Here We Go Again…

Well here we go again. It’s Minelab’s turn to once again tap your brain, get you guessing, get you nervous and anxious and most important, get you to hold off buying another brand of detector. Yup the new game is now about the Minelab Manticore.

I have to admit I didn’t know what Manticore meant but I looked it up and guess what I still don’t know. Nah, just kidding it’s a mythical creature with the body of a lion, the face of a man, and the sting of a scorpion. At least that’s what I found. Not sure who at Minelab came up with this name but they have to know that’s a big word for the typical tekkie to digest. Hell I just learned “locomotive”…

Apparently the Manticore features a gazillion frequencies (because you can never have enough eh?) and is a cross between the CTX 3030 and the Equinox. According to a knowledgeable source in the UK it will retail at £1799. If that’s correct a pounds to dollars would make it retail at $2069 here in the states but don’t take my word on it. There’s already a lot of social media chatter going on and YouTube is full of the “listen to me if you want the scoop on this detector” vids.

Anyway it should be fun to watch this run up and if Minelab is going to do the parachute thing again or maybe shoot it out of a cannon. And how about a lottery on just when it will be ready to ship and how well it plays the all so important (and stupid) coin/nail/board game. Either way Minelab has now entered your mind and is playing with it. They’re not alone however, it’s marketing 2022.

Have fun with it all. It’s out of my league and definitely too rich for my budget.  Do try to remember that it’s not going to turn that hammered site into a gold mine and you’ll still have to walk over it to find it.


A Once Upon a Time Story …

Joe working the FMDAC Atlantic City event, mid 80’s

I’ve mentioned Joe Attinello here a few times in the past but for the newcomers Joe Attinello sold me my first metal detector and was pretty much my first detecting partner, or at least I was a hanger-on, desperate to learn more from a real pro.

Besides knowing a helluva lot about detectors Joe was a thrifty guy as in he’d never fight you to pick up a restaurant tab. He was thrifty as in walking out if restaurants (diners were his first love) after looking at the menu and telling the wait staff “and you’re not even wearing a mask”. Thrifty as in never offering to drive when detecting or traveling to FMDAC meetings and thrifty as in suggesting we always go back to my house for “a bite to eat“….

Then one day, maybe a year or so down the road I saw another Joe, a softer Joe, a more generous Joe. It was shocking!

We were heading out detecting one day (I was driving of course)and Joe started telling me about an old farm we had permission to detect. It was located somewhere in the Pattenburg area of New Jersey, or at least that’s what I remember 45 years later.  It belonged to an older customer of his (Joe was an insurance adjuster) who came from another country and couldn’t speak much English. His name was Pete (again as best I can remember).

Anyway the following Saturday I picked up Joe at his house to go and give the farm a look see. He came out with his equipment and then went back in and brought out a grocery bag.  I asked what was in it and he said just something for Pete. During the drive Joe was telling me a little about the place we were going to hunt. It was built in the mid to late 1800’s and encompassed close to 100 acres. Said the owner Pete was a widower, didn’t farm any more, lived off social security and government subsidies and had trouble getting around.

When we arrived at the farm the house and surrounding area was decrepit, overgrown and I was immediately turned off and not enthused at all about detecting it.

We got out of the car, knocked on the door and after a long five minutes the old guy opened it and looked bewildered. Joe said something like “Hey Pete, remember me? Joe from the insurance company“…Pete sort of nodded but said nothing. Joe walked past Pete into the house and said “I brought you a few goodies” and proceeded to pull bread, butter, cereal, milk and a few other staples from the bag. Pete’s eyes lit up and he smiled. Joe went to the frig to put the milk and butter in and it was virtually empty.

Joe then opened a few cupboards and said “Damn Pete what the hell do you eat?” Pete just said sat there and shrugged his shoulders. Joe threw me with a holy sh*t look and nodded for me to come outside. When we closed the door Joe said “listen we need to do some work around here. This place is in terrible shape. Let’s see if he has a mower.”

We found an old rusted mower in a shed and surprisingly it started up when the cord was pulled. A near by gas can was empty.  Joe said “let’s take a break today and come back tomorrow with some gas, a weed eater and work on getting this place livable.” My first reaction was a “do what?” but but after thinking about it we couldn’t detect anyway with the weeds that high. I wasn’t all that enthused but I agreed to meet Joe the next morning and bring my weed eater.

On Sunday we went back to Pete’s house in Joe’s truck. Can you believe it? In the back of his pickup we had his mower, my weed eater, a gas can, our detectors, a box of canned foods and another two bags of groceries all paid for by Joe.  I was blown away. I offered Joe some money to help with the food and he refused it. It was then that I thought Joe might have been sick. Either that or he had found  a stash and didn’t tell me.

Once at Pete’s we took the food inside, put it away and spent the better part of the day mowing, whacking weeds and bagging humongous bags of grass and green stuff. All the while Pete sat on the porch with a big ole smile on his face. When we were done the outside looked pretty damn good. I was tired but happy that we helped the guy and anxious to spend some time digging there.

We worked around the house and outbuildings and found a few IH cents, a Barber coin or two and of course a helluva lot of trash. The best part of the day? Ole Pete smiling and knowing that for one day we did good. On the way home I said to Joe “you’re usually a tight SOB, why the open wallet for this guy?” He replied “because If we didn’t do it who would?”  That was day I realized he was a tightwad with a big, big heart.

We went back to Pete’s place maybe a two or three more times and always found a few keepers. Each time we brought food….

It’s important too to add that Joe Attinello was a private person in that he detested organized hunts. He didn’t understand why detectorists wanted to look for items that were planted and of course always brought up the cost to attend.  He would however volunteer his time to help out at the FMDAC hunts because he believed in what we were doing but that was it. I tried endlessly to explain the camaraderie but he wanted nothing to do with it. He was also someone who didn’t want his photo taken. The couple I share here are the exception and he fought me tooth and nail to not take the one of him helping at the FMDAC hunt.

Sadness on Two Fronts

Joe and his wife Irene




Filed under Metal Detecting

33 responses to “Here We Go Again…

  1. Probably “Manticore” because it alliterates, and sounds better than the Minelab Monstrosity.

  2. That’s a really great and enjoyable read about Joe. I’m sure I met him at AC in 1986.
    Manticore? Hmm…is also be an anagram of ‘cremation’.

    • Having a hard time writing things anymore….

    • njfella007

      John, how in the heck did you come up with that?! It does indeed spell “Cremation”!!! As in…

      If your wife finds out that you spent $2,000 for a metal detector, do you prefer to have a burial or cremation after she bludgeons you to death? Ha!

      • Ha! I guess wives are the same the world over and if they all discovered their ‘dearly beloveds’ were spending two grand on one of these gadgets, it won’t be a case of cremations, but more like mass graves.

        It seems to me, and being the cynic I am, the marketing trend seems to be about convincing people that a high price equates to even more valuable coins and nuggets. Give it six months and I suspect a competitor will launch a machine costing $3,000 which is so advanced it’ll find what’s not under the coil. As WC Fields once said, “Never give a sucker an even break.”

  3. njfella007

    Dick, I believe you misspoke in the first paragraph. You wrote…

    “Well here we go again. It’s Minelab’s turn to once again tap your brain…”.

    I’m certain you meant “…tap your wallet”. Ha!

    I’m biased, as I mostly swung – and had the greatest success – with Minelab machines. Yes, a large part of that success is because the spots I hunted held the goodies, and I certainly knew my units, but the Minelab’s not only punched deeper, they also i.d.’d at-depth like no other machine could, via both VDI & tones. So…

    Part of me thinks kudos to Minelab, if indeed this new machine turns out to be a winner. As a for-profit company they deserve to reap the benefits if they made a better mousetrap.

    But the other part of me wonders this…There are a gazillion machines out there that can separate well. Is this simply another one? Or more importantly, will the Manticore be able to go deeper? If so, I believe most detectorists will gladly spend the bucks for it.

    BBS & FBS units – along with other machines like the T2’s, etc. – opened up another depth strata of finds that laid out of touch for decades. Now, more than 25 years later, it seems that that layer of finds has been depleted in most places. Will the Manticore be the unit that unlocks yet another, deeper layer of history? If so, I predict it will be the new Etrac or CTX. If it’s just another quick separation machine with roughly the usual depth metrics on the other hand…

    How many people are going to plunk down $1,500 to $2,000?

    • Joe Minelab has a great reputation and this detector maybe the end all. Just more info than my ole brain can deal with now. I just see more of the back and forth banter that we just went through with the Legend and Deus. Suspect it’s going to be that way with every new model from here on. I miss the days when a manufacturer (and we had many) just announced a new model and it was ready for shipping. The detector’s effectiveness/popularity was determined in the field and down the road. Today tekkies argue over detectors before they’re even out. Social media at it’s finest….

  4. john taylor

    hopefully it will be better at picking out good non-ferrous targets from trash laden “cooked” parks at $1,599.00 a copycat needs to be superior to the 800 be awhile to know, and jury’s out! ..just sayin’

  5. john taylor

    reverend howland! could you kindly expand on the definition of the manticore? the “great unwashed” are experiencing some difficulty in determining
    what your view point is..thankyou!


    • I suppose my viewpoint is that if the Manticore fails to take off ‘cremation’ could be its fate. As for me shelling out $2,000 for a metal detector… hahahahaahahahahahahahaahahh!
      i’m just sayin’

      • john taylor

        can buy a lot of grocery bought food for that !..if v.d.i. and the tones allow better “clarity” and separation in ‘burnt” parks and other places, then I possibly could go hungry for a while! better depth would be a bonus! as mentioned, gonna be a while before we know!

        j ( hurry up and get it approved) t.

  6. njfella007

    Btw, forgot to say, excellent throwback story about Joe. A breed of a different generation, for sure. Simpler times, when more people gave a damn.

    The names on the billboard behind Joe in the photo is like a time machine to yesteryear…Tom Jones & Shecky Greene!

    • Indeed a different generation…

      Just emptied garage and found a listing of FMDAC clubs from 1986. 149 in total. Doubt there’s there’s half that in existence now. Same for that billboard. Doubt few even know who those entertainers were.

  7. Tony

    Dick, good story about your friend Joe. You were very lucky to have met him when you did!
    The hype for the new detector sounds good (as they always do) and I will enjoy seeing some real time videos or comparisons with other detectors. One question, what type of coin do you believe they use to calibrate it, hammered silvers? US coins? The reason I ask is they seem to always reveal these machines in the UK or Europe, not the US. Or is it these companies feel the more advanced users live in UK and Europe?

    • Tony don’t know how they calibrate, sorry. As for releasing in the UK I suspect it’s because (1) All those with new models are overseas companies and (2) because that’s where the big rallies are now. The US companies are dragging their feet and need to step it up, IMO.

    • john taylor

      excellent point! now that you mention it, it would appear that minicab really does seem to have a penchant for videos that are based in Englands “fields” rather than videos produced in “junked out” parks in America. apparently the shills all live in England,or Europe?..If I am going to look at videos about it, i want “digger ben” to get one and start making comparisons in some ‘cooked” parks he likes to hunt. mans a “crackerjack” hunter with the 800 in tow, and “all” his vids are well produced and “dead nuts” accurate .man has no dog in the hunt. no affiliation with the Aussies whatsoever!


  8. Tony

    Dick, good points, your spot on about the big rallies and overseas companies. Also, the information on those big rallies isn’t really talked about much here in the US. So the US folks probably don’t even attend these gatherings.

  9. john taylor

    hi Tony!
    Yes you are right about better exposure in England and Europe, and from a purely marketing aspect,” smart money” indicates they “need” to make it available over seas.iam just saying that it seems like the vast majority of videos produced by hunter appear to emanate from England,or my view, guys “here” do NOT produce a lot of videos about trashy parks and other sites “here” in the u.s.a. I have noticed this trend for awhile with minelab’s flagship equipment.i agree in principal with what you have stated that they need to attempt to implement rallies “here”as well.i don’t live in England,and I seriously doubt I will ever find my way over there’s vids showing people hunting with it over there are useless to me. I’m just sayin’

  10. Tony

    It is a huge difference hunting in a tulip field than a US junky park. Worlds apart.

    • Tony not sure what you mean by “tulip field” but I can assure you hunting in the UK has it’s drawbacks as well. Don’t be so quick to judge.

      AND – hunting parks in the UK is forbidden.

    • john taylor

      that’s correct Tony,and the major reason why more videos need to be done hunting in ‘cooked” parks and other public trash pits. this will truly determine if it rally is worth a tinker’s damn! not everybody ”wants” to hunt in the tulips, but tons “still “want ” to hunt in the junked public places! just sayin’


  11. Tony

    Dick, I watched two videos of folks metal detecting in fields. They were in the Netherlands and targets were few. I should have been more specific. I wasn’t aware of that UK park fact, that’s a bummer. Even if you hunt farms here in NJ there aren’t many targets. I feel that demonstrating a new machine in these conditions is only showing one side of the hobby.

    • Tony give a few days and there will be YouTube folks telling you how it works in parks, against other detectors and I’m sure how it recovers after encountering nails, pulltabs, bottlecaps and tigers and lions and….

      • john taylor

        what I am looking forward to! unbiased assessments work for me! (emphasis
        on “unbiased!”!..digger ben! are you listening?


    • john taylor

      I agree! exactly my point! if this new “wonder boy” hunts trashed parks better than anything presently available,then it “may” be worth floating a second on the house in my view! let’s wait a little bit and see what we got!

  12. LR

    I loved the story about Joe. As for the minelab monstrosity I’m just whatever. I could never spend $2000 or more for a metal detector. I haven’t been on much as we lost power for the last 3 days from wicked thunderstorms whipped through S.E. Michigan Monday evening. Just getting out back together. If I had $2k to waste, it would be to put into my IRA. Oh well. Peace to everyone.

  13. Ed B.

    Maybe A New Tekkie Is Counting On Reeling Everything in and assumes this unit will do it for him.
    the hidden message is in the capital letters.

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