Max 3 First Drives Review

DC Fluid

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Hi RDFers,
I've been trying out a new Max 3 the last two days, and comparing it with others in my collection.
Of special interest to me is a comparison with the other Cedar Electronics products in a comparable price range, and determining the best bang for the buck.
As I have several threads already giving large amount of details and videos with these detectors I will simply give a quick high end low points, and some links.
I will try to concentrate on the Max 3 relevant info as this is the Escort forum.

Lows:
More falses to BSMs than the DualPro 360, even with K Notch on.
More door opener falses than DualPro, but getting them locked out.
Door openers have been causing Ka falses, where no other detector does this fault. Even locked out the Ka of course punches through, and it will even alert in segments not even turned on, like segs 7 & 9.
Same old boring K and Ka alert tones. Please add the option to choose from them or Beltronics/ DualPro tones.
Frequency display is not as accurate as all the other fully digital detectors I have, and fluctuate more in successive passes.
Reactivity (reaction time) to instant on is the worst of any detector I own. Worse than the old 9500ix, Pro M, Max II, Dualpro 360, and the Unidens. It's a noticable difference and a deal breaker in my land if instant on.
Sometimes the Max 3 seems to be sleeping when doing K Band trigger pulls when driving for a while without any alerts. Totally does not register the gun. Release trigger and repeat 5 to ten seconds later then it alerts as normal. This was out on open highway away from any source of alerts, lockouts or interference. The only time I've ever seen this behavior was with the Max II, it will be eratic at times.
The display is the same old hardware as in the Max II and DualPro and most every Escort of late. I don't know if the Redline 360c got an upgrade....
The travel case is large, however it's difficult to fit the detector, cord, and mount into it without a bulging case or accidentally scratching the detector with the ill fitting accessories.

Highs:
Well put together unit, best mount attachment for those of us who take it down everytime.
I haven't tested detection range vs. all the others yet, however it's reported to be very very good. We shall see.
It's pretty standard Escort fare as far as appearance, display and quality. Which is good.
It falses less to BSM than the Max II, which needs K Notch badly. Also while I'm getting 24.16x BSM alerts, it's less than the Max II.
The Max II doesn't have newer firmware equivalent of the Max 360 or DualPro as far as BSMs and it shows noticably.
The Max 3 seems to split the difference between old and new Maxes.

All in all, if the extra falsing and poor reactivity isn't fixed soon via firmware update, this detector will be going up for sale, as Escort eBay site doesn't take returns, at least for this Canadian.

 

DC Fluid

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Isn't the Mac 3 the only analog detector in the Max lineup? Or am I thinking about the often forgotten IXC?
Any Escort model currently being sold with the M4 platform is analog.
Max 3 M4++, iXc M4+, 9500ix M4.
Post automatically merged:

I don't understand how Escort goes backwards after releasing a great RL360C. At least the Cobra division is starting to make progress after being everyone's punchline.
Thanks for the write up.
Some behaviors have been a step back from the DualPro 360 / Max 360 platforms, but it is supposed to be a mid-level detector, not premium.
And range has yet to be part of the evaluation, maybe it will trade blows with the R3.
Even if it did have R3 range, it falls short with the other things mentioned above.
 
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L4D44

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Thanks for the detailed review @DC Fluid. I had similar experiences when I owned (and eventually returned) the Max 3 a couple of months ago. I really, really tried to like it but I kept getting constant BSM punch-through and multiple Ka falsing, including several every time I started my vehicle (only detector that I have owned or used that’s done this).

What a waste because the potential was definitely there but once again it looks like Escort took some short-cuts with the Max 3 despite charging premium dollar.
 

ILS27L

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Thank you for your write up on the Max3.
My wife will stick with the Max 360C.
 

Vortex

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That's great feedback and testing, thank you! It makes me less interested in the Max 3 too.
 

DC Fluid

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Hey now, don't be so hasty.
I'll have one for sale at discount price very soon!
:w00t:

But again, early days into my ownership and testing. More info to come.
 

Borntoride2020

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I wanted to love my Max 3. Like you, loved the build quality and mount. But after constant Ka falses. It drove me nuts.

I turned off K because I’m in California. But even though K was off it would make the K falses into Ka band falses. (Just like my 8500 X50 does). Totally bizarre and would not go away. Finally had to turn one K segment on that no one uses just to get it to calm down.

otherwise range was very good. And I sat in a parking lot once and watched an officer shooting Ka shots. (Could see him bring the gun up to the door and shoot it each time)
Surprisingly, the Max 3 was very good. And alerted to every shot. 😀👍🏻 And yes. I returned it anyways. Lol. Oh ya. And every time I pulled into my garage it falsed. Only detector that has done that ever. Drove me crazy.
 

DC Fluid

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I wanted to love my Max 3. Like you, loved the build quality and mount. But after constant Ka falses. It drove me nuts.

I turned off K because I’m in California. But even though K was off it would make the K falses into Ka band falses. (Just like my 8500 X50 does). Totally bizarre and would not go away. Finally had to turn one K segment on that no one uses just to get it to calm down.

otherwise range was very good. And I sat in a parking lot once and watched an officer shooting Ka shots. (Could see him bring the gun up to the door and shoot it each time)
Surprisingly, the Max 3 was very good. And alerted to every shot. 😀👍🏻 And yes. I returned it anyways. Lol. Oh ya. And every time I pulled into my garage it falsed. Only detector that has done that ever. Drove me crazy.
That's great feedback, thank you!
 

DC Fluid

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I had thought about getting my father a Max 3....but Ill skip.
Haha, I had the same ideas about leveling up the family.
Some shortcomings need to be addressed.
 

DU5T3R

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And just think, you got in trouble with your wife because of this radar detector!
 

DC Fluid

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And just think, you got in trouble with your wife because of this radar detector!
I know right?
At least I can tell her I'm selling it because it doesn't pass the exam.
But she'll have eyes open for the replacement now.
 

DC Fluid

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Update on Max 3 impressions.
Consider this a detector ranked in sensitivity as somewhere between the top level of Extreme Range like R Series, RL360c, V1G2, and the best of the rest like the Max 360 series, DFR etc.
However the Ka falsing continues, 3 Ka falses on one 20 minute drive last night, once at the same mall with K door openers that are locked out, but the Ka "reflection" keeps popping through.
A new couple farther along at the next mall, I used the app for the return trip, and I had to go around underpass onto highway. The app and detector kept alerting me to active Ka ahead, from it's own falsing.
At least with the app off it's only a Ka false and not cloud alerting to all the errors.
Ka falses are the most numerous "false" signal types I'm getting so far, and this one issue is the real deal breaker. I'm going to try segmentation 2,5,8 now, instead of 2,4,5,6,8. It will leave me unprotected on out of town trips but should be enough here. Most falses are 34.4xx range, but some in segment 2 33.8, with suspicious of some seg 8 35.5 as well.

Some K band lockouts have dropped and are alerting, probably to be autolocked again on next pass.
Auto mode still not good on range after latest update, has the worst Auto/City sensitivity of my 6 detectors. Run on Highway mode and let lockouts do it's thing unless your is a K Band cesspool.

BSMs haven't been horrible, more than the Cobra DualPro 360 and R3 @40%, less than a R7 @40%.

I'm going to do some lockouts videos for another thread later.
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I had an instant on 34.7 last night and only got a brief 1 to 3 bar alert. Seen the Tahoe pass me by on other side. Not sure if it was an attempt to nail me or LEO fumbling around, or the detector having poor I/O response time.
 
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searay

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I'm experiencing the same. I purchased the Max 3 as a backup when I had to send my Redline 360c in for repair (was expecting a long turnaround time due to Covid). I like the sensitivity and range but like you, I'm getting Ka falses as well. I do think this is a nice detector and I like it's size and build quality, just hope Escort sends a firmware update sooner than later to dial it in.

I'm not segmented as some of the LEO's around here have out of tune guns and the frequencies drift. I'd rather have an alert and look at the frequency to determine false or not than to get popped because I had it seg'd and didn't even receive an alert.
 

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