Lichicx Yalasuo: Review By Vere
Opening words:Hello, this is Vere.
I was sent these Yalasuo switches as a gift from Dashan at Unikeys, that doesn't change my opinion at all regarding these switches and he didn't ask me to write this review either. I will go over the important parts regarding this switch in detail like before. These switches will be in group-buy by the time this review goes out and I will say that the version I received is not the final group-buy version, they will apparently make some adjustments to the top housing.
Switch Introduction:The Lichicx Yalasuo is a long-pole linear with a pale silver PA66 top housing, modified PA66 bottom housing, and a POM stem of a slightly darker color.
Moderate volume, the switch is like your average long pole in volume.
Moderate pitch on bottom out, with a higher pitch on the return thanks to the snappy spring.
Very interesting sound profile, the bottom out is more muted than the loud return on the upstroke.
Very low amount of lube, not perfectly smooth and there are some plasticky noises from the travel. The spring and leaf are excellent however and do not create any transient noise. Good wobble control, but not perfect.
|Interesting design, the original name for these would have been Silent Plateau, which gives off a serene image.
One of Lichicx's first MX style switches and one of their few non-silent switches.
The Lichicx Yalasuo seems to have some kind of oil based lubricant over the bottom housing railing, stem legs, sliders, and on the leaf. The springs also seem to be lubricated as they are making no pinging noise whatsoever.
Despite the low amount of lubricant overall, there are no transient noises from the leaf or spring, I felt that the quality of the base materials here are quite good as I feel like I can leave the spring and leaf completely alone.
If you were looking for a switch that was perfectly usable stock, I would say that this switch just barely makes the cut. It is smooth despite the low amount of lube, but the sound is much too plasticky for my ears.
Would I re-lube them? Absolutely. The stem has an incredibly small amount of lube coverage which leads to a sub-optimal sound profile (in my opinion) as these switches have such an excellent base to work with. The mold is excellent and there is only a slight amount of wobble. I think that if you didn't re-lube them, you would be missing out on a great switch with wonderful qualities.
Who is Lichicx?:
Lichicx is probably an uncommon manufacturer when it comes to the western market as most of their switches are not very well known over here.
However, they are most well known for producing excellent silent switches, they are probably one of the best at their trade.
So what about their regular switches then? I think they are still quite good even if they are newer to producing non-silent switches. I have tried some other Lichicx switches such as the Caramel Chocolates and Torches and they were great in my opinion, though I feel like their pre-lube could use some work.
(Lichicx Lucy Silent and Lichicx Torch)
Note on the spring and leaf:
Something I wanted to add here was the quality of the spring and leaf on this switch. The leaf was lightly lubed but in my entire batch I couldn't really find any issues with the leaves whatsoever, this is a good sign of quality manufacturing.
After all, they are more experienced in making silent switches, so having silent leaves and springs are probably key in that process.
Modifications to the PA66 Bottom Housing:
PA66 Nylon is a tried and true material that is probably the most common material you can find on switches besides a POM stem. Generally, PA66 Nylon is stiff and firm and usually generates a louder sound profile with a balanced tone, it leans towards the lower pitch but not by much.
These switches however have a clear sound profile that gives a hint as to how this bottom housing was modified. The bottom out was much quieter than the returning upstroke on the switch and the tone was much deeper than I expected.
It is likely that some kind of material was added to the PA66 bottom housing that would result in a softer and deeper sound. The stock smoothness without lube was quite excellent, so I would imagine that it is a material like UHMWPE or something with a low coefficient of friction.
As mentioned above, these switches are quite smooth despite the ordinary material usage of PA66 + POM Stem. The oil based lubricant is mostly spread across the bottom housing which does help affect the smoothness to a decent level, but some more lube on the stem would help overall.
I believe most of the smoothness can be attributed to the quality of the mold itself, I've tried some of Lichicx other switches with their wing-latch molds and they certainly impressed me in the smoothness department.
In terms of sound profile the switch has an interesting trait of having a quieter bottom out, and a much noisier top-out sound. I personally am not a fan of this type of sound but some people can appreciate it for being different. After all, the switch will generate two different types of sound very clearly when typing, and none of the bad kind like spring ping or leaf crunch.
Cherry switches are the easiest example of switches with extra noises, for a lot of people and myself included, the additional scratch during the travel adds to the character of the switch rather than take away from it.
The Lichicx Yalasuo's sound profile would probably fit more with people who enjoy the sound of the upstroke or just noisier sounds in general like tactiles or even clicky switches. Quite a contrast from the usual silent switches that Lichicx manufactures.
I would say that the switch has an overall pitch that is higher when stock, but that would obviously deepen with re-lubing on the stem. It is definitely a sound I can describe as "crispy".
Direct Comparison to other Linears:
Outemu Obscura (PA66/PA66/POM Stem) 3.5mm Travel
- These linears have a very similar material composition besides the modifications made to the bottom housing.
- The Obscura is much louder in the bottom out and quieter in the top out.
- The Yalasuo has a slightly better stock experiences, the Obscuras sometimes have noisy leaves or springs.
- The Obscura is higher pitched than the Yalasuo
- The Obscura has slightly better stem wobble control.
- The Obscura is slightly smoother when lubed.
KTT Darling (PC/Nylon/Modified POM Stem) 3.5mm Travel
- These linears have similar material compositions besides the PC top and modifications.
- The KTT Darling is louder in the bottom out.
- The Yalasuo has a slightly better stock experience, the Darlings are slightly scratchy stock.
- The Darlings are similarly pitched but slightly deeper.
- The Darlings have slightly better stem wobble control.
- These switches have nearly the same smoothness when lubed.
Tecsee Bocchi (PC/PA66/POM) 3.5mm Travel
- These linears have similar material compositions besides the PC top and modifications
- The Tecsee Bocchi is louder in the bottom out and is also noisy on the top out.
- The Tecsee Bocchi is worse in the stock experience, it is scratchier stock and occasionally noisy in the leaves.
- The Tecsee Bocchi has a higher pitch.
- These switches have similar stem wobble.
- The Yalasuo is slightly smoother when lubed.
It is now time to go over the two possible flaws of the switch.
First off, I mentioned it before but the switch could use more lubricant over the stem as there is a small amount overall. This leads to sub-optimal sound when this switch could be a stronger contender in the stock experience.
(Entirely my opinion)
Secondly, the sound profile is uncommon and is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. In general, when you are using a long pole switch, people will enjoy hearing the clear sound of the bottom out opposed to the top out sound which is generally the main appeal of long poles. This switch does the opposite and produces a louder sound on the upstroke thanks to the snappy spring and the modified bottom housing prevents a louder noise from being generated.
Are these large flaws? Not exactly, after all we can just re-lube the switch ourselves and sound preference is entirely opinion based and depends on each person. I think that this switch is still a strong contender, especially since it comes at the under $0.50 price.
Personal Build Recommendation:
(This section is entirely opinion/preference based, so please take it with a grain of salt.)
With the unique sound profile of this switch, personally, I would try to revive the bottom out sound profile and use it on a firmer material. I would use something like Aluminum Top Mount or O-Ring Mount, but if you wanted to take advantage of the noisiness of this switch, then I recommend a Carbon Fiber plate or FR4 plate as they can bring out all kinds of noises from a switch.
This switch does have good strengths in the quieter bottom out as some people may prefer a quieter bottom out but a noticeable return depending on how they type. I think plastic plates could be an option if you want something quieter.
I originally tested them in an O-Ring board with an ABS plate and it was too noisy for me.
To close this review up, I think that this switch is a great first step for Lichicx to continue producing MX style switches that differ from their silent switches.
The most notable trait of the Lichicx Yalasuo is the high quality mold and materials. It is an ordinary PA66 + POM combination, yet the smoothness was top tier, and the switch didn't produce any unpleasant sounds in it's stock form.
I have high hopes for Lichicx's new linears in the future as this switch is a good sign for things to come, I am always on the lookout for new manufacturers to follow.
If you are in the market for a switch with excellent base quality and a very different sound profile, then the Lichicx Yalasuo will surely be a good pick for you. Don't misunderstand my description of this switch's sound profile, the bottom out is certainly more quiet than your average long pole, but these switches are anything but silent.
Final Scoring: 7.2/10
[The Lichicx Yalasuo is excellently designed and produced as the material base and mold quality is great. Aesthetically the switch also has a unique silver coloring which would match its previous name: Silent Plateau]
Sound Profile: 6/10
[Very different sound profile than the normal long pole. I cannot give this a high score as not everyone will enjoy this sound. Though it is not a low score due to the fact that this switch doesn't produce any bad sounds. That being said, this could be the sound that someone else is looking for.]
Stock Experience: 7/10
[Excellent stock experience but could use more lube overall on the stem, just like what I said about the BSUN Hutt, the additional lube makes a night and day difference when it comes to sound.]
[The uniqueness of this switch comes from its sound profile being very different from your average long pole despite only using ordinary materials. I think that if you definitely wanted something different then these are great choice.]
[The only flaw would be needing more lube in the stock experience, but there are no other real issues with this switch at this price point.]