100s of Minelab Sovereign GT reviews written over the years, it has been proclaimed as one of the best detectors available, as well the earlier Sovereign series of detectors for many years established themselves in the detector marketplace as the most popular treasure hunter, coin, relic and jewellery detector. However after the release of the Minelab Explorer series then later with the E-Trac, it has been well overtaking in sells. In fact Minelab has now discontinued the Sovereign, leaving only the big dealers to sell the remaining stock. This all does not mean the Sovereign is sub par, it is actually still one of the best metal detectors money can buy, there are many other brands and models of detectors available and some of them are very good. Why then does the Sovereign continue to outsell them?
Firstly, it detects much deeper in wet sand. Wet salty sand restricts the depth of other detectors by about 60 % to 80%, but the sovereign only loses about 15% in these conditions. This is because it is not your normal VLF detector. Most VLF detectors have problems detecting through salty sand. The sovereign is unique with its BBS technology, which puts out 17 frequencies at once, enabling superior penetration.
Secondly, the Sovereign has automatic ground balance, enabling fast easy coverage of the ground. Almost all other detectors have to be tuned manually. Some of them are called auto ground balance machines when in reality they really are only preset ground balance detectors. In other words, they have no ground balance adjustment at all. This greatly limits their ability to penetrate mineralized soils.
Thirdly, as for using Minelab Sovereign GT nugget hunting, well it can be used effectively on the goldfields; most other coin detectors do not cope well with the heavily mineralized goldfield soils. At times when there has been a lot of metal junk lying about, I have put aside my GPX 4800 and used the Sovereign. On one patch of ground, I received about 200 signals with the Sovereign during three hours of searching.
Only two of them were gold nuggets, the rest was junk. I wouldn’t have bothered detecting such junky ground normally but it was worth it with the Sovereign, because its discriminator rejected the iron junk and the auto ground balance just purred over the mineralized soil. The one drawback was the inability to find tiny nuggets of less than about half a gram.
Superior target identification at greater depth – All coin/jewelry detectors will discriminate, but very few discriminate at depth. They will identify junk metals in the top few inches of the soil but not at great depth. The Sovereign will discriminate at over 5 or 6 inches. The exception to this (as with other detectors) is at extreme gold field conditions, where mineralization ‘swamps’ the discriminator at depth.
Superior ability to identify good targets when detecting close to iron trash – Some soils contain a mixture of metals and are often good targets lie close to unwanted junk. The multi-frequency technology of the Sovereign enables it to discern say a coin when it is only inches away from a nail.
Sensitivity – The Sovereign GT is more sensitive than the original early models and penetrates perhaps 20% deeper. The signal is crisper in discriminate mode. The visual target meter is greatly superior to the earlier model. The 1000 series coils are of higher quality as well.
BBS 1000 coil – Because many operators like to detect calm shallow water the standard coil supplied is weighted to neutral buoyancy. This prevents a floating effect in the water. The disadvantage of this is that the Sovereign becomes too heavy for my liking. Fortunately, it comes with a hip mount conversion kit so that the control box can be worn on the belt or off a shoulder strap.
The digital target identification meter (sells separately when you can find one for $230) – This is a liquid crystal display target indicator that has been designed to aid in the identification of metal objects before their recovery. Numbers appear on the screen, which identifies the object underneath the ground. Certain numbers will mean specific coins or objects. This is an extremely simple type of reading. Some other brands have more sophisticated screens with lots of “bells and whistles” but the Sovereign meter provides a simple but adequate and reliable identification of targets.
In summary, after reviewing the Sovereign GT I would recommend them to the serious recreational treasure hunter. If a GT user wanted to occasionally dabble for gold nuggets he would find it a useful goldfield detector as well.