Collection 1: Minelab The Sovereign

Minelab The Sovereign 1991 – first edition

Well well, what have we here ?
My THIRD Minelab BBS detector arrived last week, so that’s 3 beach detectors and almost no beach. Congrations, you donnit ! Here’s some info on my other The Sovereign that I bought in MAy 2020.

Minelab The Sovereign – old version with Target ID meter and Coinsearch coil

I got this one for about 300 euro from a reseller in Holland. Most GT’s go for asking price of around 650 euro. Since it seems that most Sovereigns are a bit alike, I don’t know why this one would be worth less. It comes with an 8″ Coinsearch coil, which is not allowed to go underwater. It is entirely closed if you take off the protector but still I don’t want to risk it so at the beach I have to be very careful when I put it down near the water to dig.

Adjusting single tone to variable ID tone

It came with only one single tone and no switch on the unit to change it into a variable tone, you know the sound we come to love on the Excalibur and Sovereign.. So that means= open it up ! I had to change the LK3 jumper to switch to the variable tone. I found someone’s description of the inside electontrics board of the old Sovereign, the XS and the XS2-pro. You can also adjust the whole range of tone to a higher or lower sound by turning on of the white switches around.
Another note: the sound from the speaker is very loud. Yes, you can adjust treshold volume but still.. It’s so bad that I am afraid that people who live in the appartments near the beach hear my detector when I have it on speaker I did use the headphones once but didn’t have a volume control so almost got myself deaf. ‘Let’s see what it does when I go over this ball of alu foil.’ Instant BAD IDEA light was burning in my brain lol. The good part is that you can use it in wind and near the surf without losing audio info (of course they all say you SHOULD use headphones to hear all the whispers but I love being without the stress on my ears cos i wear glasses). I cannot use the newer Sovereign Elite without headphones in noisy conditions because its volume is a lot less loud. It also stopped working after 5.5hrs with a new battery because I had the volume on maximum (which was barely enough).

Doesn’t work well with third party coils

One giant disadvantage of this version is that it doesn’t play well with the NEL or Detech coils since suddenly the nice feature of not digging weird rusty stuff goes into the black hole. I spent TWO DAYS digging nothing but iron blobs from quite some depths with the Detech 12×10 coil, before I got home and tested the original coil with the same bloody rust balls. THey all give a signal. The original 8 and 10″ minelab coils do their job on this old Sovereign, give nothing but a null tone on these things, but the new third party coils are giving you a lot of digging for nothing. So wouldn’t recommend.

Weight is a bit much

The weight is easy to handle if you take off the unit and carry it around in a shoulder or hip bag. The cable that comes out from under the unit gives me some hesitation as to whether this cable will not start suffering because it bends when i sit down to dig. I did think about putting the whole electronics into a new waterproof case and having the cable come out somewhere else but I’m not anywhere near executing that idea.

I did try the original setup for a few times, and came back after a 3-hr beach hunt in June with a Pandora charm, old and new coins and bullets from the war. Found a hot spot between wet and dry sand. Didn’t find it again afterwards, as beach seemed to have sanded in.. Sad sad summer with all of my new detectors.

3-hr Hunt in De Panne with Coinsearch coil. Found a good spot near the rescue guards. A silver Pandora thingy at least 6 old items that were scattered around one spot.