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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Begali Graciella Vertical Paddle Help

Reviews Summary for Begali Graciella Vertical Paddle
Begali Graciella Vertical Paddle Reviews: 41 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $490 + $12 s/h
Description: A dual-lever paddle with a vertical architecture to minimize moving masses. Gold and palladium plated components, sealed precision bearings, repelling magnets, gold contacts, micro-threaded adjustments of height, paddle spacing, contact gap, and return force.
Product is in production.
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K6JW Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2008 13:18 Send this review to a friend
The best of the best.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After great consideration of what the reaction of the XYL might be and a decision to risk getting “the look” from her, I took the plunge and purchased a Begali Graciella paddle (SN 197) while at the 2008 Dayton Hamvention. Besides, Piero and his daughter, Bruna, are so charming that it is almost impossible not to buy one of their magnificent creations. My Graciella has the palladium plated, wide base and gold top section. It came with plain red fingerpieces, but I replaced them with a set of Piero’s blue fingerpieces with logo-engraved mother of pearl “dots”. Piero was gracious enough to etch his signature and the date into the bottom of the paddle for me. In a word, Graciella is stunning. But, how is she on the air? I’m used to spring-based paddles, so the feel of the Graciella is a radical departure from my well-established comfort zone, and it took several hours of use during the recent CQ WPX CW contest for me to get the feel of it and get it adjusted for my own touch preferences. The paddle has five major areas for adjustment: elevation of the “works” above the base, angulation of the fingerpieces, spacing between the fingerpieces, magnetic tension (resistance to arm movement), and contact spacing. Getting everything just right takes some experimentation, trial and error but, once adjusted, the paddle holds it settings perfectly. Now that I have things set the way I want them, and now that I’ve spent some time using the paddle, I’m quite happy with it. So, is the Graciella worth its very high cost? For me, yes, it was worth raiding my wallet (and an ATM at the Hara Arena, since Piero was not taking checks or credit cards). Why? Because the quality of workmanship is flawless. The paddle is a work of art, and its action is a thing of joy on the air. Keying is effortless, with tactile feedback “snappy” and precise. There are many paddles on the market that will do the job, of course. I’ve owned a number of them and still have a great fondness for some, especially my two Vibroplex iambic paddles which carry fingerpieces I designed and Vibroplex sells. But Vibroplex, Bencher, and a number of other very well executed, reliable paddles aren’t really in competition with Begali. Begali paddles belong to a very exclusive club made up of extraordinarily finely executed instruments made in limited numbers by master craftsmen for amateurs willing to spend what it takes to own the ultimate in quality. And Begali’s paddles are, arguably, the best of the best. My Graciella is very likely the last paddle I’ll ever “need” to own unless, of course, I decide to buy a Begali Sculpture the next time I’m in Dayton…
K6JPA Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2008 21:43 Send this review to a friend
Even Better the Second Time Around  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I know we're only supposed to leave one review per item, but this is for my second purchased Graciella. I opted this time for the wide base model (#182), because my original narrow-based Graciella, while beautifully crafted, proved to be a bit narrow at the base for my personal taste. I sold that original paddle and purchased this as a complete unit (although I understand you can purchase the base separately). I highly suggest the wider base option if you are considering a Graciella.

This new unit is every bit as beautiful as the first. I opted again for the MOP upgrade, which I find very comfortable. Actually, the shorter MOP finger pieces are why I give the slight comfort edge to my Graciella over my Sculpture (although it is also a beautiful paddle).

Bottom line... if I could only have one... this would be the keeper.

Well done, Begali family.

GW3YRP Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2008 10:10 Send this review to a friend
Ultimate Paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What can I say which hasn't already been said other than fantastic. It actually does make you send better morse, I find I make less errors. I have used them all Benchers, Schurr Profi 2, Begalli Magnetic Pro. The Graciella is now fixed to my desk and the Profi is on Ebay. One thing though - get the MOP inlaid finger pieces,in the bumph they say warmer to the touch but this is wrong. What they actually do is allow that little bit of slide as your fingers move on the paddle allowing total control in a way I cant describe. Get one if you can while they are still available.
K3ROJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2008 16:22 Send this review to a friend
The Bes There Is  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had a chance to try the Begali Graciella at Field Day in 2007 and was getting around to ordering one but found one on E-Bay. Got it for $430 with the wide palladium bottom. The owner didn't have his call engraved. I started using it with my ICOM 576PRO and right away knew it would be my permanent key from now on. I found that the internal keyers in most transceivers which share the same processor as the radios functions aren't suitable for what the Begali can do. I ordered the LogiKey K-5 memory keyer which can emulate any keyer on the market and adjusted the weight the way I like it. I enjoy getting into CW contests and am easily able to operate at 35 WPM which is required in most contests. Once you use this key enough, your brain seems to communicate with it and before you know it, you are sending at 40 to 50 WPM as you practice sending text from a book, almost like speaking. Go to YouTube and search for Begali where there is an operator sending at 50 WPM.
MATTTINKEREXAA8P Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2007 09:38 Send this review to a friend
Great Paddle  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Not much else can be said about this great key. I picked the key up at Dayton this year, and the Begali's had everything ready and waiting. Their service and commitment are outstanding. The key is the best I have used over the last thirty years. Very smooth, adjustable to your hand, and very good looking in the shack. If you want a piece of art work on your desk, then you need this key.
KB3RMX Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2007 11:36 Send this review to a friend
You can't get any better!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What can I say that's not been said before in this forum. This paddle is the best on the face of the Earth. Very, Very nice, smooth action, completely adjustable to your ergonomics. This is the Cadillac of Paddles. A joy to own and use. I got the Gold wide base on mine and let me tell you, it looks like Fort Knox just landed in my shack. I do recommned that you get the mother of pearl pads applied. I didn't and it looks like I'll be ordering them soon. They seem to set the paddle off. Paddle is worth every penny I paid for it. Very good craftsmanship! Keep up the good work Pietro & Bruna. Thanks
W4DDR Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2007 09:10 Send this review to a friend
Best in the World  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This has to be about the best paddle in the world. If there is another even better, it must be a Begali model I have not tried.

It is both elegantly functional and beautiful to behold. The weight is perfect to keep it in place on your desk no matter how enthusiastic an operator you are.

Ordering was quick and easy, shipping was fast, and the paddle was well-packed.
NV7E Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2007 03:14 Send this review to a friend
It just gets better  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently received the Begali Graciella. It is the gold plated, wide base version. There were a few surprises for me opening the box for the first time after reading about it on the internet. For one thing, it seems bigger and heavier than I first imagined. In comparison to the Sculpture, the Graciella is actually a little larger and taller. Even so, it does not occupy a large footprint on the operating surface.

The base of the Graciella is all brilliant, shiny gold, not black as shown on the Begali web site. The only piece not in gold on the whole paddle is the one marked “graciella” directly over the finger pieces. That one is a shiny black. The Graciella is at least as impressive as the Signature, which is stunning in the gold version I got. I like the Graciella much better this way.

I was wondering how the key is adjusted up and down. You turn a wheel on the bottom to raise or lower the whole top housing including the finger pieces. I never saw a paddle before that can be moved up and down that way to match the height of your hand. On all the others only the gap between the contacts and the spring tension are adjustable. The wheel is visible in the web site photos, although I didn’t really notice it before.

My Graciella came with red finger pieces installed without the mother-of-pearl caps. The finger pieces with the caps came are included in a separate plastic bag. I was wondering how the finger pieces are changed. There is a groove in the side of the housing for a long screw driver to access the top finger piece screw. I had to use small pliers to remove and replace the second screw.

The mother-of-pearl caps are engraved “Begali Piero I2RTF” with the sea horse logo in the middle. This refinement is very classy.

The Graciella’s keying is fantastic. This is a magnetic paddle. I think the vertical design may decrease drag slightly over a horizontal design. The finger pieces are short but longer than on the Sculpture, which has very short finger pieces. I am now converted to the view that short finger pieces are better on high-end paddles like Begali’s. The contacts can be adjusted to the slightest touch and do not need the leverage of longer finger pieces.

With the paddle there is a signed card from Piero to the effect that the Graciella is dedicated to his wife, Grazia. What a thoughtful gesture. The card has a picture of her as well as one of Piero in his earlier ham days.

In summary, when you order the Graciella you think you are ordering the best paddle available, when the Graciella actually arrives it just gets better.


KA0W Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2007 09:19 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Excellent paddle as the other reviewers already have posted. Nice to have the many adjustments possible. I have two of these, one wide base and the other a narrow base. Nothing negative to report. Both have been keeping original settings for over a year. Nice solid "clicking" while sending. Well worth the expense. Cheaper than buying new fishing gear.
W7AQK Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2006 20:36 Send this review to a friend
A Superb Instrument  Time owned: more than 12 months
I acquired my Graciella a little over a year ago. I already owned a Begali Signature (another great paddle to be sure), but the design and feel of the Graciella were just too tempting. Not only is this paddle a thing of beauty to behold, it is built like a swiss watch. I loved everything about this paddle, except one thing--the base is shaped so as to be a little restrictive for your fingers. That's not a problem if you have a very light touch, but I tend to have a little more motion when I send. Well, Piero Begali solved that issue for me perfectly. He now has an optional base that is wider so as to not be confining. I highly recommend this base for anyone, just in case you find you are a bit like me. It's still the same beautiful finish, and just as attractive in my view. As for the way the paddle operates, well, you just won't believe how smooth it is. And you can adjust it so precisely that I doubt anyone would fail to find a setting just right for them. You can even adjust the height of the finger pieces (that's part of the beauty of the vertical design)--something that very few other paddles allow you to do. The paddle is not light! But that's good! You won't need anything to hold it in place no matter how firmly you attack a paddle. It stays put! Clearly this is a masterpiece, and you are in for a real treat the first time you get to use one. They just don't come any better, at any price.

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