New F77 or a Unicomp?

Finners

30 Mar 2021, 00:46

Have you typed on both a Unicomp M and a new F77 ?

Unfortunately I will never get to try either before buying so really relying on the opinions of you guys!

For me, it is all about feel and typing experience. Looks, build quality are not important.

kmnov2017

30 Mar 2021, 01:13

A model F feels waaaay better than an M anyday. Model Fs are noisier though...

fbblovezl

30 Mar 2021, 05:11

do you have the email addres of https://www.modelfkeyboards.com/ ????????? could you give me if you know it
I paid long time ago , but now i can not contact with the seller on this website, im chinese, its really hard to but things abord to me
Thanks

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Weezer

30 Mar 2021, 05:58

The seller is a member here. Check out the thread about the new model f

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Bjerrk

30 Mar 2021, 10:20

I have a Unicomp Model M as well as a New Model F77 and a 1987 IBM Model M.

I must say that I vastly prefer the typing feel of the Model F. This is mostly because of the weighting, though. To me, the membrane buckling springs of the Model M are simply too stiff. They're fun to type on for a while, though.

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Palatino

30 Mar 2021, 10:35

I prefer the Model F for typing feel, and I think you'll struggle to find someone who prefers the M. However, my Model M was my favourite keyboard for typing feel before my F came, so the M is not a bad choice if you've tried neither before. It's much better than almost everything else, and also much cheaper than an F. You could order an M, and if you love it, either stick with it, or get an F too, either keeping or selling the M. You won't lose much selling on a nearly new M.

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ddrfraser1

30 Mar 2021, 10:36

I don’t know man, both are great. It really comes down to how much do you want to spend. While I would say the new model M typing experience isn’t quite as good as an old one from 1985, it is still awesome. M versus F? Most say the F is better but I really like them both for what they are. I don’t think I could pick between them.

Finners

30 Mar 2021, 12:58

ok great. Does anybody know the current backlog if I order a new Model F77 today from modelfkeyboards.com?

Dikkus

30 Mar 2021, 12:59

I own a few vintage Model Ms, a few newer Unicomp models, and one of the recent F reproductions.

New Unicomp models actually feel closer to an F than the old Model Ms do, partly due to the thinner latex mat I think. This results in a sharper feeling than old Ms which have a thicker rubber mat in it. You can actually take out the mat altogether and make it feel even more like an F.

But other than the sharper tactility and the slight weighting reduction, there honestly isn't a huge difference between an M and an F in my experience. The way people hyped it up to me made it seem like there was a gulf of quality difference between the two, and I have to disagree. Both are great switch designs and you could be perfectly happy with either. Sure, there are differences but they aren't as pronounced as some people say IMO.

Dikkus

30 Mar 2021, 13:00

Finners wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 12:58
ok great. Does anybody know the current backlog if I order a new Model F77 today from modelfkeyboards.com?
You can ask Ellipse, you know.

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Palatino

30 Mar 2021, 13:03

I'd email - info@modelfkeyboards.com - then you can also talk over layouts, colours etc.

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Bjerrk

30 Mar 2021, 13:16

Dikkus wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 12:59
Sure, there are differences but they aren't as pronounced as some people say IMO.
It may not be a night and day difference, but it sure is night and late evening dagnabbit! ;)

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Muirium
µ

30 Mar 2021, 13:22

Strongly disagree with Dikkus. I pulled the mat out my Model M 122 key when restoring it, and while it did make a difference—you could feel the hammers plinking, and hear them too—it was nothing like a Model F whatsoever. If Model F was only as good as that, I'd be a hardcore beamspring supremacist! I've got all three, and Model F is so good it's closer to beamspring in my esteem than it is to Model M's low baseline.

I'd have already let my Kishsaver go for one of those 4 figure offers I've gotten for it, if it was just a Model M in lipstick! :lol:

As for the OP: what's the price of each option, the way you'd want it? And have you any experience with buckling spring at all? As much as I reckon Model F to be better, I can't vouch for Ellipse's reproductions. Unicomp's new SSK could be a good first choice, at a much more appealing price.

Dikkus

30 Mar 2021, 13:41

Muirium wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 13:22
Strongly disagree with Dikkus. I pulled the mat out my Model M 122 key when restoring it, and while it did make a difference—you could feel the hammers plinking, and hear them too—it was nothing like a Model F whatsoever. If Model F was only as good as that, I'd be a hardcore beamspring supremacist! I've got all three, and Model F is so good it's closer to beamspring in my esteem than it is to Model M's low baseline.

I'd have already let my Kishsaver go for one of those 4 figure offers I've gotten for it, if it was just a Model M in lipstick! :lol:

As for the OP: what's the price of each option, the way you'd want it? And have you any experience with buckling spring at all? As much as I reckon Model F to be better, I can't vouch for Ellipse's reproductions. Unicomp's new SSK could be a good first choice, at a much more appealing price.
Well I can only speak for Ellipse's reproductions. I've never tried a proper F. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with the reproduction overall, what with there being some pretty scratchy stabilizers for instance. Hell, my Unicomp was smoother than my reproduction F. Though the reproduction F has the nice benefit of it buckling and actuating much higher up the travel by comparison - on membrane buckling springs I always have to nearly bottom out before it buckles, but on the F it was a more relaxed typing experience.

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Bjerrk

30 Mar 2021, 13:44

Hm, apparently YMMV? On my Brand New Model F77, the stabilized keys are extremely smooth. Among the best I've tried.

Dikkus

30 Mar 2021, 13:46

Bjerrk wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 13:44
Hm, apparently YMMV? On my Brand New Model F77, the stabilized keys are extremely smooth. Among the best I've tried.
Yes, I haven't seen many complaints about the stabilizers either. I think I just have a crummy unit. But man, they bind terribly. It's been boxed up for awhile because there's nothing worse than terrible stabilizers in my opinion.

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Muirium
µ

30 Mar 2021, 13:46

Aye, the higher actuation is one of the most striking differences between the two, originally as well.

I'd be amazed if Ellipse managed to make them within spec like IBM did. Chinese manufacturing is… the kind you need an utterly ruthless QA staff to police for you!

A few years ago, Unicomp were pretty damn sloppy. But, to their credit, they seem to have really pulled it around just recently. Impressive! There's something to be said for made in USA once again!

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ddrfraser1

30 Mar 2021, 14:22

'Murica. We make F-16s, keyboards and freedom.

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Muirium
µ

30 Mar 2021, 14:34

But not F62s or F77s. Sadly.

(Pictures airstrikes of deadly IBM ordnance raining down on keyboard collectors. "Love bombing" indeed.)

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

30 Mar 2021, 20:20

I disagree as well, model F and model M difference is night and day. Model F is crisper and smoother. It's better than an M in every way. In fact I never use model M's for this reason.

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ddrfraser1

30 Mar 2021, 20:28

Different strokes

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Muirium
µ

30 Mar 2021, 20:42

Well, certainly different prices!

I’d actually tip the new Unicomp over the F77 remake. That is NOT me saying M is as good as F. But the new SSK’s price is quite compelling. Try it first.

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raoulduke-esq

30 Mar 2021, 22:07

Get your M before your F so you appreciate the F more.

cmasontaylor

31 Mar 2021, 15:44

I wouldn't overlook the possibility that the F77 layout will bother you. Do you have experience with other small/non-standard layouts?

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robo

31 Mar 2021, 20:06

I have an F77 on order but would definitely recommend going Unicomp if you have not tried either and care about typing feel and price and not looks or build quality.

No, they won't feel exactly the same, but there's a reason the Model M is still regarded as the 'classic' outside of very niche keyboard enthusiast circles. It's extremely good, reliable, and still relatively affordable. I think Unicomp's boards are ugly as hell, but they are nevertheless keeping the technology alive and at a reasonable price, so I applaud them for that.

Anyway, yeah, you sound like an ideal Unicomp buyer. Go for it.

micmil

01 Apr 2021, 05:06

Finners wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 00:46
Have you typed on both a Unicomp M and a new F77 ?

Unfortunately I will never get to try either before buying so really relying on the opinions of you guys!

For me, it is all about feel and typing experience. Looks, build quality are not important.
This is a loaded question. The only group of people louder than F-heads is Linux nerds. It's kind of like going to r/mechanicalkeyboards and asking if you should buy a Corsair or a box full of rotting plague rats. The plague rats will win every time.

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Reshala

01 Apr 2021, 05:39

I won't say either M or F is superior, they are... different. Repro f has a very light typing feel(lighter than most og model f) which I enjoy a lot, but some people may find it too light. I still find myself enjoy model M even my daily is a Repro F.

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Muirium
µ

01 Apr 2021, 11:14

A perfectly fair opinion. It's ultimately subjective. Just be wary, anyone, of trying to insist your subjectivity takes precedence over mine. :lol:
micmil wrote:
01 Apr 2021, 05:06
It's kind of like going to r/mechanicalkeyboards and asking if you should buy a Corsair or a box full of rotting plague rats. The plague rats will win every time.
Well… one of them is definitely more desirable for your siege trebuchet.

Rhododendron

01 Apr 2021, 14:59

Dikkus wrote:
30 Mar 2021, 12:59
The way people hyped it up to me made it seem like there was a gulf of quality difference between the two, and I have to disagree. Both are great switch designs and you could be perfectly happy with either.
micmil wrote:
01 Apr 2021, 05:06
This is a loaded question. The only group of people louder than F-heads is Linux nerds. It's kind of like going to r/mechanicalkeyboards and asking if you should buy a Corsair or a box full of rotting plague rats. The plague rats will win every time.
I agree. Typing on a Model F after having used a Model M isn't going to be the enlightening event that some people make it out to be. Overall I would say the Model F is nicer, although it is much noisier than a Model M. Also, the lighter feel doesn't have to be an advantage, I actually like the Model M's heavier weighting better, so I swapped the springs in my F with M-springs. In your case, the more than hefty price, long waiting time and questionable chinese machining are additional negative factors.
Good luck deciding! Just keep in mind people's opinions are always biased, in the end only you can know for sure.

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Palatino

01 Apr 2021, 15:11

Rhododendron wrote:
01 Apr 2021, 14:59
in the end only you can know for sure.
Very true. And also why I've gone from 1 to 50 keyboards. But even though I now know for sure, I need to keep them all in case I forget, or my opinion changes, or someone asks me for a dome-with-slider doorstop or blue oval paperweight or a bag of random keycaps to use as confetti at a keyboard-themed wedding. The last time I threw something away, I was eight, and I still regret it.

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