Welcome to the forum and your point is well taken.
The reason that I didn't mention the audio ramp-up when I initially conducted this review, was because I believed this to be the intentional alerting nature of the Beltronics STi Driver. In otherwords, I believe that the STi Driver has essentially two alert levels, slow for not-so-important threats (weak) and fast, for important-threats (strong, close-by).
The fact that the Beltronics STi Driver
has the ability to alert to a distant (weak) and brief radar threats (sometimes well) before other top-rated models is in my opinion, the most important aspect of this detector's performance, regardless of the ramp-up, which admittedly is not silky smooth like the Escort Passport 8500 X50
, the Valentine One
, or not as smooth even the Beltronics RX-65 Pro
. For me, this wasn't an important consideration, as I'd take the additional advanced warning time I get with this detector.
In the case of the Escort Passport 9500i
, however, this story is a little different. When I had reviewed one of the pre-production models, I was quick (in fact the first) to point out its alert ramping issues (which have still not been completely resolved, as I write this). In this case it was clear that the detector had some issues handling its increased dynamic-range and is sometimes not linear (as it appears to try).
In the case of the Beltronics STi Driver, I accepted their alerting approach (fast/slow) because its performance is so astounding (at the time) and appeared to be a conscious design element.
It's OK that you don't. Radar detector usage and preference is certainly a subjective one. I merely hope that my detailed ("long") review described enough of the character that you understand more of what it is like to live with the detector day in and day out, than would be provided by mere distance charts, alone.