Author Topic: Choosing between cream damped and orange Alps, need help  (Read 803 times)

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Offline swedishpiehole

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  • Posts: 78
Choosing between cream damped and orange Alps, need help
« on: Mon, 24 June 2019, 15:52:29 »
In order to harvest tactile switches for an Alps64 build, which will be my first Alps keeb, I bought an AEK on eBay that I thought would have orange or salmon switches. It arrived with white damped, i.e. the worst. They arrived dirty and scratchy, but even after being cleaned to remove the scratchiness they still feel like utter garbage. So I went back to eBay and searched a lot longer until I found a French Canadian AEK for a good price that I suspected would have the switches I wanted. Strike two: cream damped, but at least they have the slit. Third time was a charm: an Apple ADB keyboard that arrived with... orange switches! Yaaaay! But as it turns out, I'm not sure I like the oranges better than the cream damped (shock, horror). The creams make tiny little click sounds that aren't loud enough to be annoying but are strangely satisfying. And they feel good without cleaning (I cleaned a few for comparison). The orange switches are louder for sure, but not unbearably so, although I don't hear that tiny click at all. Maybe it's masked by the upstroke. I just didn't feel as wowed by the oranges as I had expected to.

Anyway, long story not so short, I don't have an adapter that would allow me to test these keyboards in real use to decide. And typing on an unplugged keyboard is not really informative, and gets boring fast. So how do I decide which variant to harvest? If I love Topre, T1s, and Holy Pandas, and want the best tactile Alps experience, which of these two switches should I go for?

Thanks in advance to all you Alps lovers.

Offline Sup

  • Posts: 519
  • Location: Gateron/Alps
Re: Choosing between cream damped and orange Alps, need help
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 24 June 2019, 16:36:03 »
Honestly its what you prefer its like me preferring Yellow alps over Brown alps. Cream dampen switches aren't bad by any means especially if you make them linear.
Filco Zero -  NOS Yellow Alps | Canoe R1 Gateron Red | AEK II JP Cream dampend |Filco Majestouch 2 Tex case Gateron Yellow | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev AO Serial 000171|DZ60 OG Panda's with Fei spring and stem. | Sentraq S65_Plus OG Invyr Panda's |
Coming soon 2X Lubrigrante in wonderland.

Offline maaaaatt

  • Posts: 14
Re: Choosing between cream damped and orange Alps, need help
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 26 June 2019, 07:21:43 »
So Iíve got a few keyboards with the switches in question, including a nos AEKII with damped cream, and a pristine AEK with oranges. Both have spent several months in rotation as my work keyboard, and another relevant keyboard is an early AEKII I have with Salmon switches, also in very good condition.

Like most Alps fans, I think Cream Damped is just ok - it doesnít have the binding issues and slightly scratchy feel of the White Damped (the general consensus is that quality dramatically declined around the bamboo generation of Alps, and in the examples I own this seems to be true), itís not unreliable like the later simplified Alps seems to be, but itís no where near as smooth as the first generation, doesnít sound as good, and the rubber bumpers give it a key feel that isÖ not as good as it should be.

Your comments about Orange are interesting because I felt the same way you did when I started typing on them - they were up against a great condition Blue Alps board I still regularly use, and I had a couple of Salmon boards which seemed similar at first, so whatís the fuss about? After some heavy use, let me tell you.

Clicky and linear Alps are flashy. Blue Alps in particular are spectacularly crisp and are the torch bearer for the classic Alps sound. Linear Alps are deadly smooth in a way that still puts a lot of modern switches to shame.

Tactile switches are not flashy - they are hard to get right and not appreciated as much as they should be. They make no click so they quietly do their job without audibly pleasing you, and getting the force curve right as they travel downwards while still staying smooth and giving a good tactile cue to your fingers is a challenge.

Orange Alps basically nail this challenge. They are precise and perfectly weighted, and they have a huge amount of tactility given their light weighting, and itís in a perfect spot up near the top of the travel distance, plus they maintain Alpís famous sound without being super loud. Orange Alps are what Cherry MX Brown wishes it was. They donít tire out my hands, and I get that great moment where your fingers curl up slightly as they hover above the board, and you get that feeling that you really want to type something, anything on those keys, and thatís a feeling only a great tactile switch delivers.

tl;dr: The Oranges are a subtle switch, give them some time and I think youíll like them a lot.

Offline Rob27shred

  • Posts: 499
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Too many boards, yet not enough...
Re: Choosing between cream damped and orange Alps, need help
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 26 June 2019, 07:38:35 »
So Iíve got a few keyboards with the switches in question, including a nos AEKII with damped cream, and a pristine AEK with oranges. Both have spent several months in rotation as my work keyboard, and another relevant keyboard is an early AEKII I have with Salmon switches, also in very good condition.

Like most Alps fans, I think Cream Damped is just ok - it doesnít have the binding issues and slightly scratchy feel of the White Damped (the general consensus is that quality dramatically declined around the bamboo generation of Alps, and in the examples I own this seems to be true), itís not unreliable like the later simplified Alps seems to be, but itís no where near as smooth as the first generation, doesnít sound as good, and the rubber bumpers give it a key feel that isÖ not as good as it should be.

Your comments about Orange are interesting because I felt the same way you did when I started typing on them - they were up against a great condition Blue Alps board I still regularly use, and I had a couple of Salmon boards which seemed similar at first, so whatís the fuss about? After some heavy use, let me tell you.

Clicky and linear Alps are flashy. Blue Alps in particular are spectacularly crisp and are the torch bearer for the classic Alps sound. Linear Alps are deadly smooth in a way that still puts a lot of modern switches to shame.

Tactile switches are not flashy - they are hard to get right and not appreciated as much as they should be. They make no click so they quietly do their job without audibly pleasing you, and getting the force curve right as they travel downwards while still staying smooth and giving a good tactile cue to your fingers is a challenge.

Orange Alps basically nail this challenge. They are precise and perfectly weighted, and they have a huge amount of tactility given their light weighting, and itís in a perfect spot up near the top of the travel distance, plus they maintain Alpís famous sound without being super loud. Orange Alps are what Cherry MX Brown wishes it was. They donít tire out my hands, and I get that great moment where your fingers curl up slightly as they hover above the board, and you get that feeling that you really want to type something, anything on those keys, and thatís a feeling only a great tactile switch delivers.

tl;dr: The Oranges are a subtle switch, give them some time and I think youíll like them a lot.

My man nailed it on the head here, SKCM oranges really do grow on you. The only other ALPS switch I prefer to them is SKCM browns which is basically a slightly heavier orange with a slightly more pleasant sound to describe it shortly. Although switch preference is something that is highly personal so I hesitate to recommend oranges over damped creams for you as damped creams are no slouch either. Oh BTW the clicking that your damped creams have is something that can happen to tactile SKCM switches after being used a good bit. I see it doesn't bother you, but this can be fixed by slipping a piece of paper behind the tactile leaf to tighten the housings hold of it (it's known as the paper mod).

Offline swedishpiehole

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 78
Re: Choosing between cream damped and orange Alps, need help
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 28 June 2019, 12:05:13 »
So Iíve got a few keyboards with the switches in question, including a nos AEKII with damped cream, and a pristine AEK with oranges. Both have spent several months in rotation as my work keyboard, and another relevant keyboard is an early AEKII I have with Salmon switches, also in very good condition.

Like most Alps fans, I think Cream Damped is just ok - it doesnít have the binding issues and slightly scratchy feel of the White Damped (the general consensus is that quality dramatically declined around the bamboo generation of Alps, and in the examples I own this seems to be true), itís not unreliable like the later simplified Alps seems to be, but itís no where near as smooth as the first generation, doesnít sound as good, and the rubber bumpers give it a key feel that isÖ not as good as it should be.

Your comments about Orange are interesting because I felt the same way you did when I started typing on them - they were up against a great condition Blue Alps board I still regularly use, and I had a couple of Salmon boards which seemed similar at first, so whatís the fuss about? After some heavy use, let me tell you.

Clicky and linear Alps are flashy. Blue Alps in particular are spectacularly crisp and are the torch bearer for the classic Alps sound. Linear Alps are deadly smooth in a way that still puts a lot of modern switches to shame.

Tactile switches are not flashy - they are hard to get right and not appreciated as much as they should be. They make no click so they quietly do their job without audibly pleasing you, and getting the force curve right as they travel downwards while still staying smooth and giving a good tactile cue to your fingers is a challenge.

Orange Alps basically nail this challenge. They are precise and perfectly weighted, and they have a huge amount of tactility given their light weighting, and itís in a perfect spot up near the top of the travel distance, plus they maintain Alpís famous sound without being super loud. Orange Alps are what Cherry MX Brown wishes it was. They donít tire out my hands, and I get that great moment where your fingers curl up slightly as they hover above the board, and you get that feeling that you really want to type something, anything on those keys, and thatís a feeling only a great tactile switch delivers.

tl;dr: The Oranges are a subtle switch, give them some time and I think youíll like them a lot.

Man, that is exactly the kind of info I was looking for! Thanks so much for this explanation. I will definitely be going with the oranges and feeling good about this decision!

Offline swedishpiehole

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 78
Re: Choosing between cream damped and orange Alps, need help
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 28 June 2019, 12:07:01 »
So Iíve got a few keyboards with the switches in question, including a nos AEKII with damped cream, and a pristine AEK with oranges. Both have spent several months in rotation as my work keyboard, and another relevant keyboard is an early AEKII I have with Salmon switches, also in very good condition.

Like most Alps fans, I think Cream Damped is just ok - it doesnít have the binding issues and slightly scratchy feel of the White Damped (the general consensus is that quality dramatically declined around the bamboo generation of Alps, and in the examples I own this seems to be true), itís not unreliable like the later simplified Alps seems to be, but itís no where near as smooth as the first generation, doesnít sound as good, and the rubber bumpers give it a key feel that isÖ not as good as it should be.

Your comments about Orange are interesting because I felt the same way you did when I started typing on them - they were up against a great condition Blue Alps board I still regularly use, and I had a couple of Salmon boards which seemed similar at first, so whatís the fuss about? After some heavy use, let me tell you.

Clicky and linear Alps are flashy. Blue Alps in particular are spectacularly crisp and are the torch bearer for the classic Alps sound. Linear Alps are deadly smooth in a way that still puts a lot of modern switches to shame.

Tactile switches are not flashy - they are hard to get right and not appreciated as much as they should be. They make no click so they quietly do their job without audibly pleasing you, and getting the force curve right as they travel downwards while still staying smooth and giving a good tactile cue to your fingers is a challenge.

Orange Alps basically nail this challenge. They are precise and perfectly weighted, and they have a huge amount of tactility given their light weighting, and itís in a perfect spot up near the top of the travel distance, plus they maintain Alpís famous sound without being super loud. Orange Alps are what Cherry MX Brown wishes it was. They donít tire out my hands, and I get that great moment where your fingers curl up slightly as they hover above the board, and you get that feeling that you really want to type something, anything on those keys, and thatís a feeling only a great tactile switch delivers.

tl;dr: The Oranges are a subtle switch, give them some time and I think youíll like them a lot.

My man nailed it on the head here, SKCM oranges really do grow on you. The only other ALPS switch I prefer to them is SKCM browns which is basically a slightly heavier orange with a slightly more pleasant sound to describe it shortly. Although switch preference is something that is highly personal so I hesitate to recommend oranges over damped creams for you as damped creams are no slouch either. Oh BTW the clicking that your damped creams have is something that can happen to tactile SKCM switches after being used a good bit. I see it doesn't bother you, but this can be fixed by slipping a piece of paper behind the tactile leaf to tighten the housings hold of it (it's known as the paper mod).

Hmmm, I didn't realize that little click wasn't a "feature" haha. I know that damped creams do get some love here and there, but since oranges are so much more widely touted, I'm confident based on the above that they are the better choice.