Author Topic: Keyboard Recommendation?  (Read 974 times)

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Offline Damo2

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Keyboard Recommendation?
« on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 22:06:07 »
I'm not sure if this is allowed, but I've been looking to purchase a new keyboard and my indecision is driving me crazy so I figured a third party opinion might help.

I've been using mechanical keyboards for years, but I'd say I'm a very surface-level user (i.e., not enthusiast). My first board was the Razer Blackwidow (the cheapest $70 one) with MX blues back when they still used cherry switches. That thing lasted me over seven years and tons of spills and abuse and what have you. I loved it and I only replaced it two years ago because some of the keys started to feel mushy. I know Razer has a reputation for crap products but I guess I got one of the good ones.

My replacement I am less thrilled with. I got some cheap Redragon board with outemu blue switches for around 30 bucks and how do I put this lightly, I kind of hate these switches. They are a little too tactile for me and they are way louder than the MX blues on my Blackwidow (this might also be due to the keyboard body though). Some of the keys chatter as well. So I've finally decided to upgrade.

I still kind of want a clicky switch, and I've heard that Kailh box whites are considered one of the best in that regard. I've watched a few reviews of people with various boards with them and I really like how they sound. But I don't see any options for a decent board that isn't one I'd have to custom-build that has them.

So right now I'm down to either the GMMK TKL with box whites or a Leopold FC750R with MX blues. I've heard that for the price Leopolds are pretty much the best pre-built keyboards you can get, and this is really attractive to me after dealing with my crap $30 board for two years. And I don't have any particular issue with MX blues (even though I know the enthusiast crowd really dislikes them these days) but I really wanted to try the the Kailh box switches. The GMMK would allow me to try the box whites (and give me the ability to try other switches in the future) but I've heard the build quality is not great at all, especially compared to the Leopold.

So please, help me decide. I've spent over a week going back and forth between these and I can't make a decision. I'm also open to alternative suggestions, especially if it's a board with box switches. My budget is around $150 but I'd be willing to consider more. I did briefly consider getting the CTRL Drop keyboard but it seems to not be worth the price difference between that and the GMMK.

« Last Edit: Wed, 20 May 2020, 22:08:24 by Damo2 »

Offline funkmon

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 22:09:14 »
If you think the fake Blues are too tactile, DON'T get the Kailh box switches. Get the Leopold with MX Blues and don't look back. See you in 20 years.

Offline Damo2

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 22:20:23 »
If you think the fake Blues are too tactile, DON'T get the Kailh box switches. Get the Leopold with MX Blues and don't look back. See you in 20 years.

I am actually not sure if it's the tactility, they just feel kind of harsh to me. I've gotten used to them at this point after using them for over two years but the initial "shock" might have been because of the comparison to my old board.

I used that thing through the gaming phase of my life and through many years of raging and hitting my keyboard and very aggressively typing (I take way better care of my keyboards now). And the switches feel extremely smooth now. I still have it lying around and I just tried typing on it - some of the keys literally do not even have an audible click anymore, the only sound they make is from the key bottoming out.

So I think anything I would get would be more tactile than that. What I'm trying to avoid how harsh this feels. It might be the combination of the tactility and the sound of the switches and the ping. Have you used one of these cheap Outemu boards before?

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 22:50:16 »
Funkmon is right, everyone kind of went to war over how tactile they can make a tactile and clicky switch and we now have tactile switches almost as tactile as Cherry Blue these days.

I hate recommending switch testers over a hot swap, but in this case I think you may be better off that way, you kind of know what you want, but just need to narrow it down and do it on a budget. My advice is get a tester, and a switch pack or two from a place like Novelkeys or Mehkee. Then head over to Mechanical Keyboards and find a nice board that matches what you want in your price range. I'd be looking at Ducky, Varmillo or Leopold once you you find your switch.

Couple switch suggestions to try:
Gateron Blue, these may be your ultimate choice really. Bonus, they're cheap and easy to get and many feel they are better than Cherry.
Cherry blue, they re-tooled the molds so they may be what you are looking for.
Box Royals, these are tactile not clicky, but might interest you, not always easy to find a board, but they exist.

I hate to go too exotic as it's hard to find boards, but also the prices can be an issue.
Also, lube the stabs on anything you get, as well as you can, makes a big difference.


Switches to avoid
Box  really clicky, really tactile.
Outemu blues, they change as they break in and as you saw, aren't great.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | HMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Damo2

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 22:59:33 »
Quote
Also, lube the stabs on anything you get, as well as you can, makes a big difference.

Ah yeah, I heard I need to do this but this brings up another question for me. Where do I get Krytox 205g0? I know this is the most commonly recommended lube for switches and stabilizers but I cannot find it anywhere. I have seen 205g2 on Amazon but the reviews mention that it is much thicker than g0. Are there any alternatives that are easier to find.

Quote
Box Royals, these are tactile not clicky, but might interest you, not always easy to find a board, but they exist.

I am a little confused because I heard that Box Royals are way more tactile than Box Whites, and Box Jades are somewhere in between the two. I've heard very good things about the jades but I think I want something that isn't super tactile.

Are "modern" Cherry MX blues considered better than old ones? My old board was from around 2011, I think. So I am not sure if this is pre-retooling or after.

Sorry for all these questions, I really appreciate you guys helping me out with all of this advice.

Offline funkmon

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 23:31:06 »
Don't even worry about that stuff. Sincerely. Get the Leopold with MX Blues and don't look back. You know you like them, and Leopold makes good boards. Don't even lube the stabs. Buy it and forget about it.

I have used Outemu blues and they're my preferred Blue clone because they're louder and more tactile than Blues. You want MX Blues. Just get them and get them in a great keyboard.

Ignore the retooling. It's incredibly minor and not worth thinking about unless you're prepared to invest a lot of time and money and make this a hobby.

Let me give you an insight into the people on this forum, by talking about myself.

I have 25 different IBM Model M keyboards. Is there a difference? Basically, no. And you know what I did yesterday? I just bought a new one for no reason at all other than I didn't have a 122 Key 2nd Generation RJ-45 connector terminal board.

If that sounds like what you want to be, then by all means, try to create yourself a custom board with the ideal switches. To us, this is a hobby. To you, you're buying a tool.

What I am hearing from you is basically "hey I really loved my 2010 Honda Accord and I'm wondering if I should buy this 2020 Honda Accord or build some weird **** in my garage from China that probably won't work." We love the weird **** from China that probably won't work. We live for that. You want to drive a car/type on a keyboard that's good.

Buy the Accord. Buy the MX Blues in the good keyboard. They're the gold standard of keyboard switches because they're workhorses and bland. All we want here is something different. Any time something new or different comes out, we like it. Nobody cares about the MX Blues because they're the default, or they aren't perfectly polished, or the sound, or the smoothness and stuff. That's hobbyist bull****. Don't worry about it. Buy them and be happy. There's a reason they're the #1 switch. They're good for almost everyone.
« Last Edit: Wed, 20 May 2020, 23:33:50 by funkmon »

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 20 May 2020, 23:59:28 »
Ah yeah, I heard I need to do this but this brings up another question for me. Where do I get Krytox 205g0? I know this is the most commonly recommended lube for switches and stabilizers but I cannot find it anywhere. I have seen 205g2 on Amazon but the reviews mention that it is much thicker than g0. Are there any alternatives that are easier to find.

I am a little confused because I heard that Box Royals are way more tactile than Box Whites, and Box Jades are somewhere in between the two. I've heard very good things about the jades but I think I want something that isn't super tactile.

Are "modern" Cherry MX blues considered better than old ones? My old board was from around 2011, I think. So I am not sure if this is pre-retooling or after.

Sorry for all these questions, I really appreciate you guys helping me out with all of this advice.
Krytox is good for plastic on plastic (switches and stabs), get some Super Lube from Amazon or your local auto parts store for plastic on metal (stabs). Krytox can be gotten from keyboard specialists and sometimes Amazon, but I'm not sure it's worth the price. I tend to use RC racing lubes which are easy to get locally. Those guys are super competitive and if Krytox was something magical they'd be using it, that said, it's very likely they are just under a different name. I've been meaning to look into it.

As for Funkmons recommendation about the Leopold, it's not a stupid idea, you won't go wrong, the question is can you do better.
I disagree about the stabs though, noisy, rattling stabs have no place on a nice keyboard. He doesn't mind because he's on a Model M, you can't hear or feel anything over those switches.


Not sure about Box Whites, I don't have any to compare however, Jades are light springed clicky, royals are stiff spring tactile.
Jades feel way more tactile than Royals just playing with them, it's pretty much impossible for a tactile to be more tactile than a clicky because a clicky is usually a tactile plus a click mechanism that adds to the tactile feel.

Retooling started somewhere around early 2017 or so.
Happy to help.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | HMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Damo2

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 08:51:09 »
Don't even worry about that stuff. Sincerely. Get the Leopold with MX Blues and don't look back. You know you like them, and Leopold makes good boards. Don't even lube the stabs. Buy it and forget about it.

I have used Outemu blues and they're my preferred Blue clone because they're louder and more tactile than Blues. You want MX Blues. Just get them and get them in a great keyboard.

Ignore the retooling. It's incredibly minor and not worth thinking about unless you're prepared to invest a lot of time and money and make this a hobby.

Let me give you an insight into the people on this forum, by talking about myself.

I have 25 different IBM Model M keyboards. Is there a difference? Basically, no. And you know what I did yesterday? I just bought a new one for no reason at all other than I didn't have a 122 Key 2nd Generation RJ-45 connector terminal board.

If that sounds like what you want to be, then by all means, try to create yourself a custom board with the ideal switches. To us, this is a hobby. To you, you're buying a tool.

What I am hearing from you is basically "hey I really loved my 2010 Honda Accord and I'm wondering if I should buy this 2020 Honda Accord or build some weird **** in my garage from China that probably won't work." We love the weird **** from China that probably won't work. We live for that. You want to drive a car/type on a keyboard that's good.

Buy the Accord. Buy the MX Blues in the good keyboard. They're the gold standard of keyboard switches because they're workhorses and bland. All we want here is something different. Any time something new or different comes out, we like it. Nobody cares about the MX Blues because they're the default, or they aren't perfectly polished, or the sound, or the smoothness and stuff. That's hobbyist bull****. Don't worry about it. Buy them and be happy. There's a reason they're the #1 switch. They're good for almost everyone.

Ah, got it. I think getting the Leopold might be for the best as you said. Thank you for the advice.

I do want to try building a custom at some point but I think I will take my time and start with getting a switch tester at some point with a few different types of switches so I can actually see if it's something I'm going to like.

If anyone has any other suggestions I'd certainly appreciate them as well. I see that there are KBParadise keyboards with a massive choices of switches but the reviews aren't great. Are these are bad as the reviews imply?
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 May 2020, 08:54:36 by Damo2 »

Offline jamster

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 09:11:49 »
I'd agree with the other guys. If for years you have been happy with a single mech board at a time (rather than owning multiple concurrent boards), and if you were perfectly happy with a Razer (shudder) then seems like you're about the destination rather than the journey.

Just get a rock solid board with whatever switches were suggested. Pay for one of the top quality board brands, the depreciation over the next decade+ is going to be about the same amount of peanuts as a cheap board. Filco, Leopold. I'd recommend KUL (mine has been a great work board for the past five years) but I think they went out of production a while back. Ignore the zillion other options aimed at enthusiasts, collectors, obsessive tinkerers.
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 May 2020, 09:16:09 by jamster »
Current: Realforce 87u 55, KUL-ES87 Ergo Clear 65, RC930-87 55.
Just sitting around: 1986 IBM Model M, 198? IBM Model M UK, BTC 5100C.
Previously owned: Raptor K1 1800 Zealio 65, Northgate Omnikey 101, IBM Thinkpad USB (old style).
Incoming: Kickstarter Atreus.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 15:45:39 »
I'm actually surprised by the general dislike of Outemu blues. I find them to be almost indistinguishable from Gateron blues, feeling much more consistent and crisp than MX. I certainly do not discount claims of their eventual lack of consistency though, as I have not typed on them extensively. I do have at least one board with them that has shined caps and wearing legends from the previous owner though, and they still feel much better than Cherry blues to me. I can certainly see how some may dislike how they sound, or their increased tactility, as that's all preference.

I say get a tester with as many switches as you care to get of the types you feel you may be interested in, and then make a determination one way or the other. KPrepublic's 130 switch tester is the one that I have. I do wish it had box pinks in it, but it does not.

There seems to be a lot of confusion here on Kaihua's (Kailh's) box switches that should be cleared up. With Kailh's click bar switches, there are something like at least 3 different thicknesses of click bar available in stock form, with others being produced as replacements by stores like SPRiT. The jades and navies have the thickest OEM click bars, thus they're colloquially labeled "thick clicks". This makes them the most tactile clickies of the family, and probably of any modern switches manufactured. Box whites are on the low end of the spectrum in this regard. Their tactility is literally less than that of a Cherry MX blue. In terms of tactility, I would certainly put them below even that of box royals, and maybe even MX clears. The advantage they do have is that that tactility is very smooth, crisp, and consistent. Box clickies have a lot of flexibility in that regard, besides their feeling and sounding crisper and smoother than any other modern clicky I have yet experienced. I have yet to have had the pleasure of trying them, but I imagine that box pinks may be the closest member of the family to Cherry blues in terms of overall tactility, and will certainly sound much nicer to people who dislike high-pitched clicks.

Sound also varies greatly, if that matters. The jades and pinks (and maybe some of the less common variants) are satisfyingly bassy, which you do not see in other modern clickies, besides maybe Matias?

As for Funkmons recommendation about the Leopold, it's not a stupid idea, you won't go wrong, the question is can you do better.
I disagree about the stabs though, noisy, rattling stabs have no place on a nice keyboard. He doesn't mind because he's on a Model M, you can't hear or feel anything over those switches.
Show Image


I can't argue with that, in my own experience. I don't care even a tiny bit about stabilizers. Could you call us stiff/thunderous clicky guys stab-deaf? In their stock form I actually quite like Costar stabilizers on the Das Pro 4 I swapped box navies into, vs other boards I have with Cherry stabilizers. I may be an alien.
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 May 2020, 16:29:08 by Maledicted »

Offline Damo2

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 18:46:55 »
I'm actually surprised by the general dislike of Outemu blues. I find them to be almost indistinguishable from Gateron blues, feeling much more consistent and crisp than MX. I certainly do not discount claims of their eventual lack of consistency though, as I have not typed on them extensively. I do have at least one board with them that has shined caps and wearing legends from the previous owner though, and they still feel much better than Cherry blues to me. I can certainly see how some may dislike how they sound, or their increased tactility, as that's all preference.

Oh for sure, it's definitely personal taste. I actually think it's a more common for people to prefer Outemu blues over MX blues based on what I've read in a bunch of reviews. It's just for me I don't really enjoy the extra tactility and sound all that much. I think my crappy board also accentuates the sound, it has pretty significant ping. On a better keyboard I might enjoy them more.

I will say that there is a consistency issue. The first board I got from Amazon had pretty significant key chatter from the get-go and I sent it back. The replacement had some key chatter as well and I kind of made my peace with it and used it anyways. It's not horrifically common but it's something I've never experienced in 7+ years of using the Razer keyboard with the MX blues.

Quote
There seems to be a lot of confusion here on Kaihua's (Kailh's) box switches that should be cleared up. With Kailh's click bar switches, there are something like at least 3 different thicknesses of click bar available in stock form, with others being produced as replacements by stores like SPRiT. The jades and navies have the thickest OEM click bars, thus they're colloquially labeled "thick clicks". This makes them the most tactile clickies of the family, and probably of any modern switches manufactured. Box whites are on the low end of the spectrum in this regard. Their tactility is literally less than that of a Cherry MX blue. In terms of tactility, I would certainly put them below even that of box royals, and maybe even MX clears. The advantage they do have is that that tactility is very smooth, crisp, and consistent. Box clickies have a lot of flexibility in that regard, besides their feeling and sounding crisper and smoother than any other modern clicky I have yet experienced. I have yet to have had the pleasure of trying them, but I imagine that box pinks may be the closest member of the family to Cherry blues in terms of overall tactility, and will certainly sound much nicer to people who dislike high-pitched clicks.

Sound also varies greatly, if that matters. The jades and pinks (and maybe some of the less common variants) are satisfyingly bassy, which you do not see in other modern clickies, besides maybe Matias?

Ah, I was confusing Box Royals with Box Navies. But man, that description of Box Whites makes me really want them again. I love how they sound from the videos I've seen. And them being even less tactile than MX blues sounds like something I'd enjoy as well.

I was finally set on getting the Leopold with MX blues but I'm kind of undecided again... I wish more mainstream boards had box switches. I had the same sentiment two years ago when I bought the Outemu board and I figured I'd use it as a holdover board til box whites became more readily available but it seems like I have not waited long enough.
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 May 2020, 18:51:02 by Damo2 »

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 19:21:19 »
I'm actually surprised by the general dislike of Outemu blues. I find them to be almost indistinguishable from Gateron blues, feeling much more consistent and crisp than MX. I certainly do not discount claims of their eventual lack of consistency though, as I have not typed on them extensively. I do have at least one board with them that has shined caps and wearing legends from the previous owner though, and they still feel much better than Cherry blues to me. I can certainly see how some may dislike how they sound, or their increased tactility, as that's all preference.

Oh for sure, it's definitely personal taste. I actually think it's a more common for people to prefer Outemu blues over MX blues based on what I've read in a bunch of reviews. It's just for me I don't really enjoy the extra tactility and sound all that much. I think my crappy board also accentuates the sound, it has pretty significant ping. On a better keyboard I might enjoy them more.

I will say that there is a consistency issue. The first board I got from Amazon had pretty significant key chatter from the get-go and I sent it back. The replacement had some key chatter as well and I kind of made my peace with it and used it anyways. It's not horrifically common but it's something I've never experienced in 7+ years of using the Razer keyboard with the MX blues.

Interesting. I haven't noticed any chatter on either of my Outemu blue boards, but I have only done an appreciable amount of typing on the one with the worn caps. I can't say it surprises me. They're in the cheapest boards around.

Quote
There seems to be a lot of confusion here on Kaihua's (Kailh's) box switches that should be cleared up. With Kailh's click bar switches, there are something like at least 3 different thicknesses of click bar available in stock form, with others being produced as replacements by stores like SPRiT. The jades and navies have the thickest OEM click bars, thus they're colloquially labeled "thick clicks". This makes them the most tactile clickies of the family, and probably of any modern switches manufactured. Box whites are on the low end of the spectrum in this regard. Their tactility is literally less than that of a Cherry MX blue. In terms of tactility, I would certainly put them below even that of box royals, and maybe even MX clears. The advantage they do have is that that tactility is very smooth, crisp, and consistent. Box clickies have a lot of flexibility in that regard, besides their feeling and sounding crisper and smoother than any other modern clicky I have yet experienced. I have yet to have had the pleasure of trying them, but I imagine that box pinks may be the closest member of the family to Cherry blues in terms of overall tactility, and will certainly sound much nicer to people who dislike high-pitched clicks.

Sound also varies greatly, if that matters. The jades and pinks (and maybe some of the less common variants) are satisfyingly bassy, which you do not see in other modern clickies, besides maybe Matias?

Ah, I was confusing Box Royals with Box Navies. But man, that description of Box Whites makes me really want them again. I love how they sound from the videos I've seen. And them being even less tactile than MX blues sounds like something I'd enjoy as well.

I was finally set on getting the Leopold with MX blues but I'm kind of undecided again... I wish more mainstream boards had box switches. I had the same sentiment two years ago when I bought the Outemu board and I figured I'd use it as a holdover board til box whites became more readily available but it seems like I have not waited long enough.

Why choose one or the other? As others have put it in more words, do you want to stick with the status quo, or do you want to look for something more? Either choice is a reasonable one.

Regardless of which you go with, the cost of a decent switch tester is all that stands in your way of making an informed decision on the matter.

Good luck, and happy typing.
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 May 2020, 20:00:49 by Maledicted »

Offline atarione

  • Posts: 137
Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 19:56:23 »
A filco Majestouch2 TKL in switch of your pref on amazon the mx blue version is $127.80 right now...

I absolutely love my MT2 TKL (costar stabilizers so pwn' the cherry stabs on the leopold ..but that is "subjective") if you think you like cherry stabs better get the leopold or a Ducky..  if you are "sane" (joking) and prefer costar stabilizers then get the Filco and spend a bit more on a pbt key cap set for it..

I have $40~ Vortex PBT double shots on my MT2 and I love it.

I have to admit the GMMK thing does absolutely nothing for me personally... but meh. 

my Filco ~5.5 years old now and going strong.





Offline Maledicted

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 20:18:38 »
A filco Majestouch2 TKL in switch of your pref on amazon the mx blue version is $127.80 right now...

I absolutely love my MT2 TKL (costar stabilizers so pwn' the cherry stabs on the leopold ..but that is "subjective") if you think you like cherry stabs better get the leopold or a Ducky..  if you are "sane" (joking) and prefer costar stabilizers then get the Filco and spend a bit more on a pbt key cap set for it..

I have $40~ Vortex PBT double shots on my MT2 and I love it.

I have to admit the GMMK thing does absolutely nothing for me personally... but meh. 

my Filco ~5.5 years old now and going strong.

Devil's advocate: My Uniteks are 30+-years-old and going strong. They were considered generic even then, and they have PCBs held to the lowest standard of QC that I have ever seen. My first K70 has seen 6+ years of almost daily use, and it is going strong. Some would have people believe that the LEDs and switches will start dropping like flies on them in less than a year.

I don't mean to diminish the obvious quality of revered brands, only the illusion that they're always the obvious choice.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 20:33:33 »
In their stock form I actually quite like Costar stabilizers on the Das Pro 4 I swapped box navies into, vs other boards I have with Cherry stabilizers. I may be an alien.
Costar tend to rattle more, on a noisy keyboard that doesn't matter too much but on something quiet it sounds terrible.
They're also much more of a hassle to install and remove keycaps.

It's not the end of the world but why deal with it if you don't have to?
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | HMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline atarione

  • Posts: 137
Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 20:41:51 »
In their stock form I actually quite like Costar stabilizers on the Das Pro 4 I swapped box navies into, vs other boards I have with Cherry stabilizers. I may be an alien.
Costar tend to rattle more, on a noisy keyboard that doesn't matter too much but on something quiet it sounds terrible.
They're also much more of a hassle to install and remove keycaps.

It's not the end of the world but why deal with it if you don't have to?

mine don't rattle on my filco (or enough to bother me.) and cherry stabilizers feel like the devils b*tthole....

Offline atarione

  • Posts: 137
Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 20:46:10 »


Devil's advocate: My Uniteks are 30+-years-old and going strong. They were considered generic even then, and they have PCBs held to the lowest standard of QC that I have ever seen. My first K70 has seen 6+ years of almost daily use, and it is going strong. Some would have people believe that the LEDs and switches will start dropping like flies on them in less than a year.

I don't mean to diminish the obvious quality of revered brands, only the illusion that they're always the obvious choice.

fair enough.. my thoughts::: 30 years ago things built not that well were still built much better than things built not well now...

It isn't surprising that a K70 would last 6yrs.. but if you looked you'd probably find less people griping about failed Filco's than K70's?

For me I will always buy the nicest thing I can afford if it is something I'm going to use a lot.. personally I will also go out of my way to get a made in Taiwan keyboard vs a keyboard made in the mainland or elsewhere in asia.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 20:56:37 »
Devil's advocate: My Uniteks are 30+-years-old and going strong. They were considered generic even then, and they have PCBs held to the lowest standard of QC that I have ever seen. My first K70 has seen 6+ years of almost daily use, and it is going strong. Some would have people believe that the LEDs and switches will start dropping like flies on them in less than a year.
I too have some really old keyboards, but I've also seen quite a few reports of LEDs burning out, sometimes within a few weeks. Certain boards also seem to be prone to chatter, especially those with 1000 polling.

Certain processors and switches tend to be "noisy" and it doesn't take much to create false triggers, 1000mhz polling is asking too much from some of them so they trick it into ignoring any triggers after X number of ms. While this fixes it it defeats some of the reason for using 1000mhz polling so they try to keep it as low as possible and sometimes it bites them in the butt (the switches vary and can get noisier as they age). The right way to fix this is using a normally closed switch, this is how it's dealt with on machinery, unfortunately MX switches are only designed to be normally open, so were stuck using software hacks to fix a hardware and electronics flaw.

True though, I've said before a keyboard is a simple thing and should at least perform the basics and that is usually true.

mine don't rattle on my filco (or enough to bother me.) and cherry stabilizers feel like the devils b*tthole....
Costar work well right out of the box, just noisy. Quieting them is a challenge.
Cherry take a bit of work to get them to feel good but can achieve equal results with less rattle.
« Last Edit: Thu, 21 May 2020, 21:01:24 by Leslieann »
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | HMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 21 May 2020, 21:02:30 »
In their stock form I actually quite like Costar stabilizers on the Das Pro 4 I swapped box navies into, vs other boards I have with Cherry stabilizers. I may be an alien.
Costar tend to rattle more, on a noisy keyboard that doesn't matter too much but on something quiet it sounds terrible.
They're also much more of a hassle to install and remove keycaps.

It's not the end of the world but why deal with it if you don't have to?

I prefer how they feel, though I don't lube or modify stabilizers either. They also look to be more ... substantial. I also don't really remove caps on boards that I have set up how I want them. The poor K70 connected to my gaming rig could probably have used a thorough cleaning already 2-3+ years ago. It even still has the mediocre stock caps, shined to a mirror polish. You've got a Costar Das in your profile. I wonder if it is anything like my Pro 4 in that Das got the genius idea to super glue the stabilizer inserts into the caps, in which case I could see them being irritating.

All preference.

mine don't rattle on my filco (or enough to bother me.) and cherry stabilizers feel like the devils b*tthole....

I can't say that I would even hear them over the box navies in my Das, and my only other board with Costar stabilizers at the moment has MX browns in it ... so I'm going to leave the rattle question alone.



Devil's advocate: My Uniteks are 30+-years-old and going strong. They were considered generic even then, and they have PCBs held to the lowest standard of QC that I have ever seen. My first K70 has seen 6+ years of almost daily use, and it is going strong. Some would have people believe that the LEDs and switches will start dropping like flies on them in less than a year.

I don't mean to diminish the obvious quality of revered brands, only the illusion that they're always the obvious choice.

fair enough.. my thoughts::: 30 years ago things built not that well were still built much better than things built not well now...

It isn't surprising that a K70 would last 6yrs.. but if you looked you'd probably find less people griping about failed Filco's than K70's?

For me I will always buy the nicest thing I can afford if it is something I'm going to use a lot.. personally I will also go out of my way to get a made in Taiwan keyboard vs a keyboard made in the mainland or elsewhere in asia.

Sure, that's probably true, for the most part. I meant it when I said that I have never seen a more poorly-manufactured PCB in a keyboard than my Uniteks. I have been soldering for years, and the only pad I have lifted at all in the past 5+ years was one in a Unitek K151L I swapped box jades into.

Sure, you're probably right on volume of complaints about K70s vs Filcos. I imagine that number is also artificially modified, to a degree, by the street reputations of either company based on "gaming" stereotypes, cap compatibility, cap quality, etc. Not that there's literally no difference in reliability, though I would personally take an exposed aluminum plate K65 or K70 over just about anything I have yet seen with an entirely plastic case (besides a TG3). Personal preference.

Ironically, I do believe that a lot of generic boards from the 1980s were made in Taiwan, including my Uniteks, for whatever that's worth. lol

Devil's advocate: My Uniteks are 30+-years-old and going strong. They were considered generic even then, and they have PCBs held to the lowest standard of QC that I have ever seen. My first K70 has seen 6+ years of almost daily use, and it is going strong. Some would have people believe that the LEDs and switches will start dropping like flies on them in less than a year.
I too have some really old keyboards, but I've also seen quite a few reports of LEDs burning out, sometimes within a few weeks. Certain boards also seem to be prone to chatter, especially those with 1000 polling.

Certain processors and switches tend to be "noisy" and it doesn't take much to create false triggers, 1000mhz polling is asking too much from some of them so they trick it into ignoring any triggers after X number of ms. While this fixes it it defeats some of the reason for using 1000mhz polling so they try to keep it as low as possible and sometimes it bites them in the butt (the switches vary and can get noisier as they age). The right way to fix this is using a normally closed switch, this is how it's dealt with on machinery, unfortunately MX switches are only designed to be normally open, so were stuck using software hacks to fix a hardware and electronics flaw.

I have said it before, I own a lot of K70s and K65s (maybe 8-10 now). I have used at least two of them for 4+ years straight, one at work, one at home. I have had 0 problems with the lot of them. I will let you know if that ever changes.

Thanks for the second part, an interesting read, and not a surprising one.

Offline jamster

  • Posts: 442
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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 22 May 2020, 01:11:58 »
Bit of a sidetrack, but what's the appeal of GMMK? I've not kept abreast of new keyboard developments. Looks like the main selling point is hot swap switches? Is there more to it- what's build quality like?
Current: Realforce 87u 55, KUL-ES87 Ergo Clear 65, RC930-87 55.
Just sitting around: 1986 IBM Model M, 198? IBM Model M UK, BTC 5100C.
Previously owned: Raptor K1 1800 Zealio 65, Northgate Omnikey 101, IBM Thinkpad USB (old style).
Incoming: Kickstarter Atreus.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #20 on: Fri, 22 May 2020, 02:13:07 »
Bit of a sidetrack, but what's the appeal of GMMK? I've not kept abreast of new keyboard developments. Looks like the main selling point is hot swap switches? Is there more to it- what's build quality like?
The appeal, it's a hot swap keyboard for $70 delivered (no switches or caps).

No idea on build quality (mine's across town), but it's probably on the lower end of decent board. I just want something to put switches in and try them before I solder them into something more permanent.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | HMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline jamster

  • Posts: 442
  • Location: Asia
Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 22 May 2020, 03:11:45 »
The appeal, it's a hot swap keyboard for $70 delivered (no switches or caps).

No idea on build quality (mine's across town), but it's probably on the lower end of decent board. I just want something to put switches in and try them before I solder them into something more permanent.

Ah, thanks. I had only seen the complete boards for $110, totally missed that you could get a much cheaper barebones one. Totally makes sense now- the idea of buying a board without switches that you're (well, me at least) practically guaranteed to find issue with is an attractive one.
« Last Edit: Fri, 22 May 2020, 09:56:46 by jamster »
Current: Realforce 87u 55, KUL-ES87 Ergo Clear 65, RC930-87 55.
Just sitting around: 1986 IBM Model M, 198? IBM Model M UK, BTC 5100C.
Previously owned: Raptor K1 1800 Zealio 65, Northgate Omnikey 101, IBM Thinkpad USB (old style).
Incoming: Kickstarter Atreus.

Offline Damo2

  • Thread Starter
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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 23 May 2020, 13:25:45 »
Not sure if anyone cares but I ended up deciding on the Leopold. Seems like the double shot keycaps are worth the price of admission alone based on what I've read.

I think at some point in the future I will try to get a switch tester with a bunch of different types and try building a custom, but for now having a nice solid board is more than good enough. Looking forward to getting it!


Offline ddrfraser1

  • Posts: 153
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  • IWHBYD
Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 23 May 2020, 13:33:19 »
Not sure if anyone cares but I ended up deciding on the Leopold. Seems like the double shot keycaps are worth the price of admission alone based on what I've read.

I think at some point in the future I will try to get a switch tester with a bunch of different types and try building a custom, but for now having a nice solid board is more than good enough. Looking forward to getting it!

We care  :D
Solid choice

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 133
Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 23 May 2020, 17:31:10 »
Not sure if anyone cares but I ended up deciding on the Leopold. Seems like the double shot keycaps are worth the price of admission alone based on what I've read.

I think at some point in the future I will try to get a switch tester with a bunch of different types and try building a custom, but for now having a nice solid board is more than good enough. Looking forward to getting it!

We definitely care. If you really like it, come back here and tell us what you think!

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Keyboard Recommendation?
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 23 May 2020, 21:42:09 »
Not sure if anyone cares but I ended up deciding on the Leopold. Seems like the double shot keycaps are worth the price of admission alone based on what I've read.

I think at some point in the future I will try to get a switch tester with a bunch of different types and try building a custom, but for now having a nice solid board is more than good enough. Looking forward to getting it!
Awesome and congrats!
It's a big step up from your current keyboard.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | HMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)