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Old 02-16-2001, 01:25 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: SCIC
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1999 Impreza RS-S
Rally Blue & Supercharged

Question Don't know where to post this: Who makes the most effective radar detector?

I'm thinking about buying a Cobra ESD-9850 9 band radar detector for two reasons:
1) It's affordable. $149.95 at Sound Domain.com

2) I have a $20.00 rebate coupon. $129.95 total price with coupon.

Problem is I can't find any comparisons on the Net between different makes and brands.

I know there are some real kick-ash detectors out there, but I don't want to spend $500.00 dollars either.

Any ideas?

Thanks, ARG
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Old 02-16-2001, 01:28 AM   #2
Do they speak English in What?

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Location: Allentown
2008 WRX 5door MT
WR Blue


valentine 1 sorry NOTHING compares ...its honestly the only thing i'd ever get ... don't settle for less than the best.
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Old 02-16-2001, 01:42 AM   #3
Eric SS
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swap and N20. gone. : (


Yup... The Valentine 1

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Old 02-16-2001, 01:47 AM   #4
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Ive never used a radar detector but have seriously thought about it....I guess the old saying still follows here, "You get what you pay for."
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Old 02-16-2001, 02:55 AM   #5
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I've been considering upgrading to the Valentine.... I have a BEL 980, and I'm not happy with it.

Best radar is your eyes, IMHO.
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Old 02-16-2001, 06:28 AM   #6
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& 08 Triumph Speed Triple


If your not going to get a Valentine 1 (the best ever), get a Bell. I have an 8 series now and it works pretty well, but i do feel naked not knowing where the signal is comming from, and how many there are. I had a Cobra at one time, and after it took it back for the third tim because the display went out i got a Bell and havent had a problem since.

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Old 02-16-2001, 08:06 AM   #7
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All the major manufacturers use basically the same internals i.e. Bell, Cobra, Escort. Valentine 1 is the only standout. NOTHING compares. Actually, if you can't get the Valentine, you are just wasting your money anyway.
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Old 02-16-2001, 09:09 AM   #8
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K40 is an excellent unit also. They start @ $180 and cruise on up to @ $700. I happen to sell them if you are interested. I also sell Bel, Uniden, and Whistler. If you want a cheap but a very effective unit I would recommend the Uniden 747. (360 degree protection, all forms radar/ laser, VG-2, safety systems, city, dim, and mute)
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Old 02-16-2001, 09:14 AM   #9
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www.meci.com has refurbished escorts for $34. I bought one when they were having a sale for $15 and it has saved my butt a number of times. It is an el cheapo and it pretty much picks up all signals, but it does pick up the cops. I am saving up for a V1, this is a temporary solution.
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Old 02-16-2001, 10:18 AM   #10
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Thumbs up

Someone is selling one on Ebay. Right now the bid is for 300. Valentine One on Ebay
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Old 02-16-2001, 02:50 PM   #11
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Well, before Valentine, Escort was the top rated radar detector company on the market. The people that made Valentine detectors came from Escort, and they still hold a solid 2nd place ranking.

I use a 7500, it works, and it was less than half the price of the V1. It even can tell me up to 8 different contacts, and displays all emergency road codes.

The escort web site at:

advertises the 7500 at 229.95, but I have seen it in Autoweek magazine for 179.95

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Old 02-16-2001, 03:11 PM   #12
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Don't waste your cash on anything but the V1.
The best. Period!
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Old 02-16-2001, 04:46 PM   #13
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2000 OBS


I bought a Uniden and regretted it. Thing went off so much it was silly. Also, you can't tell where the source is. I thought I had a 30 day money back guarentee. Yeah right. I sent it back and never got credited.

Anyway, I got a Valentine 1 and just bought my wife one two. Used it now for two years and no regrets. Don't cheap out on this one! It will cost more in the long run cause your likely to turn the cheapy one off in frustration and get a ticket!
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Old 02-16-2001, 05:11 PM   #14
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If you purchase a used V1 make sure before you get it, to ask for the serial number. Call V1 and see if it's been updated to the latest technology. If it isn't it costs to have it upgrade (you can find out how much on their site) A friend got what he thought was a good bargain till he had to pay almost as much as a new one in the end. Just a watch out.

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Old 02-17-2001, 12:28 AM   #15
Jessie James
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Blah blah blah...

All this blather about what is best, when you should really go to http://www.radartest.com/

I bought the Bel 980, see what I thought at my website: http://www.rs25.com/radar.htm

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Old 02-17-2001, 01:02 AM   #16
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2002 WRX Sedan


McCavity, I have seen that website posted many times, and find it interesting how much it is used in defense of the other detectors. I have seen two reviews, that website and one in automobile magazine, and I am no expert in the field, but in general there isn't much to go on except past experiences of others with radar detectors.

V1 has a very large "following" and to some degree I am in the same "cult". If you wish to use the reviews I would be more inclined to use the one in the mag (which btw is written by the same person as the website, but somehow got different results in both). V1 ranked the HIGHEST on X, K, and Laser. Was the third in Ka band, which sounds bad, outside of the fact that its the most expensive for law officers to buy, and even being third it had GREAT detection. The one that really takes the cake is laser. It is the hardest type of all the speed guns to see before you are caught. The V1 was off the reviewer's chart on both cases.

To me, being the best at the almost impossible ranks pretty high with me.

BTW, just got my V1 today, set it up, played with it for a few secs, and took off. Even the short amount of time I have had with it, I am very happy with the purchase.

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Old 02-17-2001, 08:31 AM   #17
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Do yourself a favor and get the V1. It is a remarkable little unit and will most likely quickly pay for itself.
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Old 02-17-2001, 08:41 AM   #18
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Car and Driver tests the detectors every 2 or three years. The V1 has been the winner the last two tests - quite handily. They compare the detectors under road (i.e., speed trap) conditions, not in the laboratory.

V1 advertises heavily in the car mags I get, so there seems to be a lot of hype. But most people who own it, rave about it.

For the WRX, I was planning on getting the custom installation V1 -- separate detectors in the front/rear, and a hidden display mounted in the dash.
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Old 02-17-2001, 09:01 AM   #19
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Ashmason- you must've gotten a "Friday" detector.
I've had a Uniden 63xx for about 6 years and 85,000 miles between two cars. Works excellent. I drive from NJ to SC a few times a year and it's great. Also cops always use radar in my town. My wife uses a newer Uniden and drives 30 miles to work. Do I care if a cop is in front or behind? No, I slow down either way.
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Old 02-17-2001, 07:40 PM   #20
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2000 Turbo Legacy GT


Do yourself a favour, visit www.radartest.com

They have a bunch of reports on various radar detectors including the Valentine 1.

Hope this helps...
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Old 02-17-2001, 08:02 PM   #21
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2005 No legacy for u
It's a diesel


Hey Al:

Rumor has it that the new Escort 8500 meets or beats the V1 for range. I would believe it as there hasn't been a significant change to the V1 since about 99.

The Escort does not have the directional display, but the dot matrix text display can be quite informative, esp. the precise frequency display. If you are keen, this can help you read out false alarms such as alrams and door openers.

Also, the V1 does not have the safety radar sytem or strobe alert. While I am willing to give this up, I still think its a handy feature on a RD.

Personally, I would choose the V1 (and will be buying one soon).

The Valentine's logic modes make it very selective (though it still does false, as most do, it only squaks when its really serious)

Beware of any you buy on e-bay. Most of the Valentines you see there are not the latest models, yet they still go for 300+. I must ask those who pay over 300 why they don't drop 399 on a brand new one with a money back guarantee?

You can send in old ones to have them updated but it costs $100+.

While I know that doesn't really answer your question about the Cobra, you may consider some of this info if you change your mind.

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Old 02-17-2001, 10:15 PM   #22
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I've been wanting to get a V1 for a year or so (not that I would ever speed ) and found out a few months ago that a friend of mine was doing about 120 in his Celica GTS on the way to NY, and coming up on the crest of a hill his V1 went ape $&it ! he dropped it out of light speed and neatly slipped over the hill to see 2 staties on the other side . . they never even bothered!! He said it has saved his a$$ more than once!

I knew there was a good reason why I wanted a V1.
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Old 02-17-2001, 10:30 PM   #23
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2002 WRX
World Rally Blue Pearl


www.radartest.com is completely bogus. If you want to know the truth behind this bs site go here: http://www.valentine1.com/lab/V1Hater.asp Nothing compares to the V1.

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Old 02-17-2001, 10:35 PM   #24
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Anyway its nice that teh V1 ghas all thsi great range, and great detection BUT the real plus ot the V1 is INFORMATION.

It is the ONLY detector that tells you what direction the signal is coming from, how many signals there are, signal strength, signal type, and what direction the strongest signal is coming from.

It is this information AND the great range that keep people raving about the V1.

You might find another detector with equal range but not a signal one of them provides useful information.

information is my weapon of choice!

[This message has been edited by Pilot (edited February 17, 2001).]
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Old 02-17-2001, 11:55 PM   #25
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Red cars PWN me


A little history lesson for all of you, and someone mentioned it before. I'm also from Cincinnati, the home of what used to be Escort and Valentine. In fact, I live about two miles from the old Escort facility.

Valentine research was founded by Mike Valentine, that much you can read in the ads. As the other poster stated, Mike used to work for Cincinnati Microwave (makers of the Escort, Passport, and others). Mike had a difference in opinion about the prevailing technological direction CM was headed, so he broke off and started his own company.

In my life, I've owned the original Passport, an Ecsort 2500, Uniden, and now a V1. They've all paid for themselves in one way or another. But as someone said, the info that the V1 supplies is irreplacable. Being able to know where a source is and how many there are is priceless.

That being said, if I had to do it all over again. I would have not wasted so much money on 4 other radar detectors and just bought the V1 to begin with.

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