Minelab Sovereign Elite

Price: $700
Avg. Score: 5 stars! 4.58
Based on 19 reviews

Avg. Durability: 4 stars4.40
Avg. Ease of use: 5 stars!4.60
Maximum detection depth

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Compare to ▼
Makro Racer $650
Fisher F-19 $800
Nokta FORS CoRe $699
Whites Sierra Super Trac $700
Whites MX5 $600
Nokta Velox One $629

Excellent beach detector

October 17, 2007
Absolutely the best detector for beach hunting I have ever used. As stable in the wet as the dry. Not water proof so its big brother the excal is needed if your going out past the knee deep stuff. Vary good depth at the beach also. The beach conditions actually seem to increase its depth and with the rock solid stability (no falsing) and 90 percent of my hunts being at the beach it has quickly become my go to detector.

Unlike previous reviews the tones have been pretty easy for me to get a handle on. They are definitely there. In fact I can tell you exactly what grade of aluminum can shred (thin, thick, heavy) I am about to dig with almost a hundred percent accuracy judging from the tone;) I am kidding a bit here of course, but this is where the gold is and you have to dig a lot of trash if you want the gold no matter what detector you use.

Coin tones are unmistakable to my ear and with a little ear training I can even tell between tabs and clad with pretty good accuracy. Ten inches for coins is a snap for this detector on the beach.

Now for the down side. Its terrible in trashy areas. The nulling threshold and slow recovery makes it really difficult to use in trashy tot lots, picnic areas, parks etc.

If beach hunting/wet salt sand is your primary hunting grounds or any area where targets are reasonably spread out this is your unit but my guess is your going to want something different for the parks.

I don't relic hunt but I imagine this would be an above average machine for this especially with the iron mask feature.

Lets face it guys. No single detector is going to do it all. If your within reasonable driving distance of the beach you need this detector in your arsenal. There's tons of stuff to chose from for the inland stuff. IMO minelab catered to us beach guys with this unit and the excal and I for one am really glad they did.

Overall Rating 4 stars


I am a beginner at metal detecting

December 07, 2006
Purchased my Sovereign Elite 5/2005 from Kellyco Super store.The first time I went detecting, I went with a friend of mine, on 10/2005 who was using a Whites detector. My friend gave me a few pointers on where to detect. I found $1.45 in change. He was finding dimes and quarters,perhaps $2.50. Not being used to the detector,I was picking up a lot of aluminum cans from 4 to 6" down. Using the ear phones everything sounded the same to me. I was following him and he missed a tupperware box that I picked up with my detector about 6" down in the soccer field we were searching. It was sealed with duct tape. Cut the tape, the box was full of water and inside was a few deteriorated stuffed toys, a pair of rusted sunglasses, an aluminum plate 3 in. square with a brass nameplate attached to it with a girl's name scribed on it . It was a little girl's buried treasure. Tried to locate her. So far, no luck. I sealed the box as best that I could and buried it in the same spot. In school yards, I have found hot wheel cars, dimes and pennies. On the Delaware beaches I have found artillery shell fragments about one eighth in. wide, one quarter in. long 6 in. deep and quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies. I have found pennies 9 in. down in wet sand. I am looking forward to going detecting again soon. My brother and a friend of ours also have Sovereign Elite detectors. I am very happy that I purchased the Elite.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Sovereign characteristics..

March 23, 2006
I've been detecting since 1973. I built my own detectors from scratch back then, and they worked pretty well.. I was a multi-brand detector repairman from 1980 to 1990. I own a Minelab Sovereign Elite (Pro). It works well in locating coin-sized to car-body sized objects, but it will be fooled easily if too much ground is covered too quickly. It doesn't pinpoint well at all. In order to match depth with my stock Fisher cz-70, Compass Scanner (R&C), and Tesoro Tejon it needs to be using the add-on 12.5 inch Excellerator coil I purchased for it.. When covering too much ground too quickly, it will cancel good targets along with bad ones. Running it less than 2 feet per second will cause it to not find coins at all. It will not (notch) discriminate against pull-tabs well at all, but it does get the same depth in ground as it does in air, regardless of the soil condition. On certain occassions, it will go a bit deeper in disc than other detectors, bt only in extreme magnetite or high-salt soil. It is excellent on salt-water beaches, but horrible in a park or high trash-filled areas. Realistically, it has good points, but also bad ones.

Overall Rating 4 stars


Bench Test

March 19, 2006
I bought a Sov. Elite in 10/05. I am new to detecting. Since I am a piano tuner by trade, I rely on the digital meter and my own aural instincts. My digital meter can't be calibrated to 550 and when I called MineLab, they offered to replace it but I decided the thing worked well enough. I calabrate coins like pennies, quarters, and dimes to 500. This serves me well because when the meter blips over 500, I know I'm on top of a large bottle cap and digging confirms my calibrations. A few weeks ago, as I readied for spring detection, I did a bench test. During initial visits to a heavily detected park, attempts to detect around old trees indicated desirable coins but tree roots prevented digging. I first thought the coil was detecting around the roots and my inexperiance was preventing productive digging. Recent testing on my work bench confirmed my suspician. First I calibrated to coins. Then I taped the coins to the back side of a piece of 7/16" oak plywood. The coins were detected as if there was nothing in the way! Then I repeated the test using a 3/4" piece of solid red oak. the Elite once again saw through this as if i wasn't there! I suspect my Elite is more powerful than I anticipated.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Great machine.

June 16, 2005
I am an extremely experienced detectorist, and have owned White's XLT, DFX, Fisher Coinstrike, Minelab Explorer, Tesoro, etc. This is the best saltwater beach detector I have ever used. Bought this machine in Kellyco's Florida showroom and drove straight to St. Augustine Beach. Unbelievable depth and stability in the dry and the wet. However, back home on land, the Tone ID is very weak. It needs more destinctive tones. Also, the meter leaves a lot to be desired. I recommend 180 mod. 180 mod makes a world of difference. Once you take the time to learn this detector, you will be DANGEROUS to other detecorists. This thing in the hands of an experienced person will run circles around the rest, and dig waaaaay deeper.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Sovereign Elite

May 16, 2005
I just picked up my Sovereign Elite last week with 3 coils the 10" tornado, the 5" excelerator,and an 18" Excelerator coil, This thing rocks it is the deep machine I am finding 2.5mm ball stud ear rings at 12" deep. That is small and deep while using the tornado coil.
using the 18" coil i got a quarter at 16" deep
and a dime at 20" deep. Nothing gets away from this machine if you have a whites dfx or a mxt sell them or keep as back ups for this one because i hit targets that they cant find but there is a down side the tone ID is not as separated out as other machines as i would hope but finding everything in the ground is a plus i dig it all anyway. I have used it at the beach a lake and several parks already and am finding the things all others left behind i cant wait to tryout the 5" coil other then that the Sovereign Elite is the best detector i have owned.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


First time out with New Elite

January 11, 2005
I've owned Fisher cz7a, Minelab Explorer xs, Garret GTAX 1250, and a couple cheapos. Having owned the others I decided I would buy my first new detector and dropped the $600. I didn't think I could go wrong with the Sovereign, because its cheaper than other top of the line models, I liked the Explorer so much, and the Sovereign has great reviews. My first time out with the Elite I just hunted around the yard and nearby woods. I found it's very heavy. My arm was tired within 30mins. I'm not saying the Explorer was light, but the Elite has lead in it (feels like it). The tones are not easy to distinguish. They almost all sound exactly alike.....I was able to tell the slightest difference using a test garden, but in the field it all sounded the same to me. The stock meter, after I calibrated it to 550 seemed to want to read 550 on everything......and the reading jumps all over the place........ I'm going to try the mod, because I feel its useless as is. Silver and copper gives a good solid signal. It seems coins can't hide from this detector.

While using discrimination I dug a couple old cans, a frisbee size metal lid of some sort, and an old toy gun (possibly tin, its shiny like silver) They all read 550 on the meter. It seems to work better than most, but I really miss the Explorer XS's tones. With the Elite I really don't know what I'm digging. I like to use small headphones, but doubt they'd give me the SUBTLE difference I need to hear with this detector. I'm not giving up on this detector, I'm going to take the time to really learn it. I can see it has huge potential, compared to other detectors I've used-->It doesn't seem to miss targets.

To sum up this review, this is a solid detector. It finds metal better than alot of detectors. It would be nice to have different tones, instead of subtle differences in the same tone. I do like this detector, but if I could turn back the clock I'd buy the Explorer XS again or maybe try the new Quatrro instead of this detector. Live and learn.

Overall Rating 4 stars


Sovereign Elite

August 10, 2004
this machine is the hottest maschine out there it has 17 frequ. and it is a real go getter it will dog to china almost if you turn it up high enough ive been using it for 3 -4 months now and im a beach hunter but it can be used to hunt parks ,yards,schools,beaches,it has auto ground balance and ground tracking to pinpoint just switch over to all metal mode

the only problem with this machine is the shaft is not up to standards it needs a double push pin that adjusts the length well it also stabilizes the coil and stops sway and the coil from moving side to side i use only the small coil which they call it an 8 inch coil actually it measures 7 3/8's but it will dig quarters and dimes and pennies and gold rings at 14 inches with no problem but be ready to learn the tones thats the last problem

the tones could be more destinct in telling you what you have found alot of the tones are to similiar but on the beach its best to dig everything anyway silver is the easiest to tell when its in discrim. mode the coil is a dd coil and is a wide scan its easily the equivillant to a 10 or 12 inch coil you can put a quarter on the ground and and hear it 4 inches away from the coil before it even gets close to the side of the coil this and the xs-2 are the 2 hottest beach machines

by the way if anyone has a xs-2 for sale please email me i will buy it trey52574@ec.rr.com the sovereign elite with a good set of headphones is definetly a 5 in my book i have seen it out dig a garrett a whites a bounty hunter and anything else ive seen on the beach nothing can dig as deep and ive not had one false signal with this machine you can hunt from dry sand to wet sand to actually in the water as long as you dont get the control box wet there are no buttons to change no settings to change the machine handles it all for you just study your tones

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Sovereign Elite

June 28, 2004
I've had an Elite for about 4 months now. I am starting to feel very comfortable with it, and see great results with it too. Just this last weekend I pulled up an indian head in a park I had not done that in since the 1980s. Easy to use, but if you've used other detectors expect a learning curve to get used to the new machine. It's well worth it since you will be making some excellent finds.

I would suggest some additions to the machine to get the most from it. The Sunray S-1 probe is the best pinpointer you can get for this machine. I highly recommend it. Also I highly recommend the 180 meter mod. After having this done I can be 95% sure I'm digging a nickle where with the stock meter I usually was not completely certain. Also with the 180 mod you don't even need to run discrimination once you get used to what the machine is telling you. I never use any discrimination anymore. Finally you have a great selection of aftermarket coils. I recommend a small one for trashy areas and a large one for going deep.

Remember to go low and slow with this machine. It's a great one and the best detector I've yet owned.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


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