Thursday, July 30, 2009

Escort Redline versus Valentine One Reviews: End to a Long Debate?

veilguy's escort redline vs. valentine one debate

Escort Redline vs Valentine One Review: Both Stellar Performers

 Updated: 07-08-13:

Escort Redline versus Valentine One Review

Updated Escort Redline Gets Advanced Feature Set visit Escort Redline Review.

Escort Redline Raw Sensitivity versus Potentially "Higher" False Rates

I think it is going to be very interesting to see how the new Escort Redline ($499) is going to look to some [other] reviewers when historically the Valentine One ($399)—which also has possessed high sensitivity levels (and coupled with very quick response times) but [came with] higher "false" alerts as a consequence—has been historically hammered [by] some reviewers for its uber-sensitive behavior(s).

If, as I expect, the new Escort Redline will perform in the same vein ("vain") as the venerable Valentine One (but with potentially even higher sheer [radar detection] performance), it will mean that the Escort Redline will most certainly be a very significant and exciting product (a departure, really) from Escort, however, I believe the Passport Redline has the potential to create a sort of a conundrum for some of these [same] reviewers who have historically been critical of the Valentine One for the same type of performance (although to its credit, Escort has been very clear about its intended behavior and purpose).

I believe this is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out online, will there be moral clarity/consistency, or not?

If the Escort Passport Redline, is praised for its high raw performance even while it comes with a higher level of potential "falsing" then what does it mean for all the historical reviews of the Valentine One which have historically criticized the V1 for possessing the same type (or similar) behavior to radar sources (from bonafide police radar and not)?

I, for one, have always appreciated what the Valentine One is/has been and its design approach philosophically and I welcome Escort's decision to offer a windshield-mount radar detector possessing potentially the same philosophical design elements while remaining (myself) entirely consistent on this matter.

Here's are just two examples of the inconsistencies that have existed with some other reviews.

For a long-time, the Valentine One was the most expensive windshield-mount radar detector (although its price point has stayed unchanged at $399). Reviewers have always hammered the V1 on its high price...that was until Escort and Beltronics started introducing products that were priced even higher. Do you recall reading any reviews about those products being excessively priced? I don't recall seeing them.

Remember the review calling the V1 the "chicken-little" of radar detectors and the subsequent references to that review from Automobile Magazine? Are you catching my drift? How about the notions of the V1 as being a "noisy" and "old" radar detector compared to the "latest" [quiet] model like the Passport 9500ix.

Having journalistic integrity is more important to me than winning any popularity contest from my readers or from the manufacturers (whose products) I review, no matter what price I may have paid for having that conviction.

If, indeed, the Escort Passport Redline may finally put to rest this long-raging (longest and most passionate?) debate in our very small industry (although laser detection performance will very likely remain a decided win in Valentine's favor) with both the manufacturers and their [very] passionate group of consumers, it will still not detract from my appreciation and respect for what I believe has been one of the most purely designed pieces of consumer electronics for nearly two decades, the V1.

Cool Runnings, Peace be da Journey...

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Zorina said...

What city are you using this detector if you don't mind me asking?

I am from ohio and I think its illegal in my state.

tz said...

I think it should be "in the same vein", as in phelobotomy, not vain as in pride.

The third homonym is vane (a blade), as in weather-vane which indicates direction. Unless something gives an order of magnitude better performance than the V1, it would need to have both the bogey counter and arrows before it will get my attention.

Fine, the new product is sensitive. Is the far away cop coming up from behind or is he somewhere ahead? Is there one behind that construction zone message sign or that "your speed is" unit which is pegging the level indicator? Hey, maybe with GPS it would ignore the sign - but would it ignore the cop just past the sign too?

Veil Guy said...

Thanks for the edit, check.

Actually "vain" applies equally, given the collective egos that have long existed in this industry.


Veil Guy said...


Although the V1 has the arrows, the Escort has possessed, I would argue, an even more informative pseudo-bogey counter, in the form of multiple band and individual signal strengths per-band(s) display.

Speedtrap Hunter OH said...

will have an eye out for sure to see how the "experts" handle the review

Veil Guy said...
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Veil Guy said...
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Veil Guy said...

Quiet Storm,

Radar detectors are currently forbidden in:

Commonwealth of Virginia
District of Columbia
Military Bases
Commercial Vehicles (Nationally)

It is perfect legal to own and operate a detector in Ohio.


Veil Guy said...


Another Validation of the Valentine One as a Driver's Detector

Anonymous said...

Be interesting to see how the trifecta now plays out:

9500ix, V1, Redline. Can't wait to see the review. When was it supposed to be released?

(of course this happens literally the day I receive my 9500ix in the mail (and 2 days after ordering it))

How come they didn't add GPS to it?

The Escort Beltronics product mix is starting to be very convaluted.

Max said...

The Escort Beltronics lineup is starting to be very convaluted.
Suggestion: Make a chart that ranks the respective product according to either price point, or performance, or some other metric you deem useful.

I wish they would approach an Apple strategy of having less products (3-5 seems like a good number + the remote mounts) but more engineering in each of them.

Veil Guy said...

I don't necessarily believe the three products can be compared (as equals).

As Escort is going to great lengths to indicate a direct comparison of the Redline to their 9500ix isn't necessarily a good one.

Any more than a Ferrari Scuderia should be directly compared to say the conventional 430 or a 911 Turbo compared to a GT3.

They're different products for different people/driving circumstances. It's that simple really.

A better comparison, in my opinion, would be between the STi-R, Redline, and perhaps a V1 since each [can] place a strong emphasis on less filtering [and higher performance].

The other thing I believe that is important to keep in mind (as I already recently found with a recent Whistler review) having the highest performance in terms of sheer sensitivity doesn't always bear out in the real-world. Sometimes, yes. But sometimes, no. Much of this has to do with the terrain and things like this.

While 13 miles may seem impressive (although Fors used to claim that 9 miles was the practical limit for such tests due to curvature of the earth) you are not likely going to experience such extreme ranges in any routine driving encounter.

Instead of focusing on performance differences, I would tend to, instead, simply celebrate the accomplishment that the engineers at both Beltronics and Escort have achieved (as well as Valentine).

All of these radar detectors are going to be extremely compelling each in their own way.

These are, indeed, exciting times for the industry.


Veil Guy said...
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Veil Guy said...


If you think Escort has released a lot of products, have you seen how many new models Cobra has released just in this model year? YIKES!!!


Max said...


Cobra targets a different market though.

They're mostly mass market "toys" that are sold at Walmart for the most part. Cobra chose to saturate the low end market with RD, which start at $40-$50. <-- At the same time they give the radar detector industry a bad reputation for their devices not working.

Maybe that's a good thing though. If cops would believe these things work, RD's would be illegal more places. As long as cops remain convinced "I clocked you, even though you had a radar detector", we can continue with our enthusiast hobby.

Anthony said...

I can see a V1 - Redline deathmatch in the near future.

We needed that so badly. Now that there is DIRECT competition, maybe there will be more innovation. I've always felt that Valentine was resting on their laurels.

V1 resorted to bashing the competition (Bel-Escort) for differentiating their products. (saying they did that, because they couldn't compete directly with "awesome range" of the V1.)

Now with the Apples-to-Apples comparison we'll finally see who's king of raw range.
If Valentine loses, I hope it's "back to the drawing board" for Valentine. This should bring exiting new products in the future.

Hopefully even on Laser warning the Redline will give Valentine fair competition. (a moot feature IMHO, but necessary for marketing)

While I'm not happy the Redline does not have GPS, I think it's a good thing because of the above. This way the two products compete on fair "level" ground so to speak.

(secretly I hope someone will use a 9500i as a reference "judge", - to isolate how many times both Redline & Valentine false at longer ranges.)

Veil Guy said...

Yes, right you are...we both realize radar detectors don't prevent speeding tickets not even in the slightest...

Anonymous said...

The thing is, even assuming the Redline is similar in performance (with no big performance advantage over the V1) the Redline ends up about $100 MORE than the V1. Who would go with the Redline in that case?

If they were both $399 or very similar pricing, that would make the comparison much more compelling.

Having a 20-30% price INCREASE and only achieve SIMILAR performance doesn't seem to make much sense. If it had that GPS function or something to it's advantage to justify that extra $100 then maybe I could understand, but as is, if the Redline proves to have similar performance, the V1 still wins.

Anonymous said...

I want V1 with GPS already, I hope this forces V1 to put GPS in their radars of the future even if it's a premium!!!! Then bwahhaha a hardware upgraded + longer range + GPS = the greatest ever!!!! (oh yea, plus da arrows bwahhaahaha)

Anonymous said...

I purchase a Redline a few months ago to replace my ageing 7500. I had not used it too much until about 3 weeks ago when my business partner & and I made a trip from Pennsylvania to South Florida for a conference. My partner took his Motorhome with his Valentine as he planned to stay on after the conference for a few week of sport fishing. I drove my BMW M Roadster with the new Redline. For the most part I followed him and allowed him to set the pace. With few exceptions we drove the speed limit or even below. We encountered radar a total of 5 times. 3 out of 5 times I picked up the alert before he did and I was behind him in a very low car. Now I was not close behind but perhaps 50 yards back or so. Nevertheless I was impressed with the performance of the Redline.

Finster said...

I've been a V1 owner for years & am familiar with Escort products.. Escort/passport & Radar Roy can keep there plastic toys. I will stick with my reliable V1 ...

Veil Guy said...


I suppose you haven't experienced the Redline or Magnum. They're not plastic toys in the least and they outperform the V1 by a good margin.

I love the V1 too. But it is a fact the it has been bested for the folks at Escort. Doesn't detract from the V1. Drive with it an be happy...