- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vibroplex Straight Key - Standard Help

Reviews Summary for Vibroplex Straight Key - Standard
Vibroplex Straight Key - Standard Reviews: 16 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $159.95
Description: A heavy solid steel base anchors the straight key to the operating position. The lever arm pivots in the famous chromed mainframe. A stainless steel spring allows complete control of the tension. And, of course, the Straight Key has the famous brass Vibroplex logo plate with a unique serial number pinned to the top of the base with stainless steel pins.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Vibroplex Straight Key - Standard.

Page 1 of 2 —>

KT8DX Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2017 09:01 Send this review to a friend
Review update  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After using the key a bit, I started noticing a certain "mushiness" when pressing the key down. Almost like my Nye Viking Master key. Took a close look at it and saw a washer under the arm between the arm and the top adjustable key contact. I theorize that as I am using the key, the adjustable contact mount is acting more like a spring as it wears in. Yuck! So - I simply removed the washer and it is back to crisp rock solid action. Vibroplex, why in the world did you put that little washer in? It serves no purpose that I can see!
N0UY Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2014 07:26 Send this review to a friend
*****Excellent *****  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is the 5th straight key I have tried. This is by far my favorite. I have had the Begali Camelback, the K-4 Chines key, the J-38, and the RS clone of the J-38. This key is easily adjusted to suit my operating requirements. I find the action smooth, the knob height great, the weight is enough to keep it in place. The only thing lacking is a good fist. I am a paddle guy for the most part but I do use the straight key when it suits me. I am very pleased with this one.
KC5CQD Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2014 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Performer  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The first week I owned this key I would have given it a "3", at best. I hated the feel of it. Then one night I realized that I could remove the "poker chip" from the Navy style knob and suddenly the whole dynamic of the key changed. I fell in love with it! I then spent a few evenings playing around with the adjustment screws until I got it dialed in. Now it's a phenomenal key! As for all of the side play and lack of click....hey, it's a poor musician that blames his instrument. She'll dial in. You just have to have the patience and the know-how to get it all clicking. I love the key and I already want another one.
KB4VVE Rating: 1/5 Aug 30, 2013 20:23 Send this review to a friend
Not recommended  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was advised not to get this but did anyway. Advice was right again. No definitive click on closure, knob rough and way too high, spring to stiff and too much mass in the arm.
I heavily modified mine as I am prone to do with many things. Lowered the knob position by angling the arch and cutting down the contact post, drilled and tapped the arm for a contact screw, polished the knob and installed shorter feet.
I'm not an expert CW type - only been at it since '58 and now up to only 10WPM. OK, I'm slow, but I know what works for me - a J37 or a Speed-X!
Interesting conversation piece, though.
CR7000 Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2013 14:19 Send this review to a friend
Good Quality Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a good quality key, out of the box it needed a few adjustments to set it up for me.

A pleasure to use, nice action.

No rough edges just quality all over from start to finish

Maybe vibroplex have upped their game, this one is perfect.

A must for all you straight key users !!
K5RIX Rating: 3/5 Nov 2, 2011 02:33 Send this review to a friend
Cool Oddball Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
A Vibroplex straight key?!!? Mine is the red Know Code key I got just to have one (KC-041). It's plenty hefty and works well, but it will never make you sell your Speed-X. Even though the lever arm extends beyond the base, the key is solid to use. The adjustments are all straightforward and useful, although the knob is up impossibly high off the table. With the cast yoke of a Vibroplex Original adapted for trunnion service, this has to be the bearded lady of straight keys. The navy-style knob has rough edges. The contacts on mine are aligned quite well, but the "click" happens on the rebound, as opposed to contact closure, which rules out using this key without a side tone (how could Vibroplex have anticipated that?).

It is difficult to fault any product made here with the pedigree Vibroplex brings. But I will do so. I actually use it on the air quite a bit, considering its exasperatingly clunky design. But I bought it both out of brand loyalty and to look at it. This key is easily the weirdest one I own, and that characteristic appeals to me. If it were the only key available, I could get by with it handily (as long as I have a side tone). Other than the rough knob edge, the workmanship is flawless. Maybe someday Vibroplex will make a straight key based on Lightning Bug hardware!

It's a decent key, but what's the point? The old reliable J-38, Speed-X, and the other Bunnell clones are all smaller and (properly mounted) easier to use well. Still, I like this key; but not for most of the reasons one should like a key. It's definitely not for a CW beginner. But I really like it.
KK5J Rating: 4/5 Oct 25, 2010 14:25 Send this review to a friend
Vibroplex Straight Key Top Choice  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was looking for the best straight key I could find. After going through a number of keys, Swedish pumps, Marconi knock-offs, etc, the best key I found was this Vibroplex. The feel of this key is the best I've seen. That includes the old J38s, Junkers, etc. I believe it needs better/smoother adjustment mechanisms hence I didn't rate it a 5.
AB7KT Rating: 5/5 Jul 6, 2010 22:28 Send this review to a friend
I Really Like Mine  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have eight or ten straight keys and use them on a daily basis.
I really enjoy my Vibroplex Deluxe Straight Key. I like the feel of it and for some reason it seems easier for me to send good accurate code than some other keys I own.
I do agree that the knob looks cheap compared to the rest of the key. Mine seems to look better once it got a little use although it may be that I just got used to it.
I would definitely buy another one immediately if something happened to the one I have now.

As far as looks, IMO it is the best looking key out there. Obviously this is purely a personal preference, but that is mine.
N2OFG Rating: 2/5 Feb 24, 2010 18:50 Send this review to a friend
Nice to look at under glass  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My key just arrived today. Very nice looking key but the feel of the rough edges of the knob and off beat clackety-clack unless adjusted to almost zero clearance makes me give this one a thumbs down as a practical everyday straight key. The knob and skirt are downright cheaply cast plastic and the spacing screw is not even centered on the stop. I carefully re-packed it and will eat the shipping and re-stock charge to return it. I reconnected my old WW II flame-proof Navy Knob and called it a night
K8MMG Rating: 3/5 Jul 19, 2009 05:52 Send this review to a friend
Solid perfomer, rough edges  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I use this key as my station primary (Serial: 100150). I try to be unbiased when I review a product.

The good:

Solidly built-Construction is what you'd expect from a Vibroplex product. Heavy base.

Easy on the eyes-The polished chrome and serial plate looks fantastic on my desk.

Performs pretty well-It makes dots and dashes like the best of them.

The bad:

A bit "tipsy"-If you're a bit heavy-handed (like me) it has a tendency to tip sometimes.

Tension spring-The usefulness of this spring is questionable. Mine is set to nearly "tension-free". It feels no different than when I crank it down a few notches.

Fairly expensive-Bought mine NOS (new old stock) from another ham for $135.00 shipped. You're paying more for the name.


While this key lives up to the Vibroplex name and performs its job admirably, I would look elsewhere if you're looking for a "workhorse", primary station key. Vibroplex's have long moved into the realm of "collector's items" and out of "functional for every day use". This key will get the job done but when placed next to say a GHD, you will notice the difference.
Page 1 of 2 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.