Which new gold detector to buy ?

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Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  willtalkforfood on Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:38 pm

Hi everyone. Very Happy
Yes , I’m a Newby and no, I have no idea about fossicking for gold. Now I could go on and on but I try to keep my questions short. At this stage I didn’t purchase any equipment and looking for a good gold detector. The word seems to be the Minelab GPX 5000 but it didn’t take me long to discover there is a rather hefty price-tag on this detector. I compared it online with other brands which are less than half the price and made overseas. Maybe I should settle for one of them, but then, I am very much divided in what to buy. I emailed my local Minelab retailer in Parramatta asking for a reduced price for the Ultimate Package and received less than a line answer back telling me to forget it Shocked . Now here is my question, - should I settle for a cheaper detector or dig deep for to buy the GPX 5000? Is the GPX 5000 really worth the money?
Bye for now: George
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  piston broke on Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:58 pm

Hi George, the GPX5000 is the best. Whether it's worth the price is up to you.
I suppose it depends on how keen you are on this hobby etc. Very Happy cheers Pete.
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  deutran on Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:40 pm

Hi George
Value for money is a used 4500 with an 11"mono or 14x9 mono elliptical included.You will save a quite a few dollars and not be disadvantaged.
Steve
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  willtalkforfood on Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:35 pm

Hello Steve and Pete, thank you both for your advise . Yes .. it looks like Minelab 4500 or 5000 are the ones to go for. I have to agree, saving some dollars on an inferior product would be false economy on my part. Guess I will take the trip over to Parramatta this Saturday to see the Minelab guys over there. Again thank you : George Very Happy
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Dig24crt on Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:33 am

Hi George
I noticed you asked about new But are looking at secondhand.
Here are my recomendations
Minelab PI machines.
The GPX5000 is fractionally better than the GPX 4500.In general its quieter than the Gpx4500,but in saying that they are both top rate machines.The Gpx 4000 is the next previous model.This machine is quiter than the GPX4500 and was Minelabs first attempt at changing the timing.Ive always felt that the GPX4000's timing is too closed and this was corrected in the GPX4500.(My opinion only)

Next comes the Gp series.The Gp3500 is the best out of these,The GP3000 and GPextreme follows closely behind.All are good no nonsense machines with press button groundbalancing being the bonus on the Gp3500.

The SD series The SD2200d is the best out of this series.

The qualities of these machines.
The GPX series can more quietly run Mono coils which are in general more sensitive and powerfull.They will find Sub gram pieces of gold (which is the most plentifull)at greater depths (with each newer model)Coil up to a larger diameter coil and and they are good on the mid levels,1/2 a metre.Im not convinced on there ability on deep gold .The 1 metre mark.This has stopped coming regularly around the time the sd series stopped being the main machine used.
The Gp series These machine will find sub grammers but not a the same depth as the GPX series.They are ideal to run DD coils on when the ground is very noisey (mineralised) and Monos work OK on them on quiter ground (not as well as a Mono coil on a GPX machine).These machines are not as good as the GPX series but are no slouches.

The SD series The SD2200d is the pick of these (easier to groundbalance) followed by the SD2100 and SD2000.This series is basicly responsible for most of the big gold found at depth in Australia.Masters of the deep good at mid levels but not as good as the GPX and Gp series in the first 1/3 of a metre.You have to know you dirt to run these.Big gold at depth I'll buy one.Be carefull you could detect all your life and never come close to walking over it.

As you will see my recommendations follow exactly the release of each machine and prices range from $1000 to the current model.All these machines where the best in the world and even now there is no machine on the market that is better overall than any of them.Big statement but true.
Its best to buy a machine that fits your budget.Each one of these machines has strengths.
With good knowledge of running these machines properly and the learning curve of how to read the ground gold will come.

As for VLF machines I have heard that the Fisher Goldbug with a small coil is great for pinging subgrammers but have no practical experience of this perhaps someone could give a rundown on VLF machines
Cheers Dig


Last edited by Dig24crt on Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:35 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Hanc on Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:10 pm

G'day George,

Mate I'm in the exact same position as yourself. No next to nothing about it but very keen to learn.
I've decided to save up and go for a GPX4500. Mainly because i figured it's no point buying cheaper gear that is less likely to find the good stuff. If you're not finding it then your probably more likely to get frustrated and give it away as opposed to spending a bit more and significantly increasing your chances of finding some decent stuff. Just my opinion.
Good Luck

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Minelab runs lovely

Post  goldmatt on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:07 pm

First time prospecting and I think the Minelab runs awesome. Check my other post

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Twapster on Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:07 am

Ive read a lot in these forums and there is a definite bias towards using the best equipment, which can sometimes deter newcomers...esp in the detector department. Younger newcomers don't have 7k+ to spend on the best detector. They prob don't even have 4k available to buy second hand. Id like to say that i've been using the Minelab Exterra 70, and for a beginner its pretty good at finding all sorts of metal at reasonable depths....and price wise I think it was about $1700 new and prob well under that second hand.

If i'm finding tiny pieces of bush junk not much bigger than a match head well down in the ground....ie a good 6 inch dig, then either I have a really good ear for sound changes in the detector, or its a reasonable detector. I think new detectorists can be rest assured that gold can be found quite reasonably with cheaper detectors and possibly these machines are a better suggested "starter" to get going without the hefty price tag.

If you are still having fun you will naturally progress to biting the bullet and buying the best down the track. I'm very happy with my current detector and while i'm not expecting to find gold as deep as the best detectors....I don't think i've seen too many dig videos that my detector would have missed.

So i'm putting it out there that if you are a little hesitant as a beginner to buy the best and not sure if the hobby will last, do some research on the cheaper detectors and you will have a lot more affordable options. For about 2k you can have a panning kit, maps, sluice/ highbanker and detector ready to go on the hunt.

Peter

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  davsgold on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:49 am

Twapster wrote:I'm very happy with my current detector and while i'm not expecting to find gold as deep as the best detectors....I don't think i've seen too many dig videos that my detector would have missed. Peter

Not being picky, but I've not seen many dig videos of Minelab Exterra 70 or 705 in Australian gold fields finding gold. They are a very good coin/relic finding detector but don't quite cut it in the gold finds. Laughing 

cheers dave

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Twapster on Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:34 am

Yes Dave my point exactly - gold field videos are often made by experienced gold finders hence the best equipment. However i've watched my fair share of these and more specifically "depth of dig". The majority of regular finds i've watched appear to be within the capability of my detector - if I have to spend 10 minutes digging because my Xterra 70 is signalling on a tiny 3mm piece of nail a good 6 inches under pretty hard soil - it gives me faith that a nugget of that size will give me a similar audible signal.

As a newbie myself, I researched a lot and seen a lot on the best detectors, and had I not used a cheaper detector before, might have been put off by the price tag as "out my my reach" for finding gold and it would have stopped there. I'm trying to let other newcomers out there understand that there are cheaper detectors that are clearly finding very small targets at a reasonable depth.

Like I said it may be an "ear thing", in that I dig the "fainter signals" and have been surprised of the size of some targets I have found with my detector, possibly some people may not have that urge to dig small signals like I do, but the detector is telling me that something is down there!

We all want the best equipment, my point is it can be an expensive exercise to buy the best and may deter some newcomers. I'm stating here that a mid range detector isn't such a bad starter and should be considered when starting out. Sure I might miss sub grammers way down that the GPX will signal on, but for the most part should work in detecting small gold pieces at reasonable depth. That's the message Id like to share with newcomers- it would be good to hear if there are other detectorists using similar to what i've used and an opinion on this.

Peter

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Guest on Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:44 am

Why are sub grammars being found with 5000 's ? Why didn't the previous best detectors find them all? Is it because " oils anoint oils" are some detectors only tuned ( factory) to detect at certain depths within a certain frequency range ? I believe the 5000 can be tuned with timing settings ? Maybe this is why it seems to be getting all the. Little ones the others can't see ! So it's not beyond the realms of possibility that a small piece at say 25 mm and is seen with a 5000 but not with a coin/ relic machine because I do hear some say that they couldn't see this piece with a 3000 ?

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  davsgold on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:35 am

Ark is right " oils anoint oils" just like all detectors ain't created equal, Very Happy  not even all VLF's are equal, for instance if you compare a Whites GMT to a Minelab xTerra 705 you will find that the Whites will pick up much smaller pieces of gold than the 705 can, I will even go so far as say the Whites GMT will find gold that the Minelab GPX's 4500 & 5000 won't signal on.

Now Twapster try a little experiment if you will, bury a lead "BB" shot at aprox 6" (150mm) and a small piece of steel the same size (steel ball bearing) at the same depth and tell me which one you hear the best. Very Happy

All I am saying is the 4500 & the 5000 will find a lot more gold a lot easier of all sizes and depths in the mineralized gold fields of Australia than the VLF's of any brand or model, but in certain situations a VLF will out do the GPX's Very Happy  

cheers dave

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Twapster on Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:48 pm

Very interesting! I'm going to do a few experiments with the detector and let you know. I think I will also have to buy a small nugget and see how it signals. I'm definitely keen on knowing what I could be missing. Only problem is the ground where I live is not the same soil, so may have to take it to the field on my next adventure. Will keep you posted as i'm sure others new to the game like I am would be interested in the results. If I cant hear a half gram nugget at 6 inches I will lay down to the GPX gods and hail to them for salvation! Very Happy 

Peter

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  davsgold on Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:57 pm

G'day Twapster

I'm glad your going to do some experiments. You will find that lead and gold will sound the same, it may give different numbers on the digital readouts on the screens on the VLF detectors to a gold nugget. No the GPX detectors you are only going on sound and no visual display, so gold and lead will sound the same on them.

I will venture to say that if you can't hear a half gram piece of lead at 6" then you won't be hearing a half gram nugget at 6" either. Very Happy 

Good luck out there ay.

cheers dave
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  nortonterry on Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:16 pm

Hi my suggestion would be purchase a GPX4000 about a $1000 cheaper than the 4500 and I have to say the 4000 I have been using for the past 18 months has found gold of all sizes 10 g down to 0.2 of a gram. So i am not really quite sure of the advantage of the 4500 and 5000 , its not like they detect any deeper than the 4000 and as i mentioned I have found plenty of sub grammers at a depth of about 3 inches ( and less ).
I was recently considering upgrading but really cant  see the advantage

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Twapster on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:58 pm

Ok my first experiment with the Xterra 70 has left me a little questionable. Using a 6 inch DD coil 18.75khz, and an exactly half gram nugget and im getting an audible signal without headphones to about 4 inches....I haven't done it all properly yet but I dare say i'm going to have to try with a 1gram nugget as well, and try with headphones to see if there is much of a difference. I understand how people say the Xterra 70 is a fantastic relic unit...put a bullet or small piece of iron and the thing squeals like a pig a good 12inches plus from the target. The gold is much smaller of course and much more of a subtle sound. Once I get a bit of time away from work ill be able to set up some more controlled experiments and I dare say will try and video so others can learn from it.

I'm off to the goldfields near Hill End next week for a couple of days, and apart from trying out my new prospectors choice highbanker (while I construct the Walbanker care of Wal n Liz designs), ill be hunting with the 6 inch DD coil in between happy hours at the Hill End pub! The wifes more interested in their "Wheres the Gold" pokie but she puts up with my searching!

I was happy with the Highbanker....put my already panned dirt back through the banker and found 3 more specs I obviously missed while panning. Means the banker works. looking forward to sharing my next adventure and hopefully more gold stories and no snake encounters!

Peter

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Hanc on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:55 pm

Cheers Nortonterry and Peter,
As a real newbie to this exciting hobby, it's so helpful and encouraging to see that you still can have a go at prospecting without the need to have the latest and supposedly greatest gear, in order to find some of the yellow stuff. I've been trying to do as much research as I can before heading out to buy a detector and the associated gear and to be honest, it can become quite overwhelming. Obviously we all want to try and get value for money and I am a personal believer of the saying "you buy cheap you get cheap". In saying that, $4500 for a GPX 4500 versus $3500 for a GPX4000... I honestly just don't know? Most people say buy the best detector you can afford, which makes sense. I had been pretty much sold on getting a GPX4500 but now am now thinking, well if I can save $1000 or so, that could go towards a different type of coil or a GPS etc etc.
All that said and done, I would like to ask you one question (and anyone else who cares to voice their opinion).
As a newbie to prospecting, what set up, including coils and whatever else you need, would you purchase if you had a budget of $4500? (Could you include brand names if possible that you would recommend).
Cheers and beers
Hanc

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Twapster on Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:54 pm

Hi Hanc, ill have to sit out on the detector side because im no expert. I think we all want the best but like fishing, all the best gear sometimes doesn't catch fish, and sometimes you can throw a rusty hook out with no bait and jag something! If you are dead keen on a GPX models I don't blame you- might be worth hiring one a few times first.

Might even be worth hiring a guide.....I once learned about 5 years worth of fishing experience in one trip by hiring an expert to take me out for the day, so prospecting may be no different.

Having said that when I first started prospecting it was all about detectors for me, but purchasing a small high banker and a panning kit game me just as much thrill as the areas I like are always near small rivers etc so gives you something else to do when the legs are a bit weary from walking in the bush. I think the gold bug is just as much about enjoying the outdoors and Ive certainly started acquiring more camping/4wd stuff! Installing a twin battery for the old Maverick tomorrow! The highbanker and panning kit etc about $600 all up.

I'm sure there are plenty of blokes very happy with cheaper detectors specifically set up with gold coils- but on the many days you find nothing you may start thinking its the detector and start getting GPX envy. These forums certainly make that clearer. My original comments for this topic were meant to question a little the need for "the best", and maybe there is no substitute. I certainly cant afford the best at the moment so i'm happy with what ive got. The equipment I have would set you back about 2k all up- detector, gold coil, highbanker, panning kit and digging tools, gloves etc. Certainly a lot of stuff to keep you busy and keep a smile on your face as you live the dream.

Is there anything better than feeling alive and breathing the crisp fresh bush air and not have a worry in the world for those few hours you immerse yourself in nature as a "prospector".  Ill drink to that my friend!

Peter

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Hanc on Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:34 pm

G'day Peter,

You're absolutely 100% on the money champ! It's not all about the gold. I agree it's just as important to get outdoors, away from the public and relaxing doing stuff you enjoy...camping, exploring, prospecting and ending the day with a few coldies and a camp fire! Cheers mate.

Hanc

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:04 pm

You mentioned purchasing from overseas, Forget china for a start, Also watch for the counterfiet 5000's.
My advice is to purchase from australia and if not from a detector store, check where the unit was purchased.
Best of luck
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Twapster on Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:22 pm

Might be a silly question and don't want to get shot down but do the counterfeits work?

Peter

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  Kon61gold on Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:58 pm

Yes they do work but not at detecting. There is no quality, they are poorly made and there is no back up if something is wrong with them. You pay for what you get!
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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  slimpickens on Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:58 pm

Jefgold wrote:Yes they do work but not at detecting.  There is no quality, they are poorly made and there is no back up if something is wrong with them.  You pay for what you get!

Ok Jeff, I'll bite, what do they work as? Twisted Evil 

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Re: Which new gold detector to buy ?

Post  kon61 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:00 pm

Yep,I agree with Jeff on that one.They might look the same on the outside,but the counterfeits are very poorly made internally,lacking the in-built technology to drive them,for their intended use.Q07 

Cheers Kon.What a Face  
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