The new Minelab GPX 6000 is out and we had the pleasure of taking it for a spin in Nundle NSW, so how did it perform?
Firstly let's talk about the size and weight because this will be a major talking point. The GPX 6000 Telescopes down to just 67cm in length. With a twist of the shaft it also packs away very Flat and I was pretty happy with the 2.1 Kg weight. In 2 x 2.5 hour sessions I didn't even think about putting on the Bungee strap.
Once extended the Gpx 6000 is well balanced and easy to swing. again the 2.1 Kg is quite light and I had no fatigue going low and slow through some pretty thick grass after the recent rains.
Setting up the 6000 is where users will notice the biggest difference from the GPX 5000 and the GPZ 7000. It takes less than a minute to extend, turn on and have the machine ready to find targets. Noise cancel is done on start up, but there is a noise cancel button. This process takes 7 seconds. Yes thats correct, just 7 seconds. This is down a long way form the 2300, 5000 and 7000.
Its super fast to get up and going so your detecting almost straight away.
Now there are no timings to choose from, and there are very few buttons and no on screen menu. this is because the GPX 6000 uses GEOsense technology to tune itself as you detect.
You still have the quick track button in it familiar position on the CTX3030 and GPZ 7000, so you can ground balance as often as you like. I'm a chronic ground balancer and do it quite often so the button behind your trigger finger is a great option.
You can see that minelab have used some common parts from other minelab machines. The arm cuff is straight off a CTX or 7K. The charger can be used from the Goldmonster and the SDC Lithium.
Its handy if you have those other machines as you can carry less cables and the parts being interchangeable might get you out of a pickle if you break an arm cuff or lose a charger.
So how did it handle the ground?
Number 1 the sound is familiar to minelab PI machine users. If you have heard any of the tones from a minelab gold machine then this one will sound familiar.
It still booms on the shallow trash and the deeper, smaller targets give you that lovely little whisper. I still dug small iron like hob nails and the tiniest pieces of wire but I found that the lead and the gold was a much mellower tone.
I would still dig everything as the one you leave behind could be that nugget you have been looking for.
The GPX 6000 ground balanced quite easily on Manual 10, Auto 1 and Auto 2. Although I found my piece of gold on the Auto 2 setting.
I'm not saying its the best setting, its just the one i was on when I heard a little whisper and thought, that sounds nice!
I used the - Button to drop the machine into manual 10 and did a quick ground balance and the target doubled in response. It was very easy to change the machine settings fast, so you can check targets in 1,2 or even 3 different settings to make sure your on a signal.
I did encounter hot rocks, but not at depth. The rocks where large and most of them where sticking out of the surface of the ground and where easily moved out the way with the pick.
The area we used the machines was at Nundle and is a well known area for small gold. A lot of pieces have come from that area in the past and we weren't sure of we would find any.
3 People, 2 x 2.5 hour sessions each and we managed 3 pieces.
2 with the 6000 and one with the 2300.
In conclusion I found the GPX 6000 to be light in Physical weight but still packed a mighty punch. It was very easy to get going and I hadn't even read the manual or seen any literature about the product. The minelab guy showed me the buttons the day before and within 24 hours I was happily swinging away.
The 6000 takes away the settings person in your head always asking if you have the thing set right. As the Geo sense does a lot of the work for you, the optimum setting seemed to be ON and pointed at the ground.
There was some difference between the manual mode and the 2 automatic, but as mentioned in 2 seconds you can change the settings and check a target.
If your looking for switch on and go simplicity yet retail some serious gold detecting power then the minelab GPX 6000 should be on your radar.