I’ve had my eye on the full line of Begali keys for quite some time. I had the pleasure of seeing them in person at the 2009 HamCom in Plano when the Begali’s came to town. There was quite a crowd around them but I managed to get my hands on just a couple of the keys. They did not have any Graciella keys on display as I believe they sold the only one they’d brought just before I got there.
This month I was flagged by one of my eBay watches that a Begali Graciella was for sale. I monitored the bidding progress and as it was in the last hour noted that the price was much lower than the cost of a new one. I then bid with what would be a really good price and waited to see what happened. Well, I got lucky, and how.
The key arrived this week and I am so impressed with the appearance, the workmanship, and in particular with what really attracted me to the key in the first place — the ability to adjust pretty much all the characteristics of the key. I can adjust tension via magnets and contact spacing, pretty much standard for every key. But I can also adjust the width of the paddles and the height of the paddles. This is fabulous. Plus, the key is really, really heavy and with the wrap around construction, I’m not sure how I’d ever get the leverage from my fingers to move it —- no matter how excited I was about the DX!
I’ve moved the Schurr Profi into storage and for the first time ever am considering selling it. I’ll still probably keep it as part of a growing collection. It will also serve to remind me of what I used to think was the top of the line paddle.
I recently received an inquiry on how to adjust the Graciella. My brief instructions seemed to work! Here they are:
The screw on the back of the paddle adjusts the width or spacing of the paddles. I’d back off the four screws on the side first, and then adjust the back screw for the width/spacing that you’re seeking. Then adjust the top side screws for the desired gap in the contacts. Finally, adjust the bottom side screws for the desired tension — although I didn’t find much difference in the feel with those screws. The other adjustment is the large wheel underneath the paddle. That adjusts the height of the paddles. I have it set at the very bottom as I like to rest my hand on the table and curve my fingers down.
For me, I struggled with the adjustments until I discovered exactly how that back screw works. I hope that helps.