Minelab Explorer SE

Price: $1200
Avg. Score: 4 stars 4.44
Based on 25 reviews

Avg. Durability: 5 stars!5.00
Avg. Ease of use: 4 stars4.00
Maximum detection depth

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Explorer SE - Man - I've had it!!

May 17, 2007
This ain't a short story so be warned ---

Granted, I'm new at this, yet old. I once did a lot of metal detecting back in the 80's. I went in big time! Bought me a Garrett Master Hunter with all the coils and hip mounting system. Also purchased 2 Fisher 1280s for water along with wet suit and all that stuff. Even owned Fisher's 1265-66 as backups. I found a lot of stuff and I didn't waste much time trying to figure out the technical part of it. No, the Garrett was not the most simple machine but it did what it was designed to do with a little help from me. The Explorer SE on the other hand is totally different.

I must admit I'm feeling a little foolish now having already invested a ridiculous amount of money to get up and going almost (4) weeks ago. (3) extra coils, Pelican case, (2) sets of Gray Ghost headphones, no less than (5) various digging implements, a Sun Ray attachable probe. You get the picture. I won't even mention the GPX 4000. Yes, I fell for the advertising hype. But, I also thought things had changed for the better considering new technology and such since I last participated in what use to be a relaxing sport! I realize things have not gotten better just the hype has!

Now, don't get me wrong or judge me as being a "quick gun" to go negative; I've done my time with the SE. I've now logged way over 150 hard hours with the machine and have used it from Northern New Mexico to Central Colorado! Hell, I've even slept with the dang thing hoping after a night or two I'd feel the karma! That part was actually easy. My wife's been out of the country for the last three weeks and I'm basically retired.

Yes, I'll agree; the Explorer SE is capable of going deeper than any detector I've ever owned but at a rather large price. What is the use of detecting coins and such at 10 plus inches if you have to dig a crater to recover your loot? At first I thought it was me, not the machine. After having pin-pointing problems with the factory 10.5 inch round I simple went to the Excelerator 4.5 x 7. It's the primary reason I recovered (5) rings, (1) silver necklace and, over 500 coins and numerous bits of brass, lead, etc. Believe me; my take represents a lot of earth moving. One digging instrument, the Lesche shark made digging a lot easier but as many of you probably know you can't dig a small hole with it. I hate digging. I also hate appearing like I'm digging to China. Nothing turns property owners off more than to see a detectorist digging huge holes no matter how well he covers them up. Trying to pin-point with the Explorer SE, I felt just like a blind man in a room of prostitutes groping for a virgin! I never knew where my hands and fingers would lead me!

Anyway, I'm a nobody so don't listen to me. But, if you do beware or be warned about the Explorer SE'S lack of pinpointing. I probably have no choice but to keep it as I don't think I can lie to sell mine.

Do this; go to Ebay and look for a used Teroso. Now look for a used Minelab. Isn't it amazing how all of the Minelab ads read "Great machine?" If they are so great then one must ask themselves "why are there so many used ones for sale?"

Boy, I really have good hind-sight vision. And, to think I thought I did my homework! What finally got my goat was attempting to use my new Excelerator 10x14 coil. I had the same pin-pointing results with it as I had with Minelab's standard 10.5 coil. After speaking to Kellyco, they did offer to replace the Excelerator suspecting it's a bad coil. In all honesty, I don't think anything is wrong with it. I'll know next week as the new one should arrive about then.

There will be those who read this and declare I am just another idiot searching for a miracle machine. Not true; all I want is to enjoy my hobby not be frustrated by it.

Incidentally, before anyone may ask; yes, I learned the manual back and forth. I know how to auto-tune the machine. I know about gain (6-7). I know about "all metal modes" both conductive and ferrous. I know how to use the Iron Mask (12-18). I know to go easy on sensitivity (12-16). Man, I've tried it all and can honestly say, "It ain't me!"

One more thing; the weight of the Explorer didn't bother me a bit until I added the Sun Ray probe and larger coil. It's not a machine, so equipped for the weak.

In hind-sight my largest regret, other than purchasing this thing is having recommended it to several other people. I honestly thought it was everything the hype promised it would be. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Getting off track just a little. Referencing Sun Ray's attached pin-pointer; it's not worth the $150 or more price tag either. Sun Ray claims it's hot only on the end. Not true. If you have one you know this. Take a coin and run it up and down the sides. It'll sing like a Sunday preacher on steroids.

Best to you,

Overall Rating 3 stars


YES it is all it's cracked up to be!

April 25, 2007
Lately it seems like there is a slew of new detectors hitting the market. Each one claiming to be the deepest, fastest and most accurate there is. Even though there are some great units out there none to this day can match the Explorers Target ID at depth. This remains true for the new SE.

After procrastinating I finally decided to pick up the SE. The day it arrived was a day of extreme excitement for me since I had not detected for over a year. The SE is put together just like the other Explorers (like a tank). The new black finish is very eye pleasing and the software is noticeably quicker, you will see what I mean the moment you turn yours on.

Due to work and weather I didn't get to take it out for a good week but my first day out I found an 1895 Indian Head, several wheaties and mercs and lots of clad.
The new pinpointing system makes it so much easier to locate a target. The Explorer SE still has the same very nice and smooth flutey sounds as the past models. The SE is definitely lighter or perhaps it's the new coil and balance, either way it is far easier to swing for long periods of time than it's predecessors.

As expected the SE goes deep and ID's strong at those depths. The SE is a faster machine between targets even though it's no Whites for F75 so make sure to swing slow as usual. Trust me, it will pay off.

All in all I cannot recommend this detector enough. It has a bit of a learning curve but once you get into the swing of things (no pun intended) you will be finding coins, relics, gold etc that you never knew was there. Watch out "hunted out" sites here comes the new Minelab Explorer SE!

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Explorer SE is total pure magic.

April 12, 2007
This is a honest review from a detector user with 30 years of metal detecting practice. Metal detecting has been my passion from early teens to date. Am i really that old :-( Wow time flies when your having fun metal detecting i guess! Over the last 30 years i have used well over 100 different detectors , all of these detectors found coins and other old treasures, some did it better than others.

Well i have to say that none of these other detectors even came close to the supreme performance of the Explorer SE. This detector will get your pulse racing once you have practiced using it a little - this i promise you. Its ability to locate coins and rings & other valuable items on pounded out sites is TOTALLY phenominal.

I have used an explorer 2 for 18 months but i honestly can tell you that the SE will find many many more good targets on sites you thought were totally worked out. On mineralised ground it will pull small coins out from impressive depths, i truly and honestly believe that the Minelab Explorer SE is by far the best coin shooting metal detector ever made to date by any manufacturer (including minelab). This detector amazes me with what it will find on sites that i was totally convinced had nothing but iron and other trash buried underground.Sites i have worked and re worked with every top of the range detector eever made! Even with just turn on and go settings it will beat anything out there for pure depth and discrimination it will easily thrash the competition!.

Once you get a little practice under your belt and you get to know what all of the different sounds coming from the SE mean then you will be able to cherry pick coins and rings from sites you thought were totally worked out!. Your pockets will fill up with coins on sites you thought were cleared out.
Coins sound as "smooth as silk" even deep coins sound smooth unmistakable to the trained ear. Trash has a very distinguished sound, if you put the hours in and learn what trashy targets sound like then this is where you can hit those sites that other detector user's have given up on years ago.

The explorer SE is fantastic looking detector too - great looks with supreme performance make for a detector that is a real pleasure to use . The pinpointing system is much better than on the old explorer xs and 2 models - much better with target id in pinpoint this is of great use too , you dig alot less trash because of this feature alone - superb. Please don't take my word for it just get out and buy an SE - remember this review because the secret is out now - Minelab have produced something here that is going to be a legend - honest it is that good. No bull SHI+! . I think even Minelab wil have a problem making another detector better than this - it really is that good. Marks out of ten 9.5.

Now you know why their are not many second hand explorer se's on e - bay. Shh the secret is out..Sneek out and buy one and clear up on those sites you and others have "worked out" - sites that were once great but are now dead. The se will produce on these sites buy one and see for your self. I won't lie to you i truly believe the se is the worlds ultimate metal detector (by a fair stretch too).

Buy now! Do it before others gradually find out what the se is capable of.. Bruce Candy and co pulled the rabbit out of the hat with this baby! Pure Magic. Happy hunting to treasure hunters worldwide from RingPowers uk.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Explorer SE review

December 23, 2006
I have hunted with a Whites XLT for the last 5 years and am used to getting alot of information from my detector. It has been quite an adjustment from the XLT to the SE and i have mixed feelings. The SE goes just as deep as the XLT. It gives alot of info in the form of a digital ferrous and conductivity rating on a scale of 0 - 31.. each target typically showing its own signature reading.

The audio changes dramatically depending on the target and the discrimination is good. The weight has never been an issue to me. I dont like that the LCD screen is very difficult to read even after adjusting the contrast. The glare often makes it impossible.

I also feel i must hunt much slower with the SE than with my XLT so im covering much less ground. I do feel though, that im picking up stuff that the XLT might have missed. Its almost like i sacrificed speed for accuracy. In high junk areas i think the SE has the XLT hands down.. I guess the effectiveness of the machine would depend largely on its intended application.

I havent tried it on the beach yet. For 1200$ though i expect the machine to be flawless. I also got an SE that has a problem with the screen being offset down the middle. Minelab has been encountering this problem with the SE and ive heard nothing but rave reviews about their customer service and plan on sending mine in when the ground freezes to be fixed.

The double D coil (i use an 8 inch coil) pinpoints to my satisfaction. Overall a really good machine but i wonder if i had spent half as much on say a tesoro cortes if id be equally happy. I dont believe this is a machine for the beginner (not that a beginner would spend 1200 bones on a machine).

Also the buttons are hard to depress and require alot of pressure. Im a 6'2" Marine and no weakling but im worried about damaging the machine with the amount of pressure i must use to trigger the buttons.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Smooth and deep

December 02, 2006
Hello, out there ! I have owned the se for 2 mths and I am begining to learn it. this is what i know so far, she runs smooth on both sand & dirt, also very deep(dug up a penny at 2ft, I measured it, NO BS !!! Weight not too bad ? I also owne a excalibur, picked up a token at about 18 in.(A LITTLE SMALLER THAN A DIME)I WILL WRITE AGAIN WHEN I LEARN MORE.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


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