Minelab Quattro honest field test by Gary's detecting
Introducing the Minelab Quattro
Here we have the Minelab Quattro, originally released as a simpler version of the Explorer, it uses the same box, stem and coil as the Explorer so naturally it is the same weight. Operating between 12Khz and 16Khz depending on what chanel the automatic noise cancel chooses for optimum performance.
The Quattro still utelises the superior Minelab Iron and hot rock rejection.
The real changes are in the operation and the software, easier yes but less performance I don't think so.
Once powered up the Quattro is self explanatory, hit the menu button which then allows you to access 6 simple features


Sensitivity      1 to 20 then auto position
        1 to 20
noise cancel   
1 to 10 the Quattro will automatically choose the best channel.
Adjusts the target volume to suit the operator
Adjusts the screen contrast for best viewing
Trash Density
A nifty little button for a faster response in junky conditions

Once adjusted to your personal preference just hit the pin point button to return to the detect mode.
These 6 settings are on a "hot" key so by simply pressing the menu button again it will take you directly to the last feature you adjusted.

Search modes

Coins                     To much rejection for European conditions
Coin and jewelry     
Less rejection than coins but still to much
Ok for coinshooting, more of a novice setting
All Metal                
Optimum performance combined with sensitivty/trash density

The tone ID is the same as the Explorer and can not be set to single tone which may not please some people, however there is an option to switch between Ferrous and Conductive audio by choosing.
Coins and Coin & Jewelry...uses the conductive audio which uses the conductivity to determine the audio pitch of the signal.
Relic & All metal.....uses the ferrous audio which uses the Iron content to determine the audio pitch of the signal.

The discrimination segments are quite narrow which is better for UK conditions, Each pre-set discrimination program can be modified by the operator and saved in 4 empty locations.
Trash density button..Low or High
Low is for general searching in uncontaminated soil, meter readings will be at their best and the machine will perform smoothly.
High turns the machine from little bo peep to Artilla the Hun it becomes very sparky and works a lot harder for you, recovery speed is faster, iron rejection and meter readings become less reliable. It is a much better setting for junky conditions but be prepared to dig a little Iron, some good targets will register as low as -3, Iron can give high plus numbers if the sensitivity is to high.

First test on the Roman field
My first outing was to my very badly Iron contaminated Roman field where Minelabs have never worked well and the Quattro was really no different, I tried every possible setting and configuration even with the 8" coil but I only managed a handful of good targets the maximum sensitivity without erratic operation I could use was 10.

The 8 AA batteries ran down after 5 hours solid detecting. Although slightly disappointed I was not surprised with the overall finds and performance as the field has been hammered for years and now very hard to search, most of the easy finds have been found leaving a carpet of Iron.
I enjoyed using the Quattro, it's features will be more than adequate for most European search conditions, although I personaly feel the slower processor speed of the Minelab can not compete with the fast recovering high frequency machines in this type of badly iron contaminated soil.
 Iron + Mineralisation = Habitation
Habitation + Fast Recovering Machine = Finds

Pasture field
This field is low in mineralisation the Explorers and Sovereigns have done well in the past, 8 inches of baron soil and then a hard packed gravel layer where all the goodies are located.
The Quattro sensitivity could be turned up to the maximum 20 in "All metal" and still had a stable threshold it wasn't long before I got a high pitched signal with a very low indication on the depth gauge I called Steve over to check the signal but he had nothing, 10" down in the gravel layer came up a slightly battered Lizzy sixpence dated 1594. I found some other deep copper coins during the search, my confidence had been restored.

Back to the Roman field
 I went back to my original field to try the Quattro again with Tony and Barry, having talked to some other users in the States. I now had a couple of tricks up my sleeve and a new theory of my own.
Running the Quattro in all metal with the trash density set to low calmed the machine enough to pick out the tiny low tones in amongst the high Iron squeeks.
 Once the target was located the coil could be worked in short passes to produce a more solid sound. I dug some very difficult targets using this method.

If I had to use a Quattro on a bad site I would use it in all metal "conductive" ignore the high sounds and listen for the low tone's...In most cases small deep targets will give a low tone sometimes with a meter reading as low as -3 or -4..simply lock on to the centre of the signal by tight passes of the coil and be prepared to investigate.

 Is the Quattro a simpler version of the Explorer ?
No I think it is a completely different machine altogether, in fact I like the Quattro package better.
 I felt more in control with this machine, the performance was no less than the Explorer, agreed less features but good old fashion simplicity.

Yes I  like this one, I think if you can get the power up past 16 without falsing you will have a good day with the Minelab Quattro....Oh and always take along some spare batteries.
If you want to get the verrrry best out of your Quattro it would be wise to run it in all metal, as a last resort reject only -10, I have found running any higher rejection can cut performance drastically in bad soil.
Meter Identification
Sadly the Quattro fails to identify targets accurately at depth it is the same as most other meter id machines.
 You can not trust what it is telling you on the screen, it is best to treat the meter as an added bonus and listen to the tones for better ferrous and non ferrous identification.

There are 2 types of all metal with the Quattro

1. First option simply press the all metal button and search...this will activate the ferrous audio giving a low tone for Iron and higher tones depending on the non ferrous quality of targets. This method is OK for bigger targets but does not suit my style of detecting.
Low tone ....low numbers -3 to -10  will be Iron
Higher Tone's good numbers -3 upwards will be good targets
Disadvantage....Some deep Iron will also give a high tone especially when running a higher sensitivity with Trash density on, can be confusing if searching a contaminated site.

2. Second preferred method press the coin and jewelry button activating the "conductive audio" then with the cursor accept every number, only reject -10. Iron will now give a high tone and low conductivity targets such as small Roman and Hammered coins will give a very distinctive low grumble which is very easy to identify.
Disadvantage.... Iron will give a High tone but so will large Items such as copper and large silver coins, keep your eye on the meter remember
High tone and high numbers...Good target
High tone and low numbers....bad target Iron.

I hope this helps anyone who is new to the Quattro, I would like to say thanks to Des Dunne for his advice.

The Minelab Quatro is very easy to assemble

minelab quattro
Quattro battery pack

Insert the battery

the quattro mp

Ready to go

Quattro discrimination
The on-board display with target identification

Quattro control panel

This metal detector has some very nice features,target ID,depth indicator,relic or coin mode.

quattro search coil

Explorer coils and accessories are compatable with the quatrro

Now for the technical stuff

Quattro data sheet