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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Nye Viking Master Key Help

Reviews Summary for Nye Viking Master Key
Nye Viking Master Key Reviews: 35 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $75
Description: The mainstay of the Nye line.
Product is in production.
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K9PLG Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2017 01:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Str8 Key !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Got One with a TR7A I bought from an estate. I really like this key... it's solid and has a great feel, it's easy to adjust from firm to soft (never heard a key called 'mushy' before LOL)... of the 3 keys I have (also have a Vbplx bug & homebrew paddle), it's my favorite.
WU1V Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2012 08:55 Send this review to a friend
I like the "mushy" feel!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It's interesting how people's preferences vary so much. I just got a Nye Master Key and like it very much. I agree it's not good for fast sending, but for me that's a plus since I tend to send faster than I can receive. I can still send around 20 wpm on this key if I push myself, so it's not a fatal flaw.

Many complain about the "mushy" feel of the key. I like this action. I don't like the "clicking" of my other keys. Also I agree with one review that dits and dahs are better formed, making the dits a bit longer which is good for me since my dits tend to be a bit too crisp with my other straight keys.

Another nice feature of this key is the weighted non-skid base and connecting cord.

If you are dissatisfied with your key(s) give this one a shot. It's no longer being manufactured by Nye, but every so often one comes up on eBay.
N2UGB Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2011 23:04 Send this review to a friend
Still great after all these years  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought mine back in the very early 1980's. Put it aside after purchasing my first bug, then keyer. I actually forgot I still had it.

Well, many years later I re-discovered the Nye and now use it exclusively. I find it just as comfortable as my super-good Bigali camelback straight key.

I operate QRP and find that the Nye key operates best at the modest speeds usually favored by QRP operators. Again mentioning the Bigali, it and the Nye are the least tiring keys that I have. I'm older these days and fist-fatigue sets in after a while. Not so with the Nye.

It is sitting permanently on my operating desk. I won't forget that I still have it.
KA4DQJ Rating: 4/5 May 21, 2011 20:09 Send this review to a friend
Good, but rarely encountered......  Time owned: more than 12 months
This key was my first "real" key... the very first was a $5 Radio Shack "practice key" which I used to practice sending. In the old days a prospective Novice had to SEND as well as receive 5wpm in order to pass the code test.

Well, the cheapo RS key did't hack it, so not long after I got my license I bought the Nye for some price I can't possibly remember. I've been pounding it for 30+ years, not that I was always on CW. But if you've worked me on code, I've almost certainly been on this key.

Didn't know it had a name (Viking) until I saw this thread. The only stamp on it is a label on the bottom, "Wm. M. Nye, Co." I don't know how old the key is, but I bought it new, and the cable terminates into an RCA phono plug connection (a la Heathkit), so I know it was made back in the days before the 1/4" jacks were installed on rigs.

The thing won't break. It's tough, and comes with the heaviest base I've seen on an off-the-shelf key. The key will not move during send no matter how heavy your hand is. And, it's nice to get a great base along with the key, somethng you don't always get these days.

The cable is just as tough. Mine has the original cable and it's in the same shape as when I bought it; no dry rot, cracking, etc. Nothing has ever broken on the key, or came lose, be it a wire or mechanics. There is no rust or tarnish on the key, it will clean up today to look exactly as it did when I bought it minus any scratches it may have taken over the decades. I think I've disassembled the key once for cleaning over the decades.

I can't describe the feel of a key in words. But, I've used other keys and the Nye is equal to or superior to any other key I've played with. I finally picked up a J-38 about 6-months ago, and the two keys seem to be comparable in feel... to MY hand. The touch can be made as light or heavy as you want it, and the settings stay where you put them even in the heaviest use. I've never noticed anything "mushy" about the key.

The only thing it doesn't have is a shorting lever, which some ops use and some don't. I never learned to use one simply because I never had one to use!

Don't think Nye makes this key anymore, and wish I knew when they began making them. Apparently they were never big sellers because you just don't see them on eBay or hamfests. But, this is not a cheap key, it's quality is nudging into the premium category. If you get a chance to pick up one of these for a few bucks, I don't think you could do better.
WD6GLA Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2010 23:05 Send this review to a friend
You just have to try it ...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Some people like the feel of this key , some don't . It has a softer touch to it , quieter and more fluid than most keys and personally I like the feel of it . I swap around different keys on my desk and they all have a personality to them . I dont think I'd pop full price like they want now , but I paid 19.95 new when I bought mine ( obviously some years back ) and its been trouble free over the years . Not a high speed key like a Junker or higher end key ... but a nice ragchew key and not tiring to use . Heavy and solid feeling like a brick . Takes some fiddling to get it set right ... but then its sweet . Personally I dont like Navy style knobs on a hand key .... remove that disk under the knob , you have more control and it feels 100% better .

AB7KT Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2010 20:36 Send this review to a friend
My Favorite  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first key as a novice in 1979. Over the years I have owned a half dozen or more straight keys, but IMO, none have compared to this one. Maybe it is just because I am used to it, but this is the one I have settled on and decided to quit trying new ones. I recently came across a second one at a hamfest and bought it as a back up. This key has become such a part of my life that when I sit down at the radio, it is almost a given I am going to work at least one CW contact, and that contact will be with this key. Within the last six months I bought a fairly high priced straight key and gave it a try. I didn't really like it. I decided at that point to get out all my straight keys, adjust them, and use them for a few contacts. In the end, the Nye Viking Master Key stayed hooked to my radio. After thinking about it for a minute, I picked up the phone and called my Elmer (one of my high school teachers) on the other side of the country and thanked him for recommending the Master Key to me in the first place.

I have had no issues of any kind with this key in over 30 years of use.
KA3IHS Rating: 4/5 Jan 23, 2009 20:48 Send this review to a friend
Great key (with reservations)  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought one of these keys back in the early '80s after using a number of lesser ones that prompted me to look for something better. I've used it ever since and always marveled at its smooth operation, solid build, substantial heft and generally good quality. However there were a couple issues that eventually had to be rectified. The mushy down stroke, although annoying, wasn't that big a big deal for me but the constantly changing contact spacing drove me nuts. It had to be adjusted near every time the key was put to use and getting it just right was a downright chore. The simple fix that solved both problems was to install a couple of short self tapping screws through the base plate and into the base on either side of the contact location. What a difference, a solid but not hard down stroke, no changing contact spacing, a very smooth, low clicking sound in operation and a key that feels and works like a million bucks. Hard to believe Nye dropped the ball on such a necessary fix.
I'd have given it a 5/5 if it hadn't had to be modified.
N1YE Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2008 08:14 Send this review to a friend
Still my favorite straight key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had one for years. Just bought another for use on one of my vintage stations for Straight Key Night. I love the clean appearance that the sloped base and enclosed contacts provide. I have lots of keys and paddles, but keep coming back to this one. I like the soft landing and thick appearance of the arm. I like the absence of the "clickety-clack" noise that other keys make. I haven't experienced the flexing base plate that others described. Keys are like musical instruments. One has to choose one that best fits and these fit my style perfectly!
WV4R Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2008 11:06 Send this review to a friend
Master Key takes a lickin' & keeps on Tickin'...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nye Viking Master Key

Ah… methinks when I lay my old WW-2 model “J-38” and my newest “QRP J-38” mini key from KA6IRL alongside my Nye Viking Master Key… one thing is quite apparent… they are all essentially the same… FANTASTIC FUN!

I personally like having a ‘straight key’ hooked up to all my H.F. rigs just like a microphone and external speaker. Even IF you only use it to temporarily ‘key down’ for tuning up… it is right there in all it’s glory. CW can never die IF you have a ‘key’ of one sort or another hooked up and rearin’ to go, right?

Although my Nye Viking caMaster Key does not have the shorting bar, I actually prefer it since you can never make the mistake of closing a switch and potentially burning up your transmitter, eh?

I like the Heavy weight of the cleanly designed base. The range of adjustments are classic. The quality is undeniable. And the ‘Navy’ style knob on mine makes it the best for ‘three-finger’ control.

Quality of components, Clean/Classic design, Reliability, fair price come together in a cacophony of plain ole noises along with good feel for any finger truly Earn it the WV4R “FIVE” star rating.

73 es GOD bless, murf/WV4R.
K2MMO Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2008 07:10 Send this review to a friend
Great key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my key since becoming a ham in 1991 and love it.....also purchased an additional one for my ham shack in winter home and works just as well.....great craftmanship ...solid steel base and does not move or skid....adjustable for weight and tension...... highly recommend the key
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