Easing Into Linears

Just got the Mavue switches. I haven’t tried it lubed nor a full board of it but, after trying one switch stock on a board, it’s already the best linear switch in my mind:

  • smoother than Tealios and
  • sound seems as delightful as Cream
  • stock switch has a bit of upstroke rattle but lube should handle that

No more need to choose between sound and smoothness. Lube the housing and/or slider bottom surface to nerf the clack if you work in an office.

UPDATE: Note that the sound is, like Cream and Holy Panda, relatively higher pitched than other linear switches. If you’re into deep base sounding switches, Mauve may not be a good fit.

UPDATE2: Findings after lubing and filming.

  • No problem filming the switch.
  • Lube lowers pitch, lower than lubed Cream, so not as loud and delightful but more bassy.
  • Lube reduced upstroke rattle after lubing just the stem but some rattle still remains. I’m going to try lubing the top housing.

UPDATE3: Lubing the top housing as well as 55g spring swap reduced the rattle to ignorable level. If you need heavy springs, this may become an issue. Since Alpaca uses polycarb for the top housing and I’ve not heard it has rattle issue, I’d tinker with different top housings if that’s the case.

UPDATE4: Mauve seems to feel smoother unlubed than lubed. It may be that the lube feel is interfering with the skating-like feel. Not sure. Maybe the lube needs to settle down. If not, I’m going to try a build that uses lube only to control noise if possible.

Final update for the day: Right after lubed, 3203 felt and sounded the best to me. 205g0 was the worst but bassy, buttery feel getting in the way of smoothness. 3204 was between and didn’t standout. Noisewise, 3203 was worst and 205g0 was the best. I’ll check back on them tomorrow to see if the feel changed. Oh, Cream is still the best soundwise. Mauve is great but not as great as Cream’s drumstick on hollow block of marble sound.

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I’m sold. I’ll have to pick some up and give them a try

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wow - that is some high praise coming from you. Will definitely have to check them out!

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@donpark I figured that you would like the Mauves since I assumed that they were almost Alpacas which are topping my linear list right now. I just finished my acrylic Alice build last night and the switches are a dream to type on (205g0, filmed, tx 70g springs). R2 Tangies are very slightly smoother, but the Alpacas sound better – I can fully compare the two when I throw those Tangies into a full build (whenever the heavens open up and deliver my Xeno).

I did want to comment on the skating feeling statement. From what I have recently experienced, the smoother the switch is stock (especially the new super smooth entries) the more lube seems to add drag to the feel of it. I don’t find that it makes the switch less smooth, but it definitely makes it feel not as fast if that makes any sense. That feeling is almost entirely ignorable on less smooth switches as the lube rids us of their scratch, but it’s noticable when the stock switch is slick. I wonder if lower viscosity greases or oils would be preferable on the stems with thicker lube applied to the housings to dampen sound – I’m not sure how long oils would stay in place though.

I think we’re on the same page. What remains is the problem of noise without lubing the sliders. It may be difficult to build a full skating linear board even with all the known tricks.

Mauve Report 1

A day after lubing, 3203 and 3204 is pretty much tied in sound. Feel-wise, 3203 retained much of the skating feel while 3204 replaced much of that skating feel with a touch of buttery feel. 205g0 felt and sounded a lot better than yesterday although it sounded deadened where 3204 sounded solid. Switch noise is pretty low now. Not sure what happened overnight but the noise seems to be a lot less noticeable than yesterday.

I’m going with 3204. It sounds solid and feels sufficiently buttery without giving up all the skating feel. C3 Tangerine R2 will be my go-to switch for the full-on skating feel. I recommend 3203 for the skating feel, 205g0 for office use.

The Case of Case Foam: My Cream board sounds incredible and Mauve on that board sounds really good too. But Mauve on another similar board did not. Both aluminum cases with POM plate to get the most out of sound yet sound differed. Turns out the difference was the case foam. The Cream board had only two crumpled sheets of kleenex. The other board had 1mm case foam. Replacing that case foam with two sheets of crumpled kleenex made the board sound nearly as good as the Cream board. Seems this hobby is more magic than science.

Since sound is what I’m mostly into, I’m going to forego case foam from here on. I still need the plate foam to reduce noise and even out the sound.

I think there may be a market for custom case fillers designed to sculpt sound and channel reverb instead of just absorbing like foam does.

My Mauve Build Details

  • switch: Mauve
  • lube: 3204
  • spring: 55g Catweewee, lubed with 1504 raised to 63.5g SPRiT for more bounce
  • PCB: Instant60
  • Plate: POM with plate foam.
  • Case: Tofu 60 with two crumpled kleenex tissues.

UPDATE1: So far I’ve installed lubed and filmed Mauves into alpha keys and they sound pretty awesome compared to C3 Tangerine R2 switches on the same board. Bassy boom booms. I think Mauves is likely the best that can be achieved without extended stem tips like Halo and Cream stems. Simply Noice.

UPDATE2: I had to relube Mauves with 205g0. While 3204 offered felt and sounded more lively, I found myself hesitating before using the board. My hypothesis is that the effect of extra noise (compared to 205g0) caused a fatigue of sort. Noise fatigue? Lubed with 205g0 like rest of my linear boards, the result feels more comfortable.

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All this talk of Alpacas & Mauves got me kinda jealous, so I ordered up another 120 Gateron Yellows (clear top, black bottom) to make me feel a little better😭, LOL! Seriously though I figured I’d better order up some switches just to have since most restock dates are up in the air with Coronavirus.Thankfully I got a bunch of spare Cherry Whites I can grab tops off of to make some Chellows out of them. Which honestly has been my favorite linear so far. I think that is what I’m gonna use to finally linearize my E6.5.

I also gotta do some experimenting with YOKs as linears. @Manofinterests mentioned in another thread that he actually likes them once they are broken in & properly lubed. So I may just use the batch of Trash Pandas I’ve been sitting on that way. Anyways thanks for all the updates on the new switches guys, can’t wait to try some!

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Don’t forget about the spring swap too! Even worn in and lubed, I would recommend swapping out the spring to a nicer one. Makes a big difference imo.

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Whoops, yep definitely spring swapped. The YOK Red Pandas I got had some of the worst springs I’ve ever heard, although the Trash Pandas’ springs didn’t seem as bad. Either way definitely good advice! :wink:

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I think there may be a market for custom case fillers designed to sculpt sound and channel reverb instead of just absorbing like foam does.

The trick will be finding shapes that work for a range of board volumes, rather than being hardwired for a specific board. My guess (and it is totally a guess) is that the dominant wavelengths for typical clack and thock are short enough that the fillers will have to be relatively precise, more so than most cheap filler materials will support - which likely means the best bet is to mill those shapes, whatever they might be, directly into the case.

Any acoustic engineers out there?

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We need to lure some Dolby engineers into this hobby. ;-p

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I worry this would backfire.

“Guys! We’ve figured out how to make your clicky switches SURROUND SOUND”

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What I had in mind are 1~1.5 inch flat square or hex blocks made out of cardboard, wood, plastic, or ceramic. These blocks would have holes and/or carved channels of various shapes and sizes. Using two-sided tapes, they would be assembled in cases. I don’t think they need to fit perfectly. Poor-man’s version could even use creased papers that could be cut using scissor to fit.

Obviously designing these will require a lot of tinkering but I don’t think we need to CNC deep honeycomb patterns into aluminum blocks to improve sound of keyboards.

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I’m not sure if anyone has checked out the IC for H1 linear switches over at GH. I’m intrigued and the sound test is pretty good imo.

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Hearing reports that the composition of these JWK switches aren’t as advertised, first with the V2 tangerine and now with the mauves.

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It wouldn’t surprise me that the company that made the stealios is not completely truthful

Let us know when you get more details.

Unless they’re using some secret chemical that make these switches toxic, not being entire truthful in a line in product description won’t alarm me except for the drama that will ensue. Oy.

Do you have links to said reports?

Uggh, just as they were starting to redeem themselves from the Stealio incident… Hopefully this ends up being just a rumor, if it isn’t it will have to go down as one of the most short sighted, moronic moves in this hobby’s history. All their new switches are reviewing extremely well, even with the assumably cheaper, more common materials they’re using if this is true. So why lie about the materials used, when it really doesn’t matter? I guess now I can go back to saying I’m glad I haven’t supported JWK/Durock yet. :confounded:

Just did. Thx for the tip. Looks like a modified macho-Korean version of Alpaca and Mauve. 78g, oh my.

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