Favourite plate material?

Trying to decide on what material I should get my plate in for my next build and thought I’d ask you guys what you like. I’m currently having mixed thoughts between copper and brass but I’m unsure if brass has some sort of advantage with how many brass plates I see compared to copper plates. I wonder if a tungsten plate would be feasible?

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Why a tungsten plate though? Due to it’s density?

Pretty much, would be interesting to see how it sounds.

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Carbon fiber is really nice

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From videos I’ve heard with them I’d agree, haven’t personally tried one though.

Haven’t tried copper but I tried aluminum, brass, carbon fiber, FR4, polycarb, and steel plates.

My favorite is brass because it sounds the best. Aluminum plates are dependable but, compared to brass plates, it sounds and feels like punching a bag of wet sand. Steel doesn’t sound bad but it’s loud and bottom out is harsh.

tungsten would be interesting but many manu won’t work with it as it’s v v brittle.

Currently liking poly and waiting to test pom plate.

Brass is my favorite.

Brass is my favourite on the basis of its sound profile. Can’t be beat.

TIL that ABS sounds really nice! Any vendors currently offering this plate material?


ABS does sound pretty good. Sadly, plate sound in-use depend not just on material but on how it’s mounted, padded, and cased. With tray-mount, plate just sits on top of the PCB with nothing else holding it.

Padding between plate and PCB helps a lot but I’ve been wondering if some softer material around the plate (plate-glove?) that fills the gap between free-standing plate and case walls will make tray-mounted plates sound better.


I really don’t care, so long as it’s hard and heavy.

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After trying most metals, PC & POM plates seem to suit me best. I really like the warm sound profile they give & love the flex. Also gotta give a shout out to half plates, they let you go with something a little stiffer & nice sound like brass, but still let you get that awesome flex & feel of plateless on the alphas.

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Agreed. It’s just neat to see a “all things being equal” test demonstrate distinct sound signatures between different plate materials.

That’s interesting. Since air = sound, that’d be the best place to start.

Agreed. I just don’t appreciate how much I scratch, bend, and need to yank switches when removing them from plates with tight tolerances. I’ve moved to half plates for this specific reason.

Yup! Totally. The compromise for me, all drama aside, is JWK PCB pins seem to be skinnier than most, inconsistent at best. Gateron and Zeal, no problem. They have a solid “who needs a plate” snap to them with very little vertical or horizontal wobble on the alpha keys.

I’ll checkout some custom plate shops, maybe PC or POM is what I’m looking for. I appreciate the feedback!

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My main issue with that video displaying the plates is that those are ‘too perfect’ of an example. Truthfully, our boards are typically built up in cases which can feature different mounting styles. When you take in consideration your switches, keycaps, plate material, mounting method, and case acoustics, I think it’s better to look at sound on a keyboard by keyboard basis.

I’m sure some of you have experienced boards that have sounded great with one kind of material plate, only to see that same material plate sound bleh in a different keyboard due to a variety of factors.

With all of that said, FR4 half plate is my favorite at the moment :smiley:

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Do you have preferences for the plate material depending on the switch type (tactile/linear)?

I have heard that a POM plate with ink switches is an excellent combination. JWK switches on the other hand would work better with FR4.

Of course, the preferences are probably still very personal or subjective.

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I have pros and cons to each material:

  • FR4 - By far this is my favorite cheap material. I prefer it over steel an 1.6 aluminum for budget builds. It has a very quiet and muted sound with just enough flex. Disadvantage: it’s too light.
  • Aluminum - I only like it when it’s thick as in 4.8mm thick with proper cnc shaped perfectly for switches. It tends to have a high pitch clack from the switch upstroke unless you give the switch a good lubing in the housing top or use a silent switch.
  • Acrylic - Love the sound, it’s really unique. Absolutely, hate that you can’t properly cnc the switch holds to where they snap in due to the 3mm thickness. For that reason, I’ll choose that material again.
  • Steel - Not a fan of the sound and can often require sanding from the cutting process.

Of course, there are a lot of factors outside the plate material that have characteristics that we all look for. Even how some people type can change that. I tend to be a bit light handed and rarely bottom out my switches (even with tactiles).


So far I’ve only tried brass, aluminium and polycarbonate.
Of those three, brass wins.