So let’s say you are looking for something fairly simple, but still higher quality than anything you can get off the shelf. In that case, I have a good offering for you.
We will start off with the RK68 as a base. The RK68 is a Bluetooth, Hotswap, 65% keyboard. This makes it fairly easy to build in (saving cost), as well as quite versatile. The overall sound profile of the board is quite good for a board of this price.
Next up is the switches. Newer onto the market, Akko has made a splash with their very affordable range of switches in their “CS” series. They offer every type of non-silent switch, as well as multiple different spring weights between them. On top of this, their switches are relatively smooth stock and take lubricant extremely well which is why for this service I will be lubing the switches. They also benefit from switch films, so I will do that as well
Finally, the last thing needed to upgrade an RK68 to a true contender for the best budget enthusiast board is upgraded stabilizers. Stabilizers are really hard to get right, and when they aren’t it is very easy to tell by the sound. With a non-lubed run of the mill mechanical keyboard it’s harder to notice (especially if the keyboard is clicky), but once you have a board tuned well in every other way, you will really notice the “ticking” sound that a bad stabilizer makes. This short video does an excellent job showing the ticking sound:
To alleviate this issue, two things should be done. Better stabilizers should be purchased, and those new stabilizers should be “tuned”. The better stabilizer part is easy, just as simple as buying some Durock Plate Mount Stabilizers which aren’t particularly expensive.
Tuning stabilizers is a whole other story. Properly tuning stabilizers takes a significant amount of time and a lot of knowledge to get right (and have the tuning last). I’ve gotten pretty good at this over the course of time, and would like to say that my tuning jobs are quite good and will last for a long time.
Sadly, the costs for this build due somewhat vary depending on item stock and price. For that reason I have removed my store page and created this in order to make a more comprehensive listing that explains what you will really need to know. Here are the breakdowns on my costs, all of these include the cost to have the item shipped to me:
- Royal Kludge RK68 – $99.99
- Akko CS Switches – $27.98
- Durock Plate Mount Stabilizers – $24.00 (can vary)
- Total Cost of Components – $151.97
Next we need to go over the actual service costs. This sort of job will take me around 3 hours of work. At a somewhat reasonable hourly pay of $25.00/hr, this would mean the service aspect costs $75.00.
Finally, I need to ship the board to you! Shipping costs can very greatly depending on your location, so I can’t give too much information here. I can say that it normally costs roughly $25.00 to ship to the United States and Canada.
This brings the total cost of the board to roughly $250.00. Hopefully the breakdown makes it clear where your money is going and will make you confident in purchasing from me :).
If you want suggestions, more information, or want to purchase, me below and we can get started!