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Some Gold Monster Plusses And Minuses

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I pride myself as a long time GB2 aficionado.  I've recovered at least two thousand nuggets with them over the years (I've owned five or six and still have three).  So I know a thing or two about how to swing a GB2 -- about their virtues and their limitations.  That gives me some perspective.  So yesterday I took delivery of a Minelab Gold Monster and earlier today I gave it a field test here in Yucca Valley, California -- strictly a first time out of the box, "let's see what she can do" trial utilizing my standard poker chip test nuggets.  I have used the following six test nuggets for over a decade.  From the largest on down they consist of gold nuggets, flakes and specks ranging from .09g, .07g, .05g, .03g, .02g and finally the smallest piece of gold I've ever recovered with a GB2 --.002g.

First I mounted the larger coil and ran through the targets.  I was rather disappointed in that I was getting inconsistent responses.  That possibly was due to contaminants in the sandy, claylike dirt we have in this part of the desert.  Regardless of how I adjusted the settings I could not clearly hear responses from the smaller test targets.  The larger the coil, of course, the greater the odds of swinging over multiple simultaneous targets and the greater the likelihood that the control box program will get "confused" by these multiple inputs.  A decrease in responsiveness may be noticed.  Possibly this is what the larger coil was having trouble with.

After I switched to the smaller coil -- WOWIE ZOWIE!!!  I was amazed that the GM 1000 was able to CLEARLY respond to even the .002g speck of gold, both in the deep and the shallow settings.  I repeatedly moved the poker chips around and carefully scanned the dirt before laying them out. The GM 1000 continued to respond clearly and consistently.  I also spread out an array of square nails and the hottest ironstones of various sizes that my GPZ 7000 can see from 12" to 18" deep.  They all screamed in the all metal mode but were invisible and totally silent when I switched to the discrimination setting.

In addition to the above noted performance plusses, I like the simplified styling of the hardware that enables relatively quick assembly and disassembly.  I go places where backpacking is a necessity and this little detector will easily fit.  I also like its light weight -- perhaps only a few ounces heavier than a GB2 -- hardly enough to really notice.  I just hope this detector will pass the test of time in that our high desert sun takes a toll on plastic parts.  But so far so good.

The minuses begin with the clunky larger coil which did not seem to me to give much of a depth advantage and clearly does not perform as well on the smaller targets.  Not a sufficient depth advantage, for me at least, because the primary reason I purchased the GM 1000 was as a supplement to my GPZ 7000.  In other words, the Zed is my main nugget sweeper and it finds some pretty small pieces and punches down fairly deep in its own right.  I mostly am concerned with finding what the Zed is missing or is overwhelmed by all the ironstone or Fe trash noises in certain areas.  For users who hunt with only one detector and where budget is a major concern, I believe they will be well served with the smaller coil in a similar fashion that many a GB2 owner has come to learn.

The other minuses include the GM 1000's "top heaviness" and the headphones.  The detector just has a hard time remaining in an upright position.  The headphones are uncomfortable and are too small, i.e., they do not block out external noises like a pair of Nugget Busters or other high end headphones.  Additionally, they lack a curly cord.  The straight wire connection tends to snag easily and will suddenly jerk the headphones right off my head because the wire has no "give" when force is applied during a snag.  Finally, the minuscule headphone jack insert opening is not compatible with most high end headphones.

All in all I am ready to actually hunt with it.  Next week I will try to find some time for an excursion and will give an update.  Stay tuned.

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I spread the "legs" on the cuff out so it does not topple as easily.

Get one of these, they work good!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hosa-Balanced-1-4in-TRS-Female-to-Right-Angle-Stereo-3-5mm-Male-Headphone-6-Inch/361854866806?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Watch out for falsing on the small coil where the cable goes in. See another thread here addressing that issue.
Tom H.

 

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Hi Martin, You may want to check out the larger coil a little bit more and see if perhaps the coil itself has an issue? Harry Pittman had a large coil short out in AK a few weeks ago and started falsing so he contacted Minelab and they replaced his whole detector with a new one instead of just the coil. This is the only one I am aware of that has been sent back for any reason. Ya just never know I guess, but the small coil is most definitely hotter on the very small stuff and at pretty good depth. 

I only notice the effect you mention if I am moving too fast with it which makes mine a little confused as well, but if I slow down all is well unless I am constantly lifting the coil more than a few inches above the ground to get over rocks etc. which causes the detectors micro processor to re-balance itself ... Great first review and thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

On a side note I prefer the 10 inch coil and do not use the small one unless on an area I have to keep trying to raise the larger coil over obstructions. Also I still pump to ground balance every few swings (old habits die hard) to keep the auto GB smooth. Depth on larger targets .25 and up is very good for a VLF and better than most I have used if not all. I got the GM 1000 for the same reason as you and nice to have in the tool box with the 2300 and 7000. Tammy wants one now too since she managed a nugget with mine first trip. 

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Come on Billllll ... get her one of her own and KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF!  haha

Go get'em Tammy.

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Good info, thanks Martin. My plan is to stick with the GB2 for my vlf needs for now; however, my better half is interested in a GM. She'll appreciate your post too. Like you, a vlf is a supplement to my GPZ. You never know if she buys a GM, I might become a convert :-)

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I am looking for a backup detector, also.  Something that makes up for weaknesses in the GPZ.  This includes getting in small places, and various hot rocks the GPZ cannot handle.  Your review is helpful because the two choices I have been reviewing for this are the GB2 and the Gold Monster.  Thank you.

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They are in stock Andyy.... :yesss:

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On 8/16/2017 at 6:33 AM, Bill Southern said:

Hi Martin, You may want to check out the larger coil a little bit more and see if perhaps the coil itself has an issue? Harry Pittman had a large coil short out in AK a few weeks ago and started falsing so he contacted Minelab and they replaced his whole detector with a new one instead of just the coil. This is the only one I am aware of that has been sent back for any reason. Ya just never know I guess, but the small coil is most definitely hotter on the very small stuff and at pretty good depth. 

Bill -  In terms of sensitivity to small gold for the large coil, how sensitive do you see it getting down too?   (.1 gram? ...   .05g?)  Just curious what you've found.  I know you will have tested this.  LOL  Thx.

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I used a test nuggie , it is .5 grains I think . my monster and my gold bug sing out on it , the eureka sounds pretty good too.

I have no regrets in getting the Monster, for me it is just TURN ON AND GO......not complicated at all.

I have found bird shot out in the field with it if that helps, was about an inch down.

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I do not have a scale to weigh fly poop Andyy, but I have found bits the size of a pin head actually in the dirt. Small as My GB2 (which I sold) and much quieter with the ability to discriminate out hot rocks and iron. Even Basalt.... Pinpointing though is very different because both coils are DD to the tip is not hot, hot spot in in same place as any DD right down the center front to back. The detector does not like to go too fast which will confuse the 24 bit processor a bit, but I hunt slow enough anyway that this is not an issue for me and can be more evident with the 10 inch coil. This VLF also in my opinion goes a bit deeper on like targets and coils than the other VLF units I have used to date, but it is new technology.

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Rick & Bill - thanks for the information.  Good to know that even the larger coil gets the smaller gold.  Whatever detector or coil combination I use, I like to know it's limitations.  Of course being that this is a VLF, it would be easy enough to test.  I used to have to drive 45 minutes away from the city to do tests on my PI machine.

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Okay, time for an update in light of some field testing experience.  I took my friend Ralph out to some open ground in the Barstow area.  He had never detected a nugget solely on his own (he previously had recovered some "'pointy finger" nuggs with a Gold Bug Pro, but those don't count in my book as to whom the term "nugget Virgin" no longer applies.  In other words he still was a nugget virgin prior to our recent trip.  This time, though, he was armed with his own brand spanking new Gold Monster 1000.  We hit an old previously exhausted patch I knew of.  He spent 4 or 5  hours on his own always more than 100 yards from me and a third nugget shooter friend of ours.  After trying with my GM 1000 for 3 or 4 hours, I switched to my Zed with the 14" coil.  It was about then that the unmistakeable exhilaration and joy that comes from a newly found nugget reverberated across the desert.  Ralph had nailed a .15g shiny yellow piece of precious metal with his brand new GM 1000.  What a great way to cast aside the nugget virgin mantle that had shadowed him for the last 5 years.  Despite 2 or 3 more hours spent hunting with my Zed I ended the day with zero gold and so did our mutual companion who also worked very hard with his Zed to scare up some gold.

Next, Ralph and I headed up to northern California for 10 days where we co-own 7 claims near Downieville.  Both of us worked very, very hard to recover metal detected gold, but only came home with artifacts and sniped gold.  The ground where our claims are located is so hot that it is impossible to ground balance a Zed and it caused the GM 1000 to chirp somewhat erratically, although we were able to recover 150 year old shotgun pellets despite the background noise.

Then, yesterday, I took two visitors from Denmark back out to the Barstow vicinity Ralph and I visited a few weeks earlier.  The visitors, Rolf and Line, are experienced European relic hunters, but are natural gold nugget novices whose only gold success in the past consisted of dry washing finds here in California (no natural gold fields in Denmark).  For each of them it was their first ever experience with a GM 1000.  Within 30 minutes Rolf reeled in a .19g flashy piece worthy of a jewelry setting.  Five minutes later Line found her very first natural gold nugget -- a .34g piece when it was her turn to try the GM 1000.  I ended the day with a .7g raisin resembling nugget, but it was recovered with my Zed.  So far I have not recovered any nuggets with my GM 1000.  But I write that off as luck of the draw in that I would have been using the GM 1000 had I not allowed my Danish guests to use it.

So far I am amply satisfied and fully confident that the GM 1000 (with increasingly improved weather conditions here in the high desert of Southern California) soon will begin contributing nuggets to my poke.  However, there is one final observation I must share:  I did run into certain ironstones -- especially near Downieville and to a somewhat lesser extent near Barstow -- that overloaded my GM 1000.  Also, I learned that old soldered cans also overload the GM 1000.  But, to date, I have not run into any square nails that will overload it.

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Great review and yes large objects will cause overload as with any of my gold beepers I also got into a wash where there was patches of black sand (solid) a couple inches deep and yep same thing until I messed it up with the pick. Very large chunks of ironstone (Magnetite) will indeed overload the 1000 even in discriminate as well like any beeper. Guess that is to be expected since it is iron ore. I agree there will also be allot of first nuggets found with this kick butt little microprocessor VLF and to date 7 of my customers have tagged their first gold with a detector now. Understanding how to use it takes seconds and understanding the sounds for a newbie can take some time but after an hour or so they are tearing it up. 

Minelab I feel will be making some huge advances in discrimination abilities for detecting following the patented technological advances now available for their techs to work with. Next several years should be very interesting.....

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How does the GM handle hematite?

I am very curious about this, the GB2 signals hematite close to lead with the tail end of the signal being the only difference to me. Anybody have feedback on this?

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Alwaysdirty ... When are you heading over to Dewey area again? ... depending on when I will meet up with you and you can play with my GM 1000 . I think it will surprise you. 

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2 hours ago, Alwaysdirty said:

How does the GM handle hematite?

I am very curious about this, the GB2 signals hematite close to lead with the tail end of the signal being the only difference to me. Anybody have feedback on this?

It ignores all Hematite i have been over with it while in discriminate after the processor does it's initial blip it disappears, Very large Magnetite, iron, etc. will give an overload signal as does any detector even while in discriminate. In "all metal" it will likely hear some of it, but with a push of the button you can discriminate a target to see if you want to dig and the discrimination is accurate. 

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3 hours ago, Mike Furness said:

Alwaysdirty ... When are you heading over to Dewey area again? ... depending on when I will meet up with you and you can play with my GM 1000 . I think it will surprise you. 

Thanks Mike! I never really know when I can get out until the last minute. I'll stay in touch.

1 hour ago, Bill Southern said:

It ignores all Hematite i have been over with it while in discriminate after the processor does it's initial blip it disappears, Very large Magnetite, iron, etc. will give an overload signal as does any detector even while in discriminate. In "all metal" it will likely hear some of it, but with a push of the button you can discriminate a target to see if you want to dig and the discrimination is accurate. 

If this thing ignores 2" smaller hematite stones then I need to find something to sell...:89:

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Yes it will ignore 2" Hematite stones..... You are welcome to try one anytime.

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1 hour ago, Bill Southern said:

Yes it will ignore 2" Hematite stones..... You are welcome to try one anytime.

Thanks Bill!

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OK ... Let me know when you are headed out next time ... even with short notice(advantage of being retired) and I'll meet you for a look see ... hands on demo. You will be impressed. I have been experimenting with it running hot settings and even then with one push of the mode button 'good bye Hematite'! 

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Okay, third update:  The weekend of September 23-24 the Prospectors Club of Southern California had an outing near Barstow.  Over thirty nuggets were recovered -- about half with the Gold Monster.  Two fairly longtime members found their first natural gold nuggets with a metal detector.  One of them was trying out my Gold Monster -- finding a nice .26g piece.

My advice to those unfamiliar with a machine that has no threshold -- be sure to utilize a gold nugget sample while in the All Metal Mode so that your ear begins to focus on the zip responses made by nuggets and most non-ferrous targets, i.e., signal responses that sharply climb up the sound scale but do not taper off.  The ferrous ironstone, hot rock targets mostly make sounds that have a "down-sounding" ending, i.e., the signal at first climbs, but then tapers off.  It's kinda difficult to describe with words.  Best to take some practice nuggets with you and spend some time comparing and contrasting the differences between the two types of sounds.  Once your ear becomes accustomed to the difference you will spend less time unnecessarily switching to Discriminate.

I have one rant: The cheap, shoddy Gold Monster stock headphones are a woeful blot upon the Minelab escutcheon.  The ear piece on my set came completely off with no obvious way to re-attach it.  I wish there were some after market socket pin adaptor to enable usage of my Sun Ray Pros or my Nugget Busters.

The attached photo was my weekend take.

IMG_1383.jpg

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If I am not mistaken you can get an adapter to go from 1/8 to 1/4 plug to use the larger phones....ebay might have them.

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6 hours ago, Micro Nugget said:

I wish there were some after market socket pin adaptor to enable usage of my Sun Ray Pros or my Nugget Busters.

Here is one on Ebay that may be your answer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hosa-MHE-100-5-Headphone-Adaptor-1-4-TRS-to-Right-angle-3-5mm-Aux-Extension-6/262352845397?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

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7 hours ago, Micro Nugget said:

I wish there were some after market socket pin adaptor to enable usage of my Sun Ray Pros or my Nugget Busters.

I had a hard time finding them too, back when I needed the reverse version. I'm not a fan of extension wiring between the two fittings and I prefer a single plug. Here's one: https://www.cablestogo.com/product/40636/3.5mm-stereo-male-to-6.3mm-1-4in-stereo-female-adapter-taa-compliant I ordered the 6.3MM (1/4") stereo male to 3.5MM (1/8") female version of this and it fit perfectly and worked great for the short time I needed it.

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Hey, thanks for the feedback.  The reason I inquired is because one of the members present at the PCSC outing last weekend did have an adaptor.  At least it did fit into the existing plug in port on the Gold Monster and had a corresponding receptacle for the standard sized headphone pin insert commonly found on Nugget Busters and Sun Ray Pro headphones.  The member, however, encountered signal losses when he switched from all-metal to the discriminate mode (or vice versa).  I think maybe some insert pins may have slightly different contact points along the length of the insert pin.  I did not pay a lot of attention to exactly what his problem was.  However, he simply discarded the headphones and used the detector's external speaker. Since he went on to recover five nice nuggets I guess the headphones aren't all that important.  After the cheap earpiece fell off my pair, then I too utilized the external speaker mode and found a nugget.  I disfavor using the external speaker because I feel it is discourteous to others who may be irked having to listen to someone else's racket while trying to maintain focus on their own nugget hunt.  I will follow up after obtaining some adaptors and report on their effectiveness.

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