I currently have a Realforce R2S with silenced 55g Topre switches that I drive daily.
I’ve been looking to add an HHKB to the collection, but I’m struggling between the classic and the type-s.
Part of me wants the classic to experience unsilenced Topre (and have something separating the HHKB and the current Realforce). On the other hand, I’m also wondering whether I should go straight for the type-s knowing that I may end up silencing the classic anyway down the road.
For those who have silenced Topre already, is having having a non-silenced Topre board a worthy addition or will it just drive me mad?
My personal preference for HHKB is lubed slider rails with Tribosys 3203, lubed stabilizers with Krytox 205g0, non-silenced.
I’d say there’s a 90% chance you’ll want it silenced if you are used to it.
I own a dozen topre boards. I’m used to swapping from Mx to topre to silent to stock. I enjoy the variety. But if you have a main board you are used to, that’s probably going to be the bar by which you measure. Stock vs silent topre is pretty drastically different in sound and even slightly different in feel.
You might think I’m advocating for the type-s at this point. But hear me out. Why not try having a bit of fun with it. Why don’t you get a classic (maybe even pick up a cheaper, used board) and then modify it!
Deskeys has excellent silencing rings. Modifying a topre board is actually not all that hard, either. And there are a lot of people here and a lot of resources online you can consult for guidance. They also sell other types and weights of domes. Heck, you might even decide to put in MX compatible sliders for more keycap options. It’s truly a rabbit hole of topre options.
Or maybe you just decide you want to quiet the thing down. Basically, you open the case, unscrew the PCB, remove the springs and domes, remove the sliders, put on deskeys rings, and then put everything back in reverse order. Sounds like a lot but you could do that all in 30 min to and hour. Probably 15-30 min on repeat attempts. Definitely easier than lubing switches.
And while you’re in there, you might decide to lubricate the stabilizers and quiet them down. Or maybe even lubricate the slider housing rails.
Then you’re becoming more seasoned and understanding what you like and whether you find the work fun and necessary or just a plain old waste of time.
So, my recommendation is to buy a classic model. If you don’t like it, modify it and you’ll most likely prefer it to your Realforce.
I’m in the market, too, for one at some point in the future, though it will be my first Topre board. This is a helpful thread. I still think I’ll want to a silenced one, after after having tried both, though I found Classic interesting, but now I’ll take a look at Deskeys and understand better what would go into doing it myself.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
I was actually leaning towards the classic even before starting this thread, thinking that it would give me a different sound/feel from my usual day-to-day Realforce. Reading the responses here seems to reinforce that, and I’ll always have the option to mod down the road.
Professional classic it is :- )
become one with cup rubber soontm
Have to be ready if Funderburker indeed makes TMOv3 EC optional or even solely, as he’s pondered.
also either board is great but I get so much more use out of my Classic-- wired usb-c works on every device. Bluetooth sucks bc I don’t have access to the drivers on my work device. So I have to use my Hybrids wired and I just end up not doing so.
Nota bene do be careful opening up/modifying the stock HHKB cases–I’ve already cracked a mounting point–so just be gentle and don’t overtighten. As Pixel said–a Hybrid already comes with the Type-S sliders, which feel like Realforce silenced (purple) sliders bc of the length and the silencing ring, but a Classic would have a slightly shorter travel compared to the boards above. But you have options for silencing rings via Deskeys, Keebmat’s Thockrings, KLC’s 0.3mm rings (quality still TBD idk if they shipped yet), or even Sho Keyboards (CN designer) makes 0.3 and 0.5mm rings that ship with his boards.
fyi, of all options, THOCKRINGS were rated best silencing rings by Cipulot
Of my two Classics, I enjoy them both unsilenced. As already mentioned, if you don’t like the stock experience, then you may add silencing rings.
Either way, the Classic is a great HHKB.
Keymapping is only available on the Hybrids, however, right? I understand Hasu’s board seems to work with the Classic. Looks like battery life for wireless is better with the Hybrid than with Hasu’s, if that’s a concern. Just some things to weight that I thought I’d bring into the thread.
If you own a Classic it’s possible to remap the keys if you replace the .json file in PFU’s remapping tool. An already completed version is out in the wild somewhere.
It takes a couple minutes and literally just flips certain models to be “remappable: true” and then you are empowered with the same remapping capabilities as the Hybrids.
I noticed some mention of that, along with a caution about bricking the device, however unlikely. Do you think there is any real risk?
I’ve done it multiple times without incident. The extent of the process is dragging and dropping the new file and overwriting the old one. Does that eliminate the possibility of some wild anomaly causing issues? No. But anecdotally it’s always been very straightforward.
Unsilenced Topre switches sound quite nice on the integrated ABS plate. Probably mutes things a bit. I’d go for unsilenced if you want to experiment something new.
Only downside is that if you decide to silence them you’ll lose some travel distance as non silenced sliders don’t have their height adapted for silencing rings.
Here’s a soundtest of my old Pro 2 unsilenced and lubed with 3204.
That’s it! That’s the HHKB sound I love.
Awesome, thank you for sharing!