Custom Mechanical keyboard:-it’s seriously pretty bad, especially for a high priced Keyboard. We’ve seen this style of feet on like the RAMA Works boards, but those are much thicker. And I definitely think that’s where the problem lies.
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These are just too thin, very elastic, and it was an actual challenge to put them back in properly. In their normal resting state,
Mode Eighty Custom Mechanical Keyboard
they’re shorter than the groove, so it stretches as you squeeze it in, and it’s difficult for the adhesive to hold. But they have addressed this, so hopefully, it should be all cool,
because something as simple as this takes so much away from the Keyboard. Anyway, let’s take this thing apart with the included hex tool. So yeah, it’s just those 3 screws on the bottom that hold it together.
And those are towards the top of the Keyboard. Here’s the top aluminum piece. It has a seamless side profile, so we have the sides coming down as well.
There’s also a bunch of slits around the edges which are probably for the plate or the base? And I really appreciate these little touches, with the individual laser etched number, pretty sweet.
Here’s the shiny 1.5mm brass plate. The PVD finish is pretty good, and a common theme we’ll find with this Mode Eighty Custom Mechanical Keyboard, there’s a bunch of foam stuck on pretty much around the whole perimeter, and above the arrow keys.
And interestingly, all the stabilized keys have enlarged holes which we hardly ever see. We get more foam that goes between the plate and PCB, super floppy, however, this shouldn’t be required,
so you could not use that if you wish, which may affect the sound and feel. Here’s the PCB. They have since introduced a hot-swap version which is always cool, and therefore will have a fixed layout with a 7u spacebar.
Another piece of foam goes under the PCB, and this is necessary for the build. And finally the base. It does also have a PVD finish, but it’s an aluminum piece, not a brass piece. Still hefty though at just over 1kg,
because it’s pretty thick. The finish isn’t amazing on the inside which is fine for me, numbered here as well which is nice. And this little hole is where we put our daughterboard. Alrighty, let’s put this thing together.
I received these C3 stabs. Absolutely no idea where from, but I’ll use them. However, because of the big stab holes,
I’ll leave these for later. As for the switches, I grabbed some Mauves from Daily Clack here in Australia.
They’re just another JWK linear switch, so they should be nice and smooth, and they have a 65g bottom out. Okay, so now we can put in these C3 stabilizers.
The one thing you do have to look out for is switch alignment, especially if you only have 3 pin switches, as it doesn’t clip into the plate at all.
Unless you have a hot-swap, I believe. So if you have hot-swapped, chuck in the stabs first. As you may have noticed, there are no mounting holes around the plate, so it’s not top mount.
It has foam around the edges of the plate, but it’s not like a traditional gasket mount. It’s just like all pressed together with foam. So you actually do require the foam piece that sits on the bottom of the case, otherwise,
it wouldn’t have anything to sit on, and would just rattle around. I gotta give a big shoutout to my mate Jono who essentially sponsors my channel with GMK sets.
No, I don’t own these, I just borrow them, and if it wasn’t for him and some other friends,
I wouldn’t be able to have different keysets for different videos. So super grateful! But anyway, here it is, the Mode Eighty TKL Founder’s Edition custom mechanical keyboard.
We ended up at 2.326kg, so a solid amount of heft, and it looks the part as well. Aesthetically, it really works for me. Very clean and simplistic up top. Quite a squarish design, with rounded corners.
Sizeable bezels, but with an extended forehead which I personally really like the look of. It’s simple, but it just gives it a bit more dimension and character. The side profile is seamless, again, very clean, with a 5.5-degree incline.
And we get that cut in the butt which reveals the rose gold base. We have the lowered USB C port so that your cable is closer to the table. By the way,
I got this sweet one from Mythic Cables here in Australia. And finally the bottom. I love it, very shiny of course, it’s bold and solid, but yeh, they scuffed feet. So bad on mine, but they should be fine now. But now to the typing.
Let’s have a quick listen. Alright, so this definitely is unique because it heavily incorporates foam into the functionality of the board.
The Vega that I did recently has a lot of foam, but a lot of that is optional. With the Mode Eighty, without the bottom foam piece, it just wouldn’t work properly. And they refer to that as stack mount.
For the switches, I went with Mauves, lubed them up with Krytox 205g0, and put in Laser_Ninja films. So very similar to the Vega.
As you can imagine, you can definitely feel the foam. It’s quite a muted board because of this. Quite dampened. It does have a brass plate, so it’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s muted, but still a little hardish of a bottom out.
I think also because it’s very contained, there’s no reverberation, vibrations, going through the case, out of it, and onto the table, it contributes to that kind of hardish bottom out, because it feels dense,
but also there’s not much depth to the keypresses, a little deadening. Which again, is difficult to understand if you haven’t experienced this sort of stuff. As everything is basically sitting on that bottom foam piece,
so like the plate isn’t really secured as you would see in a typical gasket mount board, it’s a very even feeling.
Wherever you press, there’s not as much variation as you’d normally feel. And this of course translates to the sound as well. Again, the sound is deadened a bit. It’s definitely not as high pitched as the Vega. So not overly clacky,
but also not overly thick, because it doesn’t really have that depth. The newish C3 stabs feel great by the way, and
I did use the stickers which kind of replaces the bandaid mod. But yeah, remember that those keys aren’t clipped into the plate because of the enlarged holes, and this also allows you to fix and replace the stabs without any desoldering which is awesome.
I do want to know what people think about this though because we don’t see it often. Like, to me it feels nice, but I’m sure there are reasons.
But, as always, personal preference comes into play, and there are different feels for different people. I personally really enjoy it.
It’s different from many of my other boards, and it has its subtle unique character to it. And that’s the Mode Eighty.
The mechanical keyboard scene is growing massively, with more and more people coming in. And these guys have gone big with their first board, and for sure people should be cautious dropping a good amount of cash on a new brand, new people.