TTC Gold Brown vs. KTT Lightning

An in-depth look at the TTC Gold Brown and the KTT Lightning switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options you may come across are the TTC Gold Brown and the KTT Lightning. The Gold Brown switch is best known for its balanced nature, offering a slight but satisfying tactile bump and a moderate weightiness. It delivers a rounded sound profile that is softer than most switches, making it pleasant to type on without completely eliminating sound. On the other hand, the Lightning switch from KTT is designed with speed in mind. These linear switches are perfect for situations where milliseconds can determine victory or defeat. They provide a slick typing feel and produce a clacky sound profile. The Gold Brown switch can be categorized as neutral, mild, buttery, accented, and polished, while the Lightning switch falls into the clacky, high-pitched, chirpy, subtle, and polished categories. Both switches have their merits, offering different typing experiences to suit your preferences. However, let's delve deeper into the specifics beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision for your keyboard needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

55g

Actuation force

43g

Bottom-out force

63g

Bottom-out force

50g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

1.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

3.00 mm

Factory lubed

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Partial box

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Bottom housing material

Nylon

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Mount type

Plate (3-pin)

Spring

Stainless steel

Spring

Stainless steel

Housing materials

The housing materials of the TTC Gold Brown and the KTT Lightning have several similarities. Both switches utilize polycarbonate as the material for their top housings. This choice of material creates a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile due to the stiffness of polycarbonate. Additionally, the translucency of polycarbonate is particularly beneficial if RGB lighting is intended to be used. Therefore, users can expect similar results in terms of sound and aesthetic qualities when using either switch.

Where the two switches differ is in their bottom housing material. The Gold Brown employs nylon for its bottom housing, while the Lightning also utilizes nylon for this component. Nylon, as a softer plastic, absorbs more sound compared to harder plastics. This results in a deeper and fuller sound profile when typing on switches with nylon bottom housings. However, the presence of the nylon bottom housing means that the impact on the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch will be more influenced by this component.

It is important to note that the qualities brought by the top and bottom housing materials will be split between the two components. When pressing down on either switch, the bottom housing will have a significant impact on the bottom-out sound and feel. Conversely, the top housing will play a larger role in determining the sound when a key is released. Overall, while both switches possess similar qualities due to their polycarbonate top housings, the use of different bottom housing materials in each switch may result in slight variations in the overall sound profile.

Weight

When comparing the TTC Gold Brown tactile switch and the KTT Lightning linear switch, there are noticeable differences in their actuation force and bottom out force. The Gold Brown has an actuation force of 55 grams and a bottom out force of 63 grams, placing it in the medium range. On the other hand, the Lightning has a lighter actuation force of 43 grams and a bottom out force of 50 grams, making it a lighter option.

For individuals who prefer a lighter typing experience, the Lightning switch would be more suitable as it requires less force to trigger a keystroke and to bottom out. This can be advantageous for tasks that require long periods of typing, such as in a work or gaming setting, as it reduces strain on the fingers and allows for more prolonged usage without fatigue.

Alternatively, those who prefer a stronger push feel and a more substantial typing experience may opt for the Gold Brown switch. With its higher actuation and bottom out forces, it provides a more tactile and forceful response. This can be beneficial for individuals who desire a heavier keypress and enjoy the sensation of pressing down with more weight.

Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preferences and the desired typing experience. While the Gold Brown offers a medium level of actuation and bottom out forces, the Lightning provides a lighter touch. Both switches have their merits, and individuals can select accordingly based on their specific needs and preferences.

Travel distance

The TTC Gold Brown tactile switch and the KTT Lightning linear switch have different travel distances. The Gold Brown has a travel distance of 4 mm, which is considered to be the most traditional distance, while the Lightning has a travel distance of 3 mm, which is shallower. This means that the Gold Brown will provide a deeper feel when pressing down on a key compared to the Lightning. However, it is important to note that shorter travel distances have become popular, particularly among gamers who prioritize faster response times. If you prefer a more responsive typing experience, the Lightning with its 3 mm travel distance would be the better choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a more substantial key press with more depth, the Gold Brown's longer travel distance would be more suitable. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preference and the desired typing experience.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The TTC Gold Brown has an MSRP of $5.00 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Gold Brown for $3.28.

The KTT Lightning 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

In terms of sound, the TTC Gold Brown switch has a rounded and softer sound profile compared to most switches. It can be described as neutral, with a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile. This makes it suitable for most purposes, whether you are a beginner or advanced, and whether you are using it at home or work. On the other hand, the KTT Lightning switch has a clacky sound profile. It produces a sharp and snappy sound when pressed, with crisp, bright, and percussive characteristics. It is also described as high-pitched and chirpy, adding a unique acoustic signature to these switches. However, it is important to note that the sound of a switch is also influenced by factors such as the keyboard board and keycaps used.

When it comes to feel, the TTC Gold Brown switch offers a balanced and mild tactile experience. It provides a slight, satisfying bump with a moderate weightiness. These qualities make the typing experience approachable for most users. The Gold Brown switch can also be described as buttery and polished, implying a smooth and refined finish. This results in reduced friction and smooth key travel, providing a sleek typing experience. The KTT Lightning switch, on the other hand, offers a subtle and polished feel. It has a gentle resistance without being feather-light, maintaining a light typing feel. Similar to the Gold Brown switch, it also features a polished finish, ensuring reduced friction and smooth key travel.

In conclusion, the TTC Gold Brown and KTT Lightning switches offer distinct subjective qualities in terms of sound and feel. The Gold Brown switch has a balanced and softer sound profile, while the Lightning switch produces a clacky sound with high-pitched and chirpy characteristics. When it comes to feel, the Gold Brown switch provides a mild and buttery experience with a smooth and refined finish. The Lightning switch offers a subtle and polished feel. Both switches are suitable for different preferences and purposes. However, if you prefer a sound profile similar to the Gold Brown switch but with a different feel, you may consider looking for a switch with a similar sound description. Similarly, if you prefer a feel similar to the Lightning switch but with a different sound profile, you may explore switches with a similar feel description.

Conclusion

To sum up, if you are looking for a balanced switch with a moderate weightiness and a satisfying bump, the TTC Gold Brown tactile switch would be a great choice. It offers a rounded sound profile that is softer than most switches, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users. On the other hand, if you need a switch that prioritizes speed and quick reaction times, the KTT Lightning linear switch is the way to go. These switches are perfect for situations where milliseconds can make a difference in your performance. With a slick type feel and a clacky sound profile, they provide a distinctive typing experience. Additionally, if sound is an important factor for you, the Gold Brown offers a neutral sound profile suitable for various environments, while the Lightning provides a clacky, high-pitched, and chirpy sound. In terms of feel, the Gold Brown is mild, buttery, accented, and polished, providing a gentle and refined typing experience, while the Lightning is subtle and polished, offering a light and sleek feel. Ultimately, the choice between these switches depends on your specific preferences and requirements.

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