Author Topic: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?  (Read 10390 times)

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Offline Sintpinty

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #50 on: Sun, 17 February 2019, 20:06:35 »
Blacks are cool and fine, but i think they're just a heavier version of cherry mx red. I think they're the ultimate work keyswitch and definitely not for gaming due to them being a bit heavy.

Offline derpdederp

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #51 on: Mon, 25 May 2020, 11:29:29 »
They're a bit too loud for me. I've grown to love silent linears. First, the Zilent Black (Silent Black stem, Zeal housing, 67g Zeal spring).

Now, I'm a fan of the Healio by Zeal, although I'm still trying to figure out the best way to lube them.

A smooth, silent linear is really a great typing experience.

A set of my favorite switches are modded Vin Blacks. Soooo gooooood

Hoping I can pick your brains since you've both messed with these more... Can you silence a vintage black as much as the MX Silent Black is?

Can you expand on your mod? The "Zilent Black" means you buy new MX Silent Blacks, replace the spring and the housing? Are they quieter than the stock MX Silent Black? I'll likely add o-rings too, in order to reduce the actuation distance a bit (and noise).

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #52 on: Mon, 25 May 2020, 19:11:57 »
Thanks for necro  ;D

With lube and because of the heavy spring weight, vintage MX black are pretty quiet... my dad told me he used them in the office with no complaints.
Yes, both MX black and this "Zilent Black" you're talking about (also called MX Zilent) lubed are going to be quieter than the non silent switches, because they have rubber dampeners in the switch that absorb the bottom out and reduce the noise.

Offline derpdederp

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #53 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 04:41:58 »
Thanks for necro  ;D

With lube and because of the heavy spring weight, vintage MX black are pretty quiet... my dad told me he used them in the office with no complaints.
Yes, both MX black and this "Zilent Black" you're talking about (also called MX Zilent) lubed are going to be quieter than the non silent switches, because they have rubber dampeners in the switch that absorb the bottom out and reduce the noise.

Thanks - I think necroing is most efficient when it is on topic...
So: using the modern MX Silent blacks to make the Zilent mod vs using the vintage MX blacks to make it? Is the Zilent mod only for the modern blacks or vintage blacks too?

Offline typo

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #54 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 05:02:55 »
Why is there constantly the same kind of posts like Blacks are thought of as no good? Many people like them fine. If you don't like them move on.....

Offline derpdederp

  • Posts: 46
Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #55 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 07:28:34 »
Why is there constantly the same kind of posts like Blacks are thought of as no good? Many people like them fine. If you don't like them move on.....

If you're talking about my posts, then it isn't true. I'm merely probing for info about the best mods & black switches from this guy who seems to have more experience.

Offline derpdederp

  • Posts: 46
Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #56 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 19:14:49 »
Thanks for necro  ;D

With lube and because of the heavy spring weight, vintage MX black are pretty quiet... my dad told me he used them in the office with no complaints.
Yes, both MX black and this "Zilent Black" you're talking about (also called MX Zilent) lubed are going to be quieter than the non silent switches, because they have rubber dampeners in the switch that absorb the bottom out and reduce the noise.

I also noticed this thread about adding GMK QMX dampening:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=95312.0
Any idea if the QMX brackets can be used in combination with o-rings and your Zilent black mod? I assume you I'm not going overboard :)

Offline typo

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #57 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 23:43:00 »
I did not mean any malice. I was just wondering why Blacks are of so much interest. They have been around forever already. I used to really like them. I am too old and feeble. I lack the strength to use them. The board I now use honestly has switches under 20 grams.  When I was strong they were one of my favorites. I liked them because you do not need to bottom out. Lubing them I would think would negate their very purpose. Making them lighter. Not sure.

Offline derpdederp

  • Posts: 46
Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #58 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 03:29:11 »
Lubing them I would think would negate their very purpose. Making them lighter. Not sure.

I don't think so... Friction vs resistance. The first slows you down and generates a nasty feel, the second slows you down and increases return rate.

Offline envyy24

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #59 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 09:26:15 »
They are nice but they require some efforts. First you need to make sure you don't buy the ****ty batch. Then most likely you need to film + lube + spring swap them. I find it easier to go buy Gateron and after lubing they are relatively the same.

Offline derpdederp

  • Posts: 46
Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #60 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 10:40:50 »
They are nice but they require some efforts. First you need to make sure you don't buy the ****ty batch. Then most likely you need to film + lube + spring swap them. I find it easier to go buy Gateron and after lubing they are relatively the same.

And what is a reliable source (for a good batch)? And have you modded vintage blacks or only modern ones? Are you referring to GMK QMX dampening?

Offline envyy24

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #61 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 15:16:54 »
They are nice but they require some efforts. First you need to make sure you don't buy the ****ty batch. Then most likely you need to film + lube + spring swap them. I find it easier to go buy Gateron and after lubing they are relatively the same.

And what is a reliable source (for a good batch)? And have you modded vintage blacks or only modern ones? Are you referring to GMK QMX dampening?

No i don't refer to GMK QMX dampening. That is a foam to mute the sound of your keyboard. Film is some sort of plastic to put between your top and bot housing so the switch does not/ does less wobble. Lube is ... lubricant to make the switch smoother. And spring swap is buying new spring and swap them in.
I only mod old black, vintage black, and retooled black. Let me explain a bit what i mean by those type of black, because that sort of answers your first question.

So gathering from reading numerous posts, threads about vint black and also hunting for vint black myself, I draw these conclusions to my own:
1. Vintage black is said to be undisputed champion of of linear switches, and they are made prior to 1994. 1994 is often the point of segregation due to some information on the internet about how Cherry change their tooling in making switches there. However some also argues that Cherry gradually changed their production over the year so it is not 1994 cut and dry. So the ideal way is to acquire a board made in the late 80s for gurantee vint black. You can rely on the date code of the board or any date on the pcb to identify the year of production.
2. The other important mark is sh it black. These are the scratchiest hell you can encounter. Buy any board from the early 2000s until 2017, you will see. This is what made people hated mx black because it is hailed like industry standard during this time but it is literally crap.
3. Old black: so these basically are made after 1994 but not like sh it black. They are the switches in these period that some strongly discount them as vint black and some believes that they are just as good as vint black. Personally I think both vint black and old black are good BUT you must cherry pick them (no pun intended ;) ). Yes, the quality is very inconsistent with vint black and old black, you can get like 100 from the same board and 20 would be bad while 80 are good.

To tell the different between sh it black vs old & vint black is easy if you can a- try them next to each other or b-open them. The stem on good blacks are much shinier smoother than sh it black, becasue they are made from better material.

4. Retooled black: in 2018 Cherry made changes to their equipment, and the retooled black came to life. They are very smooth linear switches. However, after just mere of few years, people start complaining that there are scratchy retooled mx blacks. So the quality of production is rapidly deteriorating as you can see.

Well, from this long post i guess the reliable source for good batch would be getting very old board, 1997 and before. Or getting keyboards from a very specific date: early 2018. That is all I have for you. After so much effort I acquire the batch that I like and they are in my board now and I just stop and move on from hunting this ****. My info therefore might be incorrect in some parts or lacking important updates, please be aware of that.


Offline typo

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #62 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 15:24:08 »
I guess I am not so picky. Or I was just "green" back then. I used to like them just stock on a Cherry POS board. The one with those clear keycap covers to customize. Well there were many, but one like that. Long time ago. Now I am so picky I have switches I cannot even identify. I think they are one of a kind built just for this board. Totally OT here though. About less than 20 grams. I can see being picky about a good black though. As I said I really liked them since you don't have to bottom out. I see some fine boards with them.

Offline envyy24

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #63 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 15:40:50 »
By pos board with clear caps for customization i think you are talking about tipro board with relegendable keycaps.

Offline derpdederp

  • Posts: 46
Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #64 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 18:25:31 »
They are nice but they require some efforts. First you need to make sure you don't buy the ****ty batch. Then most likely you need to film + lube + spring swap them. I find it easier to go buy Gateron and after lubing they are relatively the same.

And what is a reliable source (for a good batch)? And have you modded vintage blacks or only modern ones? Are you referring to GMK QMX dampening?

No i don't refer to GMK QMX dampening. That is a foam to mute the sound of your keyboard. Film is some sort of plastic to put between your top and bot housing so the switch does not/ does less wobble. Lube is ... lubricant to make the switch smoother. And spring swap is buying new spring and swap them in.
I only mod old black, vintage black, and retooled black. Let me explain a bit what i mean by those type of black, because that sort of answers your first question.

So gathering from reading numerous posts, threads about vint black and also hunting for vint black myself, I draw these conclusions to my own:
1. Vintage black is said to be undisputed champion of of linear switches, and they are made prior to 1994. 1994 is often the point of segregation due to some information on the internet about how Cherry change their tooling in making switches there. However some also argues that Cherry gradually changed their production over the year so it is not 1994 cut and dry. So the ideal way is to acquire a board made in the late 80s for gurantee vint black. You can rely on the date code of the board or any date on the pcb to identify the year of production.
2. The other important mark is sh it black. These are the scratchiest hell you can encounter. Buy any board from the early 2000s until 2017, you will see. This is what made people hated mx black because it is hailed like industry standard during this time but it is literally crap.
3. Old black: so these basically are made after 1994 but not like sh it black. They are the switches in these period that some strongly discount them as vint black and some believes that they are just as good as vint black. Personally I think both vint black and old black are good BUT you must cherry pick them (no pun intended ;) ). Yes, the quality is very inconsistent with vint black and old black, you can get like 100 from the same board and 20 would be bad while 80 are good.

To tell the different between sh it black vs old & vint black is easy if you can a- try them next to each other or b-open them. The stem on good blacks are much shinier smoother than sh it black, becasue they are made from better material.

4. Retooled black: in 2018 Cherry made changes to their equipment, and the retooled black came to life. They are very smooth linear switches. However, after just mere of few years, people start complaining that there are scratchy retooled mx blacks. So the quality of production is rapidly deteriorating as you can see.

Well, from this long post i guess the reliable source for good batch would be getting very old board, 1997 and before. Or getting keyboards from a very specific date: early 2018. That is all I have for you. After so much effort I acquire the batch that I like and they are in my board now and I just stop and move on from hunting this ****. My info therefore might be incorrect in some parts or lacking important updates, please be aware of that.

Wow, thanks for all of that. Do the parts/methods exist to make vintage blacks as quiet as modern mx silent blacks? Ah, so when someone is talking about "finding a good source" for switches, the reason they don't link to a store to buy switches is because they're talking about getting them off of keyboards! Thanks :)

Offline typo

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #65 on: Thu, 28 May 2020, 20:10:54 »
envyy24, exactly. Did not know what it was called.

Offline envyy24

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Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #66 on: Fri, 29 May 2020, 02:31:37 »

Wow, thanks for all of that. Do the parts/methods exist to make vintage blacks as quiet as modern mx silent blacks? Ah, so when someone is talking about "finding a good source" for switches, the reason they don't link to a store to buy switches is because they're talking about getting them off of keyboards! Thanks :)

Yes, that is why i said it takes a lot of effort getting into this vintage black business. I admit part of it was the thrill of the hunt. Retooled black occasionally is available on arrow if you want. But again, just buy gateron lol

Offline derpdederp

  • Posts: 46
Re: What do you guys think of MX Black Switches?
« Reply #67 on: Fri, 29 May 2020, 06:08:25 »

Wow, thanks for all of that. Do the parts/methods exist to make vintage blacks as quiet as modern mx silent blacks? Ah, so when someone is talking about "finding a good source" for switches, the reason they don't link to a store to buy switches is because they're talking about getting them off of keyboards! Thanks :)

Yes, that is why i said it takes a lot of effort getting into this vintage black business. I admit part of it was the thrill of the hunt. Retooled black occasionally is available on arrow if you want. But again, just buy gateron lol

Well first priority is silence - and as far as the reviews I've seen, MX silent black are more silent than any other 50+g linear switch (and of course they can be made more quiet from there, which I will do).