Author Topic: Why So Much Hate On It?  (Read 4366 times)

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Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Why So Much Hate On It?
« on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 00:34:34 »
What up guys? I remember looking around the forum a while back and I saw that you guys really didn't like the Razer BlackWidow. Why? It seems pretty good to me and well you can negotiate a few nice prices with the fine people of eBay  :D Is it because of the brand name or the actual keyboard itself? I might actually consider getting either it or the CM Storm Quickfire TK sooo I need some good points.  :thumb:
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 00:38:38 »
I don’t think anyone “hates” these keyboards; the common sentiment I’ve seen is that they’re overhyped, overpriced, and have mediocre build quality, and their main distinguishing features seem to be large marketing budget and fancy-printed boxes.

(That’s basically how I feel about Cherry MX keyboards in general though.)

Personally I’ve never owned one, YMMV.

By the way, if you add “Razer BlackWidow” to the thread title, you’ll make life easier for people.
« Last Edit: Sat, 25 October 2014, 00:41:29 by jacobolus »

Offline frosty

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 00:40:18 »
The quality control on the Razer Blackwidow is really poor, the build quality is mediocre like what the post above mine mentioned, and it's too pricey. Like what jacobolus said, nobody really hates on these boards, we just have preference for other better boards.

Offline dusan

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 00:42:27 »
I've just bought a Razer Blackwidow Tournament w/green, i.e. clicky, switches. Some switches do not click. And the click sound is louder at some switches. For some people that's already a pretty good reason.
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Offline epzy

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 00:48:52 »
Well, I had three blackwidow 2013 elite's before joining geekhack and all of them had quality issues. The BWU 2013 is the only keyboard I've ever owned where the anti-slip rubber on the underside of the keyboard have fallen off within 1 week each. One of them just straight up died on me as well. If I had more problems with them I've forgotten about them.

It's also overpriced as **** where I live. The current price of the 2014 BW is $189 + $15 shipping. I could get two QFR's for that price. :p

The design of the keyboard is also quite 'meh'.

Those are my reasons for not liking it. Too expensive, ugly design and quality issues.
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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 00:49:32 »
it's the Beats headphones of keyboards

Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:05:51 »
I don’t think anyone “hates” these keyboards; the common sentiment I’ve seen is that they’re overhyped, overpriced, and have mediocre build quality, and their main distinguishing features seem to be large marketing budget and fancy-printed boxes.

(That’s basically how I feel about Cherry MX keyboards in general though.)

Personally I’ve never owned one, YMMV.

By the way, if you add “Razer BlackWidow” to the thread title, you’ll make life easier for people.
So what switches do you like? And thanks, I'll change the title :D
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Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:07:02 »
The quality control on the Razer Blackwidow is really poor, the build quality is mediocre like what the post above mine mentioned, and it's too pricey. Like what jacobolus said, nobody really hates on these boards, we just have preference for other better boards.
So is it beginner or something?
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Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:07:47 »
I've just bought a Razer Blackwidow Tournament w/green, i.e. clicky, switches. Some switches do not click. And the click sound is louder at some switches. For some people that's already a pretty good reason.
Is that how its supposed to be though? Or is it just yours that does that?
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Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:08:24 »
Well, I had three blackwidow 2013 elite's before joining geekhack and all of them had quality issues. The BWU 2013 is the only keyboard I've ever owned where the anti-slip rubber on the underside of the keyboard have fallen off within 1 week each. One of them just straight up died on me as well. If I had more problems with them I've forgotten about them.

It's also overpriced as **** where I live. The current price of the 2014 BW is $189 + $15 shipping. I could get two QFR's for that price. :p

The design of the keyboard is also quite 'meh'.

Those are my reasons for not liking it. Too expensive, ugly design and quality issues.
Wow. I'll be sure to keep that in mind.
I thought signatures belonged on paper?

Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:08:50 »
it's the Beats headphones of keyboards
That's an interesting way to put it  ;D
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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:12:53 »
My main problem with my Blackwidow was that I grew out of it. It was my first mech but now that I have my others I think it looks gaudy.

Although for all the hate the keyboard gets I did macro ability software, but it was buggy at times.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:18:25 »
MX switches in general could be characterized as “linear switches with a little speed bump”; the tactile effect is provided by plastic-on-plastic friction, as the finger pushes one bumpy plastic piece past another one. All the modern MX switches are quite “scratchy”/frictiony feeling, and there is no real steep drop in force past the actuation point, as you get with other kinds of tactile/clicky switches. Vintage linear MX black switches are the best of the bunch, but their springs are too stiff: for me the ideal switch weight for a linear switch is a bit heavier than MX red, basically something very similar to green Alps or white space invaders. But I’m not a terribly huge fan of linear switches. I prefer something with a relatively high actuation point, and a very sharp force drop at the tactile/actuation point. Also appreciated is a switch that gives my finger an extra boost upward on the upstroke like IBM beam spring / Alps plate spring / Marquardt butterfly switches; MX tactile/clicky switches do basically the opposite: they get to the same plastic bump on the upstroke and so the slider sticks just a little bit on the way up.

Clicky switches I like:
IBM Model F capacitive buckling spring switches.
IBM beam spring switches.
Marquardt “butterfly” switches.
Complicated blue Alps (I also like amber Alps, and to a lesser extent white Alps)
SMK clicky switches (“monterey” blue Alps-mount / Cherry MX mount / “inverse cross” mount)
Alps plate spring
Black Hi-Tek “space invaders”
Matias clicky (though the springs are slightly heavier than my preference)

I think I probably type fastest and most accurately on Alps plate spring switches, but they aren’t commonly available in any keyboards with build quality I like, and I don’t particularly like the sound they make; I want to build a better quality Alps plate spring keyboard with a solenoid inside for extra click. My favorite sounding switches are Marquardt butterfly switches, IBM Model F switches, and blue Alps (each of these three sounds quite distinct, but they are each satisfying in their own way). Clicky space invaders have a pretty soothing tick tick tick sound.

Tactile switches I like:
Complicated orange Alps (and to a lesser extent salmon and ivory Alps)
Matias quiet (again, the spring is a bit stiffer than my preference, but the tactile leaf is really nice)
SMK tactile switches (“monterey” white / various inverse cross variants)
Burroughs opto-electric torsion-spring switches (I don’t think I’d want to use these regularly, but they’re quite interesting)
Complicated tactile green Alps (again, not my favorite, but interesting)

I’m not a huge fan of Topre switches, but I understand why some people like them.

I’m not the biggest fan of linear switches in general, but there are some that are quite nice, and they could probably be improved with a loud solenoid click:
Complicated green Alps
White Hi-Tek “space invaders”
Tee-mount Alps
“Vintage” MX black switches with the springs replaced by something less stiff (and optionally with the sliders lubricated).

There are a bunch of other nice linear switches from the 60s and 70s, like hall effect switches, ITW switches, RAFI switches, “vintage” SMK switches, Futaba complicated linear switches, Alps magnetic reed switches, and others, which I don’t have tremendously much experience with.
« Last Edit: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:42:33 by jacobolus »

Offline frosty

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 01:57:37 »

The quality control on the Razer Blackwidow is really poor, the build quality is mediocre like what the post above mine mentioned, and it's too pricey. Like what jacobolus said, nobody really hates on these boards, we just have preference for other better boards.
So is it beginner or something?

Not really. I have a very heavily modded blackwidow in the past and I kind of like it, It depends on one's preference.

Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 02:08:55 »
My main problem with my Blackwidow was that I grew out of it. It was my first mech but now that I have my others I think it looks gaudy.

Although for all the hate the keyboard gets I did macro ability software, but it was buggy at times.
Then how was it before you got all your other ones?
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Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 02:09:53 »
MX switches in general could be characterized as “linear switches with a little speed bump”; the tactile effect is provided by plastic-on-plastic friction, as the finger pushes one bumpy plastic piece past another one. All the modern MX switches are quite “scratchy”/frictiony feeling, and there is no real steep drop in force past the actuation point, as you get with other kinds of tactile/clicky switches. Vintage linear MX black switches are the best of the bunch, but their springs are too stiff: for me the ideal switch weight for a linear switch is a bit heavier than MX red, basically something very similar to green Alps or white space invaders. But I’m not a terribly huge fan of linear switches. I prefer something with a relatively high actuation point, and a very sharp force drop at the tactile/actuation point. Also appreciated is a switch that gives my finger an extra boost upward on the upstroke like IBM beam spring / Alps plate spring / Marquardt butterfly switches; MX tactile/clicky switches do basically the opposite: they get to the same plastic bump on the upstroke and so the slider sticks just a little bit on the way up.

Clicky switches I like:
IBM Model F capacitive buckling spring switches.
IBM beam spring switches.
Marquardt “butterfly” switches.
Complicated blue Alps (I also like amber Alps, and to a lesser extent white Alps)
SMK clicky switches (“monterey” blue Alps-mount / Cherry MX mount / “inverse cross” mount)
Alps plate spring
Black Hi-Tek “space invaders”
Matias clicky (though the springs are slightly heavier than my preference)

I think I probably type fastest and most accurately on Alps plate spring switches, but they aren’t commonly available in any keyboards with build quality I like, and I don’t particularly like the sound they make; I want to build a better quality Alps plate spring keyboard with a solenoid inside for extra click. My favorite sounding switches are Marquardt butterfly switches, IBM Model F switches, and blue Alps (each of these three sounds quite distinct, but they are each satisfying in their own way). Clicky space invaders have a pretty soothing tick tick tick sound.

Tactile switches I like:
Complicated orange Alps (and to a lesser extent salmon and ivory Alps)
Matias quiet (again, the spring is a bit stiffer than my preference, but the tactile leaf is really nice)
SMK tactile switches (“monterey” white / various inverse cross variants)
Burroughs opto-electric torsion-spring switches (I don’t think I’d want to use these regularly, but they’re quite interesting)
Complicated tactile green Alps (again, not my favorite, but interesting)

I’m not a huge fan of Topre switches, but I understand why some people like them.

I’m not the biggest fan of linear switches in general, but there are some that are quite nice, and they could probably be improved with a loud solenoid click:
Complicated green Alps
White Hi-Tek “space invaders”
Tee-mount Alps
“Vintage” MX black switches with the springs replaced by something less stiff (and optionally with the sliders lubricated).

There are a bunch of other nice linear switches from the 60s and 70s, like hall effect switches, ITW switches, RAFI switches, “vintage” SMK switches, Futaba complicated linear switches, Alps magnetic reed switches, and others, which I don’t have tremendously much experience with.
Which one of those could be feeling most like Cherry MX Browns?
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Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 02:10:17 »

The quality control on the Razer Blackwidow is really poor, the build quality is mediocre like what the post above mine mentioned, and it's too pricey. Like what jacobolus said, nobody really hates on these boards, we just have preference for other better boards.
So is it beginner or something?

Not really. I have a very heavily modded blackwidow in the past and I kind of like it, It depends on one's preference.
How'd you mod it?
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 02:22:11 »
MX switches in general could be characterized as “linear switches with a little speed bump”; the tactile effect is provided by plastic-on-plastic friction, as the finger pushes one bumpy plastic piece past another one. All the modern MX switches are quite “scratchy”/frictiony feeling, and there is no real steep drop in force past the actuation point, as you get with other kinds of tactile/clicky switches. [...]

switches I like: [...]
Which one of those could be feeling most like Cherry MX Browns?
None of them are especially like MX brown switches. I don’t like MX brown switches. I would basically characterize the feel of MX brown switches as “extra-gritty linear”.

However, if you want something tactile but not clicky, I recommend trying Matias quiet switches or orange or salmon complicated Alps.

Offline dusan

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 02:33:06 »
I've just bought a Razer Blackwidow Tournament w/green, i.e. clicky, switches. Some switches do not click. And the click sound is louder at some switches. For some people that's already a pretty good reason.
Is that how its supposed to be though? Or is it just yours that does that?

For example, Ins, Del, Home, End, Page Down are clicky but Page Up isn't. Left, Up, Down are clicky but Right isn't. The right Shift 'click' sounds clearly but the left Shift 'click' is almost unnoticeable. Semi-colon key clicks louder than most other keys, while the quote almost doesn't click. There's no way it can be supposed such. It's clearly quality control issue.
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Offline notsonerd

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 03:14:35 »
I've just bought a Razer Blackwidow Tournament w/green, i.e. clicky, switches. Some switches do not click. And the click sound is louder at some switches. For some people that's already a pretty good reason.
Is that how its supposed to be though? Or is it just yours that does that?

For example, Ins, Del, Home, End, Page Down are clicky but Page Up isn't. Left, Up, Down are clicky but Right isn't. The right Shift 'click' sounds clearly but the left Shift 'click' is almost unnoticeable. Semi-colon key clicks louder than most other keys, while the quote almost doesn't click. There's no way it can be supposed such. It's clearly quality control issue.

Almost sounds like they put Cherry MX Whites in your board.

By the way, TheAngelicWolf, kinda off-topic but you're kinda triple-posting the **** out of your thread. I hope you know there's a multi-quote function. For one-sentence responses, they seem a bit wasteful, don't you think?
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Offline frosty

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 03:47:48 »

The quality control on the Razer Blackwidow is really poor, the build quality is mediocre like what the post above mine mentioned, and it's too pricey. Like what jacobolus said, nobody really hates on these boards, we just have preference for other better boards.
So is it beginner or something?

Not really. I have a very heavily modded blackwidow in the past and I kind of like it, It depends on one's preference.
How'd you mod it?

With a soldering iron of course! And tons of patience.

I modded the switches to mx clears, changed the keycaps to pbt, painted the case and plate, led colour swaps. Basically the board became another board haha.

Offline davkol

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 04:12:47 »
Perhaps try to STFW first…? Why is the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate hated around here? …and since that thread, they've switched to Kailh switches since then, accompanied by ridiculous marketing rubbish.

Offline Oobly

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 05:04:40 »
MX switches in general could be characterized as “linear switches with a little speed bump”; the tactile effect is provided by plastic-on-plastic friction, as the finger pushes one bumpy plastic piece past another one. ...

Nope. The tactility comes from the plastic legs of the slider pushing the metal contact leaf spring to the side. And it's not primarily friction that creates the tactility, but the change in vertical forces due to the leaf spring on stem contact angle. New springs do have some friction, but it's not a significant part of the operation or tactility of the switch.

Alps tactile and clicky switches create the tactility in a very similar way, but the metal leaf has more of a "hook" shape and catches on the bottom of the slider. After the initial resistance and the leaf "popping" out the way they're linear.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 05:46:18 »
Nope. The tactility comes from the plastic legs of the slider pushing the metal contact leaf spring to the side. And it's not primarily friction that creates the tactility, but the change in vertical forces due to the leaf spring on stem contact angle. New springs do have some friction, but it's not a significant part of the operation or tactility of the switch.

Alps tactile and clicky switches create the tactility in a very similar way, but the metal leaf has more of a "hook" shape and catches on the bottom of the slider. After the initial resistance and the leaf "popping" out the way they're linear.
You’re right, it’s plastic on metal, not plastic on plastic, excuse me... (Though there is a lot of unpleasant plastic-on-plastic friction between the slider and the housing on recent MX switches, similar to the feel you get with Alps switches that have been stored improperly for a few decades.) That is, it’s a bumpy plastic piece pushing down against a bumpy metal piece which is pressed up against it.

In any event, the effect is very substantially different feeling from Alps, SMK, Omron, etc. switches; with Cherry MX the majority of the resistance comes from the spring and the little plastic bump only provides a sort of “speed bump” feel. With other tactile switches, a leaf spring provides a very substantial amount of resistance, comparable to the resistance of the spring at the actuation point, so the force drop is quite dramatic. The difference on the return stroke is particularly noticeable, with MX switches providing another “speed bump” on the way back up, and other switches having a bit of a “speed boost” instead.

Hopefully we can get some force curves measured of all these switches as soon as possible, so the differing effect can be demonstrated in a chart, instead of only in descriptions. (And hopefully we can also get some proper measurements of the return stroke.) But for now, here are a few:

Horizontal axis is in nanometers, vertical axis in grams-force.

MX blue (I assume MX brown is pretty similar, but I haven’t measured it):


Matias quiet:


SMK “monterey” blue:


IBM Model F:
« Last Edit: Sat, 25 October 2014, 06:10:08 by jacobolus »

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 07:14:32 »
It's funny, I never noticed before that MX blue doesn't have a drop in force at the actuation point. I see what Matias means now about MX blue being linear. It doesn't quite feel linear with a bump at as the force required to overcome the bump has a "catapult" effect that keeps your finger and the switch moving at a higher speed than the force would indicate. However, it's nowhere near as tactile as, say, Cherry ML.

I'm curious though — those graphs imply zero preload.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 07:19:34 »
I'm curious though — those graphs imply zero preload.
I’m not sure if it’s some play between keycap and switch, or between the switch and whatever it’s mounted on, or a tiny bit of movement in the distance gauge / force gauge contraption, or something else that cause the ramp at the start for the first .2–.4mm. You can see that the portion of the force curve due to the spring (the linear part) when extended wouldn’t go straight through the origin on any of these charts though: that is, they all do have some preload.
« Last Edit: Sat, 25 October 2014, 07:22:50 by jacobolus »

Offline Tony

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 07:33:52 »
The n-th topics about this.

I guess you are new mech keyboard users. For a few years, you will see that there are a lot of mech keyboards which is of better quality.

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Offline TheAngelicWolf

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 11:34:51 »
I've just bought a Razer Blackwidow Tournament w/green, i.e. clicky, switches. Some switches do not click. And the click sound is louder at some switches. For some people that's already a pretty good reason.
Is that how its supposed to be though? Or is it just yours that does that?

For example, Ins, Del, Home, End, Page Down are clicky but Page Up isn't. Left, Up, Down are clicky but Right isn't. The right Shift 'click' sounds clearly but the left Shift 'click' is almost unnoticeable. Semi-colon key clicks louder than most other keys, while the quote almost doesn't click. There's no way it can be supposed such. It's clearly quality control issue.

Almost sounds like they put Cherry MX Whites in your board.

By the way, TheAngelicWolf, kinda off-topic but you're kinda triple-posting the **** out of your thread. I hope you know there's a multi-quote function. For one-sentence responses, they seem a bit wasteful, don't you think?
I'm still pretty new here sooo sorry  :-[
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Offline tigersharkdude

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 11:55:37 »
it's the Beats headphones of keyboards

Boom

/thread

Offline Oobly

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 16:20:43 »
@jacobolus, you're right. The leaf on Alps switches is stiffer, so it provides more resistance. Nice graphs, I'm surprised at thelow force after actuation of the Matias switch. Must have a fairly "weak" spring.

MX Clears have a much larger bump than Browns and Blues, so the "speed bump" extends over more of the movement and provides more tactility, both in terms of force increase before actuation and reduction after. Paired with softer springs they're very nice  :D

The level of tactility has a lot to do with the ratio between the leaf and spring stiffness and the bump size and shape, but the mechanism of MX and Alps are essentially the same, just with the bump on the opposite part.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 26 October 2014, 12:37:23 »
For me it is not so much about the keyboard as the company behind it. A company that dances right on the line of fraud in their marketing does not deserve my business.
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Offline JDorfler

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 26 October 2014, 13:38:59 »
For me it is not so much about the keyboard as the company behind it. A company that dances right on the line of fraud in their marketing does not deserve my business.

I'm not trying to contradict you or call you out.  I have been overseas in third world nations for a long long time and haven't watched TV for even longer.  What exactly have they advertised and haven't given?  I have no advertising reference for them.

Offline ConscienceDrop

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 26 October 2014, 13:44:37 »
its ugly as sin.

never used it, so i wont hate on it further


Offline dman777

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #33 on: Sun, 26 October 2014, 23:43:34 »

I  wouldn't dismiss Razor Blackwidow the way others do. I never had the keyboard, but at least they got the LED's correct...in contrast Corsair placed the LEDs in a position where the keys looks dull when illuminated.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 00:00:23 »
MX Clears have a much larger bump than Browns and Blues, so the "speed bump" extends over more of the movement and provides more tactility, both in terms of force increase before actuation and reduction after. Paired with softer springs they're very nice  :D
The problem is that, like MX brown and MX blue, it’s not a sharp tactile break, and the force afterward doesn’t really drop too dramatically (especially with the stock shorter stiffer spring). Personally I think spring-swapped MX clears are switches in a bit of an identity crisis: like they can’t decide whether to be linear, actually tactile, or have a rounded force curve (like say Burroughs opto-electric switches, Topre, or brown Alps). They still feel to me like a linear switch with a speed bump, just now the speed bump is one of those ones that will rip your car’s bottom off. The force with which they push your finger upward drops quite dramatically at the tactile bump on the upstroke (absent lubrication this even causes sticking in the extreme case), which is IMO a quite undesirable effect. Overall I find spring-swapped-and-lubricated MX clear switches to be usable but uninspiring. As always though, YMMV.

Quote
The level of tactility has a lot to do with the ratio between the leaf and spring stiffness and the bump size and shape, but the mechanism of MX and Alps are essentially the same, just with the bump on the opposite part.
I think the switch internals are substantially different enough that “essentially the same” is a real stretch. If these two are essentially the same, then that leaves only a few “essential” classes of keyboard switches total in the world: helical springs, buckling helical springs, torsion springs, rubber domes or sleeves (optionally with helical springs in parallel or in series), helical-spring-plus-leaf-spring (again either in parallel or in series), and (this type) helical spring with some kind of leaf spring from the side (I guess there’s also that Univac magnet design, but as far as I know it’s unique in its class).

In other words, any categorization scheme that puts Cherry and Alps switches in the same bin would just as well put Topre switches in a bin with every rubber dome or scissor-switch board.

That’s overly reductionist, IMO, and not very practical for anything (e.g. figuring out someone’s switch preferences).
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 October 2014, 02:49:59 by jacobolus »

Offline False_Dmitry_II

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 00:59:18 »
Yeah, I've tried Clears with other springs, ergo clears were awful, having a larger bump on the way back up is useless. Panda clears were okay, but not enough to go to the effort. I'd like to try the way he has his, because they have other mods, but I suspect I'll still prefer everything I do now to any MX even if that is the closest.

Now that I've used linear Space Invaders, those things are so smooth, that I don't think I'd even like the most tricked out MX blacks.

Those were some awesome posts there though, jacobolus. I already wanted to try many of the switches that you mentioned, especially the butterfly switch. Probably some of the other ones too now. It's also always nice to see just how much linear character there is in cherry switches compared to others.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 01:16:41 »
Now that I've used linear Space Invaders, those things are so smooth, that I don't think I'd even like the most tricked out MX blacks.
At the keyboard meetup yesterday, I got to try nuclearsandwich’s super-tricked-out CNC'd-metal-case MX black keyboard (456GT). The switches are very lubed, and I’m pretty convinced they had a spring swap with some lighter springs (maybe 62g/65g/67g?). The keycaps were really nice, and the board weighed a ton (as you’d expect from a tall solid block of aluminum with additional brass weights in the bottom).

Anyway, comparing directly to stock vintage MX blacks, stock NIB green Alps, and stock NIB white space invaders, the super-tricked-out MX black switches in such a glorious keyboard context compare quite favorably. They’re probably even slightly smoother than the stock green Alps or white Hi-Teks. (Though a bit of lube on the others would surely even things up, and I slightly prefer the actuation point on the Alps/Hi-Tek switches. Also, the Hi-Teks are really stable with absolutely no wobble.)

I’m not a huge fan of linear switches in general, but I still found that tricked-out MX black board to be a pretty sweet typing experience. So in other words... you might find out that you like “the most tricked out MX blacks” after all. :)
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 October 2014, 01:31:41 by jacobolus »

Offline Oobly

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 02:39:20 »
With your post I realised the biggest difference between tactile MX and Alps. The Alps slider is smooth and the tactility comes from the bottom edge of the slider which is a one direction "bump", whereas the MX slider has a bidirectional "bump".

I still hold to the view that the mechanism of tactility is essentially the same (although the contact mechanisms are different since in the Alps they are separated, whereas in the MX they use the same leaf) and that it's the spring strength and slider shape that define the feeling of the switch. If you were to make a new MX slider with a steeper ramp at the start of the slider legs and straight edge from there up and put a light spring in, it would feel like an Alps tactile switch.

Likewise, if you were to alter the shape of the slider of an Alps switch by shaving away some material above the bottom edge so the leaf spring bump can ride inwards again after making it over the bottom edge it would feel more like an MX tactile switch. The top of the bump (and the angle on the slider legs independent of the bump, even on linear sliders) in MX tactile switches help pull the slider down against the spring force, which reduces the effective strength of the spring, especially on the upstroke of sliders with a large bump (MX Clear). IMO, this is to a large degree what creates the difference in feeling between MX and Alps.

So MX are linear with a speed bump and Alps are linear with a hill start.

I happen to like both. I use MX, though, because of the quantity and range of replacement keycap sets and the "modability" of the switches.
Buying more keycaps,
it really hacks my wallet,
but I must have them.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 02:56:16 »
If you were to make a new MX slider with a steeper ramp at the start of the slider legs and straight edge from there up and put a light spring in, it would feel like an Alps tactile switch.
It might. It would be worth trying to make something like that, anyway. The sliders are Delrin (a.k.a. POM), but you could probably get a prototype approximation using Shapeways’s “strong and flexible” or “detail” plastic which could at least prove the concept.

If you could get a feel like that, it would be worth pitching to Kaihua: they seem quite interested in trying new ideas with MX-style switches, and to better differentiate themselves from Cherry.

Quote
Likewise, if you were to alter the shape of the slider of an Alps switch by shaving away some material above the bottom edge so the leaf spring bump can ride inwards again after making it over the bottom edge it would feel more like an MX tactile switch.
Given the shape of the tactile leaf, I think it would end up catching. That is, I don’t think this would be easy to achieve. But you could also try it. :-)

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #39 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 16:10:27 »
OK, here's a fun one: SMK second generation clicky (e.g. "Monterey") and tactile (e.g. "white Monterey"). While the leaves are different shapes and different colours, if you put a tactile leaf in a clicky switch, it clicks. The difference is that the tactile slider has the bottom chamfered away so that it slides past the leaf before the point that it clicks. It works really well.

Also, I found that removing the switchplate leaf from an Omron B3G-S series switch altered the feel dramatically, leaving a very buckling-spring-like switch. The actuator leaf in the switchplate was having a significant effect on the feel, leading me to wonder whether the switchplate could be replaced with an optical sensor.

What was not expecting at all, was for someone to actually introduce an optical sensor switch, which someone really did. The trouble is, like so many companies who don't study the forums and the wiki, they stupidly based it on Cherry MX, which is only tactile by way of the interaction between the slider and the switch contacts. Remove the contacts and you're left with a linear switch! The separate tactile and click leaves of Alps-style and SMK-style switches removes this limitation.

That's one reason for my interest in the wiki: it builds up a solid foundation of knowledge for anyone looking to design new switches. It's why I'm annoyed that Matias copied Alps instead of SMK, since SMK made what must be by far the most reputable simplified-style switches, and it can't be dreadfully difficult surely to rework the design to fit an Alps keyboard.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #40 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 16:16:34 »
Also, I found that removing the switchplate leaf from an Omron B3G-S series switch altered the feel dramatically, leaving a very buckling-spring-like switch. The actuator leaf in the switchplate was having a significant effect on the feel, leading me to wonder whether the switchplate could be replaced with an optical sensor.
An optical sensor would be a huge improvement for Omron B3G-S switches, which actuate well before the tactile point, and which make very flaky electrical contact.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #41 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 16:18:41 »
I think Hi-Tek switches have a better contact mechanism than MX/Alps/SMK, for normal switch operation. (Though it’s unfortunately a bit fragile when you try to remove/replace the slider.) SMK/SKBM switches have a pretty similar contact mechanism, which is also somewhat fragile. Complicated Alps are quite a bit more robust, but certainly also more expensive/difficult to manufacture/assemble. I agree the rest of the SMK switch design is quite nice.
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 October 2014, 16:22:01 by jacobolus »

Offline Daniel Beardsmore

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 20:03:12 »
It appears to me that Hi-Tek switches can't take Cherry MX or Alps keycaps, since the spring reaches right up to the top of the slider on the inside.

You'd have to cross your fingers that someone still has Hi-Tek keycap tooling! (I have no idea who did their keycaps, maybe they were made in-house.)

Alternatively, you'd have to use shorter springs — would that be of any disadvantage?
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 27 October 2014, 22:17:54 »
Hi-Tek using such long and very preloaded (not all that stiff) springs mainly makes the switch take a more uniform amount of force from top to bottom. It’s an interesting effect, but personally I think using shorter, stiffer, less preloaded springs works just as well if not better.

You’re probably right about SMK switches being both easier to produce and easier to match to different keycap mounts though.

Offline dman777

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 29 October 2014, 19:53:45 »
I just wanted to do a update to this thread:

Today my co-worker bought a Razor Blackwidow and I got to try it out. The quality of it was superb...incredible quality. The keyboard itself was very heavy and solid. The casing felt awesome. The USB cord was super thick. The keys(non clicky version) felt good. There is no way this keyboard is of what the community portrays it to be. I loved how bright the LEDs were. The keys were all perfectly spaced and there was no loose play in any of them. As far as quality goes, it exceeds my Ducky Shine 3.  It's a shame that the hype against this exists, it is undeserving.  This keyboard deserves way more credit.   

Offline davkol

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 29 October 2014, 20:22:05 »
More credit for what?
Crappy thin ABS keycaps with an ugly typeface?
Layout incompatible with most aftermarket keycap sets?
Synapse 2.0?
Useless gimmicks?
Razer's poor reputation in regard to consistency of quality assurance?
Ridiculous marketing?
Price tag?

Have you seen the PCB?

BTW I wonder why so many people can't even spell the name of that brand properly.

Offline Oobly

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Re: Why So Much Hate On It?
« Reply #46 on: Thu, 30 October 2014, 01:50:12 »
I just wanted to do a update to this thread:

Today my co-worker bought a Razor Blackwidow and I got to try it out. The quality of it was superb...incredible quality. The keyboard itself was very heavy and solid. The casing felt awesome. The USB cord was super thick. The keys(non clicky version) felt good. There is no way this keyboard is of what the community portrays it to be. I loved how bright the LEDs were. The keys were all perfectly spaced and there was no loose play in any of them. As far as quality goes, it exceeds my Ducky Shine 3.  It's a shame that the hype against this exists, it is undeserving.  This keyboard deserves way more credit.

Try it again in a few months.... The casings loosen up and then the "solidity" is gone, starts to be all bendy and flexy. The switches start to be less consistent (at least I've read reports about the clicky version doing this) and the keycaps will wear. If you want to replace them, though, you can't due to the non-standard layout. Then there's the rubbish software and high price compared to better made boards with genuine MX switches in.

It's overhyped and underdelivers, so I believe the comments in this thread are deserved.

If I find some extra project time I may try altering a Brown slider. I'm not going to go as far as designing a slider and having shapeways print and send it.
Buying more keycaps,
it really hacks my wallet,
but I must have them.