Minelab MusketeerPrice: $300
Based on 33 reviews
Avg. Durability: 5.00
Avg. Ease of use: 5.00
Deep & Quiet
It is very deep and quiet with SUPER target separation and fast recovery from target to target. One of the things I really love about it is the nice even sound on a small or deep target, something you do not get on other detectors in it's class. Some other detectors will a lot of times breakup on these type targets and you may think it's a trash item and not dig it.
The DD coil on it does take a bit of practice to pinpoint with, but not a major huddle to get over. It does have a problem sometimes with iron on a good target, but many detectors do that cost even more. Another issues is it's sensitivity to small brass items. I have missed several primer caps with it, that my Vaquero or Compass XP Pro Plus have found. This could be an issue with the detector frequency (5khz) or the small sub 8" coil, the 10" may do better. The last issue is the weight and orientation of the control box on the rod. It's not a big problem for me, as I'm a coil scrubber but others may find it a bit coil heavy. This detector can also be hip-mounted to help with weight.
Overall it's a great detector that can hunt coins, relics or some on the beach. I really only give it 4 stars due to the rod setup and weight.
Scott Beasley from South Carolina
Best bang for the buck!!!
To the credit of Minelab, they built the Advantage on the design of the Sovereign Elite. Same rod, same housing mounts and same weight and balance. And, as with the Sovereign Elite, you can change the Advantage to a hipmount detector by simply placing the housing in the hipmount bag. Personally, I prefer to mount mine under the armrest, just like the Elite. I find that this makes the Advantage almost perfectly balanced and a pleasure to use. The mounting bracket to accomplish this is readily available from your Minelab dealer.
The Advantage is a silent search, motion detector, with adjustable ground balance, variable discrimination mode, all-metal mode, adjustable sensitivity and a pinpoint mode. As with most sophisticated electronics, those who don't take the time to adjust theirs for the particular site they are hunting may find the Advantage to be noisy or acting erratically. They believe that turning the controls to maximum capacity will increase their finds. That is not the case. You must not over-drive the sensitivity setting and properly adjust the ground balance if you want to maximize your finds.
Once set up properly, the Advantage runs as quiet as a church mouse, and even running high levels of discrimination, it will hunt deeper than most other detectors on the market. With the wide variety of OEM and aftermarket coils available, you can use your Advantage for the beach, relic sites or coin hunting in parks and yards. For all around hunting, you won't find a better "bang for the buck" than the Minelab Advantage. No frills. Just a serious metal detector for the serious coin or relic hunter. HH
RT from Midwest USA
Gets real good depth in Minerialized soil! Maybe it's a little Heavy and not Balanced perfect, but you can buy a kit to move the control box under your elbow!!! Buy this Detector you will never regret it!!!
Relicman from Southern US
My take on the Advantage
Being new to this hobby I didn't know there were FAST machines and SLOW machines. The Quattro, as well as being my first metal detector, was also my first introduction to a SLOW machine.
Based on the reviews on this page and other forums the Advantage had the quickness I was seeking so I purchased one.
Here is my user report:
Yep, the Advantage is a fast sweeper, and it doesn't lose any sensitivity with sweep speed, and most the time you can run the sensitiviy up high to get fairly deep-seeking action. Recovery time is fast too, just like most users are saying.
It is definitely much more fun to use than the Quattro and in the same amount of time I can find more goodies with the Advantage than the Quattro even if I have to dig more trash. SPEED does make a difference!
But the Advantage is not without its problems. It loves rusty metal and I get lots of false signals. Minelab tended to select an ear-piercing frequency for this machine. I think the frequency was selected to mimic a 6-month screaming infant. A frequency that us humans have evolved to hear especially well so we could respond quickly if our baby is in harms way.
Minelab could have been more kind to its customers by selected a frequency less grating on the ears. To make matters worse there is no attenuation knob on the control box to lower the ear-piercing volume. If you are deaf the volume is fine. If you're not deaf, you soon will be. The band-aid work-around for is to use headphones with a volume control. This will allow you to lower the volume enough to gain back your sanity.
I found the Advantage a bit noisy around powerlines and RF sources. I have broadband internet and whenever I approach the incoming cable next to my home the Advantage goes crazy the same thing happens to the Quattro. I have an ID Excel and Cibola and neither of these detectors are sensitive to this type of interference (besides other metal detectors.) As a side note,a neighbor came by my place with his Garrett 2500 and Fisher CZ-7A and both of his machines had problems around the RF coming from my broadband connection.
The Advantage is akwardly balanced and the proof of this is even people who love this machine will hip-mount the control box or modify the shaft to move the control box farther up on the shaft. To me these are band-aid fixes.
Minelab could have put more thought into the ergonomics of the Advantage. I prefer not to have a control box hanging or jiggling from my side or the control box so far up the shaft that it is awkward to access the controls. This issue may not bother others but it definitely is a minus to me.
After experiencing the negative points of the Advantage, I continuing my search to find the non-obtainable perfect metal detector. My journeys lead me to the Fisher ID Excel and the Tesoro Cibola.
I have almost approached Nirvana with these two machines. Both have fast or moderately fast sweep-speeds and fast recovery times (just like the Advantage.)
But unlike the Advantage, these are light-weight, sleek, ergonomic beasts that you can use for hours without fatigue. No need to purchase hip-mount bags or drill holes into your new shaft to retrofit your control box.
Unlike the Advantage, these machines discriminate like champs in iron and trash. A rusty bottle cap easily fools the Advantage but the ID Excel or the Cibola will pick off a bottle cap with ease.
The Advantage is deeper seeking than the Excel but the Excel has a target ID, an excellent depth gauge feature, better discrimination, a pleasant 4-tone audio discrimination system, and better pinpointing abilities than the Advantage (but the Excel does cost $140 more than the Advantage.)
The Cibola beats the Advantage in every catagory, even depth and it costs the same as the Advantage!
I don't base my reviews on brand preference or price. I base my reviews on preformance, features, and ergonomics.
I rated the Advantage a 4 because it costs significantly less than a high-end machine like the Quattro and yet performs fairly well. But going to an ID Excel or Cibola is the next step up the evolutionary ladder.
Many who base the like of their machine by the price tag won't like my review. But from what I see so far it seems that mid-price machines like the Cibola and Excel are outpacing the high end machines like the Quattro.
GT from Western Washington
"Advantage" -- the name says it all...
Dig'n in Va. from Va.
Minelab Musketeer Advantage
Malcolm Fullbrook from (Kent) United Kingdom
So impressed. I bought two!
Robert from Calif.
It has depth but thats it......
Depth is really in the high end department.
I don't like the balance of the detector. Sure you can hipmount it or modify it by moving the control box under the arm rest. But if you do that you don't have easy access to the controls anymore. But if you are that guy who digs everything over the disc setting you set, or hunt in all metal, you don't need access to the controls. I like to play with the disc while hunting and the advantage doesn't even have reference numbers for the disc. I don't like the memory of the coil cable either. Why don't they use an easy to handle coil cable like the other companies ?
If Minelab would put the electronics in a Âµmax version it would make an awesome detector. I can't understand why Minelabs smallest coil is an 8" coil and you have to buy an aftermarket 5" coil for it.
So except for depth this detector is far away from what i would call an "all around great unit".
Andy,NM from Alamogordo,NM
This detector is nothing but the truth!!!
no hunter should be without this detector!!!
If you want a killer coin/deep seeking/precision pin pointing detector this is the one!
One more note: with the 10" coil this detector is as deep as the explorers & sovereigns, don't let the price tag fool you, best secret in metal detecting!!!
John from Southern New Jersey
Minelab Advantage Detector
It was found where the others have been over time and again. I've been finding wheat backed pennies as well in these iron nail areas here on the farm that the other, more expensive machines have missed.
I give it a rating of 4 out of a possible 5 stars because no detector is perfect.
The Advantage is more than worth the money!
Tony from Michigan