Word on the various forums is that some long-lived metal detector manufacturers are either out of business or very close. The ones I'm currently hearing about are Tesoro and Nautilus...both of which hold a special place in my heart. I used a Toltec 100 for quite a while. I loved the accurate visual ID and excellent iron discrimination. I also owned a Cortes and a Tejon.
Then there's Nautilus. A North Carolina company that focused on machines that were relic killers. For years, they reigned supreme at civil war battle sites for ferreting out deep lead and brass. Both companies began seeing dire straits after the passing of their respective founders. Jerry Tyndall was the originator of Nautilus and a heckuva nice guy. You could call them during business hours and get personal pointers from "the man" himself. I did so a couple of times, the first being when trying to configure the DMC-2b for salt water use. He walked me right through it happily.
On the Tesoro side, Jack Gifford helmed the business and kept things interesting with multiple models and an unheard of promotion...Lifetime warranty! They would even honor warranties after machines were sold or traded (unofficially, of course).
If either of these companies is actually not going out of business or already out, please let me know and I'll update this post.
Is there any interest in me putting up a forum for supporting defunct metal detectors? Most of the "big" sites won't do it because there's no one to pay. I don't do this for profit...just purely out of love of the hobby. Let me know what you think.