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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-9 Help

Reviews Summary for N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-9
N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-9 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $see website for prices
Description: The ZN-9 has a 3" x 3 1/2" brass base and
weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces. It incorporates the
large diameter feet giving it maximum stability.
The ZN-9 falls right between the ZN-9A and
ZN-9B for size.
Product is in production.
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VK3CWB Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2012 21:36 Send this review to a friend
Simply brilliant!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There are keys and then there are Tony's keys. It is a piece of true craftsmanship that works as well as it looks.
Tony's correspondence is first rate, and he answers all your queries no matter how mundane. He has many keys, with very different features, so one needs to do their homework before buying.

The key is smooth, whisper quiet and provides for absolutely effortless keying.
There are no false characters because of zero contact bounce!
Various OTO sizes are available ( mine was researched before hand) and with the OTO size made to order my paddle fits my hand perfectly.

It arrived in a shipping carton which puts most other manufacturers to shame. It was double boxed, super well padded, and then surrounded by styro - beads. No way this key was going to get damaged in transit!

Its been a thrill to use, and is an instant hit! The days of frustrated keying is over. It makes CW even better!

I own and have used many paddles. Most are from the well known "big names" on the market! This paddle is my pick of the bunch! Thank you Tony for producing an amazing paddle! In short; this paddle is simply brilliant!
NX2X Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2011 11:36 Send this review to a friend
It just feels right...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
One of my goals when I went to Dayton (My first visit), was to get a new set of CW paddles. I've owned a set of Bencher's since, well since I owned a comb (See for the latest pic!), and felt it was time to reward myself after 32 years of hamming with a new set. I have to admit that I had visions of Italy dancing through my head, and I carefully went through every key displayed at a very crowded booth at Dayton. I walked away from the booth thinkng "Gee, that wasn't the religious experience I expected to have!" This probably comes from me watching too many bad remakes of the King Arthur myth where they rehash the theme:"The sword chooses you, you don't choose the sword..."
Fortunately, I came across Tony and his lovely wife at N3ZN Keys, and was drawn to the ZN-9 that was on display. It was a beautifully machined piece of work with a heavy base (which was rock stable for heavy handed users like myself) with close-spaced adjustment, and a gleaming brass finish. I started to send with it, and yes I will use the cliche: "It just felt right". The operation was smooth, the carbon fiber paddles felt great, and it made me think "Hey, maybe I don't have such a lousy fist after all!" (Ok, now I'm kidding myself...). Because I tend to be on the conservative side, I asked if he had one in a more industrial finish. As luck would have it, he brought only one with a black base with a stainless steel and gray body with red carbon fiber paddles. He took it out of the box, and I tried that one as well. Same thing! "It just felt right". Needless to say, I LOVE this paddle. I'm enjoying rag chewing alot more on CW because I don't have to be as heavy handed with it, and I'm actually sending better CW. Congratulations to Tony for this fine *Made in the USA* product!
K2UM Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2010 11:37 Send this review to a friend
Superb -- a joy to use  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned a ZN-9 for six months now. The paddle is a beautifully crafted work of machined art -- from the base to the bridge and the finger pieces. But, beyond visual beauty, this key's functionality has been really well thought out, from the placement and number of bearings to the extremely fine and solid adjustments that can be made to the "throw" (contact spacing and magnetic closure). And, after six months this paddle has not needed a single tweaking after my initial adjustments I made to suit my own technique of how I like a paddle to feel.

It can be adjusted for all types of fists from squeeze keying to slapping. The weight of the paddle is such that it does not move on my desk despite my technique that I self-learned many years ago by using my thumb and a crooked index finger mixed with some squeezing keying for certain letters in iambic mode. So, I am not a slappper or a squeezer but something in between and this key is so smooth. I tried both the short and long finger pieces and ended up using the long finger pieces probably due my being used to the long armed paddle I used for many years -- an original N2DAN Mercury I bought from Steve about 18 years ago.

The carbon fiber finger pieces on Tony's paddles are not just beautiful but lend to the light weight of the whole finger piece/arm assemble and I am guessing that and the length of the arms and bearings is what makes this paddle so smooth. In fact, the ZN-9 is so smooth it "doesn't deserve me" --- and, maybe I don't deserve the ZN-9 as well given I am not the greatest fist -- not even a great fist -- maybe just sort of half-good on a great day.

For the first two months of ownership, I alternated between my Mercury and the ZN-9, with the idea of "let the best man win." I had both paddles connected to my primary CW radio. After two months I found myself just naturally going to the ZN-9. What a great paddle, no adjustments needed after six months of use, whereas, the Mercury, while a fine paddle in its own right, needs an adjustment now and then and the adjustments are more coarse.

Tony, ya done good --- you are one heck of a designer, artist and machinist. I plan on buying another N3ZN paddle for my other radio simply because I won't have to plug and unplug and also because Tony's paddles are beautiful to look at -- good enough excuses for me. My original 18 year old Mercury now sits on the shelf with my other keys and paddles I have used over the years.
N5DRB Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2009 16:06 Send this review to a friend
Exquisite in every category !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Right out of the box the ZN-9 was ready to operate. I ordered the black post and top plate with my call sign and it really looks great. The craftsmanship is absolutely flawless . The touch is light but crisp and very responsive, just the way I like it. In my opinion, using the magnets in an opposing fashion makes a big difference in the responsiveness and feel. The large feet insure no moving around while in operation. I really had to manhandle it to get it to move on the bench. Tony knows how to treat his customers , you don't pay til he is ready to ship . It is shipped double boxed so it arrives in perfect condition. Tony's response to all my email was prompt and clear.
Best of all it is made in the USA. GET ONE NOW , you won't be disappointed !!!
K1CP Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2009 01:57 Send this review to a friend
Precision machine  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The ZN-9 is the finest paddle I've had the pleasure of owning in almost five decades of ham radio. For me, it has just the right mix of attributes--size, weight, and features. Like a lot of hams, I've had a number of the well-known contenders in (and then out of) the shack. I was never totally pleased and kept searching for my ideal paddle. A QST review lead me to N3ZN Keys and Tony (N3ZN) informed me about a new product, the ZN-9. This paddle is a keeper! It is easily adjusted to my personal preference of gnat's whisker spacing with a featherweight touch. It also looks great, stays put on the operating table, and it's made in the USA. Tony is customer orientated and is responsive to questions. The ZN-9 is a beautiful piece of precision machinery and a joy to use. I'd recommend it to any CW aficionado.
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