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My Issues With The Minelab Manticore

My Issues With The Minelab Manticore

My issues with the Minelab Manticore. 

I want to preface by saying although I am ripping on the Manticore, I still think it is one of the top two metal detectors ever made. The other being the XP Deus 2. 

I highly recommend it to any detectorist. It is both extremely simple, and powerful, with tons of room for growth. 

Manticore Issue 1

When I first picked the Manticore up it felt heavier than the Equinox. How could this be? The Manticore is fully carbon fiber, whereas the Equinox is not. 

The answer is in the mounting point of the Manticore coil. 

By placing the mounting point of the shaft to the coil further back, Minelab made the Manticore much heavier. 

Below: Manticore Coil Mounting Point

Below: Equinox Coil Mounting Point

To understand the physics of this you can dive into my writing on counterweights HERE

Manticore Issue 2

As with the Equinox series, gold jewelry still rings up in the lowest Target ID (TID) number range. 

Why is this such a pain? Because tiny aluminum also comes up in the 1--14+  TID range. 

One trick to tell the difference between gold and micro-aluminum is to compare the signal in multi-frequency and single frequency (say, 15kHz). If you notice the TID number massively change, be suspicious. 

Don’t take my word for it. Prove this method to yourself through your own testing and experience. Only then will you trust it as a useful tool. 

The Deus 2 wins over the Manticore in this particular situation. In our tests (and others), gold, including gold jewelry and tiny gold nuggets, doesn’t start to show up until TID of 30 and above! 

Just imagine how nice it is to ignore all the micro-aluminum trash below a TID of 30!

Manticore Issue 3

The function of the Stabiliser is to degrade the audio on targets that the detector thinks could be iron (ferrous). 

The function of the Stabiliser filter is to lower the audio of a suspected ferrous target, remove the base from the tone, and leave a high abrasive-sounding pitch. 

The Stabiliser filter is dependent upon the Stabiliser being turned on. 

The Stabiliser and Stabiliser filter are a joke. Any detectorist who puts in the time can determine if a target is iron or not with the tools the Manticore offers. 

The Stabiliser feature IS Iron Bias, disguised under a new name. I wrote another article on why iron bias is obsolete HERE.

The brain is an incomparably powerful processor to a detector. So why would you let the Manticores processor try to decide whether a target is iron or not?

To make matters worse, using the Stabiliser feature will make the detectors processor work harder, and thus decrease depth.

Users have reported the stabiliser being inneffective at lower levels. This means to even get the Stabiliser to do an adequate job, you’d have to run it at higher levels, which results in more depth loss, and target masking. 

For instance, if a good target is next to iron, the Stabiliser is likely to get confused and just 'bias it out'.  

Finally, the Manticores processor needs time to process. The Stabiliser doesn’t work as effectively if you’re swinging like you’re in a Zombie Apocalypse. 

Most users out there probably don’t have the patience to hover on a target long enough for the Stabiliser to give them an accurate reading. Resulting in them still digging iron and losing depth. 

Using the Stabiliser filter will make your target sound fainter, which will only confuse you. Deep silver ALSO has modulated faint audio. Why on earth would you want to deploy a setting that encourages you to ignore deep silver signals?

It is important to note that the Manticore is a learning machine. In my experience, the longer you hover over a target, turning around it 90-degrees, the more that target will reveal its true nature. Especially if you have all-region tones turned on, which gives incredibly rich detailed audio information about your target. 

You don’t need to use features like Stabiliser that try to decide for you, you can use your own best judgment in combination with tools that do not cause depth loss or confusion. 

Good Tools for Discerning Iron

  • The Manticore 2-D graph
  • Run with Zero Discrimination, nothing notched out, iron ON so you can hear ferrous tones as you turn around your target 90-degrees, listen for signal degradation 
  • Toggle between 15kHz and Multi-Frequency, listen for signal degradation and watch for massive target ID jumps. Teach yourself what these discrepancies mean, be suspicious
  • Watch for signal drifting (where the target appears to move)
  • Spend time on your target, your machine learns more the more you sweep over it. If the signal degrades from a good-ish sounding tone into iron tones after investigating it, get suspicious 
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