My first RD was the original brick shaped Escort back in the early 80's in high school. Then Cincinnati Microwave came out with the Passport which was a sexy and slim RD; a work of art in electronics miniaturization back then. That was my second detector. Both served me very well until they became obsolete. I tried a low end unit from Cobra and junked that after a short while. Then I had a couple other mid range units I used for several years from Uniden and Escort. Finally last month I purchased a Whistler 690SE.
I was surprised that what plagued me nearly 30 years ago was still present in the 690SE, too many false alarms. In the week or two I had the 690SE I was already starting to get complacent and ignoring warnings. The last 2 tickets I got were with rather old detectors yet both gave me enough warning to avoid the tickets if I had paid attention to the warnings. But when you live in Southern California and there is some source around every corner to set off a RD, it really is hard to take it seriously all the time. I didn't like the display of the 690SE very much (hard to see in the sun) and I was already ignoring it like I did me other detectors, so I returned it.
I decided with all the driving I do, and since I'm always driving enough over the PSL to be a target, I would go ahead and get a top tier RD. The first unit that came to mind was the gold standard of ages ago, the V1. I figured that surely by now the king of radar detectors would eliminate most false alarms. I did some research and sadly learned that was not the case at all. It had great range, but according to many it was "chatty." I watched a few videos of the V1 in action and all the false alarms made me scratch it off the list. Shock, now what? I just eliminated the RD I always wanted but was too stingy to buy.
Then I noticed a couple units that had a GPS built in. Genius - don't reduce sensitivity, but block out the false signals for good! I got the 9500ix and it is the only RD I have owned that doesn't annoy me or the passengers in my car. The first few days I had some false alarms. Then it became oh so quiet after it learned to ignore the junk. In just 2 weeks of driving it had locked out 81 sources of false signals. 81 sources that a V1 would be yelling danger, danger, like Chicken Little, 24/7 365 days a year. 81 sources that would in short time drive me nuts and cause me to disregard both real and false warnings.
So for me the choice was obvious. Even if the V1 had a range 5 times greater than the 9500ix it would not be any better for me than any entry level $100 RD. Even back in the 80's I never had a problem with range. It was the mind numbing constant false alarms that were the problem, and as far as I can tell, there really is no way to avoid that even today without using a GPS.
Perhaps if I didn't live in SoCal where there is something to set off a RD around every turn I would think differently. But I wonder if people are not so passionate about their V1 just because it once was clearly the best. Now I think it may still be the best, but only for a small percentage of users. I can see where if I were on a stretch of country road, in the middle of nowhere, and running at WOT, that I would want ever extra inch of warning. I probably would also like to know if LEO was approaching from behind or if he was ahead of me. But for most people they are not doing that. They are going maybe +10 to +30 over the PSL. They are in areas that have several sources of false alarms. And all the "Chatter" may result in them not using their RD, or ignoring the warnings.
I'm puzzled at why there is not a V1-G model, a RD with great features, sensitivity, and a GPS to shut the hell up when you are driving by known false sources, or driving slow. I don't think any RD can truly be a top tier RD any longer without using GPS technology. Perhaps the manufacturer is a purest, and for some reason has failed to incorporate this technology into their product. There was a time when performance cars didn't have creature comfort features like A/C. But over time they learned that you can have a car that kicks a$$ yet is still comfortable to drive every day.
The title of this post was just to get the V1 zombies stirred up, so don't flame me too bad. I'm talking from about 30 years of speeding experience and hating or ignoring every RD I owned except the 9500ix. For "me" the V1 would not be better than any other $100 detector regardless of the very good sensitivity. But if you have the patience to hear all the false alarms, and the discipline to analyze every beep, perhaps the V1 is still king for you. So in the end it boils down to preference. However, I think that for 95% of the population the 9500ix will give a much better user experience and probably result in less tickets. Mine is so darn quiet sometimes I have to check to make sure it is turned on when I am driving. When it sounds an alarm, it really grabs my attention. Unless I am a lot different than most people, I think the 9500ix is the best all around RD to own for most, even if the V1 may have better range and be able to tell you the direction the radar signal is coming from.
So far the only negatives about the 9500ix is that I think Escort is lame for charging a subscription fee to use their database to update the locations. For a RD costing $500 that should be free for life or at least a year or two. I wish I could customize the red light cam warning tone. There is no need to make a big fuss about the red light cams. Given how quiet the RD is, a single quick beep is all I would need to make me glance at the screen and notice a RLC is coming up. The windshield mount is flimsy and on a bumpy road allows the RD to bounce a lot. Also, the hard wire kit has a blinding bright power on LED. I had to put a sticker over the power LED on the hard wire control pod. Pretty small stuff overall.
Oh yeah, and by the way, Mac is way better than any PC.