Originally Posted by knfevg
What about other first and second tier detectors? Do they provide upgrades? Software onyl upgrades?
To the best of my knowledge, Escort and Bel have only offered updates to their top-flight detectors (9500i/ix/ci, and STi-Driver, GX65) These are via Internet downloads of new reflash firmware coding. Valentine Research, of course, offers updates to their V1, but it's a physical upgrade, requiring the detector to return to the manufacturer, which is also the case with the Escort 8500 X50.
I know that Whistler offers updates to their customers, but I am not sure that this is true public knowledge - only that I've seen it happen with fellow enthusiasts (such as StealthCB
on RR.net), through Mike B.
, direct. Hopefully, Mike B.
can chime in on this - I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know much about it, in that I haven't been a Whistler user.
What the the pro/cons of M45 vs LI?
This is *very* hard to dissect.
First and foremost, it can be said that Blinder is a well-established name in the industry. It's considered by many to be one of the true "giants" of the industry, with a history that matches that of the Escort brand, in terms of LIDAR countermeasures. Laser Interceptor, by comparison, is an upstart, with a history that dates back to 2007 for the US market (its presence in the European market is considerably longer, though). Yet, the latter's name has, in just these three years, became the clarion call that charged enthusiasts.
In terms of customer-service, Blinder has been consistently among the best of the business, with only occasional hickups. LI did get off to a very rocky start here in the US, but after their new North-American (now also serving Great Britain, IIRC) representative took over here, they've literally re-set the standard for customer-care, and is now a bar that everyone aims for. In being honest, I truly think that you could go either way, and not have any foreseeable problems.
In so far as product durability, the current revision (J16) of the Blinder trails the current revision of the LI in terms of absolute time-on-road, but given the past history of the Blinder marque, as well as the current reliability figures (with few complaints on RD.net), it seems like this is again going to be an area where either product will do just as well as the other. The same can be said, albeit in-reverse, of the LI, which while having a rough start, instead built solidly upon such early problems. A full analysis of this factor again reveals deadlock.
Performance-wise, it's again a near deadlock - with an M45 being comparable in price to a dual-head LI setup, the use of the M45 to cover the same vehicle as the dual-head LI would virtually guaranty similar results. Currently, about the only thing that can be said is that LED setups have proven themselves durable and reliable for longer than laser-diode based jammers, but at the same time, this consideration should be framed with the caution that laser-diode based jammers also have not been on the market as long as the LED-based jammers, and as-such, the two will never quite reach parity in this matter (i.e. can you say, with any certainty, if two siblings, four years apart, will share the same traits as they age? - that's the same problem here).
At this particular point in time, I think that either is as worthy of consideration as the other, and that anyone trying to push one or the other item upon anyone has either other vested interest or, alternatively, is imposing their personal preference to the issue.
Truly, it's akin to deciding between the Valentine detector as opposed to the Escort - it's more the individual end-user's own preferences and concerns that will make the most difference.
Should I get the 4 heads version (M45 or the quad LI)?
With the Mazda6, either the current generation model or the immediate previous, the Blinder M45 J16 revision and dual LI will offer virtually the same "true-JTG-capable" performance for the frontal aspect of the vehicle. Although not "necessary," per-se (based on the defensive layer that either a dual LI or M45 J16 Blinder setup would confer to the front of the vehicle), if-possible (import issues? VEIL Guy
can you comment, here?), the use of VEIL G4 on the widely spaced (and projector-type) lighting units of this vehicle can add further synergy to the setup, and should give you even better results.
The only reason for you to want to step to a quad (four-head) LI setup would be if you also wished to protect the rear of your vehicle - however, this will come at a significant increase in your costs.