Das Keyboard right for me? Blue or Brown switches?

Discussion in 'Mice and Keyboards' started by JR-Orion, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    The keyboards I've been using for the past decade and a half have just been the freebies that come with various PCs. I do have a Saitek Elcipse 1 at home, but outside of the glowing keys, I think it's just a normal rubber dome keyboard. It's OK, but it's old, the letters are starting to rub off, and I don't get much feedback from it ('tis rather mushy).

    Did quite a bit of reading here, and would like to go mechanical. My initial thought was to go with Cherry Blues- figured I would like the click and the tactile "bump." That way you really know the switch has been depressed. I'm mainly a gamer, and say you want to quickly drink a health potion and then get back to attacking- the click n bump would really let me know that I hit the potion key.

    But I also like to put on my headphones and get lost in really atmospheric games, like the jungles of Crysis and the ruins of Stalker. Maybe the clicking of the Blues might take me out of the gameworld?

    Which led me to the Cherry Browns. They are more quiet, as there is no click, but you still get the tactile bump. But they are rather soft...

    So here I sit looking at the Das Keyboard Model S Pro (Blue) and the Model S Pro Silent (Brown). Guess I could try a Blue first, and return it for a Brown if the clicking bothers me. I'm also open to other options around the same price.

    I don't care that much about having a glowing keyboard. Budget is around $120 or so. Don't need macros. I would like to try PS2 with full n-key rollover. Audio or USB pass-through is a non-issue for me.

    So A.) Thanks for all the info here, and B. ) Help :)
     
  2. redmasc

    redmasc Gawd

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    I purchased the Daskeyboard Silent model and its pretty quiet. I've had other clickity clack keyboards in the past and this one is the quietest of all the other ones I've dealt with and the small click is very satisifying while typing. For gaming, its pretty good. No complaints here. I also went online and had a custom cover made for it for $15 and it's the best $15 investment I've made for it. I want this keyboard to last a while since its pretty expensive and to help prevent the keys from wearing out. With the cover, the click is just about gone, it helps dampen the vibration from the switches. Overall, best keyboard I ever owned.
     
  3. Skillzero

    Skillzero [H]Lite

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    I had a friend buy DAS (after I nagged him to get a deck for months) and he ended up reselling it a week later... He said he generally liked it but absolutely hated the blues on it.

    If you're primarily gaming at least get browns.. Blues just don't feel (or sound) right to me for gaming.
     
  4. redmasc

    redmasc Gawd

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    I got the silent version which has the browns on it. It's pretty quiet with minor click noises. Only thing I miss are my media keys. Primarily the volume control, but I have a program that can map hot keys.
     
  5. PynkFloydd

    PynkFloydd Gawd

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    If you're interested in the cherry blue switches, why not try a Razer BlackWidow? It's a good deal cheaper than the Das and uses the same switches. The Das is about $130 and the BlackWidow is about $70.

    Personally, I'd like to try the brown switches, but the blues feel really good. It does take some getting used to though...

    I think it really comes down to personal preference. I don't think I could deal with the black switches at all. Blues are good for me, but some people hate them. Usually I type more than I game on a daily basis though (unfortunately).

    I think the biggest transition for you will be not having to bottom out the key to get a response. There's no soft membrane underneath so you just bottom out with a plastic on plastic "thwack".

    I'd tell you to possibly do a check online to see if a store by you carries the Razer keyboard (since it's fairly mainstream). That way you can at least get a feel for the blue switches.
     
  6. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    Good idea. I hadn't even bothered to check local stores, figuring it was a lost cause, but Best Buy does carry Razer products. They have the Black Widow online only. The Lycossa is in store, but I think that one is rubber dome. Was worth a shot though. :)

    Think I'm going to have to watch some online videos to make the call on Blue vs Brown. And yep, I'm mainly a gamer. I do zero work on my home PC, just games, forums, and minor photo stuff.
     
  7. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    *returns from youtube*

    Wow, I don't think I could handle the noise of the Blues. In Stalker I'm usually hugging the edge of a tree or building, slowly tapping "A" to slide out to the left, hoping to get my sights on some fool without exposing too much of myself... don't think I could deal with the CLICK CLICK CLICK while trying to be stealthy.

    Think I could live with this, though-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEt3Db7n8vQ&feature=watch_response
    Can any Brown owners chime in on the accuracy of the sound in that clip?

    For Cherry MX Browns, looks like my options are Das Keyboard Silent and the new (?) Zowie Celeritas. Anything else I should look at? I'm in the US.
     
  8. Namakan

    Namakan Gawd

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    I recently got the Das Keyboard with the blues and I love it. The clicking is not that bad if you ask me. I would almost call it a satisfying sound
     
  9. PynkFloydd

    PynkFloydd Gawd

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    Not sure where you live, but you could check Fry's site and I know in the Chicago area we have Tiger Direct and Microcenter also.

    The clicky-ness isn't thaaat bad and I think you get used to it over time. I've only had my keyboard a few days and I'm already getting used to it and it's "breaking in" a little too. Keep in mind that the "click" is only like a quarter of the way down in the key press. I'd say that the click alone on the blues is a bit quieter than the average "click" from a pen. The plus to the click is that you can hear/feel when you activate the key and you get used to stopping short (unlike membrane keys where you press until it stops).

    The loudest sound you're going to hear from the blues and the browns is the "thwack" from bottoming the key out. There's no rubber membrane underneath so if you smack the key hard, it's loud. That's the biggest adjustment that I've been having to make coming from crappy keyboards.

    Also, if you're just gaming...have you maybe thought about a tenkeyless or compact keyboard?

    Some guy has been selling the Noppoo Choc Mini on eBay lately. They come in brown, blue and black switches. To me, that'd be the perfect board if I wasn't so used to using the number pad.
     
  10. Cabbs

    Cabbs Limp Gawd

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    I own a couple of Filco boards and I prefer Blues over Browns. It's not about the noise, but they do feel different.
     
  11. Drexl

    Drexl Limp Gawd

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    Didn't you just say you preferred Browns in the Mechanical Keyboard Guide thread?
     
  12. Cabbs

    Cabbs Limp Gawd

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    I did, and completely forgot about it. At least it's relevant. :D
     
  13. RedTalon19

    RedTalon19 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have a Deck Keyboard with cherry blacks and I don't really miss the tactile feel at all. Maybe once every few days I'll hit and key and have to double check to see if it registered, and it almost always does register.

    The keyboard is quite loud though. Its not enough for me to hate it but if it were quieter... I certainly wouldn't mind.
     
  14. BassDX

    BassDX Limp Gawd

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    I have owned a Das Keyboard with cherry blues and I loved the switches. The tactile feel is simply amazing, and personally I enjoyed the noise. Not only is this because the audio queue it gives is helpful for a touch typist like myself, but it also gives you a huge sense of pride. I also used it for moderate gaming and I found the blue switches to be just fine. That being said, if immersion is of huge importance, then blue switches may not be the right choice. Even when wearing an HD202, which is a closed design, I can still hear myself typing, on high volumes at that, so in this regard the browns might be a better choice. The noise level of blues typically peak when you bottom out (which is often the case when gaming), so if you are going to bottom out most of the time (unless you actually enjoy the noise, like me), then just stick with brown switches.
     
  15. Drexl

    Drexl Limp Gawd

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    I have a question about the DK. If you're not using the USB ports, do you need to plug in both USB connections, or is one sufficient for the keyboard?
     
  16. rampantandroid

    rampantandroid [H]ard|Gawd

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    I bought one for work (started on the Brown) and HATED the brown. With a firey passion. Returned it (good return policy) and got a blue. LOVE it. But it's now at home, because my coworkers DID NOT love it.

    I'm on the Logitech Iluminated KB at work and it's got good feedback....
     
  17. pwrusr

    pwrusr 2[H]4U

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    No IBM Model M recommendations? :cool: :p
    I use a model M at work and so do a few of my co workers and boss :D
     
  18. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    Well, thanks for all the info. I'm leaning towards the Browns, and it sounds like Das has a good return policy if it comes to that. I don't have to make up my mind until next month though, as I've already spent my fun money for this month.
     
  19. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    Ordered the Das Silent last night. Had to go with the green WASD and red ESC key kit, too :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing how the browns work, and am really ready to ditch my mushy rubber dome keyboard.
     
  20. Mr. Wolf

    Mr. Wolf [H]ardness Supreme

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    I had a Das Blue and thought it was a great board, but the piano gloss finish was an irresistible fingerprint magnet. I sold it, got a Zowie Celeritas and loved the brown switches even more. I returned it when I found a Filco tenkeyless on Amazon. Awesome keyboard!! Sadly, the lettering began to fade on a couple of keys after just one week so back it went to Amazon, yesterday. Now, I'm using my ABS M1 while waiting on a Leopold tenkeyless with browns I pre-ordered last night. I hope its laser etched keys are better than those on my Filco.

    Bottom line (for me, anyway): Brown switches are the best. I think you'll be very pleased with your new Das.
     
  21. canon.tk

    canon.tk Limp Gawd

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    I've had a Filco since July 2010 and the lettering has yet to start to fade.
     
  22. weipim

    weipim Limp Gawd

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    I just got my filco brown a few weeks ago, and honestly its growing on me, however I am really missing the clicky sound from blues like my friend's black widow. if just started mechanical keyboard career, then I clearly suggest you to get a blue for the abstractively more Genuine feel of a mech keyb
     
  23. pwrusr

    pwrusr 2[H]4U

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    aside from the sound how do the blues compare to the browns?
     
  24. Mr. Wolf

    Mr. Wolf [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm just the opposite. My first mechanical was an ABS M1. I tried a few Blues (Das, Razer), but the clacky sound grated on me. If you've never heard a Blue, take a quarter and rapidly tap its edge on a countertop. That's what typing on a Blue sounded like to me. After trying a Zowie Celeritas (Brown), I was hooked. The Browns are the best for me; same feel of the Blue without the sound. I'm now waiting on a Leopold tenkeyless Brown pre-ordered from EK. Until it arrives, I'm back with my ABS M1.
     
  25. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    My Das Silent shipped out already. :)

    *is excited*
     
  26. rampantandroid

    rampantandroid [H]ard|Gawd

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    Less of a tactile feeling to them; to me, the only real feedback was when the button bottomed out; on the blues, there is a very definite "click" that you feel. To me, the browns were just terrible, the blues are amazing. I'm curious to try the blacks now (though I cannot do that with Das Keyboard.)
     
  27. Simonzi

    Simonzi Limp Gawd

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    I've been eyeballing the Das Keyboard Silent one for a while. While I love the clicking noise myself, my girl is generally trying to sleep while I'm gaming at night, and I know she wouldn't :(
     
  28. Q-BZ

    Q-BZ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    My research has yielded that this is typical.

    Wolf having his W go to hell like it did that fast is a flat out defect and thankfully quite atypical. It shouldn't have happened and if he had RMA'd that and tried out another Filco odds easily would have favored him not seeing the likes of that again.


    From my scouring, I've had several people "in the know" about these a number of these keyboards tell me that, at least in the case of the Filcos, shiny keys is the more typical phenomenon over time vs. fading.

    In my case, the Rosewill RK-9000 showing fading on me inside of a month of use is also something that would not be considered normal on a "real" Filco.

    One person in the know told me that Filco never authorized or sanctioned a clone like the Rosewill and that they also reject a LOT of keycaps. (Same with a lot of these other companies.)

    It starts making me consider a different angle as to why you can't currently buy a Rosewill RK-9000 anywhere at the moment with no concrete plans for a return of it.

    It makes me wonder if I made a mistake buying one except, thankfully, the KB itself is awesome. The fading is the ONLY problem I have with it.

    Sometimes crap falls through the cracks like anything else, in general, though.


    The reason I'm not naming names here is because I'm paraphrasing private communications and it would be bad form for me to go past that but I trust these people's opinions on this subject in a big way. They aren't just guys that post on forums. Let's put it that way.


    The newest Das keyboards should not see quick fading, either. Shiny? Maybe.

    I'm tempted to bring a Das in here myself and have myself a little shootout. May the best KB win. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  29. Mr. Wolf

    Mr. Wolf [H]ardness Supreme

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    I agree with Q-BZ that my Filco W key was indeed a random defect. I couldn't return it for exchange because Amazon was sold out; still is. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a Leopold in a couple of weeks. I'll be sure to post pics/comments when it arrives.
     
  30. CeZemal

    CeZemal [H]Lite

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    I just recently got myself a DAS Proffesional S with blues, and as I said in the mechanical keyboard guide, I absolutely love it. I love the feel, I love the sound. I just want to sit here and type things so I can listen to it all day long. I'm sure you'll love your brown switches, but to each their own.

    And I mean, it also might be because I went from having only rubber dome keyboards my entire life and then a chiclet style laptop keyboard. I love the keyboard on my laptop. Feels way better than rubber domes (though, I tend to miss a lot of keys on it). Then going from all that to a tactile feel audible keyboard, it's like, night and day. I can't see myself ever wanting another keyboard than this one, which is fortunate because these seem to last a very long time (or so I read).

    One thing though, if I hold the backspace key to get rid of an entire work, I almost always overshoot the correction, likely because the key is still activated with it's coming up, so it's not exactly instantly off backspacing. I'll get used to it (I actually kinda think it's neat :))
     
  31. Kokain

    Kokain Limp Gawd

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    One day I decided to invest in a good keyboard after so many years of poor free membrane stuff I was given from work. Got interested in all that talk about old IBM M keyboards and after I found a cheap one on Ebay I was astonished at the difference. A lot less mistakes in typing, nice loud clicks, and the tactical response from the springs is perfect. Maybe people want something new and not second hand but a lot of the Das Keyboards seem overpriced to me. How about a buckling spring keyboard for 80$?
    http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/customizer.html
    I would love to try the Unicomp Customizer one day when my IBM M model finally breaks
     
  32. master noran

    master noran 2[H]4U

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    Good lord, how many keyboards have you gone through in the last month or so?
     
  33. Mr. Wolf

    Mr. Wolf [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think 3-4 since the beginning of the year. ;)

    I like to buy and try (always with a good RMA policy). I was settled on that Filco until its W key flaked out on me.
     
  34. pwrusr

    pwrusr 2[H]4U

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    It won't break, you gotta be doing something very wrong for these things to die. I personally use a model m at work and love the typing experence.
    Since I work helpdesk it reassures those on the other end of the line I'm actually doing something when they hear the clatter of keys. I'm not the only one who uses them at work, my boss and another coworker also use them. So I'm not alone :cool::D

    I was actually the one that started everyone on these things after I found a bunch unused in their original boxes :)eek:) on one of the upper shelves in the warehouse.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  35. Q-BZ

    Q-BZ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Poor guy has had really bad luck.
     
  36. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    The Das Silent showed up. That was some fast shipping. The brown switches are rather subtle. And they are pretty much silent... there is a noise if you bottom the keys out, but overall it doesn't sound much different than a regular keyboard.

    There's a little tactile "bump" about half way through the key press that lets you know the switch has activated. If you stop pressing down after passing the bump, there's basically no sound. Continue to press all the way down past the bump, and there's a noise from bottoming out.

    Overall build quality is great. This thing is heavy, and it has the best non-skid feet I've seen on a keyboard. The Das is pretty much anchored to my desk.

    I like it and am happy with it, but I want to try the Cherry Blue switches so I can check out something that's tactile and clicky. It's going to be louder, but I think it's worth a shot, so I ordered another Das.
     
  37. Q-BZ

    Q-BZ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You'll have a good time either way here. Don't be surprised if you end up keeping both. ;)
     
  38. JR-Orion

    JR-Orion [H]Lite

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    Yeah, I think I'll keep both. Maybe give one to my wife if she likes the feel of a mechanical board. Far as I know she's like me in that she's only used the cheap keyboards that come with PCs.
     
  39. Adreneline

    Adreneline Limp Gawd

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    I have both the Filco brown and the Das Professional Silent S.

    The Das is great, but the Filco blows it away in terms of quality. So much so, that the brown switches feel a lot different to me (after 10 months typing on the DAS, the Filco felt and still feels different and a lot more sturdy). I don't like the gloss look of the Das and the extra space at the top for the USB hub. The minimalist design on the Filco (especially tenkeyless) is very appealing imo.

    Keycaps are no big deal. They are lackluster on the Filco, but the durability and great internals of the Filco are more than worth it. Plus, I bought some double shot key caps (from a group buy). Those don't ever have their legends fade out. So basically, Filco + Double shots = win.

    EDIT: Can't forget that my Das shipped to me with a little spot of it's case opened... on the side. Had to snap it back in place. Some oddities there.
     
  40. Adreneline

    Adreneline Limp Gawd

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    Unfortunately, this is something that more people need to know about, as I couldn't find this anywhere at the time I bought mine:

    The DAS keyboards (newest) which I do own, do have unattractive laser prints. They don't fade, per say, but they get dirty real quick.

    Some say alcohol works into making them white again, but I honestly doubt it. I don't think this looks like dirt to me. My hands are extremely clean and the lettering is very uneven. Unused keys show very white lettering, where as frequent keys show off-white/brown lettering. This is not fixable.

    I wouldn't recommend buying a DAS and keeping the stock keycaps.

    Even Filco, while they have poor coating, has way better print. Laser printed is not always better if done poorly.

    EDIT: I can also report that while the DAS may have lackluster prints, the shinyness, is there but subtle. It does not go shiny extremely fast like Filcos -(though my Filco still doesn't have shine to it after 1 month of usage, waiting for those doubleshots still!)