A review I recently posted on Epinions Valentine 1 section. I thought some of you might appreciate it.
During the Labor Day weekend of 2005 I was able to make a direct head to head 1200 mile comparison of the V1 vs the 8500. The 8500 I had owned for quite some time and had previously reviewed it on epinions. I purchased the V1 new directly from Valentine Research. Unfortunately the detector arrived with a faulty rear laser detector that so consistently and annoyingly went off that I wanted to throw it out the window. With a little bit of testing I was able to determine that the issue with with the detector and not the vehicle. I contacted Valentine and asked them to overnight me a replacement for the road trip I was about to take. Unfortunately they would not send me a replacement. They were adamant that they would only repair the detector and not replace it; the fact that I was about to take a long road trip was irrelevant. So much for their customer service, I told them I would just return the detector.
Still I decided to take the V1 on the trip. Fortunately the rear laser detector started to burn in a bit and it did settle down enough that I no longer wanted to throw it out the window but it still had an amazingly high number false laser alerts (all to the rear).
Before the trip started, while driving around the city, I noticed that the V1 was much more sensitive to X and K band radar than the escort. I was getting alerts to the usual door openers way sooner than I was used. On the other hand, I was getting way fewer KA band alerts. When I did get KA alerts the directional arrows were VERY useful and worked VERY well. However, its great sensitivity to X band and the inability to turn that band off, made the V1 sort of useless in the city.
I started the road trip (Mo, through rural KY, into TN and AL then back) with just the V1 on the windshield. I was wary of its apparent lack of sensitivity to KA (more on this later) but decided to give it shot anyways. No more than a few miles down the road, A trooper going in the opposite direction hit me with instant-on KA. The V1 gave no prior warning and had I been speeding I surely would have gotten a ticket. I had never had such an issue with the Escort.
From that instant on, I decided to run the detectors side by side on the windshield. I am aware that the manufacturers advise against this, but the only ill effects that I noted where that the escort would occasionally cause a false X band detection in the V1.
The results of the test were very interesting. The escort gave a good number more KA band alerts than the V1. One of the reasons I wanted a V1 is because the escort would alert out in the middle of nowhere and I was never sure if the cop was to the front or rear. I had hoped that directional arrows on the V1 would helped with that. What I ended up discovering was that KA alerts the escort would kick out were actually false alarms.
What I discovered on the open road was that the V1 is defiantly more sensitive in the X and K bands. In the KA band the sensitivity is about equal. Only in one incident did the Escort sound an alert in the presence of a deputy where the V1 did not, and I'm not sure if that deputy was running radar or not. In one other incident, the V1 sounded significantly before the Escort (Nashville officer approaching on a curve with a high concrete divider running down the median. We were both in our respective far left lanes). Other than that it was basically a back and forth tie. Every time the V1 gave a KA alert a cop was soon to be visible, the same could not be said about the escort)
In closing, the V1 could be a great radar detector, but it does not have the user comforts of the Escort. The V1 would be great in the city if you could turn of the X band like you can on the Escort. Both brands get low marks for having quality problems. Valentine gets extra low marks for poor customer service. They did get one customer service aspect right, they very quickly refunded me my money when I returned the V1 under the 30 day guarantee.