Keep ant on drivers side..Go as long as you dare....Top loaded fibreglass(firestick,skipshooter) will get some really good results but not as durable as a mid load(wilson 2000 type) if your gonna be slammin tree limbs..Shorter you go will make the radio work harder to get a xxx mi distence and even then it less efficient..
Clarity is not defined by the ant,its a combination of many things..Ant choice,its tune,how well its bonded and what and how its attached to on the the truck..Now radio choice and mic choice make a diff then there is the golden screw driver effect..To many options and how far your willing to go to get really good results..Basic radios with a basic ant and ant tune should get 3-5 mi..
It's great that you are concerned about clarity. I use a Ranger sra-198 noise cancelling Mic on the cobra 25 in my avatar. Most radios are set to about 80% modulation from the factory, because most people will buy power mics to make their audio louder. Some power mics don't sound as clear as other mics. The audio from the 198 mic is weaker (because of noise cancelling), so it's important to have a good tech bump the radio up to 100% modulation. Plus I had to replace a resistor in the mic amp section of my radio, to bump the mic gain up a little bit. I think the radio sounds great with the sra-198 michrophone.