I started thinking about this recently while looking into silencing Topre and wondered if any of the switch gurus here have ever experimented with it. What would an MX switch with only one end of the stem dampening pad sound/feel like?
In the example of Topre, silencing rings only dampen the upstroke of the plunger hitting the housing (since the downstroke of Topre is already inherently dampened by nature of the rubber domes).
In an MX switch, however, dampening pads are found on both the top and bottom of the stem slider to silence both the upstroke and downstroke. With silent linears, people often complain about mushiness when these pads aren’t firm enough. This seems to be less of an issue with silent tactiles since the tactile bump itself is enough to feel some sort of non-dampened contact during the key travel.
Would removing just the bottom of the dampening pad on a silent linear MX switch yield a favorable typing experience (by reducing upstroke noise but still allowing for clean contact on the downstroke)?
Neat! I guess the amount of bottom material you’re able to remove would determine how much of the typing experience you’d be able to improve. Anything that helps reduced the mushiness in silents is most welcomed.
Acoustically, it’d be cool to hear a single beat keystroke.
It would be worth trying. If you were to do that, I would suggest matching the slider to a “milky” housing like Gateron milky yellows or even Gat Black Inks. that way the downstroke would be more muted and not sound so jarring.
Side note: While not totally apples-apples, this is one of the reasons why I still prefer V1 Zilents and the original Aliaz silent tactile to the revised versions. They only had 1 downward facing dampener vs 2 on the V2s. 1 dampener results in a much firmer bottom out and just enough audio feedback while typing.
Ultimately a good dampened switch for me is something like dampened cream Alps. They are quieter than amber or orange Alps, but not totally silent nor mushy.
I think this would make them pretty loud honestly, since most of the thock of linears is in the downstroke, kind of ruining the whole point of silent switches IMO.
Nah, up sounds alot also cuz u don’t always bottom out/stopped applying more force.
At least from the marketing, TTC Bluish Whites sound like they may have dampening for the downstroke and not the upstroke - though something may be getting lost in translation there. I have some coming at some point this quarter, so I’ll let you know if that bears-out.
I’ve pondered trying to find tiny silicone spheres just the right size to drop in the center post; not sure if that exists.
Anyway. I’m into it. At least on some switches, I do like the upstroke sound, and it might be cool to see something emphasizing it.
IMO I think the answer is yes. I can’t really explain it, but I love the sound of the upstroke but dislike the sound of bottoming out. Its the biggest reason why I type without bottoming out for the most part. And from what I can tell, that’s where most of the noise comes from when typing (bottoming out). A good example are Pandas, where they make this loud clack when hitting the bottom but the top is somewhat a muted thock.
I solved that problem with just using o-ring dampeners on the keycaps so that the stem doesn’t slam in to the bottom of the switch housing. So given that experiment, I would think that a switch that has a dampener just on the bottom (especially if it was a tactile switch) would probably yield close to the same experience.
I wonder if you could accomplish this using regular dampened mx switches and a lot of patience. I believe most mx style dampened switches have a dampening rubber molded into the rails of the stem. Dolphin dampened switches wouldn’t work for this but say with regular silent red cherry switches or the like you could in theory chop either the top or the bottom of the dampening pad off, and if you could do this consistently enough might yield good results without having to manufacture a brand new stem to accomplish it.
My memory want to say that the first silenced MX only had dampers on the bottom.
The only problem with cutting the top dampeners is that would change the resting position of the stem; they would sit higher, and on some switches that will make them feel a bit weird. (Think Zilent / Aliaz pre-travel but much worse.)
Most stems have the pads molded-in, but Outemu’s are inserts. Theoretically, one could make an insert that’s hard at the top and soft at the bottom, but the size would have to be pretty precise.
I never said it was louder when hitting the top.
Well, now it’s a mess of words from all parts.
My point was that the upstroke ain’t to be neglected and if you don’t bottom out its the main source of sound.
Thats fair, I’ve never been light fingered enough to avoid bottoming out, thank you for clarifying for me.