KBP V60 Matias Click and Matias Quiet Click Keyboards

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Hypersphere

27 Dec 2014, 00:13

Introduction: From Full-Size to 60% Keyboards

My introduction to mechanical keyboards started with the IBM Model M, which is definitely a full-size keyboard complete with a main typing area, navigation island with arrow keys, a numeric keypad, and a row of Function keys along the top.

As I learned more, I discovered "tenkeyless" (TKL) keyboards that lacked the numeric keypad. Upon trying this form factor, I realized that the smaller design was more ergonomic. The TKL allowed me to keep the mouse closer to my centerline and helped prevent a painful condition called "mouse shoulder". I seldom use the numeric keypad in my full-size keyboards anyway, but for those who like to have the option, some TKLs are equipped with an embedded numeric keypad that can be activated, for example, by hitting NumLock or Shift+NumLock.

The TKLs were an improvement for reclaiming desk space and they seem to have been gaining in popularity, but they retained an awkward feature -- asymmetry. By eliminating the navigation island with its inverted-T of arrow or cursor keys, the keyboard gained an overall symmetry -- it could be aligned with the centerline of the user's body and the center of the computer monitor. At the same time, a keyboard without a navigation island was shorter in length, making it possible to move the mouse even closer to the centerline, resulting in even greater efficiency and ergonomic comfort.

Some people, myself included, seldom use the top row of Function keys (F-keys). Therefore, going a step beyond eliminating the navigation island with its cursor keys, it was possible to reduce the front-to-back width of the keyboard by eliminating the top row of F-keys. The resulting device is commonly called a 60% keyboard; it contains roughly 60% of the number of keys found on a full-size contemporary keyboard and is approximately 60% of full-size length. Despite the small size and reduced number of keys, 60% keyboards retain full functionality in a hidden functional layer by accessing navigation and F-keys via a Fn key in combination with keys in the visible primary layer. For example, F2 might be accessed via Fn+2, and Up Arrow might be accessed by Fn+[ or Fn+w, depending upon the keyboard.

Until recently, the world of 60% form-factor keyboards has been dominated by the Topre-switch Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 (HHKB Pro 2) at the high end of the market and the Cherry mx-switch Poker II at the low end. As 60% keyboards have been gaining in popularity, new models have been introduced, such as the Filco Minila, Tex Beetle and Ducky Shine Mini. The Ducky Shine Mini retained a standard layout like the Poker II, while the Minila and Beetle added dedicated arrow keys in the visible primary layer at the expense of changing the standard layout and changing the standard sizes of some keys. These three mini keyboards all use Cherry mx switches.

Toward the end of 2014, Massdrop announced a Group Buy for the Infinity 60 keyboard kit with a layout inspired by the HHKB Pro 2 and a printed circuit board (PCB) compatible with either Cherry mx or Alps-inspired Matias switches. In addition, Matias started a Group Buy for its own 60% design that incorporates arrow keys in the visible primary layer. The Matias keyboard maintains a standard layout in the main typing area by using half-height arrow keys, which is possible with Matias switches but not possible with Cherry mx switches.

Finally, Keyboard Paradise (KBP) expanded its new 60% line of Cherry mx keyboards (the KBP V60) by adding keyboards with Matias switches. These include the Matias Click (also known as the Matias Tactile Click), the Matias Quiet Click, and the newest addition to the Matias-switch line, the Matias Linear. The KBP V60 Matias Click (abbreviated here as V60MTS-C) and Matias Quiet Click (abbreviated here as V60MTS-Q) are the subjects of this comparative review.

KBP V60MTS Mini Keyboard -- Overall

Packaging. Each V60 MTS keyboard is packaged in a sturdy and attractive black and red box that is suitably small for a 60% keyboard -- the box is even smaller than the one that comes with the HHKB Pro 2. The keyboard is wrapped in a thin, flexible styrofoam sleeve. Along with the keyboard is a small plastic bag with an assortment of extra keycaps, a plastic keycap puller, a mini-USB cable, and a handy two-sided manual sheet written entirely in English. The manual has an overall layout chart, tables and partial layout charts showing the effects of different DIP switch settings, and tables depicting the functions of the Fn key.

Size and weight. The V60MTS measures 11.5 x 4.0 x 1.6 inches (292 x 102 x 40.6 mm) and weighs 1.2 lb (544 g). This is slightly smaller and a bit heavier than the HHKB Pro 2.

Appearance. The keyboard has a black ABS plastic case with a textured matte finish. The stock keycaps are thin ABS with laser-engraved infilled legends (Figure 1).
Fig1_V60MTS-C_stock.png
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Construction. The KBP V60MTS is made in Taiwan. The keyboard feels solid, and the case is rigid and does not flex or creak. The keyboard sits level on the desk and is held in place by four non-skid rubber pads. The bottom of the case is slanted to provide a comfortable typing height. However, it does not have flip-out feet. Accordingly, because I like just a bit more tilt, I have added self-adhesive white silicone rubber feet, as shown in Figure 2; this is a readily reversible enhancement, as the feet can be peeled away from the case without leaving a residue. The keyboard has plate-mounted switches and uses Alps-type wire stabilizers for the long keys (Backspace, Enter, Left Shift, Right Shift, and Spacebar).

Features. As shown in Figure 2, There are 6 DIP switches on the bottom of the keyboard. These provide 15 configurations including a variety of placements for Escape, Fn, CapsLock, Tab, Win, Alt, and Menu. The Fn key can be used in combination with other keys to control some 36 functions. The DIP switch and Fn options are clearly listed in the manual, and functions in the Fn layer are displayed on the front of the keycaps as shown in Figure 1.
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The Matias-switch versions of the KBP V60 keyboard do not include backlighting, as found in the Cherry mx versions of the V60. I prefer not to have backlighting, in part because I usually swap out stock keycaps for solid caps without windowed legends. There are, however, two indicator LEDs -- one for CapsLock and the other under the Right Shift to indicate that certain keys have been toggled to arrow keys.

Typing Sound and Feel -- V60MTS-C

Matias Click switches are also known as Matias Tactile Click switches, despite the fact that both Matias Click and Matias Quiet Click switches are equally and emphatically tactile. As their "click" moniker indicates, these switches click, and they do so with a vengeance. However, although the switch is loud, I like the Matias click sound, which I find similar to the that of IBM capacitive buckling springs found in Model F keyboards, such as the IBM XT. The Matias click is deeper and more metallic than the higher pitched plasticky sound of Cherry mx blue or green switches.

The tactility of the Matias Click switch is pronounced and occurs early in the keystroke, coincident with actuation and the audible click. Actuation force of the Matias Click switch is 60 cN (g) and the key travel is 3.5 mm, which might be compared to Cherry mx Blue (55 g and 4.0 mm) or Cherry mx Clear (65 g and 4.0 mm). However, the Matias Click switch does not feel at all heavy or abrupt.

I have not seen a force-displacement curve for Matias switches, but to me their feel is nothing like a Cherry mx switch. The Matias switch feels as if actuation occurs at the same time as the tactile bump and audible click, with decreasing force thereafter. In contrast, in Cherry mx switches, the force continues to increase past the actuation point.

Whatever the scientific explanations might be, I prefer Matias Click switches over any Cherry mx switch for typing sound and feel. Indeed, I would rank the typing experience with Matias Click switches at a similar level with Topre or IBM capacitive buckling spring (Model F) switches and somewhat better than IBM membrane buckling spring (Model M) switches.

Typing Sound and Feel -- V60MTS-Q

Matias Quiet switches do not have an audible click, and they have built-in dampeners to deaden both the downstroke and return stroke sounds. However, they feel as if they have the same pronounced tactility as the Click version, and they have the same actuation force and displacement (60 g and 3.5 mm). The Matias Quiet switches are indeed quiet -- they seem quieter than my HHKB Pro 2 Type-S or any other keyboard I have ever used. The feel is reminiscent of Cherry mx Clears, but smoother and without the fatiguing post-actuation rise in force required to continue to the end of the stroke. I prefer typing on the KBP V60MTS-Q over any Cherry mx keyboard, and like the KBP V60MTS-C, I would rate the keyboard favorably alongside my IBM XT, Realforce 87u (both 45 and 55g Topre switches), and HHKB Pro 2 (45g Topre, both standard and Type-S).

It was difficult to decide which Matias version (Quiet or Click) I prefer. The Click version provides a more definitive typing experience -- the audible click reinforces the tactile feedback. However, the Click keyboard is definitely noisy, and if I were typing in the presence of others, I might need to sacrifice the additional feedback for keeping the peace with my family or colleagues by opting for the Quiet version. On the other hand, I find the relatively deep metallic sound of the Click version to be personally agreeable, unlike the higher-pitched plasticky noise made by Cherry mx keyboards.

Enhancements -- Layout.

The KBP V60 keyboards have a wealth of DIP switch settings and Fn key combinations, but while I found some of the DIP switch settings useful, I promptly remapped the keyboard to my favorite layout (that of the HHKB Pro 2 and Mac OS X mode) using Karabiner software for the Mac. Fortunately, it is possible to swap Fn with a remappable key, so that even though I ended up discarding all the default Fn-key functions, I was able to define my own by using Karabiner. This enabled me to swap Backspace and Backslash, remap CapsLock as Control and Fn+Tab as CapsLock, and to set up the bottom row as Ctrl, Opt/Alt, Command, Spacebar, Command, Opt/Alt, Ctrl, Fn.

Enhancements -- Keycaps.

Like many contemporary keyboards, the KBP V60MTS-C and V60MTS-Q keyboards are populated by thin ABS keycaps with laser-engraved infilled legends. In the case of Cherry mx keyboards, there is a wealth of excellent replacement keycap sets available, and I usually opt for dye-sublimated PBT for aesthetics, longevity, visibility, and feel. To me, ABS feels clammy and overly smooth, whereas PBT feels agreeably dry and slightly textured -- some PBT keycaps feel somewhat like pumice stone.

Unfortunately, as good as Matias switches are, they have key stems that are compatible only with Matias or some Alps-mount keycaps. Although Matias will be offering keycaps on their web site relatively soon, these will only be ABS, at least at first, and it is not yet known if they will offer keycaps to fit the bottom row of the KBP V60 Matias keyboards. Consequently, in order to replace the stock ABS keycaps on the KBP V60 Matias keyboards, they must be sourced from vintage Alps-switch keyboards. Fortunately, such keyboards can still be found.

For example, Figure 3 shows the KBP V60MTS-Q with lasered ABS modifiers from a Dell AT101W and alphanumerics from a SIIG Suntouch Jr. The doubleshot caps look great, but being ABS they feel clammy.
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Figure 4 is a view of the V60MTS-C with dye-sublimated PBT keycaps from an IBM 5140 convertible computer. The IBM keycaps look beautiful, and they have the unmistakeable dry touch of PBT. The modifiers are stock ABS; the red Escape key is doubleshot ABS from Signature Plastics. This Figure also captures a minor quibble: only one Mac OS X Command keycap was included with the extra keycaps. This omission reflects the default setup options, which do not include having a Command key on each side of the spacebar, but this is possible using the right combination of DIP switch settings and Karabiner software.
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Figure 5 illustrates another minor quibble. Neither the CapsLock nor the Control keycap for the CapsLock position had a window for the indicator LED, although there is sufficient light leakage to see when the CapsLock is on (Fn+Tab in my case).
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Conclusions

The KBP V60MTS-C and V60MTS-Q are notable keyboards that offer Matias Click or Matias Quiet Click switches in a 60% form factor keyboard with a standard layout. DIP switches provide layout options, and in combination with Karabiner software, it is easy to configure the keyboard to various layouts, including Mac/HHKB.

Typing on either the V60MTS-C or the V60 MTS-Q is a pleasure. I much prefer either Matias switch to any Cherry mx switch (including red, black, brown, clear, blue, and green). The Matias Click and Matias Quiet Click both offer superb tactile feedback, and the Click switch adds auditory feedback that coincides with the tactile bump and actuation. Overall, I prefer the sound and feel of the Matias Click switch by a small margin, but if I need silence when typing, the Matias Quiet Click version of the keyboard is the quietest mechanical keyboard I have ever encountered.

An advantage of premium keyboards such as the Topre Realforce 87u, HHKB Pro 2, or vintage IBM buckling spring keyboards is their stock dye-sublimated PBT keycaps. For those who do not like the stock ABS laser-engraved/infilled keycaps on the KBP V60MTS keyboards, the relative shortage of replacement keycaps with Alps/Matias stems is a drawback. However, at least some replacement keycaps will soon be offered for sale on the Matias web site, and it is possible to source excellent replacement keycaps from certain Alps-compatible keyboards.

Overall, I really like the KBP V60MTS keyboards, and I intend to add them to the all-time favorites in my keyboard rotation along with such notables as the IBM XT, RF 87ub 55g, and HHKB Pro 2.
Last edited by Hypersphere on 27 Dec 2014, 16:30, edited 1 time in total.

pcaro

27 Dec 2014, 10:54

Nice review!

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Muirium
µ

27 Dec 2014, 13:27

Don't get your hopes too high for Matias' replacement caps. Cap and case quality are his perennial weak points, from what I've heard. You're likely stuck with those stock mods you've got there. The sacrifice of Alps!

Something I'll try when my parcel from 7bit shows up is a damped clicky Matias switch mod. I've got a few of all three types (click, damped tactile, and linear) to experiment with in making hybrids. The dampers are the star of the "quiet click" tactile switch. I'm thinking of damping the clickies to see how they turn out.

If I had one of these boards to hand, I'd pop on my Alps > MX adapters. When Mr. Interface next shows up, I'll ask him about where to send some next. The prototypes are too tight for safe general use, but they make a fine experiment.

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Daniel Beardsmore

27 Dec 2014, 14:22

Hopefully Tai-Hao Alps caps will work out.

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Hypersphere

27 Dec 2014, 15:34

Thanks for the comments.

@Mu: Yes, I anticipate that Matias will have replacement caps only for his own keyboards, so bottom-row mods on the V60MTS keyboards will still be problematic. In addition, at least at first, replacement caps will be ABS, and unless sales of Matias-switch boards increase dramatically, it apparently would not be cost effective to produce PBT caps.

Just as "there's no place like home", something I've learned during my keyboard journey is "there's nothing like PBT". Therefore, for my Matias-switch boards, I will be populating at least the alphanumeric caps with dye-sub PBT caps sourced from vintage boards.

It seems somewhat easier to find vintage boards with doubleshot ABS caps, which can look just as good if not better than dye-sub PBT. However, ABS lacks the agreeably dry feel of PBT.

@Daniel Beardsmore: Is there a link to the Tao-Hao product, or is this something that they will be offering in the not too distant future?

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Daniel Beardsmore

27 Dec 2014, 16:15

jacobolus is looking into it:

http://deskthority.net/vendors-f52/mass ... ml#p189283

(He was more definite about it in a post I read at geekhack, but Google suggested that one instead.)

Tai-Hao were a major doubleshot manufacturer in the 90s (customers included Northgate and Focus) and they've confirmed to me previously that they can still do Alps keycaps, so the key issues are going to be MOQ and stabiliser mounts I assume.

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Hypersphere

27 Dec 2014, 16:25

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: jacobolus is looking into it:

http://deskthority.net/vendors-f52/mass ... ml#p189283

(He was more definite about it in a post I read at geekhack, but Google suggested that one instead.)

Tai-Hao were a major doubleshot manufacturer in the 90s (customers included Northgate and Focus) and they've confirmed to me previously that they can still do Alps keycaps, so the key issues are going to be MOQ and stabiliser mounts I assume.
Thanks for the link. Jacobolus has been extremely helpful in my search for sources of Alps/Matias keycaps, especially from vintage keyboards.

I just now looked at the link. Although I am thankful for this effort, unfortunately the profile would be DSA. I have discovered (by using my DSA Granite set) that I cannot type well on DSA at all. I much prefer a taller sculpted profile.

Yes, stabilizer mounts! This aspect can be frustrating. For my KBP V60 Matias boards, I have found that Dell AT101W keyboards provide an excellent source of keycaps, and all the stabilized keys work except for the spacebar. Matias has said that he will be selling 6.25x spacebars; I hope that the stabilizer mounts will work on the V60 keyboards.

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Daniel Beardsmore

27 Dec 2014, 17:00

Tai-Hao do standard OEM profile keycaps.

See: [wiki]Tai-Hao standard double-shot series[/wiki]

Their Cherry MX keycaps are widely-known now. The question is whether we can bring back their Alps keycaps.

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Hypersphere

29 Dec 2014, 19:41

I have found an apparent flaw in my KBP V60 Matias Click Mini Keyboard (V60MTS-C).

While trying out various keycap sets harvested from keyboards with Alps-mount switches, I found that all the mods except the spacebar from the Dell AT101W work beautifully on the V60 Matias Quiet Click keyboard. However, when I tried the same set on the V60 Matias Click keyboard, I found that the Left Shift keycap caused the key to stick in the down position.

At first, I thought that the keycap might have been rubbing on the edge of the case. I sanded down the edge of the keycap, but this did not help. I then tried Left Shift keycaps from other donor boards, and all of them gave the same result -- they worked just fine on the Matias Quiet but not on the Matias Click.

The stock keycaps that came with each board worked just fine on either board. In addition, I acquired an IBM 5140 keyboard, and the Left Shift from this keyboard worked on either the Quiet Click or the Click keyboards.

It appears that with some Left Shift keycaps, the switch housing from the Matias Click rubs against the inside of the keycap, but this does not happen with the Quiet Click switch in the Left Shift position.

I have not yet done accurate measurements of the two switches, but I had been under the impression that the outside dimensions of the Click and Quiet Click switches were the same. If so, then it seems that there may be some defect in the Left Shift switch in my V60 Matias Click keyboard.

I would be interested to know if anyone else has observed a similar problem with the V60MTS-C keyboard.

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Muirium
µ

29 Dec 2014, 19:59

Sounds like a dodgy switch. It was surely only tested against its own cap, not a menagerie of others! I'm not sure if they are an easy thing at all to address in Alps form.

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Nuum

29 Dec 2014, 20:01

The housings of the two switches should be the same, considering that you can exchange almost everything between the different switches from Matias as well as simplified Alps: the top casing, the slider, the contacts and the click leaf.

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Muirium
µ

29 Dec 2014, 20:07

How are Alps (including Matias) switches for opening when mounted in a plate? I've had no experience modding them.

Hak Foo

29 Dec 2014, 21:17

Easy. TGhe standard mount allows full access to all parts.

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Hypersphere

29 Dec 2014, 22:05

Hak Foo wrote: Easy. TGhe standard mount allows full access to all parts.
Very interesting! So, it doesn't matter if the switches are PCB-mounted or plate-mounted? You can dismantle the switch either way?

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Nuum

29 Dec 2014, 23:42

Yes, you can!
It's a bit fiddly, but doable with two small screwdrivers with which you pry open the two tabs (they look like a broad T) on either side of the switch and carefully lift the top half up.

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Hypersphere

30 Dec 2014, 17:42

I think I have solved the mystery of what I initially thought was a flaw in one or more switches on my KBP V60MTS boards. I believe that the problem is with the size of the stems on replacement Alps-mount keycaps.

I actually discovered this first on the V60MTS-Q (the Matias Quiet Switch variant). I noticed that some keys were binding or sticking after putting on a replacement set of caps, in this case it was a set from an Ortek MCK-84. I had seen another post about Alps/Matias switches binding with some keycaps. It turns out that the switches are rather sensitive to the dimensions of the keycap stems. If the stem is a tad too large, it will still fit into the switch stem, but the increased girth of the keycap stem causes the switch stem to bulge slightly, thus causing it to bind in the switch housing.

On my V60MTS-C (the Matias Click Switch variant), I ran into problems with modifiers from a Dell AT101W. However, I found that if I installed O-rings on the switches, this reduced the key travel just enough to keep the switch from binding.

Keycaps that work beautifully include the dye-sublimated PBTs from an IBM 5140 convertible computer or from an Acer 6311 keyboard. The Acer 6311 caps have two round holes in the switch stem instead of a single rectangular hole as found in most Alps-mount switches. However, the caps from an Acer 6311-KW11 (Acer Accu-Feel with Windows keys and a single rectangular opening in the stem) do not work without using O-rings.

I have also found that O-rings can cause chattering on a few keys. This was with the blue 40A-R rings, which reduce key travel by 0.4 mm. I might try the red 40A-L rings, which reduce key travel by 0.2 mm to see if this eliminates both the binding problem and the chattering.

To install O-rings on Alps/Matias switches, you need to put them initially on the switch stem rather than the keycap stem. I do this by removing the keycap, grasping the O-ring with small needle-nose pliers, holding the ring down on the switch housing with my left-hand index finger and pulling in the opposite directly with the pliers to maneuver the ring over the switch stem. I then ensure it is evenly tamped down before replacing the keycap. If you later remove the keycap, you will notice that the O-ring will have moved up to the keycap stem; however, if you try placing the O-ring initially on the keycap stem (as you would do with Cherry mx), it will not work.

Luckily, I do not need the O-rings on the alphanumeric keys, because the IBM 5140 keycaps work just fine without O-rings -- no binding at all. I also would not need them with the stock keycaps, but I am using them on the mods from the Dell AT101W.

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Daniel Beardsmore

30 Dec 2014, 18:22

It's a pain that we don't know the official dimensions of Alps mount, as then we could determine who's got their measurements wrong :)

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Hypersphere

30 Dec 2014, 18:28

Daniel Beardsmore wrote: It's a pain that we don't know the official dimensions of Alps mount, as then we could determine who's got their measurements wrong :)
Indeed. The differences appear to be subtle, and apparently the Matias switches are rather sensitive to small deviations in dimensions of keycap stems.

BTW, I just removed all the O-rings from the alphanumeric keys on my KBP V60MTS-C keyboard. Now it feels and sounds like a Matias Click switch should, and I haven't noticed any chattering. I've kept the O-rings on the mods so that I can use the keycaps from the Dell AT101W. It sounds and feels fine to have O-rings on the mods (and on the spacebar as well).

zts

16 Mar 2015, 01:50

V60 MTS-C -- I like it more than I should :o Loud and satisfying clicks. I also tried the "quiet" on Matias mini quiet pro and Matias secure pro and I like them, but the cases on Matias KBs need lots of work. I think if Topre disappears overnight I'd probably move to this switch. Keycaps ... any word on Tai-Hao deal?

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SL89

16 Mar 2015, 02:31

zts where does the MTS-C fall around relative to MX. I'm fond of greens and clears so im looking for something else in that ballpark.

zts

16 Mar 2015, 09:24

SL89 wrote: zts where does the MTS-C fall around relative to MX. I'm fond of greens and clears so im looking for something else in that ballpark.
the actuation force is most similar to the clears but with much more pronounced tactile feedback at the actuation point that is not lost if you are a fast typist. The click is very satisfying (and rather loud). Can't really say that the complete feel of this switch closely matches any of MX, but maybe if you can imagine something like a clicky clears with a decreasing force to bottom out after the actuation point and the smoothness of the greens ...

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SL89

16 Mar 2015, 13:15

thank you for that perspective, the MTS-C has been on my list for a while, so it might have just gotten nudged a bit higher on my list. :D

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Muirium
µ

16 Mar 2015, 13:32

As usual, Matias switches are awesome but hamstrung by the keyboard and caps. Definitely go for it, though, as Hypersphere has some fancy boards of his own that this one shows well against! It really helps to have your own Alps caps to install, I bet.

I'm proper intrigued by the Matias Ergo Pro the man himself is sending to me for review next month (and a subsequent European tour). I've heard good things about it from beyond the usual keyboard scene. I wonder how the build quality holds up. Certainly the damped linear switches ought to be just my kind of thing.

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SL89

16 Mar 2015, 13:39

It just struck me that I've been limited to MX land for so long I've never really had a chance to experience anything else. Hopefully i have a Model M coming my way from elecplus and re-reading this as well as that input from zts has bumped the Matias switches up on my list. I know its a long shot but chances are there are no SA style profile caps for Matias are there?

What separates the Ergo Pro from anything else like the Quiets?

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bhtooefr

16 Mar 2015, 14:01

Layout - it's a separated halves split ergonomic. No hinge, but it might as well be considered the second coming of the M15. It uses the quiet switches, though.

And, we do have the Alps measurements: 4.5 x 2.2 mm, per the SKCLAR/SKCMCQ datasheet: http://deskthority.net/wiki/File:Alps_E ... 454_31.pdf

Those match the Matias measurements, but the Alps datasheet doesn't list tolerances, whereas the Matias blueprints claim +/- 0.3 mm tolerances - pretty wide.

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SL89

16 Mar 2015, 14:39

Ohh OK, thanks bhtooefr

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Muirium
µ

16 Mar 2015, 14:42

Break those MX chains!

Seriously, a lot of the best stuff to explore is different switches. They don't all live along a single line defined by the MX family. There's a whole world of them instead.

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SL89

16 Mar 2015, 15:26

Ik that and I really want to segue out of the MX exclusive world lol

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czarek

13 Nov 2015, 14:10

I just received mine today. It's with quiet switches as I don't like to bother people during skype conferences.

Honestly, I agree with Hyperspace, switches are just as good as Topre or BS, better than any Cherry you can come by.
Compared to Topre (I only have 55g RF with me currently) it feels surprisingly similar, a bit less smooth but obviously more mechanical. It really has its very unique "character" - force curve must be less smooth but the tactile point is sharper which is expected with metal springs instead of rubber domes.
Compared to IBM (I've got multiple Ms and Fs with me here) it feels lighter, springier (debounces quicker), much smoother, with deeper but not as sharp tactility.
I already mentioned it to someone - it's like if BS mated with Topre and they had babies - those switches :D

Also, I didn't mind original case, which was on pair with standard Poker case. Nothing spectacular, just gets job done.
I did however install the keyboard into TEX aluminium case. A bit ghetto, only using 2 springs on sides (the rest would require drilling, and I'd rather replace the plate with custom one than drill this one).

As for the keycaps, I expected much worse. I thought they would be just like the standard Filco/QFR ones, but they are more like keycaps that come standard on G80 keyboards. Not ideal, but passable. I think I can live with those.

That's how it looks in aluminium case:
IMG_20151113_131533707.jpg
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Not pretty?

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Muirium
µ

13 Nov 2015, 15:02

I have got to disagree about the switches. The Matias Ergo Pro really disappointed me in that department. It's a solid board, so they should have felt stellar, but Matias tactile / Quiet Clicks are no comparison for good complicated Alps switches. Let alone Topre!

The fantasy switch that's half Topre and half Model F does in fact exist. Find yourself a beamspring! They're my favourite switch of all I've tried for good reason. Got that Topre swing — thanks to the lateral, and literal "beam" spring — and that classic sharp IBM click.

Matias "quiet clicks" are much more like MX clears than that. A lot of awkward, clunky tactility instead of smooth then instantaneous sharp. And they wobble a heck of a lot more than I'd like, too.

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