Minelab Excalibur II Review

9.2/10
Very Good
Metal Detector
  • Country AU
  • Released 2007
  • Warranty 1 year
  • Additional
    coils
  • Headphones included

Best for

  • Underwater

Minelab Excalibur II is one of the best underwater metal detectors for treasure hunting. Minelab Excalibur II metal detector has been on the market for a while already, and it enjoys quite a substantial reputation. The majority of users are totally happy with it, because it offers a unique set of features and tech specs that make underwater search super productive.

Since we provide only true and honest Minelab Excalibur II reviews, we have to immediately warn all the potential buyers that some users report addressing the Customer Services due to major breaks of the machine. These users state that in the majority of cases, the breaks are not minor at all, and they generally root from the underwater operation part of the device. So, we have to admit that there is no perfection in this world, and Excalibur II can break to the degree that you will need to address Customer Service.

Rating Explanations
All Purpose
10
Key Features
10
Easy to Use
10
Durability
8
Price
8
9.2/10
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Reviewed by
Michael Moore
Pros
  • waterproof up to 200 feet
  • fluorescent bodywork and skidplate
  • rechargeable battery
  • pinpoint mode
  • hip-mount possible
Cons
  • 1 year warranty
  • really expensive
  • software cannot be updated
  • no additional compatible search coils
  • Technology: BBS
  • Number of frequencies: 17
  • Frequencies: 1.5kHz to 25.5kHz
  • Search Coil: 8"
  • Search Coil Type: DD
  • Waterproof: Up to 200 feet
  • Updatable Software: No
  • VDI (Target ID): Yes
  • Search Modes: 2
  • Search Mode Types: All Metal / Discrim
  • Ground Balance: Automatic Ground Tracking
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes
  • Audio Tones: 1
  • Batteries: 8 AA batteries required
  • Length (min-max): 45"-48"
  • Weight:4.6 lb
  • Warranty: 1 year

Minelab Excalibur II Features

17 Operating Frequencies

Way more frequencies than an average metal detector can offer, opening additional opportunities for successful search.

DD Coil

This is one of the most efficient coil shapes for search in highly mineralized waters, or salt waters.

Auto Ground Tracking

The most efficient way to increase mineralization underwater, as the machine tunes itself automatically depending on how the soils change.

Waterproof

Up to 196 feet is a decent indicator proper for deep diving with a metal detector.

Waterproof Headset

Obviously headphones should be high quality and waterproof as well.

Noise Cancellation in Salt Water

Useful feature that prevents false signals by cutting noise caused by mineralization and electromagnetic interference by shifting the frequency.

Minelab Excalibur II Overview

minelab excalibur ii overview

This powerful and handy underwater metal detector fit for deep diving and wreck exploration was released back in 2007. To be honest, it has been enjoying some decent demand since the time of release, however, at the time of writing, it can also be considered fairly outdated. However, the sub niche is so narrow and the competition is so small, that there are few other machines that can be considered competitors. Therefore, Excalibur II is still popular and still shows nice performance even under such harsh conditions as 200 feet underwater.

Control Box

minelab excalibur ii control box

The control box for Minelab Excalibur II is indeed genius, created specifically for fast and convenient underwater manipulations. This control box – or rather skid plate – has no LCD display because it does not need one, and is controlled with the help of knobs. Moreover, the skid plate is fluorescent which makes it perfectly visible under poor visibility conditions that often happen on greater depth.

The simplicity of setting the metal detector stems not only from reasonable convenience, but from the fact that underwater, delays can be dangerous, and any misunderstanding or confusion may result in increased risks for the diver. This is why the skid plate only has several knobs for control: Discriminate, Sensitivity, Volume, Threshold\On\Off, Mode (Disc or Pinpoint/All metals). All the tuning can be done literally blindly, and the user can hear whether the setting is tuned properly or not by checking the audio signal.

Search Modes

Excalibur II has only two search modes – Discriminate and All Metal Pinpoint. Some may consider this a drawback, but keeping in mind that this machine is more suitable for underwater and beach prospecting, having only two modes is rather a blessing.

This product is tagged as for “Intermediate” and “Experienced” level of the users, so it is expected that the users already know which frequencies will bring which types of finds. The brand enables the user to decide themselves which frequency to apply for which location. There are 17 frequencies available for prospecting, and changing the frequencies will change the conditions of search.

The Discrimination can be adjusted, as well as the sensitivity level, so the treasure hunter can tune the device to the most optimal combination of settings. Pinpoint mode is another bonus that helps to identify the exact location of the target.

Discrimination

For this underwater machine, Discrimination is one of the most suitable options, allowing to adjust the settings and filter off signals you are not ineterested it. Other tools are less necessary in expected conditions where this detector operates.

All Metal Pinpoint

Having Pinpoint mode underwater is extremely valuable. All Metal part of the feature also makes perfect sense - if you already go for the target, you have considered it worthy of your time, so all-metal sensitivity should be provided to spot it accurately.

Minelab Excalibur II Features

Minelab Excalibur II is one of the unique metal detectors created for very complicated deep underwater search. So, on the one hand, it needs very specific functions and features to facilitate this type of metal detecting, but on the other hand, it must not have any fancy features iit can go without, because every additional feature means weight and also a bit more complicated manipulations for the user. Minelab has taken the challenge seriously and eventually balanced between those two criteria. The list of all features is as follows:

BBS Technology

BBS (Broad Band Spectrum) technology is able to transmit, receive, and analyze a wide range of frequencies and responses caused by these frequencies, at the same time. Due to using several frequencies simultaneously, BBS technology allows extra detection depth and high sensitivity to all kinds of objects, and the metal detector does it all faster than other metal detectors. The Discrimination feature is also very powerful for BBS machines.

The more frequencies are used, the more objects can be spotted at the same time, but there;s more to it. The more frequencies bump into the target, the more information the metal detector receives about that particular target, and this works literally for every target spotted. BBS enables high Recovery Speed to process all signals quickly. Many frequencies applied at the same time also allow to scan the soils around targets and gather more information about the environment, giving the user a broader picture of the scanned patches, and therefore making metal detecting more accurate.

Minelab Excalibur II Search Coils

minelab excalibur ii coil

There is only one search coil type available for Minelab Excalibur II, at least if we are talking about coils made by Minelab. There are two sizes available – 8 inches or 10 inches. The configuration is round Slim DD hardwired search coil. You can order the metal detector either with 8 inches coil, or with 10 inches coil, and at the time of writing, there is no option of interchangeable coils or other compatible search coils. One of the reasons is that the default coils for Excalibur II are slim models, reducing the weight of the machine. And since metal detectors for deep diving are not the most popular products on the market, neither Minelab nor other companies seem to rush making more compatible search coils.

Minelab Excalibur II Settings

To be honest, the settings for Minelab Excalibur II are very simple considering the level of professionalism this machine was created for. While this metal detector definitely requires tons of expertise in detecting, and also experience in diving, the Minelab Excalibur II beach settings offered are very comprehensive and easy to master. As we have already discussed above, this is done to maximize user experience under complicated conditions of deep diving, and to minimize confusion and risks when metal detecting underwater.

However, one important setting to consider is Threshold. This is a constant background hum, an audio tone always present to indicate that the metal detector is detecting and scanning. To make sure you do not miss any signals from targets amidst this constant hum, make sure you keep Threshold to minimum. It should be smooth and gentle, to underline signals from targets, and to avoid damage to your hearing. If you set the Threshold too high, you may miss out faint signals from deeper or smaller targets.

Please remember that, if the environment or search conditions change, you may want to reset the Threshold level.

Minelab Excalibur II Problems

Excalibur II is made pretty durable, however, the other problem that stems from the design is that the machine is rather heavy. While it may not be such a huge problem when deeper underwater, but when searching in more shallow waters handling a heavier machine is exhausting and inconvenient.

Some owners also state that the Minelab Excalibur II headphones provided in the kit are not of a very good quality. However, the manufacturer offers no other compatible headphones set.

One more feedback you can often see on metal detecting forums from treasure hunters from all over the world is that at some point, Excalibur II can start giving whining false signals, even when there is nothing under the coil, and even if the battery is fully charged. More experienced users claim that the reason is battery age. Older batteries tend to start giving Minelab Excalibur II broken volume and noise sometimes, even though they are fully charged and are recharged on a regular basis. To solve the problem, order a new battery.

Tips & Tricks for Minelab Excalibur II Users

minelab excalibur ii user

One of the features that may also be considered for more accurate tuning is Sensitivity. If you turn the Sensitivity knob from Auto to Manual, you will get from 1 to 10 levels of Sensitivity to exploit.

For underwater search and in saltwater, you may want to set the highest sensitivity possible, without producing false signals. You should increase the sensitivity until you get false signals, and then work backwards, until the metal detector gets stable. This is done to increase the chances of spotting faint signals from deeper or smaller targets that may turn out valuable. The same approach to Sensitivity settings should be used when metal detecting on wet sand, or on black sands.

Minelab Excalibur II Accessories

There are very few accessories you can get for Excalibur II. There are no compatible search coils, and no compatible headsets to substitute the ones you get in the default kit. Accessories available include:

If you would like to get more accessories or some spare parts with a discount, check out your local retailers or big international platforms that sell metal detectors. They will for sure offer extra bundles in addition to the humble default kit.

Minelab Excalibur II Kit

There is only one variation of the package for Excalibur II by the manufacturer and it is as follows:

Minelab Excalibur II Manual

If you’d like to find out more about how specific settings function and how specific features are to be managed in Minelab Excalibur II underwater metal detector, check out the user’s manual before you decide to buy the metal detector. Of course there are few other machines in the niche that can compete, but you should definitely find out everything about the machine to make an informed choice, before you invest any money.

Download Minelab Excalibur II User’s Manual

FAQ

Can I use Minelab Excalibur II 1000 for gold?

Due to the Multi Frequency technology including the range of 17 frequencies, Excalibur II fits for gold prospecting underwater.

Conclusion

Minelab Excalibur II is an intermediary to expert level metal detector for deep underwater prospecting. It has been on the market for a while already, and has stood the test of time, so it is easy to assess all its real pros and cons. This device is equipped with some unique features for enhanced user experience, and promises to provide productive and successful search. If you would like to try out underwater prospecting, in fresh water or salt water bodies, and deep dive search is your ultimate goal, consider this metal detector.

9.2/10

Minelab Excalibur II One of the best for underwater detecting

3 Main Competitors

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II Test

Fisher CZ 21

Fisher CZ-21 Great underwater detector for a good price

Nokta Anfibio Multi

Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi Perfect all-round multi frequency detector

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Author

Michael Moore

Hi detectorists! I’m Michael Moore, founder of this website, and a dedicated treasure hunter since 2013. If you want to be posted about the most recent news and updates in metal detecting, releases, and trends, subscribe!

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