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An older-model Tesoro Bandido II answer or two.

December 14, 2018 02:02PM avatar
Fish N Chips
There is a guy locally selling an older style Bandido II for $150. It is the older model with the control box under the handle. It looks used but in decent shape, I bet I can talk him down as it has been for sale a while.
If it is a reasonably clean or cleanable condition Bandido II, then $150 is a very reasonable price. I'll qualify that by adding that it is reasonable IF it is a good-working Bandido II. Before getting into a bidding battle with the guy to try and talk him down a little, I suggest checking it out first.

Just adjust for a proper slight audio Threshold hum, adjust the Disc. control to the lowest setting, set the Sensitivity as high as possible, then adjust the Ground Balance. Toss a Dime and Nickel on the ground and see how the 'air test' looks to you as you sweep over the coins and raise the coil to the best response height. If you are satisfied with the results, then make a deal.

Fish N Chips
It comes with the stock 8" coil.
The 8" donut' looking Concentric coil is OK for day-to-day hunting in typical sites, but for working a Tesoro in dense iron debris, or any very trashy site, a smaller-size search coil handles things better. My favorite, and what is attached to all three of my Tesoro's, is the thin and light weight 6" Concentric coil. So if you don't have one you might want to consider it for the Bandido II or even you Eldorado.

Fish N Chips
My question is how does the older model compare to the Bandido II uMax?
Both have the same adjustment features with these differences:

• Threshold -- The Bandido II uses a knob that fits the trimmer on the circuit board and protrude in the back, and the Bandido II µMAX has a normal variable control potentiometer (pot.) on the front control panel.

• Ground Balance: -- The Bandido II has a 10-turn pot, on the front control housing which can provide a little more fine-tuning at times. The Bandido II µMAX uses a smaller-size 3¾-turn pot.

The main physical packaging differences:

Aside from the control housing, the earlier Bandido II is on a 1-piece longer-length upper rod that allows the control housing to slide off the front end, if desired for belt mounting, and the lower non-metal rod fits in that. There is no rod-lock. The Bandido II microMAX uses the newer style 3-piece rod system and has two rod-locks, plus it lets it be reduced down to a shorter-length or to a more compact size for boxing / storing / traveling.

And then there are the performance differences:

Any make or model detector can experience slight differences in performance from specimen-to-specimen, but I have found many of the earlier version analog circuitry types to occasionally experience a 'hot' or 'cold' specimen out of some production runs. This is what Hombre alluded to in his reply and have a Bandido II that might be 'hot' by comparisons with an 'average' Bandido II. I have a lot of experience with owning and handling many Tesoro units and the hot-and-cold specimens seemed to have been associated with those from earlier production before they implemented the Low-Noise / High-Gain Circuitry such as with the Bandido II microMAX.

So if an earlier Bandido II seems a little wimpy in performance it is one I would pass on acquiring. But if you find a specimen that is 'hot' or a bit above average for that model, then it might provide some increase performance afield. One performance benefit of the earlier Tesoro models such as the Bandido and Bandido II, and also the Silver Sabre II, Pantera and other earlier offerings as that they handled iron nails and similar ferrous junk very well, often producing a smoother and cleaner good target response when in amongst nails.

With both a good Bandido or Bandido II I have enjoyed wonderful iron trash handling when working the older ghost town, stage stop, RR depot, homestead and similar lonesome old abandoned places I most prefer to hunt. Most of that was when using a 7" Concentric coil or the newer 6" Concentric coil to better work in and around all the debris.

In comparison, the Bandido II µMAX, or Silver Sabre µMAX and some of the other newer models that incorporate the Low-Noise / High-Gain circuitry still work very well for me, but, to be honest, there are some times when I experience a little more 'raspy' response or even find some dense iron conditions to be a little more challenging with the newer model than the older style circuitry. No, not always, and No, not to the point where I will abandon my preferred favorite Bandido II µMAX or Silver Sabre µMAX devices for any of the other Tesoro offerings. But an experienced user can tell a subtle behavior difference on occasion.

There does come a trade-off, however. While the Bandido II µMAX will sometimes be a little nosier in dense ferrous environments, they will provide somewhat improved depth-of-detection in more open areas w/o masking shallower trash. And their modulated audio doesn't trail off as quickly as the earlier Bandido and Bandido II versions which means they can give a better mid-depth audio response, too..

Fish N Chips
I have my Eldorado uMax that I love, but wonder if it would be any sort on an upgrade in hunting thick beds of square nails. I am tempted but not sure if it is much of an upgrade over what I have and use now.
It would be a change which, for some people, might be an upgrade. All of the Bandido series make use of the ED-120 Discriminate circuitry. When their Disc. level is adjusted for the minimum Disc. setting (which is all I ever use as I don't like using a higher rejection level), most iron nails are either cleanly rejected or mostly rejected based upon their orientation with the search coil's presentation.

The last Eldorado model uses the ED-180 Disc. circuitry which can accept all metal targets, both ferrous and non-ferrous, at the minimum Disc. setting. While the Discriminate level can be increased to reject ferrous targets such as nails and other wire-iron specimens, I found it doesn't have as clean a rejection of nails as did the Bandido II and Bandido II µMAX I compared them with when the Bandido models were set at the minimum ED-120 Disc. level. In order to handle nails comparable to the two Bandido series models, I felt I needed to increase the Eldorado's Discrimination level a bit higher and, to me, it didn't have quite as comfortable audio response as the other models. Perhaps it was just me on each occasion I have compared models, but I really think it is in the nature of the design.

I used to own an Eldorado from time-to-time and used them mainly when I wanted to cover an area and locate ALL metal targets using the ED-180 level of acceptance, but for most serious Relic Hunting or even Coin Hunting when I wanted some trash rejection I would always prefer a Bandido or other similar Tesoro model.

Fish N Chips
I still use my Teknetics T2 and Eldorado for my old homesites, but am always looking for a slight edge to uncover more in the heavy iron I always seem to hunt, especially at my well hunted sites.
I noticed in your other recent post you used the T2 with a Discriminate level of '50' and with a Ferrous / Non-Ferrous break at '40' you used more Discrimination than to just reject common iron trash. You were using the smaller-size 5" DD coil.

The T2 rejects average nails with a Disc. setting of about '21' so I wouldn't hunt iron littered sites with a Disc. setting much higher than that for common iron nails, and I ran the several T2's I had with a Disc. setting of '21' or '22' if I wanted to reject most common nails, or I'd leave it lower at about '10' in order to hear the nails and only be rejecting some iron. I would use the 2+ Tone ID or 3+ and rely on the audio response to alert me, audibly, with the Iron Audio tone.

The Tesoro's don't offer that multi audio tone option, so I only set it low to help me just barely reject common iron nails at the minimum Disc. setting. That's why I like the Bandido series Disc. minimum setting and not the Eldorado's variable adjust because the Eldorado seems to need a little more rejecting and that means more good-target masking and/or noisier operation.

Fish N Chips
I would love to find a unit that does not false quite as much on the square nails, especially in wetter conditions. My detectors do ok, but takes a lot of concentration to listen for those good signals at times.
Nails, and a lot of other wire-iron type junk, can produce the audio noise we sometimes get from nails. It is partly or sometimes associated with the head of the nail being at 90° to the length of the nail, but it can also happen off the tip or point of the nail. There is no absolute way to handle it and not lose desired targets due to a high rejection level, but typically it is easy to learn to audibly classify most nails and comparable iron junk.

Coil choice helps, and more often than not a Concentric search coil handle Discrimination better, especially when dealing with iron. Also, I tend to get better iron nail handling when using smaller-size search coils and poorer iron handling with standard to larger-size coils. Then, too, I do have models that do better than others when I am working densely contaminated nail locations. Nothing is 'perfect' so we make adjustments for best in-the-field results.


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Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detectors: Vanquish 540; CoRe, Relic, Impact & Simplex +; Bandido II µMAX & Silver Sabre µMAX; ORX
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Subject Author Views Posted

Tesoro Bandido II - older model question

Fish N Chips 583 December 13, 2018 01:40PM

An older-model Tesoro Bandido II answer or two.

Monte 976 December 14, 2018 02:02PM

Re: An older-model Tesoro Bandido II answer or two.

Fish N Chips 319 December 14, 2018 03:29PM

Thanks for your reply, and I envy your abilities and determination.

Monte 354 December 15, 2018 07:36AM

Re: Thanks for your reply, and I envy your abilities and determination.

Fish N Chips 274 December 15, 2018 11:16AM

Re: Thanks for your reply, and I envy your abilities and determination.

Remfire 269 December 15, 2018 10:14PM

Re: Thanks for your reply, and I envy your abilities and determination.

Fish N Chips 286 December 16, 2018 10:04AM

Re: Tesoro Bandido II - older model question

Hombre 382 December 13, 2018 06:27PM

Re: Tesoro Bandido II - older model question

Fish N Chips 308 December 14, 2018 11:54AM

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