Hello and thank you for letting me be a part of your community. I have never done any metal detecting, I have read many many threads on types of detectors, what to look for and many tips. However I would like to explain my area and absorb all the info you folks are willing to provide. I have an area in the desert, there are old mines in the area so I know gold has been found here in the past, I just don't know what type. The hillsides have LOTS of quartz, I have not seen any with visible gold veins on them though. The dirt from a 3rd up the mountain down past the base is very red and the run offs have black sand on top of the fine dirt from beginning to end. This area has been sealed off from the public for more than 70 years and no mining in probably a hundred. I have narrowed my choices in detectors down to Fisher gold bug DP or gold bug pro, Whites GMT, or Minelab eureka gold or 705. I know I have to spend alot of time learning whichever detector I get, I would like the learning curve to be easiest as possible. Based on the info above which of these would be a better choice? I COULD afford a GPX 5000, will it find more gold to make up the price? Will it handle the conditions I stated above much better than the VLF's I listed? Would you start in the Big Arroyo's? The run offs with the black sand? The tailing piles from the old mines? Sorry for all the questions, all feedback is greatly appreciated. This site just seems so promising I don't know where to start. I am prepared to be disappointed for a while with my lack of knowledge but overall I think this will be a great place for lots of exercise and fresh air! Thanks again for you help.