Blue Alps way are overrated.

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joebeazelman

21 Jun 2022, 22:35

I own a full keyboard of almost every Alps SKCM switches, simplified ones, several clones, and compatibles such as the Alps.tw and Monterey blues. Surprisingly, I have never tried Blue Alps switches until recently. A week ago, I stumbled upon a portable PC with an intriguing keyboard in excellent condition at my local thrift store. When I popped off one of the keycaps, it revealed the fabled and elusive Blue Alps.

I run the risk of heresy by stating blue Alps didn't live up to the hype. I became bored with it after a couple of days and shelved it away with my other keyboards I have on rotation. I plugged back in my yummy vintage black Alps Next Keyboard. While the blue ALPS switch is definitely more pleasing than most non-Alps switches, it lacks the hallmark creamy and crunchy tactility you get from other Alps switches such as vintage Black Alps, Ambers and Oranges. It feels like cotton candy. You’re teased by its sweetness only to have it vanish in flash without a trace on your palate. Frankly, I wouldn’t even rank them near Alps SKBM Greys or simplified Black Alps which are undeservedly scoffed at.

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Bjerrk

21 Jun 2022, 22:37

SKBM Black better than SKCM Blue?
You're crazy ;)

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thefarside

22 Jun 2022, 04:20

I wonder if the keyboard chassis is a factor. I know blue alps in my switch tester don’t sound that great, but in my Omnikey 102 they’re amazing.

I also think if your first love was tactile alps clicky might not be as appealing. My first keyboards were white alps and clones so I was accustomed to clicky tactile switches and when I got a few orange alps M0115 and M0116 boards I wasn’t as impressed.

If you like oranges I’d recommend tactile brown alps. I have a single switch in great condition that sounds and feels amazing in my little switch tester. I could only imagine it in a large chassis.

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joebeazelman

22 Jun 2022, 05:04

Bjerrk wrote:
21 Jun 2022, 22:37
SKBM Black better than SKCM Blue?
You're crazy ;)
I have a black Dell Bigfoot and I love that keyboard to the point where the laser legends are mostly gone and it no longer clicks like it once did. Perhaps it's not the SKBM, but it's the bamboo variety without the slits. It's different from the Next and Dell Old Logo slitted one which is a bit heavier and more tactile. Maybe the blues haven't been broken in and settled. They feel like a lighter version of the SKCM white which was appalling to me--loud and unsettling feel.

The Amber Alps is a whole different ballgame. I will state emphatically that it's the best Alps switches ever made. I can easily see someone shelling out a few hundred for a keyboard's worth of Ambers. I plan on transplanting them into one of my other Next keyboards. I'll probably implant the Alps blue into my AEK II.

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joebeazelman

22 Jun 2022, 05:21

thefarside wrote:
22 Jun 2022, 04:20
I wonder if the keyboard chassis is a factor. I know blue alps in my switch tester don’t sound that great, but in my Omnikey 102 they’re amazing.

I also think if your first love was tactile alps clicky might not be as appealing. My first keyboards were white alps and clones so I was accustomed to clicky tactile switches and when I got a few orange alps M0115 and M0116 boards I wasn’t as impressed.

If you like oranges I’d recommend tactile brown alps. I have a single switch in great condition that sounds and feels amazing in my little switch tester. I could only imagine it in a large chassis.
The blue alps sound was pleasant and would sound even better in a roomier case, but the tact was weak for such a notable roar. The orange is very light, but you can really feel the tactility. They're one of those switches that creeps up on you. I never knew I was under its spell until I noticed I enjoyed it more than my Model F.

I have tactile browns and they're interesting. My fingers get really achy after typing on them for a while. I don't know why because they don't seem as heavy as the ambers or vintage blacks. They might be another candidate for transplantation into an AEK chassis from IBM convertible.

On another note, I had a chance to try out some keyboards at Microcenter. They were mostly MX variant gamer keyboards. The Logitech ones were surprisingly good. I believe they're made by Omron.

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clickandthock

22 Jun 2022, 14:09

Ok, I'm not crazy... Blue Alps are great switches, but I never understand the hype too... Maybe it's the state of the ones I have (have around 3 keyboards and one set of blue alps), but they don't feel as satisfying to me than Amber alps or my Omnikey 102 with White Alps...
As said, maybe the case make the difference for the Omnikey, I dont know... But the White Alps in this board feel smooth and tactile, they feel so right... But again, maybe the chassis make the difference...

Maybe the fact Blue Alps are much more rare than White Alps make the fact that finding Blue Alps in good condition is much more difficult than white alps... Maybe NOS Blue Alps beat the shit out of any switches... Never tried...

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

22 Jun 2022, 14:24

Never understood the obsession with switches that become shitty as you use them ...

I guess that's the price you pay for the click. As a based linear Cherry enjoyer, I am spoiled with awesome switches that become even better with age. Now cope...

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Bjerrk

22 Jun 2022, 15:11

Wodan wrote:
22 Jun 2022, 14:24
Never understood the obsession with switches that become shitty as you use them ...

I guess that's the price you pay for the click. As a based linear Cherry enjoyer, I am spoiled with awesome switches that become even better with age. Now cope...
Not really, as a general rule.
IBM buckling spring switches and beamsprings are two examples of clicky switches which age admirably. Linear Alps, on the other hand, suffer from the well-known age- and use-related Alps problems :?

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Maledicted

22 Jun 2022, 18:20

I have at least half a dozen SKCM white boards and they all feel a little different from each other (even in the same model boards), even if the switches are in great shape. They had multiple factories making them by that point and there were iterative changes to SKCM clickies throughout their production run.

I have some SKCM whites that compare well to my nicest SKCM blues, but most that I have do not.

All things considered, there's always an element of subjectivity involved. I think Zeal's new Clickiez switches actually go toe-to-toe with capacitive buckling spring and SKCM blues. Others may disagree. Being a clicky fanatic in general, I really don't even care about tactiles. It does not surprise me in the least that someone who may prefer tactiles might pick a tactile Alps variant over blues.

Black Alps most definitely does not deserve its poor reputation.

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zrrion

22 Jun 2022, 23:36

for sure blues are overrated, this isn't to say that they're bad or anything, they're comparable to nice whites, but if you look at the ebay prices for blue alps boards you could conclude that they're significantly better when that's simply not the case.

I also personally like more tactility, so blues being less tactile than whites is a straight downgrade IMO but that's a preference that not everyone will have

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hellothere

23 Jun 2022, 03:50

I rather like my Chicony with amber Omron B3G-S clicky switches. I've tried lots of blue Alps keyboards and I feel the Omrons are much better. I also think that amber Omrons are a very respectable challenger to brown tactile Alps. I've not tried amber Alps nor neon green Alps, though (neon green was the replacement for tactile brown).

There are a lot of other tactile and clicky switches out there. Hey, I'm using a KB with Kailh box Jade, ATM. I think it's about as satisfying as any blue Alps.

But black Alps > blue Alps is, like, your opinion, man. Tell you what. I'll take that blue Alps KB off your hands. PM me. Yes, I'm serious. PM me.

mrprofessor

23 Jun 2022, 10:51

Blue alps isn't that bad lol.

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Wodan
ISO Advocate

23 Jun 2022, 10:56

Bjerrk wrote:
22 Jun 2022, 15:11
Not really, as a general rule.
IBM buckling spring switches and beamsprings are two examples of clicky switches which age admirably. Linear Alps, on the other hand, suffer from the well-known age- and use-related Alps problems :?
The clicks only become a dirty compromise every time they try to make linear switches clicky.

Linear Alps probably suffer from the same problems … since this was about Blue Alps, I assumed the main reason people would pick them is for their superior clicks.

ollir

23 Jun 2022, 11:01

I think the clicky Alps is so dependent on the chassis that talking about the switches in isolation is useless. It's the same as with electric guitar: the actual instrument is the guitar AND the amp.

I have a Datacomp DFK102 with SKCM blues in excellent condition, but I still somehow prefer my Acer 6012 with pine whites or another Acer 6012 with more shitty blue Alps, just because the keyboard feels and sounds better. Don't get me wrong, typing with the Datacomp is excellent and blue Alps in good condition are the tits, but the whole is what matters.

With all that being said, I think the NEC blue ovals might be better overall.

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fbblovezl

26 Jun 2022, 01:11

ollir wrote:
23 Jun 2022, 11:01
I think the clicky Alps is so dependent on the chassis that talking about the switches in isolation is useless. It's the same as with electric guitar: the actual instrument is the guitar AND the amp.

I have a Datacomp DFK102 with SKCM blues in excellent condition, but I still somehow prefer my Acer 6012 with pine whites or another Acer 6012 with more shitty blue Alps, just because the keyboard feels and sounds better. Don't get me wrong, typing with the Datacomp is excellent and blue Alps in good condition are the tits, but the whole is what matters.

With all that being said, I think the NEC blue ovals might be better overall.
nec blue oval switch, is an unimpressive switch, i don't like it

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