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Massdrop ALT Keyboard Build

Did you know that one of the best places to buy nice keyboards is on Drop? This community of enthusiasts not only makes artisan knives and headphones, but make some famous keyboards as well. Today, we're going to be working with their ALT kit, which is a 65% board. This means that there are most of the same keys as in a TKL layout, but squished into the right side of the keyboard, shortening the right shift and taking out left control and menu keys.

Case, PCB, Plate, Stabilizers, Cable

This kit comes in either silver-grey or black, and is made out of durable materials that justify the high price point. This keyboard was designed in tandem with keyboard enthusiasts to try to produce a kit that satisfies your every need. The top plate is made of a sturdy aluminum, and there are dual USB-C connectors in the PCB. All the stabilizers are cherry style screw-in. And, thank goodness, the spacebar is the standard 6.25u as opposed to Razer and Corsair's disproportionate spacebars. There is also per-key RGB backlighting as well as an RGB strip that runs around the side of the whole keyboard. And I know that looks aren't everything, that black aluminum does look super sleek. Lastly, there is a braided USB-C cable that will look nice in any setup, although you may consider coiling it.


For our switches, we're going with some Gateron silent brown switches. These switches feel superb, with a small tactile bump. They also have an excellent "thock" sound, something that all keyboard builders look for. Since they're silent, they'll be excellent for office work or gaming. Unfortunately, since they are not clear, they will block the RGB and the only RGB you get is the strip around the side. If you need the RGB beneath the keys, I'd recommend some Gateron RGB switches, which have clear housings.


For our keycaps, we're presenting two options. Unfortunately, the 65% layout is not that common (even though it is one of the best in our opinion), so some of the only compatible keycaps are from Drop. You can either use the Redsuns GMK Samurai set, the top one, or the MiTo XDA Canvas set. The reason we also included the Canvas set is because the Samurai set is obviously a deep red, and some prefer a more neutral tone. These are super cool sets that will add taste to your builds.


For our cable, we're going with a super cool aviator type-c to type-A USB cable. Although the aviator plug is not that useful, it will look awesome and, admittedly, does allow you to plug either micro-B or type-C keyboards into your PC with no cable rerouting.


If you're getting such an amazing keyboard, you should put effort into it. We're customizing this board by lubing the switches, clipping the stabilizers, and lubing them as well. Remember not to use too much lube otherwise you could ruin the feel of the board.

And that's it! Although the lubing will take a while, the keyboard kit makes it pretty easy in terms of picking parts. This keyboard will feel great, look great, and fit in most any gaming or productivity setup.

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