The GTAx550 is a great unit

I really like my GTAx550, it is no longer my primary hunting detector, but it's ease of use make it a nice entry level machine. I need to get some of the newer coil options for it.
I still own a GTA1000 (10+ years old). It is a great unit. I also owned a GTA500 (can't remember if it was a 550 or 500) and sold it a few years back after I picked up my XLT).

I found many good coins (including Barber Half) with the GTA1000. Anytime someone is interested in going out with me, I let them use that detector.. so absolutely, a great starter.