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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Begali Stradivarius Help

Reviews Summary for Begali Stradivarius
Begali Stradivarius Reviews: 15 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $435
Description: Magnetic dual lever high-performance paddle with a nicely engraved titanium nitrate base and a unique torsion blade suspension.
Product is in production.
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N7RR Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2015 08:48 Send this review to a friend
A New Paradigm  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I arrived at Bob's Burgers and Brew in Everett WA for the monthly Northwest QRP Group Pie & Coffee session way early, so I had finished my supper before others arrived, including Doug Phillips W7RDP carrying his heavy brand-new Begali Stradivarius paddle in a protected case. I brought my HamGadgets Ultra PicoKeyer and a headset, so I was able to spend some quality time with the Stradivarius while others were eating.

The name is telling. Wikipedia has a nice article on Stradivarius: Stradivarius refers to a stringed musical instrument made by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) or other members of the Stradivari family of Cremona, Lombardy in northern Italy, only about 50 km from Cellatica (also in Lombardy) where the Begali factory is located. Stradivarius instruments represent the summit of stringed-instrument craftsmanship. Any Stradivarius is a treasure. The National Museum American History (NMAH) at the Smithsonian Institution owns the superb-sounding Servais Stradivari cello as well as two decorated Stradivari violins and one decorated Stradivari viola. Those four instruments are occasionally played together by world-class musicians:

The striking decor of the Begali Stradivarius paddle is similar to the hybrid Leonessa, with a black base and brass keyer housing, but with a fun difference. The Leonessa base is rectangular. The Stradivarius base is curved like a violin soundbox and filigree decorations simulate the curved opening of a violin. The heavy paddle didn't budge on the restaurant table while I paddled. The Stradivarius is not a backpack-class key.

Doug's Stradivarius, s/n 147, has W7RDP engraved on its base. The Stradivarius does not use common the pin and hole or ball bearing structure to support its two short light-weight aluminum levers. It sports two longitudinal vertical torsion blades instead. The result is an action which is uncannily smooth. Doug had his Stradivarius adjusted for moderate return force and very close contact spacing. I'd been reading an article in The Atlantic over supper, so I continued reading it by sending the text with the Stradivarius paddle. What a true pleasure! With close spacing, I could barely hear the silver contacts touch each other. I suppose customers could order gold contacts as an option. I've done that in the past with a Begali order.

As an experiment, I opened the contact spacing much wider to get a better feel for the nuances of the action. I was able to detect a slight increase in the return force through each paddle stroke. I didn't have a pressure gauge to document it, however. Then I tried decreasing the return force adjustment. Again, the action was even more seamless. Closing the contact spacing to a tiny gap, I continued to enjoy paddling.

After awhile I passed the paddle around the room for others to enjoy. Elecraft engineer Rich Heineck AC7MA was especially interested. (The new Elecraft KSYN3A Synthesizer Upgrade Kit for the K3 is Rich's project. He has other irons in the fire which he's not yet free to talk about.) Rich's eagle eyes located the torsion blades on the Stradivarius paddle. We wondered how the return force is adjusted, but we decided not to remove an adjustment screw on Doug's paddle to find out. I made an inquiry and received the following reply from Ulrich Steinberg N2DE, the developer of the Begali CW Machine who is closely associated with Begali as webmaster. Ulrich replied:
Yes, like with most of the Begali keys, the return force on the
Stradivarius is created by adjustable magnets. The torsion spring
itself creates a miniscule force, but it is negligible compared to the
magnetic return force (and not adjustable).

The Stradivarius is a game-changer. Using torsion blades for mounting the paddle levers makes a big difference.

Truly exceptional products of craftsmanship like Stradivari musical instruments and Begali Morse keys not only retain their value over time. Their value increases, sometimes stratospherically. Don't bequeath your Begali keys to your children. Designate them for your great grandchildren in your will!
73, Bruce Prior N7RR
SA6AUT Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2013 14:11 Send this review to a friend
"My Precious"  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not only a superb instrument, heavy and precise!
It also is a hit for the eye and joy to operate!!!

Way to go Begali
W2KS Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2013 06:48 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I finally broke the bank and purchased the Stradivarius. Dealing with Bruna was a pleasure, and she even offered to have my key inscribed for free. The movement is exceptional, and the spacing is so precise that all I merely have to do is slightly touch the paddle to make contact. The Stradivarius is a work of art. Also shipping from Italy via DHL only took 3 days to NY. If you can afford one, buy it.
K3GC Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2012 08:17 Send this review to a friend
Beyond Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After a long, long hiatus I recently returned to CW. I started with a Bencher BY-1 as many do. I then got a Scheunemann Morse Dirigent which was a quantum leap up. It is a great key.
I finally felt compelled to purchase the Bigali Stradivarius - Unbelievable!!
I did not realize a key could be so good. Now code practice is a pleasure rather than a chore.
I wish I could give it a ten.
VE7EPP Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2012 18:40 Send this review to a friend
Perfect  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It looks perfect, feels perfect, and is a perfect addition to my station. I love it.
W9BDN Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2012 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Awesome craftmansship  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The finest workmanship and set of paddles I've ever owned. Been sending CW for 45 years and these are the best. I have mine adjusted so that a piece of paper will not fit in the gap but yet the keying is perfect. The pivots work like a taut band meter, the pivots are actually a metal band flexing ever so slightly. Absolutely no free play what so ever. Thanks to Pietro and Bruna for quick shipping and an awesome product !!

73's, Steve
F6HTL Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2012 01:20 Send this review to a friend
The best key I've ever owned !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Stradivarius key is marvelous in terms of precision and feeling and it's heavier that I primarily thought (difficult to figure out with the photo). The new torsion system is definitely a MUST : Really effortless (that was a shock) and no backlash at all.

I own several keys from different manufacturers - among them is a Begali Signature (another very good key) - but, when it comes to the joy of playing with a very good instrument, my preference goes to the Stradivarius.

Certainly not my last Begali key. Thanks Piero ! (and Bruna for her customer service and kindness).

73 de Michel, F6HTL
N3JT Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2011 04:53 Send this review to a friend
Impressive!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've used keyer paddes for over 50 years, starting with a steak knife and culminating with dual-lever W8FYO, Schurr and Vibroplex keys. At the time it was produced and for long after, the W8FYO represented the finest in CW keys. For several years I used the Schurr key, which had belonged to my old friend HK0BKX. Then I returned to my Vibroplex, which seemed to produce fewer errors than the Schurr. I was happy using the Vibroplex for several years, until the Stradivarius found its way into my shack. I believe the Stradivarius is the best key I've used. How much of this assessment is biased by some subjective combination of appearance, manufacturing features, price paid, and reputation? And are there other premium keys I have not tried that might similarly impress me, including other Begali models? Like in so many areas of personal evaluation, our experience, psychological makeup and even physiology come together to yield an impression of whatever we assess. For a key, for me, this Stradivarius is a cut above the others. Put differently, I really do like it!

WB2LQF Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2011 17:22 Send this review to a friend
Remarkably beautiful; impressively accurate  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This paddle is awesome. I've practically got the contacts closed, yet I still send with very few, if any, errors! This torsion system really does have a different 'feel'. A couple years ago,I switched to single lever paddles because I was making errors with Iambic paddles (I don't "do" Iambic). Had I been able to purchase this Stradivarius at that time, there would have been no need. It's just an incredibly beautiful key with performance that is over the top. The finish is flawless. I have the carbon fiber fingerpieces and they are very comfortable and enhance the enjoyment of using this paddle. As usual, Bruna Begali's customer service pegged the meter. The product was shipped on a Wednesday morning (East Coast time) and arrived at my door the next day at 11:25 a.m. (again East Coast time). DHL and Begali make a great team. This is my sixth Begali key. I love CW and I've been doing it for 51 years. I've owned a lot of different keys. I feel that at last I've found the engineering, physical beauty, and performance that I've evidently been searching for in Piero Begali's products. Because this is my sixth product I would like to add that the customer service, the packaging, the email exchanges, the payment process, and the shipping and customs have all been consistently exceptional, predictable, and completed with never a single issue.
DK4DM Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2011 11:41 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I love it. It looks nice. It weighs a lot. It's precise. Best of all: It feels really good.
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