on May 29, 2014
I did a lot of research on radar detectors before I purchased the STI Magnum. After watching hours of Youtube videos comparing various radar detectors and conducting research online I realized all the top of the line detectors alert within seconds of each other. So what that means is it boils down to is your budget and what you are going to use the detector for. If you are looking for the best detection/longest range with no bells and whistles the Bell STI Magnum and Escort Redline are the best. Both are undetectable by Police and have the best alert times/distance. Beware there is a difference between the STI Driver and STI Magnum and that difference is the Driver is an older model and does not have the same detection range as the Magnum. The STI Magnum comes with a power cord that has a mute button and is convenient when you want to quickly silence an alert. The only negative is it comes with a cheap windshield mount and you will want to purchase the Stickycup from Escort (it will fit the STI Magnum). I use my STI Magnum for long trips and it has done a great job of detecting radar and laser. However, if you do more city driving you might want to consider the Passport 9500ix or Passport Max. Both of these have software that learns where false alarms are through GPS. If you drive by an area a few times and the detector senses the same band of radar it will stop false alarming in that area. What this means is fewer false alarms while driving in the city. These two radars also let you know where speed cameras are through a service called Defender, but realize this is a service you pay for on an annual basis if you want continued updates via the internet. Both of these detectors give up some sensitivity when the other bells and whistles are on. All of these radar detectors are $400 plus in costs, but they are the best. If you go with a lower cost radar essentially the only difference is the range of detections decreases slightly with each drop in price range.
on December 24, 2011
I have been very pleased with this radar detector. I was worried after I bought it because of some of the reviews I had seen online but in my experience this detector works as advertised by Bel and it was much cheaper than it's sister the Escort Redline. I have the previous STI and this detector has given me quicker alerts esp on Ka and K band than the older model. I don't know if the Redline is better but this detector has been great for me. I use it in a ZO6 Corvette and a Jaguar super v8 and haven't been pulled over yet.
on April 3, 2016
So the Magnum is an awesome long range highway detector. It's one of the very best performing detectors on the market and is very popular among enthusiasts. The additional range that a high end detector offers can be the difference between a ticket or not. The Magnum is one of the very best on the market at this.
Now if you've done your research, you've no doubt heard about the Escort Redline which is the benchmark that all other radar detectors are compared to when it comes to long distance range. http://amzn.to/1IsAzLs That detector is a beast and it's the king of long range. The Magnum is basically the same thing with a different name, case, sounds, and a few other things like it can be run in upside down mode which is a fun party trick but otherwise isn't too useful. There's two reasons why the Redline has generally been preferred over the Magnum.
1) The Redline has a slightly better low noise amplifier which means that it may have a slight edge in performance over the Magnum.
2) Escort gave the Redline a very important firmware update (BS/RDR) before they gave it to the Magnum so the Redline was the detector that everyone ran.
Now that Escort (Beltronics and Escort are the same company) has given BS/RDR to the Magnum, it now has the same software update the Redline has to unlock its full potential. For more information on how to program and set up your Magnum, see my photo posted with the Magnum settings. I also have a youtube video on it, but Amazon doesn't let me link to it. (Vg8JgL4KWys) ;)
Anyways, talking about the Magnum, this is your detector designed for long range detection for highway drivers. That's its specialty.
It can work in the city, sure, but it's not ideal for that out of the box. The reason I say that is primarily because it lacks a GPS chip which can allow the detector to learn where false alerts are located in town from shopping centers, speed signs, and drugstores and whatnot, and mute them for you in the future. It also lacks low speed muting and the ability to alert you to redlight cameras and speed cameras around town. If you want that functionality, there's a couple options:
You can pair your Magnum with your cell phone (Android or iPhone) and run Escort Live. You will need an Escort Live cable which is basically a power cable with a bluetooth chip inside so you can pair it with your phone. Once you do that, you can pair it with your phone and use your phone's GPS instead. Running the Escort Live app, you can manually tell it when you pass a stationary false alert like a grocery store and it will learn that false and mute it for you in the future. Very handy. There's two versions of the Live cable. You've got the version that plugs into your cig. lighter http://amzn.to/1NCMfRN and another that you hardwire into your fuse box for a much cleaner and more permanent install. http://amzn.to/1UCk21F I prefer the hardwire version but it's up to you. Either way, that will help you get the additional functionality you need to make the Magnum usable in the city.
One great thing about the Magnum is that it's fully immune from all radar detector detectors. The only other windshield mount detector that can do this is the Redline. (There's two different RDD's, the VG-2 and the Spectre. Some detectors will advertise that they're immune to the VG-2 which is great, but many police have switched over to the newer and more effective Spectre so being immune to just the VG-2 isn't all that helpful.) Radar detectors are legal in the entire country with the exception of VA and Washington D.C. They are also illegal on military bases, in commercial vehicles over 10,000 lbs, and all vehicles over 18,000 lbs. As for Canada, RD's are illegal in most provinces with the exception of just BC, AB, and SK. If you need a detector that's truly undetectable by RDD's, the Magnum is one of your few options.
Other than the lack of a GPS chip, the only other thing I feel the Magnum is lacking is a really good blind spot filter. It's okay at filtering out cars that have blind spot monitoring systems and collision avoidance systems, but it's not great. Escort's newer detectors like the Max2 http://amzn.to/1Se2vZe and Max360 http://amzn.to/20hG3Uv have a more advanced signal processing capability and can recognize and filter out those false alerts that the Magnum can't, and given the differences in hardware platforms, Escort isn't bringing this same functionality over to the Magnum. So you will get some additional blind spot falses that you won't with other detectors.
It's for this reason that people generally prefer this detector as your long range detector where performance is the most important feature. If you're in the mountains and trees where radar detection range drops considerably, every ounce of detection range makes a difference. If you're out in the open desert where picking up a shot of instant on (the officer transmits to clock cars ahead of you and then stops transmitting to try and prevent you from getting any advanced warning) on a car several miles up ahead of you is the only advanced warning you get, you'll be really grateful that you went for a detector with extreme range.
One of the best things about the Magnum, I think, is that it's basically a Redline (and I prefer the Beltronics sounds, personally) at a much lower price. Seriously. Go check out the price on the Redline. http://amzn.to/1IsAzLs Escort has actually raised the price on the Redline to make more $$, but they haven't done the same thing with the Magnum. At this point the Magnum is the value play and is the better deal. Go get one and enjoy. ;)
on January 13, 2013
I had a V1 before I got tagged by Spector and given a ticket. I have been flying under the radar since with the STi Magnum
on March 15, 2013
I purchased this item several months ago. I have no complaints. It replaced a Rocky Mountain Radar detector I used previously. This is much better. It's more sensitive but not too sensitive. In other words, it works great! I really like the fact that the alert automatically quiets down to a lower volume level after it been beeping for several seconds.
The only thing I would change about it would be the mounting piece. I wish it was a little more adjustable. The reason why, is I have it mounted on the upper left hand corner of my front windshield. And because of the curvature of the windshield, it's not pointing straight ahead. Don't get me wrong, it is acceptable, but it would make it a little more stealthy. Also, I would put a power button on the cigarette lighter plug along with the volume button.
I would definitly recommend this product.
on June 15, 2013
Great product, Needed to add another detector. I was impressed with my RX65. Holy Cr#$ the STI Magnum fits the Gap. Great range and that's needed in Texas. If you can afford this detector buy it without reservations. I know I will get many years of ticket free driving out of this detector
on February 15, 2015
I've had a Beltronics GX65 for four years and just upgraded to the STI Magnum. False alarms are my main concern because of the "cry wolf" problem. If you get false alarms you tend not to believe the warnings as strongly. I was surprised and disappointed that the STI does not have GPS like the GX65 does. I just assumed that the top of the line unit had all the functionality of devices lower on the product line. My fault for not doing my homework thoroughly enough. GPS lets you flag a known false alarm and then the unit filters it out in the future. It also warns you about speed and red light cameras.
But, it turns out that the STI has the ability to filter out commercial signals and traffic flow monitoring systems. There are three false signal sources on my commute. The STI filtered out two of them automagically. The K band "Your speed is ..." sign did not get filtered, however. Still, that's a 67% improvement. And I don't miss all the red light camera warnings from the GX65. I don't run red lights and I slow down at intersections to avoid the occasional crazy making a left turn into my right of way. And, it seems that speed cameras are disappearing. Arizona did not renew their contract with the camera company, so they are all shut down.
The user interface of the STI is much better than than units with controls mounted on the top of the device, such as the GX65. I can't see top mounted controls when the detector is mounted to the windshield, even though I have it resting on the dashboard. The STI controls are on the front instead of the top and are much easier to reach without hitting the wrong button. The ease of hitting the mute button on the STI makes up for the speed sign false alarm.
BTW, I have seen a number of people say that a laser detector is of no use and that only a jammer can save you from a Ladar. My GX65 was able to give me plenty of warning against Ladars. Of course, my Nissan 370Z has excellent braking power. The distinctive Ladar warning helps my reflexes. I have gotten a number of Ladar detections, and I have not gotten a single ticket from a Ladar. Tucson motor cycle cops have them.
The STI has a raised multi-direction Ladar detector. Cool.
The "POP" mode sounds interesting. Apparently Radar guns are being made that emit a short (milliseconds) initial burst that gives the cop an early speed indication. Most detectors don't catch these signals. Beltornics claims that the STI does. If true, I think it could have saved me a ticket last year. When the GX65 alarm sounded I quickly braked as always. The cop said he clocked me at 89 mph. True. But, when he went back to write the ticket he could only ticket me for 75 mph. They still have to clock you with the regular longer mode to hold up in court. I think it was their POP mode that gave the 89 mph indication. The STI with its POP detector would have warned me sooner, I think
Many reviewers have praised the STI's sensitivity. I haven't had a chance to take it on the open highway, yet. But, I'm sure they are right.
I'm not sure what the fuss about the radar detector detector is about. According to my research only Virginia outlaws radar detectors. I would be happy to be corrected if anyone knows different. Beltronics is very proud of their ability to shied the STI from RDD. It is noticeably heavier than the GX65, which I though was heavy.
Overall this is a great product. It's expensive, but you get what you pay for. Tickets are more expensive. The STI Magnum is worth the investment if you have a heavy foot. And, with a 370Z, how could I not?
on March 4, 2016
Just received my Beltronics Sti Magnum today from Amazon. Arrived on time and works great! Just wanted to let everyone know that's thinking about getting this detector is that this Magnum is the newest version which can do the band segmentation and that it DOES come with a case. Some people have stated that theirs didn't come with a case. I really don't use it but it's good to have just in case. Will update review again after using for a couple of weeks.
on January 31, 2016
I'm not a fast or aggressive driver. In fact, typically I drive for mpg optimization. But it doesn't mean that I don't sometimes drive solo on highways at off hours, and given the growth in camera-based speed traps, non-officer speed traps (looking at you, MD), etc., some situational awareness was desired. After all, the non points tickets likely can't do much, but get a ticket with points, and even if you go to court, the insurance companies can still tell its there. So this is more of a protection from the thieving insurance companies than the authorities. Even if I don't usually go more than a few mph over, and are always going with the flow of traffic, sometimes I still could be a target on empty roads. I don't use it all the time, but have found that it works great in city and highway. Sometimes you can't tell why there is a reading, so I get now why the V1 arrows are valuable... But the lack of self-incriminating radiation to me is a plus, even if I never use it in VA... The sensitivity is great, the false positives are low and self mute. Overall I'm happy.
on October 31, 2014
First and foremost, you get what you pay for. In a fertile attempt to save money, I purchased these detectors..1.) Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT Maximum Performance Radar/Laser/Camera.. 2.) Cobra Vedetta Ultimate Detection Systems Series, SLR 600 Radar/Laser.
I call myself doing some rather good research on both, from Radar Roy on youtube to reading at nausea the many reviews here.
The actual test was a 4 hr ride on California Interstate 5 and US.101, both known for our celebrated CHP friends.
On several occasions it was my "eyes" that saved me from the CHP version of "You're Got Mail!" Neither detector gave early enough warning. When the detectors went off, the representatives of the "Golden State" were already in view.
So I turned both "defangged" Cobras in to Amazon and went with the STI Magnum. Night and day.
Yes..I know some of you may be thinking I'm comparing "Apples and Oranges", and to an extent you may be right.
But some of the claims made by Cobra "put them" in a similar league..at least to me.
Now the STI..Just got it today. Ohh btw, I purchased the visor clip and 12 ft. "Straight" cord. Both excellent options. Now my STI is very stealthy, visually as well as electronically. On my first run, I picked up a local Sheriff in a Crown Victoria with no light bar running "Ka". I've lived in the area for almost a year and never knew the locals were running radar. So when the STI went off, I sorta didn't believe it. To my surprise as I was about to make a left turn..yup. .there he was!
We're going to take another trip to Northern California. I'll update the review upon our return. But for now..The STI was the best money I've spent! !