I got the whistler 1793SE as replacement of a bel 895 that I returned. You can read my Beltronics vector 895 review here
The first question here is why a 1793SE and not a pro 73, that seems to be the more popular model. Well, the answer is simple, I got a gift certificate to an online retailer from an in-law, and at such retailer the 1793SE was cheaper than the pro 73. According to whistler, they both share the same chassis, so range is the same. Decision was set based on price.
Again, I went directly with a hardwire high mount, so I just replaced the phone cord with the RJ-11 connector that I had for the V895 with a cable having a normal 2 mm hollow plug with positive inside and GND outside. The mounting bracket is more solid that the Bel, but it also looks cheaper as it is thicker steel. The suction cups are a little smaller, and only 2 are included. What surprised me is the fact that the suction cups of wislter have better adherence. I wanted to mount the V895 above the RVM, but at this point there is a dark spotted sunscreen, so the suction cups wouldn't stick. The whistler suction cups stick perfectly to this location.
Some people don't like the mounting bracket, but it also has a touch that I think is important. It has a rubber bumper that sits on the windshield, and the detector never touches the glass. This is important in my eyes as you reduce vibrations going into the detector. I like the mounting scheme.
Packed. Besides the regular bands and pop detection, the detector has a text compass that even shows degrees, has a message recorder, voltage meter, and something whistler calls the "stay alert". The compass, voltage meter and message recorder are very useful, but the "stay alert" is not. I hope whistler takes it out, and save software time.
Because of all the features packed, you need the manual the first times to know what buttons activate what special features. Ironically, programming is kind of intuitive. Just press and hold QUIET to go into programming, press QUIET to toggle selections, use the volume UP and DOWN to change the value. Programming is also very flexible, as it allows you to turn off individual bands as desired. Try that on the V895.
Display and visibility:
It is a red VFD text display (regular) with decent daytime brightness, but I suspect it would be too dim if mounted lower in the windshield. DIM mode is good for dusk, and dark is perfect for night. I have 2 dislikes here. You cannot blank the display, and in dark mode, during an alert the display goes blank. These 2 are no-no. Come on whistler, make it right. The V895 does both right, as it has a night intensity that is very dim, and a dark mode that almost blanks the display completely. In addition, to change dimming in the 1793SE you have to press and hold the power button.
Sound and ergonomics
The volume level is weak, and if you have a loud cabin you need level 8 all the times. Autoquiet goes to 1, very quiet. Voice alerts are a female voice, and are OK. Ergonomics in not intuitive because of all the features. Volume could be a concern, but in my case, level 6 is plenty loud. It is just that the V895 was louder
Ah, the infamous whistler falsing..... or so I thought. Well, that's is why I mentioned before that no one size fits all. Driving in the city in highway, city or city1 modes makes very little difference, you still pick the strongest X signals. However, most of the stuff I encounter is K band, so filtering has little difference. Using city2 mode disables X band, so no X band falses, but with K band being the main source it makes little difference. With all the programming features it has, the missing thing is K band sensitivity reduced in city modes.
On the highway, I don't know why the cops bother with spectre.... all they need is a decent detector and they will find all the cobras....and unfortunately this happens to this detector too. I get Ka falses quite often, and in the majority of cases I have been able to identify the responsible cobra. Very similar to the V895.
Bottom line: Filtering is good. It falses more on x band than the V895, but unfortunately 90% of my city falses are K band. If you really hate X band falses, drive in city2 mode.
What good is a nice looking detector with tons of features if it doesn't pick radar? In this regard, the 1793SE pleasantly surprised me. Based on the comments by others, I expected the V895 to be incredible at picking radar, and it delivered. The pro 73 was regarded as very good, but a step below in radar detection. Overall I would say yes, the V895 is better at picking radar, but they are quite closer than I thought. They perfom equally good in K band, and while the V895 has better Ka, I have yet to face a Ka encounter on the highway. My Ka threat is in the city, so the V895 superior Ka range becomes non factor most of the time. I have only encountered K band on the hignway by the MSP so far.
On the other hand, for laser, they are worlds apart. The whistler beats the bel at laser by a large margin. Yes, laser detection might not be useful, but I personally like to at least know I was hit. Admitted, it doesn't detect laser 100% even when I was the target, however an aprox 70% sucess rate is much better than the 15% os so the bel gave me. In addition, scatter detection is possible with the 1793SE as reported by some pro73 users, but not even in your wild dreams the V895 will pick scatter. I'll take a slim chance than no chance at all. All it needs is lucky scatter once to pay for itself.
Well balanced detector. Very good detection range. K band is the same than the V895, even in curves and hills. Ka band is less than the V895, but the performance is much closer than what a review by radartest.com might suggest.... Laser is not even a contest, it is totally whistler. In performance alone, I pick the 1793SE over the 895. Remember, situations are different for many people. I encounter Ka in the city, so the stellar Ka of the V895 doesn't matter. Oh, and for laser you still have a slim chance for advanced warning with the 1793se. That chance is zero with the V895.
If you factor the additional useful features of the 1793se (individual band selection alone should suffice in this criteria) it get easier pick. Throw in the price and I got MY winner.
- If you live in a place where Ka instant on used on the highway, it would work fine, but the V895 would give you an edge. Pick the V895 instead if that is your case.
- The compass has odd convention for the degrees numbering. North is 0, and the measurement is done clockwise, as opposed to what you learn in elementary school math where angles are measured counterclockwise.
- The startup sequence shows all the setting you currently have. Very slow compared to a Bel, but then I realized this was useful. I don't start the engine and immediately move. The 5 seconds it takes to do the power up allow me to know my settings, buckle up and set the car.
- I love the way it looks. Mounted high I cannot see it though
- If you want 100% laser detection, go with the V1.
- Excellent starter detector. Amazingly, it is cheaper than its sibling the pro73 that has less features. However, the pro 73 includes a hardwire kit, while the 1793 includes a cigarrete lighter socket multiplier. It comes down to preference in display color.