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Looking for new Cherry MX keycaps, questions about Miami vs Tai-Hao Miami

Hey guys, I had one of my keystems break on my Ducky One TKL, so I tore it apart and replaced the Cherry MX Brown key, but now I have another issue. The old keystem is still stuck in the keycap and I cant get it out. So i'm looking at getting a new key cap set.

 

I was looking on mechanicalkeyboards.com and I saw the 'Miami Keycap Set (GMK)' and from the photo it looks fkn beautiful, but that $190 is a bit too much for my budget.

I was wondering if the actual keycaps have the incredible neon colours that are in the photo. I was also wondering how the look of the '104 Key PBT Double Shot Keycap Set - Miami (Tai-Hao)' compare.

 

Are the Tai-Hao keycaps good with good colouring? $50 is much more in budget.

Please "Quote" me if you want me to see your response.

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5 hours ago, Justin_ said:

I was looking on mechanicalkeyboards.com and I saw the 'Miami Keycap Set (GMK)' and from the photo it looks fkn beautiful, but that $190 is a bit too much for my budget.

I was wondering if the actual keycaps have the incredible neon colours that are in the photo. I was also wondering how the look of the '104 Key PBT Double Shot Keycap Set - Miami (Tai-Hao)' compare.

 

Are the Tai-Hao keycaps good with good colouring? $50 is much more in budget.

Hey there. Both are fine options, and I think your purchasing decision here depends on your budget and personal preferences.

 

...Wait, I feel like I just stated the obvious. What I mean is this:

 

GMK Miami (Available for $176.00 *Sold Out* on Originative, or for $190.00 on Mechanical Keyboards)

  • ABS Material: Usually, I don't recommend ABS, but GMK makes their keycaps thick and sturdy. The color on GMK's ABS keycaps are also more vivid compared to Tai-Hao's PBT alternatives. Surface finish is smooth.
    • Unfortunately, they're still susceptible to 'ABS shine' that develops from frequent contact with the keycap's surface -- a huge deterrent for me, and partly why I don't like recommending ABS keycaps. Depending on your fingers/skin chemistry, shine can take anywhere from two weeks to months to appear.
  • Double-Shot Legends: Keycap and legends are made from separate pieces of plastic. Even if 'shine' develops on the keycaps, the lettering should still be visible.
  • Cherry Profile: Sculpted keycaps with a level surface and a slightly lower profile and shorter height compared to OEM profile keycaps (see image in spoilers below for a visual comparison). The F and J keycaps in particular have a rounded indent to them -- Originative calls this "scooped."
  • Snug Fit: Likely a non-issue for you if you use Cherry MX switches, but if you plan to switch to Kailh BOX switches in the future, Originative has the following disclaimer:
Quote

Disclaimer: Kalih Box switches are compatible but with a high chance of stretching/cracking the stems. Please use at your own risk. We will not be responsible for the damages caused by this.

 

Tai-Hao Miami (Available for $49.00 on Mechanical Keyboards - Option 1, Option 2, Amazon, or for $45.00 on KPrepublic)

  • PBT Material: Tai-Hao makes keycaps with relatively thin PBT material. The color on Tai-Hao's PBT keycaps are more washed-out/duller compared to GMK's ABS alternative. Surface finish is slightly matte/rougher in feel.
    • Uncertain whether the thinness of Tai-Hao's keycaps affect their long-term durability.
  • Double-Shot Legends: Keycap and legends are made from separate pieces of plastic. Combined with the PBT material, Tai-Hao's keycap set should be considerably more resistant to 'shine' compared to GMK's set.
    • I believe the Tai-Hao Miami's legends are backlit/shine-through, but please don't quote me on this. I'm fairly certain the GMK Miami's legends are completely opaque, though.
  • OEM Profile: Sculpted keycaps with a level surface (see image in spoilers below for a visual comparison).

 

Keycap Profiles

Spoiler

keycap_profiles.jpg

Middle Columns: OEM Profile and Cherry Profile Keycaps.

R1 refers to the row closest to the bottom of your keyboard (where the spacebar is). R4 refers to the row closest to the top of your keyboard (where the ESC key is).

 

TLDR: The GMK Miami keycaps are the 'luxury' option, with bright colors, thick material, and a smooth surface finish. The Tai-Hao Miami keycaps are the budget-friendly option, with more subdued colors, thinner material, and a more textured surface finish. Can't say anything certain about the durability of either keycap sets, they both have their respective faults (ABS shine for GMK, thin material for Tai-Hao).

正直に生きる、一度きりの人生だから

Keeb Weeb LinksCustom Mechanical Keyboards | #KeebWeebClub

'Chew Builds: Hoshī (PC) | Eighty #391 (Keeb) | R2-968 (Keeb) | MGK64 (Keeb)

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2 hours ago, Eschew said:

Hey there. Both are fine options, and I think your purchasing decision here depends on your budget and personal preferences.

 

...Wait, I feel like I just stated the obvious. What I mean is this:

 

...

Wow, thanks for the wright up. That was more than I expected, and you mentioned more details than I thought to look for. Is that something that you wrote up yourself, or is there a user benchmarks esk site for keyboards?

 

No huge surprise, I think i'll grab the Tai-How set for now, but i'm actually more interested in possibly picking up the GMK set in the future. I do have a few Cherry MX keyboards as I keep one in my bag with my laptop so I could have a set on each.

Please "Quote" me if you want me to see your response.

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29 minutes ago, Justin_ said:

Wow, thanks for the wright up. That was more than I expected, and you mentioned more details than I thought to look for. Is that something that you wrote up yourself, or is there a user benchmarks esk site for keyboards?

You're welcome! Glad you found it useful. 😁

 

Aha, I think it'd be a bit difficult to 'benchmark' keyboards when everyone's standards are so different. 😅 In the above example, some folks have grown fond of the ABS shine on their GMK keycaps (Source: GeekHack Thread). Me, I can't stand it. People also have different expectations of switches, which I don't think can be neatly defined with numerical benchmark values.

 

I just... really like custom mechanical keyboards? Unless otherwise specified, details would have been taken from linked sources and should be verifiable, and written opinions (both implicit and explicit) are my own. If you'd like a condensed breakdown of mechanical keyboards, I've written up a not-so-lil' piece on custom keebs. #ShamefulSelfPromotion

 

29 minutes ago, Justin_ said:

No huge surprise, I think i'll grab the Tai-How set for now, but i'm actually more interested in possibly picking up the GMK set in the future. I do have a few Cherry MX keyboards as I keep one in my bag with my laptop so I could have a set on each.

Sounds good! 👍 Would be very interested to see how those keycaps look on your Ducky One TKL!

Aaand might I point you towards the Mechanical Keyboard Club thread? Post pretty keyboard pics there, we likey. 👀

正直に生きる、一度きりの人生だから

Keeb Weeb LinksCustom Mechanical Keyboards | #KeebWeebClub

'Chew Builds: Hoshī (PC) | Eighty #391 (Keeb) | R2-968 (Keeb) | MGK64 (Keeb)

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