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Tesoro's "multi-tone" models. There were some good ones.

January 21, 2020 03:41AM avatar
As for the Golden µMAX (microMAX), a so-called 4-Tone and later 'improved' 4 Tone ID version, I had very little satisfactory experience with either.. They were both rather short-lived, especially the supposedly revised version.

What are the differences? Pros an cons?
From my personal experiences, and I was a Tesoro Dealer at the time of the first Golden µMAX release, it was a real let-down. I like to use a good audio Tone ID detector, especially a decent 2-Tone audio to separate Ferrous, with a Low-Tone, from Non-Ferrous targets, with a High-Tone. But a Tone ID model, whether it is a 2-Tone, 3-Tone or more, needs to function reliably in various amounts of mineralized ground, and to a common or typical target depth. The Golden µMAX was supposed to have a 4-Tone audio based on a target's conductivity. The original version struggled to produce 4 separate tones and would often down-read on a lot of higher-conductive US coins.

It also had some problems due to differing ground mineral issues due to the fact that it relied on an internally pre-set Ground Balance. And, due to how they designed the circuitry of most of their detectors, the Disc. mode referenced off the All Metal mode GB setting with a slightly positive off-set and that had an effect of the Discriminate mode's performance which, naturally, effected the Tone ID function.

Obviously, I wasn't the only one annoyed by the original Golden µMAX because Tesoro reworked some issues and brought out the revised version. It was supposed to have a 'cleaner' behavior and maintain 4-Tone performance whereas many of the original version units only gave you 3-Tones.

By then I was out of the detector dealer business but checked one out, since 'local dealers' had vanished, none left carried that model, and I only came across one person using the revised version. The revised version worked a little differently, to my hearing, but it still didn't handle a wider variety of ground make-up. I hunt in a more mineralized environment most of the time and still wasn't very impressed. But it was either handled by an engineer who either didn't really understand how to make a detector work right, or they had problems like they suggested in some replies people heard, because it wasn't a big seller and due to lack of performance .... compared with the competition ... it was also a short-lived model. I heard they couldn't get some parts, or thy lost the 'code' to program it correctly. Who knows, but that model died rather quickly.

Keep in mind two important facts:

1.. This model, in either original or revised version, always relied on a manually preset GB trimmer internally, and there can be problems due to: a.. The consistency of the setting at the factory during production and assembly might not have been very tight or controlled, and b.. Too many consumers handled the Golden µMAX and treated it like so many Compadres were, ... they tried to 'fix' the performance by tinkering with the GB trimmer. The result? A more improper GB setting effecting the Discriminate mode.sad smiley

2.. I feel goes right back to engineering, or lack of skills when it comes to things like multi-tone audio because most of the competitor's Tone ID models are relying upon a more digitally-controlled circuitry rather than trying to blend an analog / digital concept. Also, we can't forget the components the manufacturer used. Were they tight and used very close tolerance components, or were they using inferior components that were not as tight and rendering the device a looser or less-consistent model?

Does any one make a beep an dig with tones? Maybe detech?
Today you have an example with the Deep-Tech (not to be confused with Detech) Vista X model. It was design, they say, for "North America" and is supposed to produce a 2-Tone audio to handle iron trash. I haven't handled on so I don't know.

Tesoro did make several models that featured a variable 2-Tone audio. Those included the Royal Sabre, Golden Sabre Plus, Pantera and Golden Sabre II. The first two used the earlier circuitry design with the more limited Discrimination lower-end adjustment, and the latter two made use of the ED-120 Discriminate circuitry that allowed for a lower-end setting to accept more lower-conductive non-ferrous targets, such as thin gold chains, tiny gold rings, etc.

But either of these designs meant that the ferrous range was already rejected, even at the minimum Discriminate setting. Therefore, the 2-Tone audio these models provided was to give a tone-break in the non-ferrous range. It was couple with a Notch Disc. circuitry, but could best be used without any rejection and simply set a High / Low Tone break setting, such as breaking at our model Zinc Penny to sort of 'crackle' or 'sputter' and let the copper Cent and clad Dime produce a clean high-tone response.

The other difference between these four models was that they used a pre-set Ground Balance except for the Pantera. It featured a manual GB control and was my favorite of all their 2-Tone or multi-tone models. I'm partial to a detector being more functional, and the Pantera was since I had control of the GB setting for the environment I was hunting. But I think the Pantera points out one of the issues we were starting to see in the metal detector industry by the mid-to-latter '90s, and that was so many consumers not understanding some concepts, like Ground Balance, or wanting to, or being able to, learn how to make a proper manual GB adjustment.

More people wanted 'turn-on-and-go' simplicity where they didn't have to do much, and relied more on a detector being designed to work right out-of-the-box. Everything done 'automatically' so to speak. The Royal Sabre was produced from 4/'86 to 9/'89, a run of 3 Yr.. 5 Mo., and the Golden Sabre Plus ran from3/'89 to 7/'92 covering just one month short of 3 years.

The Pantera was only produced for 1 Yr. 7 Mo., from 7/'90 thru 2/'92, even though it was the more functional or better designed model. The Golden Sabre II was simply a 'turn-on-and-go' version using the Pantera circuit board, but they eliminated the external GB control and left it preset with an internal GB trimmer. Yet that simplified version of the Pantera was produced from 7/'92 to 5/'99 for a 6 Yr. 10 Mo. production period It was becoming obvious to me that more people wanted less control and a simpler design.

There was one other 2-Tone model Tesoro tried to get accepted, and believe me, I gave it a lot of opportunity to prove itself to me since I owned them as a Tesoro Dealer and even later, back in 2014, if I recall, when I bought tow pristine condition units to put to the test .... again. That was the Euro Sabre.

As we know, most of the detecting we see going on over in Europe and other regions, where metal detecting isn't an urban hobby in public parks and schools, people get out to hunt open pasture land and farm fields. Wide open areas looking for all types of metal, and as a rule most people don't want to find iron, while the savvy detectorists like to have an idea if a metal target is ferrous or non-ferrous. That's the 2-Tone audio function I enjoy using today. Because that wide-open field market is over in Europe, Tesoro named this the Euro Sabre and tried to promote it heavily over in that region through their Tesoro Dealers. It was sold over there with the then-new 8X9 Concentric coil.

That was a very short attempt to introduce a new model because it just didn't go over well. Why not? Because while it kind of worked, it didn't work really well. The concept was to produce a low-tone Iron Audio for ferrous targets, and a higher-tone on the more-conductive non-ferrous targets. On some instances it worked, but on way too many attempts it didn't. Some lower-conductivity non-ferrous targets produced a ferrous low-tone, and too many pieces of iron junk read with a broken or higher non-ferrous tone.

The ferrous / non-ferrous break-point was not that well defined, and one of the bigger issues Tesoro had, right to their end, was related to depth-of-detection. They worked OK for most hobbyists involved in Coin Hunting a grassy park or in tot-lots or around picnic areas, etc., but they were never in a class to compete for target depth. The Euro Sabre could work for me in some applications, but only when targets were shallower. Once coin-sized targets got beyond the 3" to 4" depth range, the Discrimination didn't work all that well, which meant the Tone ID function also was degraded in performance.

Folks in those foreign countries, especially in the UK, didn't take to the Euro Sabre at all, so Tesoro tried to market it here in the USA. Did they change the name from 'Euro' to something we might warm up to here in the USA? No, they changed the search coil! The Euro Sabre was originally sold in the European market with the black control housing, black rods and black 8X9 spoked or web-type Concentric coil. However, in the USA market, they went back to the gold rod and brown control housing, changed the standard search coil to the 10X12 Concentric, and marketed it to the "Relic Hunters', and in this country that is usually aimed at the CW area.

More bad moves on the part of Tesoro. sad smiley They struggled to get depth and work with the two-tone ID, and then they swapped to a larger-size coil that is better for larger-size targets which makes the Euro Sabre work a little wimpier on smaller-size targets like coins, tokens, buttons , insignia, etc. Weaker signals from smaller targets with the bigger coil meant less good signal to process and that resulted in less accurate or less efficient 2-Tone audio performance.

The Euro Sabre was designed with the ED-180 Disc. circuitry so it accepted ALL ferrous and non-ferrous targets to be able to try and assign a Low-Tone and High-Tone as desired. I never liked to use any coils on the Euro Sabre except the smaller size 7", and later the 6', Concentric. That did help performance a little, but it was never a match with the better 2-Tone models I used, to audibly classify Iron and Non-Iron targets, such as the White's MXT Pro, Teknetics T2's, Nokta FORS CoRe, FORS Relic and Impact, Makro Racer 2, or even the Fisher F44 and the XP ORX.

Want to try one like my beep an digs just be fun to have tones thanks Josh.
Yes, using a Tone ID model can be 'fun' as long as it works reasonably well for most targets within an 'average' target-depth range. Also, if the Tone ID isn't too 'busy' or 'cluttered' with too many tones and not locking onto a proper tone on a few repeat search coil sweeps.

Personally, I like to use a good 2-Tone audio most of the time, especially when there are mainly iron nails to deal, with, or similar wire-iron. In trashier conditions with a mix of ferrous and non-ferrous debris, I like 2-Tone and 3-Tone. Too many tones than '3' can get a little distracting, especially if it is a cluttered search areas.

I don't see decent performance in Tone ID, able to audibly classify ferrous targets, coming from an analog circuitry design. I do like it with some of the better digital-designed models, or a few analog/digital 'blended' units. Matter-of-fact, I hunt with a Beep-and-Dig Tone ID detector most of the time. My CoRe in 2-Tone or 3-Tone, Relic in 2-Tone or 3-Tone, Simplex+ in 2-Tone or 3-Tone and XP ORX in 3-Tone. But that's because I've relied on the audio response to make my Dig / No-Dig decisions for over half a century and even with these newer models that have visual Target ID, I don't always use it.
I hunt -- I listen -- I dig -- I look. If I hear a potentially good audio, I'll make a recovery and look at it to see what it is.


"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now located in Clyde, Texas
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
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Apex .. FORS CoRe .. FORS Relic .. Impact .. Inca .. Bandido II µMAX .. Silver Sabre µMAX .. MX-5
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Subject Author Views Posted

Tesoro goldan umax new tone vs old tone

farmerboy856 632 January 20, 2020 10:23AM

Re: Tesoro goldan umax new tone vs old tone

Harold,ILL. 359 April 02, 2020 08:45AM

Re: Tesoro goldan umax new tone vs old tone

Monte 411 April 03, 2020 05:03AM

Re: Tesoro goldan umax new tone vs old tone

Harold,ILL. 335 April 03, 2020 07:01AM

Yes, it can be the search coil iteslf.

Monte 343 April 03, 2020 07:17AM

Re: Tesoro goldan umax new tone vs old tone

Hihosilver 377 February 14, 2020 08:02PM

Good to read your reply, but I will comment here or there.

Monte 355 February 15, 2020 07:28AM

Tesoro's "multi-tone" models. There were some good ones.

Monte 626 January 21, 2020 03:41AM

Holy Mackerel !!!!

OregonGregg 524 January 20, 2020 02:01PM

Re: Holy Mackerel !!!!

farmerboy856 426 January 27, 2020 09:10PM

Tesoro Goldan µMax - tones

UtahRich 491 January 20, 2020 01:03PM

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