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Reviews For: Begali Simplex Mono

Category: Keys & Paddles

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Review Summary For : Begali Simplex Mono
Reviews: 49MSRP: 165.00
Single lever key with a novel segmented lever, gold or palladium plated base.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K0RS Rating: 2023-09-16
Looks Good... Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I guess along with K6LQ, I have to be the party pooper here. The Simplex Mono sure looks the business alright. In fact mine is exactly as the picture here shows, palladium base with anodized red aluminum fingerpieces, it could be a Ferrari on my desk. It also has optional gold contacts. Unfortunately, the performance is more Fiat than Ferrari. Like K6LQ I like close contact spacing, on the order of .2 mm, and a light return spring to boot. Begali sends along a .3 mm feeler gauge with which to adjust the points, and with good reason. Set them any closer than .3 mm and you'll find yourself inserting unwanted dits and dahs. K6LQ gives a rather technical explanation for why he feels this is the case, and I'll take his word for it. What I know is that I have to set my contact spacing larger than I am comfortable with in order to keep my sending clean. It's interesting that my ancient, pedestrian Vibroplex Vibrokeyer actually handles close contact spacings better. Not only that but the Vibro falls to hand more comfortably. The height above the desk and the feel of the fingerpieces are ergonomically correct for my hand. I guess a hundred years of experience is worth something! I wouldn't be dissuaded from trying another Begali model however. The HST, while an ugly bugger, looks interesting.
WA3HVR Rating: 2023-07-25
Love it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just getting back to cw after many years of being away from it. Borrowed a simplex from a friend to use at field day and loved it, but iambic is not for me. So, I opted for the simplex mono instead with palladium finish and black metal perforated finger pieces. I’m not making mistakes with this one and it looks and works great. Definitely a wonderful piece of equipment. Customer service is amazing too.
K3DGR Rating: 2016-02-28
Great quality & workmanship! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Been using paddles since '58 and am a cw-only op for about 45 years and the quality of this product is great. I set the gap a bit wider .008in as I use a very light touch for QRQ and it loafs along at 35wpm or so.. I was completely satisfied that I asked Piero to build me a Stradivarius!!. The simplex Mono is a single lever paddle which you can fine tune to your liking with micro-threaded adjustments with gap and tension on a heavy base. Not a lot of money for this great quality but you won't be disappointed!, Thanks Piero.. Great quality - super customer service! ..73's Dave,aa3ej CFO#1014

Earlier 5-star review posted by K3DGR on 2016-02-05

Been using Begali paddles for years (Magnetic classic Iambic) and wanted to try a single lever paddle..and WOW!..Nice and smooth, I use a wider gap .0008 or so with a very light tension and can easily achieve QRQ speeds with no problem. Great quality and customer support. Keep up the great work Begali..
73's Dave,aa3ej CFO#1014
WY4J Rating: 2014-01-13
Is Very Pretty But That's All Time Owned: more than 12 months.
First a little about me, I operate cw every single day and have done so for the last 38 years. I enjoy collecting keys and paddles but I do not enjoy using every paddle or key that I own.

This Begali is not the worst paddle I own but is not the best paddle I own. I guess I would have to say, is average. I do not receive great pleasure using it but is functional. Maybe like a Hyundai or a Kia. There is no way that you can compare this paddle to anything made by N3ZN but Tony's keys are a bit more expensive and you usually get what you pay for. Now, I would not trade my Kent paddle for ten of these Begali...and to boot the Kent comparable paddle is much cheaper but it will outperform it in every way, hands down.

This paddle is very pretty to look at and this is why I still have it. I never gets used but I enjoy looking at it.
W8NLZ Rating: 2014-01-12
Update - The Good gets Better Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I reviewed my first Begali Mono in 2010, at which time I thought it was a good key. Since then, I have bought a second Mono for my travel rig. Both keys exhibited a slight bit of "slop" as you go between the dit and dah positions. I even asked the Italians about it when I went to Dayton. Their response was " adjust per instructions". Well today I discovered two very small allen screws in the side arms. I could see where the slop was coming from. I tightened both these screws to take up the slop and now ... viola ... the key feels perfect. I could kick myself for wasting several years before I discovered these screws. Otherwise, I am very pleased with the keys,experiencing no problems, no contact corrosion, etc.
RK3TD Rating: 2012-09-18
Good simple paddle Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Excellent key for those who work with the hand, not the fingers. Base weight does not allow people to make mistakes with a heavy hand.
W4ZV Rating: 2012-09-06
Caveat Emptor regarding KW4CQ's problems Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Using (commonly known as the WayBack Machine), I searched the web history of Begali's Simplex Mono webpage. Here are the applicable wording changes including dates concerning the standard contacts:

"The contacts are corrosion resistant and have been tested in salty fog according to DIN 50025." (April 14, 2005)

"The contacts are 925/000 silver." (July 24, 2008)

K2VCO reported the following on the Elecraft list:

Some Begali keys used an alloy that caused the contacts to act like a diode, with a
constant forward voltage drop. This caused problems with some, but not all, keyers,
including my K2 internal keyer and a Logikey.

Cleaning and Deoxit did not help in this instance. I ordered replacement gold contacts for
my Begali Magnetic Pro (not cheap) which completely solved the problem.

I also have a newer Begali model which came with silver contacts and it did not display
the problem.

I suggest that with modern rigs that have very low currents in the key circuit that you
only use silver or gold contacts.

Caveat emptor if you buy a Begali key with alloy contacts manufactured prior to 7/24/2008. Thus far, Begali has not offered to replace these contacts with the new silver contacts used in their production change.
KW4CQ Rating: 2012-04-29
Contacts not performing reliably. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using this model now for about two years and find the dit and dah contacts failing to make contact reliably. I have used it both with the built-in keyer in my FTDX-5000 and with my Logikey 5 keyer and the results are the same with both. I have tried repeatedly to clean the contacs with the burnishing tool provided by Begali and I always keep the dust cover on the key. After cleaning the contacts and adjusting the contact spacing the key performs flawlessly for a day or so and then the key begins to miss either the dit and or the dah side contacts once again. This often becomes frustrating during a contest or when chasing a rare one only to have to stop and clean the contacts. The key is a masterpiece of design and construction and while others have not reported the same issue I am reporting on here I feel compelled to report my experience. Although I would do so if I could I can't affort to buy a replacement Begali key so perhaps it is time to break out my old Vibroplex key I suppose.
EI5JZ Rating: 2011-09-24
Very Good Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I still like the design of this paddle (Palladium). Works great too. Really good weight. Very good service. Standard fingerpieces a little bit boring but you can get more exiting ones from Begali.
K1YT Rating: 2010-10-18
This is a great paddle! Kind of a Ferrari on my desk. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought this paddle as a result of seeing the workmanship by Begali on an iambic paddle. I have been using a Schurr iambic for many years and wanted to try a non-iambic paddle since I don't actually use iambic (sorry to keep using the word iambic so many times...). The mono is an extremely nice key and I must admit I had to get used to the force difference between it and the Schurr. Also, in the end I found the suggested adjustment from Begali much better than my trying to wing it...

I like the does not move on my table at all. I don't have another key I can say that about. Once it was broken in, it became very spite of the workmanship, it needed a little wear to be super smooth.

I don't like the plastic cover it came with, but it does work. I knock it off the paddle often...never did with the Schurr. My shack gets dust so it needs the cover. Small complaint.

You cannot beat the service or communication with the company. Bruna, the daughter of the owner, is someone to love in terms of communication and help. Wish I knew more companies with service like that.

So, I would definitely buy this key again and it has replaced the Schurr as my primary key. I actually never thought that would happen. It is very attractive (like a Ferrari) and functions flawlessly. It is, by the way, I think the only key of this design.