BSUN Hutt Tactile: Review by Vere
Opening words:Hello, this is Vere.
I apologize for the large gap from this review and the last, I was quite busy with my personal life and work and was unable to write any detailed reviews for a while. I hope to make it up to you by writing a few reviews over the holidays.
This review and future reviews will be slightly more compact compared to the first BSUN Bunny review, I believe that will help me produce these reviews more often.
Switch Introduction:The BSUN Hutt is a long-pole tactile with a transparent modified polycarbonate top housing, pink modified PA12 bottom housing, and a pink POK stem, all of which was inspired by the Hutt Lagoon Lake in Australia with its striking pink coloration.
High volume, slightly quieter than other Holy Panda-like Tactiles due to the POK stem.
Medium pitch, the tone is balanced thanks to the POK stem and PA12 bottom housing.
Very poppy, audible tactile event that is common in Holy Panda-likes and has a very pleasant sound profile.
Consistent lube coverage, no issues in terms of smoothness and also no crap sounds from leaf or spring.
|Amazing visual design, color-matched to the Hutt Lagoon, and even the addition of glitter to the top housing to represent the pink sand of the Lagoon.
A spiritual successor to the Holy Panda tactile, with an excellent stock form and no need to frankenswitch.
The BSUN Hutt uses a special formula of Tribosys 3203 on the spring, stem legs, and stem railings with a consistent amount, but it seems they tried to keep the lubing minimal overall in order to preserve the tactility of the switch.
There are no noticeable transient noises such as leaf noise or spring ping, and I felt that there were no issues when using stock for a while. Apparently they even took the original leaf spring from the Invyr Panda, and adjusted it into a modern version to help prevent leaf ping.
Personally these switches benefit greatly from being hand-lubed as the stock sound profile is slightly plasticky due to 3203 being thinner than Krytox 205g0, and the lube coverage was very minimal. If you don't care about the sound and wish to experience more of the tactility then you can probably leave these alone, but if you're like me and wish to hear a more elegant and refined sound, then I recommend re-lubing them.
[Additional side note: My BSUN Hutts had some oil leaking from the housings after a while, I assume that it is the oil portion of the 3203 mix that is now finally separating, this doesn't actually matter much regarding the stock experience]
What is POK?
POK, also known as Polyketone is a thermoplastic polymer like POM or Nylon that is very resilient and flexible in its uses.
It was first commercialized as a plastic material by Hyosung Chemical, a company based in South Korea.
It has twice the amount of impact strength of nylon, better abrasion resistance than POM, and is able to be subjected to large deformations while still keeping dimensional stability.
The main traits above means it is actually an excellent option for being a switch material. It has a coefficient of friction of 0.36 against itself, which means it is also smoother than your average nylon. It is slightly denser and much firmer than PA66, which leads to a slightly brighter sound profile but with a similar volume.
In my experience, POK seems to be firmer and louder than UHMWPE materials, while not being as firm and loud as POM, I would place it in-between those two main materials.
In short, it's a great material to use for switches, it is different enough compared to the common materials that we're used to, and has many positives.
What in the world is a palladium-plated spring?
Palladium is a lustrous metal that is most similar to Platinum in terms of traits and modern day uses, it is often used as an alternative to platinum in jewelry and wedding bands.
Why would you bother covering a spring in palladium plating? Palladium has excellent wear resistance and is actually harder than Platinum on the Mohs scale of hardness for metals. However, stainless steel(most common spring material) is usually rated higher than both Platinum and Palladium, so I am not sure why they went for this additional effort to add another layer.
The purpose of plating the spring (this is a guess) is probably to prevent spring crunch or ping by fortifying the spring itself to make sure that it retains its shape without twisting or bending which will ultimately prevent the pinging noise we all hate. The added durability also helps for the longevity of the spring in the long run, though I don't think it would make much of a difference in reality.
Does it work? I suppose it probably does have a positive effect considering that I haven't experienced any spring ping at all with my batch.
I did read up on the fact that some people can actually be allergic to palladium itself, and can suffer an allergic reaction, so I recommend not touching the spring with your bare hands and then touching your face and eyes.
Modifications to the Polycarbonate Top Housing:
Apparently they originally planned to use a nylon top housing for the BSUN Hutt, but that had some issues with stem wobble and unwanted friction noise with the POK stem.
They ended up with a modified polycarbonate top housing which has a brighter top-out sound without being too noisy like other polycarbonate top housings. This also helped stabilize the stem wobble and reduce audible friction noise.
Modifications to the PA12 Bottom Housing:
PA12 is one of less firm Nylon variants which is something mentioned in my other review, this would normally lead to a deeper/quieter bottom-out, but XY Studio wanted to create a solid and robust bottom-out that wasn't too sharp with the tactile event. I believe they must have modified it to strengthen the stiffness of the material so the POK stem would not produce a muted sound, but also not be too loud like when using a PA bottom or PA66 bottom.
This ultimately leads to the balanced tone that the BSUN Hutt carries which is usually difficult to find in switches as many of them are high pitched or low pitched.
Tactility (Holy Panda-like)
Since these are a Holy Panda-like tactile, their bump isn't something to scoff at.
A large rounded bump with no pre-travel and barely any post travel as it hits the bottom of the pole. Thanks to the light spring weight and lube applied to the stem legs, the tactile event is easier to overcome when compared to other Holy Panda tactiles.
It is a misunderstanding to call these "light" tactiles as the bump is clearly substantial, they have simply been designed in a way that makes it easier for the user to type on without requiring more strength.
(Compared to HG White's large bump)
Due to being a long-pole tactile with a large bump, these switches are definitely not quiet.
The sound profile is tempered thanks to the material choice and creative design by XY Studios in order to create an acoustically pleasing Holy Panda tactile switch.
It is poppy and balanced in pitch, not piercingly loud, and not muted either.
In my experience, of all the Holy Panda-likes and hyper-tactiles I've tested, I think the BSUN Hutt possibly has one of the best sound profiles in terms of tactiles. After hand-lubing, the sound profile becomes even more refined, to the point that I think that they even reach the pinnacle of sound in the modern day switch era.
Direct Comparison to other Tactiles:
Haimu HG White (PA666/PA66/POM+PTFE Stem) 3.6mm Travel
- These tactiles have a very different material composition with some modifications, these are on par with the BSUN Hutt's tactility.
- The HG White is slightly louder and sharper than the BSUN Hutt, the HG White has a quieter top-out.
- The BSUN Hutt has a slightly better stock experience, and much better smoothness, but the HG White doesn't actually have any crap sounds.
- The HG White sounds more plasticky when stock, but has a higher pitch.
- These switches both have excellent stem wobble control.
- These switches have the same travel and tactile bump style of no pre-travel and low post travel.
Tecsee Green Jacket (HPE/Nylon/POM Stem) 3.1mm Travel
- These tactiles have a different material composition and are slightly more tactile than the BSUN Hutt.
- The Green Jacket Tactile is louder and sharper than the BSUN Hutt, their sound is similar except the Green Jackets have a balanced top-out.
- The BSUN Hutt has a better stock experience as the Green Jackets do exhibit leaf noise.
- The Green Jackets are higher pitched than the BSUN Hutt.
- The Green Jackets have slightly more vertical stem wobble.
- The Green Jackets have a much shorter travel and share the same tactile bump style of no pre-travel and low post travel.
Outemu Cream Blue Pro v3 (PC/PA/POM) 3.3mm Travel
- These tactiles have a moderately different material composition and are less tactile than the BSUN Hutt.
- The Cream Blue Pro is much louder and sharper than the BSUN Hutt, the Cream Blue Pro is noisier in all aspects.
- The Cream Blue Pro has similar stock experience with the BSUN Hutt.
- The Cream Blue Pro sounds more plasticky when stock, but is more high pitched compared to the BSUN Hutt.
- These switches both have excellent stem wobble control.
- The Cream Blue Pros have shorter travel and share the same tactile bump style of no pre-travel and low post travel.
Now lets finally go over the flaws of this switch. (These are more like nitpicks)
First off, my main gripe was the stock sound profile, which is in no way bad at all, but the lack of lube coverage left some room for improvement for the overall sound profile. This is fine as you can alter the sound profile as you like with your own lube.
There are no leaf noises or spring pings in the stock experience, but I am part of the crowd that cares about sound the most, so I opted to hand-lube them and the difference is night and day. After hand-lubing I can honestly put these switches in my top 5 in terms of sound. (This is entirely a preference though)
Second, the housing tolerances for these switches are a bit too strong, as I struggled to open them up without using too much force, and I also had a hard time taking them out of my aluminum plate on a hot-swap build. This is a concern to make sure you don't accidentally damage the housing when pulling them out.
Lastly, another minor flaw or nitpick regarding the springs.
I don't actually think the palladium plating on the springs was necessary at all in order to optimize reducing spring ping, BSUN has been able to produce many switches that have no spring ping and with their pre-lubing techniques it is certainly possible to do so without needing to use the palladium method.
If the palladium plating contributed to the total price of the BSUN Hutt then I would find it regrettable as many new switches are coming out at the under $0.50 range, meanwhile these were at $0.55 in group-buy. This is just something that I think any consumer or customer would care about as it is relevant to the amount of money you would need to spend.
Personal Build Recommendation:
(This section is entirely opinion/preference based, so please take it with a grain of salt.)
With the specific sound profile of this switch, I would use it on almost any plate depending on your preference. I believe the main strength of a switch with a balanced sound profile is that you can alter it to your tastes very easily depending on the plate/mounting system/foam that you use in your build.
I am currently using them on an gasket mounted, aluminum plate build (Haven65) and they have an elegant resonating sound profile that isn't too harsh on the ears, but is properly pronounced in a medium-high pitched sound.
If you were to throw these into something like POM or PP, then you would be able to achieve a creamier and deeper sound, while still retaining the nice pop from the tactile event, they aren't the loudest tactiles, but they won't be muted in a plastic plate either.
I can't daily-drive strong tactiles, especially not on something like aluminum, but these switches don't wear out my fingers thanks to the lighter spring, and after hand-lubing they became much easier to use for me.
I believe you will be able to try these switches in many different configurations.
To wrap it up for the BSUN Hutt, XY Studios really created something special here with an inspiration of concept and a different inspiration for design.
The BSUN Hutt is truly beautiful to behold just like the Hutt Lagoon, and their sound is nothing to scoff at, for a modern day Holy Panda with these features and quality of out the box, it's amazing when I compare them to the many tactiles of the past and even this year.
It's difficult to find tactiles that offer such a stock experience in my opinion, I recently went on a journey to find many different tactiles and the one thing that I learned from it is that it's very difficult to find good stock tactiles. Many have poor lubing, bad springs, or the leaf is just crap. The BSUN Hutt doesn't have to worry about these at all.
If you are in the market for a switch that not only leaves your fingers in awe of the typing experience, but also resonates acoustically within your ears, then take a gander at the wondrous pink spectacle that is the BSUN Hutt. If you are a tactile lover, look no further, if you are a linear-only user and want to experience the bumpier side of the hobby, then please give them a shot!
Final Scoring: 8.2/10
[The goal was a modern day Holy Panda-like tactile that would not only be a tribute to the original, but also carry innovation forward to produce a wondrous product. Visual design is also stellar as these switches certainly embody the Hutt Lagoon]
Sound Profile: 9/10
[Varied material usage with precise purpose, as well as excellent execution. With some additional lube, the great sound of these switches becomes extraordinary]
Stock Experience: 8/10
[No leaf noise or spring ping thanks to the consistent pre-lubing uses for these switches, points are docked due to the very low amount of lubricant used in total.]
[Modifications and creative design implemented into this switch rate it higher on the uniqueness score, however there are many Holy Panda-likes on the market already, so I cannot give it an especially high score.]
[Minor flaws that are closer to personal nitpicks, it was hard for me to find actual problems with this switch out of the box.]