Most Overrated/Underrated Switch or Keyboard?

User avatar
Chyros

24 Jun 2016, 09:50

fohat wrote:
Invisius wrote:
These tactile yellow clones feel better than all the white, orange and blue ALPS boards I've used.
OK, I have to ask:

What the heck are those tactile yellow clones and where are they found?
T5s maybe?

User avatar
cookie

24 Jun 2016, 10:22

Black Alps turned linear are actually very great!

User avatar
gcardinal

24 Jun 2016, 11:23

Overrated:
Topre as seen in a Cooler Master NovaTouch TKL. Overly complex switch made even more complex for the "marketing" reasons.

Overlooked:
Siemens STB 21 - so simple, so elegant and it is just a joy to type on.

User avatar
cookie

24 Jun 2016, 11:33

@gcardinal: The question is, have you tried Topre yourself yet?

User avatar
gcardinal

24 Jun 2016, 11:49

cookie wrote: @gcardinal: The question is, have you tried Topre yourself yet?
Yes, I have purcased NovaTouch TKL twice - one used and one new from the local store (ISO both). So I have about 2-3 month of typing on it. I never owned a Realforce - but have tried it a few times.

Just for clarification - I find NovaTouch version of a Topre switch overrated, not the Topre it self (with original keycap mount). I think if goal is high-end keyboard - it should be delivered with a quality keycaps. Making a custom switch in order to make it compatable with cherry mx and at the same time delivering keyboard with cheapo keycaps is not a "quality" solution. Money saved from customizing switch could have been invested in quality keycaps to begin with... Therefor I find it overrated since the reasoning behind the mx-compatablity has its origins in marketing and not in providing high-end product.

User avatar
Chyros

24 Jun 2016, 11:54

gcardinal wrote: Overlooked:
Siemens STB 21 - so simple, so elegant and it is just a joy to type on.
Really? I've found them to be pretty much just like MX Brown Oo .

User avatar
cookie

24 Jun 2016, 12:10

gcardinal wrote:
cookie wrote: @gcardinal: The question is, have you tried Topre yourself yet?
Yes, I have purcased NovaTouch TKL twice - one used and one new from the local store (ISO both). So I have about 2-3 month of typing on it. I never owned a Realforce - but have tried it a few times.

Just for clarification - I find NovaTouch version of a Topre switch overrated, not the Topre it self (with original keycap mount). I think if goal is high-end keyboard - it should be delivered with a quality keycaps. Making a custom switch in order to make it compatable with cherry mx and at the same time delivering keyboard with cheapo keycaps is not a "quality" solution. Money saved from customizing switch could have been invested in quality keycaps to begin with... Therefor I find it overrated since the reasoning behind the mx-compatablity has its origins in marketing and not in providing high-end product.
Very well, you are allowed to speak then :)

But I share your opinion on the Novatouch. They've done 85% right and screwed up the last 15%.
Caps are unacceptable for this price tag! It is still a fine board if you silence it properly and put on some very nice caps, but then you could have go for a Realforce in the first place.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

24 Jun 2016, 13:28

The topre switch in the NovaTouch is not to be compared to the topre switch experience in any Topre, Leopold or HHKB keyboard IMO.

User avatar
cookie

24 Jun 2016, 13:47

Totally agree with Seebart!

The Nova had so much potential but well...

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

24 Jun 2016, 13:50

No, I still think it's better than nothing, it's actually available in Europe and the price is "reasonable" compared to this:

http://www.keyboardco.com/category.asp? ... de&rtv=100

User avatar
Ratfink

24 Jun 2016, 15:10

I've never much cared for Alps switches myself. They just seem…okay. That includes SKCM blue.

Also, Cherry MX blue switches just feel lumpy to me. Like a terrible imitation of buckling spring.

User avatar
cookie

24 Jun 2016, 16:35

MX Blue wowed me in the beginning but the love for them wear off quite fast after I bought a board with MX Reds.
Topre though, finally killed my Cherry appreciation. The HHKB was my personal endgame board.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

24 Jun 2016, 16:50

Unfortunately I have no "personal endgame board". :roll: It would be a Beamspring in SSK form. :P

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

24 Jun 2016, 16:52

seebart wrote: Unfortunately I have no "personal endgame board". :roll: It would be a Beamspring in SSK form. :P
I think this will happen some day. Given that we have key cap manufacturing capabilities (3D printed if necessary), and the ability to make our own PCBs and controllers, it's only a matter of time. This is certainly something I've talked about with some other forum members in the past.

I'd like to rethink the beam spring switch to get something that is a little lower profile. If you consider the travel of a beam spring, and the height of the fly plate mechanism, I think the whole thing could get much shorter.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

24 Jun 2016, 16:57

Right, but you'd have to redesign the switch, it won't fit in an SSK. Not even close. Quite a project.

User avatar
Chyros

24 Jun 2016, 17:00

seebart wrote: Unfortunately I have no "personal endgame board". :roll: It would be a Beamspring in SSK form. :P
I'm a collector, so I'd always want more. Just more in general :p .

That said, boards I have constantly in the back of my head are a brand-new gold-label OmniKey 102 with blue Alps and a brand-new Zenith ZKB-2 with green Alps (for home and office use, respectively).

User avatar
OleVoip

24 Jun 2016, 18:01

Chyros wrote:
gcardinal wrote: Overlooked:
Siemens STB 21 - so simple, so elegant and it is just a joy to type on.
Really? I've found them to be pretty much just like MX Brown Oo .
Regarding tactility that's correct; however, the heaviness is more like MX blacks. Owing to this combination, it is the only nonclicky switch I've found by now that I can comfortably type on without bottoming out.

edit: I forgot to add that STBs are far less scratchy that MX browns. There might be some initial scratchiness when they haven't been used for a while but that very quickly disappears.
Last edited by OleVoip on 28 Jun 2016, 11:23, edited 1 time in total.

Sankart

24 Jun 2016, 18:09

Ratfink wrote: I've never much cared for Alps switches myself. They just seem…okay. That includes SKCM blue.
I never tried SKCM blues, but all well regarded Alps I've tried so far were pretty meh, especially orange Alps. On the other hand I really like the belittled Alps switches such as dampened white ones.

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

24 Jun 2016, 20:00

XMIT wrote:
seebart wrote: Unfortunately I have no "personal endgame board". :roll: It would be a Beamspring in SSK form. :P
I think this will happen some day. Given that we have key cap manufacturing capabilities (3D printed if necessary), and the ability to make our own PCBs and controllers, it's only a matter of time. This is certainly something I've talked about with some other forum members in the past.

I'd like to rethink the beam spring switch to get something that is a little lower profile. If you consider the travel of a beam spring, and the height of the fly plate mechanism, I think the whole thing could get much shorter.
Perhaps an implementation along the lines of the Alps Plate Spring might be something worth exploring. I am not sure if one would need to simplify the switch as was done with the Plate Spring to achieve a low profile.

User avatar
zslane

25 Jun 2016, 03:33

gcardinal wrote: I think if goal is high-end keyboard - it should be delivered with a quality keycaps.
I agree.

And by that measure, Topre boards will never be high-end until they can be delivered (or swapped) with Space Cadet keycaps. Thankfully, that day is coming!
Varmilo VA108 w/ Space Cadet keycaps
Varmilo VA108 w/ Space Cadet keycaps
image.jpeg (323.93 KiB) Viewed 2016 times

jacobolus

25 Jun 2016, 07:44

Chyros wrote: *SMK 2nd gen (incl. "Monterey" switches): possibly the most refined-feeling switches I've ever used, these delicate little beauties deserve a lot more love than they get, and they come in both MX and Alps-mount so they're easy to find caps for. Hopefully when that custom PCB that's compatible with them comes around these will find some more recognition.
Refined is totally the wrong word here.

Clicky SMK switches are great feeling in broad strokes, but with a bit of the same overall chintzy cheap impression given by MX blue (obviously not to the same degree; also, they have a good excuse for this, considering they *were* super cheap). They make a great click, but it’s un-subtle, not especially “clean”, and the upstroke is nothing to write home about. For my taste the click point is also too far into the stroke.

I think by “refined” you really just mean: properly medium-weighted (not too stiff or too soft), with a very crisp tactile click. Which is a shockingly rare pair of properties in keyboard switches, considering how obviously desirable it is.

I assume the “delicate” refers to the not-at-all-robust internal contact design? ;)

User avatar
Chyros

25 Jun 2016, 11:05

jacobolus wrote:
Chyros wrote: *SMK 2nd gen (incl. "Monterey" switches): possibly the most refined-feeling switches I've ever used, these delicate little beauties deserve a lot more love than they get, and they come in both MX and Alps-mount so they're easy to find caps for. Hopefully when that custom PCB that's compatible with them comes around these will find some more recognition.
Refined is totally the wrong word here.

Clicky SMK switches are great feeling in broad strokes, but with a bit of the same overall chintzy cheap impression given by MX blue (obviously not to the same degree; also, they have a good excuse for this, considering they *were* super cheap). They make a great click, but it’s un-subtle, not especially “clean”, and the upstroke is nothing to write home about. For my taste the click point is also too far into the stroke.

I think by “refined” you really just mean: properly medium-weighted (not too stiff or too soft), with a very crisp tactile click. Which is a shockingly rare pair of properties in keyboard switches, considering how obviously desirable it is.

I assume the “delicate” refers to the not-at-all-robust internal contact design? ;)
Something like that :P .

User avatar
Khers

25 Jun 2016, 13:42

zslane wrote: [...]And by that measure, Topre boards will never be high-end until they can be delivered (or swapped) with Space Cadet keycaps.[...]
Sure, in your opinion that may be true. Plenty others, however, would disagree with that statement. I for one much rather type on Topre caps than SPs crap. Some sets are nice to look at. All of them are, in my opinion, shit to type on. Moreover, no matter what you dress your modern day MX switches up with, it's still a turd underneath.
Last edited by Khers on 25 Jun 2016, 14:56, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

25 Jun 2016, 13:57

zslane wrote: And by that measure, Topre boards will never be high-end until they can be delivered (or swapped) with Space Cadet keycaps
Novatouch. Also Topre seems to have a change in mind.
002 wrote: Some more pics and stuff here: http://www.gdm.or.jp/crew/2016/0601/164591
Finally they reveal what the slider and housing look like:

Image
product-news-f44/realforce-rgb-revealed ... ilit=topre

User avatar
cookie

25 Jun 2016, 19:57

I am so glad that Stock HHKB/Realforce caps are so damn good, otherwise I'd be forced to salvage a nova to get some decent caps on my HHKBs :D

Even though that I cry for MX Sliders on every opportunity It is still hard to find a nice set of caps which will fit on a HHKB(ish) layout. My Cherry MX project is still not done and I've ordered a PBC from matt3o like 2 years ago!

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

25 Jun 2016, 20:06

Both PFU and Topre stock keycaps are pretty nice, in that price range they better be. Not sure about the Novatouch. The Topre keycaps in that RGB presentation look horrible IMO.

User avatar
zslane

25 Jun 2016, 20:51

Khers wrote:
zslane wrote: [...]And by that measure, Topre boards will never be high-end until they can be delivered (or swapped) with Space Cadet keycaps.[...]
Plenty others, however, would disagree with that statement.
Of course they would! I'm just stirring the pot.

User avatar
Chyros

25 Jun 2016, 21:07

In all fairness, they are the best caps I've ever seen. As far as custom keycaps go they're by far the most interesting I've ever seen.

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zslane

25 Jun 2016, 22:00

seebart wrote:
zslane wrote: And by that measure, Topre boards will never be high-end until they can be delivered (or swapped) with Space Cadet keycaps
Novatouch. Also Topre seems to have a change in mind.
Yes, I am excited to try the new Topre board when it becomes available. And I'm really hoping someone will sell it with an (off-)white case (not just black).

I have no use for the TKL format, so the Novatouch might as well not exist as far as I'm concerned.

User avatar
ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

26 Jun 2016, 03:47

As most people here, I agree to say that Fujitsu leaf spring switches are completely underrated.
I never felt such smoothness in any other switch, really. We should take those switches back from the grave on a custom project, that would be awesome!

In my opinion, most Alps switches are overrated, especially "rare" variants. They're all very vulnerable to time and dust, as opposite to Cherry MX switches which, while still vulnerable to dust to a lower extent, tend to get better and better with time. Also, Alps keycaps suck balls, like... really. In comparison to Cherry keycaps, that's a big joke.
To conclude with Alps on a more positive note, I feel like white Alps are underrated, just because they are so common. Browns have a great feel too.

About nixies... I don't think they are overrated. They actually are the smoothest Cherry switches out there. What's not playing in their favor though, is that you can get the exact same result by adding a small amount of lube in a vintage black and changing its spring.

Another underrated switch is the Olivetti switch found in ANK 25 series. The travel is a tad too short, but it gives one of the most impressive tactile feedback I've ever had, comparable to Topre switches.

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