When the Sovereigns first came out in the early 1990's I read an article by David Keith in a treasure mag about how deep they would find coins and Civil War relics and had to have one. I drove 260 miles, round trip, to the nearest dealer and bought one. Seems the one David Keith tested performed miracles for him, but the one I got would barely get a quarter 6 inches deep and sucked on nickels and other low conductors. I traded it, but when Gary Keithline, who has Findmall, put his original forum up in 1997 it was specifically a Sovereign forum and posts about finding coins at depths of 17-18 inches were being made. I mentioned the one I had owned didn't get much depth and some of the guys convinced me something had been wrong with it, so I bought another one. Same as the first, poor depth and very slow response time.
When I posted the results I was getting with it I was told it either also had problems or I was just too stupid to use a Sovereign. Someone on Gary's forum someone gave me the email address of a Minelab rep in New Jersey, I contacted him and one of the first things he asked was what kind of ground conditions I had. I told him it was very mild and consistent, pretty much mineral free, and he said that was the problem. He said the multi-frequency Minelabs require a certain level of mineralization to operate correctly, and said something to the effect they use some of the frequencies to compensate for the ground conditions, but if there wasn't enough mineralization they were continually looking for something to compensate for that wasn't there. I used an Explorer XS for two to three hours every day it wasn't raining for a month in 2010, and it was the same as the Sovereign's in that it didn't get good depth here. Several guys I know bought Sovereign's or Explorer models, but they all had the same result as I did and, except for one guy, got rid of them. One guy still has an Explorer XS, but he uses Garretts 99.9 percent of the time.
We discussed the multi-frequency Minelabs in a thread on Carl's forum back in January, and I posted what the Minelab rep had said. Carl had the same experience in mild ground and agreed, but Bob Sickler took exception and contacted Bruce Candy at Minelab. In Candy's reply to Bob he said, "JB(MS) writing about how the Sovereign needs some mineralized soil to operate is correct....". In addition to not getting the depth here that a lot of other detectors get, at places where old building were burned or torn down, like the stagestop and inn site I've posted about, the Sovereign's stayed in a deep null and were useless. I tried using the last one I had at the stagestop and inn site on three occasion and it never found a single nonferrous object.