What weighs a couple of pounds, collapses to about two feet in length, costs less than $200 and is two tons of fun to use? You guessed it! Its Tesoro Electronics new ultra-compact metal detector the Amigo II.
As I arrived home from work one afternoon, United Parcel Service had just delivered a package and upon seeing the Tesoro box, I was anxious to check out its contents. I immediately noticed a badly-crushed and torn bottom of the shipping carton and prepared myself for the worst a shattered metal detector inside. To my surprise though, there was no damage at all. Everything looked and worked perfectly. Perhaps this is a real-life testimony to Tesoros robust construction and the sturdy all-metal control box housing used on the Amigo II.
The Amigo II is a VLF 10 kHz slow-motion silent-search discriminator. It features a single rotary-knob control that is used to power the detector on and off and to set the discrimination level. At its minimum discrimination setting, the all-metal mode is activated and at its extreme clockwise setting, most trash up to and including aluminum screwcaps is eliminated. A built-in audio-tone battery test is activated each time the detector is powered on. A strong and long-duration audio tone indicates a good battery, while no tone indicates that a replacement is needed.
To meet any users audio preference, the Amigo IIs front panel features both a small water-resistant speaker and a 1/4 inch headphone jack.
A cleverly designed bottom plate serves double-duty as both a battery compartment cover and detector support stand. Two captive, plastic push-pin type fasteners hold and lock the plate securely to the detector housing which is easily accessed to enable quick and easy battery replacement. Once removed, a single 9-volt battery, attached to a snap-type connector, is visible inside a foam-lined compartment.
A hard-wired, solid, seven-inch concentric search coil is supplied which provides good depth, accurate discrimination, minimal weight and easy, unobtrusive motion pinpointing. This small-size coil excels at providing better target/trash separation while maintaining good target depth, as compared to larger diameter search coils.
Unique to the Amigo II is a new type of pole assembly which accomplishes two things: One, is that in its standard forward-grip configuration, it is ideal for small and young children to use as it is extremely lightweight and can be shortened enough to match their shorter stance. For adults, the included Speed Handle can be easily attached which converts the Amigo II to the more comfortable and popular upright-handgrip/rear-armcup configuration. To install the Speed Handle, simply remove the plastic pole end cap; remove the most rearward mounting screw; insert the Speed Handle; replace the screw and reinsert the end cap. Thats it! In less than one minute, youre ready to go!
As with all of Tesoros newest detectors, the Amigo II pole assembly features the Positive Pole Locking System, which insures a tight, no-wobble pole assembly once an operating length is determined, set and locked in. All-in-all, the Amigo II is a sturdy, well-designed and manufactured metal detector. It uses the same high-quality electronic and mechanical design and components as used in Tesoros other fine detectors even their best and most expensive models! Just because the Amigo II is value-priced apparently didnt give Tesoro the approval to cut corners they didnt!
What could be easier than using a one-knob metal detector that has rock-solid operating smoothness with very little falsing, good depth and accurate discrimination on all but the largest metallic items? Operating the Amigo II is so basic and simple . . . anyone can do it.
I found its design to be comfortable, its weight minimal and it to be just simply fun to use! It subtly forces you to concentrate totally on detecting, because unlike some basic detectors, beginners are not overwhelmed by a lot of controls or user-options to select from which can often distract from the task at hand. Using the Amigo II is metal detecting at its simplest, easiest and purest form!
I field-tested the Amigo II with my friend Scott Benack at a wooded site he had discovered while deer hunting several years ago. He had often talked about and wanted to return with a detector to the secluded stone foundations, but never did. However, now, was to be the time!
We arrived early one crisp and sunny November morning greeted by a steep climb up a rugged logging road to a large, high plateau, which provided a lofty, scenic and panoramic view of the Monongahela river valley below. Here, barely visible, were the remains of the two old cut-stone foundations Scott had previously told me about. If he had not been along to point them out to me, I could have easily walked right past them. Decades of tree growth, fallen leaves and foliage had visually masked them quite well.
We began slowly searching, close to the lower (rear) sides of the foundations, and immediately began to find items, this indicated to us that the site had not been previously searched before. Many finds were found at or near the surface, another indicator that we were perhaps the first to swing a coil over the area. Shards of old broken crocks, dishes and bottles littered the area and I thought to myself . . . would I love to find a few of these unbroken.
At the end of a few hours detecting, my Army-surplus finds pouch was literally filled to the top with all sorts of interesting artifacts everything from metal buttons to tableware. The wooded area surrounding the stone foundations produced an abundant and wide assortment of metal artifacts. For some strange reason though, we did not find many coins just a handful of wheat cents, nine to be exact.
The Amigo II including its Speed Handle retails for just $189. As mentioned above, I believe it provides a lot of performance and value for its very reasonable price.
All of Tesoros metal detectors, including the new Amigo II, are covered by an exclusive Lifetime Warranty. You may contact Tesoro or any of their dealers for complete information about this outstanding protection warranty.
If you are searching for an easy-to-use, low-cost, high-quality metal detector you will find it in the Amigo II. Although the detector is simplicity perfected, surprisingly, it does not fall very short on performance compared to units costing many times its price. Detector performance can often be a critical factor for children, who can quickly lose interest if they cannot or are not finding something. It is unfortunate, but true, that many low-cost metal detectors simply do not have the performance, quality and warranty coverage found in the Amigo II.
The Amigo II has respectable depth, very good discrimination and it is solidly constructed and comfortable to use. Other than having a little less detection depth and no non-motion pinpointing, surprisingly, it worked almost as well as my top-of-the-line $850 detector. I felt very confident and was quite comfortable using it.
The Amigo II can also be used as a quick grab-and-go detector, backup unit and will even do respectable duty as a competition-hunt detector. Do I recommend Tesoros new Amigo II? You bet I do!
For additional information contact: Tesoro Electronics Inc., 715 White Spar Road, Prescott, AZ 86303, phone: 1-800-528-3352 or visit their website at: www.tesoro. org