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My take on the Vaquero, Eldorado and Bandido II µMAX.

September 15, 2022 08:22AM avatar
Okay Monte I would like your take on this matchup! Oh and let’s include the Bandido II µMAX.

Glad you said that Rav because I probably would mention that desired model, anyway. smiling smiley

Who works the best in heavy iron?

Heavy Iron as in a dense amount of Iron, or are you referring to bigger-size hunks of Iron? I will presume you are referring to a dense array of closely-spaced iron nails, screws, nuts, bolts, wire-iron and other ferrous debris. My eyes are bad and I type with one finger per-hand and after 2+ hours of responding I hit some errant key and zapped my reply. So, this time I will be a little brief. Questions? Just ask away.

Fact" There is no 'perfect' detector, and as we have progressed with motion-based Discriminators since '78 it seems to have become more difficult to desal with a lot of iron junk. Especially with some of the newest modern marvels that give us more adjustment of iron bias and recovery speed and different filtering which, many times, adds to the confusion or actually makes it more difficult to tackle iron debris. So, lets look at how a detector's Discrimination adjustment factors in with these three models.

Iron, to most folks, is junk and they want to Discriminate it so as not to hear it, or hear it but ignore it. Here are the ways o accomplish that task:

1.. Adjust the Discrimination to 'accept' ALL targets, both ferrous and non-ferrous. That would require a Disc. setting to accept the upper 180° range of conductive metal targets and only the Eldorado uses an ED-180 Disc. range to accept everything at the minimum setting.

2.. Adjust the Discrimination to 'accept' more of the better-conductive Iron, such as most nails on up, and only 'reject' the lower-conducive or more rejectable iron. The Vaquero, and Cibola, feature the ED-165 Disc. range so at their minimum setting you can knock out some iron but still hear most nails and other conductive iron closer to the ferrous / non-ferrous break point.

3.. Use a Discriminate setting that is very low at at or just slightly above the ferrous-range to 'reject' most common iron junk. The Bandido II µMAX would be the one of these three models with the Disc. level set at the minimum setting of the ED-120 Discrimination.

The original Bandido and bandido II and Silver Sabre II used the ED-120 Discrimination and handled a lot of iron trash quite well. The bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX also feature the ED-120 Disc. acceptance range, but they can often be a little quieter with less chatter in dense iron and might even work a little better or cleaner at unmaking. That's because the two latter models featured the new Low-Noise / High-Gain circuitry that causes a little issue with iron rejection. However, of all these mentioned Tesoro models, I favor the Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX because that L-N / H-G circuitry provides a lot of audio saturation and depth-of-detection so I will take the trade-off.

So you might wonder about simply increasing the Disc. level on the Eldorado and Vaquero to match the Bandido II µMAX at its minimum setting? Well, sure you can, but not quite the same performance because I have found the single-turn Disc. of those two models to be very 'touchy' trying to match the performance of the Bandido II µMAX and they seem to be raspier or tickier. by comparison.

Another help in audibly classifying Iron debris would be to have an Iron Audio low-tone below that ferrous break-point, but while some makes and models feature that, none of those Tesoro's do. So, for me, I have found the Bandido II µMAX to provide me with the more functional performance in the Disc. mode in dense iron.

Who’s the deepest on a coin in moderate/average ground?

This might be trickier to answer but I wood say 'possibly' the Eldorado when in the Threshold-based All Metal mode. The Bandido II µMAX, when also toggled to All Metal will be very close so it is close to a tie. The Vaquero also has an All Metal mode but I do not like the design that requires the operator to turn the Disc. knob out of a functional setting to engage the All metal mode. Also, the Bandido II µMAX offers both a 'normal' manual re-tune in All Metal or a Auto-tune function in All Metal. So deepest coin in the Threshold-based All Metal I would call a tie between the Eldorado and Bandido II µMAX.

Presuming we are hunting in the motion-based, silent-search Disc. mode, and all models using the same size and type coil, I have found them all to be very close in performance with comparable settings.

And who’s your overall favorite?

Hint: I do not own a Vaquero or an Eldorado, haven't for a few years now, and really don't care to. The Bandido II µMAX has been serving me sell, all of those I have owned, since their release in October or '97.

Another thing to consider in the way of performance, especially in iron, is the search coil. Some detectors can function with either a Concentric or a Double-D coil, and sadly some manufacturers only offer one coil type for their detectors. In this case, with Tesoro, most of their models tend to provide their better performance using a Concentric coil, and that's all I use on a Tesoro. Also, to deal with iron or dense trash in general, the smaller-the-coil, the better the chances for success. I keep a round 6" Concentric coil on my Bandido II µMAX full-time.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now 'back home' in Farr West Utah
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my chosen makes and models, with the best coils mounted for the tasks I'll take on.
F-19 .. Racer .. Vanquish 540 .. FORS Relic .. Inca .. Silver Sabre µMAX .. Bandido II µMAX .. XLT
Pinpointers: Garrett AT Pro-Pointers .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk .. ML-80
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2022 10:46PM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Vaquero µMAX vs. Eldorado µMAX Montes take

Ray(Ca) 109 September 14, 2022 11:53PM

My take on the Vaquero, Eldorado and Bandido II µMAX.

Monte 119 September 15, 2022 08:22AM

Re: y take on the Vaquero, Eldorado and Bandido II µMAX.

Ray(Ca) 106 September 15, 2022 02:05PM

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