Author Topic: Lonely hobby?  (Read 624 times)

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Offline diazel

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Lonely hobby?
« on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 08:26:42 »
All of my other hobbies are very social activities from mountain biking, disc golf, ball golf, building motorcycles with friends, gaming, etc. In my personal life, I typically have 2-3 people that I can turn to that share my excitement for any individual hobby.

Except keyboards. I have fallen down the rabbit hole hard (ie. I have RAMA U80 on order, Maja on order, (2) Model F keyboards on order, Keystone hall effect board on order...). That said, every time I get excited about something else I discover or building a new keyboard and I realize for the first time ever, I don't have a [physical] friend to share or swap stories with IRL. Everyone I introduce to it marvels at the difference in all of my keyboards and every person has found a keyboard among my collection they love or "omg that [feels or sounds] so good. I want one, how much?" but once they hear how much I've spent on various boards, they're all turned off.

I agree my collecting of a broad spectrum of keyboard accessories, switches, cases, etc are borderline eccentric/stupid but I attribute it to trying to figure out what exactly I want in a keyboard. I have been narrowing in on what I like and don't like but the ADHD in me has me wanting to try every switch from beam spring to holy glorious pandas. The other thought in my mind is everyone says to spend money on the things you use the most. Buy a good bed. Buy nice sheets. You spend a third of your life in them so might as well splurge. The only other thing I use the same amount as or more than my bed/sheets would be my computer/keyboard. In my mind, that reason alone tells me a good keyboard is a solid investment especially when a good one will last so @$#$%%^ long. And in this hobby, as long as it's taken care of, doesn't seem to affect resale value at all for the better stuff.

I know it's personal preference and everyone has their own schtick but I'm honestly a bit surprised that amongst all my gaming friends, all my computer friends, all my tech/electronic friends, I have yet to inspire other friends to get into or at least appreciate the hobby. Has anyone else experienced this? Does it bother you at all or is it more "whatever, I'm doing this for me" so it doesn't matter to you?


Online yui

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 08:57:54 »
i think that we pretty much all are "keyboard warriors" :) so talking to other through text isn't too big of a deal and like all hobbies not everyone can be into it, to be honest most of my gamer friends do not care about keyboard stuff they all pretty much use rubberdome or memcanical (the razer rubberdome with clicker thingy) boards or at best a cherry brown or red board, on the other hand typist and programmers are far more likely to find an interest in the hobby, when meats can be reopened you could go to one close to you and then you will see a lot of peoples into keyboards but likely not as many into cars or bikes :)
And to be fair with your/our friends. this is a very expensive hobby for what you get in return so yeah the free keyboard with the pc may be good enough in their mind compared to your 300+$/euro board that ok feels better but is it 300$ better?
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Offline jamster

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 09:13:57 »
I have hobbies that are best shared (hiking, mountain biking, mountain sports), but also have interests that are best appreciated alone- building or testing audio gear, tinkering with IT equipment, and keyboards.

I have a small number of friends who enjoy good keyboards, but we very rarely talk about them in real life... I mean, they are great and all, but they are solo use tools and so much of it is personal preference. There are, when it comes down to high value, face to face interactions, so many more interesting things to talk about- family, friends, current events, travel (in another age). But still, we have explored keyboards sufficiently on our own, we've lent them to each other on occasion, but it's not something that we'd make a big deal of... although one guy did host a 20th birthday party for his M once, to the amusement of all our mutual friends who went along.

Offline diazel

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 09:17:22 »
i think that we pretty much all are "keyboard warriors" :) so talking to other through text isn't too big of a deal and like all hobbies not everyone can be into it, to be honest most of my gamer friends do not care about keyboard stuff they all pretty much use rubberdome or memcanical (the razer rubberdome with clicker thingy) boards or at best a cherry brown or red board, on the other hand typist and programmers are far more likely to find an interest in the hobby, when meats can be reopened you could go to one close to you and then you will see a lot of peoples into keyboards but likely not as many into cars or bikes :)
And to be fair with your/our friends. this is a very expensive hobby for what you get in return so yeah the free keyboard with the pc may be good enough in their mind compared to your 300+$/euro board that ok feels better but is it 300$ better?

Yeah, ultimately, to someone not in the hobby, $300 is way more than they're willing to spend. On that same line though, one of the things I've been doing is finding used cheap mechanicals on craigslist and then modding them to improve sound and aesthetics. If they're willing to spend $150 on a new Razer, why not a modded board with better switches and lube, better keycaps, foam... Yeah, okay, I get it. It's a lot to someone who's not into the hobby but you'd think if someone was willing to make them a custom keyboard that fit the same budget they'd be more open to the idea.

Yep, I think the meets will definitely help me there. I'm good with forum friends but it's still nice to have a few irl. Also, you're right. I hadn't really considered because given that most of my gamer friends have spent good money on their Razers or Logitechs so you'd think they'd be the ones most interested but they're not. oh well, I'll enjoy my sakurios internally until meets happen again. Interested to see how Keycon is going to go down.

Offline diazel

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 09:24:01 »
I have hobbies that are best shared (hiking, mountain biking, mountain sports), but also have interests that are best appreciated alone- building or testing audio gear, tinkering with IT equipment, and keyboards.

I have a small number of friends who enjoy good keyboards, but we very rarely talk about them in real life... I mean, they are great and all, but they are solo use tools and so much of it is personal preference. There are, when it comes down to high value, face to face interactions, so many more interesting things to talk about- family, friends, current events, travel (in another age). But still, we have explored keyboards sufficiently on our own, we've lent them to each other on occasion, but it's not something that we'd make a big deal of... although one guy did host a 20th birthday party for his M once, to the amusement of all our mutual friends who went along.


You're right, of course. It is hugely personal preference. That's why it's almost a shame. I love the thought of a friend that has a wide collection that can be tried out. When you buy a car, you do specific research for your own needs. Then you figure out where you can buy one. Then you go and test it out to make sure it's what you want before spending the money. The idea of buying any daily use items without research and trying them out first is heresy to me. Then again, depending on your perspective, maybe that's a character flaw of mine. Hmm

hahaha @ the birthday party. I have considered attempting to find a keyboard from 1983 so I could have one the same age as me for similar purposes.

Offline jamster

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 09:35:56 »
The small number of people I know into keyboards... well, we all pretty much figured out what our preferences are a fairly long time ago. I guess none of us are really that picky- we're not going to obsess about the smoothest vs the second smoothest linears, I recently tried a load of silenced tactiles (ordered 5-6 types) and they all felt, well, largely similar to me. I can tell the difference between Aliaz with the mid-stroke tactile event versus most other tactiles. But beyond a slight preference against them, I could have just bought silenced Kailh browns and have been 95% as happy as with the Outemu Skies that I ended up with. Some people here will chase that 5%, I won't.

It's also possibly worth mentioning that most my keyboard friends are proponents of Model Ms. They are so radically different in every way to most modern boards, that I guess once you find an MX flavour that's okay for you, most of the switches in that area are kind of the same and, well, not worth obsessing about. This is probably some kind of GH heresy.

Offline diazel

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 09:49:08 »
The small number of people I know into keyboards... well, we all pretty much figured out what our preferences are a fairly long time ago. I guess none of us are really that picky- we're not going to obsess about the smoothest vs the second smoothest linears, I recently tried a load of silenced tactiles (ordered 5-6 types) and they all felt, well, largely similar to me. I can tell the difference between Aliaz with the mid-stroke tactile event versus most other tactiles. But beyond a slight preference against them, I could have just bought silenced Kailh browns and have been 95% as happy as with the Outemu Skies that I ended up with. Some people here will chase that 5%, I won't.

It's also possibly worth mentioning that most my keyboard friends are proponents of Model Ms. They are so radically different in every way to most modern boards, that I guess once you find an MX flavour that's okay for you, most of the switches in that area are kind of the same and, well, not worth obsessing about. This is probably some kind of GH heresy.

It's funny you mention that about the MX switches. I've been trying to decide between sakurios, silent alpacas, and silent mx blacks. Stock, they are all blazingly different to me. Lubed...my preference is the cheapest flavor in mx blacks. I bought a HHKB because I just had to try Topre. I loved it. I thought they were great. Then I heard about the Topre clones in Abko K935P and comparing them side by side...I returned the HHKB and kept the keyboard the cost 1/3 of that because the sound and feel was far superior I thought to Topre.

Ultimately, my little experiment with the various silent switches told me the same thing you found. If they're lubed and clean, most MX style switches will give you good performance. No way I could've come to that conclusion without trying them all side by side. Zeals would have always been that elusive Ferrari. In fact, it's more like deciding on a vehicle model (mx style) and then choosing the trim (ie. NK creams). I think that's why Thomas' keyboard reviews call to me because of the switch variety. Lol I hope that I don't discover that the Model F basically feels the same as Model M because right now, with two of them on order, that might pretty sad because I could've just bought an old used one on ebay, added a soarers converter, and called it a day for a fraction of the cost. C'est la vie!


Offline captain

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 17:34:22 »
What are you gonna do; get together IRL and type to each other?!  Itís an interest that lends itself to online interaction.


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Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 17:55:52 »
All of my other hobbies are very social activities... gaming

what?

Offline diazel

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 17:58:36 »
All of my other hobbies are very social activities... gaming

what?
Board games? Clank. Mysterium. Betrayal. You know, gaming.

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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 21:22:40 »
Tp4 owns 4 Pianos.   So, yea, only 2 hands.  But u know.. Gotta have a piano in every room like TVs and Computer.

Once can fordz m0ar pianos.  Will buy.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 21:32:56 »
Keyboards tend to be the last thing people think about with computers (even if it shouldn't).

It doesn't add performance, and if it works that's good enough for most people. A lot of parts are this way, it took a long time before cases actually started to be something average users really valued, same for power supplies. We still see people putting high end parts with the crappiest under powered power supplies, even when full of RGB. I've even seen shops do this to customers.

The bummer of all of this is of all things the case really is the least important part (provided it breathes well). Peripherals can really make or break how much you enjoy a computer, far more than that extra 50mhz overclock and rgb ever will.
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 | GMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Online yui

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 00:29:49 »
We still see people putting high end parts with the crappiest under powered power supplies, even when full of RGB. I've even seen shops do this to customers.
yep still saw not long ago an Heden psu in a recent shop built pc, with the pentium 4 sticker and all, and was wondering why the thing was unstable... although some power supply look crappy but are actually pretty good
vi vi vi - the roman number of the beast (Plan9 fortune)

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 08:11:32 »
We still see people putting high end parts with the crappiest under powered power supplies, even when full of RGB. I've even seen shops do this to customers.
yep still saw not long ago an Heden psu in a recent shop built pc, with the pentium 4 sticker and all, and was wondering why the thing was unstable... although some power supply look crappy but are actually pretty good

What everyone neez is m0ar piano buys.

Every piano has thousands of parts,  tweaking heaven.

You gotta use different lubes for different parts.  dry, wet, grease, buffing,

Tiny little screws to perfect pre-travel, post travel, actuation point. 

And they're incredibly affordable.

Online yui

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 08:20:39 »

And they're incredibly affordable.

I kinda doubt that last point, even compared to computer keyboards.
everything else yeah why not, i'd love to learn piano, but you can also say the same about old cars, you can even sometime buy some that are cheaper than keyboards, pretty much all technological hobbies i think could fit in your description :)
vi vi vi - the roman number of the beast (Plan9 fortune)

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 10:26:47 »
They can be had cheaper than you think but you have keep your eyes open.

They're big and heavy, no one likes to move them so in a rush they are often sold at cut rate prices.  Anything big and heavy to move is this way, the problem is you have the same problem as those trying to get rid of them, it's big, heavy and you need to be ready to go as soon as you see it. You also have to fight the professionals watching out for deals on this stuff.
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 | GMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Lonely hobby?
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 12:44:39 »
They can be had cheaper than you think but you have keep your eyes open.

They're big and heavy, no one likes to move them so in a rush they are often sold at cut rate prices.  Anything big and heavy to move is this way, the problem is you have the same problem as those trying to get rid of them, it's big, heavy and you need to be ready to go as soon as you see it. You also have to fight the professionals watching out for deals on this stuff.


For new buyers, it's better to get it from a reputable dealer.

There are lots of difficult/ impossible to fix problems with old pianos that are hard to notice unless you know precisely what to look for.

I'd actually recommend ~$2000 used upright to start.

Digital Pianos are good, but IMHO, the piano action (the keyboard itself) isn't that great until you get to the $5000 level, and even then,   It's only as good as ~$2000 upright actions.

Advantage of Digital is you don't have to tune it, and the sound is pretty authentic these days.

That can also be seen as a disadvantage, because it's fun to tune-up a piano, screws, lube, shims, the works.


For a bit more, a used small Grand $5000-8000 is good, grand actions feel better  with more precise aftertouch (tactile response). They also have faster key repetition rate, <not that useful>  but it will feel a hair more responsive vs upright actions.

But honestly if anyone's spending more than $5000,  I think a new $20,000 grand is more worthwhile.  Most people only need 1 piano, so you buy a 20k grand, and that's a lifetime.


Also, on radiation,  it's very possible Jpn pianos are radioactive or have particle contamination. They're made from Jpn wood afterall.  Wood absorb hot particles from the ground, every Spring, Jpn has a huge radioactive pollen bloom cloud risen from Japanese Cedar.  Any piano made before 2008 would be safe though.

German pianos, or Korean pianos would be next best.  China pianos are pretty decent nowadays too, so if you're not a sn00b,  solid choice.