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Used by permission from a forum post on American Heritage Research & Preservation Society: In-depth metal detecting community.

Posted by Monte: Admin Direct Post Link Here
October 16, 2016 09:00PM

A bit down on Tesoro's? At least you were with the Tejón you had, and now another?

Can't fault you thought because it's virtually the same as one of mine except in black. Troy Galloway and his wife were enjoying using their Tesoro's, and he had the idea of starting his own business, Troy Custom Detectors, and they liked the simplicity and performance of the Tesoro Silver Sabre µMAX (microMAX) so much that they did what Larry Woolis and Roy Volker (Pillar Electronics) did several years prior and contracted with Tesoro to build the detector for them.

All the Troy Custom Shadow X2 (produced from 3/'98 to 11/'00) is, in reality, is a Silver Sabre µMAX with the following differences:

They used the black rods and housings like Tesoro used for the European / Foreign model production.

They removed the external Threshold control from the control face plate and mounted that adjustment internally with a small trimmer either on the circuit board or back of the housing.

They re-positioned some controls and added a 'Coin Check' function actuated by a push-button on the control face, and used a long, rectangular adjustment mounted on the inside back of the control face-plate. The concept he used at the time was to have the 'Coin Check' (a momentary alternate Discriminate setting) adjusted to just reject the US Zinc 1˘, figuring that most of the folks who metal detected were out Coin Hunting (which is the case, but back then it was especially more true) and didn't want to dig the Zinc Penny because:

a.. they were worth less than the former copper cents and

b.. because it didn't take long for the Zinc Cent to corrode and get pitted, holed or really nasty and useless looking in a lot of ground mineral conditions.

He had Jack Gifford design a thin-profile 7" Concentric search coil based on the thin-profile 7" coil on their water unit, but that water coil was heavier so as to be non-buoyant. After some work Jack told me in a phone conversation that he finally got a redesigned 7" coil, called the Super 7 Inch on the Troy Shadow X2, to work pretty well and it had overall performance very similar to the round, brown colored 8" 'donut' Concentric coil.

I had an early Shadow X2 and after evaluation I took on selling them. Why not, it was a Tesoro and was based on one of my personal favorite Tesoro models. The Shadow X2 can be a very good detector, and I especially liked it for two very good reasons:

1.. It was all black like the foreign units and Tesoro used to go through so many different shades or hues in their gold rod design that there were some that were just ugly. Also, many that had mismatched colors between the upper rod and the middle rod.

2.. I liked the thin-profile 7" Concentric coil better than the thicker-bodied Tesoro 7" Concentric coil.

Actually, it was the search coil I liked best about the Shadow X2 and not the detector design and offering, because there were three reasons I didn't like the Shadow X2:

1.. I much prefer to have quick access to a manually adjusted Threshold control and was pleased when Tesoro used a conventional control pot and mounted it on the control face of the Silver Sabre µMAX. I didn't like having it removed to an internal dinky trimmer.

2.. I really didn't care for the 'Coin Check' feature because it sort of "dumbed things down" the way I look at trying to be successful. Yes, it could be used to momentarily use a Discriminate setting to reject the modern US Zinc Cent. For some casual, periodic Coin Hunters that might be fine as they won't dig some pennies that are in bad condition. However, for modern change hunters, that means they would have a smaller 'coin count' number and that would leave some hobbyists feeling like they were not having much success.

Also, knocking out most Zinc Cents also means you would be rejecting most Indian Heads and early Wheat-back cents from 1909 to ± 1920.

3.. Because Tesoro made it for Troy Custom, and since it was essentially a duplicate of one of Tesoro's own models with mainly a Coin Check difference, the cost to Troy was up a bit and that meant the MSRP of the Shadow X2 was notably more than Tesoro's own Silver Sabre microMAX.

The smart move on the part of Tesoro, just as it was with the 1 Reale and 4 Reale they made for Pillar Electronics which were basically copies of Tesoro's earlier Eldorado and Silver Sabre models, but in different housing & rod designs, but priced much higher than Tesoro's own product.

That meant many established Dealers were reluctant to take on the Troy Shadow because the Tesoro model was more well known and sold for less. The result was fewer dealers trying to sell what was basically an over-priced model so that meant doom for the product, and the company, right from the get-go.

Anyway, they offered it with a round, open designed Concentric coil they called the 'Super 9 Inch', but I much preferred the Super 7 Inch because it wasn't nose-heavy, and with the better balance and very good performance in trashier environments that I usually hunted, it worked better than a 'standard' sized coil.

Get out and enjoy it. Make sure the internal Threshold trimmer is adjusted so that you can hear a proper slight audio Threshold hum in the Pinpoint function with the headphones you use, then keep the Discrimination set at the absolute minimum setting (it has the ED-120 Discriminate circuitry), and run the Sensitivity as high as possible w/o chatter and instability (the Sensitivity is only a function with the Disc. mode, and the All Metal Pinpoint function is already at a fixed full Sensitivity level).

Enjoy your new-to-you Troy / Tesoro and report back how it works for you in those old Nevada sites you get to hunt.


April 05, 2020 Direct Post Link Here
Troy Shadow X5 looks like Tesoro detectors, but produced by Fisher ???:

The Shadow X3 and X5 were 'assembled' by Fisher Labs back when they were alive and located in Los Banos, California. Before essentially going under and being purchased by FTP (First Texas Products) who already had Bounty Hunter and Teknetics.

Back in the latter '90s, Troy Galloway and his wife enjoyed metal detecting and mainly used Tesoro's. His wife enjoyed the "turn-on-and-go" Silver Sabre microMAX (produced from 10/'97 thru 2/'01) for its preset Ground Balance (which made it a "turn-on-and-go" model because it lacked manual GB control) combined with the fact that it worked well, especially for all the Coin Hunting they liked to do.

Since Zinc Cents were then in popular use for a while here in the USA and often deteriorating once lost in the soil, he thought about having his own metal detector line .... initially with only one model ... and being able to quickly reject the annoying US Zinc Cent. And since he liked the light weight and simplicity of the Tesoro Silver Sabre microMAX (µMAX) he contacted Jack Gifford, founder and President of Tesoro Electronics, and arraigned to have them make his new detector 'concept' to be named the Troy Custom Shadow X2.

It was simply the Silver Sabre µMAX in a black control housing and black rods as used with the Tesoro models sold in 'foreign' countries. The Threshold control know was removed from the face-plate and relocated inside the control housing as a small 'trimmer.' They switched sides with the Sensitivity and Discrimination controls. They also moved the Pinpoint button from the left side to the right where the Threshold knob used to be,

Then, where the Pinpoint button used to be, they added a button labeled Coin Check which was a momentary (while pushed-in and held) Discriminate switch that was set by an interesting rectangular trimmer on the back-side of the Control face. This temporary 'Coin Check' was adjusted to just reject the common Zinc Cent so urban Coin Hunters wouldn't be digging those cheapish coins that would get pitted and eaten away from the soil make-up.

To add to the "new" design, he had Jack make a thin, black housing 7" Concentric coil called the Super 7 Inch ... and honestly .., that was maybe the better feature of that new model offering.

The Good Points:

• It was really nothing more than a re-configured Silver Sabre µMAX in a black housing which looked good, and came with a nice, thinner and lighter 7" search coil, but worked like a Silver Sabre µMAX.

• If ground conditions were favorable and the internal 'Coin Check' trimmer was adjusted properly, the 'Coin Check' feature worked for some Coin Hunters to eliminate recovering our modern junk-condition pennies.

The Bad Points:

• The functional, external Threshold control was now removed to the inside making it useless.

• The use of the 'Coin Check' function might have been liked by urban Coin Hunters, but there are a lot of desirable targets with a similar conductivity to the modern Zinc Cents that would also be rejected when that was used, to include most Indian Head Cents from 1864 to 1909, and most early Wheat-Back Cents from 1909 to ± 1920.

• The worst thing, and it happened with just about any-other time a detector was made as a 'private label' by an existing manufacturer, like what happened to Pillar Electronics and others, the existing detector maker is going to charge you an ample amount to do all the work to make a competitive product, such that the new detector has to have an MSRP significantly greater than anything they currently offer. In other words, Tesoro made the Troy Custom Shadow X2 that was only in a different colored rod and housing and with an added 'Coin Check' button that was based on, and worked the same as their own Silver Sabre µMAX. However, it cost Troy so much that his MSRP had to be significantly higher than the same-performing manufacturer's product.

Troy wasn't a design engineer, nor did he have his own manufacturing business. Just ideas and concepts to be made or assembled by others.

His next idea was to have a somewhat different control package and circuitry and two models. One more of a 'turn-on-and-go' and the other a more control-featured unit for the Avid Detectorist. The result was the simpler Shadow X3 to fill the first niche, and the Shadow X5 for the more savvy detector user. It was also going to operate at a higher frequency. At the time, you had an experienced and available design engineer who had been with Fisher, and that was David Johnson.

Dave left Fisher and ended up as the design engineer at FTP, but between those two employers he was contracted by Tesoro to design two models, the Lobo SuperTRAQ and µMAX Diablo, and also was hired by White's to make the Gold Master Tracker and MXT, plus he helped Mark Roan on some DFX engineering issues. Also, he was hired by Troy to make the two new models for him, and when finished Troy told me he didn't like all the design or Dave didn't finish everything as he wanted and a little more had to be done.

Nonetheless, Troy settled on a new Shadow X3 and Shadow X5 and farmed out the circuitry design work and contracted with Fisher Labs to do all the assembly of the two new Troy Custom detectors. This was as we were into the early part of this century and, as we know, the demand seemed to be favoring detectors with a Visual TID display and Audio Tone ID. And, just as before, he had an existing detector manufacturer make two models that were going to be in direct competition with some of their own products, soooo, Troy's cost was high and the MSRP was well above what the product should have or could have been priced at.

Troy Custom Detectors, which wasn't a self-manufacturing business, thus faded away like many, many others. Tesoro Electronics being the most recent just a year ago, and who knows which company will be next? But that's a fair review of the Troy Custom Detector effort on the industry here in the USA.