Is there any basis for "Vint Browns" reputation?

Blueberry Chiffon v1s are like that. Weirdly well-defined yet lite tactility. Haven’t tried v2 though.

Types of tactility I like currently are:

  • light but well-defined
  • all at the top

And I’m biased in favor of long poles bc switch sound is my thing and long poles tend to bring out more of the switch material sound.


Awesome! I’ll have to check out the Meteor Orange with a Cherry Top. I do like the sound of cherry switches and don’t mind scratchiness of Cherry housings. Thanks for the recommendations!

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I agree. Cherry switches and parts can be used for good sound.

If you are following the recommendations in that thread I linked to [re: Meteor Orange], I recommend trying to build the 2nd one:

Filmed with TX 0.15mm films. Stem lubed with 3204 (top of switch (L/R rails) and bottom of L/R rails and bottom of pole + front of switch (area above the legs). Stock spring lubed with GPL 106.

The idea here is to lube where the factory didn’t. I think the factory lube is mostly okay for the action. But there are neglected parts that would sound better if they were lubed.

Overall, it’s a ‘moderate’ amount of lube. You don’t need to go heavy, but mild lube won’t do much either. The switches do benefit from these films. The stock springs, once lubed, are okay. I like the weight. Didn’t like the alternate weights. I guess a 15mm Spirit or TX spring in the same weight would be more consistent, though. Didn’t try that.

Anyway, these are the best ‘Brown’ alternative I’ve ever used. But they require work. I also have a build with Everglide Jade Green. They shine on a polycarb plate. But you have to lube them almost like they’re a linear.

If you are interested in Browns and Cherry sound, I didn’t really go into Ergo Clears, because that’s a huge topic. But you can basically build Browns by using 63.5 or 68 G Progressive Spirit springs [they are like 55 and 60 G linear, respectively]. It’s a little tricky with the lighter spring. One way to do it is make them really smooth with 3203. You get crunchier Browns that have the full Cherry sound.

Below, you can listen to a heavy Ergo Clear build that uses springs that actuate at 60 G. The switches themselves are generously and liberally-lubed with 3204.


I have a set of clears that I’ve been meaning to turn into ergo clears. Most likely the 60%'s I impulsively bought at the beginning of the year/end of 2022. Will most likely purchase a set of the meteor oranges and jade greens (maybe the Tomorrows) and put them in my Zoom75 whenever that comes in!

Thanks for the thorough replies, I’ve been really interested in browns since I bought Butter Browns and put them in a board

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How are the butter browns, by-the-way?

If you are building Ergo Clears, it opens up a whole world. They can handle 3203, 3204, 205g0 and more. Just don’t drown them. Linear spring weights from 55 - 72 G and beyond. They also seem to take well to less-linear springs, such as progressive. 15mm is standard, but they often work well with short 14mm and long 18mm.

Buying Meteor Orange is a great idea (they have V2 now, which is mostly just a colour change). I don’t recommend Jade Greens as they are hard to deal with. Consequently, you may wish to try Durock Medium Tactile or Zealio V1 Redux in their stead, as those two switches are similar and commonly-available.

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I think I have a set of 63.5 progressive springs laying around, but most likely will put TX 60g springs. I did like the Zealios V1 when those were the “pinnacle” of MX tactility. I guess I’ll have to pass on the jade greens.

How are the butter browns, by-the-way?

Honestly I couldn’t tell the difference between regular housings and the butter browns (450k presses, lubed & filmed by custom keyboard co), but I enjoyed them way more compared to using the most popular tactiles on the market during the time (U4T’s in a Volcano660 w/ brass plate). They’re not fatiguing and I love the sound.

I’ll have to pull out the board again and type on it tonight (talking about it made me miss it) but I would pass on buying butter browns and just buying hyperglide browns and lubing/filming them myself


Thanks. You seem to know what to do going forwards, so I’ll leave you to it.

I’ve had mixed results trying mechanical switch actuation. So yes, handbuilt or handpicked Browns still might be the prime option.

The 63.5 G Progressive are definitely worth trying with the MX Clears. I’ve had more interesting results with those springs in Clears than anywhere else. If you can make the Clears smooth and buttery, you really will get crunchy Browns with 63.5 G P. The way I lubed them [with 3204], however, was more limited I guess. They are sharper and more abrupt than the smooth 3203 paintbrush lubed variant I tried. In this way, the ones I made resembled Gateron CAP Brown V2.

The Jade Greens are subtly-different than Zealio V1. The V1 wasn’t available when I was doing the Jade Green build. As it turns out, you can’t necessarily use a Jade Green stem where you use a Zealio V1 or Durock Medium Tactile stem. The stem is the real star of the Jade Green, it seems to be a little smaller bump and maybe higher-up than the Zealio V1. But the housings are scratchy and pingy and need a lot of work. [Therimingoat’s review gives them like 55%]. So the pro move would probably be to take Jade Green stems and put them in a better housing like Boba LT [for Zealio-like tactility] or a more tactile housing for something snappy. They don’t like Boba tight-tops, though.

Anyway, you don’t need to worry about that. Maybe you can throw some Jade Green stems in a better housing one day. You seem to have springs to use with your Clears, so you are ready-to-go and I hope you enjoy.

As far as light tactiles have gone, I’ve been really happy with Parallel’s Pewters. When I first got them I was expecting them to be super smooth, but lacking in the sound dept. thanks to the UHMWPE housings. Well they definitely are super smooth, but after a full lube with 205g0 they have a really nice mid level sound. Not quite as deep as nylon, but nowhere near as high as PC. The bump is very small one, but just noticeable enough for my tastes. Overall I have been way happier with them than I thought I would be. They get a big thumbs up from me & I highly recommend giving them a try if you’re looking for a light tactile.


I tried Pewters when they first came out.

They are indeed smooth, but R1 had questionable factory-lubing. So I didn’t really take a liking to them, b/c of inconsistent lube.

I tested Cotton Candy next, which are better-lubed and have nylon housings for better sound. Certainly either one of those bought bone-dry with hand-lubing would be ideal for many.

Didn’t much care for the bump, though. It felt more resistant than I expected from a ‘Brown.’ I’d almost classify it as a ‘medium tactile.’ Maybe there’s just something about the bump profile I don’t like.

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Yeah I wasnt pleased with the factory lube, but whatever lube they used played fine with 205g0. So I just hand lubed the batch I got in my Salvy & discarded any that were heavily overlubed. I also lubed mine on all surfaces, stem legs included. So that might be why the bunp feels so small to me.

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Maybe relevant or not, but for tactile switches like browns old/new, they sometimes give a metallic ping even after lubed or broken in. I found that a light application of xht-bdz in the top housing where the top and back of the leaf rests helps remedy the ping. Sometimes the leaf will make contact with top housing, resulting an unwanted ping or ting sound.

How light of an application? Well I dipped a brush lightly into bdz, spread it around evenly, and proceeded to lube that space in the top housing a dozen or so times without the need to re-dip.

If this 1st application doesn’t help, lubing inside the arc of the leaf helps, and if the 2nd application doesn’t work lubing the back of the leaf (not actual leaf) works.

I can share pics if people are interested. I did this twice with two batches of browns, vints and hyperglides and the method worked wonderfully. I would like to note that this isn’t a problem for all switches. Also found out that after all these years of avoiding lubing the legs on tactiles isn’t as bad as people make out to be, even as browns. I don’t type on heavy tactiles anymore cause of fatigue, so light tactiles and topres are great for everyday typing.


Funny enough, I had a similar experience but with the opposite switches. I put 3203 on the Cotton Candies and they still have a little scratch to me. I also feel like they are slight more fatiguing than the Pewters.


If Cotton Candy have more friction than Pewters [b/c of nylon housing], then they might feel fatiguing.

I don’t recommend 3203 for Pewters, because I think the stock sound isn’t great. 3203 doesn’t seem to do as much for sound as does 3204 or 205g0. It’s more of a “light touch” lubricant in my view.

Even with Cotton Candies, 3203 probably isn’t the ideal lube. If the housings are nylon and a bit scratchy, then 3204 or careful 205g0 would probably give better results. Conversely, I think you can get away with 3203 on Cherry switches because of their better stock housing sound.

BTW these switches are very expensive to experiment with in Canada. Unless you buy unlubed Cotton Candy from AliExpress. I guess I could do that, or regular DLT.

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I forgot to mention, on the subject of switches that are like Browns, there is a switch called AULA / Leobog “Matcha Shaft:”

Above is where I bought them from. The “Matcha Shaft” denotes the Matcha colour, which is the tactile variant of this switch lineup.

You can see that the Matcha variant is no longer on sale at that particular location, only the blue clicky variant.

These were basically offered at JWICK prices. From memory, the force curve felt a lot like MX Browns. But they clearly are not Cherry switches, instead a budget Chinese manufacturer. I’m not even sure they’re nylon. So they’re an interesting “alternate Brown” to me, but I don’t know much about them.

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Same here, I don’t even know how well 3204 would do for the sound of Pewters cause UHMWPE definitely sits in the higher pitches on housing collisions. 205g0 though worked a treat for me on my batch. However I did lube every surface & was very light on the lube on each part. Pewters are light enough that 205g0 can definitely make them sluggish with even just a little too much lube IME.

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Interesting discussion. I was wondering: Does this history also hold for Cherry Clears? Is there such a thing as a “vintage” Cherry Clear?

This is my favourite Cherry switch because of the heavier weight, but nowadays I prefer the Gazzew Boba U4Tx for most of my builds.


I tried “Vintage Clears” in at least one meetup in 2018, maybe two.

They were really nice. But they were likely hand-picked, worn-in, and very carefully lubed. So they aren’t representative of regular Clears from that era.

It is believed in some quarters that MX Clear quality fell off at around the same time Browns did. They may have experienced a minor retooling around the time of the Hyperglides. Certainly, the new official Ergo Clears represent something of a retooling.

Certainly, the Clears I was buying 2019-2021 were nothing to write home about. The ones purchased a bit earlier, in 2018, seemed to have better sound and a more clearly-defined bump. Yes, the .35 cent Clears from Novelkeys seemed better than the .50 cent post-pandemic Clears, but maybe it was just the cheap price.

So yes, there is a mystique about Vintage Clears, but whether it is real or not, I don’t know. Same as with the Browns. These switches haven’t received nearly as much attention as “Vintage Blacks,” Nixies, and the like.

Also, yeah, people who were around in the early days of Ergo Clears say that the T1s, SP Star medium-tactiles, and newer switches are better than Ergo Clears. There are many dedicated switches that exist today that fulfill the role of factory Ergo Clears.


I feel like this is where I am at. I have some Ergo Clears and when I type on them they feel and sound great, but as soon as I move to a “ergo-clear” like with a rounded bump… it is a much better experience. You get everything you want from an ergo clear, but a much better flow state feel when typing.


This is exactly right.

The modern ‘Ergo Clears’ simply flow better. I find that Durock Medium Tactile flows easily, even though it is heavier than my 55 G Ergo Clears. They are often purpose-designed to have bumps that don’t ‘catch’ or require high actuation/return weights.