Gateron have cloned MX Silent switches

davkol

09 Sep 2017, 12:55

There's a preorder for damped Gateron switches in the KBDfans store; expected to ship in November/October. Red/Black/Brown variants, i.e., including a tactile switch. Price: $0.38 per switch.

There's a demo comparing Gateron/Cherry MX Red, but unfortunately excluding MX Silent Red:

Findecanor

09 Sep 2017, 15:42

Brown!

lepidus

09 Sep 2017, 17:42

Can they do that? Shouldn't cherry have any kind of patent thingy on their silent stems?
Spoiler:
Not that most chinese manufactures care tho.

davkol

09 Sep 2017, 18:16

Matias Quiet Click switches have had the same kind of damping for years, and damped Alps SKCM (such as those in most Apple Extended Keyboards) used the same thing back in the 1990s. So, no.

Findecanor

09 Sep 2017, 19:35

In patents, the exactly specified details matter. Also, Cherry has only a pending application - it is not sure yet that it will be deemed novel enough to be granted.
If Gateron manage to avoid the specific details written in the Cherry patent application that separate it from prior art (i.e. Alps) then they won't be hindered by Cherry's patent, if it will be granted.

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zslane

09 Sep 2017, 20:28

Does Cherry file PCT applications as a routine matter for things like switches? More importantly, does China have a history of granting Chinese patents for foreign applications filed through the IPCU?

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PollandAkuma

09 Sep 2017, 21:58

Interested to see how it compares with the "original". And silent tactile sounds interesting.

davkol

19 Sep 2017, 01:37

I hope they'll feel better than genuine MX Silent, because that one feels wrong… as if stem sides had a slightly grippy rubber coating or something. I'm not too optimistic, though, because gateron housings are already louder than cherry.

Jailhouse blue (jspacer method) with Cherry MX housing is my favorite quiet tactile MX-mount switch at this point. Kailh Copper is similarly tactile and has longer travel (which I like), but the housing is too loud (and incompatible with damping clips). I wonder if the stem fits in a Cherry MX housing… it does and it doesn't feel bad, actually. Kind of like jailhouse blue with longer post-travel.

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rominronin

11 Jan 2018, 10:05

Has anyone tried these out yet? Care to share any feedback?

There are so few reviews out there. The videos don't really tell you anything about the feel (and its debatable how useful the sound comparison is).

I ordered the Aliaz tactile switches from kbdfans, I'm wondering if I should order a batch of silent browns to compare them with.

Menuhin

11 Jan 2018, 16:49

I have a batch of Gateron silent blacks, and the key feel is quite good, and of course more silent compared to normal Gateron blacks or Cherry blacks I have. I have yet to try a board full with re-tooled Cherry (black or clear), so for now I still prefer Gaterons which are obviously (for me) smoother than my modern Cherry blacks.

Here's a review, no strong opinion in there but it seems there is no issue at least:
https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyb ... nt_blacks/

P.s. I just loaded my 4-column switch tester with these (all out of the factory state, i.e. not lubed):
  • Gateron yellows (milky);
  • Gateron blacks (milky);
  • Gateron silent blacks;
  • Cherry silent blacks (they're among Cherry's retooled switches, though Cherry denied for marketing reason);
  • Kailh box blacks.
Executive summary: everyone has to try Kailh box blacks, weird new switch design getting consistent good review is not a hype.

These are all top linear choices for me, and they are all smoother than modern Cherry blacks (the versions before being retooled) and other Cherry copies.
In terms of smoothness - they are all very smooth to be fair, just a hairline subjective perceptual difference:
Kailh box blacks = Gateron yellows >= Gateron blacks > Gateron silent blacks >= Cherry silent retooled blacks

In terms of wobbling:
Cherry silent retooled blacks < Gateron silent blacks < Kailh box blacks < Gateron blacks = Gateron yellows

In terms of silencing or quietness:
Cherry silent retooled blacks >= Gateron silent blacks > Kailh box blacks >= Gateron blacks = Gateron yellows

I don't bother about wobbling when I use my keyboards, and it isn't so bad as rumored, so Gateron milky blacks and yellows are still be top options.

The silencing performance will make the scratchy noise between stems and housing more obvious, as the bottoming out and the bouncing back up clacks are muted. I rarely bottom out when I am using heavy enough linear switches (e.g. not Gateron clears, and not Cherry reds) and unless the users have very heavy typing style, e.g. > 90Kg / 200 lbs with fingers thicker than Churchill size cigars, the bottoming out muting will show their effect once in a while. The muting mechanism is so effective that it makes the bottoming out sound of a silent switch, equivalent to the noise of one hitting hard onto the switch housing - basically the noise from the switch housing, as connected to the plate and the keyboard. However, the real deal is more in the rebounce silencing in my opinion.

Of course, one can also lube their switches, and I can too. But I think if the out of the box experience is not as desired by the users, the manufacturers definitely have things to improve. (Therefore there is the niche for Zealios, don't know how more labor intensive is for them to lube)

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