25th June 2024
SAKOBS GC1078 Metal Detector

SAKOBS is a name many won’t be familiar with. They are a Chinese brand producing entry-level machines at prices below the mainstream brands.

The company recently sent us two machines plus a pinpointer to review. The machine we are looking at here is the GC1078.

At first glance, the GC1078 looks like a bright yellow Minelab Vanquish. This is mainly due to the collapsible stem design which, I won’t say “copies” the Vanquish but it is certainly very close. It also collapses to the same size as the Vanquish.

The large yellow control box attaches to the stem in a better way than the Vanquish. On that machine, the whole weight is taken by the joint between the control box and the hand grip and we have seen reports of this causing cracks and breaks in the plastic. With the SAKOBS GC1078, the control box slots onto the stem and is secured by a thumb screw. So there is no strain on the control box at all.

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 8 levels
  • Operating Frequency: 6.5 kHz
  • Backlight: Yes
  • Pinpoint: Yes
  • Discrimination/Notch: 5 segments
  • Target ID: Via 7 preset segments
  • Modes: Jewelry, All Metal, Discrimination, Pinpoint
  • Volume Control: 4 levels
  • Stem: Collapsible, 61cm to 125cm
  • 11″ Waterproof Coil
  • Remembers the last settings when powered off
  • Power: 2 x 9v batteries
  • 3.5mm headphone socket
  • Comes with wired headphones, a digging tool, and a carry bag
  • Weight with batteries: 1.2 kg (2.6 lbs)

Build Quality:

The SAKOBS GC1078 is generally well built for the price. The stem handle is hard plastic but appears to be strong enough. The arm cup is padded and of a flexible plastic design, very Vanquish-like!

The large backlit screen is clear and bright. The odd thing about this screen is the vacant centre section. The only time it is filled is when using the pinpoint mode. Unfortunately, there are no VDU numbers. Instead, one or more of the target ID sections will flash when you go over a target. This seems to be a missed opportunity, and it is hoped that future versions of this machine will include a numerical readout.

The upper and lower stems are aluminium and slot well into the plastic handle section. The cam locks are smooth in operation and lock firmly.

This machine comes with an 11″ waterproof search coil. It is a little on the chunky side but seems capable enough.

In Use

We tested the SAKOBS GC1078 on the beach and inland and It performed reasonably well. Certainly in keeping with the price point. 

Sakobs GC1078 Control Box

The first thing to note is that when powered on, there is a tone very much like an overload alarm you will hear when you go over very large, close metal objects. A simple ‘beep’ would have been sufficient. Apart from that, the operation is very simple. There is no ground balance or noise cancel on this machine, so it is pretty much ‘switch on and go’.

The backlight on the model we had is activated by a dedicated button on the control box, but we understand this has been moved on later machines to what is now a dual-function power button. The place where the backlight button used to reside has been taken over by a dedicated ‘Jewelry’ mode button (effectively a simple preset discrimination pattern).

Discrimination mode can notch out certain sections of the target ID. These sections are quite broad, so as with all discrimination, there is a chance that you will also miss good targets. It is, though, quite a handy feature to have.

You can also set the volume level (tap twice on the SET button) as well as the sensitivity through 8 levels.

sakobs-gc1078-detector

On the Beach:

The GC1078 performed fairly well on the dry sand and will detect most targets down to around 7 or 8 inches. We tested a modern £1 coin at 11″, which was quite impressive, but this performance tailed off quite dramatically on smaller targets. The machine struggled to detect a 20p coin at 6 inches, with a more defined response at 4 inches. A small thin 9ct gold ring came in at 4 inches. All tested with sensitivity maxed out.

The wet sand was more of a challenge, and although the machine could be made to work, the sensitivity level had to be dropped by around 50%, which effectively means you are only going to be finding targets quite close to the surface. It also depends a lot on the particular beach you are detecting. All beaches are not the same. However, many single-frequency detectors struggle on the wet sand, and in fairness, SAKOBS does not advertise the GC1078 as a beach machine. The fact that it works there is a bonus.

Inland:

In our testing, the GC1078 gave fairly good results, but it did struggle with some targets. The results were as follows, and this was with the machine set to maximum sensitivity and nothing discriminated out:

  • Small Roman Bronze – 3.5 to 4.00 inches.
  • Victoria Penny – 6.00 inches.
  • 1928 Sixpence – 5.00 inches.
  • 1951 Shilling – 5.00 inches.
  • Modern 50p – 5.00 inches.
  • Large 9ct Gold Ring – 6.00 inches.
  • 18ct Gold Ring – 4.00 to 5.00 inches.
  • Large 925 Silver Ring – 5.00 to 6.00 inches.

The recovery speed was fairly good. Not the best we have seen, but at this price point, it was better than most. I would still advise a slower sweep speed.

Sakobs LCD Screen

Conclusions:

The SAKOBS GC1078 is not a bad machine. It is fairly well made and easy to use, and it comes complete with wired headphones, a digging tool, and a carry bag. The carry bag needs a redesign. It is split into two sections, which means you cannot get the detector into it as one piece. But, it is still a nice little extra to have.

The market is hugely competitive out there at the moment. The brand leaders all have good-quality budget machines in their lineups, but none are priced as low as the GC1078.

With a large LCD display, switchable backlight, collapsible stem, and good performance for the price, the SAKOBS GC1078 would be a good starting point for any would-be detectorist on a budget.

Price and Availability:

The SAKOBS GC1078 is currently only available via Amazon USA, but you can order it for delivery to the EU/UK. There is no import duty to pay.

Price: $159.99, which we think is too high, but as of the time this article went live there was a $64 voucher on offer. That brings the price down to $119.06 (£97.15/€111.72) which is good value for money considering what you get.

Links

Buy the SAKOBS GC1078 on Amazon (this is not an affiliate link).

SAKOBS Metal Detectors

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