GPX4500 - is it worth it?

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GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  Newhunter on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:13 pm

Hi all l was about to buy a GPX 4500 but l have talked to 2 people who have them. One has sold his and went back to the 4000 which he said it is a lot quieter than the 4500 the other one is not happy with his they both say they are to noisy.
Is there any one on this forum that have the 4500 who think this is right or not.
The truth is a hard thing to say???????????

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  Tributer on Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:28 pm

Hi Newhunter, I own a 4500 and are very happy with it. There was a recall on the first couple thousand to replace a component and that was that.

It is a sensitive machine capable of detecting very small and very deep targets. In normal it can take a little time to get used to the settings and what they can do and how they work well in different combinations. (it may take a little setting adjustment here and there to get the machine smooth and quiet) In enhance i find the machine very quiet yet it gives good depth and sensitivity.

I am using bigger coils then i was able to use on other models in noisy ground and are getting good depthand the machine is quiet. (i except that the new model coils may have a lot to do with this)

A few friends with 4500's who detect with me reguarly are happy with there machine and rate them better then the 4000. One friend has had problems getting the machine quiet in different circumstances but i have not heard much bad about the machine since the recall.

It is a machine that demands you to be a real student to master it. You do need to read the manual a few times between the first outings, try different settings and maybe watch JP's latest DVD to gain a few tips. http://www.aurumaustralis.com/

If you scour the gold forums there are some good setting combinations being posted for different conditions and gold depths. Many of these settings are worth trying and even programming on the machine. You can easilly switch to them as you encouter a target to test different settings and the signal response.

I would suggest the 4500 is the best machine available if you have the money and plan to spend more then the odd weekend detecting. It depends how much time and money you want to put into detecting.

The 4000 is a great machine also, truth is if you know how to use the machine, detect hard and do your research on locations this is 90% of the trick to finding gold with either a 4000 or 4500. (Earlier models are capable but cannot overcome noisy ground that well)

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4500 Noisy?

Post  jmp333 on Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:18 pm

I have used a 4000 and now own a 4500, 4000 is a great machine but using the 4500 I have picked up small bits on mullock heaps that have been done over by the 4000. The salesman told me when I bought the 4500 that it has lots of different settings but was no trouble if you were able to use a computer. If you cannot use a computer well then a 4000 may be the better machine. I also got JP's DVD. The 4500 was noisy until I worked out the fine tuning of the adjustments such as lowering the stabiliser and gain mainly from reading on forums and reading the manual plus the booklet Minelab give you on the training day. I am now a supporter of the 4500. As they say if you walk over good gold either machine will pick it up. John

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  nero_design on Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:59 pm

The new GPX-4500 is the quietest detector I have personally used. I have no problem balancing it on the toughest soils. it's also hard for people to be openly critical of equipment they prefer to use because it reflects on their own abilities and skills.

The new "Enhance" timings make it a pleasure to use with very strong noise reduction in areas that I have had problems with in the past.

This is one of the first detectors to allow the comfortable use of deeper seeking Mono Coils in very highly mineralized ground. Previously, such activity was wrought with noise and instability. It may be that your friends were using Mono-Loop coils in hot soils and were not taking advantage of the new timings. I recently ran some tests on an area with very strong mineralization and high trash with a Mono-Loop and was pleasantly surprised at just how well this detector ran.
Also, as mentioned already, there was an initial problem with a faulty (logic board?) component when this new GPX was released and this affected a small number of detectors... but it received wide publicity when it happened. Minelab recalled the affected units and resolved the issue immediately. I suppose it's possible your friends may have encountered one. The GPX-4000 was a very good detector although it lacks the SETA timing alignment which is one of the premier aspects of the new 4500's features. There's also some minor changes to the detector including the removal of the topside tangs on the rear of the control box. They were present on the 4000 and prohibited the user from extending the box as far back as the user might want (to counter balance a larger coil better). The 4500 does away with those tangs so you can shift the box back farther. Not sure if the 4000 used a metal lower shaft ( I think it did) but the 4500 uses what appears to be a composite material with a fiberglass structure so there's no excess metal in the shaft to influence the EMF.

I was surprised when the GPX-4500 was announced because I thought the 4000 was a fairly well rounded detector. But the new changes make a big difference in comfort and performance. More than a few times have people told me that their friends have 4000's and could NOT detect a target that they found with their GPX-4500 prior to digging it. That alone tells me that the new model has a considerable advantage over the old.

Something else worth mentioning is that there were reports that faulty third-party coils were out at the same time as the GPX-4000/4500 detectors were out. It appears that this was false and that the problem is not about coil faults but possibly compatibility issues with the new Timings when coupled with certain coils. Adding an under-performing coil to any detector would result in dissatisfaction by the owner. But perhaps the issue is revealed in the following information: I note that online, there was a reproduced recent (Oct 08) email from a senior representative at Minelab (Dick Shultz) to a GPX owner which read as follows:

"As for aftermarket coils, the high current drain coils from
Nuggetfinder and Coiltek Pro coils have been known to give less than
favourable results on the GPX series, particularly in the new Timing
options. However, they should work fine on the GP 3000."


Trevor Ferraresso from Coiltek Manufacturing responded and was kind enough to reproduce an exchange (with permission) with Nenad Lonic who noted: "With the range of Nuggetfinder and Coiltek coils now available, Minelab cannot guarantee the performance of all coils in all the different Timing options available on a GPX-4000, and in particular a GPX-4500."

Since most serious nugget hunters here have a propensity to use a variety of third-party/after-market coils, it may be that they had a problem with their new detector as a direct result of using a specific coil with their unit. Again, the GPX-4500 is in a league of it's own at the moment. Any complaints by friends stating that their older detector was preferred might have had a performance issue with their after market coils. Might not be the case but it seems to be a possibility. The MOST LIKELY source of your friend's disappointment is not necessarily their choice of detector or the brand of coil the used... but that they did not operate their new detector in a manner that offered them any significant improvement over their previous detector.
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??????

Post  Newhunter on Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:45 am

So do you believe that Nuggetfinder coils and Coiltek coils are no good if so which ones. Because if l buy a GPX4500 l dont want to buy a coil that makes it hard to operate. I have got The latest Nuggetfinder 16"dd will that make it noisy and hard to tune. Also what 16" Monno is the best suited to the 4500. It all sounds abit iffy to me. Question
Thanks:

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  Jonathan Porter on Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:37 pm

I think you will find that most manufacturers will have some sort of disclaimer about after market accessories being used with their products, this is to cover them in two ways, the first and most obvious one is so that they the company can sell more of their own after market products but it also covers the company if an aftermarket accessory company produces a product that damages their offerings. Minelab have no control over how Nugget Finder or Coiltek Manufacturing make their coils so to that end it makes sense they make some sort of statement to that effect by warning their customers of the potential problems/risks. Having said that neither Nugget Finder or Coiltek are going to go and make a coil that is not thoroughly tested first before being offered to the public, so to that end I feel the vast majority of users of aftermarket coils have nothing to worry about.

Both Nugget Finder and Coiltek DDs draw slightly more current than a Minelab DD when a Minelab machine is first turned on which could cause the odd failure, but in my experience this is extremely rare to the point where I have never spoken to anyone who has ever had this happen to them, but it is still a potential problem area and maybe needs to be addressed by the aftermarket manufacturers.

I have been using both Coiltek and Nugget Finder products for years now and have never had a problem with them causing damage to the detector.

I should point out my comments above are my own thoughts and opinions and do not in any way represent Minelab/Codan, for clarification on the matter I suggest you speak direct with Minelab on 1800 637 786

Regards

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  Newhunter on Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:37 pm

Thank you for your input about coils etc. l am not sure if l should buy the 4000 or the 4500. l dont want a detector that might be noisy. like the one this person had. He sent it back to Minelab several times and ended up selling it.

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  Jigalong on Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:28 pm

I had a 4000 and upgraded to a 4500 - am very happy with it ( as I was with the 4000 ). In retrospect, I don't think the changover was worth the money , but I felt I had to have the latest and the greatest.

I do not find it noisy at all.

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  nero_design on Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:33 pm

Newhunter: Not at all. I believe that EARLY models needed improvement but current coils from either/any manufacturer are VERY good and serve MANY professional detectorists around the world. You just need to use the right coil for the type of ground and detecting that you do. Too many users don't pay attention to what they are doing and how they operate their equipment. I'd happily use any of the current batch of Coiltek & Nugget Finder coils myself and recommend them to others regularly. The majority of people who upgraded from the 4000 to the 4500 were getting an enhanced detector that was very similar to their 4000. Perhaps this caused a degree of "buyer's remorse" which is likely if they expected an entirely new detector and then found it to be a tweaked version of their previous model. Changes to the batteries, the harness and the structure of the control box were slight and yet both necessary and welcome. New timings may not have made it worth their trouble although I believe they are/were.

I don't think Jonathan Porter would be using them himself if he didn't find them to be very useful and fully compatible with his own GPX detectors. If there was a concern worth noting, I'm sure it would be well known by now as the 4500 has been out for quite a few months now.

As for avoiding "noisy" detectors, I found the 4500 to be quieter on soils that caused the 4000 to respond in a noisy fashion, especially with mono-coils on hot ground. Operator Ineptitude would have to be the number one reason for performance issues or claims of a defective item. If it was returned from Minelab and the user was told that it was fine, then this would imply that the performance issue was the result of the operator. I could understand people holding off when the 4500 was initially released but the only bug visible was ironed out long ago. Since the 4500 is believed to be quieter and more capable than the 4000 and the 4000 has now been discontinued in favor of the new model, the choice is clear in my mind. Note also that a number of GP3500 users chose not to upgrade to the 4000 for much the same reasons (they felt that it wasn't as capable as their old 3500). I find that hard to believe and suspect that whilst the 3500 was a benchmark detector, it is outperformed by the GPX series detectors.

The best detector is the best one you can afford to buy. I suspect the same goes for coils.
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re 4500 is it noisy

Post  delapan on Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:53 pm

hi newhunter, i am the proud owner of a 4500, ive had it about a fortnight, i have just got back from the triangle this afternoon after a week and abit away, i am more than happy with the 4500, it took a bit of adjustment of the settings but 2 days ago we were on pure ironstone and not a peep out of it, an absolute pleaseure to use i am using aNF 18 inch mono, what a great coil, although expensive for the outfit i am more than pleased with it sensitivity and quiteness on mono coils, personally i would recomment the machine, once again like JP is not an endorsment of any kind i am just weekend prospector that enjoys gettin out when i can, but this machine is so different to any other i have used, i still have a way to go to begin to master it but now am beginning to recognise what it is telling me, regards, gary
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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  CJ on Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:24 pm

How about EMI noise interference 4000/4500 can be real bad some folks have to pack up and go home.
cj

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  nero_design on Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:00 pm

RF is sometimes a problem... my own 4500 kinda "burped" when lightning flashed in the sky about 40 kilometers away.

I've only used mine away from mains lines. I used it near an electric fence recently without incident. The problem with electronic prospecting is that the user has to accept and conform to the conditions around himself. I've been told by someone (who's opinion I would trust) that the GPX-4500 can even sense the chatter from airline broadcasts under certain conditions. This might make it sound overly sensitive... but most of the interferrence seems to occur when the coil is off the ground. It's absolutely pointless to try and switch the 4500/4000 units on indoors for testing and setup because the Electromagnetic Field Emissions from all the electrical wiring inside and all the metal reinforcement in the floor and walls causes massive sensory overload. I've had people tell me they wanted to try their detectors out before buying them and couldn't seem to comprehend why the sales persons told them flat-out that this request was impossible due to the transformers and wirings in the building. It's people like that who probably won't do too well in the field. They mean well but don't accept that these detectors can be so sensitive to invisible interference.

I have to admit that it's kind of strange to buy an expensive item like this and yet not be able to even turn it on to check that it's working before leaving the store.
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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  Jonathan Porter on Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:09 am

All Minelab PIs are prone to interference if interference is about because they have an incredibly sensitive receiver, this is even more evident when using the Enhance or Smooth timings because the vast majority of ground signal has been removed which then highlights every little murmur in the threshold. With the previous GP series we as operators had to just grin and bear it or in the case of DD coil users revert to Cancel mode, these days the vast majority of GPX operators are using Mono coils which leaves them with less options on how to deal with EMI.

The other problem we have is the very unstable weather patterns the last two summers have been throwing at us, here in QLD it is almost a permanent thing having a thunderstorm build up every afternoon, now add that scenario to a electronic device that can detect a lightning strike 2000 odd kilometres away and you can soon see the potential for the odd day where you have to pack up and head home for a cool ale or two. lol!

A picture is worth a thousand words. This nugget was found with my 4500 yesterday in some poor souls open dig hole cheers (so really they are not so poor but pigs instead scratch )


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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:49 am

Gday

I have had my 4500 on the ground just the once, but from the moment I turned it on I could tell that it was a step in the right direction, very quiet and very smooth, some emi interference in the later parts of the day when it was getting hot and the wind was up, but some re tuning and tweaking quieted it down enough for continued use.

I purposely targeted areas that I had flogged and found many small pieces, some that dont register on my scales, one 1.3 grammer was found at about 10 inches, with a positive signal at the surface and when I got it out i thought it should have been a bit bigger as the signal was so good.

Like Jp I found some pieces in old dig holes and also got 20 grams but not all in one piece, and I think that the 4500 is a significant improvement over previous models, but also believe that if there are many ways to make it run really well then there are equally many other ways that it can be made to run really badly too.

I suspect that it will take several trips to get the best out of this machine and that those who perservere with it will do very well, I think that users will need also to have close look at the coils they are using as I feel that there may be some benefits to trying different ones out too.

cheers

Merry Xmas to all

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THank You

Post  Newhunter on Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:32 pm

Thanks for all the info on the GPX4500 still not sure i want to get rid of my 3500 yet the 4500 might be a bit to much for me to handle but l do like to play around.
Thank you all and happy hunting.
Gary

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Re: GPX4500 - is it worth it?

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