Author Topic: Vintage Blacks in non vintage boards  (Read 1307 times)

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Offline Gepriester

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Vintage Blacks in non vintage boards
« on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 05:12:16 »
I got my hands on some G80-1501 HAD keyboards of which I still own one. They all feature MX Black switches. The date code of the board says P28, so it should be assembled in 2003. The other boards were from 2003 and 2001. All boards had light grey caps, so they were definetly newer iterations as stated in the deskthority wiki https://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_G80-1501. I compared the blacks from it to some vintage blacks I have here and some non vintage blacks. They feel and sound like vintage blacks and have conciderable less friction than the non vintage blacks I compared them with. I checked on the PCB but I have a hard time finding a production date. There is a sticker that has the model number on it as well s something that could be a time stamp saying P23 implying the PCB is also from 2003. Is there any knowledge to confirm it was a thing that cherry put vintage switches in more modern boards or is there any other possibility on why those blacks feel so smooth?
I'm sorry if this was asked before, but I couldn't find an existing thread on this topic.

Offline Maledicted

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  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Vintage Blacks in non vintage boards
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 12:30:51 »
I don't know that there's any definite consensus on this. Personally, I consider "vintage blacks" to be a misnomer. Both sets of "vintage" black switches that I have felt indistinguishable overall from multiple sets of more modern black switches from various boards I have around.

What makes the most sense to me is that Cherry probably retools every few years, and individual batches, regardless of tooling condition, may somehow come out better or worse than others that come before or after. I would seriously not be surprised if this "vintage black" thing all came out of some deal somebody found on a stockpile of identical boards from the 1980s with MX black switches and all of the boards in that batch just so happened to feel better than expected when everybody bought them up.

Offline n0rvig

  • Posts: 354
Re: Vintage Blacks in non vintage boards
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 07 June 2020, 23:46:54 »
I don't know that there's any definite consensus on this. Personally, I consider "vintage blacks" to be a misnomer. Both sets of "vintage" black switches that I have felt indistinguishable overall from multiple sets of more modern black switches from various boards I have around.

I don't know the era of my own vintage blacks, but they feel significantly different than modern black switches, and retooled black switches. I don't know what era the vintage blacks that I have are from. I had assumed that they were older than 2003, but good luck on your hunt for knowledge.

Offline gnho

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  • Location: ATX/US
Re: Vintage Blacks in non vintage boards
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 10 June 2020, 22:23:04 »
Vingt blacks are like Alps... since by definition there's no new stock, how they feel would vary quite significantly by when they were produced and how much they were used. There's even significant variation for the switches on the same board, as each switch was used at different frequency.

I'm typing on a set of vingt black right now and they feel very different from my WYSE board, which feels a lot softer. For consistency, I think ink or gat yellow is really the way to go. I bought these blacks out of curiosity but I don't find them much superior than my ink switches.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1428
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Vintage Blacks in non vintage boards
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 10 June 2020, 23:05:57 »
Vingt blacks are like Alps... since by definition there's no new stock, how they feel would vary quite significantly by when they were produced and how much they were used. There's even significant variation for the switches on the same board, as each switch was used at different frequency.

I'm typing on a set of vingt black right now and they feel very different from my WYSE board, which feels a lot softer. For consistency, I think ink or gat yellow is really the way to go. I bought these blacks out of curiosity but I don't find them much superior than my ink switches.

Gateron yellows are wonderful. I know I would take them over anything MX I have ever felt. I need to try inks. I have a loose silent linear Matias switch I have been playing with off and on and I have been thinking about trying to kit out a board with those at some point to play with too. Certainly remind me of linear Alps.

Offline envyy24

  • Posts: 155
  • Location: UK
Re: Vintage Blacks in non vintage boards
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 11 June 2020, 10:04:37 »
I got my hands on some G80-1501 HAD keyboards of which I still own one. They all feature MX Black switches. The date code of the board says P28, so it should be assembled in 2003. The other boards were from 2003 and 2001. All boards had light grey caps, so they were definetly newer iterations as stated in the deskthority wiki https://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_G80-1501. I compared the blacks from it to some vintage blacks I have here and some non vintage blacks. They feel and sound like vintage blacks and have conciderable less friction than the non vintage blacks I compared them with. I checked on the PCB but I have a hard time finding a production date. There is a sticker that has the model number on it as well s something that could be a time stamp saying P23 implying the PCB is also from 2003. Is there any knowledge to confirm it was a thing that cherry put vintage switches in more modern boards or is there any other possibility on why those blacks feel so smooth?
I'm sorry if this was asked before, but I couldn't find an existing thread on this topic.


Easiest one comes to mind is that your switches are well broken in so they are smooth. If you ever get your hand on some mx black from a POS board from around this era you would see that they can be very smooth without any lubing as well.