I’ve had this thing on my top shelf for
a while. Where it deserves to sit. So let’s start off the year with a 900 dollar treat
that is the Keycult Number 2 Rev 1 in the brass winkey variant. This build was made possible by keyboardtreehouse.com.
I’ll chuck a link in the description. And the package was previously opened by them,
which we can see. First of all, absolutely stunning packaging.
By far the most premium I’ve personally come across for keyboards. No explanation
needed, you can just see it for yourself. And in this box, we basically get just the
keyboard enclosure which we’ll take apart soon. And everything else is in another box.
The approach is a little weird, like the rest of the stuff is just in a standard whatever
box. But from a completed keyboard standpoint, I guess it does make sense, as you can chuck
the finished keyboard back in the box and it’s all good. And some of this extra stuff was packed by
Eric from keyboardtreehouse. So we have some oiled 58.5 gram Punchy springs. Christo MCG
111 lube. Halo True and Clear stems. And OG Invyr Panda keyswitches. In the envelope we get a warning about cleaning
brass parts. A sweet looking Keycult sticker. This amazing card that identifies the keyboard.
Awesome design, and just small things like this makes a huge difference. And a thank
you card. Perhaps my only complaint was this black packet.
At first I thought it was some random mystery item thing, but it was just some screws and
the Allen keys. Was a pain to get the stuff out, and I couldn’t see what was inside.
Nitpicky, but true. And finally, we get the brass plate. And the
PCB. Let’s go back to the case, and take it apart.
It is quite different to anything I’ve personally built. Using the included hex tool we can
remove the 8 screws from the top, and that releases the brass bottom piece. Because of the design, the brass piece only
has 2 rubber feet, so be careful with that. And then on the bottom of the aluminium pieces
there’s another 8 hex screws to remove. So as we can see there’s 3 main parts to
the case, and this creates a seamless design which we’ll look at later. So essentially
the brass piece is kind of like a cover for the bottom. Here’s the top aluminium piece. Very clean
overall. Something we hardly ever see is that 2 of the rubber feet are on here. And apparently
this was the only unit to not ship with the gaskets already installed, which is cool for
the video so that we can see more of what’s going on. So to be clear, the gaskets do come
factory installed. Here’s what I would call the mounting base,
also made from aluminium. Good chunky piece, and again, we see those spots for the gaskets
to go into. We have the cable channel for the USB port. And a nice number 2 engraving,
even though we’ll pretty much never see it, but it’s these touches that make it
special. And if we turn it over we have this. Again,
very interesting. I don’t know the exact reasoning behind this design besides the fact
that it pairs with the brass piece. The finish isn’t perfect here, which is to be expected,
and it legit doesn’t matter at all since it makes a perfect fit with the brass. Now this is substantial. It may not look thick
to you, because it’s so big, but it is, and packs an absolute punch at 1.8 kilograms.
For reference, something like the Ducky One 2 Mini or Anne Pro are like 600 or 700 grams.
And a typical full sized retail mech is about 1.1 or 1.2 kilograms. So yeh, crazy. Here’s the 1.5mm brass plate. A bunch going
on here to promote flex, while keeping the brass. So we can see that we have some flex
cuts between the clusters, and that just relieves the plate a little bit. And to add to that,
we have these things along the top and bottom. This is what we refer to as a leaf spring
design. And you can see how it works, it’s just cut to make these points more flexible,
and that’s what will be sandwiched between the gasket mounts. So I actually did build this before I got
the gaskets, so I couldn’t finish it, and I messed up the bottom row. And it was filmed
in 1080p. Switches were super tight to put in so I put them into the plate first before
the PCB, and then soldered them in place. But yeh, since the OG Invyr Pandas came with
sockets, my life was spared, and I was able to take them all out without any desoldering.
So now we’re back to this stage. We used Durock stabilisers. Unfortunately
there was only a 6.25u wire, which is a standard size, but we wanted a 1.5, 1, 1.5u bottom
row, so I had to use some random 7u wire I had. And I of course lubed them with dielectric
grease. The PCB was designed by the ever dependable
Wilba. It is a little dirty with flux, since I already soldered switches to it. But it’s
a beautiful piece of kit, and we can see the sockets that saved me. Since the tiny plastic pieces that made the
switches so difficult to get in are now broken off from building previously, they were a
breeze to put into place. I didn’t show the switch modding, since I personally hate
it being so so time consuming. But as shown before we have the original Invyr Panda housings.
And we removed the original linear stems, and put in Halo True and Clear stems, which
create the very popular Holy Panda tactile keyswitch. To add to that, I lubed them with
Christo MCG 111, and spring swapped with 58.5 gram Punchy springs which were oiled. And
you gotta do these things with such a premium board to get the best out of it. And now to put it all back together. I kind
of went in blind so that I would experience what buyers experience. So the building process
was a little confusing and it took me a bit to figure out, because of its unique design. And after some messing around this is the
real order. First of all, have the USB C port screwed in. And then we have to put in the
8 hex screws without screwing them in to the aluminium base, and the plate just sits on
top of the gaskets. Then we put the top alu piece on, and screw it in from the bottom.
While also trying to align the plate, because it doesn’t screw into anything as it is
gasket mounted. I just did it by eye in trying to make the
empty spacing even around the edges. There’s a lot of wiggle room, so you do have to make
sure you get it aligned nicely, and then screw it down when happy. Again, minimal preparation,
so I don’t know if there was a better or real way of doing this, but it worked out. And finally, we can put in the brass piece,
and we have access to those loosely placed screws through the top of the plate. And that’s
where I was going wrong, since you can’t put the screws through the plate holes. My alignment wasn’t perfect. Perhaps a little
too skewed to the left, and a tiny bit on an angle. To finish it off we have GMK Wavez courtesy
of my mate Jono. And here it is, a very classy looking tenkeyless
keyboard. As I hinted before, this is a super premium kit, coming in at 900USD, and that’s
without the switches, keycaps, stabilisers. So yeh, like top tier stuff. But that’s
what it’s supposed to be, as they set out to create a no compromise keyboard worthy
of the elusive end game name. There’s a few versions of the No. 2. Perhaps
the most traditional looking one is this being the Winkey version in Dark Grey. And it’s
the subtleties in its aesthetic design that really do appeal to me. So from the top down
view it’s as simple as you will see. The top and bottom bezels are quite sizeable,
with the sides being slim. The corners are very slightly rounded, and the edges are all
softened with a minimal fillet which gives it a soft sort of feel. But then it starts to show its character.
As said before, this is a seamless design, so there’s no seam or separation visible
between the pieces, besides the rear. And this creates a really clean look, and instead
of having a seam, we have this very gentle line which gives it a bit of angle and shape,
and breaks up what would otherwise just be a straight wall. Just that line is so subtle
in its aesthetic and physical feel, but makes a huge difference. We’re getting a bit deeper
here, but design is about how these things make you feel. And just that line gives a
sense of ease and calmness. Whereas a wall that goes straight down is more substantial,
confronting, and stronger. It is still very substantial though with an
8.5 degree typing angle, which is a little higher than say a typical 6 degree angle.
And with no cuts or anything on the sides, it does look very full. And it’s definitely
one of the harder keyboards to pick up, especially since it’s so heavy. On the rear the brass piece comes up to the
USB type C port, again very clean and soft. And this brass piece. Really interesting design,
and again it allows the keyboard to have 0 screws visible. Nothing on top, nothing on
bottom. And from here, you can’t even tell how thick or thin it is. The sandblasted brass
finish is immaculate, and is finished with a laser etched keycult logo. Straight up,
just so beautiful. There has also been a Red anodised aluminium base version, and the stunning
Stainless steel version which is on another level. And all of this put together makes for an
extremely solid keyboard, and more importantly heavy. I measured mine to be just over 4kg.
That’s crazy just for a tenkeyless keyboard. Of course it’s not practical. Terrible for
portability, even moving on the desk is difficult, but that’s not what it’s for. This is
an absolute beast on the desk and even more so in the hands. And that’s you want and
expect from a top tier keyboard. So that’s aesthetics and build, but if it
doesn’t feel and sound good, it isn’t complete. The No. 2 goes all in. We have flex
cuts in the brass plate which also has a leaf spring design, which is then isolated and
sandwiched between 16 gaskets. There’s no real right or wrong in how a
keyboard should feel as it is personal preference, but the general tendency is to have kind of
a softened bottom out, so it isn’t as harsh. As it is an isolated sandwich design, it’s
a very even typing experience, as there’s no hard spots underneath that a typical tray
mount design would give. Traditionally, the middle would have the most
flex, but because of the flex cuts and leaf spring design, it’s actually the sides that
depress quite a bit. But this is only by actually pressing it quite hard. In real use, you’ll
have minimal flex. We have Holy Panda keyswitches installed,
so a very tactile keyswitch and on the harsh side by default. They also bottom out quite
hard and loud because of this, so it is quite difficult to feel the subtleties of the design
through typing, especially without a side by side comparison. But I guess the fact that
all I can feel and think about are the keyswitches, means that the case design compliments them
in a good way. But it’s definitely very very enjoyable. Sorry that I can’t really
give a proper informed opinion, but I’m not going to just make up stuff purely based
on its reputation. I just don’t know. The keyboard sounds awesome. Again, Holy Pandas
are loud, even lubed, but there’s no noticeable ping. For an MX style keyswitch, this is like
peak tactile for me. The bump is right near the top. Not the smoothest, but in all honesty,
the bump eradicates the need for that. It may not be for everyone, as the tactility
is quite strong, but it’s definitely something that you should try. It uses the WT80-A PCB, so it is programmable
via VIA. Incredibly easy to use, such a great tool. It recognises your compatible keyboard
immediately. You have several layers in which you can customise each key with whatever.
And it updates instantly. And that’s the Keycult No. 2 Rev 1. I love
so much about this keyboard. I love its unassuming look at first glance, but it’s so much more
than that. And that combination is what gets me. It’s not screaming for attention, with
it’s classy silky smooth aesthetics. But when you actually get your hands on it, it
blows you away with the build quality, the weight, and of course the typing experience. Obviously people are going to be shocked by
the unbelievably high price tag. And that’s fair. It’s not for everyone, and it shouldn’t
be. But it’s on another level. The fit and finish is superb, and it brings along innovation
in how a keyboard is put together. So in my eyes, yes, it’s definitely worthy of that
elusive end game tag, and will definitely keep its touch through the years to come.