Akko MOD006 Custom Keyboard Kit Review


Akko has been a rising identify within the mechanical keyboard neighborhood for years, creating a few of the finest trying, funds acutely aware keyboards you should buy. Over the final 12 months, it joined the customized keyboard market with its MOD line-up of DIY keyboard kits. We have its newest mannequin on the overview desk, the MOD006. It takes the compact TKL design of the MOD007 and pairs it with a sexy new badge and extra modder pleasant design. Coming in at $169, is that this keyboard price selecting up over the competitors? 

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Specifications

  • Current Price: $169.99 (Akko
  • Comes with each aluminum and polycarbonate plates
  • Gasket Mount: the aluminum plate comes with silicon gasket (to keep away from misplacement) by default with spare poron gaskets;
  • MOD006 will now not come as pre-assembled (screws offered), making it simpler for customers to mod. And to make sure it’s equivalently user-friendly for newcomers, the aluminum plate, PCBA and sound dampening foams might be pre-assembled;
  • Comes with each poron plate foam and backside case foam, particularly the case foam are pre-cut in opposition to the hot-swappable sockets to scale back pointless area for improved sound profile;
  • Poron swap pads added to the equipment;
  • Reduced PCBa thickness from 1.6mm to 1.2mm to extend the softness, and be appropriate with extra screw-in stabilizers;
  • Black Coiled Cable
  • *No switches or keycaps included with this equipment. Akko Black & Silver and hand-lubed Akko CS Wine Red switches included on this construct, accessible individually.

Akko MOD006 – What Is It?

The Akko MOD006 is the most recent DIY customized keyboard equipment from Akko. The firm has made a reputation for itself making trendy and inventive premade keyboards for a while (its keycap units are additionally normally accessible individually), however has actually begun to earn cred within the fanatic neighborhood with its MOD collection. This line-up incorporates enthusiast-centric options and emphasizes construct high quality, typing really feel and sound, and inexpensive pricing.

The MOD006 is the corporate’s eleventh such equipment and incorporates lots of the classes it is realized progressing by means of these releases. It makes use of a full aluminum case, accessible in Red, Sky Blue, Midnight Blue, and Space Gray. The colours are anodized, in order that they received’t scratch simply and look nice for the fee. Composed of two halves, the highest case has beveled edges and clear strains. The MOD006 additionally incorporates a golden badge as a substitute of a quantity knob (one other widespread characteristic on fanatic DIY kits), and it options the Year of the Tiger logogram. It’s a small contact, however one that basically ties the look of the keyboard collectively. In phrases of format and design, that is very near a reworked MOD007 V2.

The equipment comes with most of what you’ll have to have a functioning keyboard. Akko generously contains an aluminum and polycarbonate plate, so you possibly can tailor how tender you need your typing expertise to be. Like prior boards, it additionally makes use of a gasket mount implementation, which cushions the plate with dampeners as a substitute of fastening it with screws. This additionally results in a softer typing expertise, however Akko provides you the selection of silicone gasket sockets that match onto the plate tabs or conventional PORON gaskets you’ll want to use your self. Adding to this, Akko additionally decreased the thickness of the PCB from 1.6mm to 1.2mm for some added flex when typing.

Also included within the field is a layer of PORON plate foam, a PORON swap pad, and PORON case foam. That’s lots of foam, and also you don’t have to make use of all of it, but it surely’s nice to see included nonetheless. Budget keyboards usually use lower-cost EVA foam, which is far firmer and doesn’t isolate typing sounds. The PORON is tender, spongy, and has the identical dampening impact and sound tuning traits as you’ll discover on boards that value triple the worth.

The PCB additionally helps RGB backlighting, customizable utilizing hotkeys or software program, and hot-swappable switches. The latter has turn into a typical characteristic however remains to be nice to see included on a board that many customers will doubtless use to develop additional into the interest. You’ll have the ability to strive new switches with out having to fret about breaking out your soldering iron. 

Akko additionally features a coiled cable (not braided) and a set of plate-mounted stabilizers. Plate mount stabs aren’t normally the best choice for fanatic builders, however the PCB additionally helps screw-in stabilizers, so you need to use Durocks or different high-end stabs if you want. The stabilizers right here actually aren’t unhealthy, nonetheless. They don’t require a lot lubing in any respect to remove rattling and sound fairly good when totally put collectively.

Like most keyboard kits, you will have to buy switches and keycaps individually. For this construct, Akko despatched alongside a set of its hand-lubed Wine Red linear switches and a set of Black & Silver doubleshot PBT ASA keycaps. If you’re constructing on a funds, I extremely advocate taking a look at what Akko has to supply. The Wine Reds are clean and sound nice, proper out of the field. Best of all, they’re solely $20.99 for a set of 45 switches, or $.47 a swap, which could be very low-cost for switches which were lubed with Krytox by hand. Akko’s keycaps are additionally wonderful at solely $59.99, don’t have any warping by any means, and are very comfy to make use of over prolonged intervals. 

There are two essential issues to pay attention to that would doubtlessly be dealbreakers, nonetheless. The MOD006 doesn’t assist QMK or VIA. Instead, it makes use of Akko’s Cloud Driver. This permits you to remap keys throughout three layers however is not as configurable as QMK. The second is that the keyboard makes use of north-facing switches, so when you select to make use of non-Akko, brief pole switches, you might doubtlessly run into interference. This is a plus for backlit keycaps, nonetheless, because the RGB backlighting can shine instantly by means of the important thing legends.

Assembling and Modding the Akko MOD006

Assembling the Akko MOD006 could be very simple. If you intend to make use of the aluminum plate, you’ll discover that the plate, PCB, and stabilizers are already assembled and the silicone gasket socks are already in place. All you need to do is put the case foam within the backside case, screw it collectively, and set up switches. The stabilizers additionally come pre-lubed and really have lubed inside the stabilizer, as a substitute of simply on the wire outdoors. It’s a small contact, however one only a few different firms really make and exhibits that Akko is actually making an attempt to present you a straightforward construct course of and high quality typing expertise. 

I opted to make use of the polycarbonate plate and PORON gaskets, which meant I needed to do some meeting myself. The course of isn’t troublesome however does take time and precision. Peeling and inserting the PORON gaskets took about 20 minutes, and it’s essential that they’re positioned correctly on every tab in order that they don’t get crushed between each halves of the case. With that finished, I needed to unscrew the aluminum plate from the PCB, swap over the stabilizers (injecting a bit extra lube with a syringe that I later needed to take away), place the PORON swap foam, then the case foam, and set up switches to carry it collectively. With that finished, all that was left was to place the case foam within the case, screw each halves collectively and set up keycaps. 

You may very well be finished right here, however the MOD006 is supposed to be modified to make it nearly as good as it may possibly probably be. The out-of-the-box typing expertise could be very gentle and quiet. I added a single layer of painter’s tape to the again of the PCB to deepen the sound and improve the quantity of pop (two layers made it sound too dampened). I additionally put small tabs {of electrical} tape across the screw factors on the underside case to maintain the metallic of each halves from touching, eliminating the tiny quantity of ping I might typically hear across the area bar. 

On stabilizer lubing: the stabilizers Akko makes use of right here actually don’t require a lot lube in any respect. In reality, dipping the wires in dielectric grease was an excessive amount of and made the stabs sound far too dampened. I wound up pulling the wires out, wiping them off fully, after which simply utilizing the small residual coating left contained in the stem and am more than happy with the consequence. Or, you might simply depart them as Akko delivered them, which I ought to have finished from the beginning. But, there’s no rattle by any means and these had been general extraordinarily simple to tune.

Akko MOD006 – Typing and Gaming Impressions

After typing on the MOD006 for per week, I’ve to say that I’m more than happy. You might use it out of the field and have a great expertise, however with just a bit time spent modding, you possibly can take this keyboard to the subsequent degree. 

As is at all times the case with a customized mechanical keyboard construct, your explicit expertise will differ relying on the switches, keycaps, and different customizations you make. The keyboard as an entire, although, is spectacular at this value level. It’s very dampened and highlights higher-pitched typing sounds by default, however by adjusting which foams you utilize, and making use of customizations just like the tape mod, you possibly can deepen it and add loads of pop.

With the configuration I used, the sound was delightfully poppy and each sounded and felt nice. The Akko Wine Red switches are much like Cherry MX Reds in typing weight however sound and really feel significantly better as a result of hand lubing. I initially had a set of Novelkeys Silk Yellows (a JWK swap, which is utilized in many well-liked switches right now, like Durocks and Alpacas), however the Wine Reds have a sound that basically compliments the froth sandwich nature of the board properly. 

This additionally makes them an awesome match for gaming. They’re very responsive, and that clean linearity makes firing off a number of keystrokes very simple. I’m not one to do this, however there’s no resistance or tactile bump to gradual you down. Given their value, these are a superb swap for each gaming and typing.

The one factor to notice right here is that there actually isn’t a lot flex to the typing expertise with all the foams put in. Typing isn’t stiff, however you shouldn’t go in anticipating Keychron Q1 ranges of bounce right here. The restricted area inside the case makes that harder to drag off, however when you take away the case foam, it’s definitely attainable to revive a few of it.

 

Final Thoughts

At $169, this can be a very stable customized keyboard equipment. I like the Red model with the gold accent, however I feel every of the colours appears to be like good. I applaud Akko for together with extras like a second plate, a number of PORON foams, and good stabilizers in with the bottom package deal. It provides worth to the equipment and makes it a fair higher worth in a market that appears to get extra crowded day-after-day. If you just like the look and need one thing that may act as a platform to use your personal mods for a really customized typing and gaming expertise, the MOD006 is a high contender. 

The product described on this article was offered by the producer for analysis functions. Some articles could include affiliate hyperlinks and purchases made by means of this can lead to a small fee for the positioning. Commissions aren’t directed to the writer or associated to compensation in any means.

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