Metal Detecting – Dinosaurs

Metal detecting has been a part of my life for over 22 years

I have so many conversations with my friends reminiscing about the old days and how we made more finds with our old machines, some of it was very true…we did make some great finds,  how much is simply looking at the old days through rose-coloured glasses, was that hammered coin in 1992 really 14 inches deep and so on.

metal detector tests tesoro Minelab Whites
I am lucky enough to still have some of the old detecting dinosaurs mothballed in the cupboard, and true enough, each and every one has made some very impressive finds over the years.

metal detector tests old machines
The Minelab Explorer II
This has done some work, I got it from a guy in the club, who has now sadly passed away, he regularly had find of the month with this machine, it was worked every weekend and never cleaned, I gave good money for it as it was a “finder”…I have a theory on well used machines, to me it is a sign of someones first choice, a well used machine is normally a good one, or a lucky one depending on how you see things.

my trusty old Minelab Explorer II metal detector

The Whites XLT
Another well used ugly duckling, the guy before me had found two hoards with it and I wanted some of his luck, once again, never cleaned but a good finder, I can remember having a pocket full of Roman coins with this very XLT along with some fantastic artefacts.

my trusty old xlt metal detector

The XLT still has a Hinkley Search Society rally sticker on from 2001

Hinkley search society rally 2001

The Tesoro Silver Sabre
Void of any original paint and held together with camo tape, I fitted a manual coil tune control to it many years ago which I never used. This machine really did the business years back and found stuff the modern machines had left, I did a review on it Here is the review

metal detector tests tesoro silver sabre

OK so what is this article all about ?
I wanted to go down memory lane and see if I could re kindle my old love affairs with these machines, each machine would have 30 mins detecting time…followed by 30 mins with a modern metal detector, I chose the XP Deus lite with the WS 5 headphones.

My task was to see if these Dinosaurs could compete with today’s modern metal detectors.

Site conditions : Not a great field for finds, the stubble was well-rotted with bare patches, iron contamination pretty bad.

testing metal detectors

First off was the Explorer II, using an open screen, conductive and 28 sensitivity.
I thought the weight would be a problem, but it was fine, the Explorer II picked out some nice small targets with a low grunt, overall I was pretty pleased with it and thought to myself I should use this more often.
Then it was time for the XLT, Relic plus program
This machine really did show it’s age, finds were noticeably less and the audio very twitchy and uncertain, it really was not happy on this site.
The Silver Sabre, using disc 0 and sensitivity maximum
Once again it really showed it’s age, I just couldn’t get the feedback from it, which is something I have become comfortable with over the years, it was so silent to use and the experience can only be described as cold and un inspiring.

XP Deus lite test Ws5

Then I fired up the XP Deus Lite with the WS5 headphones, program 2 (Gold Maxx Power ) and changed to 2 tone

xp deus lite 2 tone
Instantly the whole field started talking to me, lots of Iron grunts and the non ferrous targets came through like switching a light on, I felt that I had to work very hard for signals when using the older machines, but the XP was like a magic carpet ride, it was literally doing everything for me, all I had to do was dig !

metal detector tests xp deus

My conclusion based on todays test
As you can imagine there are so many factors to take into account, coil size, frequency, price, are my machines past their best, etc, and no dis respect to them, they all have places where they would really shine, but on this field the only one that inspired me was the XP, followed by the Minelab Explorer II… So are modern machines better than the oldies… bet !….the oldies are still fun and will find stuff, but if you really want to get your head down and maximise your finds rate, based on my tests today, I personally think modern machines are King, with better feedback and information, better target separation, the overall experience is far more engaging.

Detecting finds after 30 minutes with each machine.

metal detecting finds

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