Manufacturer: Begali, Italy
The Sculpture Swing is a no-compromise cootie key (sideswiper) and, like its siblings in the growing Sculpture line of paddles, it was designed to represent the ultimate key of its type, combining materials and state-of-the art techniques that set it apart from anything else on the market.
All fixed parts are completely made from AISI-304 stainless steel – a virtually indestructible material that can only be shaped to this perfection with specialized machinery and tools. It is polished to a finish that should stay perfect for a lifetime, and, unlike plated surfaces, you can always remove any blemishes with fine abrasive compounds like jewellers rouge or car polish.
Unlike with paddles or straight keys, you want the contact closure in a cootie key to be soft. You see the elaborate sliding contact assembly at the back of the key – changing its position determines how stiff the long needle arm feels. At the front you see concentric spring-loaded stops and a cam which determine the centre position and the return force. When you move the long lever the concentric stop will be compressed, and eventually the gold plated ball on the needle arm will touch the contact in the contact post without abruptly stopping your movement. This is a key for specialists with a “feel” and hand movements which are unlike any other key – but once you have mastered it, it will provide the satisfaction of a high-speed key that does not need an electronic keyer.
Like with the Sculpture dual lever paddle, gold contacts made from solid 14k gold (not plated) are a standard feature – the best contacts available anywhere.
At the bottom of the base Begali is using a rubber ring to prevent slippage – although it would be pretty hard to get this 2.5kg heavy weight to slide around on your table. Also included are four rubber feet which you can install instead of the rubber ring.
Like with its Sculpture siblings, Begali has made every attempt with this key to not only produce a technical instrument that serves its purpose with the highest possible precision, but also to make it aesthetically pleasing.