Topre 45g (FC660C) vs cherry mx blues, in terms of fatigue


20 Feb 2021, 09:12

Hey guys,

I am considering buying a Leopold FC660C (factory silenced), with topre 45g. I currently have a cherry mx blue keyboard and I wonder which of those (cherry mx blue or fc660c) is more fatiguing in writing/typing.

Anyone that has tried both of them could help me out? Will I feel more fatigue writing with the topre or with the Mx blues?

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20 Feb 2021, 12:08

Topre is much, much smoother than MX blues. It's smoother than MX red! I find no fatigue at all on Topre, that's why I love it so. But ask the internet and you'll always find more opinions…

The main thing you'll notice is how much quieter Topre is than blue, and the tactile feel is much rounder than MX blue's crinkly feeling click. Smooth the word, for sure. I like it a lot.

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20 Feb 2021, 14:00

What he said.

Topre will not be more fatiguing than blues.


21 Feb 2021, 08:17

interestingly, in regards to smoothness, both of the Topre boards i used for awhile were quite scratchy. both Leopolds, too.

also the springs clicked. a lot. which made it particularly distracting on the silenced 660c i tried. it was a real nasty sound, too; not a pleasant soft click or anything.

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21 Feb 2021, 12:20

^ See what I said about opinions and the internet! To be fair, I've never tried a Leopold board myself. My experience is all Topre's own Realforce line, HHKBs and a couple of NovaTouches. I do know many people rave about the FC660C (including Matt3o as I recall) but the layout has never appealed to me, so I don't have one. I'm an HHKB purist!

Topre's springs are meant to be dead silent. I've been inside a few Realforces and NovaTouches (to install upstroke silencing rings) and had my hands on a few hundred of those wee conical springs. None of them clicked. Their only function is to be the metal that the PCB senses when you press their keys.

Here's a vid I made a few years ago, talking through Topre and MX with several boards of each. The camerawork is super dodgy, but I stand by what I said!
Skip to 8 minutes to see the MX vs. Topre smoothness comparison.


21 Feb 2021, 18:29

Muirium wrote:
21 Feb 2021, 12:20
^ See what I said about opinions and the internet!
I know what you mean, but I feel like I have to stress that it wasn't an opinion, but a matter of fact. Whether or not it was dodgy QC isn't known, but I could very clearly hear the springs click. Not all of the keys had this problem, so I opened up the board and swapped around the springs, and, sure enough, I could hear a difference; when replacing one spring that I *knew* wasn't clicking with one that I *knew* was, the difference was audible upon reassembly. I did google the problem and it seems other people have had similar issues with the Leopold line up -- some even going as far as to lube the PCB to stop their springs from making noise. Maybe it's an issue of the springs getting caught awkwardly in the rubber housing? I have no idea. All I know is that it was annoying.

I'll be trying out a friend's HHKB this week.

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21 Feb 2021, 20:39

Indeed. I hear you! No amount of good internet reputation overrides direct first hand experience. I've never had an FC660C myself so it's all hearsay from me. Could well be they've gone south, quality wise, in recent years. I was around when Leopold launched them in the first place, and my impressions were shaped by people's raves back then.

When I first posted in this thread, I used those weasel words about opinions because I expected a good old fashioned flamewar between MX and Topre folks. Where'd that go? Aren't we due a fight?

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21 Feb 2021, 23:52

I also remember when Leopold launched it was all the rage. No first hand experience though, sorry.

I don't think there's enough people left interested to even start flame wars.

I find Topre less fatiguing and more pleasant. I used to use MX blues exclusively for years and years, before this mechanical keyboard world even started off. I have made the switch to Topre around 6-7 years ago and haven't looked back. Well, perhaps a few ganders back, but not much more than that.


25 Feb 2021, 20:29

The MX blues will be more fatiguing and that's because of the sound.

I can work with the FC660C all day and some more after that, but MX blues just wear me out. I've made an effort to do something with them, but nope.

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