The White’s MXT was the first good quality detector that I ever owned. It was a nice step-up from the cheap coin detectors I had used previously, and when I started taking it out into the goldfields I could immediately tell that it was a nice improvement from those cheaper detectors I first used.Note: This article was written many years ago. If you are looking for the ultimate multi-purpose metal detector for gold, coins, and relics I now recommend the Minelab Equinox 800.
A True Multi-Purpose Metal Detector
The thing that attracts most people to the White’s MXT is that it is marketed as a multi-purpose detector. It has 3 distinct settings; Coin & Jewelry, Relics, and Prospecting mode. Depending on the type of detecting you are doing, you can change the settings on the detector to suit your needs.
The MXT is one of the few multi-purpose detectors on the market that is actually capable of finding gold nuggets consistently. Most of them actually have a hard time dealing with the mineralized soil conditions that are found in most gold-bearing areas, but once you understand to learn the “language” of the MXT, you will find that it does a good job.
This detector operates at 14 kHz, which is lower than most dedicated gold detectors on the market. Its sensitivity is still not as good as other gold specific detectors such as the White's GMT or the Fisher Gold Bug 2
. However, it is still a very good gold detector, especially if you want something that has the extra features found in the coin/jewelry and relic modes.
The MXT comes from the factory with a 9.5” round concentric coil. This coil is just ok, but to get the most out of this detector for finding gold nuggets, I highly recommend that you pick up on of the aftermarket Double D coils, specifically the 4” x 6” DD or the 6” x 10” DD. Both of these have better sensitivity to small gold nuggets, and will operate with better stability in iron-rich soil conditions.
Using the Relic Mode for Gold Hunting
Interestingly, back when I was using the MXT I frequently used it in the Relic mode, rather than the prospecting mode. This is actually a pretty neat way to use this detector, particularly in areas that are littered with a lot of iron trash. When set up properly, you can take advantage of the 2-tone system of the MXT to give you a low tone “grunt” on iron trash and the higher tone “chirp” on non-ferrous metals like lead and gold.
Hunting for gold nuggets in relic mode gained a lot of popularity at the pay-to-mine operation up at Ganes Creek, Alaska. This was an area that was notorious for having lots of iron trash, but also for having very large gold nuggets. There was just too much trash here, so some sort of discrimination was needed. The MXT in relic mode, using the 9.5” concentric coil became the choice of many here, and it can successfully be used in other trashy locations throughout the West.
Compared to Other Gold Detectors
Now full-disclosure on my experiences with the White's MXT… this detector is simply not as sensitive to small gold nuggets as many other gold detectors on the market. If you are looking for a detector to use solely for gold prospecting, I would recommend one of the many gold specific metal detectors on the market. In the same price range are the White's GMT, Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Fisher Gold Bug 2, Tesoro Lobo SuperTraq, Garrett AT Gold, Minelab Gold Monster 1000, White's 24k
, and many others. In my opinion, these are all better detectors for gold prospecting. However, if you are looking for a good multi-purpose metal detector that will find gold nuggets while still doing a great job finding coins at the park then the MXT is a fine choice.
Also Read: The Gold Bug Pro vs. Gold Bug 2
And: Metal Detecting for Gold Nuggets