Gavin Goh has just landed! My KB journey so far

Hi all!

Gavin here from Singapore! I started this keyboard hobby journey about 3 months ago.

I stumbled upon this hobby when my girlfriend brought her brother’s Vortex Race 3 to my house. Initially, I thought it was so stupid to spend that amount of money on a keyboard, and I thought it looked weird. Oh man…it was upon using it, playing around with the rgb lighting that got me started.

The next part of the journey was scouring e-shopping platforms for mechanical keyboards (mostly like Ajazz, RK61, and some other budget china gaming keyboards). Slowly, I explored more and more keyboards, researching about keyboards on youtube, learning about mods, different switches, slowly but surely the world opened up.

Then I purchased my first mechanical keyboard - the Keychron K6 without hotswap (big mistake). I loved the 65% form factor with arrow keys, it had RGB, and I was happy to start modding it with different keycaps, adding foam to dampen. To be honest, I was really a cheapo because then I still didn’t believe in spending more which in hindsight I should to get the hotswap alu version. I begin to regret not getting that variant so that I could do more with switches like lubing and trying different ones, and lubing the stabs. I know I will love hotswap for the flexibility of changing switches to suit the keyboard case for the sound, and it really saves time. Soldering is not an option because my girlfriend lives in, and I don’t want to scare her with a solder machine purchase, and noobness of handling the solder iron.

Then upon hours and hours of searching for a hotswap board (definitely not going keychron again). Really combing the whole youtube, trying to learn about different boards. Then I realized something, it is time to go a little deeper into the hobby, inching closer towards an average enthusiast rather than a cheapo. I needed to go further for my next purchase of the keyboard. Fun bit, everything was sold out! KBDFans, and other vendors like Novelkeys…etc. Crap! Funny thing was it was during a period of the first NK65v2 & Entry release, and I had both boards in my cart, the next minute sold out!

So the journey begins until…

At last, I found the ID80 by watching Taekeyboards. Man, the ID80 was fire to me. Hotswap, Alu and priced reasonably for a custom alu mech? Time to get it! Best purchase so far to be honest! I finally get to try out different switches (gat inks, gat yellows, NK Creams, aliaz). Though it sounded hollow, I was happy to mod it with foam, and it really sounded better. The overall form factor, and sound really appealed to me.

But something struck, with more soundtests videos on youtube, looking at geekhack, joining discord servers for keebs then I realized I wanted more, the ID80 isn’t enough. Luckily the KBD67v2MK2 went on spot sale, and I snagged the PC version. Now I am satisfied…but I know the itch will come again when other ICs materialize into GBs. Especially with quite a few more boards coming into the scene soon, I guess I will have to see which ones to get. :stuck_out_tongue:

Some of the interesting boards and switches that I would like to get my hands on (gotta budget wisely though :stuck_out_tongue: :

  1. Rama Works Kara (Wanna try the HHKB layout)
  2. Vega board (on geekhack IC now)
  3. Paragon (on geekhack IC now)
  4. Southpaw 75 (they are on GB as of now, but I am hoping for them to release a hotswap pcb)
  5. NK65 Entry Beige (oh man, it looks and sounds really good. Saw it on a keyboard stream on twitch by Existentiallyours)
  6. NK Creams (Heard they are scratchy but I like the sound of them on soundtests)
  7. Durock/JWK Linears (Heard they are smooth, wanna see if they are more worth it than Gat Inks)
  8. NK Silks (I am up for some pre-lubed switches, may wanna try the yellow and black silks)

Yup, that’s all for me! Still a newbie and more to try out. Maybe soldering in the future.

What about you guys? What are you looking out next with whatever that is going on keyboard forums interest checks? Also, what are your fav switches so far? Here are mine as of now:

  • Gat Yellows
  • Gat Inks (a little pricey though)

Welcome Gavin!

I just love the transition from starting with this,

to ending up down the rabbit hole

But hey, it sounds like soldering might be in your future :wink:

One thing I’d say you’re doing right, is having a path of different switches and keyboards you really want to try out. That definitely opens up your knowledge and can help you better shape your keyboard tastes as they change.

Hmmm. Favorite switches at the moment would have to be:
(in no particular order)
Gat Inks
Gat Creams
Holy Pandas
NK Dry Switches
Vint. Cherry MX Blacks

My favorite weight across the board would probably be 63.5g springs.

Interest checks I’m looking forward to?
GMK Beta will be launching in a few days and that’s definitely going to be a must buy for me.

Aside from that, there isn’t much on the horizon in my budget unfortunately, but there are still a lot of cool and exciting keyboards/keysets!

Have you started lubing your own switches/stabs yet? It can be pretty relaxing and ultimately pretty fulfilling considering the end product :smiley:


Hello and welcome! Your journey sounds not too unlike my own…

Can confirm NK Creams are scratchy (at least at first and when un-lubed); can also confirm I like the sound quite a bit.

If I understand correctly (and I might not) NK Silks & Drys are Durock/JWK linears with two differences; the obvious ones being the kind of lube or lack thereof. The other difference I’ve heard of but am not sure about is housing tolerances; that the NK ones are better in that regard. I have Silks myself and I like them quite a bit; not perfectly consistent but extremely smooth. I do personally prefer Inks for their lower-pitched sound, but they’re both excellent switches.

Overall, my favorite switch at the moment is probably the Gat Silent Ink.


Hi, and welcome.

I like your wish list. I’m also curious about the JWK and silks and that Vega shure is good looking. =)

I’m not all that well versed, but I really like the Ink Yellows, but both black and silent should arrive this week to broaden my horizon. =)

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I have a feeling a lot of people also had the same journey haha!

I think the silks are coming out with “V2s” in their next production run after getting feedback about their housing tolerances. So gotta check that out. How do you find the sound of the silks with the keyboard that you are using right now?

So interesting question here, I personally used a silent switch - aliaz, though I like it for the subtle tactility but I get bored of it rather fast because it’s a silent switch. What about you? Do you get bored with silent switches?

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Hey! Yeah, I am getting myself some T1 switches from durock, and I read that it is like zealios / holy pandas just with different sound signature. Never tried those 2 but I think they are a little pricey so gotta try some T1s. But also thinking of other linears from jwk/durock.

Yeah I am sure vega will sound good too! Since it is like a 65% polaris haha

I was thinking about ink yellows too, maybe I will get a few to try it out.

Let me know how your ink black goes! I think they may feel quite heavy at first but should be ok after awhile.


Hey! I subscribed to your youtube channel before joining keebtalk. Nice vids!!

I definitely find my preferences changing. Initially I like all black keyboard including caps, and tactile switch (just experiencing only gat brown from K6). But slowly now I am more towards grey/silver keebs, and linears. That’s really a strange progression.

Gat creams is an interesting one, so you mod it with milky bottom with cream stem and top?

So far I like the gat yellow springs so I gotta say I am quite similar with you on that. About 62-65 range. Do you get your springs from sprit?

Yes, I have lubed my switches, and indeed it’s relaxing! But I always keep a handful stock so I could compare. I remembered after lubing and testing them on my keeb, I was like “wow, what people say is indeed correct! The sound is so much fuller.” But in terms of smoothness, I am can’t tell much of a difference though I am pretty sure I lubed them just nice.

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They have a higher-pitched clack than any of my other linears; probably the closest I can think of in terms of sound is a Tangerine. Typing lightly on them with some plane-jane TaiHao caps, the sound reminds me just a little bit of the last little plink-plonk sounds from a rain stick as it slows down.

Very good question! My first linear switches were Cherry Silent Blacks, and I really didn’t like them. They were mushy and sandy, and indeed pretty boring. Almost as boring as an Aliaz.

However- as I continued my search for not-so-sucky silent switches, they started to become very interesting to me. I started collecting at least one example of every silent I could find - and I have found some that I like every bit as much as some of my favorite non-silent switches.

The most interesting are Gazzew’s lineup; they use a different dampening material and shape - making them softer on the bottom-out, and very quiet overall. In the right housing (such as the Boba, Panda, T1, or Blue Ink), his new U4 stems are very tactile and satisfying to use. He’ll also be bringing back a linear version, which makes for whisper-quiet switches. (I’ve got a small write-up on the linear ones vs a couple other silent stems here if you’re curious.)

Another interesting mid-range silent is the Kailh Box Silent Brown. It has a modest “negative” tactile bump at the top with a peak force stronger than the spring, meaning you’ll almost always bottom-out - making the switch feel more tactile in-use than when pushed slowly under close inspection. They’re a little inconsistent but very decent overall - I find them very enjoyable to use and I’m able to type very quickly on them with confidence.

My favorite so far, though, are Gateron Silent Inks. They’re smooth, and the muted sound they do make is quite pleasant to my ear. (They sound extra nice with some MDA caps on them.) I love the weighting and the bottom-out feel, which to me strikes a very good balance of crisp feel with dampening of the sound. The Silent Ink is probably one of my favorite switches overall.


Interesting! I gotta try some silent inks too! :smiley: