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Issues finding the keyboard i want

SkywarpWasTaken
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Hello, first time poster here.

I've been looking into getting a proper mechanical keyboard for some time now but i've been hitting a bit of a wall with the options i have at my disposal, probably because of these issues:

- I want a 100%. No TKL or 60/65% (though TKL would still be possible).
- I need it to be Swiss French/German ISO layout.
- Similar sound profile to the Zoom65 Plouffe showed off if possible.

- Wired or Wireless is not too relevant, even though wireless would probably be a better option

 

One option would probably be buying the Keychron Q6 ISO barebone then the switches and keycaps separately, but i don't know how to find keycaps in the proper layout or available to begin with. 
Another option might be WASD Keyboards as they allow a whole slew of configurations in terms of keycaps and colours for the keycaps but i'm not sure about their overall quality and their switch selection is basically only Cherry MX ( Are MX browns even a good thing anymore?)

 

There are many pages which supposedly help people build their keyboards but i'm either too dumb or not informed enough to navigate them properly, so sorry in advance if i'm asking something that's actually pretty obvious or outright dumb. 

 

Any tip would be highly appreciated though. 

Thanks.

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Any full size aluminium board that comes with a shitload of foam will sound pretty much exactly like that. The Q6 is probably a good option because the Q1 and ostensibly the whole Q line are actually pretty good for the price.

As for keycaps any kit that has full 143/144 key kitting (kitting = which layouts and stuff it supports) should have ISO enter, but finding appropriate nordics and accents will be very difficult. Those are so niche that even kits that have appropriate ISO support almost always don't have them included, and you have to pay extra. Even most good respectable in stock kits like novelkeys PBT and even more premium kits that offer significant customisation like signature plastics won't have those. So you may have to put up with english/UK ISO unless you find a site with particularly bloody excellent kitting, or a group buy with nordics. I might not be the best source for that though, because I tend to ignore nordic kitting availaibility as it's not relevant to me.

 

WASD won't sound like that zoom. They're thin ABS with a plastic or aluminium integrated plate from what I can tell. If they even have any sound dampening in them, they still won't sound the same. It's an easy sound to match, though, because it's just a dampened aluminium case. Hell you could buy literally any keyboard and add some stupidfish foams: https://stupidfish.design/collections/keyboard-foams for plate and case, or just plate and a piece of foam/felt from a craft shop and get pretty much the same sound signature.

 

If you're dead set on the 100% size then the Q6 is probably going to be your best option. Not many boards that size get made in customs, because not many customers will buy one, so even places like kbdfans tend to stick to like a 96% layout like the odin. If you're still considering the TKL option like your post says then have a look at the kbdfans tiger80. It's in stock and actually pretty decent. Until recently their in stock options were kinda shite, but the tiger80 blew that up.

 

A huge part of the reason you're also better off getting the Q6 is that because of the small order quantities 100% size boards tend to be expensive. Like a GB I was watching for a while that's currently running is the dino 104, and it's $600 USD for a kinda standard board.

Also browns are inoffensive to some, but not very tactile if that's what you're looking for. If you don't want to wait for other switches probably just get the Gateron G Pro Reds that keychron sell. They're pretty bad though because the springs are +/-15g. I'd get new switches before a spring swap though, because the gat pros aren't really going to be worth that kind of investment. Because the ISO version doesn't come with caps I'd probably just get some novelkeys PBT to go with it, or some shenpo caps off aliexpress.

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Thanks for all the suggestions and recommendations.

Went ahead and ordered the Q6 plus the corresponding foam.
 
In terms of switches Gateron seems to be an option, though i've heard some praise for the Zealios lineup.

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5 hours ago, SkywarpWasTaken said:

but i don't know how to find keycaps in the proper layout or available to begin with. 

There are some off the shelf keycaps that support ISO-DE (at least Glorious and Keychron), but if you want something more specific, you might want to look into in stock extras from group buys. Especially KAT profile tend to have kits for regional variants. 

E.g. Mykeyboard is EU based and seems to have extras from KAT Arctic and Atlantis atm. 

Edited by seon123
Something something

:)

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34 minutes ago, seon123 said:

There are some off the shelf keycaps that support ISO-DE (at least Glorious and Keychron), but if you want something more specific, you might want to look into in stock extras from group buys. Especially KAT profile tend to have kits for regional variants. 

E.g. Mykeyboard is EU based and seems to have extras from KAT Arctic and Atlantis atm. 

I had checked MyKeyboard but when i search for Swiss it just give me one single option, might be a thing i should check more often i guess.

Falling back to the DE layout feels a bit like a desperate last ditch choice. Though i assume it is a valid one if it really comes push to shove. 

Are ABS keycaps a bad option? Because i could order the whole Swiss layout from WASD in that case.

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58 minutes ago, SkywarpWasTaken said:

I had checked MyKeyboard but when i search for Swiss it just give me one single option, might be a thing i should check more often i guess.

Falling back to the DE layout feels a bit like a desperate last ditch choice. Though i assume it is a valid one if it really comes push to shove. 

If the North or French kits don't have what you're looking for, I'm not sure where to look, sorry.

1 hour ago, SkywarpWasTaken said:

Are ABS keycaps a bad option? Because i could order the whole Swiss layout from WASD in that case.

ABS is fine, there are some high end keycaps made of ABS too. Just be aware that they may start to shine after a while. And the legends on the WASD keycaps seem to be either printed or laser etched legends, so they will likely not last as long as higher quality keycaps.

:)

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ABS is absolutely fine.

They are smoother than even smooth PBT caps. They will be a bit higher pitched in sound. The thing you want to look out for is double-shot, or triple-shot. That's when different coloured plastic is what makes up the letters, instead of laser-etching or printed legends etc.

 

On 10/3/2022 at 10:24 PM, SkywarpWasTaken said:

i've heard some praise for the Zealios lineup

They're way overpriced. You can get very similar switches for much cheaper. The durock T1 and recolours of it are basically the same as zeal tactiles. Durock L series linears will be very close to the smoothness if not better than zeal linears.

 

On 10/3/2022 at 10:24 PM, SkywarpWasTaken said:

Gateron seems to be an option

Gateron make zeal's switches, and then they just mark them up like all getout lol.
Here don't take my word for it:

https://zealpc.net/products/pearlio?variant=39379359531072

Pearlio60g_5000x.jpg?v=1640493778

 

On 10/3/2022 at 11:03 PM, seon123 said:

Especially KAT profile

KAT has had some quality control issues IIRC. I would probably say get signature plastics SA kits instead. They're just more consistent.

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