Author Topic: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?  (Read 980 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline elektralyt

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 0
Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 16:33:07 »
Keyboard kit for around 300 or less. I am not looking for the best value, but the best I can get for 300. Here is what I am looking for:

Sound somewhat similar to this:
Nice pop sound to it, somewhat creamy sound too.

65/60 percent, either is fine (WKL, HHKB are fine too)
Gasket mounted
Nice build quality
Looks nice (Preferred)
Brass plate (Preferred but aluminium is fine as well)
Hot swap PCB
In Stock, or will be within the next few months (GBs are fine as long as shipping not over a year)
Decent weight

I already have the other parts that I need:
Durock v2 stabs
Tealios v2 switches
GMK keycaps
Films
Krytox 205 G0
Foam

I have looked at tofu60/65 but it is gasket mount. Also I have looked at the phantom 65 and it seems pretty promising, but are there a better, higher quality keyboard around 300 USD?

I am deciding between Salvation 60, phantom 65, tofu 65. But any other suggestions is much appreicated.

I am fairly new to custom keyboards and need some advice on a kit. Sorry if anything I say is a dumb question I am a beginner. Also, I know this is about preference but if anyone could just give their personal opinion and give an explanation it would be very helpful.
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 May 2021, 16:54:29 by elektralyt »

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3803
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 19:22:30 »
You're asking for a $500-$700 cutting edge chassis for $300.
Do you understand just how expensive KeyCult is?  While you can get really close for a whole lot less you're drooling over a Bugatti when you a have a BMW 3 series budget. There's nothing wrong with a 3 series budget, it's just a long, long way from Bugatti.

There's a very limited number of aluminum boards between $200 and $300, all are Chinese, not that it's a bad thing but they're rarely as cutting edge, feature loaded or as good on fit and finish, especially compared to KeyCult. There's almost nothing with gasket mount, brass weight or a brass plate, that's an option and options add cost, and in your price range there's just not a lot of room for optional parts. In stock, good luck. Then you want to dictate all these other features, hot swap, stab mount, weight, quality, looks. I'm not saying there's nothing that matches up close to what you want, but getting even 3/4ths of these or even in stock makes it really difficult.

As for your choices
I'm curious how tall the front row on the Salvation 60 is, that has to be a really tall keyboard. Phantom 65, is done, unless you can get a used one, you won't be getting one, group buys are almost always one run only, if you miss it, you miss it. BTW, recent group buys that sell second hand fetch huge prices. As for Tofu, it could take months to reach you because shipping is horrible.

Some actual in stock, actually available options are GMMK Pro,  Novelkeys NK65 Aluminum Edition, both often run out of stock though. Idobao is another brand you may want to check out, they have a GMMK Pro style (might be the same board) as well as a common TKL layout. If you're willing to wait a bit, check out KBDfans.
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 elektralyt

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 0
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 19:33:41 »
What gasket mount board around that price range can you recommend?

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3803
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 22:44:40 »
What gasket mount board around that price range can you recommend?
The only one I can think of even remotely in stock is the GMMK Pro and it doesn't have the "trampoline" effect you're probably after.
Gasket mount is too new (and in my opinion highly misunderstood and abused), it takes a while for ultra high end stuff to trickle down to high end keyboards, if ever. Others here may have some ideas but your options are severely limited on that.

You can mod certain boards to have it, like the Tofu, GH60, Poker and similar but it's more hack than mod and these are also pretty much the only boards that have much of a trampoline effect.
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 Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3803
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 05 May 2021, 23:23:10 »
How much deflection is this trampoline effect
Depends on the board.
0.1-0.2mm on some, usually larger boards, on others it can be closer to 1, maybe a bit more, but usually only on smaller boards.

In all cases, the greater the travel the taller the keyboard and the less consistent it will feel across the entire board face, there's no way to make it consistent within the space constraints.
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)

Online tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 13374
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 06 May 2021, 07:51:57 »
How much deflection is this trampoline effect
Depends on the board.
0.1-0.2mm on some, usually larger boards, on others it can be closer to 1, maybe a bit more, but usually only on smaller boards.

In all cases, the greater the travel the taller the keyboard and the less consistent it will feel across the entire board face, there's no way to make it consistent within the space constraints.

1mm of deflection will def impact typing accuracy.

The less predictable it is the more you have to (wait) for hit confirm. The larger that window, the more propensity for error.

Both are slow downs.

Offline Darthbaggins

  • Posts: 418
  • Location: Acworth, GA
  • PC Cannibal
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 06 May 2021, 08:00:31 »
What TP4 hasn't stated that ErgoDox are superior and must be used instead  :eek: something is off. .

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Online tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 13374
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 06 May 2021, 08:43:04 »
What TP4 hasn't stated that ErgoDox are superior and must be used instead  :eek: something is off. .

A proper ERGODOX isn't around $300

Also, suspect the OP is promoting his youtube /suspicious
:mad:

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 3803
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 06 May 2021, 08:44:14 »
1mm of deflection will def impact typing accuracy.

It only/mostly comes into play when you bottom out, not during activation, but I agree with you.

I think most people are being sold a bag of false promises, and yes I know some people swear by it, but we also know people have extremely rose tinted glasses on expensive purchases.
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)

Online tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 13374
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 06 May 2021, 08:46:31 »
1mm of deflection will def impact typing accuracy.

It only/mostly comes into play when you bottom out, not during activation, but I agree with you.

I think most people are being sold a bag of false promises, and yes I know some people swear by it, but we also know people have extremely rose tinted glasses on expensive purchases.

What LLann was trying to say is trampoline plates are people being sold a bag of d*(*s but, she's too classy for that. BROKEN PROMISES.. mmmhmmm...

Offline Darthbaggins

  • Posts: 418
  • Location: Acworth, GA
  • PC Cannibal
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 08 May 2021, 09:44:38 »
I'm happy with my firm plates and lets the switches do their part.  But again I'm used to steel plates from all the boards I grew up using.   Really I can say there are plenty of good options at or below that price point. 
I thought you could build your own ErgoDox for around that price, but obviously I was misinformed.

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Offline Kavik

  • Posts: 801
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 11 May 2021, 13:12:59 »
I don't keep up with custom keyboard stuff much lately, so I'm not familiar with the current slew of 60 and 65 percent keyboards. However, I think the Maja keyboard sold through KBDFans is a very high quality keyboard with gasket mount, hot swap PCB, and brass plate, right at $299 (before shipping). It's a split Alice style layout though, but if KBDFans has something comparable to it in a different layout, that may be a good bet.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline TK0

  • Posts: 37
  • Location: Brazil
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 11 May 2021, 16:40:54 »
I don't keep up with custom keyboard stuff much lately, so I'm not familiar with the current slew of 60 and 65 percent keyboards. However, I think the Maja keyboard sold through KBDFans is a very high quality keyboard with gasket mount, hot swap PCB, and brass plate, right at $299 (before shipping). It's a split Alice style layout though, but if KBDFans has something comparable to it in a different layout, that may be a good bet.

Isn't the Maja top mounted?

What TP4 hasn't stated that ErgoDox are superior and must be used instead  :eek: something is off. .

A proper ERGODOX isn't around $300

Also, suspect the OP is promoting his youtube /suspicious
:mad:

I've just got into Ergodox, and I'm loving it. What a proper Ergodox would be?

I find it very hard to find any good quality ergodox case/kit. Someone posted an IC here for an aluminum case, but it seems like it is still on early development.

--

Edit: I forgot to answer the OP. In your budget AND in stock, the closer you will get, afaik, will be the GMMK PRO or mod/hack a Tofu. I imagine none of these options will come close to a Keycult.

But again, as already has been said, you have a $300 budget to find something in stock, and are comparing it to something that costs $600+ if you get luck in a raffle to pre-order it and get it several months later. Otherwise, it is 1,5K+ on the mechmarket, maybe used.
« Last Edit: Tue, 11 May 2021, 17:11:29 by TK0 »

Offline iri

  • Posts: 954
  • Location: 'Great' Britain
Re: Best Keyboard kit under around 300?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 13 May 2021, 06:17:14 »
Why is this in off-topic though?
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury