Durock Piano vs. SP-Star Yanyu

An in-depth look at the Durock Piano and the SP-Star Yanyu switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to mechanical keyboard switches, two popular options to consider are the Durock Piano and the SP-Star Yanyu. The Durock Piano is renowned for its proprietary material blend, which allows for a pleasant linear typing experience. Users can expect a gliding push feel and a deep, creamy sound signature when using these switches. Categorized as 'Bassy', 'Frictionless', and 'Silky', the Durock Piano is ideal for those seeking a smooth and enjoyable typing experience. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu is perfect for individuals who desire a delicate typing experience or those who spend long periods of time typing. These switches possess a crisp sound profile, thanks to their unique material blend. Categorized as 'Neutral', 'Mild', 'Thocky', 'Feathery', 'Subtle', and 'Polished', the SP-Star Yanyu provides a more subtle and polished typing sound. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision regarding the most suitable switch for your needs.

By the numbers

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

63.5g

Bottom-out force

43g

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Pre-travel

2.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Total travel

4.00 mm

Factory lubed

No

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

Mystery material

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Top housing material

Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend

Bottom housing material

Proprietary POM blend

Bottom housing material

Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Mount type

PCB (5-pin)

Spring

Gold-plated

Spring

Gold plated

Housing materials

The housing materials of the Durock Piano and the SP-Star Yanyu keyboards offer different characteristics that contribute to their unique sound profiles. The Piano's proprietary POM blend top housing and the Yanyu's Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend top housing both aim to provide an enjoyable sound experience. Although the specific details of the POM blend are undisclosed, it is known to produce a satisfying and deep sound. Similarly, the Yanyu's Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend top housing offer a pleasant sound, leaning towards a brighter tone. Therefore, both switches aim to deliver a satisfying sound profile, albeit with slightly different tonal characteristics.

In terms of the bottom housing, the Piano features a proprietary POM blend, and the Yanyu adopts a Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend. While the exact composition is not revealed for either switch, both housing materials aim to contribute to the overall sound profile. The bottom housing has a more substantial impact on the bottom-out sound and feel of the keys when pressed. Consequently, the blend used in the Piano's bottom housing provides a uniquely satisfying and deep sound. Similarly, the Yanyu's Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend bottom housing create a pleasant sound that is not overly sharp, resulting in a slightly brighter tone.

When comparing the top and bottom housing materials, it is important to note that their influence on the sound differs depending on the action performed. Pressing down on a key allows the bottom housing to exert its impact, influencing the bottom-out sound and feel of the switch. On the other hand, releasing a key emphasizes the influence of the top housing on the sound. Therefore, while the housing materials may be different, the aim is still to create an enjoyable sound experience in both switches by distributing the qualities each housing material brings to the top and bottom of the switch accordingly.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock Piano linear switch and the SP-Star Yanyu linear switch, there are notable differences. The actuation force of both switches is unavailable, making it difficult to directly compare them in terms of triggering a keystroke. However, the Durock Piano switch has a bottom out force of 63.5 grams, which falls into the medium-heavy range. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu switch has a lighter bottom out force of 43 grams.

Considering weight is important for keyboard users, as it can impact typing comfort and endurance. Some individuals prefer a lighter switch as it allows for longer typing sessions, making it suitable for work or extended gaming periods. In such cases, the SP-Star Yanyu switch with its lighter bottom out force could be a favorable choice. Conversely, others may prefer a stronger push feel for a more substantial typing experience. These individuals might want to opt for switches with heavier forces, such as the Durock Piano switch.

While the actuation force of both switches remains unknown, it is worth noting that the medium-heavy bottom out force of the Durock Piano switch suggests that it may require a higher actuation force compared to the lighter SP-Star Yanyu switch. Ultimately, the choice between the two switches depends on personal preferences and the desired typing experience.

Travel distance

The Durock Piano linear switch and the SP-Star Yanyu linear switch have the same travel distance of 4 mm. This means that when you press down on a key with either switch, you will feel a consistent 4 mm of travel distance from the top to the bottom. Both switches provide a similar tactile sensation and feedback, resulting in a comparable typing experience. Whether you choose the Durock Piano or the SP-Star Yanyu, you can expect the same level of key travel and familiarity in terms of feel and response.

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock Piano has an MSRP of $6.70 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the Piano for $5.57.

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

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

The Durock Piano linear switch is best known for its proprietary material blend, which results in a pleasant typing experience. When using these switches, users report a gliding push feel and a deep, creamy sound signature. The sound of the Piano switch can be described as bassy, offering a deeper and richer sound profile during key presses. This lower frequency range resembles the depth and richness associated with bass tones. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu linear switch is perfect for those seeking a delicate typing experience or typing for extended periods of time. The Yanyu switch has a crisp sound profile, described as both neutral and thocky. A neutral switch has a moderate actuation force requirement and a moderate sound profile, suitable for various purposes. A thocky switch typically produces a deep, rich, and satisfying sound when pressed.

When it comes to the feel of the switches, the Durock Piano is known for being frictionless and silky. These switches offer an extremely smooth and effortless typing experience, minimizing any sense of resistance or friction when pressing the keys. The switch provides a fluid travel and enhances the overall smoothness of the typing feel. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu offers a mild typing experience, standing in a safe middle-ground zone. These switches are gentle and approachable to most users. Additionally, the Yanyu switch offers a feathery feel, meaning it is exceptionally light to press and requires little exertion from the fingers. This reduces finger fatigue and makes it comfortable for extended typing sessions.

In conclusion, the Durock Piano linear switch stands out for its pleasant gliding push feel and deep, creamy sound signature. It offers a frictionless and silky typing experience. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu linear switch is ideal for those seeking a delicate typing experience and features a crisp sound profile. The Yanyu switch offers a mild feel with a feathery touch and is suitable for extended typing sessions. While they have their own unique characteristics, both switches provide enjoyable typing experiences. If you are looking for a similar typing feel and sound profile to the Durock Piano, the SP-Star Yanyu would be a suitable alternative, as it also offers a smooth and gentle typing experience with a pleasing sound.

Conclusion

To wrap up, if you're looking for a pleasant and smooth typing experience with a deep and creamy sound, the Durock Piano linear switch is the way to go. These switches have a medium-heavy bottom out force of 63.5 grams, offering a frictionless and silky feel. They are best suited for those who prefer a heavier switch and enjoy a bassy sound profile. On the other hand, if you desire a more delicate and comfortable typing experience for extended periods of time, the SP-Star Yanyu linear switch is the better choice. With a light bottom out force of 43 grams, these switches provide a mild, feathery, subtle, or polished feel depending on your preference. Additionally, the Yanyu switch offers a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for various environments and skill levels. Ultimately, the decision between the Durock Piano and SP-Star Yanyu will depend on your personal preferences for key weight, typing feel, and sound characteristics.

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