GPX versus earlier models - Part 2


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Hi,

I read the other thread with interest and had to throw in my two cents.

I disagree with those that say you can't get more depth with the GPX units compared to older models. Having used all the models the largest improvement I've seen over time is vast improvements in threshold stability and the ability to adjust for more varied circumstances. It may be that in a particular location an SD will do just as well as a GPX. But not where I hunt. My SD units all had the famous Minelab "warble" whereby the threshold constantly wavered. This meant that small nuggets or very deep larger nuggets had to give enough of a signal to break through the waver. A far cry from listening to a rock solid threshold for the faintest whisper or "break" in the threshold. You can get just such a rock solid threshold with the GPX units. It is not that the GPX goes deeper, it is that you can hear nuggets you would miss with an SD as they could not be discerned as clear signals.

More important on my ground at Moore Creek is that my SD units simply could not tune out the intense magnetic basalt cobbles we have to contend with. The cobbles give a faint gold hit. So you either dug them all (impossible) or simply ignored the faint signals. But some of them were small nuggets or very deep larger nuggets. When the GPX arrived at my property I saw so many more small nuggets and deeper large nuggets come out of areas well hunted to the point of being "hunted out" that it was obvious the GPX had a significant edge. I'm not talking a nugget or two - I'm talking pounds of gold. The new GPX timings can allow for a clean solid threshold in areas where that was impossible with earlier units.

Maybe Rob or Glenn or some of the other guys that were at Moore Creek the last couple years can comment. The week Rob & Glenn were on-site my dozer was broke down. And yet the guys cleaned up hitting the old detected areas with the GPX. We all experienced the same thing. Faint whisper signals that we would not have been able to pick out before, but which are discernible on the GPX units. These turned out to be in many cases 1-3 ounce nuggets at max depth that were passed over before by many of the very same people who were now able to find them.

I'm talking particular tailing piles near camp that are relatively small and easy to get to, and so get pounded to death. These things were "hunted out" until the GPX guys set foot on them. And up came more nuggets.

I'm sure, as always, that it just depends on where you hunt as to what works best. But I have absolutely no doubt at Moore Creek that a GPX has a clear edge over previous Minelab models. Too many people finding too much gold for it to be anything other than better performance in our particular set of circumstances.

Steve Herschbach

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Hi Steve; I don't have a 4500 but I do have some thoughts on the subject.

The evidence from experienced users of the 4500 that also ran previous models seems clear. The practical depth and proformance of the 4500 is shown to be better by the nuggets found. The gold being recovered from areas such as yours clearly proves an improvement in the technology even though the laws of physics has not changed. Moore Creek and repeat customers, or Bob Dansie reworking pounded patches is as near to a controlled experiment as nugget hunting is likely to find. I know many of your visitors are skilled and capable detectorists, their testimony is valid and the results are in their hands.

When people discuss price versus value they should realize that the value recieved may lie in more than the gold found. The operator and their skill detected will often have more importance to the result than which Pi unit is being used.

BTW...how did the TDI work out this year?

Best wishes

Fred

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Steve. My feeling is that with the better ground handling of the GPXs , signals that blended in with the warbles or ground noises on previous detectors now can be picked out with the extraneous noise reduced or removed. I don't believe the feild of the coil is actually going deeper per say but the cleaned up target signal is more recognizable for what it is. The signal was probably there with the previous detectors , but just wasn't discernable to most people. The more difficult the ground or EMI disturbances were with older models, the more likely the GPXs will excell. I've seen no huge improvement in mellow ground or low EMI conditions. When the 4000 first came out I targeted areas with tough conditions and found lots of gold that had been missed. Many of those targets had been investigated by a shallow amount of dirt scraped away and dismissed as ground noise . Some of these were places where I myself had kicked a little dirt away with the toe of my boot, and passed them up as non diggers. These targets still weren't boomers but now were a little bit better , consistant signal. ----Bob

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Hi Bob,

Yup, that's it precisely. It is not that my SD2200 would not hit the same targets, it is just that I would not have been able to discern that faint nugget signal from all the other faint noises. At Moore Creek faint noises on the older detectors became a sort of threshold signal to be ignored.

Fred, the TDI did well. It is a good unit although it does not get the depth of the Minelabs. At Moore Creek it gets hampered by the fact that we provide it to people who do not have their own detector and therefore also have no detecting experience. One thing Moore Creek taught me in spades is that it is all about experience. Give me a TDI and I'll run circles around a newbie with a GPX-4500. Getting a Minelab in no way insures success. The difference in results between the old pros and the novices is stunning.

Steve Herschbach

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Steve. And the only way to become an old pro is to start now and somewhere down the line you will be one. At least now the beginners have a dynamite choice of detectors to start with. So many beginners start out with the impression that it's a simple matter of buying a detector and walking around until the bells and whistles go off. Well we know that has happened a few times but most of the gold will only sound like a stutter of the threshold to a beginner and they won't pay any attention to it. In many cases that is the main thing the old pro is listening for.----Bob

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Hi Bob,

You got that right. I'll have to do up a separate post on the subject as it is pretty mind boggling to see. We can send the seasoned Minelab guys out and pretty much expect them to bring in the gold every day. Sometimes they will go cold for a day or two, but over time the pros consistently bring in the gold.

The guys that get off the plane with no detecting experience in general have a hard time finding even a single nugget in a week. Many get skunked. I'm thinking now that a person on average needs to get a good 100 hours on their detector before it starts sinking in. Given most are only at the mine for a week, they really are only barely gettting any good at it by the time they have to leave.

I think the biggest single factor is simply paying attention. I just like metal detecting. Since I am enjoying what I'm doing I'm paying attention to what I'm doing. I think that for many people detecting is inherently boring. They don't enjoy it for itself but are doing it because they feel they must since they want to find a nugget. You can just tell by watching them - they are clearly bored and not really paying attention. Coils often end up far off the ground. I go explain that the coil has to be close to the ground... and an hour later the coil is off the ground. They just walk over the nuggets.

We had 22 people visit Moore Creek but about half the nuggets were found by only a half dozen people.

Steve Herschbach

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