Author Topic: New in Tokyo!  (Read 694 times)

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Offline LordOwen

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Tokyo
New in Tokyo!
« on: Tue, 19 May 2020, 07:54:15 »
Hi there, LordOwen here, English teacher living in Tokyo. Iíve been building PCs for years, but only recently got back into anything involving solder after making myself some braided headphone cables out of COVID-19-related boredom, and realized that Iíd love to finally upgrade from my 2012 Das Keyboard Professional Mac Edition.

Iím excited to get started with something like a a hotswappable board so I can test out some different switches and start to see exactly what Iíve been missing all these years by sticking so stubbornly to my Cherry Blues!

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1059
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: New in Tokyo!
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 19 May 2020, 10:56:09 »
Hi LordOwen. Welcome to Geekhack.

That sounds cool. Got any pictures of the cables you made?

I have a Das Pro 4 myself. Nice keyboard.

Hot swap is a great application for that. If you go looking, make sure that you don't buy a hot swap board that comes stock with Outemu switches. They usually come with hot swap sockets that are specific to the more narrow legs on Outemu switches, and other types won't fit.

If you're a clicky guy, and want modern switches, I recommend Kailh's box jades and navies. Jades are the best modern clicky I have tried, though I haven't tried pinks. Both are pleasantly crisp yet bassy. Navies are a little high pitched, and the springs are pretty heavy, but they're perfectly balanced and pleasant in terms of feel. Silo beam springs will be something to watch as well, if they ever finally come out.

If you want the best clicky switches around, look into IBM beam springs (haven't tried them myself, but they're said to be king of the mountain). Alps SKCM blues and IBM capacitive buckling spring are both better than any modern clicky switch as well though.

I did the same thing. I typed happily away with MX blues for years, but then I tried capacitive buckling spring and that was the end of that. Now I like to describe MX blues as feeling and sounding like you're typing on plastic grovery bags.

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 120
Re: New in Tokyo!
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 19 May 2020, 18:16:33 »
^^

That's all true, but beamsprings are expensive as hell. I've tried em but they're not so much better than buckling springs I'm ever going to bother paying for one.

Now, I'm a Cherry MX Blue guy myself. A lot of us vintagey types don't like them, or claim to not like them, but I think they're a great switch. Lightly tactile, lightly clicky, but they sound kind of hollow.

If you like those, you'll probably like the Box Jades, I'll second Mal's recommendation there. Box Navies are also good if you want something heavier. Other modern switches that are great are the Matias click switches, which are my daily driver, and buckling springs made by Unicomp.

The difference between all of these and the MX switches, in terms of key feel, is the sharp tactility. On your Blues, you can feel a bit of resistance when you press down, then they click and actuate. On these ones, you press down slightly, then there's a significant resistance which gives way, and it's very pleasant, but not for everybody.

For those who like clicky switches with fairly low tactility, the Cherry Blues are, IMO, the top of the line. If you like tactility even lower than Blues, like on the level of the MX Browns, I suggest Razer Green keyboards. I don't know how they managed to make the click jacket feel linear, but they did.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1059
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: New in Tokyo!
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 09:12:11 »
For those who like clicky switches with fairly low tactility, the Cherry Blues are, IMO, the top of the line. If you like tactility even lower than Blues, like on the level of the MX Browns, I suggest Razer Green keyboards. I don't know how they managed to make the click jacket feel linear, but they did.

I haven't tried box pinks, unfortunately, but most of Kailh's clickbar switches are not the thick clicks. Box whites, for example, I think have even less tactility than MX blues, but it is still very sharp and refined/defined. I'm not sure which within that family would match the best against MX blues offhand (maybe pinks). I may compare the ones that I do have later.

My beef with MX blue is it is more of a crunch than a click, and isn't always consistent. It also rattles a bit. This made both the sound and feel undesirable once I became accustomed to better alternatives. I have noticed that Gaterons and Outemus are much better in this regard, but some clones are even worse (Ajazz/Zoro is terrible, avoid it like the plague). Even with, say, Gateron blues, I would still much rather just have Hi-Tek 725s or NEC blue ovals. At the same time, I would probably still prefer Kailh box jades and navies to either of those. All preference, of course.

I think fans of vintage boards have just been spoiled by the alternatives and can't go back to what they once may have thought was kind of the only option. For all of their wonderful pinging, capacitive buckling springs are actually only minimally tactile. Less tactile than MX blue even. I think they do feel more substantial than they are in this regard because the weight of the spring really starts to stack/build before it buckles. You don't see such a thing in most modern switches. I imagine that your Matias switches maybe do to some degree? My SKCM Alps clickies are the only other ones I have noticed that on so far.