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MINELAB DETECTOR REVIEWS


Welcome to the Minelab Metal Detector review page. If you have not noticed, the price of precious metals has been skyrocketing. More and more treasure hunters are using metal detectors to search for platinum, gold, silver and tungsten wedding bands. There are many tools available in the market to find these treasures. Minelab claims to have the "World's Best Metal Detection Technologies" but let's see what their customers have to say. These reviews are written by actual users out in the field, this is their own actual opinion on what they use. Check back often as we add reviews to this page as we get them.

Toms Treasures is posting these as a service to our users, We do not necessarily agree or disagree with any of the reviews.

If you would like to post a review of the detectors you use, email tom@tomstreasures.com and we will post it here giving you full credit for the review.

Reviews can be in your own words, and do not have to be technical in nature, the more info you can provide on your likes and dislikes the better.





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MINELAB EXPLORER
By Mark Mays

PROS:

Damn good machine with wot and tweaking few settings cant beat it for depth.

CONS: If anything goes wrong,. Minelab wont fix anymore if its outdated, which i think is not right. Pay $1500 for a machine they should still fix them.




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MINELAB SOVEREIGN GT
By Dave McMahon

Only machine I ever use anymore is my Sovereign GT. I hunt almost all of my time on the beach, which is where I feel this machine excels.. Armed with a 15" WOT coil, I feel the machine is deadly on the beach. I have found a great amount of things with this machine. Also, it finds objects at great depths.. Even the smallest piece of metal, isn't missed by the GT/WOT combo...

No falsing down in wet sand or the water, like other machines I have owned. Simple, effective, and finds every damn thing on the beach.. The Sovereign GT, in my opinion, cannot be beaten.





MINELAB QUATRO PRO MP

By Barry Ephraim

After alot of research on the latest metal detectors, I had decided on the Minelab Quattro MP, and I am very glad that I did. This is a completely diferent detector that what you may be familiar with. First, the Quattro is VERY sensitive & goes DEEPER than it's competitor's machines especially the DFX. Until you get used to the Quattro and it's musical language, it's best to run in a preset mode in auto sensitivity.

Yes, I can see why some people may get frustrated with pinpointing with a DD coil, and the multiple tones, but I feel that they just do not want to take the time to really learn the nuances of this great machine. And you can truly believe the depth reports on the Quattro. In a local "Hunted Out" park, I was able to pull a nice 1913 Wheatie at 9".

If you are looking for simplicity & power combined, you can't go wrong with the Quattro MP.

Way To Go Minelab




MINELAB SOVEREIGN GT

By C.WALMSLEY FROM DORSET

Hello to you!! just would like to say that the new Sovereign Gt is better than all machines that i have owned over the past 20 years and i do like to change every two years. The last one was the Sovereign xs 2a pro, to which i still own.

First day with the new machine, You can see photos of the first day with the mew machine in the members find section of this website. They are photos of 1x gold pin,probably Medieval. 1x silver Roman ear scraper,bit bent but hey! beggers can't be choosers!!!!!

I am known genraly as lucky but ev have to say that the machine deserves a better write up than other machines!!! Price is fantastic!performance is first class!! Well done to all those people involved in creating an easy to use and great performance machine. Many thanks.

A well happy detectorist.

C.WALMSLEY FROM DORSET.




MINELAB MUSKETEER

By Marc Trainor
Dear detector friends-
I just read Patrick McDonalds review on the Musketeer and I very much relate to him. I too, just recently decided to get back into detecting after not having a detector for quite a while. I used to have an old Bounty hunter and then a Garrett Master Hunter 7, which I'm quite sure some of the neighborhood kids absconded with, so I, pretty much like Patrick, decided to get the musketeer, even though I wanted the Explorer, just couldn't afford it, but I think the Musketeer is a pretty good all around detector, especially for the price. I did a fair amount of research and talked to a few Minelab owners and as far as my experience with it, I'd say it works very well, especially when it comes to pin pointing. I was impressed with the overall feel and looks of the unit, but I would say, you probably want to get the carry bag for the controller, as it seemed a little heavy for any real length of time.

I'm still pretty new with it, but, as far as I can see, it works well in the parks. The discrimination seems to do it's job, and it seems to get pretty decent depth. I buried a penny in dry sand at about 8-10 in. and it found it. The tone wasn't super loud at that point, but I could still here it in all metal mode. Of course dry sand and not having been in the ground for many years isn't exactly an apple to apple comparison, but it gave me an idea of the possibilities..

I realize that people, like myself, often base their buying decisions on these reviews, so I try to be as honest as I can. I did have some trouble trying to ground balance it in wet, mineralized beach sand, however, I may not have been doing it right, because some other people said it worked good for them in those conditions, so I would say do as much research as possible on any of the detectors and in this case at least, asking some other owners could very well bear this out, that it would work fine in wet, mineralized sand. I know the gal at Kellyco said she had no problems in those conditions.

All in all I'd say it's a very decent detector and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a unit in the 3-4hundred dollar range. Sincerely, Marc Trainor


MINELAB EXPLORER II


BY Bill

BEEN USING THE MINELAB EXPLORER 11 FOR PAST SIX MONTHS HAS INPROVED MY FINDS BY A LOT ON LAND AND RIVER CANT BEAT IT ON RIVER THAMES JUST KILLS RUSTY IRON. RECENTLY FOUND A QUARTER STATER ON LAND AT APPROX 8 INCHES ICOULD NEVER DO IT WITH MY OLD MACHINE, WELL DONE FOR A EXCELLENT MACHINE.




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MINELAB EXPLORER XS


BY Marc Pontician

I have been using the Minelab Explorer XS now for about a year. I have put it through its paces, in sand (dry and wet), in the rain, in the wind, in hard packed soil, in highly mineralized coal soil, in the ice cold, to the deathly hot swealtering days of summer, from morning to night, and yes, even in the darkness. I have used it in the ocean, up to its CPU (display box), and NEVER ONCE did it ever not perform PERFECT!

The PLUS side of the detector:

1. 28 frequencies, it really does make a difference. The Minelab operates with 28 different frequencies, unlike the usual one or two of other models.

2. The display is a perfect "10" It displays the conductivity/ size one way, and the other way is the ferrous content, giving you a two dimensional view, or you can use the straight number display as on other minelabs. It is a nice size, plus it is backlit for those night adventures.(can be turned off to save battery power)

. 3. Deep penetrating double "D" 10.5" coil. This detector should be named the Explorer XD... for EXTRA DEEP! I consistantly find items deeps than my detecting friends. Even in clay or mineralized soil... it simply goes deep!

4. Battery power: The detector lasts quite long on a set of batteries I usually get a couple of trips out of a set. It also comes with a rechargable stick, which last a tiny bit less than the "AA" pack, but I tend to use both.

5. Pinpointing: I find it very easy, and also accurate. It is a little different than using a concentric coil (cone shape) but once you are use to it, it is highl;y accurate!

6. Weight: I find it to be light enough to swing all day long. Any detector feels heavy at the end of the day. This is no different. It is well balanced & evenly distributed. 7. Customizing: You can customize the program to what you are looking for, it is limitless to the discrimination patterns you can use. It has learn capabilities, but it also has a SUPER factory preset mode, so you can take it out of the package, put batteries in, turn it on and detect, it's that easy!

MINUS SIDE:

1. It is a complicated detector to learn the advanced functions, but it is WELL WORTH IT to learn!

2. The shaft could be a few inches longer, I am 6' tall, would like to see Minelab add two inches for us taller folks.

3. The bottom where the coil meets the shaft could be "beefed up" a bit. I know it would be a little heavier, but I would rather the peace of mind. Mine did not break or even crack, but just a thought.

MY CONCLUSION:

The Explorer XS is one of the BEST machines money can buy. It is complicated to learn, but if I can do it... anyone can! I have used most detectors out there, and this is the detector of choice for me. I could write 20 pages on this machine, but there is not enough space, so if ANYONE has any questions, about this or any other detector, and you want an honest opinion (I don't sell them, I just use them!) please email me! TreasureQuest360@aol.com As I said, I have used most of the detectors available, and have a kazzillion hours in the field, so if you have a question, or need some help... email me. TreasureQuest360@aol.com ( Marc Pontician)





MINELAB MUSKETEER


BY Patrick McDonald

The Minelab Musketeer was the first metal detector I bought when returning to the hobby in my "mature years." I confess that I first chose it because I wanted a locally made product (here in Australia) that would be sure to have servicing and parts close at hand. I also liked the study-looking, no-nonsense appearance of the Muskie compared to the coloured plastic look of other models.

My first experiences almost changed my mind about Minelab, even though the detector worked perfectly, so to speak. There was a defect in the Sensitivity/On&Off switch which meant that the machine was "on" as soon as batteries were installed! So . . . everything worked fine, and I took to the Muskie's operation straight away, but I had to return it to the local dealer for repair under warranty to have the switch replaced. This was done within a week and the dealer gave me a "loaner" to use in the meantime.

Since then, the Musketeer has worked just fine.

Apart from the ground balancing, all the controls are straight forward and reasonably intuitive. I leave the ground balance switch on the default "Fix" setting and so far have seen no reason to change it. Perhaps when I go out into the gold mining territory in the west of NSW I'll find that the high mineralisation level of the soil requires its use. However, I am only interested in coin and relic hunting, so this is not a likely scenario, even though I'm told that casual gold prospecting is possible with a Muskie. Discrimination works in standard fashion and the all-metal switch is similar to that on other detectors. I quickly learned how to pinpoint in the pinpoint mode, but no longer use this very much, as I find I can pinpoint sufficiently well in the ordinary discrimination mode. After considerable use, I now leave the sensitivity switch at the maximum and try to keep the discrimination setting as low as possible, around 3 or 4. I know that you have to be prepared to dig a lot of bottle caps and pull tabs in order to find things of value!

How well does the Musketeer XS work? Well, the quick answer is: just fine! I have found lots of coins and relics around old houses and parks in my neighbourhood, which is just what I wanted. However, in reading reviews of metal detectors in various newsgroups over the past year, I realise that almost all new users say this about their first machines. Probably all entry-level metal detectors of modern vintage work pretty well. The question is one of comparison. What would happen if I had a couple of months with a Sovereign or (my dream) an Explorer in my hot little hands? From the reviews I've read, my guess is that, after another learning curve, I'd find that these more expensive models have nuances and features somewhat beyond the basic Muskie. The same might be true for the White's, Fischer, Tesoro and other ranges of popular metal detectors.

Two factors come to mind. First, I think I was typical as an adult hobbyist in having reasonable financial resources, so that I didn't have to buy the cheapest product available; at the same time, I didn't want to spend a lot of money and discover that the hobby wasn't really for me. Secondly, I guessed that I would have a lot to learn about the basics of metal detecting, and that a standard "ears only" machine might build important listening skills and keep me from focussing too early on "bells and whistles." I was supported in the second opinion by my brother, a much more experienced THer who has used a very simple metal detector for many, many years, and can virtually predict the date of the dime from the tone he hears! The Musketeer, a mid-range machine from a reputable company, seemed to fill the bill.

I hope this review helps. I do not recommend the Muskie for finding gold or for shallow water detecting. My more experienced friends tell me that gold requires quite different technology and that the Minelab SD range is the b est in the world. I take their word for this. My several attempts to detect with my Musketeer on salt water beaches seems to indicate that the machine is much better in dry sand; the salt seems to confuse it, even though the coil assembly is completely waterproof. Again, my local friends tell me that the Minelab Excalibur is what I want for this purpose!

Otherwise, I am a very happy Minelab Musketeer XS user! Patrick McDonald 23 May 2000 patrick@mpx.com.au




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MINELAB EXPLORER XS


BY Gillraker
"Can you say deep?"

The full band spectrum technology, that went into the creating of this unit, is simply outstanding. 28 simultaneous frequencies make this possibly the deepest seeking unit on the market today.

Now you can go back over all those places you have pounded previously with other detectors, and really find the long lost gems. 20 inches in wet salt water logged sand? No problem......the Explorer will find the tiniest of targets with amazing accuracy. I personally have found coins and jewelry at stunning depths, in every thing from salt water saturated sand, to the darkest of murky black sand mixed with salt water......the explorer seems to be hindered by these highly mineralized soils, not in the least.....actually it seems to excel......for beach hunting, Im not sure a finer machine exists today.

The large easy to read oversized display and 2-d target smart find screens, make this one a breeze to use in high trash areas, and still pick out the good targets amidst the trash(However, much practice is needed to be successful).....although the pinpointing feature is a non motion all metal mode...and hard to find the target you are locked on in heavy trash areas. its dead on in cleaner areas.....no problem probing for the target in clean areas, and poking it on the first strike......locating it to within a few inches in high trash areas is easy with the smart find features....now getting it in your hand is all up to your persistence and perseverance. Forget the sand scoop....you won't be using it anymore....get a long handled shovel instead.

The iron mask is amazing.....no more hits on those rusty old iron targets, one push of a button and they are forever gone.... allowing you to find those really deep old coins in a field of rusty old nails. This unit is fully customizable, enabling you to shrink the size of the cross hairs for more accurate discrimination, to increasing them for a wider range of targets of similar conductivity.

"The Pros and Cons"

The good points:

1. Superior dept in any type of soil.

2. large easy to read display screens

3. Targets can be identified in 3 ways. 2-d graph (smart find display ) Digital meter screen tone variation ID.

4. Signal blanking on discriminated targets

5 Over load signal on large targets.

6. Options of factory preset programs, or make your own.....search for only a single specific type of coin or ring, block out everything else, or accept any target, or anything in between.....

7. Very simple push button menu control.

8. 10.5" coil, submersible in salt or fresh water

9. concealed coil cable....( No more winding it around the shaft, or ghost signals due to loose coil wire)

10. Use alkaline, or NiMH batts. Never a reason to be at a loss of power.

11. Awesome adjustable back light display for night hunting.

12. All features are fully adjustable and programmable....save your programs and screens, pick the one that best suits your scheduled hunts with the touch of a button.

13. The pinpointing feature is extremely accurate with a little practice, completely eliminating the need for apin pointer of any type.


"The bad points"

1. The learning curve on this unit is extremely steep, not for the faint of heart nor, the beginner who is in a hurry to get out and hit the jackpot. Patients and perseverance is required to master this beast.

2. The overall weight of the unit is lacking a little to be desired, as the 10.5" coil is well balanced, but makes the units less than comfortable to use on long hunts.

3. This one is a power hog, no doubt of that......NiMH batts last approx 10 hours, and alkaline will get you up to 14-20... Ive seen better.

4. The digital target Id is lacking a lot to be desired, as the ring and coin symbols aper on almost every target, but not a major factor as the 2-d smartfind screens are dead on as far as accuracy.

5. The 10.5" coil make learning to hunt high trash areas very difficult...Much time is required to master high trash areas.....However in defense of the unit, if you take the time to learn, and have the patients to prevail, you will find this unit practically unbeatable.....dont expect instant results.




MINELAB SOVEREIGN


BY TerryWilliams

I have been metal detecting for almost 20 years. I started with an old Metrotec model and moved up to an early White's detector soon there after. I used several different White's products for years with good results searching for civil war relics in and around Kennesaw Georgia. I have owned and used Garretts and Fisher(1260X) machines as well. All the machines did a good job for me in normal soil conditions. I used to have many false signals in highly mineralized soil with all the above mentioned machines. If you tuned the machines to avoid the false signals you lost depth and sensitivity.

I bought a well used Minelab Sovereign about 4 years ago from a man that sold civil war relics that he found with it for a living. He did quite well with this business and I was sold on his testimony of the muti-frequency (17 separate frequencies) Minelab Sovereign. I am still using this great machine even with the original battery pack. I have found that nothing I have ever used compares to the performance of the minelab when the soil is heavily mineralized or at the beach. With the standard coil depth is great. With the optional larger coil depth is fantastic, bring a long handle shovel. I have replaced the control box and armrest with a new ones just to make it look pretty again for a cost of about $20.00. That is all I have had to do and it still looks and functions as new. I do not use it as a hip mount although it is quite easy to do. I am still able to manage the weight in the normal configuration. My machine has a nice removable meter on top of the control box that I never look at. I have been around long enough to know that the "Target ID" and "Object Depth" are gimmicks that are a waste of time to the experienced and serious treasure hunter. I hunt in the "All Metals" mode and although the discrimination with this unit is the best I've ever used I still dig most targets.

There are only three minor negative things I can say about this unit:

1) The weight is a bit much for most people especially with the bigger coil unless you use it in the hip mount configuration.

2) There is no way to control the volume output to headphones. I solved this by getting a small pair of Sony headphones that have an in-line volume control. I think this has been fixed with an upgrade on the new Sovereign XS Model.

3) The instruction manual was not the best I've ever seen.

Once you experience the Minelab it would be difficult to go back to anything else. I live in Columbia SC now and I look forward to searching for Revolutionary War artifacts this spring. Terry Williams



MINELAB SOVEREIGN / SHADOWX2 /WHITES 6000DI


By Mike Bloodsworth

I have been detecting since 1977 and in that time I have had four different detectors. My first was a Bounty Hunter Red Baron, next was a White's Di 6000, currently I own a Shadow X2 and a Minelab Sovereign.

All four of these detectors have basically been good machines and I have made good finds with all of them. The old Red Baron was a good machine in its day and a lot of fun to use in open ground where you could whip it back and forth rapidly. It was hard to use in many relic hunting situations because of the need for rapid coil movement.

The White's Di 6000 is a good machine. Its best feature is its metering system which I found to be very accurate in both id'ing the target and depth determination. The depth that it gets is fair. The negatives to me were that depth is drastically affected by how loud you have the volume turned up and the ground balancing is a little complicated for someone not entirely familiar with the machine. Overall a good machine and can be balanced to do a little bit of good even in sites that have been burned. A little heavy for my wife when she tried to use it.

The Shadow is the machine that I sold the 6000 Di in order to buy. I bought it primarily for my wife to use and as a backup machine for me. It definitely is light and this is a big plus for her! It is also very easy to use, basically you can turn it on and go. Discrimination seems to be good and it is very quick to rebound between signals. Depth is fair and definitely not spectacular! I have hunted with it in my left hand and the Sovereign in my right hand and more often than I would have thought I could hear a signal with the Sov. and not hear anything with the Shadow X2. I must admit that I don't have near as many hours on the Shadow as I do the Sovereign and that definitely makes a difference. Overall the Shadow is a decent machine with some real advantages, but not as good as a lot of people think, at least in my opinion.

The Sovereign is the best machine I have ever had. I have used it for about 7 yrs or so. There are a few disadvantages including the weight which is a little heavy even with the hip mount. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but not a lot more than other machines. I like the tone id, works pretty good. The Sov meter is not so hot but the Sun Ray is nice and accurate. Depth is very good in most soil conditions. Deepest dime is about 8-9", Minnie balls 2-4 inches deeper. Larger brass and iron objects up to two feet. But depth is such a variable thing with any machine! Best indicator is that I have found many, many, many more finds with the Sov than with any other machine that I have used. Also the days that I hunted with both the Shadow and Sov at the very same time was quite revealing. Bottom line: if all my detectors were stolen today I would buy another Sovereign no question.






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