Golden Mask 5+: Is It Worth It, And How Good Is It? (Our Review!)
The company Golden Mask originates from the brand Banditto. But after the discovery of the golden mask of the Thracian Tsar, the company changed the brand name to the already familiar Golden Mask. The step was made right – after this incident, the Golden Mask began to creep across Europe and gained great fame in one of the largest markets for treasure hunters, in a country where detecting is strictly regulated and profitable not only to the diggers but also to the owners of the land and the state, namely in the UK.
About the first impressions of the Mask 5+, I already wrote in this article, but now, after a year of use, I can write about this metal detector in more detail.
Overview after a year of detecting
In general, it turned out that I used the Mask 5+ for forest detecting. We have different forests – both mixed and coniferous, because in the summer when all the fields were planted, we had to dig in the pine forests. It brought its fruits, of course. Mask 5+ is a top-of-the-line VLF metal detector in the company’s line-up and, as it should have a top model, it has all the necessary settings for detecting – here you have the PowerBox, Threshold level change, and two frequencies (8 and 18 kHz!), and adjustable ground balance. As already mentioned – the Mask 5+ can operate at two frequencies, this is 8 kHz or 18 kHz. The manufacturer recommends using 18 kHz always, this is true for most places because for decades of detecting with low-frequency devices (5-8 kHz) many places have already been thoroughly emptied out and all that remains is to pick up small coins and other finds that were missed by low-frequency detectors. 18 kHz is a priority frequency. However, I used 8 kHz to search for military relics in my forests, because we had battles in 1941 and in 1944.
For example, on a good depth, I found a Soviet bullet, with a caliber of 7.62×54 mm. Apparently, in 1941 someone in this place fired from a Mosin rifle or a Maxim machine gun, driving a bullet deep into the ground. If you read the history of this cartridge, then its bullet has the following breakthrough effect: an earth barrier from freely poured sandy loam soil is easily penetrated by all types of bullets at a distance of 1000 m and to a depth of 25-30 cm.
The detector sees coins perfectly and you do not have to worry that with properly set up settings and correct installation of the ground balance, the metal detector will not miss a small coin at a depth of 20-25 cm. As an example, one of the coins I found in the forest was 3 kopeks from 1946.
This coin lay right next to a small tree so it was a bit difficult to dig. But thanks to the use of a small standard coil (9 “), this coin was discovered by me from a depth of about 23 cm, judging by the deepening of the pit by my shovel.
The metal detector is very convenient and well balanced in weight. Despite the fact that it is powered by 10 AA batteries, it does not tire the hand and after 4 hours of detecting, the hand, at least for me, did not hurt. The handle is quite wide and the fingers do not hurt from grasping the hilt strongly, as often happens where the handle is thin (at least for my big hand).
The metal detector is very compact and perfectly folds together with the coil and wires in a convenient design that can easily be placed in a standard travel bag, as an example – a 65-liter Bundeswehr rucksack where the 5+ Mask easily fits with a small shovel. Or a backpack for detecting, which is sold a lot in different stores for metal detectors.
Despite the fact that the metal detector block is waterproof (it keeps dust and water, but it can not be immersed), I would recommend using it with a cover. The battery compartment, by the way, must be protected from moisture and water, cleaned of dirt, because it contains the speaker, a sound transmitter for wireless headphones, and a button for switching between headphones and the built-in speaker. Also in the battery compartment, there is a charging connector and it was very convenient – all 10 batteries are charged at the same time and being in the metal detector! This reduces the risk of going detecting with empty batteries.
The assembly clamps are convenient for use and do not cause problems in assembly and disassembly, the only thing is that they should be protected and periodically cleaned of dirt and debris accumulated inside.
An interesting option on the Mask 5+ screen is a good idea – it’s a spectrometer or a spectral visual screen interface. Now almost any metal detector has VDI – the numerical value of the reflected signal, which shows us about what metal can be found in the ground and under the coil. The VDI at the Mask 5+ is in the upper right corner and has values from -5 to 99. Values of -5 and up to 0 are objects from ferrous metals, and everything in the positive segment (above 0) is objects from non-ferrous metals. However, on the scale at the bottom of the screen, simultaneously with the VDI exponent, the graphs grow – sometimes they are simple (high pillar), sometimes wide and intermittent, stretched over half the scale, for example, but what does all this mean? The answer is quite simple and it can already be found in the manual:
Of course, no value is 100% true and therefore the last decision for the user, but in most cases, it works. The spectrometer’s indicator can vary from the position of the coil above the object, the intensity of the coil’s sweeping, height and other factors.
I was able to accurately determine the object before it was dug. For example, even the case, when sweeping from both sides, it gave slightly different readings of the spectrometer and the same VDI indicator, by which it was clear that this was no longer a coin, but something more stretched out. The coin gives such an indicator that you will never be mistaken, that it is a coin and not some other metal object. Of course, on plowing, coins can also be on the rib, and therefore any positive signal should be dug unless it is, of course, a large piece of rusty sheet metal and the spectrometer’s graph is stretched on one-fourth of the scale.
Coils for the Golden Mask 5+
I have two coils for the Mask 5+:
1. Standard 9″ coil:
A small, but very light and comfortable coil for finding small coins and such objects in places of abundant accumulation of metal dust. The coil, of course, is DD, which means that it has a wide range of scanning. Such a coil is convenient for securing single useful signals located between garbage signals, which we do not want to dig out. I would recommend taking the standard kit with such a coil, because you always have time to buy a large coil, and now it is more attractive to detect littered sections of fields and old tracts.
2. 13″ Karma coil:
I prepared this coil for the next season. I bought it directly from the manufacturer, the benefit of the coil itself is inexpensive – it had a price of 99 euros. The size is 13″, which makes it universal for reconnaissance of new places and searching of such littered areas on the field where serious activity could have taken place in the past and where it is necessary to come with a small 9″ coil.
The difference in the size of the coils is very significant:
If you put them side by side, you can see that 13″ is almost twice the size! My 9″ coil has already seen many detecting trips and is waiting for its turn to wash and prepare for the season. 🙂
The karma coil is light in weight and does not make the detector heavier, nor does it shift the center of gravity of the metal detector. Also, thanks to its size, the coil gives a small, but a gain to the depth, through the air it gave almost 30 cm to the gold ring and the spectrograph, and the VDI showed the correct and digging designation on the screen. I will be sure to write in the future, how the Mask 5+ shows itself in the fields, I’m waiting for spring!
Preferred settings for the Golden Mask 5+
It is not XP Deus, and the number of settings here is not the largest. Of course, that greatly simplifies the work with a metal detector! Less headache for the user = more finds, of course! Options of combinations for the settings on the Mask 5+ is enough, but I will only touch those that I use almost constantly during detecting in the forest or on the field.
Usually, I dig at 18 kHz, so I put in the settings of 18 kHz and the BITONAL mode. The mode of two-tone discrimination is best suited for reconnaissance of new places and everyday detecting because despite the screen you already understand which signal the device is delivering – in a low tone it reacts to objects of iron, and the high tone informs about the object from a good signal. However, as with any other metal detector, if you have few objects on the site of detecting, then it makes sense to put the “all metals” mode and get another two centimeters of depth, and suddenly get to your cherished find?
GAIN. The gain setting, it’s also a sensitivity function. I set this depending on the situation and ground, but in most case, I go for a value of 2. If the detector is too noisy and a lot of interference, then try to reset (press ENTER) or change the frequency of the device. If nothing then helps, it will be necessary to reduce GAIN and, therefore, to lose depth.
PBox set to High, that is, a high value, this gives an increase in depth, especially for small targets.
This, in general, is all the settings.
Golden Mask 5+ Results
In general, I was pleased with this metal detector. If you look at the price (520 euros), then in Europe this metal detector at such a price has very few competitors.
Yes, it has been heard about various errors and problems arising in the use process, but at the moment (in spring 2018) most of the problems have already been fixed and all sores are known, which means everything is easily treated and corrected, and therefore it is doubtful that you will get any errors. I modified my Mask 5 + a bit because I bought it last year and had small places for improvement. Now the detector runs perfectly and pleases with finds, which should do.
What can I say? If you want to buy it, then you need to buy it, find your finds and enjoy detecting. If you are in doubt, it would be good to hold it in your hands and see it in person. In its price range, the detector is very good and therefore you can compare it with metal detectors in a little more expensive class. The potential in the metal detector is large, sufficient flexibility in the settings, good depth of search, good response to objects under the ground, sufficient versatility due to the presence of two frequencies, suitable for digging on the beach, in the woods, and on the field. More here is the question of personal preferences.
Many of my fellow detectorists who used the Mask detectors before, switched again to the metal detectors Golden Mask, which shows a good trend and characterizes the manufacturer, here the main rule is that not always the most expensive metal detector will bring more finds than a metal detector for 350-550 euros (Mask 4 and 5 +). 😉
If you have your experience using Masks 5+, then share it with us, our readers will be grateful!