Need recommendations

Hello, everyone! So I am here today because I need recommendations for both my girlfriend and myself. Keep in mind, that I consider myself somewhat a newbie still when it comes to the world of customs.

So my girlfriend is looking for a 75, white, hot-swap capable with RGB or some form of backlighting keyboard. Just not the GMMK Pro. She sees the one I’m currently using and would prefer a different keyboard. If possible, a set that doesn’t include switches or keycaps.

For myself, I am looking for a 60, black, hot-swap capable with RGB or some form of backlighting as well. Also, the ability to put in stabilizers such as Durock. I feel like what I want for myself is better suited for something completely custom, but currently, I’m not at the comfort level to where I can mix and match different things and build something without worries.

I appreciate all, if any, replies. Thanks!

1 Like

What is your budget? Some beginner friendly boards are the GK61, (in black if you want that) for 50 bucks. It’s hot swap, RGB epic gamer, but doesn’t include switches or keycaps.

A good 75 might be Epomaker EP84, I never have seen this board in person but from what I heard is a good beginner.

If the budget is a bit higher, say 200 dollars or up, then you could look into the KBD67Lite. Currently typing on one and I think it’s a really good board for around 110 bucks, but like usual doesn’t come with keycaps or switches.

About switches, there are alot of them and I mean a lot. I personally enjoy linear, but there is tactile and clicky as well.

If you could write down what the budget is and what keyswitch or keycaps you prefer, I’m sure the other members could help you with that.


Alright, so the girlfriend is willing to spend up to…200ish. In terms of switches and keycaps, she has no preference and will probably figure it out later on.

Myself, I would be willing to go anywhere from 200 to maybe 500. Switches, I already had a set of Silent Alpacas laying around and waiting for a new home. Keycaps, now that I am a little lost on because there are just SO many individual types and sets. So I guess I can start off with, for now, something to keep the dark-colored scheme going.

That’s a big budget for a first custom. I dare say GMK for keycaps, but they take really long to ship… Maybe check some vendors that have them in stock and not in group buy.

If she doesn’t want the GMMK Pro, I’ll say the keychron Q1. It’s a gasket mount 75% that looks almost identical to the GMMK but with a few tweaks. Also, from what I’ve heard, the Q1 needs some modding to make it sound as good as it can be, so if you’re not into that, the metal case is going to Ping like there’s no tomorrow.

If you’re gonna spend 500 on a custom, I don’t think I have the knowledge to guide you through that one, so GL with the others recommendations. :+1:

1 Like

Hey, I don’t mind low-budget recommendations either. This would be my second custom, if you count the GMMK Pro I have currently. Lol. If I am able to spend less to enjoy what I will using to game, I will be just as happy! Appreciate your time!

And yeah, I’m probably snoop around for a GMK set if I’m able to find one of my liking.

1 Like

Then looks like the Kbd67lite would be your best choice, and if you really want to, can add the metal case with the brass plate.

Good Luck!

IMO, at a $200 budget, just browse the standard keyboard vendors and see what you like. Once you narrow down what you like, you can always ping the community to see if its a good idea. and are big ones

For a slightly higher budget 60%, you can always consider the oldie but goodie Fjell Fjell – Mekanisk Keyboards or Brutal60 Brutal60 – CannonKeys ; you’ll need to get your own PCB which can have the features you’re looking for.

If you’re not in a rush and a bit of a gambler, you can always find a 60% GB that might have more unique designs and features. A good example would be the M60-B from Rama that is still open for GB: M60-B – RAMA WORKS®

I don’t really keep up with GBs anymore since I have so many pending - I think geekhack is (or was) generally the best place to see the status of upcoming GBs.

1 Like

If your gf is looking for a 75% within 200, the kbd75 solder is a pretty good deal at 129, but thats only if you are good with soldering. You could check out akko’s prebuilts and swap out some stuff, and im pretty sure they have a exploded 75% just like the gmmk pro with more colour options.

For the 60%, mekanisk has the klippe T and fjell, both pretty nice boards imo. The brutal60 is also nice, and the table gadget67 is pretty nice at $250. if you pick the klippe T, or choose a tofu or something you could probably afford aftermarket GMK keycaps. With any of the suggested boards you could afford some of drop’s gmk stuff.

1 Like

Thanks to all for their ideas and suggestions. My girl settled for the Flesports MK870 from Drop’s site. It was simple and had everything she wanted.

I am still undecided. Going back and forth between the Rama M60-B and the Tofu60. Keycaps are a whole other matter and it’s scrambling my brains. :joy:

There are a lot of great in-stock pbt options available on novelkeys, cannonkeys, and kineticlabs to just name a few.

1 Like

Sorry if I have stupid questions! I like the ducky one 2 mini but I dont like how hollow it sounds. Is there mods I could do like lubing or do you recommend a better beginner board which is a bit nicer and has more thonk and is less hollow. Anything helps! Thank you!

1 Like

No stupid questions - and welcome to KT!

While there are things you can do to make a One2 sound a bit deeper, it’s a lot of effort for little return IMO. It’s a fine keyboard, just not the easiest to mod.

In this form-factor, the two best sounding keyboards I have personal experience with are the Mode Envoy and TKC Portico68 Black Label. Both are more expensive than the One2, but you get a lot more control over the sound. (There are tons of other great options, I’m just familiar with those two.)

The One2 is around $110 on Amazon, again not bad but if you’re already investing that much in a peripheral… lots of “entry custom” keyboards will give you more control over the final product. For example;

The Portico68 is currently about $160 on store website; it comes in a certain configuration with an FR4 plate and foam gasket pads, which can be further customized with aftermarket options. A plate made of POM or polycarb, for example, will go a long way to deepening the sound - this is true of pretty much any keyboard.

The Envoy is about $220 on Mode’s website depending on options - twice the price of the One2. I happen to think it sounds more than twice as good, regardless of options - but there are quite a few here, including some very soft 3D-printed mounting blocks.

General rule of thumb; softer material means deeper sound, mostly centered on the plate but really applies to the entire keyboard. (I’m talking plastic that’s relatively soft compared to metal; not so much the keyboards made of actual soft stuff like silicone.)

So - any given “entry custom” kit will give you easier access to the internals of the build for adding dampening material - but many of them will also have the option of polycarb plates or soft gaskets to help deepen and clean-up the sound.

The one I used to recommend isn’t made anymore; a plastic and silicone keyboard called the KBD67 Lite. One of those with some high-profile keycaps like MT3 in ABS sounds surprisingly deep. They made a decent number so they aren’t too hard to find; if deep sound is the main priority it might be worth finding a used one. Plate files are available and there are still some sites with extra parts.

Considering factors like aesthetics and typing quality, though, the Envoy is pretty killer. It’s not the deepest sounding entry keeb I’ve used, but it is the least effort I’ve ever put into a keyboard sounding as good as it does. Just note they don’t come with stabilizers; I recommend TX AP screw-ins.

An easy thing to fight hollowness for almost any keyboard is to add some kind of foam to absorb sound reflection in the case. Polyfill is a great option for large and small spaces alike as it is compressible and you can use more or less to preference.

Lubing switches (and stabs) can help with deepness, too - though these days it’s just as easy to buy some switches that are already tuned that way. Invokeys’ Black Sesame, for example - they are a decently pre-lubed switch with a nice deep sound. I’d recommend something like that for a beginner, as lubing by hand is pretty time consuming and it’s really easy to over-do. If you want to improve some switches you already have, though - that is the best way, and I’d recommend any one of the popular tutorial videos on the process.


Thank you thank you! You need your own youtube channel because not alot of people on youtube explain it like this for beginers. This definitely made me alot more informed about all of this. Ive seen Taeha build the Mode Envoy so I have a small sense on what its like. Its good to know you can get pre lubed switches as im not 100% confident imma do it right. But im gonna look into the Portico68 as its not much off my budget! Would I need switches and stabilizers for this one?? I really appreciate the help youve definitely made this way easier for me!

1 Like

I think imma do the Portico68, black sesame switches and PBTFans Classic Hangul. I think that will be my choices unless I find a keycap set i like better

1 Like

Most welcome. Glad to hear the info was helpful!

Thank you! I’m working on that, actually… being primarily a hobby venture it’s slow-going, but I’ve been steadily getting all set-up to document lots of stuff in lots of detail. :smiley: I do have one whole switch review video I made a couple years ago when I had a bunch of extra time on my hands, but that’s not exactly the format I have in-mind for future content. Great learning experience though.

It comes with stabilizers, and I see you’ve got some switches picked out. I think you’re all set, you’ll just need a basic small Phillips head (+) screw driver for the Portico kit. Feel free to post any questions that come up and I’m sure one of us can help you out. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Ive finished my build!!! Its great! The switches feel good and it was easy to put together! I am going to still go back and lube the stabs but for now im hooked. So do you have a recommendation for another board that is still “cheaper” and still a kit but something different??


So glad to hear you like the keeb, and that you had fun with the build. :smiley:

Well - the Portico represents one of the standard approaches to gasket mounting: sandwiching the plate between foam pads - and I think it makes for a great jumping-off point, as there are things to try in just about every direction. A few random ones off the top of my head:

  • Bakeneko series or Tofu FA: this series of boards uses a different type of isolation mount, a gummy o-ring that wraps around the entire sandwich assembly. This ring friction-fits the assembly into the board, making for a potentially screw-free maintenance experience involving only a single-piece case. I think the fun in these comes from how easy it is to swap the ring for one of a different firmness, changing the feel of the board. A handful of boards use this mounting style; IIRC the Bakeneko is one of the most affordable, and the Tofu FA is one of the most recent.

  • Mode keyboards: this company’s current keyboards are also isolation mount, but instead of a ring or foam pads, these use blocks made of either solid or 3d-printed lattice-structure silicone. The latter makes for an incredibly bouncy experience, and I think it sounds amazing. They’re also available with some pretty cool accents.

  • Tofu 2.0: like a handful of others out there these days, this one is multi-mount, with two different isolation options alongside the enthusiast classic choice, top-mount. This configuration means the experience depends even more on the plate material, cutting isolation material out of the picture. There are lots of top-mount keyboards out there; this version of the Tofu is just the most recent kit in my memory. :stuck_out_tongue:

  • BBOX 60: back to basics with a small twist; this is a tray-mount case with what amounts to a large resonance chamber, and it will fit just about any 60% PCB that’s sold by itself - and even some that come in other keyboards like the GK61/64. This case is generally super cheap - I have one and I love it.

    Tray-mount is what most commercial boards still use, and amounts to a series of standoffs supporting the keyboard from below - generally from a tray-shaped case. This particular one snaps-together like a model kit, and sports a really unique sound compared to its peers. Tray-mount has mostly fallen out of favor thanks to its propensity to create “hot-spots” of sound and feel near the support standoffs, but this can be mitigated by adding small o-rings on either side, making an improvised isolation mount of sorts - usually called “burger mounting”. This is super easy but I recommend sourcing longer screws if you want to do it.


Ok so I like the Tofu 65 2.0 , but whst does each plate sound like? Carbon fiber , polycarbonate, Fr4 , and aluminum?

So of course each build combo will be unique in terms of sound but I can give you some rules of thumb about the materials.

Some popular materials ranked from softest to hardest:

POM >> Polycarb >> (Fiber Composites) >> Aluminum >> Brass

Generally speaking, softer materials will yield deeper, more subdued sounds and make for a less rigid typing experience. At the other end, harder plates tend to yield more sharp, bright sounds and make for a more rigid typing experience. In the middle, fiber composites strike a balance between the qualities of either end, but generally tend to be louder than either end, too.

FR4 and carbon fiber are both fiber composites; they aren’t the same but I think it makes sense to lump them together for general purposes. FR4 is a specific spec of fiberglass, whereas carbon fiber differs from manufacturer to manufacturer to a greater degree; it can be tuned for flex, rigidity, etc.

So, some general true-isms, all other things being equal:

  • Aluminum: bright sound, firm but not harsh
  • FR4: louder & deeper sound vs aluminum, lively feel
  • Polycarb: deepest & most muted sound, easiest on the fingers

If you’re curious about the CF plate on the Tofu 2.0 vs the others, I’d poke around at some reviews - but I’d generally expect it to offer a little more flex than FR4 but less than Polycarb.


So FR4 ( i believe ) is what i have in the Portico68 so a very thonky. And aluminum is very clicky ? And fibers are a inbetween of the both but also a lot louder?

Now im just suck on color combos lol , what case color goes with what keycaps and so on. I have an all white set up so everything fits lol. Im very hooked more then any of my other adhd hobbies lol. Also for the Tofu FA , it seems just like the Tofu65? Also it mentions ISO or ANSI PCBs?

Like i said you definitely need a youtube , especially for beginners. As someone from the outside fist entering the hobby is very intimidating. You definitely helped alot!

1 Like