When I think of Tesoro metal detectors, four things immediately come to mind - high performance, operating ease, lightweight comfort and high ownership value.Having owned and used many of their models over past years, I can honestly say that each has been fun to use and all have worked very effectively in the field … where it really counts!Tesoro is not a company that typically ‘comes out’ with a new flashy model every year - but only when valid improvements can be made. Recently, that methodology has been used to upgrade and improve their ever-popular turn-on-and-go Compadre model.The original Compadre was introduced in the year 2000, as a replacement for the Amigo II. That Compadre, like the Amigo II, featured a 'hard-wired' 7-inch searchcoil. The new Compadre now features an open-center 8-inch concentric searchcoil, which increases both ground coverage and detection depth.FeaturesFor being such an inexpensive metal detector, nothing looks cheaply done! The Compadre even has a built-in speaker and headphone jack, built-in battery test on power up and full-range ED-180 discrimination, like used on many of the higher-priced, feature-packed Tesoro’s.The Compadre is a silent search, motion, single-frequency V.L.F. metal detector operating at 12 kHz. This slightly higher frequency enables the detector to be optimally-sensitive to silver and gold coins, gold jewelry and relics.It features single-knob operation and simplicity for the beginner and high gain circuitry and ED-180 discrimination for the advanced user - simplicity coupled with performance!I found the Compadre’s ED-180 discrimination to be excellent! When discriminated out, most small nails and other small iron items either made no audio sound whatsoever or produced a very 'choppy' tell-tale sound. Other non-ferrous trash items were equally eliminated.Like all Tesoro µMax models, the Compadre is extremely lightweight - weighing a mere 2.2 pounds. It is very comfortable to hold and operate, even all day long! Its light weight also makes it very easy to pinpoint targets (while kneeling) by holding the detector by its lower stem.The Compadre incorporates a unique three-piece S-pole assembly that consists of an ABS lower stem with a metal middle and upper S-pole. The S-pole is designed with Tesoro’s advanced 'Positive Pole Lock System'. This pole lock system will ensure that there is no movement or wobble of the stem while searching, plus it can breakdown into small-length sections for travel or backpacking.One thing I would like to point out is that although the Compadre is Tesoro’s low-cost 'entry level' metal detector, it still uses the exact same high-quality searchcoil and pole assembly that is used on many of Tesoro’s best models!The Compadre requires just a single 9-volt battery for operation. Depending upon if headphones or the internal speaker is used, battery life will average from 10-20 hours. The battery simply drops into the battery compartment and there are no wires or battery 'snap connector' to worry about breakage. A high-quality Alkaline battery is included with the detector.Using the Compadre couldn’t be easier! With only a single front-panel control - Discriminate Level - it is truly a turn-on-and-go metal detector. Adults and children alike will find the Compadre to be an enjoyable, very easy to use metal detector that can help them find lots of coins, relics and jewelry items with simplicity that must be experienced to be believed. Please, do not make the mistake of assuming that the Compadre is a cheap, plastic 'toy' detector … for it is not! Its in-the-ground performance can rival that of some feature-packed detectors costing much more! The overall build-quality of the Compadre is also quite apparent and excellent!The Compadre’s Audio‘Rock-solid’ metal detector audio and accurate sound reproduction are two of the most important requirements for successful metal detecting … and Tesoro’s audio is legendary!Even though the Compadre has no multi-tone audio I.D. feature, much target information can be gained from the Compadre’s single 630 Hz audio tone, which may be heard through either the built-in 1 ½” speaker or by using headphones connected to the Compadre’s ¼” stereo headphone jack. For best results, I recommend that headphones should always be used.With some field experience and practice, the Compadre’s sound can easily and reliably inform a detectorist of the target’s size, shape, depth and even metal composition.Aluminum screw caps are small, loud and very intense sounding. Deep coins are soft, ‘round’ and usually repeatable from different directions. Pull-tabs are also loud, but not as much as screw caps. Nails and small iron tend to sound choppy, 'broken' and non-repeatable with each scan sounding different. With time and practice anyone can learn the audio language of the Compadre! And once mastered, these distinctive sounds are easily applicable to any Tesoro model, as Tesoro’s audio-sound is very similar between their various models. This makes upgrading to or using any other Tesoro model much easier and effortless.Field UseMy first day out found me at an old-favorite nearby park. I have been searching this park for over thirty years now and it never fails to produce a few good coins or other interesting items.Due to the 'tonnage' of trash at this site I decided to begin detecting using the pull-tab level of discrimination, searching (cherry-picking) for coins - hopefully silver coins - mixed within the super-high-trash areas closely bordering the older picnic pavilions.After detecting for about 30 minutes and digging a handful of deeper pull-tabs, that sounded like deep coins, I had to re-evaluate the situation.Air-testing a sample pull-tab showed that it was cleanly rejected at the Compadre’s pull-tab rejection level, but why then was I still hearing them in the ground? Apparently, the higher ground mineralization was shifting the detector’s discrimination point somewhat. After increasing the Discriminate Level to the 1¢ ZN position all ring-type pull-tabs were totally rejected.Shortly after changing my Discriminate Level setting, I heard a repeatable, but faint, coin-type sound. Pinpointing this target was somewhat difficult due to its small size, depth and several nearby loud trash signals. I quickly discovered that by reducing the Compadre’s Discriminate Level to the All Metal position that pinpointing became very easy as the target-signal was now much louder, concentrated and pronounced. (Do not forget to return the discrimination to its previous setting once target recovery is complete).At a depth of about seven inches, I saw a round, thin, dull gray 'coin-like' object at the bottom of the hole. At first, I thought it was a piece of Aluminum play money, but once in hand I could see that it was a Mercury dime. The dime was severely corroded and less than half the thickness of a typical Mercury dime. The date was unreadable. The Compadre had no difficulty whatsoever in sniffing-out this small, 'razor blade' thin, silver target. I was pleasantly surprised and my confidence in the Compadre was rapidly building! A handful of other coins were also found that day, but no additional silver was to be had.In planning my second day out with the Compadre my friend Scott said that he would be happy to assist me with my field test. So, in wanting to compare signals between my older 10 kHz Amigo II with 7” coil and the new 12 kHz Compadre with 8” coil it coil seemed like a great idea to have Scott along using the Amigo II.Scott and I did not compare every target signal, but just the ones that were weaker/deeper and that I felt might likely be coins.In five hours of comparing the Amigo II against the new Compadre it was clear that the Compadre was the winner. Several deeper targets could not even be heard with the Amigo II yet they were very loud on the Compadre! I disconnected my headphones on several to let Scott hear them through the speaker. He could not believe how loud they were, because he could not hear any audio response with the Amigo II.ConclusionWhether it be coin, relic, jewelry or competition hunting the lightweight Compadre can do it all. It’s also great for young children and makes a great 'backup' detector or a detector that you can permanently leave in your car or truck for instant treasure hunting when and where needed. How many times have we all said “if only I had my metal detector with me”? Well now you can! And the best part is that you can have confidence that you are not wasting your time when detecting, as the Compadre can be nearly as effective as detectors costing much more!For an entry-level metal detector the Compadre worked very well in locating numerous coins while surrounded by abundant trash targets. It’s 'lightning fast' recovery speed is a key reason that I was able to find good items nestled amongst surrounding trash targets. You can see by the photo just how much trash was encountered at the sites (while using lower discrimination). Yet, in spite of it all, the Compadre managed to find a few significant items from two very heavily detected, trash-filled parks - the 'razor blade' Mercury dime, a circa 1700’s flat button, 1935 Buffalo nickel and several Wheat cents. Not bad for an 'entry level' metal detector and a few hours spent detecting!The bottom line … the Compadre is a simplistic, affordable, high-quality metal detector who‘s performance will surprise many!The Compadre retails for just $189.00 and is covered by Tesoro’s Lifetime Warranty.