Metal detector SSLM review
Metal detecting out and about with the super sensitive little machine (SSLM)
This fantastic little machine is from a major detector manufacturer, operating around 12 Khz, my perticular model operates at 14Khz and has 3 controls, sensitivity, discrimination and an all metal/disc toggle, all mounted in a sturdy aluminium control box.
This machine does not claim great depths, but boasts impeccable iron rejection combined with sensitivity especially suited for the junkiest Roman sites. I have decided to give it a try, not for one day or even one week but for 3 months without picking up another machine. The season has now got underway so to leave my Tejon and Gold maxx in the cupboard for 3 months at the height of the season will be a true test of nerves.
Testing the SSLM at home gave me some rather impressive results, in air depths were equal to most other mid range machines, target response on par with the Cibola, also the SSLM has the lightness of a Laser Rapier. The real eye opener was when I passed a large square Iron block across the coil expecting a positive signal the SSLM just gave an abrupt click even on zero discrimination, most other machines give a positive signal even the Minelab struggles with that one. Then I placed a small nail next to a hammered coin...no problem at 3"apart a slightly broken signal at 2" apart.
The next test was a little cruel but fun, it was to wet for detecting so I buried 3 pound coins in the garden which like most gardens is full ferrous and non ferrous rubbish and a real swine to detect on. Wanting to know what lengths Dan (my lad) would go to for money I asked him to put a bag over the machine and look for the 3 coins and for every on he found I would double it. We watched him through the conservatory window braving the rain in his soaking wet trainers. He did quite well and came back with 3 pound coins, 2 victorian half pennies and a lead toy spitfire, to top it all 1 of the pound coins was black and must have been in the garden for some time.
My first test in the field was with Daniel and Dad on Sunday 13th August "lucky Dan" was using the Laser Scout and to our horror found a bronze Celt on his second signal, also later on in that day he found a Celtic clothing toggle just to add insult to injury. The SSLM was very quiet even at maximum sensitivity only bleeping when it felt the urge to, I found myself drifting off not used to the quiet spells between signals, normally the ground chatter on my Tejon keeps me alert. The SSLM was not fussed about making a sound over Iron, large pieces gave a distinctive broken spit, all good targets were loud and clear with a fantastic "depth audio" response. Targets near the surface gave a loud clear sound where as small or deep targets were faint and smooth.
The next outing was with Barry and his XP Gold Maxx fitted with the new web coil, the field was in short stubble, some patches are so badly Iron contaminated any depth more than 4" is considered good, his total was 6 Roman to my 4 which was very acceptable. I dug no Iron whatsoever during the mornings search but a handfull of non ferrous scrap.
This Sunday Steve and myself attended the weekend wanderers dig at Creslow Nr Aylesbury, the land was rough ploughed, we did not stay and returned to the previous field I had searched with Baz, Steve had the Tesoro Tejon we wanted to compare some signals to see what performance difference could be noted between this simple machine and one of the UK's top sellers.
The Tejon was more sensitive without a doubt, but sensitive to what ?, Steve was digging microscopic pieces of non ferrous some to small for the pin point probe to locate. Ok these could all have been tiny nuggets or cut quarters but while he was investigating the may be's I was happily wandering along digging the positive beeps including some small lead airgun pellets. Total finds for the afternoon : Steve had 5 Roman I had 2 including a large Sestersis and a jetton, I dug some deep quiet clicks which turned out to be Iron the machine was correct every time. The Tejon and the SSLM had approx the same depth on coin sized targets while searching this bad soil, the only real advantage Steve had was an improved sensitivity to microscopic targets and greater depth on large targets. I spent less time investigating signals but at the end of the day we both had about the same amount of non ferrous junk, shotgun cases, lead etc.
So far so good.
New modifications :1. Boost module fitted giving an extra 2" on a 10p sized target in air, 2.External ground balance allowing quick user calibration of optional coils.
Sunday 11th Sept
Daniel, Steve and myself attended the same site for a days detecting again short stubble and damp easy to dig soil. No great surprises, the little machine ran silent with the odd chip over large Iron, for a change I had put on the 2D search coil to see if any advantage could be obtained, the slight extra weight made it easier to search across the stubble, my Roman coin total was 3 compared to Steve's 0 despite trying the Tejon and the Gold maxx, lucky Dan had a nice cut half at last knockings with his Laser Scout.
Sunday Sept 18th the cold feet 4 rally at Nuneaton
Nothing to report here, it was a great day and nice to meet up with some old mates, I tried an hours detecting, it soon became apparent that targets were far and few between. I saw 3 hammereds but I personally only had 3 signals. Thanks to all the people who put in time and effort organising things.
Sunday 25th Sept
Out again today on our usual fields, my first target with the SSLM was a grotty Roman, Steve asked if he could give it a try and called out almost instantly that he had a good signal, he found a very nice Roman bronze, yet to be identified but here is a picture.
Damn thats the last time I let that machine out of my hands !!!!
To date I have not been out with the machine there has been other projects which have been more important. Such as testing the Minelab X-Terra and the Laser Trident.
We tested the SSLM against the Trident and X-Terra 50
The SSLM could just locate a small Roman coin through a tub of badly contaminated soil which was equal to the Trident however it easily out performed the X-Terra 50 which gave no signal at all.
Tony came down from Yorkshire visiting friends and met up with Baz and me for a days digging, he was using his Lobo, Baz had his Gold maxx, I was still testing the Quattro, after a short while I switched over to the SSLM to show Tony what it was capable of. This site is getting so worked out now most good targets start off with a faint click. I found 2 Roman bronzes which was on par with the other 2 machines, this machine is so effortless to use, it has put the fun back into detecting for me.
Just a line to say, thanks again for the invite to dig with yourself & Barry.. I have now purchased a SSLM for myself, also with a w/scan coil for mineral ground.. It may not be the deepest! but has the ability to outclass top of the range machines.. I think many people will be surprised when you reveal it soon!
All the best cheers Tony..
So far I have had several orders for this machine regardless of price based on this independant review, I am so impressed I now own 5 units but must point out I will not be selling these machines, however other models may be available in limited amounts.