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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-6A Help

Reviews Summary for N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-6A
N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-6A Reviews: 6 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $175 steel base $190 brass base
Description: This is the portable version of the ZN series of paddles. Features the same standard features as the ZN series, but mounted on a 3/4" x 2" x 2 3/4" base. Available in black steel base or brass base.
Product is in production.
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W2GB Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2011 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the ZN-6a serial # 002 and love this little gem. A truly first class paddle in every respect that holds its own against anything else available. Over the years I have owned several different high-end paddles and would rank this or any other of the N3ZN paddles at or near the top of the list. The quality of materials and superb workmanship are first class and Tony is very easy to deal with. He cares about his products and your experience using them, he truly wants you to be completely satisfied.

While this model is no longer in production its little brother ( that’s right the newly designed ZN-QRP paddle is a wee bit smaller) is currently in production.

Make no mistake although this has a small footprint it is not a cheap toy version of something larger. The ZN-6a (if you are lucky enough to find one) or the ZN-QRP will be something you will enjoy using and will be a proud addition to your collection.

If you are looking for a small paddle with a great smooth feel I would strongly recommend the ZN-QRP.

You will not be disappointed with this or any of the other fine products offered by Tony N3ZN.

It is a solid investment in good CW.

N2ZN Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2009 17:21 Send this review to a friend
One of the finest pieces of equipment you could own  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the ZN-6A from Tony in July 2007, and mine is serial number 003. I was very impressed (and still am impressed) with everything about this paddle. The workmanship and cosmetic appearance of the ZN-6A are top notch. Even though this is supposed to be a "portable" paddle, I have never used it portable or mobile, and have always used it as part of my home station. I took it out of the box, played with it for a bit, adjusted the tensions slightly, and I haven't touched it since. The action is extremely smooth; this paddle is made to go fast! At very close spacing and high speeds, the feel is incredible. After using this paddle almost exclusively for the last year and a half, I can say it is the finest I have ever used. I also own a Begali Simplex, and I like the ZN-6A much more.

Tony was extremely easy to deal with, in addition to having a good callsign...! I am sure his newer models are even better than this. Tony is also a great CW operator himself (you can hear him on the bands frequently) and I am sure that his experience of being a CW op has greatly influenced his products. Thanks for a fine piece of equipment!
HC2S Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2008 10:17 Send this review to a friend
FANTASTIC  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for a new paddle and work with a list of features for the new one, my check list had some characteristics like, small, heavy, all brass, handcrafted, magnetic contacts, ball bearings, reasonably priced, etc, and the ZN-6A filled all this conditions.

Amazing design from Tony, this small wonder are beauty and with precise mechanical adjustments and performance. The workmanship is superb, plus the client service provided for the owner it´s world class. Thanks Tony again for your excellent job.


NR5N Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2008 18:00 Send this review to a friend
Smooth!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the brass model. The key feels as good as it looks, and the workmanship is superb. I have used many different types of paddles over the years, but the performance of this key beats them all. My CW keyboard went back in storage, and the fun is back in the fist again! A great key that I would recommend to anyone.
N3ND Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2007 05:03 Send this review to a friend
Mighty!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really didn’t need another set of paddles. The last set I purchased cost over three times what I paid for this rendition of N3ZN keys, but they are the set by which I judge all others.

What lured me to Tony’s ZN-6A key was its size – and yes, the reviews of his keys by other members on this list. This key is much smaller than any other paddles I own except for the Palm Radio paddles I use while mobile. While I am easy on a paddle and caress the key, I was still reluctant to purchase the ZN-6A because I was concerned they may walk around the operating desk. Not so! These paddles while being small are indeed heavy and coupled with Tony’s correct decision on rubber feet selection, this key stays firm in position. It can handle a lot of abuse before you’ll ever move it.

Workmanship. Outstanding. Tony has really taken pride in designing and building his moderately priced paddles. The look is impressive and exudes quality. But the feel – oh, the feel. For such a small key, the feel is that of a large set. Impeccable construction allows for frictionless movement of the paddle levers. To say I am impressed is an understatement. Magnetic paddles come in two varieties; those that use magnetic attraction for lever return and those that use magnetic repelling action for lever return. I prefer the latter and this is what Tony uses. Did I say they feel good? Sending CW is all about feel. The ZN-6A is great!

So, I got a small key, serial number 007 – how appropriate is that? They take up very little space on the operating desk and they are a real pleasure to use. They are so darn cute! Trust me, you will not be the least bit disappointed in these. They are probably the best value on the market.

The ZN-6A is:

The Wee Key with the Mighty Feel
AA7DX Rating: 5/5 Sep 14, 2007 21:49 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Paddles !!  Time owned: months
I just got my hands on a new ZN-6A and it is a truly wonderful set of paddles - fit, finish, and functionality are more than you could hope for in a portable paddle. And in my 30 years of pounding brass, I've owned, used, and worn out enough keys and paddles to know. Maybe the more interesting story is how I came to own these fine paddles.

I bought a set of Tony's paddles off of the auction place late last year from a fellow in PA. They were advertised as being an authentic set of N3ZN's "Prototype" ZN-1 paddles. Didn't know quite what to expect, but I won the auction and used the paddles a good bit after getting them. The "throw" on them was a bit long for my tastes, having beaten several sets of Benchers into submission over the last 30 years of left-handed sending, but they were nice paddles nonetheless.

I also own a set of Mike March's R3-A paddles and I use them more than anything else and freely admit to comparing everything else to them. They are by far the most expensive set of paddles I've ever owned also. Luckily, the XYL is also a ham and she sorta understands ;-)

Anyway, a few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Tony (N3ZN), asking if I still owned his prototype. I assured him I did and that they were still working perfectly - then he asked if I would be interested in selling them back to him ?!?

Turns out, they were not just "A" set of prototype paddles - they were "THE" set of ZN-1 Prototype paddles, the first he ever built, and he had let them get away from him in a moment of weakness, I guess. He wanted them back for his permanent collection, inside a glass display case.

I told him he could certainly have them back, but I didn't even remember what I had paid for them and the money wasn't that important anyway. What I really wanted was another set of Tony's fine paddles, and that's exactly what happened.

I boxed up the Prototype set and shipped them back home to PA, and about a week later here came a brand new set of ZN-6A paddles (serial # 6, in brass). As I said earlier: fit, finish, and functionality were absolutely amazing for a set of so-called "portable paddles" - fine adjustments, flawless finish, very heavy base that stays put on the desk despite it's small footprint, and best of all for me: a short throw that felt comfortable within two minutes of getting them hooked up and adjusted.

The truth ? I think I got the best end of this deal by far, and I told Tony so in an e-mail. Besides running the March R3-A's into my 746 Pro for qro dx'ing, I'm into qrp too and have a terrific Wilderness Sierra and one of KD1JV's wonderful ATS-2's that I built, sitting here on the desk. And if you think this set of ZN-6A paddles isn't plugged into one or the other of these rigs all the time, think again !!

These little jewels are a definite 5/5 and I would give them a 10 if I could. The other part of the deal is this: if you buy a set of Tony Baleno's paddles you will find yourself dealing with a real gentleman - the kind of ham that we should all aspire to be like.

Questions? Just e-mail me.

Dick - AA7DX
Henderson, NV

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