Author Topic: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)  (Read 4494 times)

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Offline pr0ximity

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Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« on: Sun, 30 December 2018, 22:32:31 »
Topic.

Just finished building my second MX Brown board, a work board for my significant other. Aside from Topre, MX Brown on a PCB with no plate is perhaps the most comfortable switch out there in my opinion -- all of the light feeling of an MX Red (or rather, an ergo 62g~ish MX Black) with very light tactility to give your fingers the ability to subconsciously slow down a bit before bottoming out, without the burden of getting over a large tactile bump like Clears to actually actuate. I find Browns far easier to type without bottoming-out on than any other switch because of the near-linear force curve while still physically registering actuation.

Alps SKCL are very close, oddly enough. The way the leaf is structured on Alps linears gives an even less-perceptible amount of tactility, just a slight increase in friction for only the most discerning of fingers.

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Offline hineybush

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 30 December 2018, 22:37:36 »
I have a bunch of PCB mount ones from a G80-8200. I'm gonna build my Jane v2 half plate with them I think.

Offline oneproduct

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 30 December 2018, 22:54:46 »
It seems most people like heavier switches, but I like very light switches. Reds and browns are my favorites for that reason. I also have the very light Hall effect switches from the XMIT massdrop which most people disliked. I type in the 100-125 WPM range depending on the complexity of the text and definitely find it easier with light switches.
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Offline pixelpusher

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 30 December 2018, 22:55:46 »
Have you guys tried Hako Violets?  I like browns a lot and I feel like they are very nice.
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Offline appaboy

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« Reply #4 on: Sun, 30 December 2018, 22:57:33 »
I don't like how many people think a bigger bump means the switch is automatically better designed. sometimes its nice to have a small bump like in the browns
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Offline Halverson

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 30 December 2018, 23:11:45 »
Oh you!

Offline Hayte

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 31 December 2018, 07:42:18 »
I went through the Kailh box phase, switched to clicky MX clones, made a full board of Cherrystotles and Zealiostotles and then ran the MX halo gauntlet (pandas, skies and chickies) and in the end I came full circle back to lubed, re-tooled MX Browns.

I hated the hysteresis of MX Blues and Stotles. Stotle stems are so inconsistent you need to buy well over a 120 overpriced switches just to fully populate a TKL because the tolerances are garbage. I hated how ill fitting and misaligned Kailh box switches were. I dislike how halo stems are too tall for MX style housings. They are too tall for their own stock (Kailh) housings. All halo hybrids feel like slamming the blunt end of a pencil onto a desk. Feels ok if you just press a key every now and then so you can post "wow much tactile, many feels" on Reddit. Bone rattling trash when you have to do a full data entry day on them.

I still type faster and longer on MX Browns than any other switch, which I did not expect at the outset. After 10+ years at a law firm trying to go paperless, I bought a hotswap board in 2018 and moved my plateless mx brown board into work and I dunno. It was just meant to be I guess.

Offline Photoelectric

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« Reply #7 on: Mon, 31 December 2018, 09:56:08 »
Have you guys tried Hako Violets?  I like browns a lot and I feel like they are very nice.

I like Hako Violets.  At some point I will do a full board with them.  They are not like MX Brown, other than being light and tactile, but they could be a great recommendation for someone who wants a lightweight switch with a well defined bump. 
. . .
MX Browns were what first led me to appreciate the precision and nuance of mechanical switches.  They encouraged me to learn to type quickly while trying to avoid bottoming out.  I went through a few love-hate phases with them as I discovered other switches and got bored with one or another variety, but I think MX Browns can be excellent with the right case/plate/keycap combination.  Like a relaxing massage for fingers.  I've got a set of smooth vintage Browns to put on something still.

The Biggest Possible Bump is the current fad fo sho, which is anti-MX Brown and Hako True.  That's not what MX Browns are about.  They are a no frills lightweight switch that's not fatiguing to type on quickly for a long time.
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Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 31 December 2018, 11:17:24 »
I thought I hated mx browns until I got a leopold 980m PD with them, been using them everyday since.

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Offline rkarp

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 31 December 2018, 14:59:45 »
Long time lurker - first time poster.  Officially, this be my first post, matey.

When getting into this hobby, and having demo'd a few boards, I ended up with a HHKB pro2, white w/ blanks ((still running stock, btw, though about to do a dental ring mod I think)).  Significant other put the kaibosh down on 1 keyboard, 1 keyboard only please.  That said, you could consider my mistress board anything with MX Browns.  If I ever go back to Cherry, browns they shall be.  Posting in this thread because of mad respect and love for the browns.

Offline Riverman

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 31 December 2018, 18:50:59 »
Browns are just such a nice middle ground.  They're not mushy like reds, or overly loud like blues, and I do appreciate their lightness.  Even a 45g Topre board can cause a little pain in my fingertips if I type on one for too long.  I think the most pleasant keyboard to type on that I've ever had was a cheap and flimsy G80-3000 that I swapped out the silent reds for browns, plus a tactile grey for the space bar.

Offline ullr

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 31 December 2018, 18:52:50 »
I feel like maybe they're not underrated but they're definitely over-hated. I momentarily had a Majestouch with them and while I did swap them out (that's what I bought it for after all) I felt that they were very serviceable switches and a far cry from whatever people are talking about when they allude to "dirty linears" or "scratchy ****". People talk a lot about which switch is the *most tactile* or *the sharpest* but that doesn't necessarily make those the best or anything else terrible per se

Offline Photekq

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 31 December 2018, 19:08:52 »
The oldest MX browns from Cherry MX5000/1838 are the best Cherry switch ever made imo. I'm not a fan of browns found in boards more recent than those though.

Offline pr0ximity

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« Reply #13 on: Wed, 02 January 2019, 13:50:33 »
The oldest MX browns from Cherry MX5000/1838 are the best Cherry switch ever made imo. I'm not a fan of browns found in boards more recent than those though.

And so the legend is perpetuated.

I've never seen a side-by-side comparison of 5000/1838 Browns and say, 11800 Browns, but would love to if anyone has the time/camera.
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Offline Photoelectric

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« Reply #14 on: Wed, 02 January 2019, 22:42:46 »
The oldest MX browns from Cherry MX5000/1838 are the best Cherry switch ever made imo. I'm not a fan of browns found in boards more recent than those though.

And so the legend is perpetuated.

I've never seen a side-by-side comparison of 5000/1838 Browns and say, 11800 Browns, but would love to if anyone has the time/camera.

It’s still going to be batch-dependent.  I’ve used excellent smooth MX Browns on a Filco that were as good as vintage MX Browns.  I have two separate scratchy batches of Nixdorf MX Blacks (different spring color and the degree of transparency of the top cover).  I’ve also typed on pretty scratchy vintage MX Blacks (proper large logos etc).  Vintage has higher probability of being very smooth, but it’s not a guarantee.
« Last Edit: Wed, 02 January 2019, 22:44:46 by Photoelectric »
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Offline notglacier

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 05 January 2019, 14:11:52 »
I've been in this community for around 8 years at this point (on my lurk account) and after going through 10+ keyboards and trying out a bunch more at meetups, I can safely say MX brown (or any of its variations) is still my favorite switch to type on.

I recently just got a board built with lubed greetech browns and my god they feel amazing. There's just something really pleasant and subtle about the non-distracting tactility of browns that makes them so fun and fast to type on.
« Last Edit: Sat, 05 January 2019, 14:15:15 by notglacier »
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Offline macclack

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 05 January 2019, 15:37:54 »
I've been in this community for around 8 years at this point (on my lurk account) and after going through 10+ keyboards and trying out a bunch more at meetups, I can safely say MX brown (or any of its variations) is still my favorite switch to type on.

I recently just got a board built with lubed greetech browns and my god they feel amazing. There's just something really pleasant and subtle about the non-distracting tactility of browns that makes them so fun and fast to type on.
I agree with your comment about green tech browns.

Online dallman5

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 05 January 2019, 16:08:01 »
I've been in this community for around 8 years at this point (on my lurk account) and after going through 10+ keyboards and trying out a bunch more at meetups, I can safely say MX brown (or any of its variations) is still my favorite switch to type on.

I recently just got a board built with lubed greetech browns and my god they feel amazing. There's just something really pleasant and subtle about the non-distracting tactility of browns that makes them so fun and fast to type on.

Ive been wanting to try greetech browns for a while now, do you know of a good source for them?
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Offline notglacier

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 05 January 2019, 16:34:28 »
I've been in this community for around 8 years at this point (on my lurk account) and after going through 10+ keyboards and trying out a bunch more at meetups, I can safely say MX brown (or any of its variations) is still my favorite switch to type on.

I recently just got a board built with lubed greetech browns and my god they feel amazing. There's just something really pleasant and subtle about the non-distracting tactility of browns that makes them so fun and fast to type on.

Ive been wanting to try greetech browns for a while now, do you know of a good source for them?

I honestly don't know. I bought my board already built with them. I'd say they sound pretty crappy unlubed though, so you'd be better off with just regular MX browns imo, both lubed and unlubed.
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Offline Photekq

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 11 January 2019, 04:30:41 »
And so the legend is perpetuated.

I've never seen a side-by-side comparison of 5000/1838 Browns and say, 11800 Browns, but would love to if anyone has the time/camera.
I think I still have my 11801, but I'm not entirely sure. I'll do a comparison next time I'm home if I can remember.

I agree with what Photoelectric said about lack of consistency when it comes to vintage switches, but I will say that out of the 6 NIB 5000s that have passed through my hands there was little to no variation in switch quality.

Offline appaboy

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 22 January 2019, 01:33:22 »
I got my vintage Browns in just a few days ago and holy hell these are on another level of smooth. The sliders actually look lubed when they aren't because they're smooth and shiny. I put catweewee 55g springs and superlube in them and they feel absolutely fantastic. I actually had a low expectation and was blown away  :eek:
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Offline dyrdevil

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 22 January 2019, 01:51:43 »
Anyone have any advice where I can find good stock browns? I want to do a build with them.

Offline funderburker

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 22 January 2019, 02:11:37 »
You've all intrigued me, those stock photos are icing on the cake for me! :p

Are retooled MX Browns any good or that's just MX Blacks? Cause I've not seen a lot of vint MX Browns so those could be need some hunting.
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 22 January 2019, 19:48:27 »
I got my vintage Browns in just a few days ago and holy hell these are on another level of smooth. The sliders actually look lubed when they aren't because they're smooth and shiny. I put catweewee 55g springs and superlube in them and they feel absolutely fantastic. I actually had a low expectation and was blown away  :eek:

From which board/year?
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Offline appaboy

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« Reply #24 on: Thu, 07 February 2019, 11:49:36 »
I'm going even deeper into the mx vintage brown love by getting a g80 5000, I won't harvest it but I'm excited to try them. I relubed my current Browns with 3203 and they are some of my favorite switches behind vint blacks now
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Offline pr0ximity

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 07 February 2019, 21:15:57 »
I'm going even deeper into the mx vintage brown love by getting a g80 5000, I won't harvest it but I'm excited to try them. I relubed my current Browns with 3203 and they are some of my favorite switches behind vint blacks now

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Offline OfTheWild

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 07 February 2019, 22:39:46 »
I confuse people all the time with this amazing feeling switch setup... 67g golds, gateron brown - lubed and vinyl gaskets, zealencios.

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Online idlemao

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 07 February 2019, 22:48:56 »
I got my vintage Browns in just a few days ago and holy hell these are on another level of smooth. The sliders actually look lubed when they aren't because they're smooth and shiny. I put catweewee 55g springs and superlube in them and they feel absolutely fantastic. I actually had a low expectation and was blown away  :eek:

From which board/year?
Would also like to know this  :)

Offline appaboy

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 07 February 2019, 22:54:10 »
I got my vintage Browns in just a few days ago and holy hell these are on another level of smooth. The sliders actually look lubed when they aren't because they're smooth and shiny. I put catweewee 55g springs and superlube in them and they feel absolutely fantastic. I actually had a low expectation and was blown away  :eek:

From which board/year?
Would also like to know this  :)

Unfortunately I don't know, I got them off mech market on reddit, but 2 things to note is that they had the condoms over them that protect from dirt and dust and they had diodes (I've always had good experiences with diode filled switches)
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Offline macclack

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 07 February 2019, 23:12:57 »
I confuse people all the time with this amazing feeling switch setup... 67g golds, gateron brown - lubed and vinyl gaskets, zealencios.

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Online idlemao

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 07 February 2019, 23:40:19 »
I got my vintage Browns in just a few days ago and holy hell these are on another level of smooth. The sliders actually look lubed when they aren't because they're smooth and shiny. I put catweewee 55g springs and superlube in them and they feel absolutely fantastic. I actually had a low expectation and was blown away  :eek:

From which board/year?
Would also like to know this  :)

Unfortunately I don't know, I got them off mech market on reddit, but 2 things to note is that they had the condoms over them that protect from dirt and dust and they had diodes (I've always had good experiences with diode filled switches)
I remember that mechmarket post, so you're the lucky person :o

Offline vegs

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 08 February 2019, 02:24:21 »
Fine, I'll bite. For my next build I'll be using vintage Brown stems in retooled Blue housings. Wish me luck :p
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Offline _GMK_

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« Reply #32 on: Fri, 08 February 2019, 03:17:51 »
Don't you think that the tactility of the switch disappears and becomes irrelevant when typing very fast?

Probably that's the reason for the proliferation of more tactile alternatives.

Offline Polymer

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« Reply #33 on: Fri, 08 February 2019, 04:40:01 »
No it is still there..

But if you believe (falsely) that the tactility tells you when to stop then yes, at a fast speed, the tactility becomes irrelevant..

Outside of that, the level of tactility, weight of the switches, etc...are all personal preference. 

Offline pr0ximity

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« Reply #34 on: Fri, 08 February 2019, 05:40:57 »
Fine, I'll bite. For my next build I'll be using vintage Brown stems in retooled Blue housings. Wish me luck :p

Yuss. I've heard click housings make them more tactile, I should try that.
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Offline daerid

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 08 February 2019, 15:52:23 »
I actually really like MX Browns, but only on one board: the Filco MJ2. For some reason every other Cherry Brown board has felt crazy inconsistent.

Now, Gateron Browns? Those I absolutely love...

Offline dyrdevil

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« Reply #36 on: Fri, 08 February 2019, 18:40:16 »
Fine, I'll bite. For my next build I'll be using vintage Brown stems in retooled Blue housings. Wish me luck :p

Please report back with your findings. Might be something I'd like to try.

Offline absyrd

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 10 February 2019, 04:43:10 »
My favorite board other than my HHKB was my poker x with browns. I just like how browns feel with no plate.
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Offline ThoughtArtist

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« Reply #38 on: Sun, 10 February 2019, 13:33:00 »
I like browns at home but clears at work.

I actually threw my remaining Model M in the garbage and found the Model F to be fracking annoying noise-wise despite the nice typist feel. (Yeah, I know what using an actual typewriter is like. I played with Selectrics during my entire childhood.)

Some of what these gentlemen forget is that their ideal typing switch is itself limited when doing other tasks. Lambasting MX Browns for being a generalist switch for computing, WHICH IS WHAT IT WAS DESIGNED TO BE, is the epitome of biased, nonsensical criticism.
« Last Edit: Sun, 10 February 2019, 14:03:26 by ThoughtArtist »
The Model-M is more plasticy than a standard metal mounting-plate Cherry MX Brown TKL keyboard.

Offline funderburker

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« Reply #39 on: Mon, 11 February 2019, 00:33:41 »
I like browns at home but clears at work.

I actually threw my remaining Model M in the garbage and found the Model F to be fracking annoying noise-wise despite the nice typist feel. (Yeah, I know what using an actual typewriter is like. I played with Selectrics during my entire childhood.)

Some of what these gentlemen forget is that their ideal typing switch is itself limited when doing other tasks. Lambasting MX Browns for being a generalist switch for computing, WHICH IS WHAT IT WAS DESIGNED TO BE, is the epitome of biased, nonsensical criticism.

Love your avatar photo, very fitting for this thread. Specifically made for this?
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Offline itbesandrodoe

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« Reply #40 on: Tue, 12 February 2019, 18:39:51 »
I loved browns, but once I got zilents there is no way I can go back ! Browns still will be my first love <3

Offline pr0ximity

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« Reply #41 on: Mon, 25 February 2019, 07:23:14 »
The oldest MX browns from Cherry MX5000/1838 are the best Cherry switch ever made imo. I'm not a fan of browns found in boards more recent than those though.

To add some flavor and clarify, it seems like the 5000, 1838, and original Kinesis Contoured (without the lock indicators in the middle) *can* have the oldest MX Browns, but not all do.

Exhibit A: MX5000 with a K date code (1998):


Exhibit B: 1838HPU with an I date code (1996):


By contrast, many of the earlier 11801's are from '97/'98. So it seems that while the MX5000 and 1838 *can* go back farther, not all do.
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Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #42 on: Mon, 25 February 2019, 14:21:49 »
I might want to get browns for my sister since i believe they feel like a rubber dome just without the rubbery part, which is good feels.

Offline Maxyol

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« Reply #43 on: Mon, 04 March 2019, 22:33:48 »
Love Browns were looking for a forum like this.

Only wish they were a touch clickier

Offline NTwoO

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 05 March 2019, 05:23:34 »
I'm in a love/hate relationship the with browns in my Kinesis. Now 7 weeks in I've turned off the "click" help to prevent bottoming out. I type very lightly even when speeding up to my meager 50wpm top speed. This is very very VERY nice. Why the hate then? It has ruined me for any other keyboard. Typing on rubber domes causes eternal pain and frustration within the first 5 mushes. Not my thing anymore.

Offline pr0ximity

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 05 March 2019, 05:38:28 »
Love Browns were looking for a forum like this.

Only wish they were a touch clickier

I've heard Brown stems in an MX Blue housing gives it a bit nore tactioity.

I'm also experimenting with lubing the legs on some MX Clears to reduce the tactility a little, seems promising.
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Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 05 March 2019, 18:55:40 »
Love the old browns, provided they don't have that ridiculously heavy green spacebar.
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Offline appaboy

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 05 March 2019, 19:57:03 »
Love the old browns, provided they don't have that ridiculously heavy green spacebar.

I assume you mean Grey, and yeah. Tactile greyz were designed for mx clear spacebars not mx Browns but they still included them in their brown boards and it feels excessive in comparison
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Offline Budman

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 05 March 2019, 23:59:23 »
IS this thread relevant for MX Brown clones as well? I am liking my new Gateron Browns better than actual MX ones I've tried in the past. I honestly feel a slightly more tactile bump in the Gaterons and everything else feels the same. Not sure how durability will be though so time will tell.

Offline Audiobs

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Re: Love MX Browns? Post here. (Hate them? Go away.)
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 06 March 2019, 01:14:29 »
IS this thread relevant for MX Brown clones as well? I am liking my new Gateron Browns better than actual MX ones I've tried in the past. I honestly feel a slightly more tactile bump in the Gaterons and everything else feels the same. Not sure how durability will be though so time will tell.

Because the Gateron Brown has a slightly lighter spring than the MX Brown, both springs have the same length, but different no. of coils iirc.

Yes, love MX Brown! I still have my MJ2 with retooled Brown in a Doyu case. I don't use it much but it just feels great everytime I use it. I think if we were all introduced to mechanical keyboard for the first time with every single switch available today, MX Brown will still be one of the top choices.

I also think new retooled version is smoother than its predecessor, stock unlubed and not broken-in. Would love to try my hands on some vintage ones but don't think I will ever find any.

Thanks for creating this thread!