I bought my first V1 in 1992 or so, right after the original model mopped up in Car and Driver's radar detector test back then (a pattern that has yet to be broken). To call the V1 a 'detector' is like calling a TV set a 'radio'. It's a locator, it's the only one on the market, and it works. There simply is no comparison.
My very old V1 finally developed a problem where the mode setting wouldn't change by pressing in on the knob. Valentine said they would fix the unit and make sure it was up to original specs - not too shabby even at that age - for $40, dirt cheap IMO, or they would allow me $125 on it towards the latest brand new V1. I elected to get the new one. My old V1 went in the mail to Ohio on Wednesday last week and today my new V1 arrived.
What other company would fix their product at even four years of age, let alone 14 years, and for such a cheap price? What 'detector' at 14 years of age is still worth 1/3 of its original cost, or for that matter, worth even a dollar? Which brand new 'detector' would I have traded my 14-year-old V1 for, even up? Answers: none, none, and none. Even in need of a $40 repair I would not have traded my 14 year old V1 for a new 8500, not even with the $40 blue display. (Wow!)
So tonight I went for a drive just to check out the new V1. (My town is not known for lots of radar traps but I wanted my V1 for other types of driving.) I was barely out of my driveway and I was picking up K-band warnings. A few blocks down the road, a city squad car with radar met me from the right at a 4-way stop. He turned and went ahead of me and I followed behind him for a ways; eventually he turned left and I watched my V1's arrows as the signal went from in front of me to the side and behind, before fading. Several blocks down I made a right hand turn and very shortly my V1 started picking up K band again - this time from behind, fairly strong and rapidly climbing. It was the same cop who had been in front of me; he had shifted over a couple of streets to my left and then turned right onto the same street that I did, only now he was behind me AND I KNEW IT. My V1 told me the whole story of what that LEO had done and how he had gotten from in front of me, and now was behind me With a detector, instead of knowing that cop was coming up behind me, I could have just as easily thought the police were shooting radar several blocks ahead of me. Instead, I knew exactly what was going on.
The V1 isn't just about 'detecting radar' before you drive into a speed trap. It's about knowing where the signals are coming from, what the LEO's are doing, whether you've passed a threat or if there is yet another you haven't gotten to yet. My first V1 sold me on its uncanny abilities to not just go 'beep' with precision, but to tell me the whole story of what was going on.
Mike Valentine was the co-inventor of the original Escort (I had one of those, too) and IMO the V1 is the direct descendent of that unit. Magnesium case, unique audio warnings based on the type of radar, class-leading performance, upgradeability (I had my first Escort upgraded once), repairability, high-quality warning infomation, automatic display dimming via photocell. All the 'features' of detectors - talking alerts, traffic safety warnings, voice recorder, etc. etc. , do nothing to improve the function of those units. No matter what else they do, they still just go 'beep'. Beep tells you nothing. V1 tells you what is going on.
Want to know why so many of us V1 owners are fanatics?