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.
Some of the interesting boards and switches that I would like to get my hands on (gotta budget wisely though :
- Rama Works Kara (Wanna try the HHKB layout)
- Vega board (on geekhack IC now)
- Paragon (on geekhack IC now)
- Southpaw 75 (they are on GB as of now, but I am hoping for them to release a hotswap pcb)
- NK65 Entry Beige (oh man, it looks and sounds really good. Saw it on a keyboard stream on twitch by Existentiallyours)
- NK Creams (Heard they are scratchy but I like the sound of them on soundtests)
- Durock/JWK Linears (Heard they are smooth, wanna see if they are more worth it than Gat Inks)
- 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)