Jump to content

Tom Dankowski’s Settings For The Minelab Manticore


Recommended Posts

Tom Dankowski’s Settings for the Minelab Manticore

Tom Dankowski was one of the original beta testers  for the Minelab Manticore.  During the course of this testing he developed a group of settings that began with the stock “Beach Low Conductor mode.   This is arguably the deepest way to run the Manticore and my tests have shown it  to be a very deep setting.  Here’s how it works:

A metal signal in the ground is not discrete.  What I mean by that is that it’s  not separate from the ground’s signal.  What a detector does is to separate this orderly, distinct signal from the ground’s larger, stronger, more diverse one.  Years ago detectors were set up to try and “punch through” the ground to detect a target.  “(TR)”  Later, with the advent of “ground balance” the machine could be set to “zero out” the ground’s signal by operating from a variable set point.   Some detectors featured what was called “tone on tone.”  With “tone on tone” you heard both an all metal signal and a non-ferrous signal at once.  This made it easier for deep signals to be heard as the ground part of the response was already being amplified and heard. Anyone who has used a detector that features “silent search” would have experienced the performance loss that this creates as good targets have to jump up out of the “null” to be heard.   Machines like the Whites “Eagle” and “Nautilus” machines were higlhy regarded for the depth that this “tone on tone” audio gave them.


Tom Dankowski

So with Dankowski’s settings, we have  basically  the same thing.  Ferrous Volume is turned up to maximum (25) to bring up everything under the coil.   The setting then relies on the Manticore’s strong processing to  separate any non-ferrous  targets  from this big response.  The program also features “Prospecting” type one-tone audio.  This brings in the machine’s filtering (bias) to  assist in  pushing the “random” part of the signal  down into the iron tone.  The noise of this iron tone takes some getting used to but the results are surprising.

It’s also quite a stable way to run the Manticore—even up at high Sensitivity levels (26/28 or more) because the noise is already there.   The operator’s job is to learn to hear through it.  If you have an  old  area where you  want to see what’s  “way down there”–this is the setting  to use–given some practice.

Appendix V: Tom Dankowski’s Open Low Conductor Mode Settings

This is arguably the deepest way to run the Manticore.  I would have to concur–it’s a “shocker.” This set up requires the use of basic skills to offset the open Ferrous Limits–sizing signals, using the cross sweep and Pinpoint where needed.  As with any Manticore application, the graph also helps here–keeping you off the “partials” and cross-feeds. As with any high-power setting it also requires that you “listen good” and focus upon solid, “peaked” sounding responses.

Beach Low Conductors Mode
Volume: 25
Ferrous Volume: 25
Recovery Speed: 4
Discrimination Pattern: All Metal
Ferrous Limits: Upper = 4, Lower = 0
Nothing Notched out. (Bring in the iron).
Audio Theme = Prospecting
Ground Balance the unit close to the edge of the saltwater
[States Tom…]

Run Sens on 24 or 25 or 26… depending / dictated by the salt-content of your particular beach. (Start at 24….. and see how stable the unit is. Then bump-up Sens accordingly).

I get the feeling that you may be able to bump Sens up…even higher. Maybe even 28. IF you can run Sens 28…you are going to find the results…interesting.  [Ed. Note: By this Tom means that the machine has extreme depth with this setting–I concur!].
I do recommend making the hotkeys: Upper Left Button = Noise Cancel. Upper Right Button = Ground Balance. Sidebar button = Iron

Ed. Note.   Listen  for complete sounds with exension.  Use the cross sweep to check your signal  for consistency.  If you are going to use the “Red Iron Indicator” keep your ID’ing passes narrow so as to get a clean reading.   As well, this indicator is not always that accurate in black sand. Also, if the  all  metal  noise is too  much turn  down either the Ferrous Volume, or the overall Volume. There’s also nothing wrong with adding in a reject block  to make for cleaner target assignment although this will  detract from the overall power of the program.  Try  this setting up at 28 and “hold on to your hat!”

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Tom Dankowski’s Settings For The Minelab Manticore

Ya that's true guess  my age is showing--"Mixed Mode" is what the Eagle manual termed it but the old timers  did call  it "tone  on tone."  Great learing tool and performance--lot of guys were nuts about the Nautilus on the Southern relic  sites back then and  still a few knocking about...Great article BTW this is the kind of information  that would help  new hunters to  make more practical sense of the tech we are presented with now. 



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dankowski's post on his beach settings that you describe is on page 13 of his Manticore forum. I discovered it the first week of January when I bought my detector and never looked back. Been using upper 4 and lower 0 with Prospecting Audio and All Metal ever since I turned the machine on the first time. I figured if Dankowski uses it, it's good enough for me. Only difference for me is that I cut the ferrous volume down to half of what my regular volume is and I run the sensitivity at around 21-22 for my beach. Both these adjustments help cut down on ear fatigue during a long hunt. If you're hunting an area with a lot of iron, the the iron grunts along with the high sensitivity chatter can be fatiguing to the ears after a while. I do however bump up the sensitivity to 25-26 temporarily when I come across a deep weak signal to help identify it as "dig" or "no dig". This does make the target easier to identify after crossing it in all directions. Then I go back to my 21-22 sensitivity.

The Prospecting Audio has some very telling differences in it's target hit sounds depending on metal type and shape and depth. For instance, can slaw and foil in the 12 TID range and under sounds different than a gold ring in the same range even though both may show as right on the non-ferrous center line. I have a lot of slaw on one area of beach that I hit regularly and this little nuance in the sound helps tremendously once you learn it and trust it to be can slaw or foil "no dig". Took me a while to pass those hits up without digging, but I learned after digging so many pieces of slaw in my first month or so with the detector. However, pull tabs in the 29-32 range sound just as good as a dig target and are usually a dot right on the center line like a good target. If I'm in an area as usual with a lot of pull tabs, anything 29-32 I don't dig anymore. I have dug way too many pull tabs in an infested area to waste time digging them all thinking "this one may be the gold....dig it"!

Those who haven't given Prospecting Audio a good try because it's different than what you're used to should really give it a good shot. It has so many subtle differences in hit sounds that you learn with a little time and experience that help identify a target.

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya I  jumped  right on to Prospecting audio  with the NOX for the detail  it gives and  what  a great signal balancing trainer it is.  changes  in sens, speed  and bias are very telling.   It teaches you  how to get your responses to stand out.

Re/ foils. This is another great thing about  the Manti, it does let you hear the solidity of  targets and these light flecks  of  foil just sound weak.  I do think that Toms settings  will  allow more juice than  22 / though but this is a land  setting. Jacked way  up.  For tough, fast salt though 22 seems to be a good setting  for sure in simple Beach Wet.    Thanks for your insight, Brad exactly why I put the post up--to see how others are liking and  using this system. 


  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also mention that this is not  a true "Mixed Mode" in that its only in the audio circuit.  A true "Mixed Mode" means that both detection circuits respond to all  targets.  With the Manti, targets are  competing for "sound."  There is a considerable depth boost though. 


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been using the same settings that Tom suggested, Brad uses and CJC just posted for a long time now. I pretty much hunt exclusively on the wet beach or in the salt water. I am more than pleased with these settings as I feel the sound in prospecting audio is very sharp and telling about depth, size and sometimes composition of the target. By composition I am referring to aluminum pieces that are irregular in shape and produce a sharper cut off sound than gold or copper. I have tried 5 tones, etc but keep going back to the prospecting audio. Tom has also just recently suggested trying Beach General IN the salt water as it is the second most sensitive setting (next to Beach LC) for gold. I have tried it twice now and am able to use a sensitivity around 19 / 20 comfortably in the water and am sure I can use more sensitivity once the Gulf water smooths out some more. He has changed the ferrous limits and type of GB with this approach, so more time is needed to tell if it is better for my location.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, okara gold said:

Tom has also just recently suggested trying Beach General IN the salt water as it is the second most sensitive setting (next to Beach LC) for gold. I have tried it twice now and am able to use a sensitivity around 19 / 20 comfortably in the water

One has to be SO CAREFUL using Florida settings elsewhere. 

On our live testing, Beach General did not fare well. I suggest testing FRINGE buried gold to understand what will work in your location.  On Minelab products don't ever discount sensitivity. Higher sensitivity in what might be considered lessor preferred modes just might surprise . 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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...