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geekhack Community => Keyboards => Topic started by: Maledicted on Fri, 22 May 2020, 15:55:41

Title: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: Maledicted on Fri, 22 May 2020, 15:55:41
Hey guys. If you know me, you know I like a lot of vintage boards and switches. Funkmon (https://geekhack.org/index.php?action=profile;u=107571) kindly pointed out this Matias board (https://www.amazon.com/Matias-Mini-Tactile-Pro-Keyboard/dp/B00FW7FHFE/ref=psdc_12879431_t2_B00M32NEJ2) to me, and it piqued my interest for its form factor with its given switches, which I have never tried. I hate Apple as a company and don't generally use their operating systems unless necessary, but I've never been one to be too picky about such things when the boards can be used with any OS interchangeably anyway. I know Matias makes basically the same board without the white theme, etc, but not with clicky switches, which are my favorites.

If I love capacitive buckling spring (which I'm using now), SKCM blue Alps, and Kailh box thick clicks, do you think it would be worth it for me to purchase a Matias board to toss into rotation, or would the switches potentially be too underwhelming? Even if they would be, I'm still on the fence on the idea just to be able to compare them against their forefathers, etc.

I have read a lot of complaints about the relative reliability of Matias' switches and boards. How much of this may be smoke and mirrors? Has the situation improved in recent years?
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: mode on Fri, 22 May 2020, 16:09:02
I suspect you would find them disappointing. I have a matias quiet "click", it's just a bit too unrefined. I typed on it briefly as a curiosity and then just kept using my ALPS boards.

I'd be surprised if you used it enough for reliability to become an issue.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: fohat.digs on Fri, 22 May 2020, 17:21:59
They are not bad, and the "quiet" click really is quiet, I don't know how they do it.

If you really like the keyboard and layout, but dislike the switches, you can always transplant in vintage Alps into the chassis.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: ddrfraser1 on Fri, 22 May 2020, 17:55:31
What happens if you transplant a matias stem, say a quiet stem, into an alps housing?
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: funkmon on Fri, 22 May 2020, 18:19:42
Probably nothing. I do think the quiet clicks are dampened alps, but I also think they aren't the same dimensions. I don't really know honestly, I don't have one of the Matias quiet click switches.

I do consider the Matias normal switches to be about on par with well kept white alps, albeit not immaculate. Immaculate, NOS white Alps beats the Matias, but those are pretty hard to come by, and they don't have a warranty or a USB hub. A new Matias to me is 90% of white Alps. I think you'll like it just to have a modern keyboard that really feels like the old ones used to.

But you know what I think.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: cameronmcleod71 on Fri, 22 May 2020, 19:13:12
I would recommend the clicky Matias boards, but not the quiet clicks. I own a Matias board with clicky switches and they are very satisfying to type on. There was also no build quality issues with my board. I believe that most of the issues people are having are with the quiet click boards. I love this board for the fact that you can get it in a space saver size and it is one of the only notable boards on the market with brand new alps switches.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: ddrfraser1 on Fri, 22 May 2020, 19:29:38
Probably nothing. I do think the quiet clicks are dampened alps, but I also think they aren't the same dimensions. I don't really know honestly, I don't have one of the Matias quiet click switches.

I do consider the Matias normal switches to be about on par with well kept white alps, albeit not immaculate. Immaculate, NOS white Alps beats the Matias, but those are pretty hard to come by, and they don't have a warranty or a USB hub. A new Matias to me is 90% of white Alps. I think you'll like it just to have a modern keyboard that really feels like the old ones used to.

But you know what I think.

Cool. I wonder if putting matias sliders in alps housings makes them as smooth as alps?
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: fohat.digs on Fri, 22 May 2020, 19:56:58
Remember, Matias are based on simplified Alps, not complicated Alps.

The only way to know about those Frankenstein variants is to try them.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: mode on Sat, 23 May 2020, 00:33:33
What happens if you transplant a matias stem, say a quiet stem, into an alps housing?

Youíd fairly certainly end up with a switch that isnít quite as nice as SKCM cream damped.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: Maledicted on Sat, 23 May 2020, 03:38:14
Alright, thanks for the input everybody. I ended up just ordering it to see.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: RominRonin on Sat, 23 May 2020, 04:37:22
I would recommend the clicky Matias boards, but not the quiet clicks. I own a Matias board with clicky switches and they are very satisfying to type on.

I think this is not stated often enough. In terms of interesting, tactile feel, the Matias Click switches are far superior to the Matias Quiet Click switches. The MQC have a tactile leaf and are dampened. The dampening sure makes the switch quiet, but it absolutely kills the feel for me.

The MC switches have a click leaf and no damping. The click sounds and feels far superior to the mx clicky experience. The absence of damping  contributes to a very satisfying overall feel.

You can swap a dampened stem in to the MC switch, it will dampen the bottom and top extremes, but the click then sounds and feels wrong - the bottom-out and reset sounds add to the overall character of the whole switch feel.

Iíve just described the feel of a single switch, but there is something else with a board full of them: I notice that I make far fewer errors with MC switches compared to any other kind of switch I type with.
Title: Re: Buckling spring and Alps fan debating picking up a Matias keyboard for kicks
Post by: Maledicted on Sat, 23 May 2020, 14:15:53
Update: The Matias board came in today and it is much closer to original Alps switches in feel than people seem to admit. The biggest difference seems to be that the click of the Matias switches appears to be more muted and low pitch than the SKCM blues I'm used to. This leads to a distinct sound of its own, although the rest of the overall sound is pretty much the same. The tactile event is also just a bit less pronounced than on the complicated Alps switches. While I do sort of miss the crisp click sound of complicated Alps, I'm actually finding Matias' modern iteration to be a perfectly acceptable alternative. I have already experienced chatter twice (I had to go back and update this as I was typing this very post as I experienced it once again while typing this) and I have only been using the board for less than 20 minutes. That's not a wonderful sign of what's to come, but I do love the switches. It is a shame that Matias doesn't make this exact board and switch combo in black with Windows keys, but oh well.

I would certainly put these switches head to head favorably against capacitive buckling spring and Kailh box thick clicks in terms of feel and sound, although it already seems like their reliability could be a major problem.

I would recommend the clicky Matias boards, but not the quiet clicks. I own a Matias board with clicky switches and they are very satisfying to type on.

I think this is not stated often enough. In terms of interesting, tactile feel, the Matias Click switches are far superior to the Matias Quiet Click switches. The MQC have a tactile leaf and are dampened. The dampening sure makes the switch quiet, but it absolutely kills the feel for me.

The MC switches have a click leaf and no damping. The click sounds and feels far superior to the mx clicky experience. The absence of damping  contributes to a very satisfying overall feel.

You can swap a dampened stem in to the MC switch, it will dampen the bottom and top extremes, but the click then sounds and feels wrong - the bottom-out and reset sounds add to the overall character of the whole switch feel.

Iíve just described the feel of a single switch, but there is something else with a board full of them: I notice that I make far fewer errors with MC switches compared to any other kind of switch I type with.

I would probably go with something MX-compatible with dampened switches anyway, unless I find a nice deal on a dampened Alps board that I don't feel like passing on down the road. This is all great to know though. I would certainly hope that Matias' clickies feel much better than MX. MX clickies feel terrible in comparison to most alternatives.

I did end up picking up a Hi-Tek 725 board that most likely has black clickies in it, and a Topre board on the same day, so it seems to be the week of filling in a few long-open gaps of switch types in my collection.