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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe Help

Reviews Summary for Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe
Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe Reviews: 39 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $189.99
Description: Classic iambic paddle design.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe.

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WA6ES Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2009 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Never a problem!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used a few Iambics and just wanted to get one of these gems. Well I purchased a used one, got it home and just started sending. The key was set up perfect for me. I cannot afford one of those HI DOLLAR ones, the wife will kill me. This works great for me with a solid firm feel. I do have a few Benchers and just enjoy this one. I do not regret getting it. Now I just have to sell the other keys.
M0AFJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2009 08:36 Send this review to a friend
First Month  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Really pleased with this paddle, quality made, comfortable and very easy to set up and operate. 30WPM seems easy now!
N0NV Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2008 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Pretty  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

There are two ways to evaluate a key which is becoming a classic model. One is through practical usage comparisons with other current brands. The other is through assessment of its appearance and collectibility value. Either factor can create a pride in ownership.

I have two other paddles to compare with the Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe: The Bencher BY-1 and the Begali Simplex. In performance, the Vibroplex Iambic falls between these two. In appearance, it far outweighs the other two.

It's better than Bencher's BY-1 due to the thicker parts that comprise the mechanism. It's a solid feeling which can be reinforced by as much spring tension as could be desired. However, most hams wouldn't want to set these springs as tight as they'll go. The springs fortunately do back off adequately for a normal feel.

In performance, it falls behind the Begali Simplex due to a more complicated setup procedure. It took much trial and error to set the trunnion bearings just right, because tightening the lock screws had an effect on the setting screws. The interactivity between them made for a long procedure. There was also some back and forth when setting the contact gaps. It's a very good thing there are knurled lock nuts to hold each adjustment screw in place. After all was done, I did find the feel to be impressively solid.

The stock finger pieces are a bit too small and a bit too high. Fortunately, I bought the K6JW Conversion finger pieces from Vibroplex, which are much larger and lower. After the conversion, I could actually work the dash side with three fingers at a time, but I only use two.

One thing I cannot verify is how well the key handles higher speeds. My speed capability is up to 25 wpm. If I was a 35+ wpm operator, I suspect the Begali would prove to be better -- that is their reputation. But with my dexterity, I fumble through such speeds with any paddle.

Now for the subjective part. It's pretty. I have the chrome-based deluxe version. If you have a specialty eyeglass cleaning cloth, you'll find it works wonders when removing fingerprints from the chrome. If you don't like the trouble from this, I recommend purchasing the standard version paddle with the black painted base.

--... ...--

Jack - N0NV

K6YE Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2008 06:25 Send this review to a friend
AWESOME  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the Vibroplex Iambic, Bencher BY-1, and a Brown Brothers BTL.

I have used the Brown Brothers BTL for more than 20 years and like it. I have worked a lot of stations with it and will kepp it as it is my first real iambic.

My dad, K5LDH (SK 2006), bought the Bencher BY1 for me to use at his Texas QTH. It is a very simple iambic that gets the job done. When I needed to replace the fingerpieces (broken in transit to my QTH), Bencher sent a new set at no charge. They get my vote for complete customer satisfaction.

I have owned the Vibroplex for 3 years and just starting using it. Whoa Nellie!!! It really feels nice and is now el numero uno for me. I especially like the heavy feel as it does not bounce around when running contests. There may be other paddles out there but for me, this baby rules! If you can find one for a good price, latch on. You will not regret it.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
KD5MJJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2006 11:25 Send this review to a friend
A n American Winner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I own a number of paddles including the Schurr Profi 2, and Begali Simplex. I recently got a new Vibroplex Iambic.

I set the Vibrolex up per the instructions with close contact spacing. The spring resistance is stiffer than the other paddles listed above as mentioned by others. I have come to appreciate this as a plus feature.

This paddle is the "Rodney Dangerfield" of paddles. It does not get the respect it truly deserves.

The construction and finish are absolutely top notch. It is a precision product. The feel is different than my other paddles.

BUT, it has a quality and sure footed feel that I prefer. It does not feel delicate.

There is a tactile feedback through the arms when the contacts close that is unmistakable. It gives me a confidence in my keying because I know by feel and the sound of key closure where I am in my character formation. The geometry and substantual construction come together to give me a paddle I have come to prefer over the others.

Don't confuse the Vibroplex Iambic as a adaptation of a Vibroplex bug ! This is very modern paddle design that uses heavy but precise components that are perfect. It's performance is first tier.

Besides, it is pretty.

My humble opinion only... 73, Hank, K5ICW
K3EY Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2006 20:37 Send this review to a friend
Old Faithful  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had one of these chrome jeweled versions years ago. Since that time I went thru almost every paddle you read about on eHam reviews including of course the big dollar ones. A few months back I bought the standard model because I prefer the black base over the chrome but wanted the jewels that the chrome version comes standard with. Vibroplex sold me an upgraded black base with the Jewels installed. I really like this paddle a lot. I agree with the previous reviewer that the spring tension is a "little" tight but not so much that it bothers me and in fact I like it. But, I need to set the spring tension at its least strength to get "The Feel“, for me. The adjustment is easier to set at very close settings than on the Kent, Jones or most other paddles I have owned except for the top end models like Begali and the WBLV22 or Schurr Profi which are easy and fast at very close settings. I like the total feel this paddle gives me with the height of the finger pieces, the lever action and its ratio. Its overall feel comes together just about perfect, "for me". Paddle reviews are a very subjective thing when judging feel because ones feel is as different as the individuals doing the review. You really don't need a $600 paddle to get the job done or make yourself happy. I have found this truth by spending too much money on high-end paddles only to end up selling them off mostly at a loss just to get rid of them. This Vibroplex is priced very fair and for what you get it's my opinion you really can't do a lot better, for the money. And the people at Vibroplex are a real pleasure to deal with, like Betty who bends over backward to make customers happy. Plus they are not located overseas with a language barrier and costly postage and long waits to get what you're after. Great Paddle at a Great Price Made in the Good Ole USA.
W5PEH Rating: 4/5 Oct 29, 2006 19:46 Send this review to a friend
Very Solid, but  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked mine up on Ebay a couple of months ago. The Tension Springs need to have less tension. I have written Vibroplex for help in acquring some springs with less tension. Dont get me wrong, I have to adjust the tension on the stock springs to minimum and I can use it, but there needs to be less tension, alot less in my opinion. I can send with it but it tends to move around alot, probably because of the pressure I have to use due to the spring tension. Put some double sided tape on the feet to keep it in place. Also the chrome job cant be close to the best with all the problems out there with pitting and oxidation etc. Mine has oxidation in a couple of areas. This is a very solid sounding and feeling paddle and is close to getting a 5 from me but not with the spring tension. Very nice mechanical sound while sending. I feel there should have been a much wider tension selection available. I am curious to see how she sends after I get this tension problem resolved. I will consider another review afterwards. Sending feels great except for the tension. Over 18 to 20 wpm and up to 30 wpm tends to get tiresome. Try one out if you can prior to purchase or consider changing the tension springs. I think after I change the springs it is gonna be awesome. Cant wait to see how she does. Nice Solid Paddle. I added the Large Conversion Paddles from Vibroplex which have a nice feel to them compared to the originals. Chrome job could be better. 73 Pete W5PEH
W3DX Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2006 18:50 Send this review to a friend
Functional Art  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been licensed for 33 years, and remain primarily a cw operator. For me "Vibroplex" is synonomous with quality and is still one of the finest keys you can buy.

I've had my Vibroplex for over a decade, and I still think it's a piece of functional art. A real thing of beauty.

I continue to love the solid and precise feel of the key.
WA4AOS Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2006 23:31 Send this review to a friend
Yes, you can teach an old dog a new trick.  Time owned: months
This review is mostly based on my Vibroplex Iambic made in conjunction with Ten Tec. This was a special limited edition of the Iambic where only 250 copies were made. However, my point is by using the new W6JW conversion paddle kit on the Iambic, the feel and action of this paddle is improved considerably.

I don't get a stiff fist using the Iambic since installing the paddles and I highly recommend this inexpensive mod to anyone with one of the Vibroplex Iambic paddles.
By the way, I also have a Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe that I bought in 1989 when it was being manufactured in Main, as I recall. Since the operation was sold to Mitch in Alabama, their products have been improved considerably.

The unit made in 1989 is the deluxe unit with the jewel movements and the one made for the Ten Tec limited edition has instead of a Jewel set, a simple metal pin inserted into a female socket at each end of the trunion pins.

I have played with both for many hours and I can absolutely not tell any difference in the action or feel. What did seem to help was to use just a little Mobile One synthetic lubricant at the two-trunion pin end points. Mobile One is available at any of the auto parts stores and a large tube is less than $5.00. One tube has enough lube to service all of the Vibroplex Iambic paddles on earth and then plenty left, Hi Hi. I do mean just a little; that amount you can get on the tip of a toothpick and just touch the tip of each trunion pin end. This did make the action a little more responsive.

What follows is the review I did on eham for the Ten Tec/Vibroplex version; however, I do have some links to pics of my unit with the conversion kit.

When Ten Tec and Vibroplex decided to do a joint project namely an iambic paddle, I was thrilled. This was to be a limited edition deal with only 250 units made. I finally saw a picture of the paddle and the choice of a gray colored base and chrome parts with red paddles looked very nice. Not to mention the neat looking Ten Tec/Vibroplex tag.

I ordered mine and then waited and waited until months later when it finally arrived.
My initial impression was the fit and finish was great except for the fact that the vertical pins that support the paddle levers, one for each paddle, were different heights. Later, I read that others had observed the same thing and some folks were pretty upset. Vibroplex said for $50.00, they would sell you the jewel kit with new pins. I thought that was kind of cheesy.

Anyway, after using the new paddle for an hour or two, I decided that the paddles were way too stiff for my touch. My thumb and forefinger began to feel numb after a while; typically 30 minutes. I quickly went back to my very nice Kent paddle and would have never used the Vibroplex again except for the fact it really looked sharp so, I decided to investigate what I might be able to do to improve the feel some.

I noticed how my paddles on the Kent were much closer to the operating table and how the plastic paddles flexed a bit which contributes to the light touch. I considered making a set of paddles from plexiglass but before I did, I sent an email to Vibroplex explaining my concerns. They said they had recently started offering a W6JW conversion kit for the Iambic. It seemed to be the answer I was looking for.

The conversion paddles were more ergonomically shaped and came nearly as low as the Kent paddles. Unfortunately, The conversion paddles are still too thick to suit me but they really made a HUGE difference in how the paddle feels. Much liter to the touch and your hand is considerably more comfortable for those longwinded QSO's.

I would love to see the conversion paddles a little lower and about a third thinner. As is, there is a bit of flex in the paddles and like I said, they are much more pleasing to use.
I would have given the paddle a 3 or possibly a 4 prior to getting the conversion kit, now I give it a 5 minus or a very high 4. Unfortunately, I can only give it a 4 or 5 and I'll take the high road.

I am not selling my Kent paddle but the Iambic with the conversion kit is now going to get regular use.

The conversion kit is $15.00 and can be seen at the following link.

Now for some pics of my Iambic check the following links.
VR2AX Rating: 4/5 Jan 25, 2006 17:54 Send this review to a friend
Well engineered good if not inspirational paddle  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought mine new in 1990 to match my Original Deluxe bug which it does exceptionally well. It works acceptably although it does not have the same feel as its counterpart bug. Mine has a tendency despite its weight to move around when used on a polished desk or similar surface. Very well engineered and reliable. Mine has travelled round the world a couple of times, by sea and air, as well as survived countless moves of qth, without requiring any maintenance.
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