Author Topic: Quiet MK advice?  (Read 767 times)

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Offline skullmonkey

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Quiet MK advice?
« on: Sun, 11 October 2020, 00:22:10 »

I'm currently using a Das Keyboard ultimate, and I love it. But I need something quieter, as much of the time I'm either on videocalls or working in the same room as someone else who's on videocalls or doing recordings.  I'm finding many awesome options out there but having a hard time finding one that has everything I'm looking for, and instead just spending waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time wishlisting stuff. 

Here are the features I'm looking for:

- Work is lots of typing, coding, 3D modeling, gaming, and spreadsheets.  full size is preferable but I could do ok with a TKL layout and have a separate numpad for when I'm doing spreadsheets and financials.
- Switches: Quiet, but good for fairly heavy typing
- LED backlight, because I do often work late with all the lights off.  Yes, I did just say that my current fave kb has blank keycaps but I'm still fumbly when my hands are too far off home position in the dark ;)
- Media controls, at least volume
- USB passthrough

I'm smitten with the Varmilo VA108M CMPYO - is there anything like that but with media controls...?

The Das Keyboard 5Q seems like the other obvious option, but reviews seem mixed on the gamma zulu swiches..?  (also seems a bit pricey, and the fancy notification feature isn't something I'll use)

thanks for any suggestions!



Offline jamster

  • Posts: 811
  • Location: Asia
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 11 October 2020, 09:50:16 »
If you want real quiet, good for conferences, you're going to have to get silenced switches. There are loads of silenced switches available these days, both linear and tactile. They'll be silenced on both the bottom out, and the top of the return stroke (vs o-rings which just mildly dampen bottom out).

This means a barebones board, or something hotswap. Or you buy the keyboard you like, and spend ages desoldering the existing switches (a bit of a pain).

GMMK does the only one that occurs to me off the top of my head. Leslieanne wrote up a good review several months ago.

Das Keyboard 5Q- ugh, just Googled than, and that looks terribly gimmicky. Switches are made by Omron... they typically make good clicky switches found in mouse buttons, they are not particularly well known (or known at all) for keyboard switches. That thing has red flags all over it.

The Varmillo you mention has a silent option, unfortunately they are either Reds or Blacks which are not everyone's cup of tea. Either excessively light linear, or excessively heavy linear.

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 572
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 11 October 2020, 17:57:27 »
Starting to think of something like the Archon AR89 for full-size, AR87 for TKL. They can be fairly quiet. Think they have LED.

There's an unbranded Rakk Lam Ang Pro being sold on AliExpress. You can dampen them with foam, replace the stabilizers, and use silent switches, and they're pretty quiet. It's a TKL. Has volume control.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 11 October 2020, 20:45:54 »
If you want quiet, you will want to re-work on the stabs, on quiet boards stabs will be the loudest thing on it.
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 skullmonkey

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Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 13 October 2020, 21:55:09 »
thanks for the suggestions!  That gives me some interesting new avenues to research...

Offline diazel

  • Posts: 37
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 14 October 2020, 07:38:08 »
If you're decent at soldering, my approach has been to pick up used mechanical keyboards on craigslist and then swap out the alpha keys. I don't use F keys a lot, I don't use the modifiers as much. ie. I have a Ducky Shine 3 full-size with silent alpacas for the alphas and kept the browns everywhere else. The couple of random keystrokes on the mods or F keys didn't justify the added cost of the alpaca upgrade.

That said, I agree completely with Leslieann. My Filco, Puri, and Razer BW ultimate all greatly quieted by a healthy dose of super lube. I know a lot of people say 205g0 for the stabs but I like my spacebar full thocc so I gunk it up pretty good.

In regards to switches, I bought silent alpacas. I bought Sakurios. I bought silent Gat blacks. I bought silent cherry reds. Vastly different stock. With lube, I feel like the Sakurios and Alpacas don't do anything for me that the gat blacks don't already for much less. Didn't care for the reds even with lube, however.

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 572
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 14 October 2020, 18:27:00 »
Yeah, my Gat reds weren't anything to write home about, and they seemed unusually prone to damage coming in and out of the hotswap sockets.

Did you use stock springs on the Silent Alpacas? I find them a bit light, but lube tends to make them a bit 'heavier' in my experience. With factory lube, I use 63.5 and 65 G springs on Alpacas. Still trying to figure out how to build my Silent Alpacas.

Anyway, I only use factory boards with lubed stabs, switches, and probably other areas now.

Offline SackOHammers

  • Posts: 13
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 15 October 2020, 00:49:58 »
If you like the features on the keyboard you have, try to bend it to your will.  You will likely have similar noise issues with other keyboards.
Look at getting some quieter switches.  Ones with quieter bottom out noise and quieter return noise.  Lubricate the springs so you don't get any of that annoying spring ping.
Are the space bar, enter key, backspace key, and shift keys your noisy keys?  If so, consider modifying your stabilizers.  Lubricate them, or perhaps replace them with a Durox set.
You could also consider just desoldering the switches from your keyboard and soldering in the switches you want.  Then you get the board with everything you want.
Consider adding noise dampening foam to the bottom inside your keyboard case.  Just some cheap shelving liner seems to work.
Also, consider getting a "deskmat" or "keyboard mat".  It's basically a huge mousepad that is not only large enough for your mouse, but also fits all the way under the length of your keyboard.  It has a rubber bottom.  And a smooth, fast, mousing surface.   The only purpose here (besides aesthetics), is that having your keyboard on a rubber mat is quieter.  Less of the sound travels down and reverberates on your desk.
There are a billion deskmats out there.  And you can get them for about $10 on amazon.  You can also spend more and get one from Razer, like the Goliathus.  I just happened to pick this company.  They're in China, but I got my mat in about 4-5 days.  The advantage here is you can have whatever you want custom printed on it.  I had them use a cool nature landscape photo, and then my gamer tag in the lower-right.  So it's custom.  And it was still quite inexpensive.  shop.x-raypad.com
« Last Edit: Thu, 15 October 2020, 01:12:59 by SackOHammers »

Offline paulkemp

  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Norway
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 15 October 2020, 14:34:48 »
Gonna bump this one, hopefully not taking over the whole thread. If so, yell your finger at me OP.

Currently at home, I have a Varmilo VA88m with MX Blues, and I like it. A bit to crisp with the keycaps, and maybe a bit to heavy, but overall very happy. Ive also used a Havit with Kailh low profile blue switches earlier, and loved this for typing.

At work, I have a logitech rubber dome one, and this is where I want to replace my keyboard. None of my colleagues gives the tumbs up for any of my current keyboards.

Looking into the Glorious TKL swappable, with some modding beneeth the PCB and silent keys and keycaps to match.
- Is it possible to find silent switches, that are in stock? I want something that has 3 pins instead of cuttin of two pins on a highter end switch.
- Is it space in the GMMK beneeth the PCB for some noice dampening?


Havit:
https://www.amazon.com/Mechanical-Keyboard-Extra-Thin-Switches-Rollover/dp/B0722GG88M

Offline HungerMechanic

  • Posts: 572
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 15 October 2020, 17:46:32 »
Zilents are in-stock. U4 Boba is in stock [at least, the clear RGB-edition is]. Aliaz is probably in-stock at China retailers. It should be possible to find an array of silent tactiles in-stock right now.

As for the GMMK, yes it is possible to dampen it, and there are guides available on-line. Personally, I'm looking towards the Archon AK87/AK89, which are available from Harumio. Or you can wait for the Monstargear XO V3, which should be better, but much more expensive.

You can also shove silent switches into a Rakk Lam Ang Pro, and it should work fine if you can get dampening foam with it.

Offline paulkemp

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  • Location: Norway
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 03:51:16 »
Thanks for the feedback.

For now, ill look into dampening my own VM88a with dampeneres and O-rings, and ill see how much that impacts the sound. Maybe I can even use MX brown or blacks at work if they are sound measures in place.

Offline jamster

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Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 05:21:06 »
Thanks for the feedback.

For now, ill look into dampening my own VM88a with dampeneres and O-rings, and ill see how much that impacts the sound. Maybe I can even use MX brown or blacks at work if they are sound measures in place.

It will not make much difference. The sharpest clattering noise is from the slider topping out on the upstroke, o-rings and foam do nothing for this.

Offline skullmonkey

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Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 16:34:45 »
@paulkemp no worries :)

so, new keyboard day over here!  I needed something quick and not too expensive, so picked up a MK Night Typist with Cherry MX Silent Reds.



Very much enjoying it. the 'warm white' LED color temp is legit. The odd smudgy look on some of the legends is indeed as folks say it is, but I can live with that. I can take it further with silencing - yes, I can tell now where the noise from the stabilizers is coming from!  But it'll do the job at the moment.

The feel is sooooo different. Will definitely take some time to get used to.  My typing speed isn't too impacted, accuracy feels a little down and over time I'll figure out how these affect finger fatigue.
What I've realized - which is either a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it - is that I love variety. I'm enjoying switching between very different keyboards, now want to try out more compact layouts and other switches... oh dear  ;D

Offline paulkemp

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  • Location: Norway
Re: Quiet MK advice?
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 17 October 2020, 12:43:27 »

It will not make much difference. The sharpest clattering noise is from the slider topping out on the upstroke, o-rings and foam do nothing for this.

Ok. I tried with my mx  blues, and the switches themselves are fairly quiet without a keycap, however when typing there is a whole other story. How do I dampen th upstroke and butttom down sound?