Need help desiding 3500 or 4000


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I am going to buy either a ML 3500 or a GPX 4000 buy the end of this month or the first of next month but I can't make up my mind which one :blink: I am going to be detecting in the Trinity Happy Camp area and I have been told that is some of the hottest ground in the country. Is the 4000

really that much better than the 3500? Although I have been Detecting for many years, I have never owned or used a Minelab. It would be nice if someone would do a side by side test, like bury a nugget just out of reach of the 3500 and see if the 4000 could hear it Thanks for any advice in advance.

Cougar Jim

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Jim, I have a 4000, and to me it beats the 3500 hands down, I have found rice grain size gold with the 4000, the 3500 wouldn't even see. but my 2200 would. To me the 4000 is a giant leap above all the rest. and I have used them all. Rob has a great deal on the 4000, the best. Atleast he gives you extra"s that you can really use. Grubstake

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Rob certainly has the absolute best deal out there. No other dealer will come close to matching the deal Rob sells nor the service.

If you can afford to spend the money on a GP 3500 then you can certainly afford to move up into the GPX 4000.

Why not get the best equipment available in the first place instead of buying a 3500 and wishing you had bought the 4000? I worked my way up the ladder and fortunately did not lose my money although I am one of the very fortunate few.

I found a few small flakes (nothing to write home about) the other day in a crack in the bedrock of a stream that gave me a very faint sounding even after I sorted it out of the sand and dirt. I was using my 4000 with the Platypus coil which is waterproof and very sensative to small gold.

I am still in search of that first nice nugget! :blink: It will happen!

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I am going to buy either a ML 3500 or a GPX 4000 buy the end of this month or the first of next month but I can't make up my mind which one :blink: I am going to be detecting in the Trinity Happy Camp area and I have been told that is some of the hottest ground in the country. Is the 4000

really that much better than the 3500? Although I have been Detecting for many years, I have never owned or used a Minelab. It would be nice if someone would do a side by side test, like bury a nugget just out of reach of the 3500 and see if the 4000 could hear it Thanks for any advice in advance.

Cougar Jim

Hi Cougar,

A couple of months ago I decided to purchase a GPX 4000 and replace my GP Extreme. The 4000 has some nice features, "but" it does not have the sensitivity to small gold with the stock 11" D/D coil as my old GP Extreme does with the same stock 11" D/D coil.

I and my friend would probably have never noticed the performance difference, had I not decided to run this side by side comparison.

I and a friend who also has a 4000, downloaded all the 'latest' operating tips on this new machine and even consulted Minelab techs and others for help.

Bottom line, The GPX still failed to register a signal on the same 2 small pickers, that my GP Extreme produced a strong signal to.

The only way I could get my GPX to equal sensitivity of my GP Extreme on small gold, was to change to an 8" Mono coil. Question now is, will the machine deal with increased mineralization, with a small 'Mono' coil ?

I sent my new machine back to minelab for repair, after about three weeks I got a call saying nothing was wrong with my machine.

I was told by Minelab that it was 'unfair' to compare performance of my old GP Extreme, with the new GPX 4000.

Needless to say, this answer was not well received or satisfactory. Most of us spend the big bucks on 'new' machines, for improved performance.

I haven't had a chance yet to test the new machine out on mineralized ground yet, if it really excels with a Mono coil I'll keep it, if not I'll get an earlier model GP.

You might want to ignore the dealer hype on the new GPX and try to meet-up with someone in your area with one of the older GP's and to go with you..

The results will benefit both parties.

Seems only fair that Minelab and Dealers prove these new machines are better, on a level playing field.

Good luck,

Chuck T.

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  • Admin

Hello Jim,

Thanks for joining the forum. The GPX-4000 is the best hand-held detector in my opinion if you're hunting for gold nuggets of all sizes.

I would like to address Chuck T. for a moment. Chuck, I have sold more GPX-4000's than I can count and never had one customer mentioned anything wrong with sensitivity. You did mention your unit, or the one you used was repaired twice. Are you positive Minelab didn't do something ....?

I would gather you are an experienced Minelab user, so I'm hoping you're using at least the Factory Presets [FP] on the GPX-4000. If you are using less than the FP settings, you probably will have less sensitivity to small gold nuggets.

There are several things that can cause a loss in senstivity:

(1) Not properly ground balanced to the soil

(2) The use of a DD searchcoil

(3) Not tuned property to electrical interference

(4) Searchcoil cable wrapped too low to the searchcoil

(5) Make sure you don't have any dirt or small metal bits under your coil cover

These are some of the things to check.

I sure wish I could see the test in person. I know my GPX-4000 and all the ones I have sold would perform much better than you stated.

Hopefully you can get it resolved. Feel free to call me anytime if you have questions. Also, contact Dick Shultz at Minelab USA, Inc and tell him you talked with me about your GPX-4000 issues. There is something wrong ....

Rob Allison

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Jim,

I had a gp extreme and I absolutely loved it, when the 3000 came out I made the switch, and I thought that I might have spent the extra money for nothing until I went back to an extreme for about 10 minutes and I was shocked at the difference. When the 3500 came out I personally didn't think the difference between it and the 3000 was enough to justify the expense. I have sat on the sidelines on the 4000 waiting to see how it worked in the field and I made the jump last week, long story short I have found 10 nuggets in washes that I hit hard with my 3000. The 4000 really comes to life with a mono coil, with my dd wallaby I noticed an improvement, but when I put the mono on it left my 3000 in the dust. In my opinion, if you can afford a 3500 it would be a huge mistake not to go with the 4000, and I absolutely loved my 3000 with a wallaby dd pro, and I found over 25 ounces with that combo, but after two weeks with the 4000 I can't go back. just my opinion.

glenn

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Hi all,

I see what Chuck says very abundantly, and what he is saying is why should a person have to shell out

MORE do re mi after the fact to achieve something that the machine is very well capable of in the first place?

What happens when a new user tries the factory coil is not necessarily representative of the machines capabilities..kinda like the NASCAR restricter plate races...the cars can go a hell of a lot faster without them.

He is right on the money in that respect, and has the intestinal fortitude to say it like it is.

Kind of like Ford or Chebby putting shitey tires on their trucks, that blow out when they see their first off paved road experience. Same deal. When I bought my new Frod, I had to shell out over $800.00 to get tires that I didn't have to worry if I was going to make it home all right or not. Should have been a given...If it says 4X4 on the side of it, it should have 4X4 tires...not real rocket science to figure that out either. At least the people who sold me the tires gave me a decent allowance on my factory tires.

So what will happen?? Not much, I don't think. Folks will put their factory dd 11 coil in the corner, and ante up for a nice Coiltek or Nuggetfinder coil, in the neighborhood of $300, more or less depending on what you want. Or maybe you can get a freebe mono coil, if you choose the right dealer...

Thanks Rob, for letting us old farts let off a little gasssssss......

~LARGO~

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Although there are some who like the 11" DD coil that minelab has supplied with every SD and GP for years, most of us chuck them in a dark corner as soon as we open the box. It is probably the least used coil of all. We have accepted the fact that Minelab will send that coil with every PI. sold. There are hundreds of them that don't even have a scratch on the skid plate and if you try to sell one you can't get $50.00 for it. I've always said that I'd rather pay a couple of hundred dollars less for a detector with no coil, then order the coil I want. If Minelab sold 2 models, The GPX4000 M (mono) with a 15" Eliptical Commander mono, And a GPX4000 DD with the 11" DD , The GPX4000 DD would sit on the shelf forever. ----Bob

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Hi,

I've found a lot of gold with the stock coil, and seen a lot found by others with it. I think it is as good as any other 11" round DD coil. I generally use larger coils but do use the stock coil as my "small" coil at times. Stock coils tend to get a bad rep. Hard for a coil to find gold if it never gets used!

Steve Herschbach

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the info but if you look at Chucks post, he tested the two machines

with the same 11" DD coil and the Extreme was more sensitive to small gold. (With the same coil) I am sure if something was wrong with the coil, Minelab would have caught it when he sent it back in. If the coil is no good with the 4000, how come it's good with the Extreme? If someone could convince me that the 4000 will outperform all the other GP's I would buy one. I don't mean to offend anyone, I am just trying not to wast my money.

P. S.

Chuck, If you ever test the 4000 in hot ground, I hope you will post it here.

Maybe that is where the 4000 shines.

Thanks, Jim (Cougar Jim)

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Hi Jim,

I know I'm not out to convince you of anything. I think everyone should use the older models and leave the GPX-4000 to us more gullible types!

The fact is that the older Minelab models will find gold in capable hands. I have an SD2200v2 I use as a backup machine that is still finding plenty of gold for the people I loan it to. Minelab still sells new SD2100v2 and SD2200v2 units so it is not like they are saying they are no good.

I think the GPX-4000 will really benefit a select group of people dealing with specific circumstances where the new adjustability gives it an edge. Most of those people know who they are and already have GPX-4000s. For many people the older models offer great value and certainly should not be overlooked.

I do have a specific location at my mining claims at Moore Creek. And all I can say about that is that it is as if Minelab built the GPX-4000 just for me and my mine.

Ultimately you can get any opinion you want on the Internet. Some will swear by the 4000 and be blown off as "dealer hype" and "Minelab shills". Others will claim new models are not as good as old ones. I guess it depends on what you want to hear as to who you'll believe.

Steve Herschbach

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Hi Steve

I know you are a straight shooter, I have been reading your post's and your web site for years.

The GPX-4000 is probably a good machine for your application at your claims in Alaska.

The place I plan on hunting is HOT, HOT, HOT, and I just need a detector that will handle the bad ground.

I have a GM-3 and a Gold Bug 2, I have had for several years and I have pretty much mastered them

but they will not work very good in this ground. I have had two Garrett infinium's but they was not very sensitive to small gold. I will be buying a Mine lab GP of some sort, I just don't know at this time which one.

Thanks, Jim (Cougar

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" I am going to be detecting in the Trinity Happy Camp area and I have been told that is some of the hottest ground in the country. Is the 4000 really that much better than the 3500?"

Jim,

Dig up a GP 3500 and I will bring my GPX 4000 up and we can both make a comparison.

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Hi Jim,

Take CaptGruimpy up on that offer if you can!

Every place has different mixes of ground and hot rocks. The gold itself varies in size, shape, and purity. I think there are enough variables that there is little useful information to be gained hearing how detectors work in other locations for other people. What works well in one location simply does not in another.

However, the sheer number of people posting small gold finds with the GPX-4000 from areas hit hard with previous models speaks well for the unit. Does the GPX-4000 detect a smaller nugget than a GP Extreme? I'm not sure. Does it appear to have the ability to pull small nuggets out of ground previous Minelab models missed? A lot of people are saying yes.

Your Gold Bug 2 or GM3 will easily hit smaller gold than the Minelabs. Being hot on tiny gold is not the whole deal. Extreme sensitivity to tiny gold also lights up hot rocks and super hot ground. That is the very reason you are looking at using something other than the VLF units.

What Minelab is telling people straight up is that the GPX-4000 smooth mode will allow the unit to excel in areas with a mono coil where a DD coil previously was required. Moore Creek has basalt cobbles with so much magnetite in them you can pick them up with a magnet. Eevey Minelanb I've used previously produced multiple light hits per sweep that 98% of the time are a hot rock, but sometimes a small nugget or larger nugget at edge of detection depth. You quickly get trained to just blow those signals off and wait for a "real" hit. If you dig them all you dig hundreds of hot rocks. But in the process smaller nuggets and deeper nuggets are getting missed.

We ran the GPX-4000 in general mode and got the usual noise. We tried smooth mode, and all the hot rocks went away. I mean 100% away - it is like running a VLF detector with a smooth threshold (we have no em interference). The smooth mode loses quite a bit of depth over the normal modes, but we found the machine was so quiet we could bump the gain up to 13 and get back almost all the lost depth while still having quiet performance.

And lo and behold lots of nuggets smaller than we usually find started turning up at Moore Creek.

It is not that the GPX-4000 hits smaller gold per se. It cleans up the signal and makes them easier to hear in bad ground. I'm no expert with the unit at all yet, but I have absolutely no doubt I can tackle hotter ground better now than I could before and there are several places I know I'd sure like to get back to with the GPX. I cannot think of a single reason I'd want to go back to using any of the previous models. All things being equal, the new battery and charging system alone is worth the upgrade in my opinion.

Steve Herschbach

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Steve I think your right, What the heck I believe I will go ahead and buy the GPX-4000. If it's a mistake

it won't be the first one I've made and I doubt if it will be the last. Steve I think you should start selling refrigerators at the north pole.

Thanks a lot for all the info. Jim

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Cougar Jim. Steve gave a very good assessment of what the advantages are with the GPX4000. The ability to totally cancel out many hot rocks, mainly the basalt types is unbelievable. Hot ground is another place where it shines and believe me it will pick sub grain pickers out of some ground. The real selling point to me is that it will work well on almost any ground you run into. The stock DD coil does work just fine but it is very heavy and there are more sensitive and lighter coils available. The Minelab 8" round mono coil is the cheapest coil you can buy for it and it is DYNAMITE on the small gold down to about 8" deep and larger gold deeper than that. The aftermarket Coiltec and Nuggetfinder coils offer every size and shape you can imagine with great depth and sensitivity. Nobody should just stick with the stock DD coil if he detects in a variety of places. At least one mono coil is a real good idea. And buy from a dealer who offers a lesson. It will save you days of confusion.----Bob

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Hi Montana,

I do agree with you on coils, by the way. You really do not get all the power of the GP units using the stock coil. It would be nice if it came with a slightly larger coil.

I have been using the good old reliable Coiltek 14" round mono and learning once again why it was such a popular coil. The Commander 15" x 12" coils are a nice size also and they would be a good stock coil for the GP units.

That said, you should have been there with seeker and I when we had to get a shovel to find out what eventually turned out to be a screw cap. George was using the stock coil and the depth at which it hit the target was amazing. I'm not going to try and mention the depth as nobody would beleive it anyway. The new stock coils are lighter than the old ones.

Jim, I'd be amazed if you do not end up being happy you got the GPX.

Steve Herschbach

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Steve I think your right, What the heck I believe I will go ahead and buy the GPX-4000. If it's a mistake

it won't be the first one I've made and I doubt if it will be the last. Steve I think you should start selling refrigerators at the north pole.

Thanks a lot for all the info. Jim

The only mistake you will make is you don't buy it from Rob. His deal with the Platypus and Pocket Rocket and other goodies will not be beat by any dealer. I shopped them and the Platypus offer is just awesome to have in your lineup. All the real extras and a day of learning from Rob while detecting.

You won't be disappointedby Rob. (I hate to sound like a friggin' commercial but it's all true)

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:D HI Jim,

any minelab PI will work over there, I had no problems up around Virgin & Battle creeks, near Old Denny :D with my 3500,

Take care,

Ed

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  • Admin

Hello Guys,

The way I look at it is, if you're going to invest all the time & energy searching for something, you want to buy the best equipment you can afford. By purchasing a GPX-4000, if your budget permits, you won't be looking back or having second thoughts.

Funny, many of the ones that are talking down the GPX-4000 don't even personally own one. Go figure ...

I know I haven't been skunked with the GPX-4000 as of yet, so I'm loving the detector. This winter I have a handful of spots to check out for deeper, bigger gold nuggets. I'm pretty positive by that time I will have figured out the best settings for deep, mineralized Arizona soil. ;)

Cougar Jim - Feel free to call anytime if you want to talk more about the GPX-4000.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Steve Herschbach wrote,

“George was using the stock coil and the depth at which it hit the target was amazing. I'm not going to try and mention the depth as nobody would beleive it anyway.â€

I would Steve. I to have had a few targets at amazing depth myself, using that stock 11†DD coil.

An old friend of mine (80+)used nothing else, and I couldn’t even guess how many pounds of gold he found with It.

A very underated coil!

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if you have the money, get the 4000. if not, get the next best thing.

also factor in at least 350 hours of use to get acquainted, and another $1 dollar-$2000 to get additional coils, bells, and accessories.

It'd be ideal to simply turn on the unit and go, but everyone's brains and hearing are wired different, and you'll have to identify your own personal quirks as compared to the myriad signals your particular unit is 'telling' you.

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also factor in at least 350 hours of use to get acquainted, and another $1-2000 to get the additional coils and accessories.

$1K-$2K for accessories??? :blink: Damn I am so screwed!!! :lol::lol::lol:

Rob gives you most of the accessories you need from the Li-Ion Pocket rocket from Coltek to a Coiltek Platypus 11 inch eliptical DD coil, a heavy duty long cord as well as a short cord, a heavyduty bungee, and the list goes on! Sell the factory battery and chargers and then buy another coil of your choosing, you don't need anything bigger than the Pocket Rocket to run your machine.(I have a bank of 5 batteries and 2 chargers)

Also if you are from out of state (out of Arizona) there is no sales tax, just another savings.

What else do you want to know??? :blink:

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