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My Thoughts So Far With My First Detector Minelab X-Terra 705


Gigahertz21

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So I started 2 threads about metal detector recommendations about 2 weeks ago, one in this forum and the other in the nugget hunting forums. Both links below:

http://www.nuggetshooter.ipbhost.com/index...showtopic=16099

http://www.nuggethunting.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=6328

I ended up choosing the X-Terra 705 since it's a fairly new digital unit from Minelab and Rob Allison from the nugget hunting forum recommended it in the link above for a great all around unit, especially if you want to find gold. I have found alot of junk with it so far...bullet shells, an old metal belt buckle, nails. It's kind of fun just seeing what you dig up most of the time. I was told I really need to purchase the 18.75kHz elliptical coil if I want to find any gold, since the stock coil I have will only find larger pieces which are very rare, especially probably here in Colorado where I do not think there are many sizeable gold nuggets like you guys have in Arizona and California.

In case anybody wants to know, I really like the X-Terra 705 and I'm a first time metal detector user. I read the manual and watched a few videos of the X-Terra 705 at mlotv.com and started beeping soon after. So far I just have the metal detector, I will eventually purchase headphones and a pinpointer once I get better at detecting.

A few comments I have on the X-Terra 705:

  • I didn't think the X-Terra 705 would last long since it only runs on 4 AA batteries compared to other detectors I saw that run on 8 AA batteries, but so far so good. I have used it about 5 hours and the battery meter still shows full. Tomorrow I will be using it a bunch more when I go up to the mountains, so we'll see how long the batteries last.

  • I thought metal detectors would be more sensitive and detect objects deeper, but maybe that's just because I'm using the stock coil that came with mine. I buried a nickel under the dirt the first day I was using it, and ran the detector over it and it didn't pick it up. The sensitivity was turned all the way up and I didn't pick anything up, I don't remember how deep I put the nickel down in the dirt, but I remember being surprised it didn't pick it up.

  • Coils are expensive, the Minelab X-Terra 10" x 5" 18.75 kHz Elliptical Coil that you need to buy in order to find small pieces of gold sells for $150 new on eBay. Somebody on another forum sent me a PM yesterday and offered to sell me their barely used Tesoro Lobo ST for $315 shipped. Almost worth it to just buy the Lobo ST the guy is offering to me, instead of forking out $150 on just a coil for the X-Terra 705. I'm considering it but not sure yet.

  • The X-Terra 705 is very light weight and breaks down easily into just a few parts, perfect if you are going to travel to alot of places with it like on an airplane or in your backpack.

  • So far it has been fairly easy to determine what object I'm detecting. When I get a beep and the display shows a negative number, it has always been a nail, belt buckle, wire, or some other junk. The only found object that rendered a positive number on the display so far has been a bullet shell.
  • Bottom Line:

    I really like the X-Terra 705 and the all digital display. The more hours I spend on it, the better I'll understand how to work it, but so far it has been fairly easy. I just wish the darn gold coil wasn't so expensive! If I do find a small gold nugget sometime in the future, I'll be sure to post it here on the forum as my first!

    BTW, thanks again guys for those recommendations you gave me in those previous threads linked to at the top of this post! :whoopie:

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    Hi GH21,

    I responded to one of your earlier posts... I too am fairly new to MDing.

    I've logged a number of trips on a GMT... very nice detector.

    Yesterday I logged about six hours on a Gold Bug 2 and I learned ALOT that I did'nt learn on the GMT...different sounds and what they mean. The GB2 doesn't have an ID meter.

    I know it may sound strange but when you rely on the ID meter you (me, anyway) tend not to learn the different sounds of the varying targets or what the detector is telling you regarding ground balance, for example. My suggestion, as strange as it may sound is to cover up the ID meter on your unit and go with your ears and learn to hear what your detector is telling you. Buy a test nugget and keep it with you and throw it on the ground in varying soil conditions ( I must have done this at least thirty times yesterday). You will be suprised how often your detector won't respond or will sound different (fainter,softer,etc.) on the nugget based on if it is in proper GB or not as the soil conditions change. We were in such hot and varying conditions yesterday that I had to rebalance every few feet. I would guess that's why you could'nt hear your coin(?). VLF detectors don't go very deep especially in hot ground or if your machine is not properly balanced. If you are looking for gold it seems the VLF's do best in areas of shallow or exposed bed rock.

    Just a suggestion from my limited experience... buy the coils that you need for your machine for the purposes that you need ( personally, don't see the need for two VLF's if you already have a "all around" type unit ) and then start saving for a PI unit. Then you will have all of your bases covered. Once you learn your new detector better you will understand it's advantages and limitations.

    I hunted yesterday with a very experienced detectorist who was swinging a GPX3500 and got to witness him recover a nugget on his first target of the day! Very cool! I didn't find any gold which was just fine because I learned alot from my two very patient buddies (thanks, guys!).

    Good luck and keep at it. Every time is a learning experience and you WILL get better and better at it.

    Dean

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    bado1, I'm just offering some more fuel for the fire in your brain,......

    As far as my experiences with the GMT , When I first got it I would NOT even look at the display screen I would only hunt by sound.

    After I became familiar with it I started to pay attention to the readout especially the ground balance numbers.

    Then to the IRON BAR GRAPH readout , seeing what it did on the GOLD I was finding and other targets especially METEORITES.

    Then a while after that became second nature to me I started to pay attention to the MINERAL reading. If you develop an interest in drywashing or digging up the ground to test for gold garnets etc. Or to run thru a wet machine Heres where the GMT shines ON , You now can start reading the flows and accumulations of black sands to help you start digging or sampling in better than an educated guess area.

    I agree with you about SOUNDS being the keys to the kingdom, But the GMT is truly a multifaceted jewel that takes time to master and will reap rewards in the process. :coffeetime:

    Have fun out there you guys an HAPY HUNTN.

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    frank c,

    I'm with you... I love the GMT! It really is a multifaceted machine and very user friendly.

    The observations that I mentioned while using the GB2 really suprised me though. I thought that I was getting pretty good at distinguishing the different subtle sounds of the machine. The GB2 "forced" me to concentrate to, as I've heard mentioned before,"get in the zone".

    I like both machines and I am very grateful for the opportunity to use them and learn.

    Dean

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    Is it true that the Minelab X-Terra 10" x 5" 18.75 kHz Elliptical Coil is not waterproof? I saw a comment posted about it in another forum and somebody mentioned they had to epoxy the coil cover and epoxy around the coil cord on the coil to make it waterproof.

    It seems kind of silly to me that Minelab didn't make this coil waterproof like the others, especially since people will be using this coil near water.

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    Giga;

    the 5x10 coil is NOT water proof, donot use it in a stream or immerse in water...it should be fine in the dew or light rain...

    While the xterra is fairly easy to use, donot blame the machine if you could not find the nickel...you either expect too much or had the settings incorrect...time and experience will be your best friend along with reading the manual...

    Most nugget hunting in Australia is done on dry land as it is here...so having a light weight water resistant coil is adequate...

    however, I think all coils should be waterproof...the cost can't be much more at the manufacturing end or the retail end.

    fred

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    Giga;

    the 5x10 coil is NOT water proof, donot use it in a stream or immerse in water...it should be fine in the dew or light rain...

    While the xterra is fairly easy to use, donot blame the machine if you could not find the nickel...you either expect too much or had the settings incorrect...time and experience will be your best friend along with reading the manual...

    Most nugget hunting in Australia is done on dry land as it is here...so having a light weight water resistant coil is adequate...

    however, I think all coils should be waterproof...the cost can't be much more at the manufacturing end or the retail end.

    fred

    After using it more, the gold prospecting mode seems to be much more sensitive compared to coin mode. I buried a nickel about 6-7 inches down in just loose top soil, coin mode couldn't detect it even when I had the sensitivity all the way turned up, I also switched all metal on and it didn't make a difference. But once I turned on prospecting mode it was giving a clear reading of the nickel.

    I'm pretty sure the settings were correct, I auto ground balanced it, noise cancel was set on auto and it selected -1. Volume was all the way up, sensitivity was all the way up. Maybe it's just better to hunt for coins using the prospecting mode I guess.

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    Although I have'nt had the chance to check out the newest member in the xterra family yet I did have the X70 for a while and its a great all around beeper and it will find sub grain gold---been there did it :headphones: and is a pretty good coin beeper as well--to you guys with the gmt's try coin shootin with it in a trashy park :innocent0009: the only usable thing the gmt has on the 70 is the adjustable sat which helps out alot in hot ground other than that the X70 will find just as small of fly sh#$ spec's :icon_mrgreen: ---Mike C... :ph34r2:

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    Although I have'nt had the chance to check out the newest member in the xterra family yet I did have the X70 for a while and its a great all around beeper and it will find sub grain gold---been there did it :headphones: and is a pretty good coin beeper as well--to you guys with the gmt's try coin shootin with it in a trashy park :innocent0009: the only usable thing the gmt has on the 70 is the adjustable sat which helps out alot in hot ground other than that the X70 will find just as small of fly sh#$ spec's :icon_mrgreen: ---Mike C... :ph34r2:

    Mike C,

    I'm sure the X70 and the 705 are great machines and capable of doing things the GMT can't. And, I'm sure, that the GMT has advantages in certain areas over the other two as well. Nobody was compairing machines :innocent0009: . Just trying to help GH21 :icon_mrgreen: From your experience with the X70 it sounds like he's got a great machine. What were your experiences with different coils on the X70?

    Dean

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    Bado1 as far as the coils go I only used 2 H coils for most of my beepin the eliptical and the 10.5 coil---I compared the M coil to the H coils and on coins there really was no difference as far as depth butttt heres the reason for using the H coils they hit way better on lower conducting targets such as nickels and gold jewlery and nuggets---I used the eliptical for nugget hunting and the 10.5 for coin beepin--unfortunatly when I had te X70 the new coils were not out yet so I have no clue about them---

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    I just got the elliptical coil in the other day for my X-Terra 705 and messed with it a little today, very sensitive. When in prospecting mode, it made a clear signal on a coin that was probably 10 inches down in loose top soil. I switched to coin mode and it didn't detect anything, so I'm wondering if I should just stick to prospect mode for all around use and when I detect something, switch to coin mode and see what it picks up.

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    And what good will that do...

    if prospecting mode detects deeper, the coin modes won't be able to identify the target...you can switch from prospecting to the iron id mode and dig all non-iron targets...I use two tones for this and it works well in older trashy areas...

    are you nugget hunting, coin hunting or just hunting?

    Fred

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    And what good will that do...

    if prospecting mode detects deeper, the coin modes won't be able to identify the target...you can switch from prospecting to the iron id mode and dig all non-iron targets...I use two tones for this and it works well in older trashy areas...

    are you nugget hunting, coin hunting or just hunting?

    Fred

    Just hunting for now. That is why I think prospecting mode is better, more sensitive. When I detect something using prospecting mode, I'll just switch to coin mode. If coin mode doesn't detect it then I know it's fairly deep, if coin mode does detect it then I know it's not that deep and then can discriminate based on the numbers it displays on the screen. Right now, I'm digging everything just to learn.

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    Just hunting for now. That is why I think prospecting mode is better, more sensitive. When I detect something using prospecting mode, I'll just switch to coin mode. If coin mode doesn't detect it then I know it's fairly deep, if coin mode does detect it then I know it's not that deep and then can discriminate based on the numbers it displays on the screen. Right now, I'm digging everything just to learn.

    If ya don't get the depth in the coin mode compared to the prospecting mode, chances are you need to up the sensitivity and be sure the ground balance it set right. In the coin mode put the sensitivity up as high a possible till it starts chattering while not moving the coil. I have found a several grams of gold here in the coin mode. And tried switching to prospecting mode and not much difference. And this is a spot near Julian, CA where everyone says there is no gold!!! If your in a area without much iron trash, use the prospecting mode. But if there is a bunch of nails, tin etc, use the coin #1 program. You loose about 10% of the depth, but less trash to contend with. And be sure to use the HF coil. Round or oval not much difference, but for sure the HF coils!!!

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    If ya don't get the depth in the coin mode compared to the prospecting mode, chances are you need to up the sensitivity and be sure the ground balance it set right. In the coin mode put the sensitivity up as high a possible till it starts chattering while not moving the coil. I have found a several grams of gold here in the coin mode. And tried switching to prospecting mode and not much difference. And this is a spot near Julian, CA where everyone says there is no gold!!! If your in a area without much iron trash, use the prospecting mode. But if there is a bunch of nails, tin etc, use the coin #1 program. You loose about 10% of the depth, but less trash to contend with. And be sure to use the HF coil. Round or oval not much difference, but for sure the HF coils!!!

    Which HF coil are you using? The 10" x 5" 18.75 kHz Elliptical Coil?

    I auto ground balanced it, set the noise filter on auto and it chose the best setting, sensitivity was set on 30, volume all the way up, was on coin #1 program. Waved over a coin I buried deep on coin mode, nothing. Switched to prospector mode, and it picked it up fine. I used the 18.75kHz elliptical coil and the stock coil that comes with it, both same results.

    If you are getting similar results with both coin mode and prospector mode, maybe there is something I'm not doing right. Have to play with it more I guess.

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    Since a few of you here own the X-Terra 705, I may as well ask what headphones you are using and what would you recommend? I read in other threads people recommend going with DetectorPro and recommend the Gray Ghost/Black Widow headphones. They are kind of pricey though, was looking for something around $60. Any suggestions? I would of course go with the more expensive headphones if that means I'm going to hear the signals alot better, but I would think just a decent pair would work fine.........anybody ever go from say using a $50-$60 pair of headphones to an expensive pair like the Black Widows and notice a big difference?

    *EDIT* Searching through the forums and reading a bunch, there are alot of people that recommend the Black Widows....but also a bunch of people mention the Black Widows are sweat factories. I'm definitely a big time sweater and it also seems like the Black Widows are designed for people with bad hearing, I have great hearing so not sure if these would be the best choice for me.

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    Gig;

    you can buy $60 headphones and they will work. However, they most likely will not stay the course...I have owned at least 10 sets of good-to-excellent headphones not counting the inexpensive sony-behind-the-ear-types. I currently own a pair of SUN_RAY PRO headphones which I find are very comfortable...Bill sells these on his store site connected to this forum. I highly recommend them...

    When it comes to headphones it is totally what ever works for YOU....but, trial and error willl likely be your teacher...

    Fred

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