Are there two types of undamped Cream ALPS?

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joebeazelman

17 Jan 2020, 02:58

I have a bunch of NeXT non-adb keyboards with ALPS black switches. I wasn't lucky enough to get the slightly older model featuring ALPS cream switches. The wiki claims undamped alps cream switches are very rare and lists only NeXT and Canon typewriters as having these switches.

I can't find the post any longer, but someone posted that the Canon cream switches are different from NeXT ones. There was no objective evidence provided such as model numbers or switch features. Of course, switches can vary a lot due to wide range of factors. Still, I would like to know if there are any difference between the two switches.

Also, I would love to hear opinions on what they are like in terms of sound and tactility. Are they as yummy as Ambers, Blues or Monterey blues?

User avatar
Chyros

17 Jan 2020, 08:16

They're not clicky, so it's hard to make a comparison, I would think.

User avatar
Guchay

22 Jan 2020, 03:24

I believe the first mention of the different weightings between SKCM Cream from a Next vs Canon was here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45 ... msg2182133. Jacobolus also put a picture differentiating the differences between the two switches here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45 ... msg2183076. As you can see, there is a different spring, tactile leaf, switchplate, and upper housing.

I have SKCM Cream switches from a Memorex Telex 122(not mentioned on wiki), which appears to have the same switches found in the Next Non-ADB(white switchplate, no logo). I tested the switches using the nickle method and they are indeed 70g(12 nickels), however I don't own a Canon typewriter and sold my Next so I can't compare. Maybe @E3Eves can chime in?

As far as feeling go, I'll try and do my best to describe and compare it to other switches. Basically, there are 3 generations of alps(4 including matias), and through these generations the parts changed, and objectively made the switches worse. SKCM Cream is a gen 1 tactile switch, and was made contemporary with SKCM Blue, meaning SKCM Cream is basically a tactile version of SKCM Blue. SKCM Cream is older than SKCM Orange and Salmon, so it has older parts which weren't affected as much with cost reduction. In terms of weighting, SKCM Cream sits right in between Orange and Salmon. For a lot of people, Orange is almost a perfect weighting where as Salmon seems to be a bit too heavy. For me personally, SKCM Cream has a perfect weighting for tactile switches. SKCM Cream also feels more refined(in-part to the earlier production date), more smooth, better sounding, and snappier. Comparing the tactility to other switches, it's probably just a little more tactile than Oranges but less than Salmons(probably due to the higher spring weight which usually attributes to greater tactility), and certainly not as much as SKCM Brown. All in all, I'd say it's 10%-15% better than SKCM Orange, whether that is worth the 300% price increase($1 vs $3/switch)of Orange vs Cream is up to you.
Last edited by Guchay on 22 Jan 2020, 09:07, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Chyros

22 Jan 2020, 08:09

The black Alps in the NeXT will be pine ones, which are the older variety of SKCMAP. These are considerably better than the later ones used in the AT101W, honestly pretty decent switches IMO!

User avatar
joebeazelman

05 Mar 2020, 01:54

Yup! I remember your videos about the pine vs bamboo switches and thought you were being overly subjective. I have both variety of switches now; one from the Next and the other from a AT101W. I always liked my Dell bigfoot and didn't think the black ALPS were all that bad. They're certainly not up to the level of Ambers, Blues and Oranges, but better than the vast majority of switches out there.

When I first got my Next keyboard, my first thought was to upgrade the switches, not realizing they were different from the ones on my AT101W. When I tried typing on them...good god! I gave an orgasmic screech as my fingers bottomed out. It was like pressing firm, titty nipples! They're more like oranges but slightly heavier weighting. They are definitely on my favorites list.

I wonder if the creams are a reformulation of the blacks based on the description of the ALPS cream. My Next keyboard has the old style big ass enter keyboard, while the cream ones have the newer ANSI style enter key. I suspect that when ALPS retooled, they positioned the cream switches to be a substitute part.

User avatar
//gainsborough
ALPSの日常

05 Mar 2020, 02:17

There are two kinds of undampened creams: switches with 2-tab tactile leaves and switches with 4-tab tactile leaves.

Here's a pic I took of the different types:

Image

Image

I found the 2-tab switches in an old canon typewriter.

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