FIELD TEST

Tesoro Electronics Silver Sabre Micro Max Metal Detector
By Joe Patrick
From Page 15
February, 1998 issue of Lost Treasure

During the past few years, Ive been fortunate to have been selected to field test several of Tesoro Electronics newest MicroMax series metal detectors. It began in the fall of 1994, with my evaluation of the then newly introduced Sidewinder the first MicroMax detector. Just recently, I was presented with their newest MicroMax model the Silver Sabre MicroMax.

After already field testing their Sidewinder, Cutlass, and Bandido MicroMax models, I did not expect any surprises with the design or performance of the Silver Sabre MicroMax. Imagine my astonishment however, when I discovered that the new Silver Sabre MicroMax had several significant improvements!

One thing that gets respect is a company that listens and responds to its customers... and Tesoro is listening! For example, when detectorists requested a larger and sturdier 1/4-inch headphone jack be included, instead of the smaller 1/8-inch type that was being used on earlier models, Tesoro responded and engineered one into their MicroMax detectors. In the following field test, you will see that Tesoro is closely in tune with their customers needs and wants and continues to build improvement upon improvement into each new metal detector model introduced. The Silver Sabre MicroMax is a perfect example of that commitment!

Appearance

Most readers are by now familiar with Tesoros unique MicroMax design. These various model detectors are assembled into a very small and compact custom-designed control box and are currently the most compact pole-mounted detectors available. Although small, compact and lightweight, they offer outstanding performance! Many first-time users are quite surprised when they discover just how well the MicroMax detectors perform!

The miniature control box is mounted to an S-pole rod assembly and features a foam padded rear-mounted arm rest/detector stand and foam padded handgrip. A thin-profile 8-inch open-center concentric searchcoil is used and is completely waterproof.

Features

The Silver Sabre MicroMax is a simple-to-operate turn-on-and-go metal detector. The front panel features three user-adjustable controls and a pushbutton Pinpoint switch. A silent search, slow motion detector, the Silver Sabre MicroMax has no user-adjustable ground balance control and is factory preset to effectively cancel most ground conditions encountered. A Sensitivity, Disc Level and Threshold control make up the control-center for its operation.

The Sensitivity control is also used to power on and off, the detector and in its upper range, activates the MAXBoost feature. MAXBoost provides increased sensitivity and depth for areas that have lightly mineralized soil. The Disc Level control is indexed with the numbers 1-9 and allows a broad range of control to tune in, or out, desired items while detecting. At its minimum setting, small iron targets are eliminated and its iron rejection ability is excellent except for very large or heavily rusted items. A Threshold control is featured to permit accurate adjustment of the Pinpoint threshold level...which also affects the operation of the discriminate mode.

When a target is encountered, a quick press (and hold) of the Pinpoint pushbutton switches the detector to its pinpoint, all-metal non-motion mode. Targets can also be effectively detuned by quick, repeated pressings of this pushbutton. Releasing the pushbutton switches the detector back to its motion-based discrimination mode.

A built-in 630 Hz audible battery test is performed each time the Silver Sabre MicroMax is powered on. New batteries give a loud and long duration tone. Old or weak batteries will give no tone or at best, an extremely weak one. A significant improvement has been introduced with the new Silver Sabre MicroMax. The battery compartment now features a drop-in design that eliminates the 9-volt battery snap connector, its wires, twisting, breakage and contact problems! Two rigid, spring-type contacts firmly mate with the batterys contacts and make the single 9-volt battery replacement a snap! This is a significant improvement! Thanks Tesoro, for once again listening and responding to our request!

While I am on the subject of improvements, heres another one for you. Recently, Tesoro designed a three-piece knockdown pole assembly that makes it very easy to transport their detectors while traveling or hiking. While this design is a worthwhile improvement, it had one small flaw. As you segment an S-pole into more pieces, you begin to lose rigidity, as there are more mating pieces to fit together and each has to have some clearance or give to allow for easy assembly. This creates a little more pole wobble while detecting that can be annoying and distracting to some detectorists. Again, Tesoro addressed and solved the problem by the inclusion of a new type of pole lock. Two spring/button and two positive clamping pole locks now make the three-piece pole assembly as rigid as a one-piece design. There is absolutely no play or movement and the Silver Sabre MicroMax has that rock-solid feel of quality!

As with all of Tesoros MicroMax detectors, the Silver Sabre MicroMax is extremely lightweight (2.2 pounds) and is an all-day, no-fatigue detector. Operating at a frequency of 10kHz, it provides excellent sensitivity to gold, silver and low conductive metals such as brass and lead.

As mentioned before, a 1/4-inch headphone jack is now standard equipment and a small, front panel mounted speaker is included for those who do not use headphones or require the use of a speaker. A screw-in coil connector is provided to permit the use of optional searchcoils. Tesoro has a broad selection of optional searchcoils available to meet almost any detecting situation encountered.

The Silver Sabre MicroMax has a suggested retail price of $379.

Field Use

Because of a late breaking, last minute change in my field-testing schedule, I only had time to use the Silver Sabre MicroMax at one location. Being so familiar with Tesoro detectors paid off well, as I was immediately able to recognize the refinement and benefits of this latest model.

The site selected for my test was an old, previously searched trolley park that a friend of mine knew about. Now long abandoned and forgotten, the site is located in a somewhat remote, wooded section of land that has recently been timbered off.

Ed, my detecting friend, had not been to the site in many years and the recent timbering had left the ground scattered with tree limbs and branches. For the most part, it was a very difficult site to detect with only a few clear, open spaces available.

Arriving at our destination, I powered the detector on; set the threshold, sensitivity and discrimination in less than one minute... I was detecting!

As with all of Tesoros MicroMax detectors, I really like the ultra-light weight and easy handling of the Silver Sabre MicroMax. Its feather light weight and ultra slow motion enabled me to easily detect open pockets of ground in and around the maze of fallen tree branches and exposed roots.

Another big advantage of this detector is its super-smooth operation! I noticed almost no ground chatter or instability, even when using very high (MAXBoost) levels of sensitivity.

The discrimination works very well and only large iron objects would occasionally fool the detector. All in all, I was impressed and can easily say the Silver Sabre MicroMax is a dynamite little detector!

I am sorry to report that no silver coins were recovered during this brief outing, but three Indian heads, a handful of wheat cents and a solitary Buffalo nickel made for an interesting and enjoyable day detecting.

Conclusion

Over the years, Tesoros Silver Sabre detectors have gained quite a reputation and following. Always recognized for their performance, operating simplicity and reasonable cost...the new Silver Sabre MicroMax renews and improves upon that solid reputation. I cannot imagine anyone not being able to use and do well with a Silver Sabre MicroMax. Its almost a no-brainer to operate. It tunes out trash as well as or better than some detectors selling for many times its price, and it has smooth performance and depth enough to do some serious detecting as well.

For anyone who wants a unique detector that features an exceptional compliment of low price, high performance and basic features... pick up a Silver Sabre MicroMax. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised and rewarded!

Authors Note

The Silver Sabre MicroMax is the first detector in Tesoros lineup to make use of special low noise components (originally developed for use in the analog section of high performance computers) to maximize both gain and stability. Internal circuit noise has the potential to cause chatter and sputtering.

However, by adding low noise components, Tesoro engineers have stabilized the circuits permitting the detector to be used with even more gain than before. This extra gain will increase the audio response to the smaller and also deeper targets. At the same time, lower noise levels will keep the unit running smoothly while hunting with the sensitivity well into the boost zone.

For additional information about Tesoro metal detectors contact: Tesoro Electronics, Inc., 715 White Spar Road, Prescott, AZ 86303. Phone 1-800-528-3352 or (520) 771-2646 or visit their website at: http://www.tesoro.com.

 



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