O-Rings: 50A-R, 40A-R, 40A-L, or None?

Although this topic might have been beaten to death on GH and/or DT, I would like some fresh input on the question, perhaps from those who have not responded to such an inquiry previously.

Therefore, for those of you who have Cherry mx keyboards, I am interested in whether or not you favor the use of O-rings, and if you use them, which type you prefer.

As I understand it, the currently most widely used O-rings are black 50A-R (the hardest on the durometer scale, and with a travel reduction of 0.4 mm), blue 40A-R (softer than 50A and also with a 0.4 mm travel reduction), and red 40A-L (same softness as 40A-R, but with a lower travel reduction of 0.2 mm).

There might be some other varieties out there, including 70A and 30A hardness and different diameters, thickness, and materials, but I am mainly interested in the "mainstream" O-rings listed first above.

In my own case, I have a WASD V2 87 mx Brown keyboard. I rather like the bottoming-out sound without O-rings, but the spacebar bottoming-out sound is rather loud. However, otherwise, the spacebar is quiet. In particular, it doesn't rattle. As a matter of fact, the spacebar in my RF 87ub 55g rattles noticeably.

On balance, I think I prefer the sound and feel of my Cherry mx board without O-rings. I've tried some of the keys with red, blue, and black varieties. With red O-rings, I still get some bottoming-out click, which disappears with blue or black O-rings. However, with any of the O-rings installed, the deadening effect seems to take the life out of the keyboard and I don't really like the result.
Hypersphere
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Unread post25 Nov 2014, 00:16

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I use 50A o-rings. I absolutely love the sound and feel of a board equipped with o-rings. It feels like a rubber dome when you bottom out, but the compression and release of the spring retains that mechanical feel. To me, it incorporates the best of both worlds. When I use a board without o-rings, it sometimes feels like I'm pushing buttons on an airplane console or something, not a keyboard. It feels like something that's designed to be purely functional, with little to no regard for ergonomics. With o-rings installed, the soft landing of the key strokes adds a nice ergonomic touch to the keyboard. It feels like you're hitting rubber, not cold steel. The key travel reduction also helps a lot, because as you might have already guessed, I bottom out every key press (I refuse to treat my keyboard like a carefully preserved sheet of bubble wrap). I've tried the 40A-L, but I think the more travel reduction the better (from a performance perspective, anyway).
brdrgz
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Unread post25 Nov 2014, 06:38

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brdrgz
 
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I'm using cheap O-Rings from china, off of ebay on all my keyboards.
I don't really like the dampened sound, but highly prefer the softer feel when bottoming out. It feels like it puts less strain on my finger joints when typing for longer durations.
If all Rings are seated and pushed down by hand the mushy feeling isn't as bad and i guess my rings are quite hard, can't say for sure though, since there are no indicators (white silicon rings).
Willwas

Unread post25 Nov 2014, 09:13

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I might give O-rings another try, perhaps starting with the spacebar. It is interesting that in the world of Cherry mx keyboards, the sound and feel of the keyboard can be substantially altered by such things as the choice of keycaps, O-rings, and lubrication of switches and/or stabilizers.

With respect to my Topre-switch and IBM buckling spring (either capacitive Model F or membrane Model M) keyboards, I am mostly satisfied with them the way they are, and I have not tried modifications to affect their sound or feel. Part of the fun of Cherry mx keyboards is the relative ease with which they can be modified in various ways.
Hypersphere
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Unread post26 Nov 2014, 01:24

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Hypersphere wrote:I might give O-rings another try, perhaps starting with the spacebar. It is interesting that in the world of Cherry mx keyboards, the sound and feel of the keyboard can be substantially altered by such things as the choice of keycaps, O-rings, and lubrication of switches and/or stabilizers.

With respect to my Topre-switch and IBM buckling spring (either capacitive Model F or membrane Model M) keyboards, I am mostly satisfied with them the way they are, and I have not tried modifications to affect their sound or feel. Part of the fun of Cherry mx keyboards is the relative ease with which they can be modified in various ways.

Indeed. I think this modular property of the switch has been a large contributor to their rampant success (in terms of OEM sales) as well. I love Topre switches, but there's always some deal-breaking quality to the boards they're in. Mismatched-material spacebars, odd layout, difficult to obtain replacement keys, you name it. The novatouch is the only Topre board whose design actually makes sense in (nearly) all ways to me, but being a first run product it does have its issues. With Cherry MX switches, if I don't like the board they're in, or the keycaps they've got, or some other random aspect, I have a wide array of options in terms of boards, keys and mods to choose from to get a keyboard that truly is everything I want and nothing I don't.
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Unread post26 Nov 2014, 04:26

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brdrgz
 
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