Release Notes: GMK Space Cadet

Release Notes is a series of articles through which I share my thoughts on new Interest Checks, Group Buys and general releases in the keyboard space. Keep in mind that I do not own these pieces of hardware and that information in this article may not be completely accurate. I will try my best to make sure that all information presented here is as accurate as possble.



Originating from a LISP machine keyboard, the Space Cadet’s blue modifier/grey alpha colorway is one of the most sought-after colorways in the keyboard space. Back in the good ol’ days (ah the good old mid-2010s LOL) of custom keycap sets, 7bit, an early community member, initially ran the Space Cadet colorway in the spherical SA with just the regular SA legends. Then in their round 6 buy, 7bit reran the Space Cadet colorway with the full Space Cadet legends, giving rise to the most expensive SA set in the aftermarket.

Some people love the keyset so much that this monstrosity was made.

After an extensive IC phase, Oblotsky and Massdrop have finally launched the rerun of the Space Cadet colorway and legends in the much more typing-friendly GMK/Cherry profile. Rejoice!



Designer: Oblotsky

Maker: GMK

Vendor: Massdrop

Material: ABS plastic with doubleshot primary legends and sublegends

Profile: Cherry profile R1-R1-R2-R3-R4-R4

Price: Base Kit starts at $149.99 (drops to $119.99 at 1000 MOQ)

Group Buy Link: Here


The Space Cadet colorway has always stood out to me as the colorway that didn’t need to do too much to be special. Blue and grey with white legends are nothing special when compared to the multi-colored GMK sets we’re used to seeing, but it still pulls on my heart strings every damn time. This combined with the typically better color matching afforded by GMK is a home run on the color front.

A nice inclusion in the base set are the special keys in the original group buy like ‘Rub Out’ ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), ‘Hyper’ and ‘Meta’. The set also comes with text modifiers and arrow keys to complete the look, though I prefer the look of icon modifiers if given the choice.

The fully doubleshot legends and sublegends on these are also a welcomed addition over a doubleshot primary legend/pad printed sublegend combo. This is slightly more expensive than a 1000MOQ GMK set would usually be ($10 extra over Nautilus and Yuri), but is in line with other dual-legend sets like Serika (and $10 cheaper than Laser). At the 1000MOQ’s 120 dollar price, this set is a good value for the amount of keys you’re getting and the potentially higher than retail aftermarket price when delivered.

One notable exclusion from this set is the R0/R5 support that the next GMK set, GMK Carbon R2 is getting. I would have loved to see R5 support on this set as it feels more comfortable to type on and looks nicer with that more sculpted aesthetic. This set is just one set too early to get that sweet, sweet sculpting though. While unfortunate, with the number of sets GMK Space Cadet is expected to sell, it shouldn’t be too difficult reaching MOQ for an R0/R5 group buy after the fact.


If you’re looking for the next hottest GMK set to pick up and enjoy the Space Cadet colorway, this is the set for you. I will be picking a set up myself and you should too!

You can pick this set up here!

Release Notes: Keycult No.1 – 2018’s Board of the Year?

Release Notes is a series of articles through which I share my thoughts on new Interest Checks, Group Buys and general releases in the keyboard space. Keep in mind that I do not own these pieces of hardware and that information in this article may not be completely accurate. I will try my best to make sure that all information presented here is as accurate as possble.



In recent times, keyboard design has devolved into just differences in aesthetic choices and layouts rather than improvements to the core features of a keyboard like typing feel and sound. Top/tray mount, brass plate and rectangular brass weight together is a combination of features that will make a good keyboard, but it’s not anything significantly different from any other custom keyboard. It’s not that appearances are not important to me — I love a nice looking keyboard and I was enamored by the Modern M0110 — but as a mechanical engineer I love the #keyboardscience part of things more.

Thus, when the Keycult No.1 was first teased on Geekhack in 2017, keyboard enthusiasts collectively nutted all at once. It was the first time I got excited over a new keyboard in a long time. A small group buy of 20 units was announced, built and delivered. Subsequently, the pictures that flooded the Internet made keyboard enthusiasts all over the world drool.

After months of delays, OCO posted this update a few days ago, saying that a soft launch of TypeMachina is imminent. As such, here is why I think this keyboard is special and deserves your attention. *but please let me checkout before you do when the day comes*

Keycult Exploded View.001


Designer: riotonthebay

Case: Aluminum 3-Part Case

Plate: Brass, Aluminum (the private group buy had a partial polycarbonate plate option, but the TM release will only have Brass and Alu)

Plate Mounting System: Sandwich Mount with Gaskets

Weight: Aluminum or Brass Weight Integrated with Midlayer

Lift Angle: 9.5 degrees

Layout Support: Winkeyless and Winkey Tenkeyless

PCB Compatibility: TX87

Price: TBD (the private GB in 2017 costed ~$300, but release price should be more than that — insert joke about OCO tax)

Group Buy Date: SoonT(ype)M(achina)

Geekhack Teaser: Link


My Thoughts

Plate Mounting System

Keycult Top Gasket.001

One of the coolest (but not necessarily new) features of the No.1 is its sandwich mount with gaskets (aka gasket mount) plate mounting system. Found only on two other keyboards ever, the OTD 356mini v1 (check out pr0ximity’s awesome guide, Anthony’s Unboxing and Let’s Build) and the Meme, legend has it that this mounting system produces the ‘best’ bottom out sound and typing feel on a keyboard. This is widely believed to be because the rubber gaskets serve as dampeners to remove any unwanted reverberations, creating a clean and singular bottom out sound that’s free of plate rattle within the case. The gaskets also add a compression on the plate to create a tighter sandwich construction within the case. However, it has also been argued that the effect the gasket has on typing feel and sound (if any) in the case of the 356mini may not have been an intentional design choice on the part of the OTD designers.

Regardless, the designer of the keyboard obviously took some inspiration from the gasket in the 356mini when designing the No.1 and took it to the next level. This can be seen in the different ways the gaskets are implemented between the two boards.  On the 356mini, the gasket is a large rubber o-ring wrapping around the outermost switches between the plate and PCB while resting on top of a ledge on the bottom plate. As the case is screwed tight, the gasket compresses and flattens on the ledge, pulling the plate towards the bottom case and creating a sandwich seal. On the No.1, the gasket tabs rest on the top part of the plate, with space between the top case and the plate. As the case is screwed in, the gasket compresses, causing the top case and bottom case to sandwich the plate between them. Here’s a crude diagram I drew up explaining the two:

Sandwich Mount Crude Drawing.001While different, the gasket mount is a feature that should be explored further in the custom keyboard world and I’m glad to see riotonthebay taking this on with the No.1. I’m excited to see how the keyboard sounds and feels when I get this keyboard in.


One other thing that’s special about the plate is that there are through cuts surrounding the alpha cluster, presumably to introduce flex during bottom out. This is also a feature which has its roots in the early Korean custom keyboard scene and keyboard enthusiasts have speculated that this not only creates a cushioned typing feel but also improves the acoustics of the bottom out. I’m no audio engineer, but this sounds to me like we’re entering psuedo-science territory and I’m going to have to test it out myself to figure out if it’s true. Still, it’s interesting that the designer is trying out different methods to create a better typing experience.


Weight Design

The weight design in the No.1 is another feature that stands out above the rest in my opinion. Too often have we seen the keyboard weight be an afterthought in the keyboard design process, with many manufacturers opting to go for a standard rectangular weight. While a weight like that does its job (adds heft and changes the acoustic properties), it’s boring.

Keycult Midlayer:Weight.001

In the No.1, the ‘weight’ is a solid weight & midlayer combination that shows through the bottom, the sides and the back of the keyboard. What an absolute madlad riotonthebay is for trying this, but boy is it interesting. This design feature not only functions as a weight but also a visual interest on the side to break up the mass of the side profile. It’s also an excellent way of dealing with the side seam problem that many two-part cases face. Genius. I’m sure that this weight design will add heft to the keyboard, but I’m not sure how this design will affect its sound.


Through this keyboard, riotonthebay drew upon the ideas put forth by the Korean keyboard Gods while putting their own spin on things. This synthesis of ideas has created a marvelous piece of gear that I believe is a strong contender for custom keyboard of the year. While I prefer keyboard layouts with centered alphas (60s, 65s and 75s), this keyboard is different (and interesting!) enough that I will get my first custom TKL.

For more Keycult goodness, here’s riot’s build log of the No.1 and here’s the teaser of the No.2.

Huge thanks to designer riotonthebay for providing the information I needed to complete the article.

EDIT 1: Section on fit and finish of the keyboard was removed due to potential inaccuracies in the reporting.

EDIT 2: Added the argument that the OTD 356mini’s gasket may not be as important as widely believed to be

Keyboard Assembly and Switch Lubing Services

Update: I’m currently NOT accepting builds. Sorry for the inconvenience!

On top of reviewing cool stuff, I’m also passionate about building keyboards. I have extensive experience doing these things, and I have some free time on my hands. As such, I’m currently offering a professional custom keyboard assembly and switch lubing service.

For my standard assembly service, I do PCB testing, stabilizer clipping and tuning, band-aid mod, switch alignment, soldering switches and a typing test after. Desoldering, soldering LEDs/SIP sockets and programming cost extra. I have genuine Cherry stabilizers in stock so you could use my stabilizers at cost to save on shipping.

For switch lubing, I brush lube the sliders, housing, nubs if linears, springs and stem with Superlube Oil. Spring swapping, housing swapping and stem swapping are included in the cost, while adding switch films cost extra. I have other lubes, switch films, and springs in stock so you could use my stuff at cost to save on shipping.

Do note that because I currently have a large backlog of things to review, I might be selective in choosing boards to builds as they would also have to be boards that I would like to take a look at.

Here are my costs:

  1. 60/65-key assembly: $50 + shipping
  2. 75-key/TKL assembly: $65 + shipping
  3. 96-key/Compact 1800/1800/Full-Size: $75 + shipping
  4. Switch Lube: 50c/switch + shipping

I’m local to San Diego (92092) so you could save on shipping by dropping it off to me!

If you’re interested, send me an email to with the following template:



Physical Address:

Phone Number:

Reddit/Geekhack/Discord Username (if applicable):


Keyboard Assembly (repeat/delete this section where appropriate)

Keyboard Name:

Preferred Layout (standard/WKL/ISO/etc, be descriptive if needed!):

Desoldering Service (Y/N):

In-House Stabilizers (Y/N):

Band-Aid Mod (Y/N):

Programming Layout (Y/N):

LEDs (Y/N):

SIP Sockets (Y/N):


Switch Lubing (repeat/delete this section where appropriate)

Switch Name:

Lube (BLR’s/Otherwise) :

Switch Quantity: 

Modifications (spring swap/housing swap/stem swap):

Switch Films (Y/N): 

Other BLR Materials (springs/films/lube):


Thanks for viewing!









Release Notes: KBDFans’ Topre 9009 – Topre is getting better

Release Notes is a series of articles through which I share my thoughts on new Interest Checks, Group Buys and general releases in the keyboard space. Keep in mind that I do not own these pieces of hardware and that information in this article may not be completely accurate. I will try my best to make sure that all information presented here is as accurate as possble.



Topre is a compromise.

Don’t get me wrong, Topre is my favorite switch of all time, but there are no Topre boards that fit my preferences to a T(opre) like custom MX boards can. Silly r/mk memes aside, here’s a list of my grievances with stock Topre boards:

  1. Switch plate material is limited to either plastic on the HHKB or steel on the Realforces/Leopolds (may change with Xondat’s XRF custom keyboard)
  2. Plate mounting system is limited to only integrated plate on the HHKB, psuedo-bottom mount on the Realforces and tray mount on the Realforces/Leopolds (also may change with the XRF)
  3. Case material is limited to plastic in every case (ha!) but the absurdly expensive HHKB Professional HG (there are third party cases for the Novatouch, Realforce, but only by one maker)
  4. Absolutely dumpster fire stabilizers that rattle even when lubed up and modded
  5. Generally uninspiring case design
  6. Keycap sets that only come with alpha-colored pipe/backslash and tilde/backtick keys
  7. Generally thin PBT dye-subs with clean but feathered legends
  8. Replacement keycap sets are limited to keycaps harvested from vintage/other Topre boards, mono-colored keycaps made for the Realforce that do not support all Topre boards, resin keycaps by third party manufacturers and cheap sets on Aliexpress/Taobao

Are these limitations really worth suffering through just for Topre? Some think so. But with this group buy for the Topre 9009 keyset by KBDFans, number 6 and 8 may no longer be in issue. The prospect of a better Topre experience excites me to no end.

Topre 9009 Layout.001


Material: PBT with dye-sublimated legends

Pricing: Base Kit starts at $69, with additional kits ranging from $9 to $19 each and free standard shipping

Compatibility: Most current production Topre-stemmed boards (doesn’t support the Realforce R2, Realforce RGB and some 7u spacebar Realforces but support for those are coming soon!)

EDIT: KBDFans has added a 7u Spacebar kit!

Thickness: Approximately 1.2mm

Profile: Topre/OEM

Group Buy End Date: August 17th

Estimated Ship Date: October 17th

Group Buy Page: Link




Well, it’s 9009 like all the 9009s. I’m guessing KBDFans is going for this classic colorway as their first set because it’s a safe one to start with that people can easily buy into. 9009 is a tried and tested colorway that has been proven to sell well, even through their own store.

Not gonna lie, I just can’t get excited over 9009 anymore. It’s way overplayed in the keyboard space and we’re gonna get to a point where every enthusiast owns something 9009. But, I’m excited for the possibilities of custom colors in the future and this is probably contingent on the set selling well, so I’m okay with the colorway choice. The colorway choice is not a deterrent here.


Keycap Quality

Because I don’t have the keycaps in my hand right now, I cannot say with any certainty how good they are. But, based on the pictures on their website, which I believe to be pictures of actual prototype samples, they are very similar to stock Topre caps in terms of thickness, texture and sound. If standard Topre caps are of any indication, they will be thick enough but not great, be smooth enough but not Gateron/EnjoyPBT smooth and sound deep enough but not as deep as I would prefer. However, at the price point KBDFans plans on selling this set at, I’m more than willing to accept those shortcomings.

Topre 9009 Burrs.001

One area that I see an issue in is PBT defects around the edges of the keycaps. Unlike my stock HHKB and Realforce keycaps, I see some burrs and chips as circled in the picture above. This is an issue with many PBT keycap sets like EnjoyPBT/Gateron, KPRepublic and other stock PBT sets, and is probably a minor nitpick as they’re easy to sand down, but is an issue nonetheless.

Note that this is just what I see from their prototype pictures and that many things can change from their prototype samples to the finished product.

Legend Quality

As seen in the photos, the legends in this set looks pretty decent but not anything to write home about. In general, their quality looks in line with the quality seen on stock Topre caps, just with better sharpness. Kerning also seems to be a non-issue on these caps; all the word legends are tight and evenly spaced. Well done.

Stock Topre keycaps can be characterized as having clean lines and flawless typography, but with significant feathering around the edges. As with stock Topre caps, these keycaps look like they have an issue with feathering, albeit a lot less of it. Peep these photos:

Topre 9009 Feathering.001Topre 9009 Feathering.002

As far as I can tell, the feathering on these are not nearly as bad as the feathering on stock Topre caps. In the case of the stock Topre caps, feathering can be seen around every legend, while feathering only affects certain legends in the Topre 9009. An upgrade over stock Topre for sure.


This set also has the unproportionally short backspace arrow that plagued R1 of the EnjoyPBT 9009. I do expect this to be fixed just like in R2 of ePBT 9009, but I’m including this for completion sake.

Other miscellaneous legend issues are the tilted legends on right control and page down; the thinner-than-my-liking legends on the diamond key, menu key and number row keys; and the lack of side-printed legends like on the HHKB. But, I plan on bringing up the first two issues with KBDFans and I understand that not all Topre boards share the same function layer as the HHKB.

Again, many things could change from prototype phase to production phase (whether for the better or otherwise) so take this analysis with a grain of salt.

EDIT: It was brought to my attention by EnjoyPBT Black on White designer u/gok101 that the prototype Topre 9009 caps share the same legends (and errors!) in ePBT 9009 R1. This explains the disproportionally short backspace. This also means that the navigation cluster in the prototype Topre 9009 has misaligned arrow keys and other errors as seen here:

Topre 9009 Nav CLuster.001


I’m excited, not just for this but for the future. KBDFans has historically been very good at addressing criticism and listening to customer feedback on what to run. With some improvement to the legends and potentially custom colors in future runs, this is a home run for KBDFans and a new frontier for Topre users. This, along with Xondat’s XRF, gives me hope that the Topre experience can be elevated to newer heights, and that Topre will no longer be a compromise but a choice.

At $69 for the Base Kit, this is an instant buy for me. If you’re interested in a set too, you can pick one up here.

Btw, KBDFans if you’re reading this, Topre Hi-Pro maybe?

Review: EnjoyPBT 9009


Ah, the fabled 9009. Originating from this CHAD of a keyboard, the Cherry G80-9009, this pastel green, pastel pink, beige and white colorway is very popular in the keyboard community. Like, VERY POPULAR. In this review, I’ll be taking a closer look at the EnjoyPBT (ePBT) version of this colorway — the EnjoyPBT 9009 to see how far ePBT has come over the years and how it stacks up with the other PBT dye-subs I have with me.


The unboxing experience is, as the kids would say, kinda whatevs. The keycaps came in 3 ziploc bags packed in a cardboard box. Not my ideal method of storing/shipping keycaps (I prefer trays like how GMK, JTK etc do it) but it gets the job done. One worry with storing keycaps in bags is that there’s a chance of the keycaps being nicked and scratched while in the bag. Thankfully, there is none of that here.

The Layout




Layout Support here is nothing short of amazing. Most layouts I can think of are supported with this keyset and we get 9 (!!!) spacebars to choose from. KBDFans even threw in a free set of 1u blanks to support folks with ortholinear, ergonomic etc. layout keyboards. In GMK terms, it means this set comes with a Base Kit, a lesser Spacebar Kit and a 40s kit minus legends. That equates to, let’s see, a lot of bleeping PBT caps.

There’s an argument to be made about whether paying for so many keys is necessary as the for 120 dollars the buy-in price is the same as a GMK set’s. But, for a relatively high-end, probably long-lasting set like this, the huge keycap compatibility is important as it means the set will support most of your future keyboard purchases. Also, the complete compatibility means that selling the set in the future is easier as this keyset will support other people’s keyboards too. Personally, I wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for that security, whether or not it encroaches into GMK price territory.

Most importantly, for all you folks who have attained enlightenment, the set comes with modifier-colored pipe/backslash and backtick/tilde keys for the A E S T H E T I C symmetry.

One minor gripe is that the 6u spacebar does not have a center mounting stem, which is a problem for Razer/Logitech/Corsair users. Yes, yes, Razer is bad. I get it. However, my dad bought this set thinking that it would fit his Razer Blackwidow’s strange bottom row but the 6u spacebar only has an off-center stem and not a center one. I don’t know how difficult it would be to add a 6u spacebar with support for both but considering that 50% (a wild estimation) of mechanical keyboards out there have 6u centered stem spacebars, not having it is a missed opportunity. Still, it’s a pretty minor issue, but I would be remiss to not mention that.


9009 is an iconic (and straight up overplayed) colorway in the keyboard community, with the OG version and GMK versions of the set selling over retail (and sometimes WAY OVER RETAIL) on r/mechmarket. Hype aside, I do enjoy this colorway for it’s simplicity and classic design. Beige and grey sets get me every single time because I’m an unapologetically, vintage-loving hipster normie and this is no different. While I do not own a GMK or OG set to compare the colors of this ePBT version with, I do think the pastel pink and pastel green accents are pretty (regardless of whether it’s a faithful reproduction of the original). Props to KBDFans and EnjoyPBT.

Keycap Quality

The keycaps themselves are very thick. At 1.5mm thick, these Gateron-made PBT keycaps are absolute units. Here’s a photo comparing the thickness of the caps with the other PBT dye-subs I have on hand.

Cap Thickness.001

They’re joint thickest with IMSTO Ural (which makes sense since this IMSTO set utilized Gateron/ePBT blanks just like the 9009 set) and /dev/tty, while also quite a bit thicker than the Topre ones.


The ePBT caps have a uniform matte finish to them with a very slight glossy sparkle when viewed at from an off-angle. You can see said gloss on that F8 key on the right side of the picture above. It’s not super bright or even noticeable head-on, but it’s still brighter than my future as a reviewer.

Texture Comparison.001

The texture of ePBT/Gateron keycaps is my personal favourite of all the keycaps I’ve tried. Up close, the skin-like, pore-ish texture of the /dev/tty is an immediate turnoff (and downright icky if you ask me!), while the stock Realforce keycaps have too visible and rough a texture to my liking. Meanwhile, ePBT keycaps have a texture that’s soft to the touch, yet provide just enough friction to rest your fingers on. Very nice.

However, the keycaps are not all perfect.


As seen in the photo above, the edges of the keycaps are pretty jagged and rough. In some cases, there are even extra PBT bits protruding outwards from the keycaps. Nothing that a file can’t solve, but I wish it were better. You get jagged edges with most PBT sets, even the more expensive ones like IMSTO Ural. However, the edges on /dev/tty are near perfect on every key and are the benchmark of PBT quality (as in the keycap itself, not the legends) to me so seeing burrs on the ePBT is off-putting.

Warping is a serious issue that past iterations of ePBT/Gateron caps and most PBT keysets face. In many cases, the long modifier keys and spacebars are so warped that even with the most well-lubed of stabilizers, they would cause an uneven depress and as such cause the stabilizer to rattle.

In the case of the ePBT 9009, warping is still an issue on the longer keys, but much less so. On the shorter keys like both shifts, backspace and enter, warping is a mild issue at best. The keys look relatively straight on all 3 axes and probably won’t cause an issue with your stabilizers. Peep these photos:

Shift Warping .001

Even the spacebars are relatively straight on all the axes, with /dev/tty edging out ePBT and IMSTO VERY slightly in the 6.25u test, and with both 7u ePBT and IMSTO spacebars performing admirably. Well done, ePBT. While I may have gotten lucky with this set and have no warped spacebars in them, this is very promising as most ePBT sets I’ve seen have had bad 7u spacebars. Are the days of banana modifier keycaps finally gone? See for yourself:

Space Warping .001Space Warping .002Space Warping .003Space Warping .004

Legend Quality


Legend quality is an often overlooked part of keyset design. I mean, as a touch typist myself, I don’t even look at my keyboard while typing so it shouldn’t matter that much, right? Well idgaf and I like my legends so why I can sometimes be very anal passionate about it. The way I did this part of the review is by IRL pixel peeping the legends for inconsistencies and comparing them to my IMSTO dye-subbed set. IMSTO is renowned in the community for making the best dye-subs ever, so if past ePBT keysets are any indication, they *should* be blown out of the water here.

Surprisingly, from a distance, none of the keycaps stood out as atrocious, which surpassed my expectations of it already. At a glance, that already makes it better than the tilted by an angle, off-center and feather-prone /dev/tty set. And we all know it’s gonna be better than JTK. Get your shit together, JTK.

Another good thing I noticed about ePBT (and IMSTO Ural) is that the legends have mostly consistent cap and midline heights. To illustrate what I mean:


Many keysets out there cannot get it right 100% of the time because it takes a lot of design effort for it to be so. Well done.

Legend Comparison.001

In the above close up images of the 8/* key, we can see that the legends of the ePBT keycap are very sharp, possibly even sharper than the IMSTO one, though I do not have a microscope on hand to verify. This could be due to the darker black utilized in the ePBT keycap, or due to the fact that I’m not looking close enough, but I truly believe the sharpness on the ePBT cap is similar to the IMSTO one. Another positive.

However, like the rest of the keyset, there are some flaws in ePBT’s dye-sub that stem not from the quality of the dye-sub process but from the typography used in their raw files.

Legend Comparison.002

Against the Realforce key, ePBT wins hands down as the Realforce key has way too much feathering around the legends. The Realforce key has cleaner lines and zero flaws that I can make out, but its lines are not sharp at all.

Here are more pictures comparing the legends side-by-side with IMSTO:


One problem I noticed with the ePBT spacebar row keys is that they are shifted up away from the center axis. When I first noticed it, I thought it was an optical illusion or something because every other key was centered well. But up close, it definitely fails the eye test. In the case of the IMSTO, every, and I mean EVERY legend is centered correctly. Minus points for the ePBT here.



Kerning is another issue as seen in the picture above. On the one End (ha!), the letters are too close and are touching each other on the ‘End’ key; on the other, the space between the ‘i’ and the ‘o’ on ‘Option’ is so big your mother will fit in it. Plus points for me for being able to hang with the teens with that joke, minus points for ePBT for that spacing.


There is inconsistent kerning on most of the other word legend keys too as seen in the picture above.

Overall, though, ePBT 9009 only falls slightly behind IMSTO Ural in terms of typography, kerning and centering while besting all three of /dev/tty, HHKB and Realforce keycaps. It still has some egregious issues with legends, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed in future iterations of EnjoyPBT. I like ’em. A lot.


Now I’m just going to start by saying PBT is my preferred keycap material for sound AND IT SHOULD BE YOURS TOO. I kid, but I’ve tried many keycap materials in many profiles and I found myself going back to /dev/tty’s PBT for the best sounding keycaps. So how does Gateron/ePBT caps sound compared to /dev/tty?

The ePBT caps have a slightly higher-pitched, softer in volume bottom out sound compared to /dev/tty’s louder, more full and deeper bottom out. The ePBT caps are more consistent in its sound (which sometimes makes it dull, but that’s a matter of preference) compared to the more lively, dare I say even musical sound of the /dev/tty.

In the grand scheme of things, ePBT sounds amazing in its own right and definitely sound better than some other PBT (DSA, XDA) and ABS (SA, GMK, etc) keycaps, but I still prefer the more inconsistent but fun /dev/tty bottom out.


In my opinion, there’s not much to say here other than the fact that Cherry profile is the far superior layout compared to anything I’ve used over the years. I’ll be writing a Long Term Review on Cherry profile in the coming months but in short, I prefer cylindrical keycaps because they are easier to move between rows with and I prefer a lower profile sculpted set because I’m just not used to typing on a high profile set (that’s why I cannot use /dev/tty for any extended period) or a flat set (DSA and SA R3, BEGONE!). This set being run in Cherry profile is the best thing KBDFans could have done in this regard.


If you have 120 dollars to blow on a keyset, and you like the 9009 colorway, buy this one. Everything about this keyset in terms of layout, keycap quality, legend quality, sound and typing feel is on the better end of what’s available in the keyboard community. KBDFans is a reputable seller with very good communication so I have no qualms recommending them to anyone in this hobby. EnjoyPBT has stepped up their game and, in my opinion, officially stepped into the big league. With improvements to their typography and maybe the introduction of 5-sided reverse dye-sub for custom color keysets, ePBT has the potential to be the biggest player in this space.

As of the time of writing, there are still some sets available directly from KBDFans and some available on r/mechmarket.

I’m not sponsored by KBDFans btw. I just really like this set.