Author Topic: SA keycaps.  (Read 6220 times)

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Offline albin

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SA keycaps.
« on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 06:03:19 »
Hi guys, I'm thinking of buying the SA 1965 from GB and was told that SA keycaps are much taller than OEM keycaps and the profile is different.

question:
1. Is it hard to adapt from an OEM keycap to a SA keycap.
2. Will I need a wrist cushion while using SA caps.

Thanks guys.

Offline SpecTP

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 10:37:25 »
it's a subjective decision. personally, I don't have any issues with my SA keycaps and I don't use a wrist rest.

Offline zslane

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 12:16:28 »
The SA family is a polarizing one within the community. Some can't stand them. I absolutely adore them. They also tend to sell more than any other kind on MassDrop, and new SA sets always seem to be highly anticipated. They will take a little bit of getting used to, but if you do, you may never go back to anything else.

I use a wrist rest, but not because of the SA keycap height. I use it because of the keyboard base height.

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 19:09:03 »
thanks guys for the advised. had join the GB. just sit back now and wait for the delivery b :cool:

Offline Niomosy

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 19:46:14 »
I've done OEM, GMK, SA, and DSA caps thus far.

Adapting between them never felt tremendously hard.  The most noticeable difference, though, is definitely SA.  I found myself missing a few letters at first given the height change.  However, once that adjustment period was over, they wasn't really much in the way of noticeable difference in terms of typing other than occasionally noticing I'm typing on spherical caps instead of the cylindrical caps I've normally used.

Right now, though, I'm on GMK caps with the Skeletor colorway that I rather enjoy.  With another board on the way and possibly another ordered somewhere next year, I'll have homes for Dasher and Dancer as well, both SA sets.

Offline Hyde

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 16 December 2016, 20:18:08 »
I hate sculpted SA but I like uniform (all row 3) SA.

But yes definitely one of those love/hate kind of keycaps.

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Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 05:35:54 »
I have not seen a SA in person before but seems like all the designs I like are SA. Might be from the font of the caps or the texture :)

Offline zslane

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 10:31:41 »
I love SA for a number of reasons:

First, they are tall, heavy, semi-gloss, double-shot sphericals, which are what I typed on when I was first introduced to computer terminals back in 1981 (back when keyboards were still engineering marvels rather than cheap $5 commodity peripherals). Second, they are a fully sculpted family. Third, the alpha legends are large and centered. Fourth, they have become popular enough that all the best custom keyset designs use them nowadays. And lastly, they are the very antithesis of the bland, two-tone gray/biege, medium-profile cylindrical keycaps with corner legends that have proliferated like plague rats ever since the introduction of the IBM PC.

Offline samwisekoi

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 11:00:03 »
I love SA for a number of reasons:

First, they are tall, heavy, semi-gloss, double-shot sphericals, which are what I typed on when I was first introduced to computer terminals back in 1981 (back when keyboards were still engineering marvels rather than cheap $5 commodity peripherals). Second, they are a fully sculpted family. Third, the alpha legends are large and centered. Fourth, they have become popular enough that all the best custom keyset designs use them nowadays. And lastly, they are the very antithesis of the bland, two-tone gray/biege, medium-profile cylindrical keycaps with corner legends that have proliferated like plague rats ever since the introduction of the IBM PC.

All true for me as well.  However...

You will notice the height difference.  Also, they are thicker -- a lot thicker -- and heavier, which affects the feel.  Think big fat man on a small motorcycle; lots of weight on the springs!  Back in the day there were terminals next to typewriters.  The terminals ran computers, but the typewriters were the speed demons.  Same with keycaps.  In my experience, thick PBT is about perfect for weight and feel.  Cherry double-shots for ergos.  Drop either on an MX Brown switch with a plate and your fingers can zoom.  SA keycaps, on the other hand, are thicker, taller, and heavier, and have a very different feel.  I am currently searching for a switch/spring combination that will give me the speed, feel, and precision of either that combination OR an original IBM Model F.  No luck so far.

SA plus MX Greens on a plate is very close.  Loud, but good looks and feel.  MX Browns with Black springs are not enough.  I may try some Green springs to increase preload on a set of MX Brown switches.  Also Zealios' 78g switches feel great and are worth a try.

Sorry if all of that was too detailed.  I love the look of SA keycaps, but so far have not found a setup to match the feel and function of PBT on MX Browns.

 - Ron | samwisekoi

p.s.  1965 looks great!  I'm sad that they dropped ISO.
I like keyboards and case modding.  Everything about a computer should be silent -- except the KEYBOARD!

'85 IBM F-122/Soarer Keyboard |  Leopold FC200 TKL (Browns) + GH36 Keypad (Browns/Greens) | GH-122 (Whites/Greens) with Nuclear Data Green keycaps in a Unicomp case

Offline zslane

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 11:09:18 »
Everyone has their personal preferences and keyboard objectives, to be sure.

I can only say that I am glad to be free from the burden of needing some sort of perfect balance between keycap and switch for the purposes of typing fast. I type nearly 90wpm on just about any 45g keyboard you put in front of me, and I don't need to type any faster than that. Honestly, my life would not be improved in any way by a higher wpm rate. All I care about is a combination that looks fantastic, isn't noisy, and feels "good". Typing performance merely needs to be good enough (60-90wpm) and I'm happy as a clam.

I've found that SA keycaps on MX pinks and (silenced) Topres represent my current endgame combinations.

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 11:10:56 »
thanks sam for the detailed explanation. im thinking of getting a mx clear with the sa. would that be too heavy?

Offline samwisekoi

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 11:22:08 »
thanks sam for the detailed explanation. im thinking of getting a mx clear with the sa. would that be too heavy?

I don't know.  That is one of the combinations I am going to try.

 - Ron | samwisekoi
I like keyboards and case modding.  Everything about a computer should be silent -- except the KEYBOARD!

'85 IBM F-122/Soarer Keyboard |  Leopold FC200 TKL (Browns) + GH36 Keypad (Browns/Greens) | GH-122 (Whites/Greens) with Nuclear Data Green keycaps in a Unicomp case

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 18:45:15 »
 :thumb:

Offline samwisekoi

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 20:27:19 »
MX Whites.  That turned out to be the right balance of click and weight.  As hard as a Green, but less clicky, MX Whites ("medium-stiff, tactile, soft-click") support the weight of the SA keycaps just fine.  I left a few Greens (e.g. Enter key and arrows) and used a tactile Grey switch for the space bar, and it seems to work well.

I don't understand why the White is quieter than the Green, but it is.  The Green still feels better, but the White makes the keyboard fully usable. Yay!

I have a keyboard with clears, and I'll toss some SA caps on it to give it a try.  Unfortunately it is underneath my son's hands today being used as a gaming keyboard.  But he has to sleep sometime!

Anyhow, SA on MX Whites gets a big  :thumb: from me.

If only they weren't so freaking rare!

 - Ron | samwisekoi
Auto-typed by my GH-122 keyboard.
I like keyboards and case modding.  Everything about a computer should be silent -- except the KEYBOARD!

'85 IBM F-122/Soarer Keyboard |  Leopold FC200 TKL (Browns) + GH36 Keypad (Browns/Greens) | GH-122 (Whites/Greens) with Nuclear Data Green keycaps in a Unicomp case

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 17 December 2016, 22:38:47 »
Thanks Ron. Hope to hear more updates from you.  :thumb:

Offline Niomosy

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 18 December 2016, 22:35:26 »
Honestly, I've yet to find a cap style that I haven't enjoyed on MX reds, SA included.  I'll likely be trying out an SA set on the XMIT board once Dasher/Dancer sets arrive as well.  Then again, I'm not a huge fan of heavy switches.

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 19 December 2016, 08:22:52 »
actually i like topre switches more compared to cherry switches. Although Topre and the reds/browns are 45G but somehow I feel that topre actuation is harder than the red/brown.

Offline clappingcactus

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 24 December 2016, 12:37:52 »
SA and Clears are my favourite combination. It gives you the perfect ability to not bottom out while also still feeling really comfortable. It's heavier than anything else I've tried, but I also associate weight with quality, so your mileage may vary.

Offline zslane

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 24 December 2016, 12:42:26 »
Heh. Yeah, I only associate heavier switches with finger fatigue. I tried MX blacks and found them unpleasant to type on after only a short time.

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 25 December 2016, 11:38:25 »
have not tried out clears nor blacks. it's rather hard to find it on my side of the world and common keyboard manufacturers don't really have the choices of these.

Offline ander

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 25 December 2016, 18:04:16 »
It may just be annoying for me to say this, but:

  • This is a fantastic thing zslane has pulled off.
  • I positively love the SA caps. Like most of you, I think they're a thing of ethereal beauty.
  • I'd buy some immediately if they weren't so darn expensive.

Unfortunately, with the optional numpad set (I don't own a Cherry-compatible TKL or smaller), and after converting my measly Canadian $ to U.S., one set of Dashers would cost me—and, significantly, my relationship with my wife—over $125.

For. One. Set. Of. Caps.

When the Drop was announced, and I saw how much I'd need to shell out for these gorgeous caps, my heart sank. I had to think long 'n' hard about spending as much for them as one could spend on an entire, quite decent MK—and I reached the painful conclusion that it would be neither practical nor marriage-enhancing.

To those of you who obviously have enough surplus income for timeless works of art like these, you have my admiration and, well, jealousy.

OK, I'll stop whining now.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline rabbitfire

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 26 December 2016, 09:14:57 »
Hi guys, I'm thinking of buying the SA 1965 from GB and was told that SA keycaps are much taller than OEM keycaps and the profile is different.

question:
1. Is it hard to adapt from an OEM keycap to a SA keycap.
2. Will I need a wrist cushion while using SA caps.

Thanks guys.

1. No
2. No

2 "No" doesn't mean that you will like SA profile. Keep that in mind!

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 07:03:33 »
Hi guys, I'm thinking of buying the SA 1965 from GB and was told that SA keycaps are much taller than OEM keycaps and the profile is different.

question:
1. Is it hard to adapt from an OEM keycap to a SA keycap.
2. Will I need a wrist cushion while using SA caps.

Thanks guys.

alright. thanks guys for all the advise. Looking forward to getting my caps "NEXT YEAR"!!

1. No
2. No

2 "No" doesn't mean that you will like SA profile. Keep that in mind!


Thanks guys for the advice. Looking forward to my 1st SA caps... Next Year
« Last Edit: Tue, 27 December 2016, 07:05:25 by albin »

Offline FLOCKA

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 16:47:20 »
Ultimately decided not to get in on Dasher/Dancer, with whispers of SA Carbon R2 and (supposedly) SA Hyperfuse on the horizon. Just felt that I ought to save my money for sets that I'm 100%, completely in love with.

The good news is it seems that both are semi-official... spoonyluv commented on MD that Carbon R2 might be getting a summer/fall '17 launch.... and CtrlAlt was updated last June to say that SA Hyperfuse is in the works.

Dreams can come true!  ;)

Offline Elrick

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 19:54:40 »
Dreams can come true!  ;)

This is Geekhack and it shall always provide everything you could hope for when it comes to keyboards and key caps  8) .

Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 27 December 2016, 21:17:01 »
actually i got another question. bought the 1965 keycaps from https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=86143.0 on base kit, tkl, numpad.

And i'm thinking of getting zz96/ligthsaver/96 clones keeb, would the r4 be ok to be used on? I'd read that i'll need something like a 1800 keycap for the 96 keeb

Offline ander

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 28 December 2016, 18:06:31 »
Ultimately decided not to get in on Dasher/Dancer, with whispers of SA Carbon R2 and (supposedly) SA Hyperfuse on the horizon. Just felt that I ought to save my money for sets that I'm 100%, completely in love with...

Whew, what's not to love about these? We all go for different things, though.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice


Offline albin

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 28 December 2016, 20:12:51 »
Can I order the SA 1965 keycap set now? Is it closed now?

yes it's closed now.

Offline punksinatra

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 29 December 2016, 09:43:41 »
Ultimately decided not to get in on Dasher/Dancer, with whispers of SA Carbon R2 and (supposedly) SA Hyperfuse on the horizon. Just felt that I ought to save my money for sets that I'm 100%, completely in love with.

The good news is it seems that both are semi-official... spoonyluv commented on MD that Carbon R2 might be getting a summer/fall '17 launch.... and CtrlAlt was updated last June to say that SA Hyperfuse is in the works.

Dreams can come true!  ;)

I passed on the Dasher/Dancer and 1965 also because of this so hopefully..... ;D

Offline ander

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Re: SA keycaps.
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 01 January 2017, 21:41:28 »
Well—that's that.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice