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White's & Tesoro ... Don't overlook their good analog detectors.

May 07, 2020 08:47AM avatar
Just a reminder for those who have used their better slow-motion analog-based models through the years, and a hint to newcomers who are only familiar with their 'modern' digital circuitry designs. No, not all of the older analog models were really good, but there are some that I have enjoyed through the years and continue to do so today.

I'm posting this on both the White's and Tesoro Forums for followers of both / either brands and because I haven't enjoyed a good analog from any other detector maker that provided me the superb results I've had in densely iron contaminated old sites. My personal favorites from White's included the Coinmaster Classic III Plus, then in the 'SL' or Slim-Line housing w/8-AA's the Classic III SL, Classic ID and IDX Pro. Of this group I have especially enjoyed those that had / have modifications to add a manual Threshold and 1-turn manual GB control. This provided operator control, especially when using a III SL or IDX Pro with the Frequency Adjust to off-shift and handle EMI as that shifts the GB and with the manual control, it only takes about 5 seconds to be back in peak operation.

With either brand, I still rely mainly on their smaller-size search coils. The White's a 6½" Concentric most of the time, and in really bad environments I used to swap to the 4"ish Blue Max 350 Concentric coil. What makes these analog detector so goo? Well, hey can do a surprising job of handling a lot of Iron debris, and especially with a lot of Iron Nails you can just barely reject them and still unmask a lot of good keepers. Naturally we recover the really decent-sounding target responses, but it's those digable-quality 'iffy' signals that can result in a rewarding day.

A look back to mid-'83 and the race was on with manufacturers to go after the new Teknetics line with a bigger and heavier package, and more features like Target ID. Soon, they added audio Tone ID and all the big players, which back then were USA manufacturers, were working on making top-end models with top-dollar prices, and all of those models required a fairly brisk sweep speed. A year earlier, in '82, Fisher had introduced a new circuitry design, in a lighter-weight package, that was a slower-sweep and had a quicker-response with their 1260-X. It worked, but not well in Iron contaminated sites as it struggled to reject a common Iron Nail.

In July of '83, Jack Gifford introduced the Tesoro Inca. A new concept, also using the double-derivative or two-filter circuitry design, which was also a slow-motion / quick-response detector that handled common Iron nails quite well. For me and the very ferrous contaminated sites I mainly sought out, it was a splendid new concept. It kept things 'Simple' and the device was very 'Functional' without a lot of extra adjustment features, and the 'Performance' was spectacular. The old-use sites simply opened-up and the results were very rewarding.

Other companies tried to catch up and challenge a good Tesoro, but most of what they made could work OK for a lot of trashy urban locations to satisfy Coin Hunters, but they simply failed to perform in the heavily-littered Iron Nail and other ferrous debris sites. I switched from the brands I was using and selling to take on the Tesoro line and use them almost exclusively for almost a dozen years. Always checking out the competition, but Jack just happened to chance upon a very good circuitry design for Relic Hunting type environments that nobody else could match.

That was, until White's farmed out the circuitry design since they didn't come up with it in-house, and thankfully, William 'Bill' Lahr designed the Coinmaster Classic series for them. It was housed in a more square-shaped control housing and they were powered by 3-9V batteries. You could use a slow-motion sweep speed, handle most Iron Nails very well, and the in-the-field performance was the closest I handled that came to challenging the Tesoro line. They used the older-series search coils, but for most average Coin Hunting the 8" Concentric coils worked OK.

I first handled a Coinmaster Classic II on a Memorial Day Weekend outing to a ghost town in southern Utah and noted how well it worked with the standard 8" coil. That got my attention and I wanted to compare the line against my favorite Tesoro's at the time. Then they made the Coinmaster Classic III Plus which had some front-end changes and used most of the current Blue Max series of search coils. For me, that was great because that allowed me to use the 6½" diameter Blue Max 600 (later renamed 5.3 Black Max and then 5.3 Bullseye) which is a very useful Concentric design. I could also mount the smaller Blue Max 350 for very trashy or confined conditions.

All of these were single-tone models. Discriminate what you din't want to hear, then go after the rest with a 'Beep-DIG!' search technique. That was just what I'd been doing with Tesoro's since mid-'83 so it wasn't difficult to adapt to. Soon, White's improved on the series by changing to the 'SL' or Slim-Line housing using the 8-AA battery tray and calling them the Classic SL series. In my Detector Outfit I kept a Classic III SL on-hand w/6½" Concentric coil, but also had a Blue Max 350 at-the-ready on a spare lower rod. In the latter '90s White's took the Classic II SL, a simple 2-knob model with Sensitivity and Discrimination, changed the front-end to use the Blue Max series of search coils, and John Earle, one of their design engineers, had developed a rather simple but very functional Target ID using what they call "flash technology." It worked, and it worked well.

I had been informed about the coming Classic ID and was at the factory the day they came out of production and got one to enhance my Outfit. I had upper-end models like an XLT, but relied mainly on my favorite Tesoro's and selected White's Classic's. Then White's took the Classic III SL and added the Target ID to it to make the Classic IDX, and that morphed into the IDX Pro about 19-20 years ago. I also benefited from the aftermarket modifications done by Bill Crabtree. He modified his own Classic III SL and the 2nd he did was for me, and that made a pronounced change in my detector outfit.

The so-called "Mr. Bill" modifications added an external Threshold control and a very useful 1-turn manual Ground Balance control. A truly simple, but versatile, general purpose detector for working any site condition. I had 'Mr. Bill' modify all of the Classic III SL, Classic ID and IDX Pro models I owned and used. I used other makes and models at different times and places, but my chosen Tesoro's and modified Classic's were easily my most-used detectors. And while my Tesoro's were most used in the Iron littered ghost towns since mid-'83, by the late '90s and into this century the modified Classic's were also contributing quite a bit of the time, too.

Finally I settled on the modified Classic ID and IDX Pro from White's, and the non-display Bandido II microMAX and Silver Sabre microMAX from Tesoro. Today's 'modern' and 'sophisticated' choices of digital-circuitry models from Nokta / Makro and Minelab handle the bulk of my hunting needs quite well. They are, and have shown me from use afield, they are some of the best-of-the-best .... in modern design. But to complement them, I also have my favorite two Tesoro's and pristine-condition modified White's IDX Pro to round-out my Detector Outfit.

If you own and use one of the better Tesoro's or White's models, then you know what I mean. If you are newer to this great sport or have only been at it for five-to-ten years and only make use of these newer-designed, digitally-based models, I encourage you to keep a watchful eye for a choice specimen of these discontinued models and give them a try. You just might be surprised how well they can perform without all the sound-effects and glitter.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detectors: Fisher F5; Garrett Apex; Minelab Vanquish 540; Nokta / Makro FORS CoRe, FORS Relic & Simplex +;
Teknetics T2+; Tesoro Bandido II µMAX & Silver Sabre µMAX; White's XLT
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive -- ProPointer AT .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' -- MS-3 Z-Lynk -- ML-80 -- N/M Green Edition
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

White's & Tesoro ... Don't overlook their good analog detectors.

Monte 218 May 07, 2020 08:47AM

Re: White's & Tesoro ... Don't overlook their good analog detectors.

OregonGregg 137 May 08, 2020 02:20PM

Re: White's & Tesoro ... Don't overlook their good analog detectors.

Druid 148 May 08, 2020 03:00PM

Re: White's & Tesoro ... Don't overlook their good analog detectors.

OregonGregg 136 May 08, 2020 03:12PM

Re: White's & Tesoro ... Don't overlook their good analog detectors.

Druid 144 May 08, 2020 03:18PM

Re: White's & Tesoro ... Don't overlook their good analog detectors.

OregonGregg 141 May 08, 2020 03:22PM

Re: White's & Tesoro ... Tesoro veterans contrast Silver Sabre vs the last Tesoro; Mojave

Druid 164 May 07, 2020 07:52PM

Re: White's & Tesoro ... Tesoro veterans contrast Silver Sabre vs the last Tesoro; Mojave Attachments

EL NINO 159 May 31, 2020 02:56AM

Kind of enjoyed the IDX

SvenS 162 May 10, 2020 01:00PM

Drew, a reply here regarding White's.

Monte 167 May 08, 2020 09:09AM

Re: Drew, a reply here regarding White's.

Druid 123 May 08, 2020 02:49PM

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