The force break mod - any opininion on it?

This is the newest mod that some people are praising right now.
Several known streamers have already tested it with success.

The general principle is to prevent the case to ring like a bell when typing, due to vibrations that are transmitted from the bottom case to the top case.
The top case, beeing a hollow part, is often the most pingy part of a case.
And the very simple solution looks to stick tape on either top or bottom part of the case (or both) to isolate them and prevent those unwanted vibrations of the top case.
The most dramatic demonstrations have been done on the Keychron Q1 board known to ping like hell.

The beauty of this mod is that it is easily reversible if it does not work (just remove the tape).
And looks to do wonders to remove the ping without changing the sound signature of the board like with adding foam for example.

Seemed too good to be true so decided to try on one of my boards, the Manta75.
Don’t let me wrong I love the sound of my Manta75, but while the alphas were sounding great I could detect a very subtle pinging noise when typing on the keys close to the exterior of the case (modifiers, arrow keys, …).
And after having typed on it for a long time this became to annoy me a bit, because as everyone in this forum I want the perfect keyboard on my desk :wink:
So put very simple electrical tape patches close to the holes of the bottom case, assembled the board and started typing.
The results ?
ALL ping … GONE.
And my board now sounds the way I wanted it to sound when I designed it, this incredibly delicious.

Now the questions to you guys are:

  1. Did you tested this mod and did it worked for you ?

  2. The second question is more complex.
    Why do you think some boards don’t need this mod and some boards do ?

As for 2 let me try to give my guess first.
I think the top case pinging problem could be due to a lack of surface contact between the top and bottom case.
As an example my previous design, the Winghead, didn’t need the mod. This board uses a leafpring sandwitch mount, allowing to have a large surface contact between the top and bottom piece (and plate of course).
The Manta75 uses a leafspring bottom mount, and less surface contact.
Also for the Manta75 the top piece is powder coated, a rather grainy finish that can lower the surface contact compared to a smoother finish like anodization for example.

So IMO pinging could be due to lack of surface contact between top and bottom piece due to :

  • less available surface due to keyboard design.
  • more or less smooth finish.
  • uneven flatness of top/bottom piece due to poor machining.
  • number of screws (more is better ?).

Huh. Gonna have to try this with my old YMDK chonker TKL case…


So the tape is essentially a gasket between the two halves? Am I understanding correctly? This might help my brutal 60. The top of that case is very much a bell if you tap on it alone.


I did this to my Meridian and my Satisfaction75 last week and it makes a noticeable difference to me. Definitely less pinging. Feel like my boards sound cleaner, and it also got rid of some spacebar issues I had on my Meridian somehow…


Yes, that is more or less a gasket.
And it can explain why a lot of gasket mounted boards sound cleaner, especially if you don’t screw the case to the point that the two halves are making contact each other: this can be a fix for pinging gasket mounted boards, just unscrew the case a little bit so that only the gaskets are making contact, not the metal parts.

I did this mod recently in my KBD8x MKII and was pleasantly surprised by it. It’s a nice mod, in that like the tape mod, it can be done with materials you likely already have around the house and it is easily reservable. In my case, I used electrical tap on one side. If using a thinner tape, like masking tape, I would probably recommend two layers on each half.

I was interested in trying this mod mainly due to the same reason that @pixelpusher mentioned. The KBD8x MKII suffers from the same pinging on the top case that is present in the Brutal line. I have done some experimenting with the KBD8x, and really liked the o-ring style mount for similar reasons. The o-ring cut down on the ringing sound, probably due to the giant rubber band separating the two halves. It offered better sound in the case, the only issue is that the 8x has hardly any room in the bottom. Sure, you get better sound but on a half-plate (with the flex cuts in the PCB), your PCB will hit bottom.

Prior to this mod, my preferred set up in this board was half-plate (top mounted) with a thin layer of PE foam in the bottom of the case to remove hollowness. After the force break mod, I am happy to say that I achieved the top case NOT ringing when I tap on it, and it removed enough of the hallowness in the case that I did not feel the need for the thin foam on the bottom. This aspect is what I was surprised by the most. I don’t think it removed all the hallowness, but it was like 80%. I got rid of most of hallowness, but I also got a little bit of sound “character” back from the board (and a little more flex without hitting the bottom).

I think like the tape mod, the force break can be a big boon, however if you do it to all the boards you can, you are going to end up with a lot of same-y keebs.

As for why I think this mod is useful, I think in the KBD8x, the top is just thin and cheaper aluminum. Or maybe not cheaper but definitely thinner and without the brass insert present in the bottom to soak up any ringing resonance. My thought is that the top was were they cut costs, the downside is that it ends up acting like a ringing bell. I think the Brutal is much the same way, top is thin compared to the wedged aluminum present in the bottom. I am of the opinion that the force break mod just assists with stopping the sound from passing between the two halves. Other keyboards might not face these same issues if: their two halves are thicker, or they are maybe made with a higher grade, dense aluminum?

Honestly if you have a board that you can use this mod in, I would recommend giving it a try. I


There is a bit of truth in your saying here.
As our boards are made of metal there is very often a metallic tint that can be heard while typing.
And this mod nearly eliminates this metallc tint, so in that sense it kinda uniformize how a board sounds.
So if your preference is to be able to hear this subtle tint of metal ringing while typing, don’t do this mod.

Howerer this is the only thing that this mod changes.
It does not change the sound pitch so everything that can effect the pitch, plate material, case material, amount of space between the PCB and the bottom case, stays untouched.
And this is what I like in this mod.

Not a sound expert,but I think that the amount of ringing is exarcerbed with a more roomy space between PCB and bottom case
Whitout ringin you’d end up with a boomy (are rather noisy) sound while typing, quite enjoyable (not much for your neighbours;) ) and this is what you ended up with using this mod I think.
Some designers like @Jae-3soteric with the J01 explicitly added an acoustical chamber in the bottom case to emphasize this boomy sound experience.

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Sounds really interesting — thanks for sharing.

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I think you hit the nail on the head. I can definitely see how some of the “character” I am describing is the “boom-ness” that you are mentioning. I don’t think I would consider the bottom of the KBD8x to be roomy, but we are are the same page with the results!

At the end of the day, this mod got me to a sound profile that I much prefer in this build. I think that is all that really matters. I saw something recently that sounded like some people in the community are shitting on the tape mod. I think the vibe being that it is a noob thing to do or your board is cheap that is why you need it. Hopefully that kind of mentality does not stop people from trying this one.



Ahh, that’s what this term means. I’d been wondering.

I put four pieces of electrical tape between the halves of my hubris (top-mount, two piece alu minivan case where the halves slot into one-another) where the halves connect which:

  1. put an end to the small amount of sliding/play between the pieces before tightening the screws and

  2. seemed to make everything sound and feel fractionally more… solid.

It isn’t a pingy case to begin with as both pieces are very substantial, but this was still a positive result in my eyes. Now I know it has a name.


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Your meridian was pingy enough to make you do the force break mod? I guess mine had a very tiny bit of case ping before I burger mounted the plate, but that alone killed it. I don’t know if maybe I got lucky & my unit have pretty snug fitting parts negated case ping from the go though. Either way glad to hear you got it to a point you’re happier with it. The Meridian is easily my favorite board right now & I love to see more people happily using them!

This on the other hand is great to hear as my 8X suffers from some pretty bad /case ping/hollowness without filling it with foam. Which as I’m sure you know if you’ve read any of my posts on the matter I am not a fan of foam & will only use it when absolutely necessary. Gonna be trying the force break to my 8X here in a few to see if I can get the foam out it. Because ignoring the case ping/hollowness I found the set up I used in mine originally (PC plate, no plate foam, L+F+SS Creams, no case foam, plate burger mounted) had a pretty unique & pleasing sound. The ping/hollowness was just too much for to keep rolling with it like that though. Will report back once I get it done.


I like my 8X, so much more so with a half plate, but I some times I feel like it almost made it to the finish line, but not quite. Ping-y case and the flex cuts in the PCB, hold it back ever so slightly.

I wouldn’t mind trying to source a full, regular PCB to use with a half plate, but at the same time I don’t think I want to go through desoldering and soldering again :frowning:


I just tried this on my Jules today. It did help quite a bit. The Jules has a particularly “ringy” bottom edge by the space bar. I like it, especially for a 5 min mod.


Is this just a more complicated version of switch stickers? Like instead of using stickers y’all are using electrical tape?

yeah, just something with padding. Like I said earlier, it’s a gasket mod. I believe it’s just shoring up any fraction of a gap between the top and bottom of the case to eliminate ringing. You could easily do this for acoustic improvement on any keyboard where metal halves meet.

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Anybody know how to do something like this on a Bakeneko, which is a solid piece of aluminum?

I’ve tried similar on tray mount cases and I can’t tell that adding material does much to help with ringing. But you shouldn’t have much transfer of vibration from PCB assembly to the case in a bakeneko anyway. The o-ring is doing more than electrical tape would do.

I guess the Bakeneko is in it’s final form :slight_smile:


I see. One of the main reasons I didn’t like the Bakeneko was because of how hollow it was, and really not a fan of putting foam into boards.

I’ve heard a weight of somekind “sucks up” the hollowness, kinda like the unikorn.

There’s an interesting discussion to be had about gasket isolation mounts and “hollwness.” I find that o-ring boards like the Unikorn and Bakeneko can often sound “hollow” or lifeless.

I believe it is the result of exactly the isolation that the case was designed for. Not a hollowness from empty space resonation, but a hollowness from the lack of resonance in the plate/case connection. So, you’re essentially hearing the switch in it’s purest form without much to carry that sound. Not a “pingy/ringy” hollowness, but a “empty/lifeless” hollowness. Does that make sense?

Nothing is superior for sound, b/c it’s all subjective to each unique user. But it’s interesting to identify how different setups can effect the sound and try to pin down what you prefer. (Also why I know that I prefer top mounts in general)

I’d love a setup with the tools and time to properly measure things like frequencies and overtones in different mount methods.

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If you don’t like to use foam, you could also try the tape mod (painters tape on back of the entire PCB), which should have a positive effect on any higher pitch sounds you get from the Bakeneko.

I’m defeintely in the camp of “do whatever you want to your keyboard to make it sound the way you want it to sound and feel.” Plate foam, PE foam under the switches, tape mod, gaskets… whatever you find to make it more enjoyable to you. Most of the mods are basically free, easily reversable, and only take a few minutes.