used to it. Also new with the Gold Racer is the iMask setting. I noted at the start of this review that all metal detector designs involve making trades of some sort. Extreme high frequency sensitivity to small metal targets does increase chatty false responses in extreme ground when in the discrimination modes. iMask attenuates or suppresses weaker target responses in the discrimination modes and provides a secondary level of adjustment separate from and in addition to the Sensitivity and ID Filter settings. If the detector is producing lots of quick, spurious signals in the discrimination modes, reducing sensitivity or increasing ID Filter settings or both is the first line of attack. If this does not work, go back to the original settings on those functions, and try increasing the iMask setting. If this does not work, again lower sensitivity or increase the ID Filter or both on top of the current iMask setting. iMask acts as a pre-filter giving an extra level of control to help deal with extremely bad ground conditions. Finally, Disc1 is a less aggressive mode than Disc2, so using Disc1 offers even another level of possible options when dealing with bad ground in the discrimination modes. The Backlight setting is independent for the discrimination modes, as is the Factory Default/Save Settings function. I think it goes without saying that there has never been a high frequency metal detector ever produced with this level of options and control. There are a lot of variables to play with here, and I would not be truthful at all if I said I have this machine all figured out. In fact, I think part of the fun with the Makro Gold Racer is we are entering uncharted territory. Until the final version of the machine is released, and until quite a few people get their hands on it and experiment, it is very difficult to say just what applications creative detectorists may find for the Gold Racer. It is a very powerful VLF gold prospecting detector, I can vouch for that. Applications also may be found for jewelry detecting and relic hunting in particular, and even coin detecting, due to the unique combination of features the Makro Gold Racer offers. OK, finally – some notes on real world use! Again, this is all based on prototype models and so I can only speak in generalities for this report. However, there is no doubt in my mind that even the prototype detectors rival anything currently available in a VLF detector for finding tiny gold nuggets. I can easily locate flakes of gold weighing under one tenth grain with the Gold Racer and the stock 10” x 5.5” DD coil. In fact, the machine is so hot with the stock coil I thought using a smaller coil offered minimal if any benefit, mostly because of lost ground coverage and possibly lost depth on larger nuggets. I would only use the smaller coil myself for nooks and crannies where the stock coil can’t fit, but otherwise the stock coil really is the way to go in my opinion. Keep in mind I did say grain not gram. There are 480 grains per Troy ounce and in my opinion I can find flakes all day long with the Gold Racer that weigh less than 1/10th grain, or less than 1/4800th ounce. Smallest nugget unweighable, largest 2.4 grams In trashy locations I generally preferred running in all metal and just checking the meter for ferrous targets, which tend to lock in hard at 21 or 22 on the numbers. In theory anything under 40 is ferrous, but to be safe I might investigate items as low as 35 or even 30 depending on the situation and amount of trash. However, as I noted most ferrous locks in hard around 20 leaving no doubt what the target is. In All Metal mode very tiny or very deep targets beyond discrimination range give no target id at all, automatically meaning they need investigation. The main reason I prefer to always hunt in All metal is the extra depth and sensitivity it affords, and checking targets visually is very quick and more efficient than toggling back and forth to a Disc mode under normal circumstances. For areas with too much trash where meter watching might get to be a bit too much, I normally use one of the disc modes set for two tone ferrous/non-ferrous. Iron targets just burp away, while non-ferrous target pop out with a beep. If even that got to be too much for some people, increasing the ID Filter to eliminate most ferrous responses completely can make for a quieter experience in really trashy locations. As always, I must include the warning that the more discrimination applied, the more risk of missing a good target. Use no more discrimination than needed to preserve your sanity! I used the Gold Racer to hunt a couple trashy areas where I just could not go with my big dollar all metal machine, and easily located nuggets in the midst of trash. For me personally the Makro Gold Racer fills in two areas where the high price big gun detectors come up short. The ability to find the tiniest, most dispersed gold possible, both in flake form or enclosed in specimen rock. And the ability to deal with really trashy areas where good discrimination is needed. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was when I decided to give the 15.5” x 13” DD coil a try. Honestly, I did not expect much from it. You normally do not see a coil this large for high frequency machines because the ground feedback usually overwhelms them, negating any gains that can be had regarding depth. Instead, the Gold Racer seemed to be even better behaved with the larger coil than with the smaller coils. I hunted some cobble piles with it and it ran smooth as can be at higher sensitivity levels. I then wandered into some moderately hot ground with it, still with no problems, and was actually surprised when I came up with a couple small gold nuggets with it. The first was only 0.8 grams which I thought was pretty fantastic. So I put a little more effort into it, and found a 0.3 gram nugget. With a 15.5” x 13” DD coil on a VLF? That is really kind of unheard of, and I was thoroughly impressed. I am not sure what is going on there but I do know the Makro detectors can sense what coil is on the detector. Something different going on with that big coil? I don’t know, but the results and performance surprised me. Also surprising was that for such a large coil it actually was not bad swinging it for half a day. That could be from my using large, heavy detectors all summer however. Still, it was an eye opener all around and changed how I think my Gold Racer might get used in the future. It looks to have more use for covering very large areas blue sky prospecting than I would have imagined. Makro Gold Racer with 15.5" x 13" coil I would be remiss if I did not include at least a note on the versatility possible with the Gold Racer. I recently took it to a local park. Now, my ground in Reno is screaming hot, full of magnetite. The mineral percentage graph on the Gold Racer and similar machines all come up one bar short of maxed, and ground balance numbers run around 88-90. A magnet dropped in this stuff comes up with a lump of magnetite. As a result getting accurate target id numbers with even the best coin detectors past 5” is a chore. I know that sounds crazy but it is the truth. I ran the 5” DD coil and even then had to back the sensitivity down to 69 to prevent overloads in the worst areas. One thing about the Racer detectors that I have heard people complain about, and that is that they tend to up average target numbers in bad soil. For me this is a good thing. Many detectors will see target id number average lower in bad ground, and so fringe targets are more likely to get identified as ferrous when they are in reality non-ferrous. This is obviously not a good thing for nugget detecting. The Racer and the Gold Racer both tend to up average, and so targets like lead sinkers or aluminum that you would expect to give lower numbers often give coin like responses with the Racers. It is odd to see in practice. I got a good high signal reading near 80 at about 5” that when dug up turned out to be a common round lead fishing sinker. Out of the hole the target id promptly dropped to about 45. This effect whether by design or by accident is common with European detectors. I think it is by design because first and foremost these machines are made to pull non-ferrous targets out of ferrous trash. Improperly identifying a non-ferrous item as ferrous is the worst possible result, and so up averaging helps insure that non-ferrous items will not be missed. However, it also means these types of detectors are not as efficient at cherry picking coins as common coin detectors are. You get the coins for sure, but you dig more trash doing it. Still, I experimented a few hours and if you are content to live with the limitation I just described you can actually make some good finds with the Gold Racer under almost any conditions. The ID Filter works very well, and by just running it all the way to 79 it was easy for me to cherry pick a few coins though larger aluminum items like screw caps or big pull tabs often came up in the 80s also. I do think this is a result dependent on ground conditions to some degree, but really the Gold Racer is best suited for people like me who want to recover all non-ferrous targets. I prefer to hunt jewelry rather than coins myself, as one gold ring makes up for a pile of coins. And to hunt jewelry you have to dig aluminum, no two ways about that. The Gold Racer will suit me well hunting jewelry, especially micro jewelry like ear rings and fine chains. This report is very long, and yet I really am just skimming over the features and possibilities inherent in the Makro Gold Racer. I will close by once again noting that while everything regarding the Gold Racer is pretty much set in stone at this point, last second changes are possible. Look for more soon when the factory production models hit the street. I also get frustrated when people want information on new units, but then turn right around and characterize reports trying to provide that information as hype or a sales pitch. I have tried my best here to just present what facts I can without leading anyone to think that the Gold Racer is anything other than what it is. And that, in my opinion, is a very interesting, unique, and capable metal detector. I look forward to hearing for myself in the future what people think about it and the applications and tricks they come up with, because you pretty much need to toss anything you think you know out the door when approaching this machine. Many thanks to the folks at Makro and in particular Dilek Gonulay for providing me with the opportunity to be one of the first to use the Gold Racer. I admit that VLF detectors were beginning to bore me, and the Gold Racer has reignited my interest in seeing what they can do for me. Specifications and details on the Makro Gold Racer Disclosure Statement
  11. Here's a video i did of the X Steve Sorry its so long but tried to get in the attributes in under a hour LOL. 50 gain and threshold 40 all potentiometers go zero to 50..disc point is where it just drops out AIRTEST DEPTH Nickle 14.5" Indian Head 13" Z Penny 13" Copper Penny 12.5" Clad Dime 12.25" Silver Dime 12.25" Silver Quarter 14" Half Dollar 15.25" Silver Dollar 16.5" .58 Cal. 3 Ringer 13.5 C.S.A. Rectangle 23" U.S. Oval 25" Breast Plate 23"DISC POINTS WHERE JUST GONE Nickle 34 Indian Head 38.5 Z Penny 39 Copper Penny 43 Clad Dime 44.5 Silver Dime 45 Silver Quarter 46 Half Dollar 48 Silver Dollar 50 still solid Coke Can flat 45 Square tab 34 The X has very good Disc actually a sweet disc its gone when its gone on the dial just today I set my second disc on 38.5 to low/high tone a .58 caliber three ringer and hunted in a trashy area and picked some deep 3 ringers out by checking on second disc and if the tone was flip flopping I almost KNEW it was a bullet!! You can set the 2nd disc to break up (flip flop from low to high tone) on a target which I like for exactness or silence the target or accept etc.. If you dont want to hear a low tone for disc'ed items just turn the iron volume to zero.then its a single tone with full disc on either first or second disc. You can use both disc to create a notch window if you like to your exact requirements say nickles.Set first disc right below nickle and second disc right above or on edge of breaking then you have a user defined notch to check a target with . You push trigger forward to use second disc and pull for a all metal no tone accept all mode like a pinpoint.theres 2 triggers for either right or left hand operation. Machine is on 12 Volts with Drop in battery holder like say a Infinium with quarter turn door. The Gain control is the receive gain.A amplifier for the returned signal and can be tweaked for hot ground or more benign ground The Threshold is the depth/target size control and decides how weak a signal you can hear the lower you set it the more signal it takes to break though the higher you set it up to a point of say 45 the less signal it takes to over come it.even in deep woods EMI free areas you will overdrive it into instability as a sizzling chatter..Im running it right on edge of sizzle for best depth and even smallest of targets. The I've dug no big iron with the X since running it now about 25 hours.Even in my big iron sites.I hear it but know its iron by the way the tones sound even n just nail reject.of 20.And picked brass out of the sites of all shapes and sizes. Crown caps also sound ratty. The knobs are very tight and you can set them and wont bump them out of tuning..One thing to show the exactness of the disc is I can cancel a flattened beer can and still hit a Quarter Clean Keith
  12. Update January 2019 - I started reviewing detectors on the internet over twenty years ago. At the time it seemed I was providing a service since good information was hard to find. I enjoyed reviewing machines in detail for those who were interested. The internet was more friendly back in those days. Times have changed, and these days everyone with a video camera is a metal detector expert. In particular there is a trend where industry insiders like me are considered tainted sources of information, not to be trusted. Personally, I don’t need people questioning my integrity. I was doing this for fun and that sucked all the fun out of it. I am therefore no longer accepting invitations to test or review metal detecting equipment. That said, my thanks to those of you who have expressed your appreciation for my efforts over the years. You can find my collected detector reports here. The focus on this website going forward will be individual user reviews as part of the new Metal Detector Database with User Reviews. Check it out!
  13. It would be really good if everyone can leave a review in the database of detectors they own, or have owned. It could become a very valuable resource for people. I wish it was around and full of reviews when I was first looking to buy detectors. What makes it so helpful is the reviews are done by the users, not marketing departments so the reviews are "real" We all know how creative the metal detector manufacturers are with their marketing. It doesn't matter if your review is positive or negative or both, it doesn't have to be huge, even just a star rating and a few lines of what you liked or disliked about the detector, it all ads up over time and the more people that do it the better it gets. It would also be good to eventually get a coils database going and do the same thing for coils.. So off you all go https://www.detectorprospector.com/metal-detector-database/ Start reviewing ?
  14. Which metal detectors have the most reliable target ID numbers? Target ID is a function of depth - the deeper the target, the more difficult it is to get a clean target ID as the ground signal interferes. Other items directly adjacent to the desired target can also cause inaccurate numbers. The more conductive the item, the higher the resulting ID number, but also the larger the item the higher the number. Silver is more conductive than gold, so a gold item will give a lower number than the same size silver item. But a very large gold item can give a higher number than a small silver item, so numbers do not identify types of metal. Gold and aluminum read the same and vary in size so to dig one you dig the other. Only mass produced items like coins produce numbers that are more or less the same over the years but a zinc penny will read lower than a copper penny due to the change in composition. In general iron or ferrous targets produce negative numbers or low numbers. Aluminum, gold, and US nickels produce mid-range numbers. And most other US coins produce high numbers. Other countries coins, like Canadian coins with ferrous content, can read all over the place. The scale applied varies according to manufacturer so the number produced by each detector will vary according to the scale used. The 0-100 range for non-ferrous targets is most common but there are others. Minelab employs a dual number system on a 2D scale with thousands of possible numbers, but they are now normalizing the results produced to conform more closely to the linear scale used by other manufacturers. Increasing ground mineralization has a huge effect on the ability to get a good target ID. Ground mineralization is nearly always from iron mineralization, and this tends to make weak targets, whether very small targets or very deep targets, misidentify. The target numbers get dragged lower, and many non-ferrous targets will eventually be identified as iron if buried deep enough. Small non-ferrous readings and iron readings actually overlap. That is why any discrimination at all is particularly risky for gold nugget hunters. If you want target ID numbers to settle down, lower sensitivity and practice consistent coil control. The target number will often vary depending on how well the target is centered and how fast the coil moves. Higher sensitivity settings lead to jumpier numbers as the detectors become less stable at higher levels. The interference from the ground signal increases and interference from outside electrical sources also increases, leading to less stable numbers. Higher frequency detectors are inherently more sensitive and are jumpier. So lean lower frequency for more solid results. Multi frequency detectors act like low frequency detectors and tend to have more solid target numbers due to the ability to analyze a target with different frequencies. Another issue is the number of target categories, or ID segments, or VDIs, or notches, or bins (all names for the same thing) that a detector offers. For instance here are the number of possible target id categories or segments each detector below offers: Fisher CZ-3D = 7 Garrett Ace 250 = 12 Minelab X-Terra 305 = 12 Minelab X-Terra 505 = 19 Minelab X-Terra 705 = 28 Minelab Equinox = 50 Fisher F75 (and many other models) = 99 White's MXT (and many other models) = 190 Minelab CTX 3030 = 1750 Fewer target categories means more possible items get lumped together under a single reading, but that the reading is more stable. Many detectors will tell you the difference between a dime and a quarter. The Fisher CZ assumes you want to dig both so puts them under one segment along with most other coins. People who use detectors with many target numbers usually just watch the numbers jump around and mentally average the results. Some high end detectors can actually do this averaging for you! But I think there is something to be said for owning a detector that simplifies things and offers less possible numbers to start with. The old Fisher CZ method still appeals to me, especially for coin detecting. So do detectors like the Garrett Ace 250 or Minelab X-Terra 505 for the same reason. The problem is that as people strive to dig deeper targets or smaller targets the numbers will always get less reliable. But if you want to have a quiet performing metal detecting with solid, reliable target numbers look more for coin type detectors running at lower frequencies under 10 kHz or at multiple frequencies and possibly consider getting a detector with fewer possible target segments. And with any detector no matter what just back that sensitivity setting off and you will get more reliable target numbers. ads by Amazon... Detectors often use tones to identify targets and often use far fewer tones than indicated by the possible visual target id numbers. The X-Terra 705 for instance can use 28 tones, one for each segment. However, most people find this too busy, and so simple tone schemes of two, three, or four tones may be selected. I think it is instructive that many people often end up ignoring screen readings and hunting by ear, using just a few tones. This ends up just being an ultra basic target id system much like the simpler units offer. Reality is that most people do not need or care about huge numbers of target numbers. For many just three ranges suffice, low tone for iron, mid tone for most gold items, and high tone for most US coins. The meter could do the same thing, but for marketing purposes more is better and so we get sold on detectors with hundreds of possible target ID numbers. Perhaps this is a digital representation of an old analog meter with its nearly infinite range of response but the reality is we do not need that level of differentiation to make a simple dig or no dig decision. Finally, a picture often says it all. Below we have a shot of the White's M6 meter. I like it because the decal below illustrates a lot. You see the possible numerical range of -95 to 95 laid out in the middle. Over it is the simplified iron/gold/silver range. Note the slants where they overlap to indicate the readings really do overlap. Then you get the probable target icons. -95 is noted as "hot rock" because many do read there. The M6 can generate 7 tones depending on the target category. I have added red lines to the image to show where these tones sit in relation to the scale. It breaks down as follows: -95 = 57 Hz (Very Low) Hot Rock -94 to -6 = 128 Hz (Low) Iron Junk -5 to 7 = 145 Hz (Med Low) Gold Earrings, Chains - Foil 8 to 26 = 182 Hz (Medium) Women's Gold Rings/Nickel - Small Pull Tabs 27 to 49 = 259 Hz (Med Hi) Men's Gold Rings - Large Pull Tabs 50 to 70 = 411 Hz (High) Zinc Penny/Indian Head Penny - Screw Caps 71 to 95 = 900 Hz (Very High) Copper Penny/Dime/Quarter/Dollar Note that the screen reading of +14 is noted as being a nickel or ring but it can also be the "beaver tail" part of an aluminum pull tab or the aluminum ring that holds an eraser on a pencil, among other things. The best book ever written on the subject of discrimination is "Taking A Closer Look At Metal Detector Discrimination" by Robert C. Brockett. It is out of print but if you find a copy grab it, assuming the topic interests you. Always remember - when in doubt, dig it out! Your eyes are the best target ID method available.
  15. Hi Everyone. I am new to this forum but have been gold prospecting and metal detecting for many years. I have used machines from just about every major maker of metal detectors with except XP. I recent bought a Equinox 600 and have been testing it out. I have been making a lot of test comparisons with my fishers etc. And I realized today that the 600 does not have a true all metal mode like my fishers. Closest setting is Park 2' with iron detect turned on, but thats it. The 600 is not as sensitive as my F70 on small gold either when using the 15 hz setting. It says in the manual that single freqencies (machines) may have an advantage over multi freqs in certain situations. That fact really Shocked me. What's the point of using a multi freq machine if it is not superior in all situations? I tested the 600 against my Fisher F44 and F70 using the standard 11 in Dd coils on the fishers and the standard 11 in dd on the equinox 600. The fishers out performed the 600 in just about every test. The one exception was on wet sand saltwater beaches, The 600 was slightly better there using beach 2, but that's it! The F44 with sensitivity turned down was almost as good. The F44 is lighter by a half pound, which matters a lot in all day hunts And finally it may be my familiarity with Fisher products but the fishers handle much better then the minelab 600 (coil wabble) That said, The minelab is not a bad machine but I'll take the fishers over it any day.
  16. Head to head shootout of the 9 inch coils...Steve if this causes to much drama I understand.
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