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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Alberto Frattini Semi Magnetico Help

Reviews Summary for Alberto Frattini Semi Magnetico
Alberto Frattini Semi Magnetico Reviews: 13 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $650USD
Description: Unique dual-action bug with magnetic returns. Brass with protective coating. Made in very small numbers by hand.
Product is in production.
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9V1VV Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2016 20:01 Send this review to a friend
Superb Workmanship  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got this bug as a retirement gift to myself. It is the largest key I have seen, very heavy and solid.

Alberto Frattini has obviously spent years studying bug ergonomics. My version includes a small magnet in attraction mode which pins the dah lever at the rest position, requiring a tiny effort to snap it into action. This assists in the muscle-memory process and helps to separate the dahs from each other. The main tension uses magnets in repulsion as normal in bugs.

The dit arm has an extra adjustable magnet in attraction mode near to the spring contact which helps set up a perfect 1:1 dit to space ratio, and can also produce a tiny snap action in the same way as the dah lever. Main tension uses repulsion magnets as with the dah lever.

Alberto is obviously in the process of refining and improving his keys over time.

The overall feel of the bug is rather heavy compared to some of the smaller types, but you soon get used to it.

Some practice is required first if you have never used a dual lever bug before. There is a tendency to clip the last of a series of dits by sending the dah too early, i.e. closing the dah lever too soon, so a V becomes a U, for example.

In general this problem seems to be overcome at higher speeds and it is my opinion that this key is better for QRQ above 25 wpm.

It does not produce better CW than other bugs. Any Vibroplex can make as good a sound.

The thing about the Frattini bug is the pleasure in the standard of workmanship you see and feel as you send. It is probably the finest bug available in terms of craftsmanship and artistic design.

PA1Z Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2011 14:43 Send this review to a friend
Superlative Bug !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this bug for about 2 years now, and can say without any reticence that it is simply fantastic. It is a joy to use, and makes wonderful sounding dits without any splash. It also looks like something from outer space as well! I love all my Vibro's still, but Alberto has succeeded in bringing Horace Martin's idea one step further. This is achieved partly with the magnet placed across from the dit contact, ensuring good positive pressure for clean contact, as well as the high accuracy and finish of the whole key.You won't be disappointed!
IK0ZTB Rating: 5/5 Jul 6, 2009 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful key  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The key semi-magnetico of Alberto I1qod is the best Italian craftsmanship can make.
This is a key that takes a time to get the best "feeling", surely a "race key" that is built to the highest speed 40 + WPM.
Extremely stable and very aesthetically beautiful if possible I can vote up to five.

key nr. 348

IK0ZTB Massimo - INORC 463 -
K9TB Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2009 10:00 Send this review to a friend
Work of Art  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was lucky enough to pickup Alberto's professional deluxe model bug on the used market after drooling over ordering a new one for over a year. It's truly a work of art and is the heavest and smoothest key on my bench. Good old UPS managed to break both finger pieces and bend the screw that held the damper in place. I emailed Alberto asking how to order and pay him for the new parts and he sent them all to me via registered mail free of charge. I can't begin to say enough good things about this key.
W9AC Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2008 17:34 Send this review to a friend
Precise, Gorgeous  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Alberto is among the top of world-class telegraph key designers. I have his Professional Deluxe bug and the key is made with a level of precision to the "nth" degree. Here's a link to the Frattini Professional Deluxe model:

The key is stable, responsive, and micro-threaded screws ensure repeatability. This is also the heaviest key in my entire collection. A solid 5.
K4BXN Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2007 09:43 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Beautiful key. A true work of art. Once you get used to the independent “dah” lever it can send CW as good as it looks. Can be sped up or slowed down as needed. Does not come with an adjusting tool. A precision tool that looks great on any desk. 73/K4BXN
W5PEH Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2007 21:53 Send this review to a friend
Some Where in Outer Space between a Paddle and a Bug !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well, you guys are is an awesome bug. I ordered it and Alberto had it ready in a week. Shipped it this past Monday and I got it today (friday). Beautiful key. I thought I was in heaven with my Cedar Rapids Bug and wud brag about how smooth it was. I set it next to the Semi Pro Deluxe and wow what a difference. Feels almost like a paddle. Extremely smooth and FAST. It does take some getting use to on the adjustments but I know that will take a little time and more experience with it, although I just about have it figured out. Alberto stayed in constant contact. I am sure I will purchase another one of his keys. Very Very Impressive. The smoothest, most precision bug I have ever used. This one is a keeper for sure. Bio on QRZ.COM. Lets hook up on the air. Take care es 73...Pete W5PEH
KB4T Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2006 18:32 Send this review to a friend
High Speed Bug  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I rate this bug as a 5 because it embodies everything that a bug should especially if you want to send well at very high speeds.

Expertly, skillfully and immaculately handmade by Alberto Frattini I1QOD (Italy), the Semi is the Ferrari of bugs. It is designed for 40+ WPM sending though it can just as easily send well at 15 WPM. Mine will likely never send much faster than 35 because the nut behind the fingerpieces is too loose to do so.

The Semi is not your father's bug. If you use your fingers to manipulate your bug, you will have to unlearn that technique unless you can "bug send" well at 35 WPM or better. Wrist action and relatively immobile fingers (straight or curled under) are the only way to send well with the Semi at speeds below 30 WPM.

The principal difference between the Frattini Semi and a conventional bug is the Dash Lever is SEPARATE from the Dot Lever. The dual lever
design is the perfect solution to 40+ WPM bug sending because the separate dash lever allows dashes to be sent quicker than on a conventional single lever bug. The dual lever design shortens the time required to start the dash element.

Unfortunately, the dual lever design doesn't help much at lower speeds. In fact, it can be clumsy at lower speeds unless you are willing to adopt the necessary hand/finger action needed to make the Semi send well at slower speeds. (This is what I'm doing now.)

Magnets are used instead of springs. The Semi requires only a light touch to send well. Weighing in at over 3 LB, it won't move on the
table even if you do decide to slap it around.

Frankly it's more bug than I could ever use to full advantage. But I admit that I do enjoy using the best tools. Compared to my Vizkey Vertical and Vibroplex Deluxe Original, the Frattini Semi is superbly crafted, incorporates the finest high speed design available and uses state of the art materials to create the ultimate semi-automatic CW sending tool.

Practice continues as I try to rein in this hot rod of a bug so I can send at street racer speeds. I doubt I'll ever make the super-
speedway but it sure is nice riding in one of the finest sports cars.

Alberto needs a web site. Until that day comes, email is the only way with which you can do business with him.

In my first email to him I asked for information about his various keys. He responded with a brief listing including the names and prices of each item. He attached nice pictures of each as well.

His English is rudimentary but I had no trouble placing my order, paying via PayPal (though he prefers a personal check) and receiving my order.

Initially, he told me that I would have to wait 40 to 50 days for my Semi. Yet when I placed my order, he shipped my Semi 2 or 3 days later. Shipping took only 4 days by DHL.

I'm convinced I own the finest semi-automatic keying instrument available in the world today.

Frank N. Haas KB4T
W2ST Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2005 11:56 Send this review to a friend
A work of art  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an exquisite instrument, beautiful to see, and just as beautiful to operate. Unlike just about any other bug, it can be adjusted to work perfectly with a very light touch and a small gap, and it operates in close to absolute silence.

Alberto has taken to heart the comments about the trunion pivots, and he has redone the suspension completely. The result is that the movement is -- right out of the box -- completely without play and smooth as silk. I doubt that it could be made better, even with ball bearings.

If you use a bug, or are a collector, you will want to have this key. It is custom made, and you need a bit of patience, but the wait -- and the cost -- are amply worth it.
KE5C Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2005 23:20 Send this review to a friend
The Semi Fantastico!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Serial #0095: the prior reviewers have really said it all. You do need to acquire a thin (or grind down a thick) 5.5 mm open end wrench and a 1.5 mm hex key so you can adjust the trunion pivots. My only observation that is anything but overwhelming positive is that the thread pitch on the trunion adjustment screws is a bit coarse, and patience is required to get the clearance just right so the paddles move but are not able to wiggle. I wonder if Alberto would ever switch to ball bearings like the Japanese GHD keys or the Begali paddles use? I'm using this key at 30 wpm, but to go faster, I shall have to practice more.
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