hi all, needing some help for a new quite cheap build from actual Keychron K2v1 with Gateron Red to another one hot-swap maintanining same layout, wireless (both BT and 2,4GHz), at least white backlight (bigger battery would be a plus but can be swapped later anyway) and most of all:
Was thinking about Tes/Tester84/KD84/Feker 84 like base kit with some mods to be done, like holee for stabilizers, lubing them and switches too, foaming case, switch pads, O-rings, etc., like I’ve read here and there online.
Regarding silent switches, which I’d like to be Linear anyway, I’ve came to these ones, by watching some YT sound test videos :
Silent Alpacas (based on sound test maybe the silent choices, once filmed and lubed)
Silent Gateron Red /Yellow/Ink Black
Outemu Silent White (should be the cheapest ones)
Since it would be my first build, can you recommend me some solutions? All that’s needed will be bought from Ali, obv…
Thanks in advance to all who will give me recommendatins/advices
The most important thing in making a keyboard quiet is generally going to be switches, and all three you listed are good options. That said, they have different strengths and weaknesses.
Silent Alpacas (and other JWKs): will require the most work, but will likely be the most smooth of the three once that’s done
Silent Gaterons: probably the least quiet of the three, but personally I enjoy the sound and feel of these. Ink versions will be more smooth, milky & black versions will have more texture and light “swish” noise in comparison
Silent Outemus: the most quiet, especially with lubing - but also the most mushy / least crisp
The case mods all help, too - but you’ll gain the most ground by starting with a quiet switch.
The ones for switches reduce travel and introduce mush; I don’t really recommend them. On the other hand, small o-rings to use as dampeners for tray mount cases or big o-rings to use as mounts for gasket cases are both excellent ways to further improve the acoustics.
didn’t think the Outemu could be the most silent of the group, thought they would be the Alpacas filmed and lubed, at least from a couple of YT videos I’ve seen.
About O-rings, well, not really sure that I would use them with switches silent on their own, will need to test and see once it will be done.
Outemu’s can be surprisingly quiet, but I don’t think the quietness is worth the keyfeel from Outemu. Simply not my cup of tea. I’d agree with the “most mushy/least crisp” tag deadeye assigned them. Although to be honest, I wouldn’t consider any silent switch particularly “crisp”
TBH from some YT sound tests Silent Alpacas caught my attention, so I thought they would be a good choice for my first build, filmed and lubed obv.
Do you guys have other recommendations, like Bobagum or others?
just to better understand: with “most mushy/least crisp” when referring to Outemu, would you mean a sensation/effect similar to my actual Gateron Reds with O-rings installed, which are dampening/muffling the press course a little?
By “mushy” I’m referring to the feeling of bottom-out and top-out. With regular switches it’s hard plastic-on plastic, and with most silents it’s a semi-firm rubber impact. With the Outemus, their dampeners are softer - and you can feel that when you push the switch all the way down. The positive is less bottom-out noise, the negative is a less definite feel.
It is a little similar to very soft o-rings, with longer travel.
Bobagums use very similar if not the same stems and dampeners that other Outemu silents do; Outemu manufactures them. It’s mainly the housing that separates Bobas from other Outemu silent linears. Say all that to say Bobagums will be similarly quiet but soft.
Silent Alpacas are great switches - it’d be hard to go wrong with them IMO, especially since you’re planning on lubing and filming them.
What Deadeye just said, would also basically be my response. Honestly I don’t have any silent switches I’d personally recommend as, in general, I’m not a huge fan of them since I don’t need silent keyboards in my environments.
Regardless, I think most switches will do the job well. As long as you do your research on how switches could potentially sound based off the variety of different modding methods (lubing with different lubes, switch stickers/films, spring swaps, etc), you can get a result you will be happy with
Silent Alpacas are good, for sure. They do need lubing and filming.
OUTEMUs are surprisingly quiet. I have been using Silent Sky, and they are much quieter than Gateron “silent” tactiles, and most Kailh “silent” tactiles.
You have to put the Silent Sky stems in different housings. Cherry is good [MX Clear], as are TTC Gold Brown V2. You can also use leftover Halo housings from making Pandas, but in my experience they aren’t as quiet.
The U4 Boba are also very quiet for such a tactile switch. But yes, they are a little mushy or “shuffly.” The shuffling noise tends to abate somewhat after break-in.
In terms of linears, you already know Silent Alpaca [and similar JWK]. From reading, and experience, Bobagum might actually be the quietest silent linear. The 52 G version is very interesting, because that’s a poppy spring for its weight. You will need to lube the Bobagum for maximum silencing, otherwise there is a bit of a whispering sound. At least lube the spring [that goes for all OUTEMU silents].
Kailh makes some interesting silents. They have the Silent Brown tactile, which is almost a Zilent V2 in strength. Cheaper, though. Less consistent. Not as quiet as OUTEMU custom line. There’s also several silent linears - don’t get Silent Pink, it’s obsolete. They have Fried Egg, which is a fun and satisfying linear. But it has this weird ‘wet’ sound unlubed. So it’s not as quiet.
The new Kailh Deep Sea is said to be its most modern design. A dampener that doesn’t lead to as much mushiness. I have some, and they are more crisp than most silent linears and silent switches in general. Definitely worth trying. You can buy samples of Kailh silent linears from AliExpress in packs of 10.
There’s also versions of the silenced T1, but they are kind of expensive and harder to find. They would be about as tactile as U4 Boba, but not as good IMHO.
Another “linear” is Aliaz. It’s basically a Gateron Silent Brown, but they aren’t as noisy. It’s supposed to be a tactile, but it’s almost linear. They have smooth housings, so you can get away with just lubing the stem, or nothing at all. But you have to replace the spring with TX - 65 G 14mm is a good weight for these. The spring is noisy.
As for Gateron, Silent Brown sucks in terms of sound, but it is a pretty bouncy switch. I would use them on a non-silent build. Zilent V2 is super-tactile, and not all that quiet [more like a Silent Brown]. It would be cool if they brought back Zilent V1 along with the Redux. V1 Redux is a pretty soft and laid-back switch, and pretty muffled and deep-sounding with 205g0.
Also, you could try the BOX Silent Jade j/k not really, it’s about as loud as MX Brown, I think.
I don’t know many cases that are silent by default. The IKKI68 Aurora with dampening is pretty muffled, works great with OUTEMU and Kailh silents.
In terms of prebuilts, the Archon AK89 cooperates with my silent switches, I like its sound profile as compared with stock prebuilts like Leopold and Filco.
My other experience is with KBD67 Lite [thocky, not quiet], MK870 [thocky with polycarb plate and no dampening, sounds like a pre-built in stock form], Leopold [not very quiet despite dampening and dampened spacebar], KBD8X MKII [better-suited as a thocky keyboard].
This is going to sound crazy, but you might want to consider the HMKB, which is coming out with extras eventually. I have seen multiple people pursue silent builds with them. Here’s an example:
The HMKB also comes in a variety of 75% builds. I actually think it’s one of the more attractive 75%.
There’s also the NCR-80. Despite its Cherry 3000-like case, which creates a resonant wet cardboard sound, I have also seen multiple silent builds. I guess if you stuff the case with dampening and use silent switches, it’s actually viable in that regard. [Mine is tape-modded and very thocky].
In terms of 75% builds, there is an example of a Silent Alpaca KBD75. I wonder how those Keychron pre-builts hold up in terms of silencing…
@HungerMechanic I don’t think I’m going to mix stems and housing this time, as it’s my first build, so I’d like to have a good silent switch to which apply some lube and films: I’d like to keep it a little simpler this time
Another reason is that I want costs not to rise too high, as I was thinking to have a total budget around 140/150€, tools excluded.
Another thing regarding backlight: I only recently discovered that most custom/DYI kit have the PCB with south-facing LEDs, which gave some issues to see-through keycaps like the one I have on my actual Keychron K2v1, which seems to have north-facing ones.
So I wanna ask: how much backlight will I lose choosing a south-facing PCB? Do I have to prefer north-facing LEDs kit to maintain (almost) the same backlight?
Attaching a night sample of mine to have a base to compare with:
Just watched a couple of sound tests of Outemu Silent Peach with its no-dust stem, which seems a very good cheap silent solution, but since they don’t have transparent housing I’m a bit concerned about backlight, but maybe it’s not affecting it as much as I think…
BTW, didn’t think Silent Alpacas were so expensive, almost like a keyboard kit: maybe I have to tend to something else less expensive :S …
Sorry guys to bother but… even if I’ve done my research here and there, I’m quite undecided on the kit I’d should direct my €
Regarding switches, I’ve looked around for Durock Silent Linear too, the one used by Betty of Switch and Click channel for his best silent keeb, and they are quite expensive like the Bobagum (near 70 € for 90 switches). I bet Silent Alpacas would cost nearly the same, but they are quite nowhere to be found, at least on some stores I’ve checked online…
So, I’d say I wanna go with the Bobagum, on the cheap side what would be a good choice? Outemu Silent White, which costs half, or some others, even new ones released recently?
For base kit, was really reconsidering:
to buy a new hot-swap K2, even the base plastic with white backlight one (even if my actual one is the Alu frame one, but if I have to save a little bit of money here and there…), and then mount switches there with all mods to be done.
Another contender would be the RK84, but I don’t really like so much the magnetic feet, but I’ve seen is a quite preferred one, and then…
there is the Feker IK75, but I have to understand if and how some of the keys can be edited, since I’ve seen some videos but no info on the program to use are to be found: this because I need the PrtSCn key to be used without keys combination @ work, mostly.
after some searching and having some nice discount around, I think I’m going with the Feker IK75 + Outemu Silent White: would it be a nice quite cheap silent solution?
Just because maybe could be a crime to use a board like the IK75 with switches costing near the board itself: maybe they deserve a better base
If you just want silent and the feel of bottoming out isn’t important to you then the outemus are fine. If you’re willing to spend the money and you care about the feel of the switches, it would be worth it to choose something other than the outemus.
hi Roo, well, since this is my first build I’d like to not go so high with costs and see how it is to have a more silent one at first.
Then, since the board I’m taking is a hot-swap one, I can always swap the cheap Outemu Silent White for something more silent and more expensive like Bobagum or Silent Alpacas, if no new and better contenders will come out meantime