Troy Custom Detectors Inc. is a newcomer to the metal detecting manufacturing field; however, both the companys founder (Troy Galloway) and the company that actually builds the detectors (Tesoro Electronics) have been actively involved in the business for years, developing a solid reputation with end users and other manufacturers alike. Troy started his new company with a simple goal in mind Take the technology thats currently on the market and build on it to give treasure hunters equipment that excels in actual in-field usage. Since he has been an avid Tesoro user for years, he approached Jack Gifford with some new ideas and, after several meetings, a new alliance was born. The line of Troy Custom Detectors would be built by Tesoro Electronics to Troys specifications and, unlike other startup companies in the past that had problems servicing the product after the sale, the famous lifetime warranty from Tesoro applies to all of Troys detectors.
The Shadow x2 is a silent search VLF-motion discriminator that features dual discriminate circuits and a non-motion, All Metal pinpoint mode. It uses the Max control housing which measures a remarkable 3.5 inches wide by 3 inches high and 2 inches deep including the single 9-volt battery that powers the detector for 20 plus hours! The shaft comes apart into three sections which, combined with the detectors overall weight of only 2 pounds, makes it ideal for traveling or stowing in a backpack when exploring sites the competition rarely visits. The overall weight and balance of the Shadow allows it to be used for extended periods of time without fatigue.
The Shadow is controlled via two knobs (DISC and SENS) and two push-buttons (COIN CHK and PINPOINT). These controls deserve a few additional comments before describing how they operate, as they show Troys attention to detail and incorporation of comments received from active treasure hunters. On other detectors, adjustment knobs can often be moved inadvertently and, depending on what the control is for, this can significantly affect the overall performance of the detector until the misadjustment-adjustment is noticed and corrected. Troy has eliminated this problem by using high-quality knobs with rubber O-rings underneath them to hold the knob in the desired position. The push buttons are also unique to the Shadow. The toggle switches found on many other detectors allow grit to get into the switch itself, causing more than a few treasure hunters to send their unit in for repair. Troy opted for push buttons with rubber boots to keep dirt and moisture out, rather than toggle switches, to avoid problems down the road.
Another unique feature found on the Shadow is the COIN CHK push-button. When the button is depressed, any target that registers below copper penny will be rejected regardless of where the DISC control is set. Detectorists will quickly recognize the usefulness of this dual-discrimination concept, which reduces unnecessary digging when hunting trash-infested areas.
The SENS knob both turns on the detector and varies the strength of the signal transmitted from the coil. The Shadow x2 incorporates Tesoros patented High Gain Sensitivity (HGS) circuitry, which provides enhanced sensitivity to low conductive targets such as gold, brass and lead. Combining the HGS circuitry with the Tesoros Expanded Discrimination 120 circuit, the Shadow is able to detect non-ferrous targets at impressive depths in areas which contain a high concentration of rusted iron.
The biggest innovation found on the Shadow x2 is the new Super 7-inch concentric coil. Troy re-designed the transmit and receive windings in the coil to obtain more ground coverage with each sweep, while retaining the quick-recovery attributes needed to separate good signals from adjacent trash targets, as well as the extreme sensitivity to small targets that Tesoro coils are well known for. Much of the success the Shadows are experiencing in the field is directly attributable to the enhanced coil design developed by Troy.
The first site I took the Shadow to was an old cotton mill that dated back to the late 1800's. John Summers, a fellow treasure hunter accompanied me on this trip. When we arrived, we saw that little remained other than the raceway that directed the water from a nearby creek to the turbine and the outline of some of the buildings. As with many older sites, it had quite a bit of trash from hikers and fishermen that had frequented the area over the last 30 plus years, so hunting it would be somewhat of a challenge. Turning the detector on, I set the SENS to 7 and the DISC at 5 to get rid of the small rusted iron I knew was there. As I started hunting alongside the foundation of the main building, I was surprised at how quiet was. Johns detector was experiencing a good deal of falsing and chattering due to the concentration of nails, wire, etc., around the foundation. He headed off into the woods to reduce the amount of junk he was digging.
Over the next hour I found several keepers, including five small buttons, an old pocket knife, a token from a local business long since forgotten, and a few coins lost by others since the mill closed down. I was somewhat bothered by the fact that I had received several solid signals in both the DISC mode and when the COIN CHK button was pressed, indicating a probable coin; however, upon recovering the target, I found an old rusted square nail. During subsequent discussions with Troy, he indicated that old rusted nails should not have produced a signal, especially in COIN CHK. These nails were unusual in composition, as several other detectors, including some Tesoro models and other costing $100's more, all produced positive signals on the nails even with the discrimination at MAX. In subsequent tests with the Shadow, I found the discrimination circuitry worked as designed ignoring even deep rusted iron while still detecting coins and other artifacts at impressive depths.
A week later we went to Charleston, South Carolina, to visit relatives. We went to a popular beach on the Atlantic coastline. In the course of an hour we recovered nearly 50 coins and other goodies. Unlike most VLF detectors I have used there in the past, the Shadow did quite well, even in the wet black sand. By turning the SENS down to 3 I would receive only an occasional false signal as I swept across the wet sand. Several coins were recovered at depths up to 7 inches and the best find of the day was a small 14KT gold initial ring with the letter S at just over 5 inches near the surf line.
I took Paul, my 8-year-old son, to the 5th annual Best O the Northeast Treasure Show and Hunt held in Keene, New Hampshire. The hunt took place early morning in a field adjacent to the building where the show had been held. The site had once been a glass factory, then a jail, and finally an armory before the current recreation center had been built. With 200 years of building material present, the amount of deep rusted iron was a challenge for most of the detectors that had been used there over the years. The hunt field consisted of more than 40 hunters, with my son being the only kid in the pack. Throughout the hunt I heard a number of people complaining about the rusted iron that was raising havoc with their units. My son received very few false signals and was able to easily detect good targets from amongst the trash with the SENS set at 2 and the DISC at 3.
At the end of the hunt he emptied out his pouch and discovered he had recovered 10 of the 100 prize tokens that had been buried! A number of people came by to take a closer look at the Shadow after the prizes had been awarded.
The Shadow x2 may resemble a Tesoro Silver Sabre Max; however, thats where the similarity ends. It offers exceptional performance under a wide range of conditions conditions that rendered some top-of-the-line VLF detectors virtually useless. Highly mineralized red clay in Georgia, wet black sand salt water beaches in South Carolina, and fields filled with 200 years of rusted junk in New England did not stop the Shadow in each case some nice finds were made. With the enhancements made by Troy to an already proven design, the Shadow x2 is ideally suited for all types of treasure hunting. If you are looking for a new detector be it your first, a backup unit, or one for all your treasure hunting needs, you need to take a close look at the Shadow x2 before you make your final decision.
The Shadow x2 sells for $499 and comes with a limited lifetime warranty directly from Tesoro Electronics. If a manufacturer is willing to provide a lifetime warranty on their equipment, they must feel that it has been designed to hold up to the rigors of active treasure hunting. Troy offers another innovative concept in what is called the Lady Shadow. Identical in performance and appearance to the Shadow x2, the Lady Shadow operates at a frequency 0.5 kHz different than the Shadow, allowing a husband and wife team to work side-by-side without interference typically experienced when using two detectors from the same manufacturer. Any of the optional search coils offered by Tesoro will work on the Shadow x2 (or Lady Shadow) making it an extremely versatile detector.
For more information on the Shadow or the name of your nearest authorized dealer, contact the company at 13015 Harkness Drive, Dallas, TX 75243, call them at 972-690-5703 or e-mail troy3 @airmail.net. Be sure to mention you read about this new detector in Lost Treasure!