Good Case Acoustics for Alps Boards?

newtype_

22 Jul 2020, 21:00

I want to build a TKL and from listening to Taeha's custom builds I think metal cases often engender a 'tinny' sound which imo kinda ruins some of the acoustics. The problem seemed especially bad with brown alps with the orange being less awful. Wood is okay but kinda steampunk-y does the plate (considering getting an acrylic one atm) impact the sound more than the overall case or mostly the feel?

Just looking for recommendations and prior build experience, I'm leaning towards custom acrylic unless LFKeyboards ever re-releases their TKL case.

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Jesseg

23 Jul 2020, 02:11

Nothing suits alps switches better than an original alps chassis. Especially one with a metal base like an Omnikey. ;)

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Hypersphere

23 Jul 2020, 17:38

@newtype: If you are building a custom Alps TKL, are you also building the case, or do you have sources in mind for TKL cases?

I agree with your assessment of acoustics. I have a 60% with Matias Click switches that I transplanted from the original plastic case into a TEX aluminum case, and the switches sounded tinny. The plastic case had hollow spaces that served as resonating chambers. Similarly, although I like the sound of my Northgate Omnikey 101 boards, I think the plastic case of my Leading Edge DC-3014 sounds better (although the blue Alps switches have something to do with the sound as well!). Overall, I think that the case has more of an effect on the acoustics of a keyboard than the plate does, but I have not done a proper comparison to isolate the variables.

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TheInverseKey

23 Jul 2020, 18:42

I have Amber Alps in my Orion v3 and I have to say that this is on of the better custom keyboards that sounds decent with Alps.

newtype_

23 Jul 2020, 21:43

Hypersphere wrote:
23 Jul 2020, 17:38
@newtype: If you are building a custom Alps TKL, are you also building the case, or do you have sources in mind for TKL cases?
The options for TKL are sparse, there appears to be the super high-end solutions like Duck, one CNC aluminum case on aliexpress for ~$100 and the cheapo plastic case that ships with the KPRepublic PCB. LFKeyboards lists an acrylic case but it hasn't been in stock for ages. Most likely I'll be building my own acrylic case as long as I can keep the cost comparable to a prefabbed aluminum case - or at least significantly less than a Duck or Kingsaver.

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Hypersphere

29 Jul 2020, 23:49

The cheapo plastic case might actually give you the best acoustics. CNC aluminum looks nice and it gives heft to the board that many people like, but I think metal cases are overrated. I value acoustics over mere poundage (although I am typing this on my new F62, which has a cast zinc-alloy case that contributes most of the weight to the keyboard's nearly eight pounds (!).

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SneakyRobb
THINK

31 Jul 2020, 23:31

ALPS and IBM, imho, sound best in their cheapish original exterior brittle plastic fragile cases.

Think of it like a concert hall. The switches are the symphony. The plastic is the concert hall. The metal plate is what gives the durability. The case is there to break if it falls. Making a big heavy exterior metal case will, imho, make it not sound as good. Like closing in the walls.

I highly recommend a slightly larger bezel thin plastic case for optimum sound.

If you go for an original material like wood, I'd look at chyros apple iic case. You want room, and reverb

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Hypersphere

01 Aug 2020, 01:55

@SneakyRobb: I agree!

Imagine playing your keyboard in this room:

acoustics.jpg
acoustics.jpg (82.17 KiB) Viewed 127 times
Of course, it's the inside of a violin. I've often thought it would be good to create a keyboard case with a resonating chamber and a moveable sound post, like that found inside a violin, for tuning the acoustics.

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ppCircle

01 Aug 2020, 16:49

SKCM Blue sounds good in LZ CLS

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