Author Topic: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB vs. Type-S -- Video  (Read 4213 times)

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Offline intelli78

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Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB vs. Type-S -- Video
« on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 14:26:01 »
My recent HHKB Type-S purchase has not been very satisfactory; the keys near the center of the board whistle like crazy while typing. It's really distracting and unbecoming of a (very expensive) keyboard that is supposed to be silent. This led me to explore other options -- I dental banded one of my stock HHKBs. The resulting sound is very, very pleasant. RAINDROPS. It's not as quiet as the Type-S, but there is no annoying whistling/friction sound.

I highly recommend this mod in place of purchasing a Type-S, at least until PFU sorts out this whistling problem.

I don't have a link for the dental bands - I received them secondhand with a set of keycaps. However, they're very thin and very tight. I haven't had any trouble with the bands riding up the stem. I have tried the soft landing pad mod in the past, and while it's probably the quietest Topre silence mod of all (even more so than Type-S), it got boring because it was so quiet. These bands just take the edge off and make a pleasant sound like raindrops.  :thumb:

Edit: Video has been updated to include stock, dental banded, Type S, and demo of Type S whistling sound. Listen for the whistling in the Type S typing test, too.

« Last Edit: Wed, 23 July 2014, 16:46:44 by intelli78 »
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Offline koalapear

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Re: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB - Video
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 15:34:00 »
Mmmm they both sound so good. I need to get me one of these once I'm not broke!  :))
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Offline clacktalk

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Re: Raindrops: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB - Video
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 15:52:46 »
I think raindrops is a very good way to put it. The FC660C dental mod feels and sounds, in a lot of ways, superior to the Type-S. I attributed that more to the build of the keyboard, but now I see a more direct comparison between Type-S and dental modded, it's clearly the bands.
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Offline intelli78

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Re: Raindrops: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB - Video
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 16:07:24 »
I think raindrops is a very good way to put it. The FC660C dental mod feels and sounds, in a lot of ways, superior to the Type-S. I attributed that more to the build of the keyboard, but now I see a more direct comparison between Type-S and dental modded, it's clearly the bands.

I should have included my Type-S in this video.

Good to know the dental band mod sounds similar in the FC660C. I did the landing pad mod in an FC660C, and like I mentioned above, it was so quiet it was boring. Now I wish I'd picked up that Leo from you!
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Offline jwaz

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Re: Raindrops: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB - Video
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 16:11:42 »
I would be more interested in the Type-S vs dental band comparison, at least sound wise. I found the Type-s worlds better than a dental banded Pro 2. The reduction in travel from the dental bands really irritated me.


I imagine you might just need some lube to sort out the whistling?

Offline intelli78

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Re: Raindrops: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB - Video
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 16:49:32 »
I would be more interested in the Type-S vs dental band comparison, at least sound wise. I found the Type-s worlds better than a dental banded Pro 2. The reduction in travel from the dental bands really irritated me.

Video updated as per request.

With the bands I am using, there is a very minimal travel reduction. It is slight, but not enough to reduce tactility. Not bothersome, in my opinion.

I imagine you might just need some lube to sort out the whistling?

Dunno about that. After reading everything about the topic and creating my own thread, the consensus seems to be that lubing doesn't sort it out, and nobody really knows why it happens. I took it apart; the domes don't whistle by themselves, and the sliders don't whistle by themselves, but when it's all put together, it whistles like a ****ing train.


Also, I want to point out that IRL, the Type-S is whistly and grainy in a way that my mic won't capture. The video sounds relatively good, but IRL the whistling I demonstrate really comes out, as well as other friction noises.
« Last Edit: Wed, 23 July 2014, 16:53:56 by intelli78 »
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Offline Lurch

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Re: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB vs. Type-S -- Video
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 17:04:57 »
I think the last part of your video captured the whistling sound perfectly, although I'm sure it is more apparent in person.

My Type-S does the same. I want to say it has started to die down a bit, but I haven't been using it as much recently.
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Offline intelli78

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Re: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB vs. Type-S -- Video
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 17:07:12 »
I think the last part of your video captured the whistling sound perfectly, although I'm sure it is more apparent in person.

My Type-S does the same. I want to say it has started to die down a bit, but I haven't been using it as much recently.

 :(

It really is apparent. The mic does not fully capture how it sounds IRL. Very noisy and whistly is the only way I can describe it -- not silky like the typing test sounds. The typing test is good to demonstrate the overall volume vs. the other HHKBs, but not really good for reproducing how that board sounds.
« Last Edit: Wed, 23 July 2014, 17:08:45 by intelli78 »
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Offline b7ad

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Re: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB vs. Type-S -- Video
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 17:40:58 »
Hey intelli, great video! The dental bands really do sound great, going to have to look into getting some myself and giving it a shot. I also want to try out the soft landing pads too actually. I assume the soft pads reduce the travel quite a lot more than the dental bands?

Indeed lubing doesn't change the whistle, I lubed my Type-S with that GH 'thick formula' krytox GPL206/VPF1506 mix on the slider rails and nothing changed. I haven't tried lubing the actual stems though as I saw a few people suggest, I came to the conclusion that the general consensus to lube HHKB's was to just lube the slider rails only, so I did that.

You mentioned that you took the board apart and tested the whistle, did you try the board without the rings installed? I have been wondering if without the rings they don't whistle. The keys definitely feel 'tighter' on the board on the type-s than the regular HHKB, I assume because of the rings, but that could be completely wrong.

It is indeed very irritating and whilst I love the thock of the stock HHKB I have grew accustom to the lovely sound of silenced thorpe.

I have been through it all in your previous post, but it does seem that it's a very common problem in more recent type-s boards.

Offline intelli78

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Re: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB vs. Type-S -- Video
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 23 July 2014, 17:57:57 »
Hey intelli, great video! The dental bands really do sound great, going to have to look into getting some myself and giving it a shot. I also want to try out the soft landing pads too actually. I assume the soft pads reduce the travel quite a lot more than the dental bands?

Glad you liked it :)

It depends on how thick the dental bands are, and whether or not you iron the soft pads. When I did the pads, I ironed them down to <0.5mm, and I think the dental bands are about the same thickness. If you get your material that thin, the travel isn't really an issue, IMO. Barely perceptible. Since both materials were about the same thickness in my case, the travel reduction was approximately the same.

Indeed lubing doesn't change the whistle, I lubed my Type-S with that GH 'thick formula' krytox GPL206/VPF1506 mix on the slider rails and nothing changed. I haven't tried lubing the actual stems though as I saw a few people suggest, I came to the conclusion that the general consensus to lube HHKB's was to just lube the slider rails only, so I did that.


You mentioned that you took the board apart and tested the whistle, did you try the board without the rings installed? I have been wondering if without the rings they don't whistle. The keys definitely feel 'tighter' on the board on the type-s than the regular HHKB, I assume because of the rings, but that could be completely wrong.

I did not. I am attempting to exchange the board at EK (they were initially very responsive about an exchange, and now I haven't heard from them in about 5 days... not sure what the problem is) so I didn't want to tear it apart. They suggested checking to see if the PCB was screwed down too tight, compressing the domes, and told me that opening the board wouldn't void the warranty. I tried that with no luck, then took the PCB off to test the parts independently, with results as stated above. But that's as far as I went. Didn't take out teh pads.

It is indeed very irritating and whilst I love the thock of the stock HHKB I have grew accustom to the lovely sound of silenced thorpe.

I have been through it all in your previous post, but it does seem that it's a very common problem in more recent type-s boards.

It really is annoying. I usually pooh-pooh complaints about keyboard tolerances -- $200 is a lot for a keyboard but it sure doesn't buy perfection -- but for a keyboard that costs an extra $100 specifically to be silent, it had better actually be silent! I really don't know what the issue is, but PFU needs to fix it. Ripster posted that it's the Topre "fart," but I'm not convinced it's the same thing. If it is, something about the Type-S is making it sound like an annoying whistle instead of a pleasant pneumatic whoosh.
« Last Edit: Wed, 23 July 2014, 17:59:30 by intelli78 »
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Offline b7ad

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Re: Stock HHKB vs. Dental Banded HHKB vs. Type-S -- Video
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 24 July 2014, 03:39:36 »
Glad you liked it :)

It depends on how thick the dental bands are, and whether or not you iron the soft pads. When I did the pads, I ironed them down to <0.5mm, and I think the dental bands are about the same thickness. If you get your material that thin, the travel isn't really an issue, IMO. Barely perceptible. Since both materials were about the same thickness in my case, the travel reduction was approximately the same.

That's good to know, thanks. I definitely want to give both a try once I source some suitable dental bands!

I did not. I am attempting to exchange the board at EK (they were initially very responsive about an exchange, and now I haven't heard from them in about 5 days... not sure what the problem is) so I didn't want to tear it apart. They suggested checking to see if the PCB was screwed down too tight, compressing the domes, and told me that opening the board wouldn't void the warranty. I tried that with no luck, then took the PCB off to test the parts independently, with results as stated above. But that's as far as I went. Didn't take out teh pads.

I think I am going to open the board up again when I get chance and remove the pads. Simply because so many people are reporting this issue with new type-s boards and absolutely none with regular boards coupled with the whole 'keys feeling tighter' thing, I really feel that if the pads are removed it will stop, but we shall see.

The pads are so small though, so I feel like if these cause a whistle then I feel like if you were to dental band a Type-S the whoosh would still occur, so maybe it's nothing to do with the silencing and just a 'bad batch' of boards that they have made recently or something.

It really is annoying. I usually pooh-pooh complaints about keyboard tolerances -- $200 is a lot for a keyboard but it sure doesn't buy perfection -- but for a keyboard that costs an extra $100 specifically to be silent, it had better actually be silent! I really don't know what the issue is, but PFU needs to fix it. Ripster posted that it's the Topre "fart," but I'm not convinced it's the same thing. If it is, something about the Type-S is making it sound like an annoying whistle instead of a pleasant pneumatic whoosh.

Yeah the markup on the Type-S is hard to justify even without this issue happening. I disagree with Ripster, it's definitely not air escaping from the channels on the bottom of the switch, it's a whistle caused by friction of some kind. Or at least I think so.