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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | W9WBL Paddle Help

Reviews Summary for W9WBL Paddle
W9WBL Paddle Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $139.95
Description: Vertical design, twin lever, two spring iambic paddle
Product is in production.
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K6JPA Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2011 22:30 Send this review to a friend
Pieces of Art  Time owned: more than 12 months
From the moment I first saw this WBL paddle design, I knew I had to have at least one. It took some time, but I was fortunate to locate a V22, a V2L, and the single lever VSL X3 variant of his work. All three are spectacular paddles, and offer crisp, positive response. All are extremely stable to use.

In practice, I only use the double paddle sets, and prefer the feel of the V22 over the V2L. Both are fantastic; however, and offer numerous adjustments to create the perfect positioning of the polished cocobolo wood finger pieces.

For those preferring a single paddle design, the VSL X3 is multi-positional, and has a clear Lexan face which is also quite unique. It can be operated horizontally for those more comfortable with bug fingering, or can be flipped on it's top for those that prefer high fingering while sending. A very clever design.

The WBL series of paddles are beautiful in my opinion, and each represents a unique interpretation of vertical paddle design.
AA1LN Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2005 13:28 Send this review to a friend
Still going strong  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned V22L serial #41 since December of 1997. It has a very precise feel to it. There is lots of feedback through the wood finger pieces that allow me to really send my best. I am sorry these paddles are no longer made because I am sure many hams would appreciate the design and feel. This paddle also has a remarkably precise set of adjustments which are independant for each "arm" of the paddle. Well done and still going strong after 8 years of use.
W9AC Rating: 4/5 Feb 11, 2005 09:50 Send this review to a friend
Good Design  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I owned the V22 for approximately one year and enjoyed using it. The overall design is exceptional but I did note one problem with my unit: at high speeds, I detected latency in the lever arms that precluded accurate sending above 30WPM. No amount of adjusting would reduce the return time. It was as if the pivot was being dampened with heavy grease. Even after disassembly and light lubrication with Daven oil, the latency remained. Otherwise, the key is very stable and a joy to use during long QSOs.

N2DE Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2003 11:16 Send this review to a friend
Black Magic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently was able to buy a V22 in untouched new condition, something that is almost impossible today and left deep scars in my wallet. (just multiply the MSRP shown here by four to five - thatís what they go for these days if you can find one) Since I actually use all of my keys, it was interesting to find out how it stacks up against other top notch paddles that I own(ed) or had the pleasure of using for long enough. In a nutshell: in my book it is among that handful (actually fewer than five) paddles that I consider world-class and it is a strong contender for the best paddle I have ever touched.

Some of the factors for this extraordinary performance are obvious if you know what makes a great paddle. Stan has miniaturized the mechanism to achieve very low moving masses, and he uses gold contacts and hair-thin wiring for predictable electrical properties - no reliance here on closing the contact through the shafts and bearings. And the vertical arrangement allows an almost ideal leverage ration of 1:1 (the distance from your fingers to the pivot compared to the distance from the contacts to the pivot) - since the finger pieces are mounted at an angle to the lever their length does not change that side of the lever. The micro-threaded adjustments allow you to set the paddles for a spacing so tight that you canít feel it anymore, and part of the inexplicable magic is that it holds these settings through temperature variations and over time without any perceptible change. This paddle becomes part of your finger tips without any impression of mechanical movement, and you can adjust the finger pieces to the exact height that makes it feel most natural for you.

So how could I possibly see any other paddle competing for top honors with this one? The strongest contender for me, and a very different kind of paddle, is the new Begali Signature. (the Begaliís are, of course, readily available and cost a lot less - but letís put that aside) The many small components, held together by screws, make the WBL a fragile paddle by comparison - you certainly wouldnít want to put it in your suitcase for traveling. The components are made of unprotected brass, and over time, try as hard as I may, they will probably show oxidation spots. And the return force is provided by springs which will eventually settle and are inherently not as precise as the magnetic returns of the Begali. If you could somehow merge these two paddles into one, producing a vertical design with fewer gold plated components and magnetic returns... I think I have to talk to Piero.

N0YGM Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2003 20:59 Send this review to a friend
WBL V22 Paddles  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned WBL V22 SN54 paddles since February 1998. These are absolutely wounderful paddles! The detail precision of their manufacture along with highly specialized adjustment capabilities, make them in their own "high-tech-class". My hands are severely crippled from neurological disease. I can still operate these paddles with ease. Stan Hails, W9WBL did something spectacular in these paddles! Thanks Stan! Ken Knight, N0YGM
K3IVB Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2002 10:54 Send this review to a friend
The Pinnacle for Feel  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was lucky to find the V22 after selling the first one I owned. This paddle is a good as any paddle made for close adjustment. You can adjust it down to nothing, and I mean down to tenths of a thousand an inch for that very light touch that some of us like. The unique design makes it hard to believe it can perform so well when you first see these paddles. But like all the other reviews state, these are paddles that are hard if not impossible to beat for adjustment. I own other paddles as well and am also a machinist by trade, so my comments don't come easy. I own the Kent dual paddle, Jones Key, Schurr Profi, and had several that I sold because I felt they were not worthy. I personally think going by the "feel", NOT construction of the paddles, the WBL V22 is top followed by the Jones Key, Kent and the Profi. Now if you want to talk construction, that's for another review.
AA8YO Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2002 11:33 Send this review to a friend
In a Class by Themselves  Time owned: more than 12 months
These are truly in a class by themselves. Nothing else I have comes remotely close to these awesome paddles. The 16 month wait was worth it, and I am obviously very fortunate to have a set. Sure wish I would have ordered 2 of them like I wanted to - If only I had known Stan was going to quit making them .....
WT8Y Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2001 15:14 Send this review to a friend
I only need one like it.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Best paddle I have used, I hope he still makes them. Looks crazy as well, no coder's can't figure it out, OH well I tell them it's a cult symbol.
IK4EWX Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2001 16:17 Send this review to a friend
The best key available!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own a W9WBL V22 paddle sn.116, produced in June 1999. I had used also Mercury paddle by N2DAN (wondeful object), the Bencher BY-2, Vibroplex Iambic, Schurr paddles, Vibroplex Brass racer.
I think the WBL probably is the better paddle, even better than the Mercury. The particular design, lot of adjustment possible (spaces, tensions, paddles width etc) make it the best for low and high speeds, with a wonderful touch.
Nice to use, nice to see and has a low price (lower than 200$, but W9WBL could sure sell them for lot more). I have waited it for about 7 month but I am happy to have waited them.
Thanks W9WBL!
N6EV Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2001 20:08 Send this review to a friend
One of the best keys available!  Time owned: more than 12 months
You will not find another key with as much adjustability as the WBL V22. Every facet of the key is adjustable. Paddle height, spacing, angle are fully adjustable. You can even adjust the key while in operation (on-the-fly).
Its unique design (vertical) is a work of art to ponder every time you use it. Another nice touch is the interface to the keyer is provided by twin gold plated RCA jacks in the rear.
I'm on of the lucky ones to actually own two of these, S/N 009 and S/N 074.
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