After having been one of the very few who has gotten a defective unit from the Escort factory, I am pleased to report that the company replaced the old unit with no questions asked. It was immediately obvious on startup that the original unit was indeed bad, and the performance of the new one has been absolutely stellar.
I have to admit I used to be one of those Cobra types (don't laugh, it was better than nothing for a dude on a tight budget) but when I began logging serious interstate miles I knew I needed a top shelf detector and this is what the 9500ix clearly is. I'm no techie, but I know what I like and what works under real world conditions.
Since I obtained my new 9500ix about two weeks ago, I have logged about 2000 miles in four different states, on interstate travel and in major metropolitan areas.
Several of the cities had quite a few red light and speed cameras, and the GPS database on the 9500ix worked flawlessly.
In terms of highway performance, I am getting early readings , so much so that a few times I though I was close to the threat and it had passed me going the other way, only to find that it was still out ahead of me. (See previous comment re: Cobra). This gear worked well around corners and over hills.
In one of the areas I regularly travel, for some reason there have always been constant x and k band alerts on other detectors from a variety of stationary towers etc. for about a five mile strech of highway, even when in city mode. Highly irritating. After a couple of trips past them with the 9500ix, they were locked out automatically and trouble me no more.
One thing I am still trying to get a handle on is the volume settings. Don't get me wrong, I love that this unit, when turned even part of the way up, literally screams alerts over even my VERY loud music. But I'm trying to figure out the auto volume (it's probably in the user guide somewhere), because I want to make sure that when I am blaring some tunes I can still hear warnings.
As an aside, I run in POP as well as SWS mode. I understand that apparently tickets are not supposed to be issued when the gun is using POP mode, but I still prefer to know when a threat might be nearby. One of the areas I regularly travel has quite a few emergency vehicles that use SWS, and for safety I frankly appreciate knowing when there is a stationary emergency vehicle nearby.
I know there are many Valentine and Bel enthusiasts out there, and I guess each has pluses and minuses. However, I can't say enough good things about this Escort product.