Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

GP Xtreme, 3000, 3500, 4000, 4500, 5000.........???


rluckadoo

Recommended Posts

Having made the 3000 mile journey from western North Carolina to northern CA every summer for five or so years now, to dredge my gold claims in the Salmon River Region of Siskiyou county, I have really been disappointed with the decision to indefinitely end dredging in CA. I hope dredging will someday be restored, and yes I can do some hi-banking on the claims.........however, my plan is to do some serious detecting out there this year for a few weeks.

Now, I have been using a Minelab E-trac for coins and relics here in the Carolinas since the Etrac came out. Used an SE for a few years, and a regular explorer before that. However, I haven't done a lot of detecting for nuggets. I love my Minelab coin and relic detectors. If I am going to travel 3000 miles to my claims and spend three weeks in the remote location that my claims are in, I want a top quality nugget detector strapped to my arm.

So, my question is.......which would you buy? I know price dictates a lot. And to be honest, really don't think I can afford a 5000 for three weeks of hunting this summer. So, give me some ideas on the "pros" and "cons" of each of these top minelab detectors. What makes a 3000 better than an extreme, or a 4000 better than a 3500??? Are there any detectors in this series that you really don't prefer? Are there any of the older units that you really do like a lot? Are the detectors pretty consistent or were their "hot" ones and "not so hot" ones in the series. For example, I have heard that there were good GPXtremes and there were some that were not so good. I want all these factors to play into this discussion. Hopefully this will help not only myself, but others contemplating spending a decent sum of money to get a top quality nugget detector.......

I do know the area that I will be hunting has not been detected very much. Not sure how hot the rocks are there, but I would suspect pretty hot, based on the amount of black sands we get in our dredges over a summer of dredging. Two summers ago brought home around 500lbs of rich black sands to run (from a 6 week dredge outing) It is extremely remote and I know it does have detectable size nuggets.

This should be a great discussion and I look forward to hearing the pros and cons of these different minelab detectors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

North Carolina this is like asking this group what is better a Chevy or Ford???...your sure to get some answers so

for mine I've used all the Minelabs up to my present a GPX4000....for the difference in money and for such a short

time(three weeks you say)I would go with the GP3000 or GP3500...and a very small coil(Coiltek Joey)as an example

and a larger coil...a 14" DD since you have a lot of hot rocks and black sand...on another plus side of a DD is

the fact with the 3000 or 3500 you can just flip a switch and turn that DD into a mono.... :twocents:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if the area has not been detected, any Minelab Pi will find the gold...buy what you can afford for the trip...a 2100, 2200, and any others will be fine...I love my 3500 now that it works correctly...but the 4000 and 4500 are a many steps above the 3500; the 5000 is no doubt way better than them...

...there is no BEST!!!

Also, the Whites TDI and Garret INfintium might do as well for your needs...and you may find others uses for them as multi-purpose units...there are pages of answers to these questions on all the forums in the archives...do some reading

fred

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if the area has not been detected, any Minelab Pi will find the gold...buy what you can afford for the trip...a 2100, 2200, and any others will be fine...I love my 3500 now that it works correctly...but the 4000 and 4500 are a many steps above the 3500; the 5000 is no doubt way better than them...

...there is no BEST!!!

Also, the Whites TDI and Garret INfintium might do as well for your needs...and you may find others uses for them as multi-purpose units...there are pages of answers to these questions on all the forums in the archives...do some reading

fred

What Fred said....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Fred said;

with the proviso that the operator can make a huge difference.

Make a big effort to learn your machine and train yourself to pay attention to subtleties in the Threshold

and I am sure we will be reading about your success on this forum.

I also am an unabashed fan of Minelab PI's.

All the best,

Flak

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best bang for the buck, IMO, sd2100 with pocket rocket and black widow headphones and a 14 E Mono Nugget finder coil plus a stock 11"DD coil...Compared to the newer ML PI's it is as sensitive as any, tho' a bit noisier...You can spend more money, but I don't think you'll find any more gold than this recommendation...If you really want to spend more money, get the above and back it up with a gold bug 2 and 6" coil...For the type of ground you'll be hunting, especially if you have that serpentine so common in that area, I know from experience the two detectors will really cover you...Cheers, Unc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't used any of the Minelab PIs so I can't comment on them, but one thing that struck a cord is that you said that you have been dredging on your claim for the past 5 years or so, this to me means that you maybe detecting in and around the water on your claim, so I would be sure to have a coil that is waterproof, from what I read Minelab coils are not waterproof, there are some aftermarket coils that are waterproof, i.e. Coiltek Platypus, I'm not sure if there're others and I would think you would want to have a waterproof coil and need advice as to which would be best.

Skip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys for all the posts! I figured it would be like a Ford vs. Chevy debate. I am sure there are others who are looking to purchase a nugget detector with the same questions. So just thought I would throw it out there for a post topic. I am planning to purchase this spring and will be heading out in June or July. Wish I was gonna be dredging, but that's probably unlikely to be open by this summer....if ever. I love Minelab and am absolutely sold on their products. There are detectable size nuggets there, and I'm sure it hasn't been detected in a while, and feel sure I will need a PI detector with the type of rocks there. Getting a waterproof coil is a great suggestion. Bedrock is very shallow in many parts of the creek and surrounding area. Thanks again guys! Look forward to posting some nuggett finds later this summer. Also, will be on the lookout for a good PI detector to take out with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in the same situation as Rluckadoo, I'm convinced that I need a Minelab PI, but which one? Minelab changes models like autos and computers. There is a second generation SD2100 named the SD 2100v2 that can be had for about $1500. Both of these are out of production. I don't know what the difference is. I'm spending time tying to figure it out about all Minelabs. I have asked this question elsewhere but no one weighed in. The difference in cost between a SD2100 model and a 5000 is $4000. What is the trade off? Is the 2100 so inferior ? What makes the 5000 worth so much more? All the Minelab models are a mystery to me but I think that Minelab is boss when looking for nuggets.

Bill C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have owned the Whites TDI , MXT , GMT and the 4500. I now use the 5000. My time in the field is somewhat limited. Any of these will find gold if its there.The Minelabs ,will just find them a little deeper and in hotter ground. The GMT is great for finding really small gold.Good Luck.Can't wait to see your finds. Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen the GMT mentioned by several of you here. Will the GMT work in hot ground? I am a Minelab Fan! So it would be hard for me to buy other than a Minelab.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

rluckado a few things to keep in mind...a water resistant coil and a water proof coil is two entirely different

animals...as far as I know Coiltek is the only coil manufacturer that makes "water proof" coils...the Platypus..

mini-UFO...the UFO...and the out of production Dingo DD...I don't know if they make any for the GMT or not...

Another point to remember although detectors are very reliable they do sometimes break...at the preset time I

believe the Minelab repair center doesn't carry parts for anything below the GP3000 or maybe GP3500...

Good luck!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Garimpo, that is a very good point on the coils. I would definitely want a waterproof for the creeks. Bedrock is very shallow there in most places, even in the creek in most places. You know, after thinking about your statement regarding a detector "breaking", I got to thinking about the area that I will be detecting in . My claims are very, very, very remote. We are three hours from the closest Walmart and 1 1/2 hours from the closest power! So, that means that I will not be able to charge the batteries with AC power. Now my vehicle can be driven to within a mile or so of the entrance of the claim; however, not sure the car charger would be adequate for continuous (on a daily basis) charging and recharging. Minelab doesn't make a "D" cell battery pack for the nugget detectors, like they do for the Etrac do they? That would be very handy. I could just buy enough batteries for the time out there and pack them in. When we pack into the claims, we are totally self sufficient, not coming back out for a week at a time.....no power, no running water (except for the creek), etc. We usually pack out once a week to head into town (6 hour round trip) for supplies for the upcoming week.

Any thoughts on that guys......the battery charging situation..... That might make a major difference in the type of detector that I choose to buy and take out.

Of those waterproof coils, which do you recommend?

Thanks for the input guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The car charger that comes with a PI Minelab will work perfect. And a full charged battery will usually outlast your arm. They do not take long to charge directly off 12V DC cigarette plug.Occasionally I even recharge mine off the accessory plug on my ATV. My 2 cents is to get the best model PI you can fit in your budget. If there is a lot of dry exposed bedrock along the creek... you should have one of the smaller coils like the 8" commander. It is really good for dry sniping bedrock. Also, the new line of Nugget Finder Advantage coils are waterproof to 2 feet. There are some great deals out there on the GPX 4000.... a great gold getter!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

rluckadoo....don't worry about the Minelab charger for the "dome top" batteries(all SD's...GP Extreme..3000..3500)

their tough...I've had mine screwed to the dash in the PU since 1994 and it still works good...if you could find a

12 volt solar panel that would work that would be great...one battery charge will last at least two days while your

charging the other battery....in my PU the battery is charged up in half the time I used it...6hrs beeping...three hrs

charging...

If you go with a GPX4000 or 4500 or 5000 that battery is so lite you won't even know your carrying it and it last about

12hrs also but takes a little longer to re-charge...

So for the list is two batteries...an appropriate charger...a solar panel or a car battery fully charged will charge a lot

of detector batteries and one other thing...a pack horse or a strong wife to pack all this in and out!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great suggestions! And yes, you are right about a pack horse to pack in and out. It is funny that you mention that. The only way in is up the old mule trail that they used to take supplies to the mine at the head of the creek. The mine is about 4.5 miles up the creek from where you enter the claim. It is very, very narrow. In fact, too narrow for a two wheel cart. I am going to try to attach some photos of the claim site and us packing supplies into the claim in 2008. For several years, we just backpacked the stuff in. In 2008, we fabricated a 2 wheel cart to try to make things easier; however, the trail was so narrow in places that we had to pick the cart up and carry it. So, in 2009, we actually fabricated a one wheel cart to pack in supplies. It was a little unstable left to right, but worked well on that narrow trail. It would usually take us 4-5 trips to get all the equipment and our living supplies in. Sometimes we have stayed all summer, sometimes 4-8 weeks at a time, and occasionally a couple or three weeks a few times a year. We usually hike in 2-3 miles up that trail.

Hopefully the photos will attach. Enjoy..............!!! Looking at these photos gives me the worst case of "gold fever" that you could imagine. Some of the greatest memories of my life are in that canyon. For those of you reading this who are new to prospecting, you will know what I mean soon......once you truly have "gold prospecting fever".

For you experienced prospectors, you know what I am talking about and hopefully these photos will get you fired up to get back out there! Enjoy!

post-1705-0-04976200-1296853147_thumb.jp

post-1705-0-96047700-1296853206_thumb.jp

post-1705-0-82294200-1296853267_thumb.jp

post-1705-0-09638500-1296853304_thumb.jp

post-1705-0-50119000-1296853344_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple more photos......just couldn't resist! Sure wish dredging would come back, but these are the areas I will be nugget shooting this summer.

post-1705-0-23572700-1296854505_thumb.jp

post-1705-0-95630300-1296854564_thumb.jp

post-1705-0-69794800-1296854612_thumb.jp

post-1705-0-52789200-1296854683_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't remember exactly how much was in that pan. I think that was from a week in 2007 or 2008? I believe it was about an ounce of pickers??? Most of the gold from this claim is very, very fine though. 100 mesh and smaller!!! That is why it stinks that there's no more dredging. Hard to get that 100mesh minus with anything but a dredge. We have thought about a helicopter. Just seems to be cost prohibitive. Notice all the smoke in that one photo. That is in 2008 when we had all the forest fires. We thought we were gonna have to evacuate as the fires got within about five miles of us. You would wake up in the morning and the tent would be covered in ash like snow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I love my GPX 5000. They do take some time to learn. The good part is that they do have some preset modes to start out with, then you can tweak as you go to learn them better. I also love my Garrett Infinium and it is waterproof, I use the 8 inch mono and 14 inch mono coils on the infinium most.

That being said, if you can afford it I recommend a good PI machine in either a Garrett Infinium, Whites TDI or the big boy GPX. I also always have a VLF machine close by either my Gold Bug II or Whites GMT. They can both serve different purposes and it never hurts to have a backup when you are remote incase one detector takes a dump. Both the Gold Bug and The Whites GMT are pretty affordable and great if you have someone with you that wants to detect but you dont want them using you GPX.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yo Robert...Check your PM's ... That country is just over the hill from where my ranch was, where I lived, mined and prospected for 23 years ... I know that ground intimately...Cheers, Unc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...