Detector Electronics Corp. Superphone Ii
By Andy Sabisch
From Page 22
January, 1994 issue of Lost Treasure
Detector Electronics Corp. has been producing innovative accessories for treasure hunters since 1983. David and Sondra Bernzweig who founded the company are both avid treasure hunters and their intense interest in the hobby has lead to the development of many of Detector Electronics current products.
With the ever increasing number of treasure hunters searching for coins, rings, relics, and other artifacts, the successful hunters are those that are able to squeeze the maximum performance out of their detectors. While replacing a 10 year-old metal detector with one of the new deep-seeking models will probably produce an immediate improvement in ones finds, another less-expensive way to obtain similar results with virtually any type of detector in use today is by using a pair of the new Superphone LIs.
FEATURES AND INITIAL IMPRESSIONS:
Since Detector Electronics inception, their product line has been built around a unique patented electronic circuit developed by their engineering team.
This circuit was originally packaged in a small box which attached to the side of a metal detector and allowed users to plug a standard set of headphones into it. Simply called the DEPTHMASTER, its name describes its effectiveness in helping treasure hunters improve both the quantity and quality of their finds spread quickly.
The way it functioned was to process the audio output of the metal detector and enhance the weaker signals which most treasure hunters either missed or ignored. These signals were quite often caused by deeply buried, more valuable targets or targets buried on edge.
By enhancing the weak signals, the maximum detection depth available from the metal detector was obtained, regardless of the make or model used. Another complaint commonly heard from treasure hunters was that targets just under the surface would often produce signals that were so loud that they were actually painful. These loud signals also tended to affect a persons hearing for a short period of time during which weaker signals could be missed. To address this problem, Detector Electronics designed their circuitry to not only enhance the weaker signals but also to mute or reduce the strength of the signals caused by surface targets. The ability of users to discern signals others had passed up allowed them to recover coins and other valuables that had lain hidden for years.
In 1987, the company incorporated their circuit into a set of high quality headphones that had been built to their specifications called Superphones. These became extremely popular due to their proven performance in the field.
The new Superphone II has been completely redesigned with the comfort of the user in mind. Weighing only 10 ounces, it features padded oval earcups which fit the ear snugly thereby blocking out virtually all outside noise and a unique adjustable headband which prevents them from slipping off the users head even when bending over to recover a target. I was immediately impressed with their overall quality of construction and comfort as I unpacked them from the box and tried them on.
Another innovative feature of the Superphones is the removable (and as a result, replaceable) 10 foot long mini-coiled cord which connects the headphone portion to the detector itself. On conventional headphones, the wires inside of the cord frequently break at the point where the cord enters the ear cups. This in turn renders the headphones inoperable, and most treasure hunters are then forced to go out and buy a new set. This feature will greatly extend the life of the Superphones as a replacement cord can be purchased in the event it does become damaged.
The electronics are powered by a single 1.45 volt button-type battery which fits inside a holder mounted under the padding of one ear piece. It will provide at least 50 hours of use and replacements can be obtained from either the factory or local sources such as Radio Shack. If the battery does go dead while you are out in the field, the electronic circuitry can be bypassed by placing the power switch in the OFF position and the Superphones will then function as a set of high-quality headphones.
The Superphone II is equipped with a stereo plug, which because of the Depthmaster electronics built into it, works with detectors which have either a stereo or mono jack.
Since a small number of detector models are wired differently, a stereo-to-mono adapter may sometimes be required. This is detailed in the instruction manual that comes with the Superphones or users can contact the factory for their specific application.
I thought that a nearby elementary school dating back to the mid1940s that has been heavily hunted over the years would be a good area to test out the Superphone Ils capabilities. Selecting one of my detectors, I headed over to the school with my 3-1/2 year old son Paul.
Arriving at the school, I walked around to the back where the playground had been built beneath the old oak trees. While my son occupied himself in the sandbox, I turned the Superphones on and set the volume to MAXIMUM on the detector. Checking the signal strength by passing the coil over a coin tossed on the ground, I adjusted the volume to a comfortable level with the controls on the headphones.
Searching around the playground equipment, I quickly received a solid signal which indicated on the meter as a dime buried just under the surface. Reaching up, I switched the Superphone circuitry off and rechecked the target. This time the signal was almost painful the ability of the Superphone s circuitry to eliminate loud signals caused by large or shallow targets was quite evident.
As I approached one of the large trees, I received a faint, but definite signal that failed to give a consistent ID reading on the meter. Switching to the pinpoint mode, the detector indicated that the target was about six inches deep. Again, I turned the power off and checked as to what type of response the target produced. I was surprised to see that even knowing where the target was, I was unable to obtain an audio response that would have alerted me to the presence of a target.
Curious as to what the detector had located, I cut a deep plug and removed the loose dirt from the bottom of the hole. Brushing some dirt from the sides, I saw the reeded edge of a small silver coin sticking out of the hard red clay about 5 inches down. Pulling it free, I smiled as I read the date of 1923 on the Mercury dime in XF condition. The coin had been buried almost on edge which is probably why so many other treasure hunters, including myself, had missed it in previous searches.
Over the next two hours I recovered three wheat cents dated 1919, 1928, and 1935 and a silver war nickel in addition to a number of recently lost clad coins. The older coins had all produced signals that I probably would not have considered worth recovering had I not been using the Superphone II. They had come from areas that I had searched several times in the past and I was sure that I had missed them due to their extreme depth or the angle at which they had been buried.
One important note to remember is that when you are finished hunting for the day, you need to turn the power off to prevent draining the battery. The second time I used the Superphones I forgot to do this and had to replace it the next time out. Sondra recommends that you just get into the habit of turning both the detector and Superphones off at the same time to avoid this problem.
Over the next few weeks I tried the Superphone II at several other sites throughout Georgia, South Carolina, and Michigan. They were comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time and I was able to recover a number of coins and small artifacts that had obviously been at the edge of the detectors detection depth.
If you are looking for an accessory that will allow you to achieve the maximum performance possible from your existing detector, the Superphone II deserves your attention. Since it can be used on virtually any detector which accepts a set of headphones, you only have to buy one for use on whatever detector(s) you may own today or in the future.
This is truly an accessory that can help any treasure hunter increase the quantity and quality of their finds through its use. Even if you have a mid-to-low priced detector, a set of Superphones can give you that slight edge over the competition that just might let you find that elusive gold coin, diamond ring or Civil War relic.
Detectors manufactured by Whites Electronics have a unique audio output which requires the use of a special cord called the Blackbird Cord that contains components designed to provide Automatic Threshold Control. Superphone Ils can be purchased with either the standard cord or the Blackbird cord depending on what brand of detector you are using. If you need both cords, you can buy an extra one and the headphones will provide you with maximum performance on all of the detectors you own or use.
The Superphone II sells for $119.95 and replacement cords list for $21.95. The headphone portion is warranted for one (1) year and the replaceable cord carries a six (6) month warranty.
Sondra Bernzweig strongly recommends that customers stop by their local dealer for a demonstration to see how easily faint signals are recognized with the aid of the Superphone IIs unique electronic circuitry.
For the name of your nearest dealer or more information on any of the other products in their line call the factory at (508) 626-0244, toll free 1 (800) 446-0244 (Fax # 508-626-1035) or write them at One Framingham Centre, P. 0. Box 2132, Framingham, MA, 01701-0402 and be sure to mention that you read about their high-quality accessories in Lost Treasure.