Rod

GPZ - First Impressions

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Posted (edited)

Recently I purchased a GPZ 7000 from Rob. While I’ve been finding gold with detectors for a long time, I am still very much a novice with the GPZ. Prior to the purchase I only had a few hours on a friend’s GPZ, but still managed to find a nugget with it. My expertise is not in the understanding of the technology of metal detectors, how the circuits are designed, etc. My strength is in the the use of the detector in the field. Detectors are a tool, just like a pan, sluice, dredge, dry washer, etc. I love to find gold and part of that enjoyment is the learning experience of new equipment.
 
As far as realistic expectations and outcomes, my mindset is that when you buy a new detector, it’s not every piece of gold that you find with the new detector that should be credited to the new detector. You might ask “Who’s keeping score?” Well, I do. It’s part of self challenge. That mindset is certainly true if you travel and explore frequently. If I had to estimate, with each Minelab upgrade that I’ve done over the years, and speaking only for myself, each new unit found maybe 30 percent more gold than the other units (did) or would have missed. That’s not hard science, just personal belief based on observation and finds logging. I would say that 60-70 percent of all the nuggets I’ve found over the years could have been found with almost any capable detector in the right hands, using the right method of approach. The right method of approach means a lot, more than many people realize. Approach is another topic in itself. Then there are the 30-40 percent, the larger, deeper nuggets, the smallest pieces and, the unique pieces like tiny wire gold and, spongy specimens. Some of my finds in the 30-40 percent segment have been significant as far as size in concerned. 

To prepare for the first hunt with the GPZ I watched videos on Youtube about the GPZ and read many threads on various gold forums. Watching videos and reading was, for me, a prerequisite to the purchase. Preparation time invested helped ensure that through other user’s learnings and knowledge sharing, my experiences with the GPZ will be as productive as possible. Big kudos to all who have taken the time to share. The GPZ has some great features, like the wireless module and the swing arm. The digital screen is easy to use and very intuitive. I've read a comments from people saying that going digital can be confusing. That’s understandable. If you feel that way just think of each click to increase or decrease volume etc, as a slight turn of a knob. 

For the first hunt with the GPZ my approach was the same one that I’ve used with every new detector over the years. Its an approach that many other detectorists use on a first trip out with a new detector. The first trip was to a small wash that has been heavily worked with detectors and drywashers. This area was chosen because it has been worked so heavily. If the GPZ could impress me, this would be the place. My friends, Laszlo, Dennis, and I have taken a significant amount of gold out of this small wash over the years and a lot trash. Finding a target here is next to impossible, we’ve placered (dug) this wash out top to bottom. We all found nuggets in this wash over an ounce so that was my long shot hope, find another lunker that we missed. Maybe, another big one was lodged the higher, deeper benches we have not yet dug out.  For the last year I’ve almost exclusively used my SDC, so much so that I sold my GP Extreme a few months ago. The 8 inch coil on the SDC is amazing in tight areas and the SDC has impressive punch on deeper targets. The SDC was also great last year in Alaska, easy to hike with and to use with the benefit of being waterproof. I was however, missing my good old 14 inch coil on the Extreme so the GPZ felt great right out of the gate with coil size. The SDC still has a home in my detector arsenal. 
  
I began using the GPZ in Auto Track and soon I was finding trash that we had all missed. I had to ask myself “How the heck did we miss this trash?” Just to add some context to that statement we’ve hit this wash with GP Extremes, SDCs, Gold Bugs and a 4500. Maybe even another unit I’ve forgotten about too. I hunted in Auto Track ground balance for about 2.5 hours. Preferring manual ground balance on previous units (that had the manual option) I decided to switch to Manual balancing and adjusted a few other options like ground type, volume level, threshold, etc. The change worked well and I went back over the areas detected with Auto ground balance and began finding more trash that we’d missed on previous hunts with the other units. The trash was very deep for its size, nearly 14 inches on one boot tack and about a foot on one of the staples. My Apex pick has marks on it every inch starting from the bottom of the handle so the depth measurement is fairly accurate. Some of the trash was well within reach of the other units and again, I had to wonder how we all missed these targets multiple times with a handful of detectors. My friend Dennis and I just finished a steak dinner tonight and I think he nailed the why, it' not only the GPZ's technology but also the GPZ coil and how it works compared to a traditional monoloop or DD coil. The ZVT technology was working as advertised. The rest of the first day out with the GPZ day was much of the same and continued learning. Near the end of the day I was finally able to find a little piece of gold with the GPZ on a high bench of the wash, lodged in a crack. The temperature was well over 100 degrees by the time I called it a day. I have no idea how much the little nugget weighs as my scale only weighs down to 1/10th of a gram. So the piece of gold is less than a 10th of a gram. It was about 2 inches deep in the crack. 

Off to a good start with the GPZ, I have several hunts in with it already an am looking forward to hitting more of the southwest U.S. and Alaska this summer with it. Now I just need a control box cover for the GPZ :-) Time to hit Tandy Leather! Thanks Rob for nearly 20 years to service and friendship. Your honesty and fairness is always appreciated. 


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Edited by Rod
Typo correction
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You mean Rob didn't sell you one of my control Box covers for your GPZ?  Shame on you Rob!

Doc

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Posted (edited)

Here's my personal opinion on the GPZ.  I have never felt there has been such a leap in technology and performance since I went from a XT18000 to an SD2200d.

I, like you, have felt that each successive detector in the Minelab line of machines have been somewhat better than the previous model.

I don't feel that way about the GPZ7000, it is a quantum leap.

I hunt Gold Basin almost exclusively.  On the normal day in Gold Basin I would score 1 or 2 nuggets using any of the other previous machines.

When the GPX7000 was released over the next 12 months I went detecting 23 times, I found 128 nuggets.  Almost all in old worked out patches.  So that is an average of 5.5 nuggets per trip.  That figure would be impressive all on it's own, but to think that these nuggets were pulled out of areas I had already pounded to death.  And some, which I had just gone over with the SDC2300 prior to the GPZ7000 being released.

When you go through a small narrow gully that is about 50 yards long, where you know you could not have swung over a nugget and missed it, and then go in with the GPZ7000 and pull out 8 more nuggets.  Most were just small little dinks at around 5 to 9 inches.  But one was a 1.2 gram at 20 inches. You know you are using a beast of a different nature.

Last time I was out I found 4 more nuggets.  The machine is crazy good.

I have had more fun with this machine.  It is such a confidence boost to know that the chances are good, that if there is gold there, and you swing over it, you are going to hear it.
Doc

Edited by DOC
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Hey Rod and Doc,

   Rod - Like always, you wrote a very honest and accurate opinion on metal detecting and detector technology upgrades.  I'm also one that don't get too wrapped up in technology know how, but rather using the detector to really well.  I think the key with most detectors is threshold, accurate ground balance and paying attention to faint targets if you're chasing deeper stuff.  

I have re-visited many old patches that myself and many friends hunted for years.  I pulled more nuggets and trash from these areas with the GPZ 7000 and stock 14x13 coil.  Just working old patches that first Summer season in 2015 I scored over 9 ounces in old patches working on the weekends (roughly 3-4 months).  I pretty much paid for the GPZ on old patches where guys worked with early VLF's to the current GPX series.  I was pretty impressed, but never found anything over 1/2 ounce at depth.  The big ones just seem to be far and few in-between in most locations.  

It's always been great knowing you Rod, from the early days of you helping me with the forums and even website.  We have had a great friendship and hope it stays that way forever.  Thanks for always being a loyal customer and friend.  

Wishing you great success with the GPZ 7000.  Hope you keep us updated here on your success as you use it more.  

Doc - I think most agree with the Minelab PI's, they have gotten somewhat better each time out.  I think in my opinion the greatest moment in time was the jump from the SD to the GP Extreme.  I found a lot of gold during that time.  I think the jump from the GPX to the GPZ might be close, but still give the edge to the SD-GP era for at least me.  

I like you Doc have re-visited many spots and continue to find more gold with the GPZ.  This makes it very fun to detect these areas again.  

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On 6/22/2017 at 0:28 AM, DOC said:

You mean Rob didn't sell you one of my control Box covers for your GPZ?  Shame on you Rob!

Doc

Highly recommended Rob, I have one, it's a must have, order one!! ;)

Jen 

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Hey Doc and Jen,

  Rod and I did a lot of "Horse Trading" on this GPZ deal.  I'm not sure why he didn't get one, or why I didn't mention it.  I think Rod has something else in mind, or maybe a custom one he was going to make.  Either way, I'm sure Rod will make sure the $8000 metal detector is protected good in the field. 

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I myself shall be waiting till Rod gets that new beeper mastered and see if he can find anything on my patch. I have a patch that I am the only person out of 5 that has ever gotten any gold from it, and Rod is one of the 5 that has been there. Rod knows as well as anybody that I am pretty thorough with my detecting technique. I know there has to be missed gold there, so it will be a good test bed for the Zed.

Soon my friend, we will have to put that unit to the test, lol. Dennis

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Hey Dennis,

  Keep us updated on that test.  I know Rod is a very good hunter, so it could be a good challenge for Rod and the GPZ 7000 on that patch.  

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Yes, I believe it will. Actually a GPZ has been on that patch without finding anything, however in the hands of a novice. I am anxious to see what Rod will find once he has his new unit mastered. Dennis

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Hey Dennis,

   It will be very interesting to hear about.  I know you're a very methodical hunter, along with Rod, so maybe he can snip a few out of there with the newer technology and maybe the new firmware update might give the GPZ a bit more edge for depth.  

Keep us updated if you would.  

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