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- Location: Hemswell, Lincolnshire. originally from Dublin, southern Ireland
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The Goldmaxx Power or GMP as it is affectionately called, has become a popular sight on rallies and is regarded by many seasoned detectorists as a machine for the professional, a benchmark of quality. That tag has been helped along by the most famous of all machine testers, The Norfolk Wolf, stating that it is his personal choice of machine. There can in my eyes, be no greater accolade. The GMP follows on from the previous Goldmaxx and has different circuitry, so not really a souped up newer version and hard to compare it seems.
I bought mine used, about two years ago, along with a Minelab705 that I have since used about three times. The reason is that they are two totally different machines and I had to opt for one to get familiar with.
The machine comes with a useful booklet and DVD, material that you drift back to again and again as you experiment with the settings. There is also an abundance of videos around online or from The Norfolk Wolf or Rogers Relics and these are a real "must" if you want to get the most out of this light and durable machine from France.
My machine came with the standard 9ins coil and I have not tried others yet, the finds rate being entirely satisfactory so far. Lots of hammies, romans, artifacts of all ages and down to the smallest size. The nickname "Hammy Hoover" is a good one.
The machine does not have a meter to read, so you are relying on 100% tonal recognition. The ear is capable of identifying the tiniest variation in pitch or tone and the coil will never lie to you. You need to practise and practise with the machine in the early stages, running the coil over all sorts of metals and getting the tones logged in your brain for later on out in the field. The GMP is famous for finding the smallest of metal fragments, even amongst iron infested areas and I can certainly bear that out. It WILL find those tiny pieces, so don't moan about your sore back later on! What that means to me is that if the coil passes over a target, it is very unlikely that the coil will miss it, providing the settings are correct.
Settings - These are the controls settings that I started out with and which I have stayed with more or less the same up to now;
Sensitivity 12 O'clock - Ground 12 O'clock - Silencer middle (1)
You need to hear what's in the ground and then if necessary do something about it. You can then tweak the settings to help the ear bashing and make those all important sharp crisp sounds more recognisable. You can use Auto at the outset, but it masks a lot of targets, handy for heavy coke sites but it also slows down the fast recovery speed, something the GMP is renowned for. A bit like driving a Porsche in 1st gear.
Sensitivity - think of it like turning up the volume on the radio, not much use if all you get is a blaring noise, so drop it down a bit if there is too much chatter, you will not actually lose much depth. One of my sites is a very promising Saxon Church area and all around the church the chatter is so much I have to really drop the sens or I would end up deaf.
The machine will default to 3 tones on switching on and I have found that is the best way to hear the signals, but you should still experiment.
Headphones - I bought a new set of Predator phones for use on the GMP and 705 and then found out that the Predators were the one make that were not considered good for the XP range! So I bought a set of the WS1's wireless back phones and I would never want to go back to wired phones. The WS1's are very light, 70 hrs charge, no sweaty ears and hat fits neatly on top in winter, lovely crisp, clear tones.
I use the rechargeable batteries from Maplins, no memory, so good for regular topping up. The XP charger has an adaptor for the french twin pin plugs and they tend to wobble sideways and lose the connection, so I use an elastic band around them both to keep them upright. 40 hrs charge.
I tried the hip mount, for me it felt in the way when digging, might suit others, but the machine is very light anyway. I bought a straight shaft off eBay as this is supposed to be a lot easier on the arm after a few hours. Mine needs a hole drilled underneath to make it align correctly, another job on the list! To reduce the coil/stem weight, bring the cable up to the control box area and then wrap around, using the supplied velcro straps.
Mine came with a control box cover and although very handy for rainy weather, I choose to have it off until needed. If you are with another XP user, there will be interference and that is overcome by simply switching to a different waveband.
The Golmaxxpower is able to excel on ploughed land. It is not a beach machine, there are other specialist machines for that. I LOVE the GMP, I am not yet the master of it and every time I go out, it is a learning process. The settings I have described suit ME and they also seem to work for others, but we are all different.
Don't buy the GMP before having a try with it first to see if you can live with no screen. The machine is a star performer for anyone who has the patience to try to understand the settings. You need to understand what is happening when you alter any setting as it will affect everything else, so do practise at home in the garden.
Not a cheap machine at around £450 used or £650 new. Several GMP users have migrated to the new Deus, looking for the added performance and luxury, but the jury is still out on whether that expensive upgrade is worth it. I notice that the Deus has a Goldmaxx Power programme!
Good luck, Liam