Or maybe I'm just cheap

I love TTC Bluish Whites! Great suggestion.

They introduced me to those two-stage long springs, too.

I think sound tests have the most utility when used in comparing things in like-for-like conditions, which is exactly what’s going on in that video. Very cool idea to compare across many profiles - and I love the info graphics!

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Fair point - I may be a little hard on sound tests. My distaste originates from hearing people say they’re chasing a sound from a sound test they heard online. By the time you record, tune, compress, and playback, it’s kind of the equivalent of keyboard ASMR, and will never sound just like that in real life.

Given the context of this sound test, I think there is value added, and I agree, I really enjoyed that videos format.

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Pretty much spoiled for choice.

It’ll probably come down to availability (I’ll probably go for something that I can get without too much fuss), ideally 3 pins, and aesthetics.

Like something with a darker shade of case will blend better with the (black) gmmk, whereas the (current) clear housing is very visible under bottom row keycaps.

Inks look to blend in a tad better

An innocent and naive question: cherry mx silent have a black housing (bonus point for being the right color and 3 pins), would there be a reason to prefer gaterons black ink over these ?

(I don’t mind that much cutting 200+ little legs with flush cutters)


At least for me, YES. Ink Blacks are quite a bit more smooth than Cherry silents. The stock Cherry ones feel like poking a stick into wet sand for me. That said, the Cherry stems work well in other housings that are less grainy.

It’s possible to swap the Ink tops with solid black ones from other switches, but you might sacrifice a little smoothness depending on the donor.

So at the time being, based mainly on availability (that is challenging in this day and age), it’s a duel between the durock daybreak and the gaterons silent inks.

Both are pins and will need clipping, I hope that won’t interefere too much with the rgb smd leds on the pcb

I’ve seen a thing or two regarding scratchy silent ink v2, but would put me off is inconsistency (non capable production process)

I’ll get a switch opener and krytox gpl (turbo zsmax RR special edition) in the same shop hopefully.
(I’ll print a switch opener instead)
[edit : this one works quite well : Cherry MX Switch Opener by Avatar7 - Thingiverse
(not my picture) ]

If you are already spending so much money on premium switches (ink, silent inks, etc), I would consider selling the GMMK full size and get a keyboard that supports 5 pins rather than clipping those legs. 5 pins switches are generally more welcomed because the two extra legs give more stability.


Wooohooo, I’m premium !

Well well.
I don’t want to sell the gmmk because I’m stubborn. But there’s more to it.
I genuinely thought that was the best full size ISO layout available on the market. I’m probably wrong (I’m very good at being wrong). I’d love to fit 3 pins switches, but they make em’ five legged.

I searched quite a bit for a ‘quality’ keyboard that would allow adaptation to some extent, and iso layout. Or even the bits, but maybe I searched wrong, the world is littered with group buy 63.5% keyboards / pcb / plates / cases / whatever with as rich an offer regarding keycaps, but ANSI.

I also sort of desperately try to make a rather expensive kit (as in total cost) as satisfying (for me) as the cheap sharkoon. Double or quits ?

It’s probably an ill fated quest, but these make the best movies.

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I’m getting the sense that you’re not entirely sure what you want for your keyboard. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s very common for people new to the hobby, but it makes it very difficult to decide which direction to proceed.

My recommendation would be to move slow because the more you learn about keyboards, the more you’ll get a true sense of what is and isn’t available, and you’ll get a better sense of what exactly is important to you.

For example, my board priorities in order of importance are:

  1. ANSI Hotswap
  2. Arrow keys (but no number pad)
  3. Aluminum case
  4. QMK

Going this route, I can easily swap out switches, improve the case sound, replace/mod the stabs, etc. I also realized that while I appreciate a great keyboard, I have a lot more fun upgrading mediocre boards and experimenting with different switches than buying full boards (it’s also a lot cheaper this way).

Obviously, your needs are different, but I would recommend writing out your list of needs versus wants for your next board and then keeping an eye on r/mechanicalkeyboards, join a bunch of keyboard discords, and of course check in on this site often to see boards that may meet your list of priorities.

Actually I do. But I don’t have the knowledge or the wording to make it understandable. Basically I wanted a better A1048.

100% BUT compact, low profile, with the volume up/down/ mute keys over the numpad.
It’s called a sharkoon purewriter. And to the hobby’s standard it’s a entry / low end thingy.
I bought one and loved it.
Now I want a better purewriter (because I can feel / see the design to cost of this keyboard)

I PROBABLY rushed for my firts order, no doubt on the switches, but, well, I chose a pack that was available an different from the red, so I opted for something lighter. And this proved to be a mistake.

I do genuinly believe that it’s like a guitar or a mottorcycle. You know what you want with experience.

I’ve done quite a bit of research.
And I’ve found people that got quite close to something that I would probably call adequate.

  • Bespoke printed keycaps
  • Design your own pcb and plate.
  • Have a case cnc milled to specs

Things akin to Simply96, a personal keyboard project

Won’t be able to put that amount of time into it. And the offer in full size ISO layout components (case, board, plate) is, well, scarce. And don’t get me started on keycaps.

I couldn’t agree more. Hence the gmmk.

I pre date computers, I wasn’t born with the filtering skills to wade into reddit. (joking a bit, but not that much)

That GMMK has really a cheap build quality, the plastic bottom is flimsy, and you’ll never get rid of its hollow sound.
If you want an ISO hotswap that’s better in every aspect, try and get a Keychron Q1 (EU vendors carry the ISO version). This one can be tuned to sound quite alright.

Oh, I’m not yet complaining about hollow sounds yet, it’s still rattling stabs and switches bright racket. My fault, really. It’s already a step up from the sharkoon (structural build wise), mostly because weights and bigger/thicker frame.

I’ve investigated keychron stuff in my quest, and alas, I have not been able to find a 100% model on iso layout : I’ve found only ANSI C2 and K10.

Like the looks, though.

Here’s the trick: that Keychron Q1 is a 75%, so it’s basically got everything you need without a numpad. Just get a separate numpad, that you can build and customize independantly, and put out of the way so you can get your mouse closer to the center axis which is better for your wrists :wink:
Also there are some very nice numpads out there.

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I currently am building a sort of tkl at the time being :
(brown switches from aliexpress just to see what it feels like, 3D printed case, handwired, and finned underside like a racing car, loosely based on keebcu - andimoto smallTKL iso - mechanical keyboard by andimoto - Thingiverse )

(funnily enough, it’s much more painful and fun to push in the swicthes when you’re half expectig the thing to crack and shatter)

So I’m not entirely closed to the tkl idea. I may even do one smaller without the function rows with the gateron clears that will be salvaged from the gmmk, but these won’t be my daily drivers.

Coming back to the keychron, the layout is very nice, but not the one I’ve been using for three decades. Muscular memory is strong, and It’s like wiping your bottom with the other hand, doesn’t seem like a huge change, but ends up cursing.

(and what did scroll lock and pause do for deserving such a puunishment ? have not they been nice to you all these years ?)

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I do switch between a 75% at work, and a regular TKL at home: muscular memory adapts really quickly to the 75%. It’s much easier than say, going full ergo/ortho which are entirely different layouts. Having the home/end/pgup/pgdown on a vertical row doesnt really change that much.

I’ve finally ordered 110 silent black ink switches and Krytox GPL 205 Grade 0 (zsxmax turbo boost RR black edition nurburgring special).

The 3d printed keycaps opener do work well, still a bugger to separate the thing and it hurts fingers, but I’ll give it a go on the gateron browns for 3dprinted sort-of-tkl keyboard before trying to lube the silent inks.
Hope not to destroy more than five… and that I like the result !

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On the topic of lubing, err on the side of less to begin with. Its easier to add more than it is to remove. I found doing three to five switches each of a few different lube methods and putting them in a switch tester along with a few unlubed switches as a control was helpful. The difficult part for me was being consistent, but that just takes practice and patience. I’m no expert in regards to lubing, but I hope that helps.

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I just put keycaps on my 3dprinted plate mounted tkl-ish.

Made with the cheapest stuff available, so aliexpress sourced “gateron browns” and same provenance ymdk keycaps. Wether it’s genuine or not i don’t really care, the noise is very satisfying, the action has quite a bit of friction and the “costar” (aliexpress purchase too) stab (only put one under the space bar) defines new level in rattling.

But quite happy. I’ll have to wire the thing, I save it for a rainy day.


A bit of 205g0 on the parts of the stabilizer wire that touch plastic should help with rattle. Might be good to check if the wire is bent, though I don’t know if thats as much of a problem on costar stabs as it is on cherry style.

Should do the trick. I have only one stab under the space bar, maybe I’ll put another one under the left shift, I’ll probably try to make the best assembly out of the bag of stabs I have. Metal vire doesn’t seem to be bent, but I’ll check with a better eye later, I just slapped the keys to hear what it sounded / felt like.

The pla I used is quite stiff (pla is kind of stiff), plus the extensive ribbing within the case made it quite a sturdy assembly, even without the screwed underside plate. That’s something you can do with additive manufacturing, putting fins and ribs all over the place, but still making holes and passages for the handwiring, that would not be doable thanks to machining.

Wiring it wil still be fun, every switch is kind of jailed in a cubicle, tweezers will be put into action. Quite happy with the feel though, even if it’s a keyboard that will spend most of its life gathering dust on a server…

What I’ve learnt is that even (probably) cloned gateron browns sound to me way better than clears, I assume that to get the action that light clearances were on the plus side.

Lot of cool stuff going on with 3D printing in regards to keyboards, just saw a new video from Zach Freedman on his low profile, modular keyboard. Have you seen the 3D printed hot swap sockets a few people have designed? Could be useful for your project. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! I appreciate the hand wired art/science.