Author Topic: Most tactile switch  (Read 2897 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline phinix

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1607
  • Location: Haggis Land
  • On a diet.. again.. don't ask...
Most tactile switch
« on: Thu, 21 October 2021, 08:58:27 »
I have, use and love my Zealios v2 78g switches.
However I was wondering if there is anything even more tactile?
I prefer bump starting from very top, no pre-travel.

Never tried those, but was considering them:
  • Gazzew Boba U4T 68g
  • Box Royal
  • Durock T1s
  • BKE Redux Heavy, or even maybe extreme?
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 October 2021, 09:11:49 by phinix »
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Sentry 2.0 | Ruark Audio MR1 Mark II | LG OLED 48CX
Frog TKL Zealios v2 78g| CM QuickFire Rapid MX Blacks Frosty Flake | Model M | Logitech Pro Superlight
SA: Carbon, 7bit's R5 Symbiosis, Filco, Amber Screen Cherry: GMK Laser, OG double shot caps, CRP APL MT3: Serika
::: Phinix Cube ::: Phinix Nano Tower ::: Phinix Aurora ::: Phinix Chimera ::: Phinix Retro :::

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 22 October 2021, 13:08:57 »
Zealio V2 are among the very most tactile stock switches, so there aren't many more tactile.

The U4T is pretty tactile, but it is more rounded than Zealio V2. It's a matter of preference. I wouldn't call it 'more tactile.' Just different.

The U4 Boba [silent U4T] is impressively tactile, like an EC, as the additional dampening creates more resistance. You can get them stock in 68 G.

T1s are a little less tactile than Zealio V2, IMHO. They are more rounded, and comparatively gentle [although still a large bump.] There are switches that feel like a toned-down T1, like SP Star Purple, but also once that feel 'enhanced.' Definitely try the Kiwi tactile if you can, it may feel like a T1 amped up by 10%.

Novelkeys was selling a 2-stage tactile in the past, the Blueberry. I think it was known for having a definite bump, and then a sort of second-stage. It was definitely a tactile that let you know you had pressed it. There is a similar switch known as the 'Kangaroo,' it has an upstroke bump as well, and you can buy it today. I'm not saying that Blueberry and Kangaroo are more intense than Zealio V2, but I'm saying that they should have a very noticeable tactile experience.

https://www.theremingoat.com/blog/gateron-kangaroo-ink-switch-review

The Kangaroo tactility might be a little more subtle than the Blueberry, which was unsubtle.

BOX Royal used to be known as a highly-tactile, maybe too tactile switch, but the Blueberries and others like it have given it a run for the money.

As always, if you want to go beyond the prescribed factory tactility, you will have to frankenswitch. There were all sorts of combinations like "MX Zilent" and "Zykos" and so on.

Apparently, somebody recently started producing something said to be the equivalent of 'factory Zykos,' so you might want to check that out.

Honourable mention to Huano Banana switches. They aren't as tactile as Zealio V2, but they are really, really snappy. And cheap, might want to purchase a can for $20 and try it out.

Offline phinix

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1607
  • Location: Haggis Land
  • On a diet.. again.. don't ask...
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 22 October 2021, 13:36:20 »
Zealio V2 are among the very most tactile stock switches, so there aren't many more tactile.

The U4T is pretty tactile, but it is more rounded than Zealio V2. It's a matter of preference. I wouldn't call it 'more tactile.' Just different.

The U4 Boba [silent U4T] is impressively tactile, like an EC, as the additional dampening creates more resistance. You can get them stock in 68 G.

T1s are a little less tactile than Zealio V2, IMHO. They are more rounded, and comparatively gentle [although still a large bump.] There are switches that feel like a toned-down T1, like SP Star Purple, but also once that feel 'enhanced.' Definitely try the Kiwi tactile if you can, it may feel like a T1 amped up by 10%.

Novelkeys was selling a 2-stage tactile in the past, the Blueberry. I think it was known for having a definite bump, and then a sort of second-stage. It was definitely a tactile that let you know you had pressed it. There is a similar switch known as the 'Kangaroo,' it has an upstroke bump as well, and you can buy it today. I'm not saying that Blueberry and Kangaroo are more intense than Zealio V2, but I'm saying that they should have a very noticeable tactile experience.

https://www.theremingoat.com/blog/gateron-kangaroo-ink-switch-review

The Kangaroo tactility might be a little more subtle than the Blueberry, which was unsubtle.

BOX Royal used to be known as a highly-tactile, maybe too tactile switch, but the Blueberries and others like it have given it a run for the money.

As always, if you want to go beyond the prescribed factory tactility, you will have to frankenswitch. There were all sorts of combinations like "MX Zilent" and "Zykos" and so on.

Apparently, somebody recently started producing something said to be the equivalent of 'factory Zykos,' so you might want to check that out.

Honourable mention to Huano Banana switches. They aren't as tactile as Zealio V2, but they are really, really snappy. And cheap, might want to purchase a can for $20 and try it out.

Thanks for your input:)
Sounds like my Zealios v2 78s might be max I can get.

Maybe this is all we can get cherry wise.

In the past I was topre lover and always had 55g keyboard. Sold them all while back, had a burn-out feeling, couldn't stand them anymore.
However I always wanted to try those BKE redux domes - even now I have a feeling that heavy ones, or even extreme could be something I'm trying to achieve.
I would like to have a switch that needs force to be pressed, strong bump resistance on top - maybe those topre domes would be something like that?

I know that heavy switches are tiring with long typing session, but thing is I do not type for longer than couple of minutes, so I'm not worried about it.
Maybe its time to try and find and buy Novatouch and swap domes? :)
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Sentry 2.0 | Ruark Audio MR1 Mark II | LG OLED 48CX
Frog TKL Zealios v2 78g| CM QuickFire Rapid MX Blacks Frosty Flake | Model M | Logitech Pro Superlight
SA: Carbon, 7bit's R5 Symbiosis, Filco, Amber Screen Cherry: GMK Laser, OG double shot caps, CRP APL MT3: Serika
::: Phinix Cube ::: Phinix Nano Tower ::: Phinix Aurora ::: Phinix Chimera ::: Phinix Retro :::

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 22 October 2021, 14:53:43 »
I have seen people selling BKE heavy domes, because they were too tactile.

So this might be the thing for you, if you are bored with 55 G Topre. Get those 65 G domes or something.

I've always wanted to try the 30, 35, and 42 G aftermarket domes, myself. I find 45 G just a little too inflated in weight. The 30 / 35 G in particular should be snappy but reasonable, from what I understand of the BKE redux domes.

I have a Niz 45 G that is pretty good, but I wouldn't mind converting to 30 G. The problem is that such conversions with the Niz are not easy, it's better to use a Topre board. So I should create a nice 30 G aftermarket Topre one day...

Here is a review of the Neapolitan switch, which is supposed to be a factory Zykos:


Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 22 October 2021, 16:36:00 »
There's also a brand-new switch called Cream Tactile, which is said to be extremely heavy:


(Personally, I think that they went in the exact opposite direction that they should have with that switch. Should have made it an MX Brown. BOX Cream already feels like a worn-in Browns, so they should have gone all the way...)

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 4026
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 23 October 2021, 04:43:51 »
As mentioned, Zeals tend to be pretty tactile as it is, you may want to try a more sharp bump (62g variant).

How tactile do you want to go?
Some switches become more tactile with softer springs, the 62g certainly do but this is FAR from the rule, Zeals are the first I have found that do it to this extreme. Clears, Purple pros.. meh,. Not even close on tactility nor do they respond anywhere near as crazy as Zeals do. They felt pretty much the same other than a softer spring.

With mid 40g (45g) springs the 62g variant tactility tends to be between box jades and box navy switches, which are some of the most tactile you can get. There are some downsides though... Going below 45g makes them even more tactile, but they can actually stick, even if you use the lightest lube possible (my 39g stick on slow release). You also get used to super light spring and will have a hard time going back. You can get Most tactiles down to about 40g, but 62g Zeals just don't like going that low.

I did some rough measurements using nickles a while back, with 39g springs they basically start the bump at 20g, then spike to 45g at peak, only to plunge back to about 25g, a 200% bump. Most tactiles only have a 5-15g bump, on top of 45g pressure point, about a 20% bump, so you can see why it equates to a massive tactile feel. But as mentioned, they struggle to clear the bump on return if they have no momentum (slow release) as the bump is just so massive and the spring so light. Stick to a mid 40's spring or better to be safe, and use a very light lube, not 205, it's way too thick.
Novelkeys NK65AE w/62g Zilents/39g springs
More
62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
| Filco MJ2 L.E. Vortex Case, Jailhouse Blues, heavily customized
More
Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
| GMMK TKL
More
w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| PF65 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
More
Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
More
MF68 pcb, Outemu Blues, in progress
| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
More
J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
More
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
More
Costar model with browns
| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Pylon

  • Posts: 834
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 23 October 2021, 10:31:02 »
The Everglide Dark Jades, and the JWK switches that use a similar stem (Harimau, Anubis, Bouquet) are worth looking into.

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 23 October 2021, 11:42:22 »
Yes, the so-called 'Moyu Blacks' and the Neapolitan are the only stock switches that can challenge Zealio V2.

Zealio V2 do become more tactile as they go lighter, that should be general knowledge here, and Leslieann is right that Zealio V2 are unusual in just how much more tactile they become. If I were buying Zealio V2, I would go for 65 G or even 67 instead of usual 62 because it is that snappy.

I would recommend that phinix at least try different types of MX tactility, as they may offer a different experience from the Zealio V2/Moyu Black/Zykos 'maximum.' These alternatives are NK Blueberry, Kangaroo, Huano Banana, and TTC Bluish White. The latter is only a medium-tactile, but it has a different upstroke than usual.

Offline Chalkboard

  • Posts: 33
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 23 October 2021, 19:18:55 »
BKE heavies are very nice. My favorite tactile switch and my fastest typing switch by about 5-10 WPM. If only there were a battleship/battlecruiser keyboard that was compatible with BKE/Topre/NiZ domes, it would be my daily driver.

If you don’t want to shell out for a Topre/NiZ board and the BKE domes just to see if might like it, buy a BTC dome with slider board to try (they are around $20-$30). Usually anything BTC/Packard Bell with a 51xx model number has them. They are very similar to BKE domes.  Very similar. Although much louder than BKE domes.

Another good one to try if Clicky tactiles are not off the table, BOX Jade offer much better tactility than most MX compatible switches. Very sharp and close to the top.

One caveat, I prefer sharp tactile switches. I don’t find many MX compatible switches to be all that tactile because they have “rounded” (or drawn out, more accurately) tactility. Blueberries, zeals, box royals, holy pandas, bobas, Hako royals, etc. if you look at the force curves, most of them look exactly the same with the peak force right at the front and the a long drawn out linear drop to the bottom. Look at the force curve for BOX Jades for example, the drop from the peak is much much faster. This to me is what provides the feeling of high tactility.
« Last Edit: Sat, 23 October 2021, 19:20:43 by Chalkboard »

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 23 October 2021, 20:27:30 »
At some point, Novelkeys may bring in a 'jailhouse' "silenced" version of the BOX Jade clicky. So it won't be so loud.

Many people already say that the BOX clickies are the best MX tactile, so yeah.

I'd like to see a silenced BOX clicky a bit toned down from the Jade, although I'd try that first.

Offline phinix

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1607
  • Location: Haggis Land
  • On a diet.. again.. don't ask...
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 24 October 2021, 09:35:36 »
Yeah, I have a feeling like I would need to try that BKE heavies before I try any other cherry mx.

Novatouch would be ideal for it, but its hard to get one nowadays.
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Sentry 2.0 | Ruark Audio MR1 Mark II | LG OLED 48CX
Frog TKL Zealios v2 78g| CM QuickFire Rapid MX Blacks Frosty Flake | Model M | Logitech Pro Superlight
SA: Carbon, 7bit's R5 Symbiosis, Filco, Amber Screen Cherry: GMK Laser, OG double shot caps, CRP APL MT3: Serika
::: Phinix Cube ::: Phinix Nano Tower ::: Phinix Aurora ::: Phinix Chimera ::: Phinix Retro :::

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 25 October 2021, 08:36:47 »
At some point, Novelkeys may bring in a 'jailhouse' "silenced" version of the BOX Jade clicky. So it won't be so loud.

Many people already say that the BOX clickies are the best MX tactile, so yeah.

I'd like to see a silenced BOX clicky a bit toned down from the Jade, although I'd try that first.

There are many, including myself, who are of the opinion that the best tactile switches in general are clicky switches. They sacrifice nothing in their attempt to create a crisp and refined tactile event, so tactiles are always fighting an uphill battle against them due to a compromise on sound. The problem is that Cherry's (stock) clicky switches are exceptionally bad clicky switches, and those are all most people bother to try before looking at other switch types.

I can't make an argument against people who actually prefer a specific sort of tactile event that's not sharp and crisp though, or don't like clicks. Topre's certainly very nice for what it is.

Those dampened Matias clickies Chyros made are pretty interesting. Still louder than tactiles, but not by a whole lot. They're more low-pitched than the stock switches as well to boot.

Wouldn't it be nice if "box silent pink" switches were actually dampened box pinks?  :rolleyes: That sounds basically just like what you're getting at with a toned-down and dampened box jade.

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 25 October 2021, 10:54:19 »
Yes, I was thinking specifically of the BOX Pink. Even though I haven't tried it.

Jades could be fatiguing over time, so something in between BOX White [too weak] and BOX Jade [pretty crispy] would be okay.

I've heard people say "BOX Jades were fun...for the first day."

But yes, MX-compatible clickies often have a tactile quality that MX 'tactiles' can't reach. The click bars and click jackets add a dimension absent in the 'interrupted linears' that MX tactiles are.

The only thing better than that are mechanisms in which the operation of the switch is closely tied to the tactile event, making it richer and more genuine. Something like ALPS or especially buckling spring, I guess?

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 25 October 2021, 13:48:22 »
Yes, I was thinking specifically of the BOX Pink. Even though I haven't tried it.

Jades could be fatiguing over time, so something in between BOX White [too weak] and BOX Jade [pretty crispy] would be okay.

I've heard people say "BOX Jades were fun...for the first day."

But yes, MX-compatible clickies often have a tactile quality that MX 'tactiles' can't reach. The click bars and click jackets add a dimension absent in the 'interrupted linears' that MX tactiles are.

The only thing better than that are mechanisms in which the operation of the switch is closely tied to the tactile event, making it richer and more genuine. Something like ALPS or especially buckling spring, I guess?

Box pinks are very nice, perfect for someone who likes the sound and feel of jades but think they're a little too much, be it in stiffness or tactility. They should be in every switch tester and keyboard manufacturers are kicking themselves not offering them as a standard option. It baffles the mind that whites are still a semi-common offering and the variants people actually want are not.

I can't imagine too many people are actually fatigued by Jades. The tactility and sound may not be someone's cup of tea, but their weighting really isn't that bad. I have been using these MX blacks for over a week now and I still feel like I would be more comfortable/confident on box navies. Similarly, box navies are more comfortable to me than membrane buckling spring. Jades are stiffer than MX blue, but they're pretty comparable to Alps/Matias clickies. It should only be a (relatively small) issue if you're used to pretty light Cherrys and clones.

Alps (in good shape) and capacitive buckling spring are ever-so-slightly more refined/nuanced and smooth than the box family, or Matias. I'm sure it does help for some that buckling spring's tactile event and actuation are inextricably linked. Personally, I just think it is icing on the cake. I feel like the tactile event of beamsprings are just a little too simple. They're the smoothest clicky you'll ever feel, but the tactile event doesn't have as many different sensations going on as Alps or CBS. It is almost as if the bump is just floating there in a void, encountered merely by proximity. While subjective, there's something very special about the unique sounds of complicated Alps and CBS as well.

I have no idea where it is anymore, but I have tried to compare the nuance of complicated Alps and CBS to modern clickies in this forum, and why I think they stand a cut above the rest. Complicated Alps feels like the entire tactile event was carefully engineered. It is crisp, but not sharp, firm and highly tactile ... yet at the same time never harsh. You can feel a sudden (yet very subtle) increase in weighting (probably having more to do with the leaves than the coil spring) just before the ledge that is the tactile event, giving you a heads up just before you arrive and transitioning you gently and seamlessly onto that ledge. All of this it does while also somehow feeling like all of the surfaces involved are perfectly smooth.

Box jades and Matias switches both capture some nuance that is very similar, but neither are quite as refined/balanced as complicated Alps. Matias, specifically, feels like steps of that process were eliminated entirely. You plop down onto that shelf unceremoniously without warning, the tactile event that follows doesn't feel quite as .... elegant.

Capacitive buckling spring, similarly (though less subtly), ramps its weighting up to the finale of the tactile event ... which itself is actually sudden and relatively light in that you really don't even ever feel a bump so much as a very slight vibration from the spring as it buckles. The weight just drops right off and you descend rapidly to the bottom of travel. The only thing that really tells you it is about to break is how stiff the spring currently feels. This is really the only sensory feedback you get with CBS besides the sound of the click, the musical twang of the spring as it vibrates after buckling. Everything but that spring sort of just melts away.

No matter how well you describe them, words do not do them justice. There is no mass market switch made today that can be compared to them directly. They must be felt for yourself. The relation of the tactile event to actuation is just a small piece of the pie.

You can only be so objective as well. I think the tendency to glorify blue Alps and CBS for their unique qualities has some very real merit. How much of that is just personal preference is up for debate. I have tried a good deal of totally different mechanisms though, and have tried to type for extended periods on all of the clicky mechanisms I could get my hands on. The beamspring board is an exception because it was listed on Ebay before I even rushed over to see it.

Offline Chalkboard

  • Posts: 33
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 25 October 2021, 17:00:24 »
Yes, I was thinking specifically of the BOX Pink. Even though I haven't tried it.

Jades could be fatiguing over time, so something in between BOX White [too weak] and BOX Jade [pretty crispy] would be okay.

I've heard people say "BOX Jades were fun...for the first day."

But yes, MX-compatible clickies often have a tactile quality that MX 'tactiles' can't reach. The click bars and click jackets add a dimension absent in the 'interrupted linears' that MX tactiles are.

The only thing better than that are mechanisms in which the operation of the switch is closely tied to the tactile event, making it richer and more genuine. Something like ALPS or especially buckling spring, I guess?

Box pinks are very nice, perfect for someone who likes the sound and feel of jades but think they're a little too much, be it in stiffness or tactility. They should be in every switch tester and keyboard manufacturers are kicking themselves not offering them as a standard option. It baffles the mind that whites are still a semi-common offering and the variants people actually want are not.

I can't imagine too many people are actually fatigued by Jades. The tactility and sound may not be someone's cup of tea, but their weighting really isn't that bad. I have been using these MX blacks for over a week now and I still feel like I would be more comfortable/confident on box navies. Similarly, box navies are more comfortable to me than membrane buckling spring. Jades are stiffer than MX blue, but they're pretty comparable to Alps/Matias clickies. It should only be a (relatively small) issue if you're used to pretty light Cherrys and clones.

Alps (in good shape) and capacitive buckling spring are ever-so-slightly more refined/nuanced and smooth than the box family, or Matias. I'm sure it does help for some that buckling spring's tactile event and actuation are inextricably linked. Personally, I just think it is icing on the cake. I feel like the tactile event of beamsprings are just a little too simple. They're the smoothest clicky you'll ever feel, but the tactile event doesn't have as many different sensations going on as Alps or CBS. It is almost as if the bump is just floating there in a void, encountered merely by proximity. While subjective, there's something very special about the unique sounds of complicated Alps and CBS as well.

I have no idea where it is anymore, but I have tried to compare the nuance of complicated Alps and CBS to modern clickies in this forum, and why I think they stand a cut above the rest. Complicated Alps feels like the entire tactile event was carefully engineered. It is crisp, but not sharp, firm and highly tactile ... yet at the same time never harsh. You can feel a sudden (yet very subtle) increase in weighting (probably having more to do with the leaves than the coil spring) just before the ledge that is the tactile event, giving you a heads up just before you arrive and transitioning you gently and seamlessly onto that ledge. All of this it does while also somehow feeling like all of the surfaces involved are perfectly smooth.

Box jades and Matias switches both capture some nuance that is very similar, but neither are quite as refined/balanced as complicated Alps. Matias, specifically, feels like steps of that process were eliminated entirely. You plop down onto that shelf unceremoniously without warning, the tactile event that follows doesn't feel quite as .... elegant.

Capacitive buckling spring, similarly (though less subtly), ramps its weighting up to the finale of the tactile event ... which itself is actually sudden and relatively light in that you really don't even ever feel a bump so much as a very slight vibration from the spring as it buckles. The weight just drops right off and you descend rapidly to the bottom of travel. The only thing that really tells you it is about to break is how stiff the spring currently feels. This is really the only sensory feedback you get with CBS besides the sound of the click, the musical twang of the spring as it vibrates after buckling. Everything but that spring sort of just melts away.

No matter how well you describe them, words do not do them justice. There is no mass market switch made today that can be compared to them directly. They must be felt for yourself. The relation of the tactile event to actuation is just a small piece of the pie.

You can only be so objective as well. I think the tendency to glorify blue Alps and CBS for their unique qualities has some very real merit. How much of that is just personal preference is up for debate. I have tried a good deal of totally different mechanisms though, and have tried to type for extended periods on all of the clicky mechanisms I could get my hands on. The beamspring board is an exception because it was listed on Ebay before I even rushed over to see it.

Agreed.


Alps and capacitive buckling springs…I really like where this thread is going.
« Last Edit: Mon, 25 October 2021, 17:11:53 by Chalkboard »

Offline Chalkboard

  • Posts: 33
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 25 October 2021, 17:09:00 »
Double post

« Last Edit: Mon, 25 October 2021, 17:11:27 by Chalkboard »

Offline Volny

  • Posts: 233
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 25 October 2021, 21:09:55 »
There are many, including myself, who are of the opinion that the best tactile switches in general are clicky switches. They sacrifice nothing in their attempt to create a crisp and refined tactile event, so tactiles are always fighting an uphill battle against them due to a compromise on sound.

I think that only applies to sound though. I wear noise cancelling headphones all day, and I've found, to my great surprise, that once you remove sound from the equation, virtually all clickies feel barely tactile at all, at least compared to what I would expect them to feel like. I've actually had situations where I've pressed a key and said to myself 'oh damn, I wanted to put a clicky in this spot but I must have forgotten!'. Then I've removed the keycap, expecting to see a light tactile there, only to see a box clicky.

Box navy is basically the only clicky switch that still really feels crisp and snappy with my noise cancelling headphones on. Jades are passable. Box pinks, though I like them without headphones, basically feel like cherry browns once headphones are on: a linear with a hint of a tactile event floating suggestively somewhere in the mix. I don't get the same problem with strong tactiles. A durock Koala or Tecsee Sapphire feels satisfyingly tactile whether I can hear it or not. For this reason, I think the 'tactility' of clickies is often actually a bit artificial, and is partially just 'simulated tactility', partly aural rather than actually tactile per se.

This makes sense when you open the switches and look at how they activate. The leaf of a tactile stem makes almost constant contact with the stem, so every bump and change of resistance is directly affecting the stem (and through it, the finger). Importantly, this allows the leaf to also act as a 'brake' on the stem, pressing against it to slow it down after the actual bump. This 'braking' mechanism can help give the tactile event a tighter sense of shape and firmness.

Whereas the sharp click of a box jade is just the sound of a metal wire hitting the housing, long after the stem has left the area. This click coincides with the tactile event you feel but has almost zero actual impact on it, since it hits a piece of plastic that isn't connected to your finger in any meaningful way. What you feel is just the collapse of the stem after it squeezes past the wire. What's more, the Box Jade uses an essentially linear stem, so once that stem gets past the wire, there's no mechanism that would grip the stem leg to 'brake' it, so it just keeps falling in a linear fashion until bottom out. This is actually a far softer and looser-feeling tactile event than the sharp audible click would have you imagine.

And that's the crux of the matter: clickies feel the way they do only because they can trick our imagination into 'feeling' something that isn't there. I have no bone to pick with clickies because, under ordinary circumstances, this approach works great. But without the aid of sound, the veil of that illusion is stripped. And I've found that once you notice this difference, it's hard to unnotice it.
« Last Edit: Mon, 25 October 2021, 21:25:45 by Volny »

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 26 October 2021, 12:55:08 »
There are many, including myself, who are of the opinion that the best tactile switches in general are clicky switches. They sacrifice nothing in their attempt to create a crisp and refined tactile event, so tactiles are always fighting an uphill battle against them due to a compromise on sound.

I think that only applies to sound though. I wear noise cancelling headphones all day, and I've found, to my great surprise, that once you remove sound from the equation, virtually all clickies feel barely tactile at all, at least compared to what I would expect them to feel like. I've actually had situations where I've pressed a key and said to myself 'oh damn, I wanted to put a clicky in this spot but I must have forgotten!'. Then I've removed the keycap, expecting to see a light tactile there, only to see a box clicky.

That's a very interesting perspective. I can't wrap my head around it though myself. I would certainly be willing to try it. I don't think I have any noise cancelling headphones anymore, but I do love to blare music. In fact, I do often type while blaring music loud enough to drown out all other sounds, or type with box jades beneath a blanket in bed.

Box navy is basically the only clicky switch that still really feels crisp and snappy with my noise cancelling headphones on. Jades are passable. Box pinks, though I like them without headphones, basically feel like cherry browns once headphones are on: a linear with a hint of a tactile event floating suggestively somewhere in the mix. I don't get the same problem with strong tactiles. A durock Koala or Tecsee Sapphire feels satisfyingly tactile whether I can hear it or not. For this reason, I think the 'tactility' of clickies is often actually a bit artificial, and is partially just 'simulated tactility', partly aural rather than actually tactile per se.

I perceive navies to be less tactile than jades, probably due in no small part to the fact that you hit a wall more abruptly with the weaker spring, so you're putting more effort singularly into overcoming the click bar. With both jades and navies I can run right up to a sort of shelf and rest my fingers on it knowing that if I go beyond it at all, the click bar will snap over the nub in the slider and momentum will hurl the slider down suddenly. Similarly, I can't see how box pinks could ever feel like Cherry browns. Cherry browns have a totally different feel, more of a rounded bump like most Cherry/clone tactiles. I feel no bump at all with browns unless depressing very slowly. When I do depress Cherry browns very slowly, there's so little tactility that it is hard to tell that there's anything other than a very slight bump in otherwise linear travel. With any click bar switch, overcoming the clickbar is something sudden, not rounded/gradual.

The thicker click bars do a better job of ramping up the pressure just before they snap over the nub on the slider (not as good as complicated Alps, better than Matias, etc) than the thinner ones. They're otherwise totally linear outside of the click on return (one of their weaknesses in my mind). I think that jades and navies achieve their status by having that slight noticeable ramping up of pressure as the click bar bends, before breaking away suddenly/cleanly. No other modern clicky switches achieve this and I'm not aware of any tactiles that ever could due to what their design parameters necessitate. It is the one thing that CBS, Alps SKCM and box thick clicks all have in common while all 3 are still very different from each other overall.

Now, with box whites, there's so little tactility there at all you may not feel any shelf resisting downward travel. They don't rattle at all either, like MX blue (which can be felt), so the difference in tactility between the two may even be accentuated absent of sound. It has been a while since I have played with them, but I could imagine not noticing any tactile event without the audible click. Maybe Pale blues as well, since almost all of the resistance created is from the coil spring.

This makes sense when you open the switches and look at how they activate. The leaf of a tactile stem makes almost constant contact with the stem, so every bump and change of resistance is directly affecting the stem (and through it, the finger). Importantly, this allows the leaf to also act as a 'brake' on the stem, pressing against it to slow it down after the actual bump. This 'braking' mechanism can help give the tactile event a tighter sense of shape and firmness.

When comparing modern MX tactiles to box click bar switches, this makes sense. You do have a greater sense of shape between the two, especially with a click bar so thin that it isn't adding any noticeable resistance before the break. What you lose is crispness. Any sudden break in resistance is going to lead to a click. If you prefer tactility that is more rounded and/or gradual and/or symmetrical, then that is your prerogative. I don't think this really necessarily leads to more or less tactility though, unless we have different definitions of tactility.

Whereas the sharp click of a box jade is just the sound of a metal wire hitting the housing, long after the stem has left the area. This click coincides with the tactile event you feel but has almost zero actual impact on it, since it hits a piece of plastic that isn't connected to your finger in any meaningful way. What you feel is just the collapse of the stem after it squeezes past the wire. What's more, the Box Jade uses an essentially linear stem, so once that stem gets past the wire, there's no mechanism that would grip the stem leg to 'brake' it, so it just keeps falling in a linear fashion until bottom out. This is actually a far softer and looser-feeling tactile event than the sharp audible click would have you imagine.

I suppose we're in total agreement on all counts here other than that the sharp click is merely audible, or that it is soft or loose-feeling.

And that's the crux of the matter: clickies feel the way they do only because they can trick our imagination into 'feeling' something that isn't there. I have no bone to pick with clickies because, under ordinary circumstances, this approach works great. But without the aid of sound, the veil of that illusion is stripped. And I've found that once you notice this difference, it's hard to unnotice it.

I say it is the inverse. They click due to the way that their tactility works, which is why they don't feel like anything that does not audibly click. For some, the sound adds to the experience, for some it detracts from it. It has no actual effect on tactility itself. I have said myself ever since I first tried to describe buckling spring that it is really only very lightly tactile, both variants are the same in that regard even though membrane buckling spring is pretty stiff overall. The ramping up of pressure of the spring before it buckles provides more tactility than the buckling event itself. Beam spring is even less tactile than buckling spring. Bucking and beam both still have tactility that is very unique and a pleasure to type with.

Box jades and Alps/Matias clickies are very tactile, yet not really any more audibly clicky than buckling spring ... which is only lightly tactile.

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 4026
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 26 October 2021, 14:07:05 »
And that's the crux of the matter: clickies feel the way they do only because they can trick our imagination into 'feeling' something that isn't there. I have no bone to pick with clickies because, under ordinary circumstances, this approach works great. But without the aid of sound, the veil of that illusion is stripped. And I've found that once you notice this difference, it's hard to unnotice it.
I say it is the inverse.
Depends on the switch in my experience.
Novelkeys NK65AE w/62g Zilents/39g springs
More
62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
| Filco MJ2 L.E. Vortex Case, Jailhouse Blues, heavily customized
More
Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
| GMMK TKL
More
w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| PF65 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
More
Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
More
MF68 pcb, Outemu Blues, in progress
| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
More
J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
More
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
More
Costar model with browns
| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 26 October 2021, 14:35:41 »
And that's the crux of the matter: clickies feel the way they do only because they can trick our imagination into 'feeling' something that isn't there. I have no bone to pick with clickies because, under ordinary circumstances, this approach works great. But without the aid of sound, the veil of that illusion is stripped. And I've found that once you notice this difference, it's hard to unnotice it.
I say it is the inverse.
Depends on the switch in my experience.

Many things could be inferred by this statement. Could you elaborate?

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 4026
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 26 October 2021, 15:28:07 »
And that's the crux of the matter: clickies feel the way they do only because they can trick our imagination into 'feeling' something that isn't there. I have no bone to pick with clickies because, under ordinary circumstances, this approach works great. But without the aid of sound, the veil of that illusion is stripped. And I've found that once you notice this difference, it's hard to unnotice it.
I say it is the inverse.
Depends on the switch in my experience.

Many things could be inferred by this statement. Could you elaborate?
It's the same as smell and taste, they often are required for certain things to taste right. Oranges for instance rely a lot on smell to taste how they do, you just interpret it as taste (coffee too if I remember right).

Klling the click on some really does damage the tactility, and not always the ones you would think. In my experience Box switches really lose tactility without the click none of the tactiles feel the same and I've tried most of them as well as a funky Jade and Navy that didn't click, they were not the same. Strangely Cherry MX Blue does not lose tactility (or at least very little) when the jacket is locked.
Novelkeys NK65AE w/62g Zilents/39g springs
More
62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
| Filco MJ2 L.E. Vortex Case, Jailhouse Blues, heavily customized
More
Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
| GMMK TKL
More
w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| PF65 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
More
Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
More
MF68 pcb, Outemu Blues, in progress
| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
More
J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
More
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
More
Costar model with browns
| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 26 October 2021, 15:40:08 »
And that's the crux of the matter: clickies feel the way they do only because they can trick our imagination into 'feeling' something that isn't there. I have no bone to pick with clickies because, under ordinary circumstances, this approach works great. But without the aid of sound, the veil of that illusion is stripped. And I've found that once you notice this difference, it's hard to unnotice it.
I say it is the inverse.
Depends on the switch in my experience.

Many things could be inferred by this statement. Could you elaborate?
It's the same as smell and taste, they often are required for certain things to taste right. Oranges for instance rely a lot on smell to taste how they do, you just interpret it as taste (coffee too if I remember right).

Klling the click on some really does damage the tactility, and not always the ones you would think. In my experience Box switches really lose tactility without the click none of the tactiles feel the same and I've tried most of them as well as a funky Jade and Navy that didn't click, they were not the same. Strangely Cherry MX Blue does not lose tactility (or at least very little) when the jacket is locked.

The smell and taste analogy is a good one, probably even applicable to a point.

You're talking more about modified and/or defective switches though, aren't you? If a clicky switch doesn't click at all, it isn't functioning as designed, and tactility should reasonably be altered as a result. We're talking more about clicky switches with no alterations at all other than the absence of the sound they make.

I like having an excuse to go home and shake the room with some metal tonight while testing different clicky switches.

Offline Rik.caffeinated

  • Posts: 26
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 26 October 2021, 20:29:12 »
I've had a lot of luck with boba frankenswitches lately.

I tried two notable combos which worked very well

T1 bottom+spring+boba slotted top

Cherry MX Green(or blue) bottom+Halo 78g Spring+Halo stem+boba non-slot top

Both of these are incredibly tactile. Much more so than anything you will buy off the shelf (I own the u4ts and they don't come close)

Offline Volny

  • Posts: 233
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 26 October 2021, 20:48:53 »
I agree the taste/smell analogy is a good one. And I think it's worth reiterating that although an orange without the benefit of smell doesn't taste very good, that's no fault of the orange, since if you're eating an orange while holding your nose, you're eating it wrong. And one could argue that typing on clickies while blocking their sound (as I do with noise cancelling headphones) is also forcing them to perform outside of their intended use case.

That's a very interesting perspective. I can't wrap my head around it though myself. I would certainly be willing to try it. I don't think I have any noise cancelling headphones anymore, but I do love to blare music. In fact, I do often type while blaring music loud enough to drown out all other sounds, or type with box jades beneath a blanket in bed.

I should probably clarify here that mere noise-cancelling headphones aren't enough to remove the audible click. I'm very sensitive to distractions, and I have young children in the house and a wife who also works from home, so I try my absolute hardest to remove outside sounds. So I wear noise-cancelling headphones (Bose QC45 - the best noise-cancelling I've tried, and perhaps the best on the market, according to reviews I've seen) with fairly loud music playing and a special sound effect layer that combines multiple ambient sounds like rain, wind, and white noise. If I don't have all three, then I can still hear clicky switches very clearly. Even with all three, I can still hear the clickies a bit, though quieter, at which point the physical feel of the switch takes on more prominence.

Though to test out the effect yourself, some good earplugs (perhaps combined with earmuffs) would probably suffice.

Quote
I perceive navies to be less tactile than jades, probably due in no small part to the fact that you hit a wall more abruptly with the weaker spring, so you're putting more effort singularly into overcoming the click bar. With both jades and navies I can run right up to a sort of shelf and rest my fingers on it knowing that if I go beyond it at all, the click bar will snap over the nub in the slider and momentum will hurl the slider down suddenly. Similarly, I can't see how box pinks could ever feel like Cherry browns. Cherry browns have a totally different feel, more of a rounded bump like most Cherry/clone tactiles. I feel no bump at all with browns unless depressing very slowly. When I do depress Cherry browns very slowly, there's so little tactility that it is hard to tell that there's anything other than a very slight bump in otherwise linear travel. With any click bar switch, overcoming the clickbar is something sudden, not rounded/gradual.

You're right that Box Pinks have a sharp dropoff after the click that Browns could never have. This is very evident at slow pressing speeds, but I find that it becomes very subtle at fast (ie. regular) typing speeds, at which point the audible click is doing much of the work. I guess I could maybe compare it to the feeling of a small pothole on a road. If you drive over it very slowly, you'll feel it as a definite and sudden cliff that the car momentarily falls into. But if you drive over it very fast, it becomes a less significant bump that barely alters the car's trajectory.

Quote
The thicker click bars do a better job of ramping up the pressure just before they snap over the nub on the slider (not as good as complicated Alps, better than Matias, etc) than the thinner ones. They're otherwise totally linear outside of the click on return (one of their weaknesses in my mind). I think that jades and navies achieve their status by having that slight noticeable ramping up of pressure as the click bar bends, before breaking away suddenly/cleanly.

It's this sudden and clean breaking away that I feel is the weakness (though this is obviously just matter of personal and subjective preference). Because in a switch like this, the point of activation is marked by an absence or vanishing of physical resistance, which just somehow doesn't feel as fundamentally satisfying to me. Yes, I can feel when the clickbar has been overcome, and yes this is a much sharper event than in a tactile switch, but somehow I'm still missing a sense of direct feedback from the switch. A sense that the switch is still interacting with my finger in direct response to the actuation, rather than the switch just 'giving up' and letting my finger go into freefall. Tactile switches often do this to a (moderate extent) with that 'braking' effect I referred to earlier, which can make the switch hit a second, smaller "shelf" immediately after the main tactile event. I imagine that if the clickbar were to somehow slap against the stem itself, producing a little vibration that I could feel in my finger, that would be a great improvement.

On that thought, I wonder why no one has ever made a tactile stem with a 'sawtooth' shape in the stem leg, so that the leaf actually loses contact with the stem for a split-second before coming back to give the stem a genuine, discrete *slap*. I imagine that would be very satisfyingly tactile. You would get a sharp clicky-like snap that you can feel as well as hear (and the sound might-be less tinny too). But I guess there's probably some reason why it wouldn't work, which is why no one does it.
« Last Edit: Tue, 26 October 2021, 21:01:02 by Volny »

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 4026
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 27 October 2021, 03:47:33 »
You're talking more about modified and/or defective switches though, aren't you? If a clicky switch doesn't click at all, it isn't functioning as designed, and tactility should reasonably be altered as a result. We're talking more about clicky switches with no alterations at all other than the absence of the sound they make.
While possible with those, it just shows it matters.

Remember, the click isn't always just noise, it can send a vibration through the switch itself, which brings up another point.
We associate the click with activation, even though it isn't. Your impression of when and where a switch activates can also change if you can't hear the click or feel the vibration from it.

All of this also may be why I say tactiles are boring, clickies have a crispness or sharpness that is almost impossible to get in a tactile (making them feel slow and dull). All the more strange when you have people who like rounded tactiles and sharp clickies...  That impact from a clicky just can't be replicated in tactile, probably why I like wired jailhouse blues, they retain much of the sharpness but only a fraction of the click which allows them to retain that sharpness.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it's all but impossible to keep that sharpness without a click of some sort, probably why some feel dampenned feel less sharp. The sharpness comes with hard stops or fast change of direction, either a click bar, a lever, bottom out, etc... You simply can't have a sudden stop or change of direction without making some noise, it's just physics. As always, everything's a compromise.
Novelkeys NK65AE w/62g Zilents/39g springs
More
62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
| Filco MJ2 L.E. Vortex Case, Jailhouse Blues, heavily customized
More
Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
| GMMK TKL
More
w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| PF65 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
More
Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
More
MF68 pcb, Outemu Blues, in progress
| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
More
J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
More
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
More
Costar model with browns
| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 27 October 2021, 09:32:07 »
That's a very interesting perspective. I can't wrap my head around it though myself. I would certainly be willing to try it. I don't think I have any noise cancelling headphones anymore, but I do love to blare music. In fact, I do often type while blaring music loud enough to drown out all other sounds, or type with box jades beneath a blanket in bed.

I should probably clarify here that mere noise-cancelling headphones aren't enough to remove the audible click. I'm very sensitive to distractions, and I have young children in the house and a wife who also works from home, so I try my absolute hardest to remove outside sounds. So I wear noise-cancelling headphones (Bose QC45 - the best noise-cancelling I've tried, and perhaps the best on the market, according to reviews I've seen) with fairly loud music playing and a special sound effect layer that combines multiple ambient sounds like rain, wind, and white noise. If I don't have all three, then I can still hear clicky switches very clearly. Even with all three, I can still hear the clickies a bit, though quieter, at which point the physical feel of the switch takes on more prominence.

Though to test out the effect yourself, some good earplugs (perhaps combined with earmuffs) would probably suffice.

I think you underestimate how loudly I blare music.  ;D I tested last night, I could hear no clicks. I just used some old JBL headphones I had nearby. They were being driven by a nice Klipsch desktop speaker system though. It was late, otherwise I typically use an old Kenwood surround system. I believe it is 1,000 watts or so.

Quote
I perceive navies to be less tactile than jades, probably due in no small part to the fact that you hit a wall more abruptly with the weaker spring, so you're putting more effort singularly into overcoming the click bar. With both jades and navies I can run right up to a sort of shelf and rest my fingers on it knowing that if I go beyond it at all, the click bar will snap over the nub in the slider and momentum will hurl the slider down suddenly. Similarly, I can't see how box pinks could ever feel like Cherry browns. Cherry browns have a totally different feel, more of a rounded bump like most Cherry/clone tactiles. I feel no bump at all with browns unless depressing very slowly. When I do depress Cherry browns very slowly, there's so little tactility that it is hard to tell that there's anything other than a very slight bump in otherwise linear travel. With any click bar switch, overcoming the clickbar is something sudden, not rounded/gradual.

You're right that Box Pinks have a sharp dropoff after the click that Browns could never have. This is very evident at slow pressing speeds, but I find that it becomes very subtle at fast (ie. regular) typing speeds, at which point the audible click is doing much of the work. I guess I could maybe compare it to the feeling of a small pothole on a road. If you drive over it very slowly, you'll feel it as a definite and sudden cliff that the car momentarily falls into. But if you drive over it very fast, it becomes a less significant bump that barely alters the car's trajectory.

I'm aware of the difference in feel when typing at different speeds when using only very slightly tactile switches. I don't have pinks in a board (although I have a Drop Alt I could swap some into, I have just been too lazy), so I can't comment on those vs MX brown. In the absence of any sound from the boards, I can still feel a difference even between MX brown and MX blue though, although it is very subtle. The biggest difference being the blues don't feel scratchy and feel sharper, but there's so little to feel at all when typing at speed that you might not even notice switching between them without slowing down and/or actively looking for a difference. The blues in the particular board I used had almost no rattle, so that didn't help. This is the one scenario where some crappy Ajazz/Zorro blues might actually be useful.

Quote
The thicker click bars do a better job of ramping up the pressure just before they snap over the nub on the slider (not as good as complicated Alps, better than Matias, etc) than the thinner ones. They're otherwise totally linear outside of the click on return (one of their weaknesses in my mind). I think that jades and navies achieve their status by having that slight noticeable ramping up of pressure as the click bar bends, before breaking away suddenly/cleanly.

It's this sudden and clean breaking away that I feel is the weakness (though this is obviously just matter of personal and subjective preference). Because in a switch like this, the point of activation is marked by an absence or vanishing of physical resistance, which just somehow doesn't feel as fundamentally satisfying to me. Yes, I can feel when the clickbar has been overcome, and yes this is a much sharper event than in a tactile switch, but somehow I'm still missing a sense of direct feedback from the switch. A sense that the switch is still interacting with my finger in direct response to the actuation, rather than the switch just 'giving up' and letting my finger go into freefall. Tactile switches often do this to a (moderate extent) with that 'braking' effect I referred to earlier, which can make the switch hit a second, smaller "shelf" immediately after the main tactile event. I imagine that if the clickbar were to somehow slap against the stem itself, producing a little vibration that I could feel in my finger, that would be a great improvement.

To each their own. Based on your comments on the weaknesses of the box family, you do make it sound like you're a prime candidate for trying capacitive buckling spring (if you have not already). The box family are just the best modern mass market clicky switches (unless you count Matias), their competition being almost entirely limited to MX and clones ... which are terrible.

On that thought, I wonder why no one has ever made a tactile stem with a 'sawtooth' shape in the stem leg, so that the leaf actually loses contact with the stem for a split-second before coming back to give the stem a genuine, discrete *slap*. I imagine that would be very satisfyingly tactile. You would get a sharp clicky-like snap that you can feel as well as hear (and the sound might-be less tinny too). But I guess there's probably some reason why it wouldn't work, which is why no one does it.

Matias "quiet clicks" sort of have two tactile events, although they don't click. There's also not really much of a slap. They're the sharpest modern tactile I have felt, but I haven't tried really any of the fancy boutique MX clones. Box pinks, jades and any Alps derivatives (Matias switches used to have a problem with spring ping, apparently. I never noticed it until it was mentioned and only on older boards.) don't sound tinny at all unless the acoustics of the rest of the board are to blame. I was even underwhelmed by the mellow/subdued resonance of the jades I swapped into a Unitek K151L. It has a steel plate and the whole bottom of the case is steel, with a whole lot of open air throughout. I was hoping for it to be thunderous. It ended up making only a very small difference, much smaller than the ping machine I made swapping navies into a Corsair K65.

I dug out my only MX brown board (and actually finally replaced the stabilizer inserts I stole from it for my Das Pro 4) and compared it against all of the clicky switches I knew were immediately nearby, while drowning out all sound with some Dimmu Borgir. I alternated between hearing clicks and not hearing them, for comparison. There were definitely differences in perception with certain switches, mostly ones that are barely tactile at all to begin with.

Results:

Outemu snap spring - very slightly tactile, more than MX switches tested (slight perceived decrease)
MX blue - almost imperceptible tactility in the absence of sound (probably the most profound difference of the switches tested)
Matias clicky switches - very tactile (very small perceptible difference, if any)
Box jades - very tactile (very small perceptible difference, if any)
Capacitive buckling spring (solenoid present, but switched off) - slightly more tactile than snap spring (no perceived difference, but I have spent a lot of time deconstructing the characteristics of this mechanism in my mind and use it almost daily)

The switches I felt the least difference with were also, perhaps coincidentally, the clicky switches present that I have typed the most with in recent times. They were also the most tactile switches of the bunch. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 31 October 2021, 14:39:56 »


Alps and capacitive buckling springs…I really like where this thread is going.

Very good discussion in this thread about the relative merit and operation characteristics of BOX clickies vs Matias vs Complicated ALPS vs Buckling Spring.

I agree with the sentiment that Complicated ALPS tactility really felt as if the tactile event was tied up with the operation of the switch itself, which lent a richness and subtlety to it, as well as a naturalistic 'positive' confirmation of switch actuation.

Chinese manufacturers really take a lot of risks in switch and keycap design, sometimes, so I wish they would step up on offering alternatives to MX tactility. Like, I know it could fail but they're already doing multiple Topre clones, so why not? The closet thing we have is Zeal's long effort to create an ALPS-style clicky, which could also be used to imitate ALPS tactility to some extent. Many are curious about that, but we don't know when it's coming.

It's a step in the right direction, though, and we need more of this. MX clone manufacturers seem to have 'maxed out' what they can do with standard MX tactility. [Interestingly, MX tactility has been accused of having a 'sawtooth' feel to it because of the stem / leg shape, and the grittiness of the molds. But it hasn't been elevated to the level Volny suggested, wherein gaps appear in the tactile leg so that there can be an interruption of switch-contact feel. That could be interesting, although abrupt and harsh.]

Offline Altis

  • Posts: 967
  • Location: Canada
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 31 October 2021, 18:47:52 »
Most tactile I've used are my KPT blue switches... an Alps blue clone from the 80s. They're a bit too heavy for my tastes but it's almost more of a crunch than a click.
WhiteFox (Gateron Brown) -- Realforce 87U 45g -- Realforce 104UG (Hi Pro 45g) -- Realforce 108US 30g JIS -- HHKB Pro 2 -- IBM Model M ('90) -- IBM Model M SSK ('87) -- NMB RT-101 & RT-8255C+ (Hi-Tek Space Invaders) -- Keytrak (Blue Alps) -- Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blue Alps) -- KPT-102 (KPT Alps) -- G80-1800 (MX Blue) -- KUL ES-87 (62/65g Purple Zealios) -- CM QFR (MX Red) -- Apple Aluminum BT -- Realforce 23u Numpad

Offline Cirdec

  • Posts: 2
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 08 November 2021, 01:14:40 »
The most tactile that I've tried are the Boba U4T, it has a very sharp tactile bump. Some of my friends tried my lubed/filmed U4T and they noticed that it's one of the most tactile switches they have ever tried too.

Offline phinix

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1607
  • Location: Haggis Land
  • On a diet.. again.. don't ask...
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 08 November 2021, 02:34:07 »
The most tactile that I've tried are the Boba U4T, it has a very sharp tactile bump. Some of my friends tried my lubed/filmed U4T and they noticed that it's one of the most tactile switches they have ever tried too.

Yeah, I think I'll give those Boba U4T a try, sounds like could be an option to my Zealios v2s.
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Sentry 2.0 | Ruark Audio MR1 Mark II | LG OLED 48CX
Frog TKL Zealios v2 78g| CM QuickFire Rapid MX Blacks Frosty Flake | Model M | Logitech Pro Superlight
SA: Carbon, 7bit's R5 Symbiosis, Filco, Amber Screen Cherry: GMK Laser, OG double shot caps, CRP APL MT3: Serika
::: Phinix Cube ::: Phinix Nano Tower ::: Phinix Aurora ::: Phinix Chimera ::: Phinix Retro :::

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 08 November 2021, 11:36:05 »
The most tactile that I've tried are the Boba U4T, it has a very sharp tactile bump. Some of my friends tried my lubed/filmed U4T and they noticed that it's one of the most tactile switches they have ever tried too.

Yeah, I think I'll give those Boba U4T a try, sounds like could be an option to my Zealios v2s.

I speak from experience here: the 'Boba' housing is very tactile. It has a very stiff tactile leaf.

It's a great housing for making heavy tactiles, and almost nothing else. Boba housings are less-wobbly than Zealio V2, and can sound better.

The best thing I've created from Boba housings are the popular Holy Bobas. These are like Holy Pandas, but many find Holy Boba to be better in the areas of sound, stability, and possibly tactility. I build mine fairly soft, using 68 G Progressive springs and 3204. But the Holy Boba is a top-tier tactile, and they don't necessarily need to be lubed at all. Just use good (lubed) springs.

So yeah, the Halo / Polia stem works great in the Boba housing, and maybe could be made more tactile than U4T. [Although I build my U4Ts light, at 55 G and lubed with 3204, so it's hard to say.] U4T is known for its big sound and smoothness, it's not necessarily the most tactile thing you can put in a Boba housing. You could probably even put Zealio V2 in a Boba housing.

Offline stonedRabbit

  • Posts: 3
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 08 November 2021, 19:50:31 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g
HHKB Hybrid S - Tiffany Des domes 35g | Planck rev.6 - Hako Violet | Reviung41 - Gateron Silent Brown 35g

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 08 November 2021, 20:03:03 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g

More tactile than Maxi Switch dome with slider? Those are really tactile. I only have stock 55g Topre and 45g Niz though.

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 08 November 2021, 21:45:26 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g

Are all the light replacement domes (30-35 g) very tactile? It's my understanding that the BKE light and ultra-light aren't necessarily super-tactile.

I also have an ABKO (Niz) 45 G, but I wouldn't call it highly-tactile. I would say it's a linear-style tactility, where there's a moderate amount of tactility that is pretty consistent through the keypress. No big 'bump.'

A 30-35 G dome that's about as tactile as ABKO, or a little more, could be fun for me.


Offline phinix

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1607
  • Location: Haggis Land
  • On a diet.. again.. don't ask...
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #34 on: Tue, 09 November 2021, 03:00:55 »
If I had any topre keyboard I would try those BKE heavies to see how this compares to my old favourite 55g.
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Sentry 2.0 | Ruark Audio MR1 Mark II | LG OLED 48CX
Frog TKL Zealios v2 78g| CM QuickFire Rapid MX Blacks Frosty Flake | Model M | Logitech Pro Superlight
SA: Carbon, 7bit's R5 Symbiosis, Filco, Amber Screen Cherry: GMK Laser, OG double shot caps, CRP APL MT3: Serika
::: Phinix Cube ::: Phinix Nano Tower ::: Phinix Aurora ::: Phinix Chimera ::: Phinix Retro :::

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 09 November 2021, 07:25:11 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g

Are all the light replacement domes (30-35 g) very tactile? It's my understanding that the BKE light and ultra-light aren't necessarily super-tactile.

I also have an ABKO (Niz) 45 G, but I wouldn't call it highly-tactile. I would say it's a linear-style tactility, where there's a moderate amount of tactility that is pretty consistent through the keypress. No big 'bump.'

A 30-35 G dome that's about as tactile as ABKO, or a little more, could be fun for me.

Agreed. Those Abko boards sound great right out of the box.

Offline Riverman

  • Posts: 391
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 09 November 2021, 17:58:24 »
I had a uniform 30g Topre keyboard for a while before swapping the domes out with the the 45g domes from an RGB.  There was some tactility, but the keys were so light it was hard to feel it.  The tactility was, at least, easier to notice on a keyboard full of 30g domes than typing on the "A" key on a variable weight Realforce would lead you to believe.  I'd be curious to try a full keyboard of BKE ultralights, or something aftermarket that's closer to 30g.

Offline Chalkboard

  • Posts: 33
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 09 November 2021, 20:52:23 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g

More tactile than Maxi Switch dome with slider? Those are really tactile. I only have stock 55g Topre and 45g Niz though.

I had a Gateway 2000 AnyKey (with Maxi Switch dome with slider) and did not find it to be all that tactile as some have claimed it to be. If I had to describe Maxi Switch dome with slider in one word it would be mushy. If there is a distinction between mushiness and tactility, it is lost on me. I would put it below BKE domes, BTC dome with slider, Scorpius dome with slider, and NMB dome with slider in terms of tactility.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 10 November 2021, 07:44:05 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g

More tactile than Maxi Switch dome with slider? Those are really tactile. I only have stock 55g Topre and 45g Niz though.

I had a Gateway 2000 AnyKey (with Maxi Switch dome with slider) and did not find it to be all that tactile as some have claimed it to be. If I had to describe Maxi Switch dome with slider in one word it would be mushy. If there is a distinction between mushiness and tactility, it is lost on me. I would put it below BKE domes, BTC dome with slider, Scorpius dome with slider, and NMB dome with slider in terms of tactility.

I don't own any of those other dome with slider types for direct comparison, though I do kind of want to grab a BTC one some time soon. I don't know that there's anything utilizing a dome that couldn't be described, in some way, as "mushy". With my Maxi Switch board you have just a tiny bit of travel before hitting a wall. It takes a lot of force to overcome to cause the dome to suddenly buckle.

Seems a lot more tactile to me than the stock 55g Topre in my Realforce, which are the second-most tactile domes I have felt. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 10 November 2021, 09:41:00 »
In relation to the clicky / tactile discussion, ZealPC has announced it is launching the ALPS-style clicky in Q4:



Quote

Clickiez™ group buy will launch Q4 2021. It's finally happening! For real. We're just adjusting the spring weight right now to find the optimal balance in click to weight. One will be moderate weighted in the 60-70g range, and the other (original version) heavier at ~100g peak force. More details to come / sneak peeks in Discord.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 10 November 2021, 11:20:45 »
In relation to the clicky / tactile discussion, ZealPC has announced it is launching the ALPS-style clicky in Q4:

Its about time. Will box thick clicks finally be dethroned as the MX compatible clicky king?

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 984
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 10 November 2021, 16:45:02 »
It's the question on everybody's minds.

Offline phinix

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1607
  • Location: Haggis Land
  • On a diet.. again.. don't ask...
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #42 on: Thu, 11 November 2021, 01:21:34 »
100g peak force... hmm... this could be nice. It just I'm worried about loudness of clicks.
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Sentry 2.0 | Ruark Audio MR1 Mark II | LG OLED 48CX
Frog TKL Zealios v2 78g| CM QuickFire Rapid MX Blacks Frosty Flake | Model M | Logitech Pro Superlight
SA: Carbon, 7bit's R5 Symbiosis, Filco, Amber Screen Cherry: GMK Laser, OG double shot caps, CRP APL MT3: Serika
::: Phinix Cube ::: Phinix Nano Tower ::: Phinix Aurora ::: Phinix Chimera ::: Phinix Retro :::

Offline Volny

  • Posts: 233
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #43 on: Thu, 11 November 2021, 22:32:53 »
I recently tried a clicky switch I hadn't tried before (Frankenswitch, actually) that is noticeably more tactile than any of the box clickies. Out of curiosity, I bought a pack of 10 Phoenix stems (Outemu, I believe), which are a click jacket design. After trying a bunch of housings, Durock Koala housings seemed the best fit, though they needed fairly stiff springs to feel responsive enough on the upstroke (I tried them in 75g and 90g variants). I tried them in some blind tests with Kailh box pinks/owls/jades/navies, and the Phoenix stems most definitely were the most tactile of all. I say "blind" tests, though they were anything but, since I could tell the switches apart very easily. The Phoenix/Koalas weren't outrageously tactile by any means, but they certainly were noticeably more so than any of the box switches. You can better feel the vibration of the actual click event in your finger, so the tactility feels less 'simulated' than in a box switch IMO.

Having said that, my favourite clicky switch at the moment is the Kailh Owl. Its weight feels somewhere between a pink and a jade, but the operation somehow feels cleaner (less 'grittier') than any of the other box switches. I'd never thought of box switches as being particularly 'gritty', but I do like this extra clean feeling owl switch.

Offline Altis

  • Posts: 967
  • Location: Canada
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #44 on: Fri, 12 November 2021, 03:44:36 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g

More tactile than Maxi Switch dome with slider? Those are really tactile. I only have stock 55g Topre and 45g Niz though.

I had a Gateway 2000 AnyKey (with Maxi Switch dome with slider) and did not find it to be all that tactile as some have claimed it to be. If I had to describe Maxi Switch dome with slider in one word it would be mushy. If there is a distinction between mushiness and tactility, it is lost on me. I would put it below BKE domes, BTC dome with slider, Scorpius dome with slider, and NMB dome with slider in terms of tactility.

I don't own any of those other dome with slider types for direct comparison, though I do kind of want to grab a BTC one some time soon. I don't know that there's anything utilizing a dome that couldn't be described, in some way, as "mushy". With my Maxi Switch board you have just a tiny bit of travel before hitting a wall. It takes a lot of force to overcome to cause the dome to suddenly buckle.

Seems a lot more tactile to me than the stock 55g Topre in my Realforce, which are the second-most tactile domes I have felt. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have 30g, 45g, have had 55g Topre, Realforce and HHKB... I don't find the 30g to be very tactile simply because they're very light, but they do have a nice hump that goes the whole key travel. 55g just felt heavier without really feeling any more tactile.

The 45g in the HHKB is definitely considerably more tactile and "poppy" than the Realforce. 45g Hi Pro also feels excellent if you can get over the keycaps.

Of course, my Keytronics membrane board is much more tactile than any of them (or any mechanical board). Very pronounced.

I got out an old Focus FK2001 with white Alps for the first time in ages and it surprised me how tactile it is... definitely more tactile than the Blue ones, though those feel nicer because of the more elongated and smoother tactile hump.
WhiteFox (Gateron Brown) -- Realforce 87U 45g -- Realforce 104UG (Hi Pro 45g) -- Realforce 108US 30g JIS -- HHKB Pro 2 -- IBM Model M ('90) -- IBM Model M SSK ('87) -- NMB RT-101 & RT-8255C+ (Hi-Tek Space Invaders) -- Keytrak (Blue Alps) -- Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blue Alps) -- KPT-102 (KPT Alps) -- G80-1800 (MX Blue) -- KUL ES-87 (62/65g Purple Zealios) -- CM QFR (MX Red) -- Apple Aluminum BT -- Realforce 23u Numpad

Offline phinix

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1607
  • Location: Haggis Land
  • On a diet.. again.. don't ask...
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #45 on: Fri, 12 November 2021, 04:05:22 »
The most tactile switch is topre with third party rubber dome like BKE or DesKeys.
The interesting part here that the more weight dome has - the more tactility it loses. The most tactile domes are light ones.
For example I use deskeys Tiffany domes (35g) and they are more tactile that original 45g

More tactile than Maxi Switch dome with slider? Those are really tactile. I only have stock 55g Topre and 45g Niz though.

I had a Gateway 2000 AnyKey (with Maxi Switch dome with slider) and did not find it to be all that tactile as some have claimed it to be. If I had to describe Maxi Switch dome with slider in one word it would be mushy. If there is a distinction between mushiness and tactility, it is lost on me. I would put it below BKE domes, BTC dome with slider, Scorpius dome with slider, and NMB dome with slider in terms of tactility.

I don't own any of those other dome with slider types for direct comparison, though I do kind of want to grab a BTC one some time soon. I don't know that there's anything utilizing a dome that couldn't be described, in some way, as "mushy". With my Maxi Switch board you have just a tiny bit of travel before hitting a wall. It takes a lot of force to overcome to cause the dome to suddenly buckle.

Seems a lot more tactile to me than the stock 55g Topre in my Realforce, which are the second-most tactile domes I have felt. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have 30g, 45g, have had 55g Topre, Realforce and HHKB... I don't find the 30g to be very tactile simply because they're very light, but they do have a nice hump that goes the whole key travel. 55g just felt heavier without really feeling any more tactile.

The 45g in the HHKB is definitely considerably more tactile and "poppy" than the Realforce. 45g Hi Pro also feels excellent if you can get over the keycaps.

Of course, my Keytronics membrane board is much more tactile than any of them (or any mechanical board). Very pronounced.

I got out an old Focus FK2001 with white Alps for the first time in ages and it surprised me how tactile it is... definitely more tactile than the Blue ones, though those feel nicer because of the more elongated and smoother tactile hump.

I need to try those alps for first time - people keep saying they are nice:)
Is this Focus FK2001 hard to find? Expensive?
9100 | 3070 | 2x 1TB SSD | Z390 Aorus Pro ITX | 16GB RAM | SFX 600W | Sentry 2.0 | Ruark Audio MR1 Mark II | LG OLED 48CX
Frog TKL Zealios v2 78g| CM QuickFire Rapid MX Blacks Frosty Flake | Model M | Logitech Pro Superlight
SA: Carbon, 7bit's R5 Symbiosis, Filco, Amber Screen Cherry: GMK Laser, OG double shot caps, CRP APL MT3: Serika
::: Phinix Cube ::: Phinix Nano Tower ::: Phinix Aurora ::: Phinix Chimera ::: Phinix Retro :::

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Most tactile switch
« Reply #46 on: Fri, 12 November 2021, 09:31:12 »
I recently tried a clicky switch I hadn't tried before (Frankenswitch, actually) that is noticeably more tactile than any of the box clickies. Out of curiosity, I bought a pack of 10 Phoenix stems (Outemu, I believe), which are a click jacket design. After trying a bunch of housings, Durock Koala housings seemed the best fit, though they needed fairly stiff springs to feel responsive enough on the upstroke (I tried them in 75g and 90g variants). I tried them in some blind tests with Kailh box pinks/owls/jades/navies, and the Phoenix stems most definitely were the most tactile of all. I say "blind" tests, though they were anything but, since I could tell the switches apart very easily. The Phoenix/Koalas weren't outrageously tactile by any means, but they certainly were noticeably more so than any of the box switches. You can better feel the vibration of the actual click event in your finger, so the tactility feels less 'simulated' than in a box switch IMO.

Having said that, my favourite clicky switch at the moment is the Kailh Owl. Its weight feels somewhere between a pink and a jade, but the operation somehow feels cleaner (less 'grittier') than any of the other box switches. I'd never thought of box switches as being particularly 'gritty', but I do like this extra clean feeling owl switch.

I can't see how a click jacket could possibly create more tactility than a medium or thick click bar, but I think your perception of tactility differs from mine. Click jackets are crunchy and rattly, so particularly bad ones might give you sensory feedback for a longer period of time as it vibrates than something smooth and crisp. I don't know of any click jackets that are more than very lightly tactile though since there's basically no resistance to overcome in order for the mechanism to click. The tactility in most clicky switches is sudden and stiff, and most tactiles are more gradual out of necessity to prevent an audible click.

So, if we're perceiving tactility as how long your fingers are bombarded with it more so than how large of a bump or shelf there is to overcome, an argument could be made for MX clones and other more traditional rounded tactility switches having more tactility than box thick clicks. Then, of course, one could argue whether or not they even want those sensations ... as most people who have tried other clickies definitely do not want the rattle of a click jacket. I also don't like the sensation of plastic rubbing on plastic very much myself, when talking about most other tactile switches.

I got out an old Focus FK2001 with white Alps for the first time in ages and it surprised me how tactile it is... definitely more tactile than the Blue ones, though those feel nicer because of the more elongated and smoother tactile hump.

I think there's a lot of variation in feel even in complicated SKCM white Alps switches. I have noticed that some of my white Alps boards do indeed have slightly more tactility than SKCM blue. Earlier SKCM whites, though, since they were a direct descendant in the developmental line of SKCM as time progressed, feel almost indistinguishable from blues. I have an early SKCM white Omnikey, in particular, that feels just about the same as my nicest DC-2014 with blues. I believe the idea has also been floated that Alps also had multiple factories using different tooling throughout the production run of SKCM whites. I think I have stated in the past that, at least amongst the 4 or 5 white complicated Alps boards that I have, Matias switches actually edge out SKCM for feel in some cases.

I need to try those alps for first time - people keep saying they are nice:)
Is this Focus FK2001 hard to find? Expensive?

FK2001 is hard to find in good shape, especially with the pivoting dust cover, at a reasonable price. They're a relatively popular Alps board, due in no small part to Chyros' videos. I have one that's in great shape but I had to repair the hinge of one side of the dust cover by drilling a hole for a nylon screw to replace the broken peg. I hunted for a few months to find that one at a reasonable price as well. I don't know that they're necessarily rare, they're just not something that's going to sit on Ebay for long unless it is very abused or overpriced.

If all you want is a SKCM white board for a good price, search around for some Ortek or Nan Tan boards that contain them. They fly under the radar of collectors.

Alps switches are very temperamental. If the board even looks visibly dirty, don't bother buying it unless you want to go on a total restoration adventure. You could spend hours making the board spotless in and out and if the sliders and housings are already scratched up due to being used dirty, they may still feel terrible anyway.

Conversely, I have never tried a clicky Matias board that felt scratchy, regardless of the condition it arrived in. It also hasn't sat around for 2-3 decades, which I'm sure helps. Older Matias boards (before switching over to Outemu from Forward as the manufacturer) are probably not even worth owning. I have an older full-size Matias board with Forward switches that has chatter on at least 50% of the keys.
« Last Edit: Fri, 12 November 2021, 09:37:43 by Maledicted »