Author Topic: My Filco Majestouch is here!!  (Read 19972 times)

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Offline mr_sf_applet

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« on: Wed, 28 November 2007, 01:08:18 »
My Filco Majestouch arrived yesterday, 8 days after I ordered.

Here again is the picture of the parcel sitting in Tokyo less than a week ago, emailed to me by the shopping service along with the shipping notification:





And this is the parcel here in Los Angeles:





You can tell that it's the same carton, because the patch of the top paper layer that's been torn off in the Tokyo picture (upper left hand corner) is identical in shape to the patch in the lower right hand corner of the unopened parcel in Los Angeles.




The parcel opened:




No bubble wrap, no styrofoam peanuts, no packing material to speak of except for that piece of crumpled up paper at the top of the picture. But look, they gave me a wristrest too.



The box within the box:






The bottom of the box within the box:









First glimpse:




The user guide on top is in Japanese, so I have no idea if it contains info I should really know. The keyboard is covered in transparent plastic that is molded to each individual key.



User guide  and plastic cover removed:




That purplish thing in the upper left of the box, resting in its own little niche, is the USB to PS/2 adapter, in case you have a PS/2  port (I don't) and want to take full advantage of the N-key rollover feature.



Bottom label:






Yep, brown Cherry MX switches:






Nice little feature is this Velcro-like cord tie:






Ready to rumble:





Key feel? Give me  some time with it. I'll report back next week and compare with the blue Cherrys, with the white Alps, with buckling springs, with electric capacitance keys.

My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 28 November 2007, 01:29:12 »
Why must you torture us so? Now I will not sleep for a week, reloading this thread every 5 minutes. You could have kept things under wraps for another week, rather than create this painful suspense.

Offline fkeidjn

  • Posts: 237
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 28 November 2007, 01:29:58 »
Which commissioner did you order the keyboard from?  How much was it altogether?
Kinesis Keypad - Filco FKBN104M/EB - Unitek space-saver - Acer 6511-TW - Apple Extended II (M3501) - Scorpius M10 - Cherry G80-1800, AT - SGI Granite - vintage Fujitsu - IBM Model M, 101 and mini - Model F, 84-key AT - Dell AT101W - Northgate 101

Offline xsphat

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 28 November 2007, 11:01:02 »
Nice, can't wait to hear your thoughts on it

Offline FatGeorge

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 28 November 2007, 21:40:28 »
Excellent!  Looking forward to the review.

Offline victheslik

  • Posts: 153
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 29 November 2007, 23:18:13 »
Quite the beautiful keyboard ya got there! Hurry up and post a review :).
"The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. " Karl Marx
A wiseman once said, "If Bible proves the existence of God, then comic books prove the existence of Superheros."

Offline Bluemercury

  • Posts: 328
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 30 November 2007, 07:29:36 »
how much does this keyboard cost?
Collection:
Das Keyboard II
Model M5-2
Model M5-1(considering selling this one)
Cherry G80-3000LCMPO with black switches
Cherry G80-5000HAMPO (Brown switches)
McAlly96
HHKP2 BNx2

Offline Bluemercury

  • Posts: 328
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 30 November 2007, 07:39:00 »
How're the brown switches compared to the blue ones regarding sound and clicky feeling?
Collection:
Das Keyboard II
Model M5-2
Model M5-1(considering selling this one)
Cherry G80-3000LCMPO with black switches
Cherry G80-5000HAMPO (Brown switches)
McAlly96
HHKP2 BNx2

Offline Mikecase00

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    • http://www.mikecase.net
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 30 November 2007, 16:29:17 »
Hey that's a nice looking board.  Now if only it didn't have those darn Windows keys shrinking the space bar.

How heavy is it?  I like my full size boards to feel substantial and be built like a tank (which is why I'm an 'M' fan)
IBM Model M 1391401 (dyed black) w/ keys from M-13
IBM M-13 Trackpoint (naturally black)
IBM Model M 1392934 SpaceSaver
Several plain IBM 1391401 Ms
Epson Equity Q203A
http://www.mikecase.net

Offline zillidot

  • Posts: 58
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 05 December 2007, 21:15:58 »
How does this keyboard compare to the Model M?

I'm quite curious about this keyboard. Almost put in an order for one too, but then I thought I should wait until I see a review first :)
My keyboards:
Realforce 87U (all 55g)
HHKB Pro 2 (black on black)
Filco Majestouch (n-key rollover, brown cherries)
Unicomp Customizer 101 (black with black keys)

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #10 on: Wed, 05 December 2007, 23:08:15 »
I hope he's not avoiding this thread because the keyboard sucks ...

My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 05 December 2007, 23:36:12 »
Quote from: xsphat
I hope he's not avoiding this thread because the keyboard sucks ...


It can't suck. It's made in Japan.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 05 December 2007, 23:42:01 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Quote from: xsphat
I hope he's not avoiding this thread because the keyboard sucks ...


It can't suck. It's made in Japan.

Yes indeed it can suck. It's made in Taiwan! I suspect Strong Man.

But all joking aside, I'll try to post some impressions of the Majestouch this weekend.

My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 05 December 2007, 23:56:22 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Quote from: xsphat
I hope he's not avoiding this thread because the keyboard sucks ...


It can't suck. It's made in Japan.

Yes indeed it can suck. It's made in Taiwan! I suspect Strong Man.

But all joking aside, I'll try to post some impressions of the Majestouch this weekend.


It is? Then I too, strongly suspect Strongman.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #14 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 00:39:12 »
Then I strongly suspect suck  :wink:

Offline victheslik

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 01:19:07 »
What is this "SUCK" you speak of!?  :shock:
"The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. " Karl Marx
A wiseman once said, "If Bible proves the existence of God, then comic books prove the existence of Superheros."

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #16 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 01:27:09 »
I like messing with mr_sf_applet, its just so damn fun. In reality, I hope the keyboard is really good and I hope he tells us [soon] what he thinks of it.

Offline fkeidjn

  • Posts: 237
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 02:07:44 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Quote from: xsphat
I hope he's not avoiding this thread because the keyboard sucks ...


It can't suck. It's made in Japan.

Yes indeed it can suck. It's made in Taiwan! I suspect Strong Man.

But all joking aside, I'll try to post some impressions of the Majestouch this weekend.


Made in Taiwan!?  If it were made in Japan, the quality would probably be higher, not to mention, more expensive, but still...
Kinesis Keypad - Filco FKBN104M/EB - Unitek space-saver - Acer 6511-TW - Apple Extended II (M3501) - Scorpius M10 - Cherry G80-1800, AT - SGI Granite - vintage Fujitsu - IBM Model M, 101 and mini - Model F, 84-key AT - Dell AT101W - Northgate 101

Offline xsphat

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 09:57:47 »
It's ridiculous to say that a product, any product, is better just because of where it was made. Lets be fair people, even Japan makes junk.

Offline fkeidjn

  • Posts: 237
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 14:25:06 »
Quote from: xsphat
It's ridiculous to say that a product, any product, is better just because of where it was made. Lets be fair people, even Japan makes junk.


True; I'm just making a broad generalization though
Kinesis Keypad - Filco FKBN104M/EB - Unitek space-saver - Acer 6511-TW - Apple Extended II (M3501) - Scorpius M10 - Cherry G80-1800, AT - SGI Granite - vintage Fujitsu - IBM Model M, 101 and mini - Model F, 84-key AT - Dell AT101W - Northgate 101

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #20 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 14:52:29 »
I find this Taiwan thing is kind of perplexing, in that my SMK85 is solid and the switches feel good, but the label on the back says Strongman, made in Taiwan. It is was less creaky than my Model M, and the quality is close to the HHKB Pro 2.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 17:02:32 »
Hey, it's all in jest.

Shu Qi, born in Taiwan.

Avant Stellar, made in Taiwan.

Nuff said.

Offline fkeidjn

  • Posts: 237
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 22:15:31 »
Quote from: xsphat
I find this Taiwan thing is kind of perplexing, in that my SMK85 is solid and the switches feel good, but the label on the back says Strongman, made in Taiwan. It is was less creaky than my Model M, and the quality is close to the HHKB Pro 2.


Depends on what condition the model M comes in.  For example, if many of the heads of the plastic rivets that support the keeping of the metal back to the membrane together, then there you'll start hearing a little bit of ringing from the clicks of the springs, whereas a fully reinforced one, as stated in Sandy's page, doesn't have much of a ringing.

I guess it depends on personal taste if you like the Strongman keyswitches.  I haven't personally tried them myself, but I might get one in the future.

It's all about quality control when it comes to a high quality keyboard, like those from the '80s and the early '90s.
Kinesis Keypad - Filco FKBN104M/EB - Unitek space-saver - Acer 6511-TW - Apple Extended II (M3501) - Scorpius M10 - Cherry G80-1800, AT - SGI Granite - vintage Fujitsu - IBM Model M, 101 and mini - Model F, 84-key AT - Dell AT101W - Northgate 101

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #23 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 22:23:05 »
The switches aren't Strongman, they are real Alps with black sliders.

Offline fkeidjn

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 22:25:56 »
Quote from: xsphat
The switches aren't Strongman, they are real Alps with black sliders.


Which keyboard?  Now it's either I don't know what I'm talking about, or I'm too vague.
Kinesis Keypad - Filco FKBN104M/EB - Unitek space-saver - Acer 6511-TW - Apple Extended II (M3501) - Scorpius M10 - Cherry G80-1800, AT - SGI Granite - vintage Fujitsu - IBM Model M, 101 and mini - Model F, 84-key AT - Dell AT101W - Northgate 101

Offline xsphat

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 06 December 2007, 23:36:52 »
No, I am too vague. My SMK 85 has Alps switches with black sliders. The label on the back says Strongman. The switches say Alps on each one, so they are not made by Strongman, they were made by Alps, and they are the best switches I have ever used, even though I can't stop using the HHKB Pro 2 because it is just so nice. I prefer the Alps to the HHKB, but the design, geek-sheikness and rarity of HHKB keeps it in front of my monitor. Notice, I removed the Model M from my sig ...

Offline xsphat

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 09 December 2007, 16:39:36 »
So, what are they like? The brown MX switches and the Filco 'board.

Offline Bluemercury

  • Posts: 328
My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 09 December 2007, 16:44:05 »
Quote from: xsphat
No, I am too vague. My SMK 85 has Alps switches with black sliders. The label on the back says Strongman. The switches say Alps on each one, so they are not made by Strongman, they were made by Alps, and they are the best switches I have ever used, even though I can't stop using the HHKB Pro 2 because it is just so nice. I prefer the Alps to the HHKB, but the design, geek-sheikness and rarity of HHKB keeps it in front of my monitor. Notice, I removed the Model M from my sig ...


Do they make the smk85 or 88 for European layout?
Collection:
Das Keyboard II
Model M5-2
Model M5-1(considering selling this one)
Cherry G80-3000LCMPO with black switches
Cherry G80-5000HAMPO (Brown switches)
McAlly96
HHKP2 BNx2

Offline mr_sf_applet

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Review of the Filco Majestouch Model No. FKBN104M/EB
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 00:28:43 »


The Filco Majestouch is not one keyboard, but a series of keyboards, all variations on the theme of mechanical Cherry MX switches. The Majestouch series includes versions in white, versions in black, versions with Japanese 108-key layouts (your choice: with or without Kana characters on the keycaps), versions with English (US ASCII) layouts, versions with N-key rollover, versions with Bluetooth wireless (the only wireless mechanical switch keyboard I've encountered on the web). There are even a couple of Majestouch Minis (only in Japanese layout, though). Most of these variants are available with either the black Cherry MX linear switches or the brown ("tea axis") Cherry MX soft tactile switches. I had wondered why Filco didn't offer Majestouch versions with the blue clicky Cherry MX switches. It turns out they do, but it's not shown on the English version of the diatec.co.jp website (unfortunately, the blue Cherry clicky Majestouches seem to be available only in Japanese layouts). There is no version that combines N-key rollover AND wireless. That'd be a killer keyboard.

The version I have is the FKBN104M/EB: all black, standard 104-key English layout (with Windows keys, you can't avoid them these days), USB connection with PS/2 adapter included, with N-key rollover, and brown Cherry MX switches. The only feature this version has over the basic version  is the N-key rollover feature. Other than that, it's about as basic a keyboard as you can get.

But there's basic and there's basic. Sorta like your basic black dress. Depending on fabric, cut, drape, and who's wearing it, a basic black dress can be the most stunning thing at a party. And that's the way I feel about this Filco Majestouch I'm typing on right now. It's a real looker, easily the best-looking of all the keyboards in my possession. Its slim form factor (similar to the IBM M2), and its basic black enclosure give it a sleek, understated elegance that puts something like the frill-encrusted Logitech G15 board to shame.

When the Steelseries 7G was first announced, I was tempted to order it, despite its use of the black Cherry MX linear switches, because it had the same formal elegance as the Majestouch. But the press release met with hoots and sneers on at least one forum I found, where adolescent sounding gamers found the 7G to be boring. So I know mileage varies on this. Beside the Majestouch, the IBM Model M (the 1391401) appears plain Jane, and the Avant Stellar appears muscle bound. The Happy Hacking Professional 2 looks like a kid's toy (but then that is one of the attractions of the HHKB Pro 2, that so much functionality and power, along with great key feel, could be packed into such an unassuming package). The looks of the Majestouch is not the least of the reasons I keep returning to it.

This English version of the Majestouch has a standard 104-key Windows arrangement, so there is nothing to adjust to in the layout, no unexpected or inexplicable shifts in key locations as there are in so many of the space saver models. By the same token, it suffers the same problem as all full-size keyboards in the way it forces a dangerously long reach for the mouse. Moreover, the slim footprint of the Majestouch means that when one  centers oneself on the letter keys, the placement of the keyboard seems even more lopsided than with a deeper board, such as the full-size Model M's. I had to shift the wrist rest to move the psychological center of gravity to the left to be more in line with the centerline of my body.



The Windows keys (2 Windows and 1 Menu key) do eat into the space bar length, but only minimally. The space bar measures 4 inches, the same as on Das Keyboard II. The space bar on the 101-key IBM Model M, by comparison, is 5 inches, so inch is lost. Not enough to bother me; with only a half inch truncated I'm in no danger of missing the space bar and hitting something else. (I just noticed that the Avant Stellar, even with the Windows keys, maintains a 5-inch length on the space bar by reducing Windows keys and the right-side Alt and Control keys to standard letter-key size.) If one were to order a 108-key Japanese version of the Majestouch, I could see the gripe about the space bar size reduction.

The Windows keys have a little bulb on top with the Windows logo, all the better for touch typists to avoid pressing the keys should their fingers accidentally alight on that bulbous protrusion.




The font used on the key caps is rather more delicate than what is usually found, and has a slight italic slope to it. A Japanese web site review  (as translated by Google) indicated that the lettering on the key caps was not laser-etched, so that brings up the question of how long it would take  for the lettering to wear off. The review did say, however, that very good paint was used, if I understood the awkward machine translation correctly.

The Majestouch weighs in at 1.2 kg, or 2.6 pounds, only about half the weight of the full size Model M and the Avant Stellar, both steel-plated. The Majestouch does feel heavier than the larger Das Keyboard II, though, and its small footprint means that the 2.6 pounds is packed into a smaller volume. Hence, the Majestouch does have considerable heft and feels dense. I doubt if there is any metal plate inside, and I have no inclination to disassemble the keyboard to find out, but the keyboard does feel solidly built. The Diatec web site lists as one of the Majestouch features a "rigid construction of case structure," whatever that means.

It is heavy enough to impart a reassuring sense of stability. And it definitely doesn't move around on the table. That is in part due to the four generously sized rubber pads on the bottom of the board; they measure 1 5/8" by 3/8":






Das Keyboard II, by way of contrast, has only two rubber pads, both near the front edge, which measure a measly 11/16" by 3/16":




There are no rubber pads near the rear edge of Das Keyboard, just the rubber bottoms of the adjustable feet which, when folded up, still project a bit beyond the bottom surface, perhaps to function as grippers:




The thing is that they don't work at all. I can push Das Keyboard to the edge of my keyboard stand with one finger:





When I push the Majestouch with one finger, the combination of the heft and the rubber pads is such that it pulls the swiveling keyboard stand along with it:




The size of the rubber pads is just one of the small touches that distinguish the Majestouch. Another one is the stress-relief grommet where the cord comes out of the keyboard:




Compare this again with Das Keyboard II, a supposedly high-end keyboard:




Yet another small touch is inclusion of a  Velcro-like cord tie:



The keys have a distinctive texture, quite unlike any other keyboard in my collection. I was trying to find a way to characterize the feel, and the only thing I could come up with was that it felt like extremely fine silt. A couple of the Google-translated Japanese reviews said it was like frosted glass, so maybe that's a more accurate description. One of the reviews says the texture of the Majestouch is inferior to what is found on Topre Corp. keyboards, but I wouldn't know about that. It feels pretty good to me.

In the website specs for one of the Majestouch models (not the one for the model I have, but I'm sure it applies to my model as well), it says:

Quote
"Top coated" to prevent from the scratch or damage on the keys and chassis.

* Occasionally, you can see the finger print spots on the top coated surface on the key and chassis (It is outstanding on a black model.) Wipe out with a soft fabrics to remove the spot.


After a period of sustained use, I do notice a faint whitish smudge on the right-hand side of the space bar, and a soft cloth (a Googalie in this case) does remove it:






My mid-level Dell desktop machine does not have a PS/2 port, so I could not fully test the N-key rollover feature, which theoretically permits all the keys to be depressed simultaneously and register. While connected via USB, the Majestouch does register 6 keys when pressed simultaneously, the limit of USB bandwidth.

This particular model of the Majestech comes with the brown Cherry MX switches:



I decided to try to remove the Enter key, out of curiosity if nothing else, and was distressed to see the assembly come apart upon removal:



Those little white pieces are stabilizing spacers on either side of the switch, and I had to figure out how to thread them through the metal wire and how they're supposed to sit before I could reseat the Enter keycap:




It was enough of a hassle to do this  that from now on I'm going to avoid removing the larger keys unless I absolutely have to.

The first thing to be said about the brown Cherry switches is that they do not click, despite what the ergocanada.com website says. Try as I might, I could not discern anything that could be described as a click when depressing a key, even when I did it very slowly. No click.

The brown MX switches have a very light touch, a bit lighter than the blue clicky Cherry switches, I think. According to the specs, the brown Cherry MX's have 4mm of travel, with the key actuation point at 2mm. They remind me a bit of the Cherry ML switches on the G84-4100, except the brown MX's have a bit more travel to them and slight tactile feedback, whereas the ML's have none except for the thud of bottoming out.

When I first tried out the Majestouch, my typing speed plummeted and I made a lot of errors. I think it was because the key feel was so different from the other boards that I have, and also because the onset of dry weather, and my failure to use moisturizer, left cracked skin on my palms and fingers, making it a bit painful to type. But even with the frustration of my typing going to hell on the Majestouch, I found myself returning to it again and again, and looking forward to using it. The light touch makes it probably the most comfortable board I have. When I put in sustained time on the Avant Stellar, my fingers start to feel numb and fatigued. With the Majestouch, it's as if my fingers were at a spa. For speed and accuracy, I still seem to do best with an IBM Model M buckling spring board; whenever I return to a Model M after playing around with other boards, it's as if my fingers had found their way home again. But if typing can be said to be physically enjoyable, it is the brown Cherry MX switches in the Majestouch, now that I have adjusted to them and brought my typing up to near normal speeds, which at this moment is giving me the greatest pleasure. This is coming as something of a surprise to me, because I've been firmly in the camp of those who feel that the clickier, the better.

This board was bought through a Japanese buying service, at:

http://www.fdjp.com/

and cost me $205 via PayPal. This particular version of the Majestouch may be just one step with its N-key rollover feature beyond basic black, but its the belle of the ball to my eyes and fingers. This keyboard, with its combination of looks, build quality, thoughtful touches, and mechanical soft tactile Cherry switches, is definitely worth at least the roughly $100 that its cost in Japanese yen translates into . Whether it's worth it when the substantial increment in commission and shipping fees is added to the base cost is another question, and something each person will have to decide as an individual matter of taste, preference, and need.

As for me, I'm going to quote from the Google translation of some Japanese blog entry about the purchase of a Majestouch, which reflects my own feelings with haiku-like directness:

"The design is simple, it was bought. Repentance is not."

My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 00:53:29 »
Review most excellent. Thanks. Me not buy.

My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 00:55:51 »
BTW, how "wobbly" are the keycaps on the Cherry boards compared with your Alps boards? How loud is the bottoming out thud? Can it be avoided? Thanks again for the review.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 02:34:09 »
I don't perceive wobble on the Majestouch, whereas I definitely do on the Avant Stellar (I'm leaving the SMK-85 and Das Keyboard II, my other Alps and Chery boards, respectively, out of this because I haven't spent enough time on them).

If you lightly tap the edge of a key cap on the Majestouch, you can feel a slight wobble, but it merges almost imperceptibly into the light force necessary to depress and actuate a key switch, so that the net result is that you don't really sense the slight wobble.

BTW, I know the guy at:

http://mykeyboard.co.uk/keyswitches/

would disagree with the notion that the Cherry MX's have a low activation force. I need to try out what he would consider a true low force switch to  know what he's talking about. But until such time, it strikes me that if the force on the brown MX's is reduced any further, I'd be afraid to rest my fingers on the keys.

The keycaps on the Avant Stellar definitely have more wobble than the keycaps on the Majestouch. What's more, because the Alps switches are high force compared to the brown Cherry switches, there is more of a distinct dividing line between the free play of the wobble and the force required to depress and register a key stroke. So the wobble winds up being more perceptible and more distracting.

There is a site recommending keyboards where both reviewers of the Avant Stellar thought that, depite supposedly identical manufacturing processes, the Avant Stellar had slightly more wobbly keys than its predecessor, the Northgate Omnikey Ultra.

As for bottoming out, the thing is that the brown Cherry MX's are low enough in resistance to begin with (despite the complaints of the "My keyswitches" guy) that it almost doesn't matter if you bottom out. The low force means that even if you do bottom out, you land with a soft thud rather than the jarring CLACK that happens more often than not with the white Alps on the Avant Stellar (and, I assume, on the Northgate Evolution as well).

Also, the low force also means that I find it easier not to bottom out on the Majestouch. On the Avant Stellar with its relatively stiff, high-force, Alps sliders, I find it almost impossible not to bottom out.

My Filco Majestouch is here!!
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 04:01:20 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet

BTW, I know the guy at:

http://mykeyboard.co.uk/keyswitches/

would disagree with the notion that the Cherry MX's have a low activation force. I need to try out what he would consider a true low force switch to  know what he's talking about. But until such time, it strikes me that if the force on the brown MX's is reduced any further, I'd be afraid to rest my fingers on the keys.


His tastes/requirements are probably at the extreme, but his site is an awesome resource, and I wouldn't mind building a keyboard like his myself.

Quote from: mr_sf_applet
The keycaps on the Avant Stellar definitely have more wobble than the keycaps on the Majestouch. What's more, because the Alps switches are high force compared to the brown Cherry switches, there is more of a distinct dividing line between the free play of the wobble and the force required to depress and register a key stroke. So the wobble winds up being more perceptible and more distracting.


Thank god I am not the only who notices this!  I thought I was some kind of freak for not unconditionally loving the keyfeel. What bugs me is that without the keycaps the white Alps feel great. I wonder if the wobble is there with other Alps sliders. BTW, you mention that the white Alps are "high force".  Are the black Alps also high force?

Quote from: mr_sf_applet
There is a site recommending keyboards where both reviewers of the Avant Stellar thought that, depite supposedly identical manufacturing processes, the Avant Stellar had slightly more wobbly keys than its predecessor, the Northgate Omnikey Ultra.


I saw that site only a few days ago. Confirmed my suspicion. If I am not happy with my original 1995 Northgate Evolution, I'd be even less so with the Avant Stellar then.

Quote from: mr_sf_applet
As for bottoming out, the thing is that the brown Cherry MX's are low enough in resistance to begin with (despite the complaints of the "My keyswitches" guy) that it almost doesn't matter if you bottom out. The low force means that even if you do bottom out, you land with a soft thud rather than the jarring CLACK that happens more often than not with the white Alps on the Avant Stellar (and, I assume, on the Northgate Evolution as well).

Also, the low force also means that I find it easier not to bottom out on the Majestouch. On the Avant Stellar with its relatively stiff, high-force, Alps sliders, I find it almost impossible not to bottom out.


Thanks for the excellent explanation.

Offline zillidot

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« Reply #33 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 06:56:18 »
Thanks for the review! I just ordered one. :)
My keyboards:
Realforce 87U (all 55g)
HHKB Pro 2 (black on black)
Filco Majestouch (n-key rollover, brown cherries)
Unicomp Customizer 101 (black with black keys)

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #34 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 10:18:26 »
Great review, thanks. You equate the MX browns to the ML blacks, and that is about all you had to say. Do you actually have some ML switches to compare this to or are you going the graphic on that guy's site? I really like the Cherry ML switches, so I am guessing I would love the browns. I may want to pick one of these up.

And mr_sf_applet, which takes more force - your Stellar or your Das II? I think I have the Alps white vs. black thing figured out, so make your answer count.

And Whiskey, the black Alps sliders are lighter touch than the HHKB Pro2, just so you know, and the Alps wobble only slightly more than the Pro 2 as well, but it doesn't work against me or anything. The black Alps are some of the lightest touch switches I own, the true champ of that being the Cherry MLs in my lone Cherry board.

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« Reply #35 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 18:16:42 »
Forgot to mention that I very much like the minimalist design of this board. Or as the Cherry Cymotion Expert product description says "The ideal keyboard for anyone who values reliability and perfect handling without superfluosus show effects" (Love that German English). But the more I look at those pics, the more I think "have I seen this somewhere before?":

http://www.steelseries.com/int/products/keyboards/7g/pictures

What threw me off was that they specifically say that they are non-clicky Cherry MX. So I assumed black sliders ie. linear. But now that you've mentioned that the browns aren't really clicky either, maybe, just maybe, the 7G also uses brown cherries?

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #36 on: Mon, 10 December 2007, 22:58:25 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
maybe, just maybe, the 7G also uses brown cherries?


That board does look hot, I just emailed them about the switches. I would bet they are the crappy black slidered ones though.

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« Reply #37 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 01:35:28 »
Quote from: xsphat
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
maybe, just maybe, the 7G also uses brown cherries?


That board does look hot, I just emailed them about the switches. I would bet they are the crappy black slidered ones though.


Or you can ask for a review sample:

http://www.steelseries.com/int/about/contact_us/review/online_media

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #38 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 01:41:48 »
I saw that, I think iMav may have to set that up (HINT!!).

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #39 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 02:41:19 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Thank god I am not the only who notices this!  I thought I was some kind of freak for not unconditionally loving the keyfeel. What bugs me is that without the keycaps the white Alps feel great. I wonder if the wobble is there with other Alps sliders. BTW, you mention that the white Alps are "high force".  Are the black Alps also high force?

I don't have any keyboards with black Alps, but it sure sounds like they require lower force than the whites, if you go by what xsphat and elmomax has written about them.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #40 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 02:52:22 »
Quote from: xsphat
Great review, thanks. You equate the MX browns to the ML blacks, and that is about all you had to say. Do you actually have some ML switches to compare this to or are you going the graphic on that guy's site? I really like the Cherry ML switches, so I am guessing I would love the browns. I may want to pick one of these up.

I'm going by direct experience with the Cherry G84-4100 that's currently stashed away in my closet.

Quote from: xsphat
And mr_sf_applet, which takes more force - your Stellar or your Das II? I think I have the Alps white vs. black thing figured out, so make your answer count.

Oh, most definitely the Avant Stellar. Hell, that takes more force than the Model M.

Quote from: xsphat
And Whiskey, the black Alps sliders are lighter touch than the HHKB Pro2, just so you know, and the Alps wobble only slightly more than the Pro 2 as well, but it doesn't work against me or anything. The black Alps are some of the lightest touch switches I own, the true champ of that being the Cherry MLs in my lone Cherry board.

My HHKB Pro 2 and Model M 1391401 have almost no wobble to speak of, when compared to the slight wobble of the Majestouch and the considerable wobble of the Avant Stellar.

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« Reply #41 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 02:57:36 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
My HHKB Pro 2 and Model M 1391401 have almost no wobble to speak of, when compared to the slight wobble of the Majestouch and the considerable wobble of the Avant Stellar.


Hmmm... Perhaps it's just unavoidable with mechanical switches.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #42 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 02:58:52 »
Quote from: xsphat
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
maybe, just maybe, the 7G also uses brown cherries?


That board does look hot, I just emailed them about the switches. I would bet they are the crappy black slidered ones though.

Yeah, I bet they're the black linear switches too. A few weeks back I ran across a review on the web of its predecessor, the 6G, and the review included a picture of a key popped off to show a black Cherry MX switch underneath. I see no indication that Steelseries has changed that for the 7G.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #43 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 03:00:38 »
My old Apple with pink Alps sliders has conciderable wobble as well, much more than the black Alps. Are you serious about the Stellar taking more force than the M? That's crazy. My black Alps are so light ... I'm glad I didn't buy one of those.

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« Reply #44 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 03:07:06 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
Quote from: xsphat
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
maybe, just maybe, the 7G also uses brown cherries?


That board does look hot, I just emailed them about the switches. I would bet they are the crappy black slidered ones though.

Yeah, I bet they're the black linear switches too. A few weeks back I ran across a review on the web of its predecessor, the 6G, and the review included a picture of a key popped off to show a black Cherry MX switch underneath. I see no indication that Steelseries has changed that for the 7G.


That's true, but the case of the 6G is totally different to the 7G, which is almost identical to the Filco. Hope dies last, I suppose. Not that I'd have any use for that humongous wrist rest.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #45 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 03:11:29 »
Quote from: xsphat
My old Apple with pink Alps sliders has conciderable wobble as well, much more than the black Alps. Are you serious about the Stellar taking more force than the M? That's crazy. My black Alps are so light ... I'm glad I didn't buy one of those.

Well, maybe not. I just tested them again side by side, and the Model M takes slightly more force, I think. But the Stellar is right up there, and for some reason, the Stellar induces finger  fatigue and numbness after prolonged use, and the Model M does not.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #46 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 03:14:51 »
Well this about seals it for me. The only keyboard I want right now is the Filco with brown sliders like you have.

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« Reply #47 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 03:35:34 »
One of the comments on this blog says that a Focus keyboard (Alps switches) has more wobble than a model M. That settles it for me.

http://www.aplus.co.yu/keyboard/click-keyboards/

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #48 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 10:02:27 »
this review of the filco says it all:  

"This, FILCO Majestouch FKB108M/JB black ver the "axis of tea," said to be Germany's business Cherry keyboard for adoption by the brilliant keyboards axes used to be that. Midnight bytes in the data entry that is the odd numbers not enter. Because of this, full keyboard easy KB what you are looking for. But still, this is nothing."

any questions?

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« Reply #49 on: Tue, 11 December 2007, 17:52:26 »
Hope dies last, hope is dead. Got a response from SteelSeries. The 7G uses MX Linear switches.