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My Kingdom for Smooth ABS SA Keycaps

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Every time I build a new keyboard, I go hunting for keycaps. And every time I go hunting, it eventually devolves into a desperate search for SA (or equivalent) profile keycaps with a smooth finish. SA is the ultimate profile, IMHO, and they're relatively hard to come by. Signature Plastics, which is where a lot of SA sets come from like the T0mb3ry SA Carbon set (they might actually hold the trademark on the SA profile if I'm not mistaken), is reportedly going through some management/ownership struggles (last I heard, they're looking for new ownership), and along with apparently the rest of the industry, they seem to be neglecting this superior keycap profile in their own stocks. If you order direct from them, they have a couple themed sets in stock (maybe), but generally you can have any color you want, as long as it's black or white. Drop carries a fair number of MT3 profile sets, which are very similar to SA. But just like SP's SA-P profile, they're made with a different kind of plastic, and they have a textured finish instead of the smooth finish that the original SA keys have. Unless you type with wet fingers, it is beyond me why you'd ever want a textured finish on your keycaps over smooth. But that's just me. I would kill to have more of a selection in this category. Drop is the place to go for all the coolest keycap designs. But rarely are they in this configuration. I imagine the market does the talking here, but I honestly don't know if I'm just way off base, or if people buying textured keycaps just don't know what they're missing. What say you? Is anyone else on board for my stupid little crusade to bring back the Cadillac of keycaps?
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Ikarianpc
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HarvestDay
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Apr 10, 2024
Signature Plastics never bothered to ramp up their hobbyist production capabilities during the pandemic heyday of the keycap fad, and wait times for SA manufacturing hit almost three years. (SA Metaverse, which still hasn't shipped, went on sale in 2021.) They've always been a small manufacturer geared mostly towards fulfilling their corporate contracts, like their deal to manufacture caps for Filco. Designers became very reluctant to commission new SA sets due to the delays, even though their queue is pretty much empty now. SP has rerun a handful of classic sets recently, where they had the designers' permission - SA Retro, SA 1976, and SA Nuclear Data. They still have stock from these left over, so it's doubtful they'll run more on their own until/unless those sell out. I'm sure if a designer approached them with a design that could reach their fairly high minimum order quantity, they'd run it. (I'd personally love to see SA Dasher come back with updated kitting.) Historically, SA sets have run as a bunch of little child kits instead of monokits, so lots or orphaned kits wind up left over that never sell out, which discourages vendors from running them. Newer sets have all been monokits, like SA Maestro and SA ASCII. But those are pretty expensive, because everything is included. Drop seems to be laser-focused on shorter Cherry-profile caps these days. Even MT3, designed as their in-house alternative to SA, seems to get ignored anymore. That said, Vala Supply, Prototypist, Kono, and a couple other vendors do have fairly recent new SA designs in stock right now. Domikey and Maxkey are SA clone manufacturers you can find, and there's also the newer AFSA and HSA profiles, which are very smooth and similar to SA, from clone manufacturers. HSA comes extremely slick and shiny.
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