Help picking a Full size hot-swap keyboard

It allows you to make accidental Capslock impossible, regardless of keyboard size.

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You know, this is a subject that many people don’t talk about - 100% boards.

The V6 is a nice entry-level board, MonsGeek and Q6 are nice mid-range semi-custom boards.

Then you have cheaper offerings like the MG108 and GK108. The MonsGeek seems like it is well-optimized for voluminous sound, as seen here:

But the M5 also comes with dampening options. So I’m not sure if it’s better as a so-called ‘thocky’ or a dampened board.

Also not sure about the V6 / Q6. Actually, the V6 should be quiet, in-theory, right? There are reports of case ping with some Q6, but the force-break mod might solve that. Maybe the Q6 is better at being a loud board?

In my experience, cheap / basic full-size boards like the Archon AK89 were good to silence. Came with foam pre-installed, and only the stabilizers needed work. That might be the case as well with the MG/GK108 boards. I like that you can get them in different colours now, although they are quite drab.

What would people here buy for silencing? Or, alternatively, for thockiness? I think the Q6 best selling-point is that it is quality and probably ready-to-go out-of-box, unlike many others.

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I don’t mind a bit of noise, but e.g. my otherwise nice IKBC, magicforce and akko boards had very bad pinging from the stabilisers which was very difficult to get rid of. An RK board was perfect, but very cheap feeling & built with almost no interior gap between the top and bottom shell, so that I couldn’t get foam into it. I have a monsgeek on the way, so I’ll see if I get lucky with that.

I have a varmilo va87m which sounds and feels great, I suspect because it has no empty space inside. I’d buy a full size, but they look to have a different construction so I don’t want to spend $$$ and find out it sounds terrible.

So it was a pleasant surprise to get 3 keychrons in a row with no horrible noises.

I keep going back to a filco which I packed full of bluetack, foam and painters tape… so I’m trying to convince myself to spend big bucks buying a non-hotswap cherry brown convertible 3. I’m 5-for-5 buying filcos without ping, but I worry that’s because I bought 12 years ago and their quality control has suffered in the meantime.

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My 2016 Filco was a pingmaster… it has become better over time, however.

I think the main culprit was the stock MX Browns. Once they were worn-in, and I switched to DCS-profile keycaps, they became a lot more tame. There is still some ringing, though.

I keep telling myself that a little ringing doesn’t bother me, but it’s obviously a lie.

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It’s a main reason I went into customs…

You expect a certain level of quality for all the “deluxe luxury premium mechanical keyboard with AUTHENTIC Cherry MX switches, throw out your rubber-dome!” hype over the years.

I mean, why does my “premium” mechanical keyboard have ping, ringing, scratch, spring-compression noises, rattly ticking stabilizers, key wobble, and fading legends?

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Keychron V6 arrived today. I don’t have my switches finalized yet so I’m only playing around with samples, but as someone who’s not had a premium board before, I’m quite impressed. It looks and feels sturdy, but isn’t exceptionally heavy. May have also temporarily blinded myself with the LEDs… :sweat_smile:

Was impressed to see they have information on their website to help test the keys to make sure they all work too.

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Yeah, I learned to look away when plugging-in factory boards for a first-use. Even my non-RGB polycarb KBD8X MKII lit up like a Christmas tree.

Please let us know how the stabilizers are when all the keycaps are on it one day. I’m curious as to whether the V6 is usable out-of-box.

I received the MG108 I’d ordered off AliExpress this morning. It’s definitely louder than a Keychron, but not bad - no pinging or ringing or hollow noises at all. The included stabs aren’t great though - like typing on a rubberdome.

I feel like it’s worth the extra $50 to buy a Keychron.

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I finally have my key switches, and have been testing out the board for a few days. Overall the stabilizers are pretty decent. That said, the space-bar is more notably thocky than the other keys, and could probably benefit from some dampening. It’s not enough to really bother me unless I really pay attention to it, but I’m sure it’s enough to bother some.

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I found that to be the case with the Leopold FC900R PD also.

The spacebar was thockier than the rest of the board. It may be a result of the tray-mount setup, which I find sonically to be more inconsistent than top-mount.

(or even Gasket-mount).


Actually, if one wanted to replicate the Leopold FC900R PD typing characteristics, a V6 with aluminium plate might be a good solution.

(BTW Leopold used dampening inside its space bars. Maybe use one!)

One mild annoyance I am finding is that the switches are south facing, but my keycaps let nearly no light through from the LEDs since the characters are on the north side. I’m not too sure what I can do to help with this.

The keychron K and C keyboards are north facing, but I guess Keychron changed back to South facing for the V and pro keyboards for better keycap compatibility.

I have a couple of north facing boards, and various lower profile keycap sets are unusable on these.

It’s too bad there are trade-offs that have to be made when picking between the two. I ended up returning the caps I got to get some side-lit ones instead. Hadn’t even occurred to me when buying them.

I also need help deciding on a base.

Thank you for having this discussion! I’ve been researching what I want for like a month (since my son asked for a creamy keyboard for his birthday). I’ve bought 2 different bases, 6 sets of keycaps and 3 sets of switches - assembling and reassembling different configurations. I think I might be losing my mind.

I had no idea there were so many things to consider in a keyboard. I’m new to a lot of this but after many purchases (and returns) I think I’m narrowing it down a bit, but still need help on the 100% base.

I did find the Monsgeek M5 on Goblintechkeys when I was contemplating the Alpha 108. But the M5 seems like a lot for my first one (I’m replacing an 8 year Corsair, I know, I know - but I am sometimes change resistant).

Any knowledge/thoughts on the Alpha 108? Any good or bad word of mouth? Will it be quieter than the M5? It’s currently on sale for $130 and with the April coupon code for 20% off, the price is nice. Especially since I can get a pink one (the V6 and Q6 don’t have great color options). But I’m, assuming I can’t return it if I buy it on sale, so I’m hoping one of you might have some info about it.

I’m not sure if I’ll like the tray vs top mount. I bought a Glorious GMMK2 96% not realizing how much I would hate the key squishing. I really like everything else about it but Glorious doesn’t have a true 100% option. And the pink is not the right shade, but the white/silver is great. Why can’t they just make me a true 100%? lol

I don’t need switches or keycaps (Think I like the Gatreon G Pro 3 silvers, browns were still a bit clicky and I’m still testing some keycaps).

I recently had a friend ask the same question, and I pointed him towards the Qwertykeys QK100.

I know I keep recommendeding it, and I swear I am not a QK shill,but I don’t really know of anyonemputting out there the quality they have at the price point they are within.

Great value for the money and he says that the board came out great. It was the second boardmhe has built, and he said it couldn’t have been easier. He topped them off with some PBT keycaps from NovelKeys and he says he has now seen the light! :joy:

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QK100 might still fall short of the “True 100%” if that’s what they’re truly after, though the jump from a 96% to an 1800-esque layout is an important one for preserving muscle memory, and the QK100 looks to be a pretty good value in the true-custom space.

I don’t have information on the Alpha 108.

However, there is a lot of talk about the Monsgeek and the Keychron.

Those two keyboards are the ‘entry-level decency’ of full-size hotswaps. I know that they may seem expensive as compared with some factory Corsair board. But they have all the minimal things people are looking for as a baseline [hotswap, PCB-mount stabilizers, dampening options, metal case options, in some cases a gasket-mount.]

The M5 may not be ideal for your needs, as it requires more assembly than some other boards. It also may be more optimized for an impressive sound, rather than a quieter sound, according to some reports here.

You might take a look at the Keychron Q-series, the Q6, I think. People use them to build fairly quiet keyboards. Q6 has a good mounting system for quieter switches. [Or you can go the other way]. Can buy a dampening kit with it, I think. Probably can choose the plate. It should even come mostly-assembled, at first.

There are cheaper boards, but I am wary of them. There are ‘ultra-budget’ full-size hotswaps out there. Some of them, by coincidence, turn out to be good for silent switches. [Stiff plate-mount that doesn’t move much + dampening can help switches stay quieter]. A lot of the cheaper boards use plate-mount stabilizers, though, which are louder and noisier than PCB-mount [screw-in.]

So please keep these things in mind.

And yes, anything that isn’t a 100% board is not a 100% board. You don’t need to compromise your muscle memory because someone wanted to stand out by manufacturing a 96% board. I think, in terms of modding, that it may be preferable to stick with a well-known board [Keychron, Monsgeek]. This is because you will be able to find references for modding on Youtube and discussion forums.

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Okay, I just took a look at the Alpha 108.

It has north-facing LEDs, which is frowned upon by some people here. There could conceivably be R3 interference with Cherry-profile keycaps, which could lead to suboptimal sound on that row.

Not a huge deal, but many customizers try to avoid that.


The Alpha108 doesn’t look to be quite as ‘premium’ as the Keychron / Monsgeek.

But I had a similar board [Archon AK89], and it turned out to be a good platform for silent-switches. No guarantees with the Alpha 108, though, as it is a different board.

The Alpha108 doesn’t advertise what kind of stabilizers it uses. From the photos, they appear to be plate-mount. This is not ideal for a silent keyboard. I suspect it is probably possible to turn the Alpha108 into a relatively quiet keyboard.

I replaced the Archon AK89 stabilizers with lubed Cherry stabilizers from ZealPC, and it made a significant difference with sound. So, you could probably quieten down an Alpha108 by adjusting / adding dampening, and replacing the stabilizers.

Were I in your position, I would probably order some Keychron [V or Q] with the dampening kit [if I wanted it to be relatively quiet.] The Keychron stock stabilizers are probably good-enough, although I suspect Zeal PCB-mount would be quieter.

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I wanted to give my input as a Keychron V6 and Monsgeek M5 owner. The M5 can be made into a really quiet board as it comes with a full switch pad, plate foam, PET bottom case layer and case foam. I put all of the above into my build, along with Gateron Pro Yellows. I’m using SA keycaps but the sound is still relatively quiet. With “silent” switches, I imagine it could be near silent.
On the other hand, my V6 is a bit clacky even with extra foam and a tape mod installed. I haven’t done any other mods, its my work board and doesn’t bother me or anyone else in the office.

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