SP-Star Ayara vs. KTT Grapefruit

An in-depth look at the SP-Star Ayara and the KTT Grapefruit switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, the SP-Star Ayara and the KTT Grapefruit both offer unique features that cater to different preferences. The Ayara is best known for its medium heftness, making it a perfect choice for those who prefer a hearty typing experience. Typing on these switches provides a soft bottom-out feel and a satisfyingly clacky sound profile. On the other hand, the KTT Grapefruit switches stand out with their tarty linear feel, offering a softer and lighter typing experience. These switches produce a unique "baritone" sound profile, which is not yet as deep as a bass. While these general descriptions provide a glimpse into the characteristics of each switch, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond generalities so you can best decide on the best switch for you.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

45g

Bottom-out force

62g

Bottom-out force

53g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.90 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Nylon

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Two-stage

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the SP-Star Ayara and the KTT Grapefruit differ significantly. The Ayara features a nylon top housing, which is known for creating a deeper and fuller sound profile. Its relatively softer plastic absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound. In contrast, the Grapefruit utilizes a polycarbonate top housing. This stiffer plastic produces a sharper and higher-pitched sound with a more clear and resonant profile. Additionally, the Grapefruit's translucency makes polycarbonate especially useful for RGB lighting effects. While both switches offer unique sound characteristics, the Ayara's nylon top housing creates a softer and more muffled sound compared to the Grapefruit's more defined and articulate sound.

Moving on to the bottom housing, both the Ayara and the Grapefruit employ nylon as their material of choice. Nylon is a classic switch housing material known for producing a deeper and fuller sound profile. Its softer plastic absorbs more sound, resulting in a duller and rounder sound overall. As a result, both switches offer a similar auditory experience in terms of their bottom-out sound and feel. The nylon bottom housing contributes to the switches' ability to elicit a deeper and more satisfying typing experience. So, while the top housings may differ, the shared use of nylon in the bottom housing ensures a comparable sound profile and typing experience for both the Ayara and the Grapefruit.

It is important to note that the top and bottom housing materials of a switch play distinct roles in shaping the overall sound and feel. When pressing down on a switch, the qualities of the bottom housing become more apparent. The bottom housing has a greater impact on the bottom-out sound and feel, influencing the overall typing experience. Conversely, when releasing a key, the top housing takes center stage, significantly affecting the sound produced. Due to this distinction, the choice of housing material for the top and bottom of a switch can lead to varying sound profiles and tactile feedback. Therefore, the Ayara's nylon top housing may create a different sound when releasing a key compared to the Grapefruit's polycarbonate top housing, while both switches retain similar qualities when bottoming out.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the SP-Star Ayara linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, there are some notable differences. Firstly, the actuation force of the Ayara switch is currently unavailable, making it difficult to directly compare with the Grapefruit switch, which has an actuation force of 45 grams. However, both switches have a medium level of bottom out force, with the Ayara at 62 grams and the Grapefruit at 53 grams, indicating a relatively similar typing experience in terms of resistance when fully pressing down on the keys.

In terms of weight, the lighter option tends to be favored by those who prefer longer typing sessions, whether it be for work or extended gaming sessions. While it has not been specified which switch is lighter, if the Ayara switch were to have a lower actuation force than the Grapefruit switch, it would likely result in a lighter overall feel when typing. This lighter touch can be beneficial for reducing fatigue during prolonged use.

On the other hand, some users may prefer a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. For these individuals, a switch with a heavier force would be more suitable. Again, without the specific actuation force for the Ayara switch, it is challenging to definitively compare the two in this aspect. However, if the Ayara switch were to have a higher actuation force than the Grapefruit switch, it would provide a more substantial resistance when triggering keystrokes.

In summary, while the exact actuation force of the Ayara switch is unknown, both the Ayara and Grapefruit switches have a medium bottom out force. If the Ayara switch is lighter in terms of actuation force, it may provide a gentler typing experience for longer periods of use. On the other hand, if it has a higher actuation force, it would offer a more substantial and resistant push when typing.

Travel distance

The travel distance of a switch is the key factor in determining the tactile feedback and overall typing experience. When comparing the travel distance of the SP-Star Ayara linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch, it is notable that both switches offer the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that users can expect similar results in terms of the distance the switch travels from the top to the bottom when pressing down on a key. Therefore, whether one opts for the Ayara or the Grapefruit, a consistent and enjoyable typing experience can be achieved with these switches.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The SP-Star Ayara has an MSRP of $5.80 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Ayara for $5.40.

The KTT Grapefruit comes in at $3.41 per 10 switches.

Here at Milktooth, we offer the best prices on switches (on average, 27% lower the competition). In addition, we offer free shipping on orders over $49.00. We also offer free returns and exchanges, so you can shop with guaranteed satisfaction.

That said, while price is an important piece of the puzzle, our opinion is that you should ultimately pick the option that most suits your unique preferences since you’ll be using these switches for years to come. In other words, finding something perfect for you is, in our view, the most important criteria.

Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Ayara switch offers a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. This means that it produces a sharp and crisp sound when pressed, making it suitable for various purposes. On the other hand, the Grapefruit switch has a low-pitched sound profile, which results in a more bass-heavy and mellow tone. Both switches offer a neutral switch profile, making them versatile options for all types of users, whether beginners or advanced. It's important to note that the sound produced by these switches can also be influenced by other factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

In terms of feel, both the Ayara and Grapefruit switches provide a polished experience. A polished switch indicates a smooth and refined finish, resulting in a sleek and comfortable typing experience. With reduced friction and smooth key travel, users can expect a satisfying feel when using either of these switches.

Overall, the Ayara switch is best suited for those who prefer a hearty typing experience, with its medium heftness and soft bottom-out feel. It also offers a clacky sound profile, which can be appealing to some users. On the other hand, the Grapefruit switch offers a soft and light typing feel, along with its unique "baritone" deep sound profile. While the switches may differ in terms of sound and feel, both provide a polished experience, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable typing experience. Depending on individual preferences, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and feel from both switches.

Conclusion

Bringing it all together, the SP-Star Ayara linear switch and the KTT Grapefruit linear switch offer distinct advantages depending on your preferences. If you prefer a hearty typing experience with a soft bottom-out feel and a perfectly clacky sound profile, the Ayara switch is a great choice. With a bottom out force of 62 grams, it provides a medium heftness that is suitable for most intents and purposes. Additionally, the Ayara switch offers a polished feel, ensuring a smooth and refined typing experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer a softer and lighter typing feel with a "baritone" sound profile, the KTT Grapefruit switch is a standout option. With a bottom out force of 53 grams, it offers a medium-light feel that is ideal for those who prefer a softer typing experience. Similar to the Ayara switch, the Grapefruit switch also provides a polished feel, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

When it comes to sound, the Ayara switch offers a neutral sound profile with a moderate actuation force requirement. It produces a sharp and crisp sound when pressed, making it a suitable choice for those who prefer a more high-pitched sound profile. On the other hand, the Grapefruit switch offers a low-pitched sound profile with a more bass-heavy and mellow tone.

Ultimately, the decision between the SP-Star Ayara and the KTT Grapefruit switches comes down to personal preference. Both switches offer unique advantages in terms of typing feel and sound profile. Consider your desired typing experience and sound preference to determine which switch is the best fit for you. Whichever switch you choose, you can expect a high-quality mechanical keyboard experience.

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