Author Topic: Greetings from France !  (Read 749 times)

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Offline KermittDaFrog

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Greetings from France !
« on: Sun, 21 March 2021, 15:51:20 »
Hello World !
My name is Blaise and I am currently a low-level developper in Toulouse , France.
A Friend of mine recently got me in this inexpensive hobby and I am pleasured to join a community that loves quality stuff.
I Hope we can have enriching discussions about our passion !
P.S. : Take care of yourselves in those hard pandemic times  :thumb:

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Greetings from France !
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 22 March 2021, 13:52:24 »
Hi Blaise. Welcome to Geekhack.

Keyboards mean a lot of different things to different people. I'm in it for the switches, but invincibility is pretty nice too if you can have both.

Have you tried any switches yet?

Stay safe out there yourself. Things are looking up with vaccination at least.

Offline KermittDaFrog

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Re: Greetings from France !
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 22 March 2021, 17:20:42 »
Hi Maledicted, thanks for the bienvenue message !

The fact that we have different perceptions of what should be a keyboard is a nice thing, because we can discuss about it ! (Even if i am a noob  ;D )

Yes I have tried some, and i'm currently looking for a comparaison plate for opening my switch culture. For the moment, my favourites are Cherry MX Blue (For their clicky sound and their hard pressure to apply) and the Cherry MX Brown. I suppose that you should have tried a lot of them, then what are your favourite ones ?



Offline Maledicted

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Re: Greetings from France !
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 23 March 2021, 11:36:25 »
Hi Maledicted, thanks for the bienvenue message !

You're very welcome.

The fact that we have different perceptions of what should be a keyboard is a nice thing, because we can discuss about it ! (Even if i am a noob  ;D )

I agree. I also find it to be something that people can be passionate about, and have differing opinions on, without a conversation descending so easily into a morass as many other topics.

Yes I have tried some, and i'm currently looking for a comparaison plate for opening my switch culture. For the moment, my favourites are Cherry MX Blue (For their clicky sound and their hard pressure to apply) and the Cherry MX Brown. I suppose that you should have tried a lot of them, then what are your favourite ones ?

When you say comparison plate, do you mean a switch tester? I think this 130 switch tester is a good value, and it covers most of the bases, but none cover them all. It has some pseudo-boutique switches, like Everglides, which seem really smooth to me. I don't have any of the more popular factory lubricated boutique switches to compare them to though.

I used MX blues happily for years and years myself, those and MX reds. I think that once you've tried a wider array of switches, you'll find them to actually be quite light. There are those who end up swapping lighter springs into switches that are typically stiffer though as well, as most people do not end up sticking with the most common MX switches in the long run, although MX brown is an occasional exception. I think MX clear is more popular amongst tactile lovers because it is a lot smoother out of the gate, with a more pronounced tactile bump. They have stiffer springs though without swapping them for something lighter.

I like mostly clicky switches with relatively sharp tactility. I usually have a preference for relatively stiff tactility as well, although that doesn't seem to be universal (depending on how you define it). As such, I love mostly vintage switches like SKCM blue Alps, beam spring and capacitive buckling spring, for which I don't think there are any modern equivalents. Matias (clones of simplified Alps) and box thick clicks (particularly jade and navy) come pretty close for me. Of all of these, unfortunately, only box switches have any MX compatibility in terms of boards and caps. If you're used to MX blue, you may like trying box whites, pinks, or pale blues if jades and navies are too stiff. The whole family is wonderfully crisp and refined, and enjoyable to type on. As an added bonus pinks and jades are surprisingly bassy for a clicky switch, which is not common at all with any clicky, new or old.

Other great ones I have tried are NEC blue ovals, SMK second generation and Hi-Tek "space invaders". I prefer all of these to Cherry MX ... but they're also all weird proprietary ye olde switches. Gateron and Outemu make fantastic affordable clone switches of MX blue though that eliminate the rattle and are more stiff and crisp in terms of tactility.

As far as tactiles go, I'm not a huge fan of them in general because the MX variants are almost exclusively a relatively rounded bump (so I haven't really put effort into trying many boutique MX tactiles that are popular). I do like the old Alps tactiles and Matias' modern simplified Alps clones though, because the tactile event is still crisp and sharp, though I have found some Matias tactiles to be a little less smooth than the rest of the family. Otherwise, Topre (which you may eventually hear of a lot) is pretty nice for rounded tactility. They're essentially high quality/refined rubber domes, which use a PCB for capacitive sensing (sort of like capacitive buckling spring) instead of the more traditional membrane contacts. Topre is buttery smooth and satisfying to type on, and relatively quiet to boot even without silencing. In general, I prefer nicer dome with slider boards of years past, like Fujitsu Peerless, Focus dome with slider, and NMB dome with slider to MX tactiles or clones as well.

For linears, linears are just linears to me. I'm still rocking my very first (known) mechanical keyboard with my gaming rig, a Corsair K70 with MX reds. I haven't replaced them, in spite of the fact that I could get a bit stiffer switches that I don't actuate accidentally from me resting my fingers on them, or were smoother, because they're not that much worse than any other linear. I imagine if I liked linears for typing, I would use something else. Complicated Alps and Matias linears are quite nice (although I would argue that the Matias ones are sort of tactile). Even the cheap Gateron MX clones seem to me, to be nice and smooth without modification (I don't bother to lube switches or stabilizers myself), and you'll get smoother and smoother from there with the boutique options from what I hear. People seem to love to apply their own lubrication as well though.

Offline KermittDaFrog

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Re: Greetings from France !
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 23 March 2021, 17:26:28 »
When you say comparison plate, do you mean a switch tester?

Yes I meant that, sorry about the vocabulary :confused:
I was looking for an Aliexpress thing, but the options you showed me seems to be nicer : i'm in for the 130 switch tester !

I like mostly clicky switches with relatively sharp tactility.

[Sighs] Mee too, kid.

... but they're also all weird proprietary ye olde switches

I don't understand why there isn't a standard fixation for all switches (and caps) available ?

Wow. I learned a lot about available switches options with what you said. After searching one by one about them, I want to try them all !  ;D
You seem to be really learned about all the differences beetween them, and reading your post was a real pleasure.
I never heard about Topre, but it looks like high quality stuff, prbably worth the try !

« Last Edit: Tue, 23 March 2021, 17:28:09 by KermittDaFrog »

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Greetings from France !
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 24 March 2021, 13:26:26 »
When you say comparison plate, do you mean a switch tester?

Yes I meant that, sorry about the vocabulary :confused:
I was looking for an Aliexpress thing, but the options you showed me seems to be nicer : i'm in for the 130 switch tester !

If you have a preference, I believe that KPRepublic has a store on Aliexpress as well, so you could order it through either location.

I like mostly clicky switches with relatively sharp tactility.

[Sighs] Mee too, kid.

Why the sigh? Clicky people are in the minority for some reason, so it is great to see more come along.

... but they're also all weird proprietary ye olde switches

I don't understand why there isn't a standard fixation for all switches (and caps) available ?

Well, MX has sort of become the standard since most other types of mechanical keyboards were killed off by the proliferation of cheap membrane boards over the course of the 1990s. Cherry survived because they had a strong hold over industrial and POS sales, so that's what was marketed in "gaming" keyboards when mechanicals started seeing a resurgence.

Other switches didn't have any standardization because they were all engineered independently by other companies throughout the 70s and 80s (mostly). There was no emphasis on customization in those days, but there was a major emphasis on having keyboards that were familiar to typists who were transitioning from typewriters, so a lot of companies were competing for the best clicky switch.

The Kailh box switches I mentioned above, which are the best MX-compatibles around in my opinion, are totally compatible with MX PCBs and caps.

Wow. I learned a lot about available switches options with what you said. After searching one by one about them, I want to try them all !  ;D
You seem to be really learned about all the differences beetween them, and reading your post was a real pleasure.
I never heard about Topre, but it looks like high quality stuff, prbably worth the try !

I know a lot about clicky switches, particularly old ones. If you ever find you might prefer something of another type, there are others on here that would know more than I, since I don't typically bother to try any boutique tactiles or linears (though I'm using Topre 55g right now since a student at the school I work at wanted to try it).

That's the beauty of vintage switches though. They've got 0 compatibility, but there's so much variety in terms of mechanism. They all feel and sound vastly different from each other. Box switches are about the only novel design that's come out in recent years. Almost everything else is a clone of MX, and almost everything that remains after that is a clone of a handful of other old mechanisms (Matias being a clone of simplified Alps).

Topre is definitely very high quality, and you're paying a premium price for that quality. I think that, typically, Japan still makes very high quality products. Topre, in particular, sets pretty high standards of quality for boards that utilize their switches. They're not for everyone though, including myself unless I want a drastic change of pace for a while. Ideally, you'll want to try it at a meet once the apocalypse is finally over.
« Last Edit: Tue, 06 April 2021, 11:13:23 by Maledicted »

Offline KermittDaFrog

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Re: Greetings from France !
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 29 March 2021, 16:51:13 »
If you have a preference, I believe that KPRepublic has a store on Aliexpress as well, so you could order it through either location.

I just fear about receiving a bunch of counterfact switches !

Why the sigh? Clicky people are in the minority for some reason, so it is great to see more come along.

This was a reference to the Mr. Incredible meme  ;D I didn't know about being a minority myself, but i just like to feel when the signal is sended , and i love the sound !

Ideally, you'll want to try it at a meet once the apocalypse is finally over.

Yes, I hope this crazy situation will end soon too !

I want to thank you again for your welcoming, and the attention you put on writing your answers  :cool:

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Greetings from France !
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 06 April 2021, 11:27:53 »
If you have a preference, I believe that KPRepublic has a store on Aliexpress as well, so you could order it through either location.

I just fear about receiving a bunch of counterfact switches !

I would hope that any stores you recognize on Aliexpress would be created and run by the actual team behind the original brand, but who knows for sure. I know I haven't had any problems on there that weren't resolved promptly either by the vendor or Aliexpress themselves.

Why the sigh? Clicky people are in the minority for some reason, so it is great to see more come along.

This was a reference to the Mr. Incredible meme  ;D I didn't know about being a minority myself, but i just like to feel when the signal is sended , and i love the sound !

If you love the sound of clickies, then you'll definitely be looking at clicky switches over tactiles. Do you like high-pitched clickies or ones that sound more bassy? You could look up SKCM blue typing tests for a great example of nice and bassy clickies. Most of the rest are high-pitched, but there are exceptions. Box jades and pinks are some of the best in terms of feel of the MX-compatibles, and are also bassy to boot. Box navies are wonderfully crisp and enjoyable, but a little stiff and high-pitched. You really need to hammer them too, so depending on the case construction they can ping a lot too ... sort of like buckling spring (which is also high-pitched). I am entertained even by that, so I like to put navies in pingy aluminum cases.

Ideally, you'll want to try it at a meet once the apocalypse is finally over.

Yes, I hope this crazy situation will end soon too !

I want to thank you again for your welcoming, and the attention you put on writing your answers  :cool:

No problem. I wish I could put more time and energy than I do into responding to all of these. A lot of them go unanswered.