As I slowly search the face of a steep, wooded hillside 200 feet above the main entrance to the old campsite the detector suddenly gives a distinct audio signal. Glancing at the ID meter, it is solidly locked-on at DIME. I am confident the meter is correct! Sure enough, the new Whites 6000 PRO XL that I am field testing is again correct. This time, I hold a beautiful 1901 Barber Dime in my hand a foot away, a 48 signal proves to be an 1899 Indian Head cent!
Anyone who has detected during the last ten to 20 years is certainly aware of Whites various model 6000/D-series detectors. They are, and have been, some of the most used, most productive and most time-tested detectors ever built. Their collective finds track record is perhaps unmatched, as many thousands upon thousands of finds have been made with them.
Just recently, Whites did a remake of its ever-popular model 6000/D, which keeps all of its previous best features, adds a few new ones and significantly reduces its control box size and weight. This redesign has evolved into a new model the 6000 PRO XL. Features
Whites new 6000 PRO XL is a single-frequency VLF metal detector featuring an analog identification (ID) and depth meter, four selectable search modes and an Auto GEB (ground balance) and tracking feature. New surface mount electronics reduces circuit noise and increases efficiency. This compact circuit design enables the PRO XLs control box to be 50 percent smaller. Prior to the invention of the microprocessor, digital electronics and displays, metal detectors with ID capability used the time-proven analog panel meter to indicate probable targets. Analog, or needle-type, meters provide some significant benefits not readily obtainable with newer, digital displays. Most notably is the easy interpretation of readings, simply because the meter pointer moves its angular position in reference to the various targets detected. Many detectorists prefer analog ID. Some, because it is what they started with and have learned, but most like it (myself included) because it is an accurate, easy-to-view and interpret system of target identification.
The 6000 PRO XL has the following controls, switches and functions:
Signal Balance: This control adjusts the amount of receive signal coming from the searchcoil. You can think of this as the sensitivity control on other brands. In low mineralization ground, the Signal Balance control can usually be set at or near its maximum setting. This will provide the best depth and sensitivity to targets. In higher mineralization, this control setting will need to be reduced to the point where the detector becomes smooth and stable.
Tuner: The Tuner control sets the amount of background audio threshold level (hum). This should be set for the minimum audio sound possible.
Mode: The Mode control (switch) is used to set the operating mode of the detector. Four choices are possible: GEB/NORM; GEB/DISC; TR/DISC; GEB/SAT. The GEB/NORM and GEB/SAT are all-metal modes, while the GEB/DISC and TR/DISC are discrimination modes. Most detectorists will use the GEB/DISC (motion) mode most of the time, but there are times and site conditions that may require the use of one of the other operating modes and may even be a better choice than the GEB/DISC mode. One very important feature of the 6000 PRO XL is that its ID system and meter works in ALL modes of operation even in its all-metal modes! This can be a real plus for relic, coin and jewelry hunters who want to use the maximum depth, low-target masking properties of the all-metal modes and still reap the benefits of an accurate target ID system. I really like this feature.
Power: The Power control turns the detector ON/OFF, selects either Hot Rock Accept or Hot Rock Reject, and tests the battery strength. The Hot Rock Accept mode provides maximum results, but in areas containing hot rocks, many false signals are likely while operating in this mode. The Hot Rock Reject setting cancels most responses caused by hot rocks and makes operation smoother, but may reject very deep or weak targets that appear similar to hot rocks in their response. It is recommended not to use this setting unless needed. The Hot Rock Reject setting has worked well for me while detecting some gravel-filled parking areas, old gravel roadways and even in some trashy sites where targets where not extremely deep. The Battery Check position of this control is used to check the condition of the batteries. A meter indication of 50 or above will operate the detector. If a reading of less than 50 is observed, batteries require replacement. Most batteries will provide from 8-16 hours of operating time. This time rating will be dependent on battery type and brand, the use of headphones or not, and the operating mode selected. The 6000 PRO XL comes with Whites standard drop-in battery pack (802-7150) that holds eight AA type batteries.
Discrimination: This control sets the amount of discrimination and should always be set to the lowest setting possible. The meter can and should be used to identify targets instead of just using the discrimination control to totally reject them. The discrimination control does not work with the GEB/MAX or GEB/NORM modes.
Auto G.E.B.: The Auto GEB is used to select the actual ground rejection setting (ground balance). This feature is very easy to use and do. Once set, GND AUTO TRAC can be selected to automatically track any changes in the ground. This continual updating of the ground rejection setting improves performance. For maximum depth and ground coverage, the 6000 PRO XL is supplied with a 9.5 inch open-center searchcoil, a 1/4 inch headphone jack and an internal speaker. Although no volume control is provided, the volume level can be controlled by using headphones equipped with volume controls.
Field Use And Findings
Conducting a field test in the months of December and January is always a risky venture here in Pennsylvania. You just never know what the weather will bring. My test started off fine, but by the end of December, winter had arrived and I was pretty well snowbound for the remainder of my allotted time. Fortunately, I started in early November and had enough time to give it a good workout before bad weather set in. As the field test progressed, with each new outing and site detected, I discovered just how smooth and deadly the 6000 PRO XL and its analog meter identification is it is surely one of the best analog-meter ID detectors that I have ever used. It is also very easy to understand and operate. It is not a difficult detector to use. Not exactly a turn-on-and-go detector, but with its marked control presets, automatic ground reject and tracking pretty close to it with a whole lot more power, depth and features.
In the weeks of my field test, I found and uncovered many coins and interesting items with the 6000 PRO XL. The smoothness, accuracy and repeatability of its ID meter is amazing! The large, easy-to-read meter has excellent visibility and markings. All-in-all, I found it to be an excellent performing, well-built, easy-to-use metal detector. The only two comments I have are that with the control box mounted and positioned under the operators forearm, control viewing and adjustment is a little awkward, but not really a problem. The other comment is that I could have used an extra set of adjustment holes in the S-pole assembly to accommodate my shorter stance. It appears that there is room to do this.
At the site of the old campsite I detected numerous shotgun shell brass, these consistently read at around 38 on the meter and I always knew what they were before digging. All of the coins found indicated accurately as did most trash Whites metering system is excellent. All controls and functions work well and I very much appreciate the trigger switch and its proper location under the index finger! I also like and prefer their smooth, single-frequency, modulated pinpointing audio. Whites 6000/D series detectors have always been popular with detectorists worldwide and for many good reasons. Likewise, the new 6000 PRO XL is a very-well engineered metal detector with the right combination of features, balance and performance. In my opinion, this detector is as close to a perfect 10 rating as you can get for an analog ID metal detector with real switches, knobs and controls. While I freely admit that no detector is perfect and that we always want more, I have to say that from my experience, the 6000 PRO XL is impressive. As I write this field report, the year 2000 is less than one month away. How improbable and yet very appropriate is the finding of two coins from almost exactly 100 years ago from the then turn of 1800s into the 1900s. As I hold and admire the 1899 Indian Head and 1901 Barber dime, I cant help but become captivated. I have touched history and traveled time in a way not possible by any other means. The 6000 PRO XL has done its job very well. I am confident that it will lead many detectorists to new adventures and discoveries for many years into the new millennium!
The 6000 PRO XL has a suggested retail price of $699.95 and is warranted for a period of 24 months. A 36-page instruction manual is included. For additional information, contact: Whites Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, OR. 97386. Distribution: 1-800-547-6911. Factory: 1-541-367-6121. FAX: 1-541-367-2968. Web site: whiteselectronics.com. E-Mail: whiteshalcyon [dot] com