Jump to content

Tarsacci Cookbook And Best Practices

Recommended Posts

Note from Steve Herschbach: This is a merged thread and an error occurred. It shows as started by The_Stalker but his original post got shuffled out of place for some reason. I moved it here to try and repair the damage. What follows was posted by The_Stalker


I am looking for the help of the Tarsacci community.  I have read almost every post on most every forum about the Tarsacci.  What I rarely see are posts that detail best settings and how and when to alter those settings in the environment you are in.  My reason behind this Cookbook is to help the Tarsacci become a much more popular metal detector.  I can go on youtube and look at thousands of Equinox videos, I can even see hundreds of Deus 2 videos and the machine is not even available, but there are very few Tarsacci videos that help you understand or even want to purchase a Tarsacci.  Since Aaron's forum is down there are even less avenues to look for Tarsacci information. On Tom's forum there is a Tarsacci topic that is 88 pages of posts.  That's over 8000 pages of printed material.  Not to many potential new buyers will wade through this for a buying decision. 

Steve Herschbach has been kind enough to offer to host and monitor this Topic so that it does not become thousands of pages of off topic posts.  So please post how you use your Tarsacci and what tricks and tips you have discovered.  Even thou I live in Western Pennsylvania, I primarily use my Tarsacci on the beaches in South Carolina.  I take vacations and hunt for a week at a time.  Here are my best setting and ideas.

I hunt wet sand from the splash zone to the high tide line on fairly flat, non mineralized, South Carolina beaches.  My standard starting settings are Salt 45, Frequency 6.4k, Threshold -1, Discrimination -30, Sensitivity 8, Mixed Mode and GB 630 +/- 50 points.  I am not hunting for micro jewelry.  I am big game hunting for gold rings.  I have found that 6.4k and Salt 45 is usually the deepest frequency for me, but I know I am probably giving up the opportunity for micro gold jewelry.  I am ok with that for the added depth.  6.4k is also the best with EMI caused by iPhones, condo wifi and hotels.  I have found that the Threshold setting is much more important than the Sensitivity setting and if the Emi is high I will lower the Sensitivity before I lower the Threshold setting.  If the Tarsacci starts acting up and giving false signals I try to look around and see what has changed.  Am I closer to buildings, people or has the Salt balance setting changed for some reason?  I have found if the false signals have a fluttering sound to it, it is usually one of three things.  Either EMI has increased because of building or people, helicopter or low fly planes overhead or rapidly approching thunder storms.  If it is a rapid fire false signals, chances are my Salt settings are off.  Usually a walk down to the splash zone will confirm which one it is.  I hunt in Mixed Mode and with the discrimination at -30 because I want to hear where the Iron is.  I have been told that treasure runs with trash and I believe that to be true.  One little trick that I have found recently is if I find a very faint, scratchy signal where the VDI is all over the board and the pinpoint numbers are very low, I raise the Sensitivity and Pinpoint the target.  Even thou the settings are to high to hunt in, it enables my Tarsacci to lock onto the target and Pinpoint the target for me.  That way I can take a couple of scoops off the top to see if it's a target worth pursuing.  I Pinpoint every target before starting to dig to improve my recovery rate.  I owned an Equinox and hated how it Pinpointed and lost targets when the hole would collapse and sink out of detection range.  The Tarsacci is excellent at Pinpointing and I take advantage of this fact.  The last little trick that I have discovered is that the Tarsacci has a recovery rate that is fast enough for me to keep the Tarsacci on, hold the coil an inch off the ground and walk to a new area I wish to hunt.  If I walk over a target, the Tarsacci sounds off and I can futher investigate the target.  It is kind of like trolling for targets.  This is especially useful on day 5 or 6 of hunting when my arms feel like they are going to fall off.

I hope other Tarsacci users will add their settings and tips for Relic hunting in both hot and mild soil, junky park hunting, black sand beach hunting, fresh water hunting, under water hunting...........etc.  I would love for this to become a source of information that a new Tarsacci owner can come to and get a starting point to use their detector.  Then they can experimenting with setting to better understand this fantastic machine.  Thank you in advance for sharing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hopefully this thread becomes a resource for anyone new and old to the MDT with your combined help. Hopefully you experienced users have learned more with time, and have refined what you may have thought earlier. And hopefully people don’t mind sharing it again, even if they are repeating something they said somewhere else. Please extend them the courtesy of not copying the information here without their permission. If you see content elsewhere you wish was here, you can just provide a link to it. Thank you in advance for that also. :smile:

Tarsacci MDT 8000 Data & Reviews

Tarsacci MDT 8000 User Manual

Tarsacci MDT-8000 Usage Notes Part 1

Tarsacci MDT-8000 Usage Notes Part 2


Tarsacci MDT 8000 Usage Notes Part 1.pdf Tarsacci MDT 8000 Usage Notes Part 2.pdf

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, when first learning the Tarsacci's audio it was very hard to pick up the Disc tones, especially in Mix mode. What helped me tremendously was to try different headphones. I settled on a pair of 150 ohm Killer B's with adjustable volume. This enables me to run the detector volume @ 13-15 and have a comfortable level in my ears. The tones are much more distinct also. I use the Garrett Z link & it works great.

The 2nd thing that was most helpful was to realize that solid stability is crucial to understand the audio subtilties. This is achieved by running low to moderate Sensitivity levels. Testing showed me that Sens @1 or 2 will hit 8+" just fine. Quiet but solid. The higher the mineralization the lower the Sens needs to be. You will actually lose a deep target in high mineral ground @ 6 that 2 or 3 will hit just fine. I try to keep Threshold no lower than -2 & set the Sensitivity one notch below any chatter. On low mineral ground you can run 7,8 or even 9 Sens. Using Mix mode is what I prefer as I can monitor GB & mineral blowback. There is also a lot of intelligence in the AM channel. Strive for stability so you can listen & trust the machine to do it's part.

Sweep speed is important. You will find the right groove naturally by paying attention.

Very good in the Iron if not machine gun thick but does like very small thin rusty nails/wire. Disc +30 helped in the beginning with any falsing. It's not a problem now & I usually run Disc -30.

I'm still learning every time I go out. It is fun to run & really surprises you on a regular basis.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites


If you have trouble with small iron bits, it can be helpful to increase your ground balance. You may be surprised just how much you can add without affecting gold targets. 100+, 200+, or even going into the few hundred points available above 999. Sounds crazy, but it can make for a whole new machine in ground where there is a lot of rotted iron and those pesky little snips.

The Tarsacci is deceptively simple, it feels like it should be harder than it actually is, it just seems a little unfamiliar to those used to the usual way of doing things. This machine can be learned to operate as a sophisticated approach to almost any site, or as a set it and forget it turn on and go machine that you never change a setting on. It is all up to you.

To start with a Tarsacci, be careful not to overdrive it. Keep sensitivity low (1-3) and threshold down (-5 to -9), it behaves better. Use salt balance, it is wonderful for helping keep the noise down and take the edge off salt and small foil. BlackSand on all the time will help in town. Add 50 points to ground balance, and more if you need to for more smoothness in bad ground. The detector is well behaved at these settings and you can always heat it up as far as you want when you get to know it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. I have been experimenting with GB & SB & Black Sand to better understand how they interact with each other. 

Raising the GB and/or SB does seem to work well in the small iron on low mineral sites. On higher mineral sites I have found a dead on GB seems best overall. I will GB with Salt off, then turn it on and run it up for iron work. TIDs are not quite as good but the tones don't seem to be effected. Black Sand on really quiets the machine down on falsing or EMI but I lose the soft hits on deep targets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


It gets a little fuzzy and not at all intuitive in terms of what we know. Bearing with the fuzzy logic for a moment:

GB does as advertised, but you can also fuzz up to treat small iron as ground and sort of see through some of it.

Disc (+28) will prevent wrap around iron and remove most of the larger iron in the coin size range. This is the size an urban hunter cares about.

Salt seems to help take the edge off aluminum a little and quiet bad ground a little esp with GB+. Here you are seeing through salt and small aluminum.

Sens and Thresh can fuzz it a little more, and there is good reason to do so. It takes some of the edge off the remaining junk and ground. 

BlackSand seems to help with bad ground ground and with EMI in urban areas.

Then Freq is chosen by size of target and how much see through of the ground you want.

This, when you learn the hang of it gives you a well behaved machine. Does not give max depth or sensitivity to small gold, but can save your sanity and the high value stuff is not lost.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So if I were a new Tarsacci owner and I was dirt hunting, I should experiment with using the GB to reduce the effects of small iron in the soil, use the Salt to reduce the sensitivity to aluminum and quiet the bad ground and keep Sensitivity and Threshold as low as possible to still see the desired targets, but not to enhance the aluminum andiron in the soil?  Frequency is for target size with 6.4K for larger higher conductor targets and 18k for smaller low conductor targets?  Is this correct or am I over simplifying it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is it exactly.

Think of it as detuning what you do not want to hear until what you want is all you hear. That is the ideal anyway, and though never perfect you can get a good compromise.

So first you set to see through what you can, disc what you must, and dig the best signals from what is left. When you fuzz the trash a little the gold and coins still sound good because of their shape and size. Everything else starts getting iffy at some point, and you choose how much iffy to dig. 

The fly in the ointment is pull tabs. They sound like a big gold ring unless they are torn. There is no positive TID on Tarsacci that could not have gold hit it, so every good clean positive signal needs a close look.

This can be made to be as hot and deep as you like by adding sensitivity and subtracting threshold. How hot and deep is up to you according to your target priorities.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, The_Stalker said:

Frequency is for target size with 6.4K for larger higher conductor targets and 18k for smaller low conductor targets?

Sorry Stalker, forgot to address this. 

It is not about conductive properties, it is about soil penetration, target size, and detector resolution. Soil reacts less to lower frequencies and small targets are less well imaged too which is why it penetrates better. So the deeper you want to go, and for as long as you are not seeking really small, the better 6.4 kHz works.

Dimitar recommends 6.4 for deep silver and rings. He should know. It is also well known that Tarsacci finds pretty darn small even at it’s lowest frequency.

So then, it might be assumed that the highest frequency (18kHz) would be for hunting small. Of course detector resolution to small is better, but those targets are still on or in the ground so you are going to get more back talk from the ground if it is at all prone to it.

Therefor what frequency to choose is not as simple as choosing target size and conductivity. It is also a function of the soil you are hunting whether you want to hunt deep or not. 9kHz can be a lovely compromise for bad but not awful soil, and 12kHz can get you a little smaller stuff maybe.

So goes the theory. In practice, 9kHz works well for all but the tiniest specs in all but the worst ground and seems to run a tiny bit better while doing it to my ear, and mixed mode will let you keep track of how the junk and soil is shaping your signals. That is to me detector resolution, or more properly how clearly the detector speaks about what it sees to my mind.

THere is another point we need to remember. The target signal is shaped by what it is laying in and near. Really slutty trashy soil will ruin a good target’s reputation.


For what it is worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where do you mostly hunt? What type of sites & soil conditions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Tarsacci Cookbook And Best Practices
  • The title was changed to Tarsacci Cookbook And Best Practices

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...