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Durock T1vs. SP-Star Yanyu

An in-depth look at the Durock T1 and the SP-Star Yanyu switches—which one is the best fit for you?

Overview

When it comes to choosing a mechanical keyboard switch, two popular options that stand out are the Durock T1 and the SP-Star Yanyu. The Durock T1 is a tactile switch that offers an incredibly comfortable typing experience. With a medium bump and a sound reminiscent of rain falling on a window, the T1 provides a satisfying feedback while typing. On the other hand, we have the SP-Star Yanyu, a linear switch that is perfect for those seeking a more delicate typing experience or those who spend long hours typing. The Yanyu's material blend gives it a crisp sound profile, adding a touch of elegance to each keystroke. Both switches have their own unique characteristics offering different typing experiences. However, let's dive in a bit deeper beyond these generalities so you can make the best decision based on your personal preferences.

By the numbers

T1
Yanyu
BrandDurock
CategoryTactile
BrandSP-Star
CategoryLinear

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

$5.80

$5.40 per 10 switches

Technical specifications

Actuation force

N/A

Actuation force

N/A

Bottom-out force

67g

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

Yes

Factory lubed

Yes

Stem construction

Standard

Stem construction

Standard

Stem material

POM

Stem material

POM

Top housing material

Polycarbonate

Top housing material

Polymer nylon and UHMWPE blend

Bottom housing material

Nylon

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 Durock T1 and the SP-Star Yanyu utilize different materials for their housing components, resulting in distinct sound profiles and aesthetics. The T1's polycarbonate top housing offers a sharper, higher-pitched, and crisper sound profile, thanks to the relatively stiffer plastic. This material also provides translucency, making it ideal for showcasing RGB lighting effects. In contrast, the Yanyu's top housing is a blend of polymer nylon and UHMWPE, resulting in a pleasant sound profile that is not particularly sharp but leans towards being brighter.

On the bottom housing front, the T1 adopts a classic nylon material, which contributes to a deeper and fuller sound profile. The softness of nylon absorbs more sound, resulting in a rounder and duller sound. Meanwhile, the Yanyu's bottom housing utilizes a blend of polymer nylon and UHMWPE, similar to its top housing. This unique combination provides a sound profile that is described as pleasant, but it differs from the T1 with its emphasis on brightness rather than depth.

When comparing the overall impact of the different housing materials, it's important to note that the T1's qualities are divided between the top and bottom housings. The top housing primarily affects the sound when releasing a key, while the bottom housing influences the bottom-out sound and feel when pressing down on the switch. In the case of the Yanyu, its blend of housing materials contributes to a balanced sound profile that may not have as clear a distinction between key press and release sounds.

In summary, the Durock T1 and the SP-Star Yanyu differentiate themselves through their housing materials, resulting in varying sound profiles and aesthetics. The T1's polycarbonate top housing offers a sharp and clear sound profile, while its nylon bottom housing contributes to a deeper and fuller effect. On the other hand, the Yanyu's blend of polymer nylon and UHMWPE provides a pleasant and bright sound profile, both at the top and bottom of the switch. Understanding these differences allows users to select the switch that best suits their preferences for sound and feel.

Weight

When comparing the actuation force and bottom out force of the Durock T1 tactile switch and the SP-Star Yanyu linear switch, there are some notable differences. Starting with the actuation force, the specific grams for both switches are unavailable. However, it is important to mention that the actuation force determines the amount of force required to trigger a keystroke. Moving on to the bottom out force, the Durock T1 has a bottom out force of 67 grams, which falls into the medium-heavy range. This means that users will experience a more substantial typing experience with a stronger push feel. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu has a bottom out force of 43 grams, which is considered light. This makes it a suitable choice for those who prefer a lighter switch, allowing for longer typing sessions without fatigue. Both switches have their advantages depending on individual preferences. If weight is a factor, users seeking a lighter option will find the SP-Star Yanyu more suitable, while those who prefer a heavier switch for a more substantial typing experience can opt for the Durock T1.

Travel distance

The Durock T1 tactile 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 equipped with either of these switches, you will feel an equal distance of travel. Both switches offer a consistent and comfortable experience for users. Whether you choose the T1 or the Yanyu, you can expect similar results in terms of key travel distance.

Sound tests

Price comparison

Which switch is more bang for your buck?

The Durock T1 has an MSRP of $5.50 per 10 switches. At Milktooth, we are able to pass on savings to our customers and offer the T1 for $4.90.

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.

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Typing experience

When it comes to sound, the Durock T1 switch is known for its low-pitched and neutral sound profile. The switch produces a more bass-heavy and mellow tone, resembling the sound of rain falling on a window. This makes it a comfortable and soothing typing experience. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu switch also has a neutral sound profile but offers a unique "thocky" sound. This means that when the key is pressed and released, it produces a satisfying deep "thud" or soft "knock" sound. While both switches have a moderate actuation force requirement, their sound profiles provide different auditory experiences.

In terms of feel, the Durock T1 switch is described as stepped, accented, and polished. Stepped switches have a two-stage feel, with mild pre-travel and/or post-travel sensations. The accented feature means that the switch offers a prominent amount of tactility without being overwhelming or too subtle. Additionally, the polished finish of the switch ensures smooth key travel and reduced friction, providing a sleek typing experience. On the other hand, the SP-Star Yanyu switch offers a mild and feathery typing experience. It requires little exertion and provides a gentle resistance, reducing finger fatigue during long typing sessions. Similar to the T1, the Yanyu switch also has a polished finish, resulting in smooth and comfortable key travel.

Considering all the available information, the Durock T1 and SP-Star Yanyu switches offer different subjective qualities. The T1 provides a comfortable typing experience with its medium bump, low-pitched sound resembling rain, stepped feel, accented tactility, and polished finish. It is an excellent choice for those who enjoy a more pronounced tactile sensation. On the other hand, the Yanyu switch offers a delicate typing experience with its feathery feel, crisp sound profile, and polished finish. It is perfect for those who prefer a lighter and smoother typing experience. While they have their unique characteristics, both switches provide moderate actuation force requirements and polished finishes for reduced friction and smooth key travel. Based on these descriptions, it is safe to say that if you prefer a tactile switch like the T1, you can expect a similar level of comfort and smoothness with the Yanyu, just without the strong tactile bump.

Try switches before you buy them

We understand that finding the perfect keyboard switches can be a challenging and time-consuming process. This led us to design Milktooth's try at-home program that allows you to sample and test different switches in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you make the right choice for your typing preferences.

You can try 10 switches at home for 5 days, and your switches come pre-installed on switch testers. Of course, you’re more than free to install them into your own board to try as well for the most representative typing experience.

Gone are the days of going through countless forums and reviews to find the ideal switches. Now, you can experience the tactile feedback, actuation points, and sound profiles firsthand, empowering you to make an informed decision without any pressure or time constraints.

We understand the importance of finding the perfect typing experience, and our try at-home program eliminates the risk of making a costly mistake. Experiment with different switch variants, test them in various typing scenarios, and fine-tune your keyboard to match your individual preferences.

The try at-home program costs only $15, which includes shipping both ways. By trying before you buy, you can make the most informed purchasing decision possible. Simply click the "try at home" button on any given switch webpage to get started.

Conclusion

In closing, to choose between the Durock T1 tactile switch and the SP-Star Yanyu linear switch, you should consider your personal preferences and typing needs. If you prioritize a comfortable typing experience with a medium bump and a rain-like sound, the T1 would be an excellent choice. With a bottom out force of 67 grams, it provides a medium-heavy feel.

On the other hand, if you prefer a delicate typing experience or need switches for long periods of typing, the Yanyu switch would be more suitable. It has a light bottom out force of 43 grams and a crisp sound profile, making it perfect for extended typing sessions.

Both switches have a neutral sound profile, meaning they are suitable for most purposes and environments. Additionally, they both offer a polished finish, resulting in reduced friction and smooth key travel.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your desired level of tactile feedback and the force required for typing. Consider whether you prefer a stepped and accented feel or a more mild and feathery one. Assess the sound profiles and choose the one that best aligns with your preferences.

In the end, both the Durock T1 and SP-Star Yanyu switches offer unique characteristics and benefits. It's important to try them out firsthand or read more reviews to determine which one suits your typing style and preferences best.

Mentioned in this article

T1

T1

BrandDurock
CategoryTactile

$5.50

$4.90 per 10 switches

Try the T1 switches
Yanyu

Yanyu

BrandSP-Star
CategoryLinear

$5.80

$5.40 per 10 switches

Try the Yanyu switches