No matter how good a custom keyboard is, its typing experience wouldn’ be satisfactory if the stabilisers are bad. And here’s the thing: most keyboard stabilisers…are not great out of the box. They need to be tuned and modded accordingly – some more so than the others – to get a desirable sound and feel.
But the Staebies, designed by Zambumon in collaboration with AEBoards, are quite different. Even when they’re unlubed, they perform really, really well, thanks to their tight tolerances. If you’re looking to get the absolute best screw-in stabiliser in the market now, look no further than the Staebies.
What It Is
There are two distinct versions of the Staebies: the all-black variant features a nylon housing with a black POM stem, while the clear version has a polycarbonate housing with a white POM stem. Beyond the different aesthetics of these two variants, they have different sound profiles and smoothness too – more on these further down this review.
We purchased the Staebies from Keyboard Treehouse for $22 (about RM90) a set, which includes a 7U wire, a 6.25u wire, five 2u wire, six sets of stems and housings, screws, as well as rubber washers. For this first round of Staebies, they are also packed in a neat little carry pack.
The 7u and 6.25u wires of these stabilisers are protected by a foam inside the case too, ensuring that they don’t get bent during shipping. While the case itself doesn’t feel particularly premium, it’s still a nice, practical storage case.
The Good Stuff
As mentioned, the Staebies have very tight tolerances, leaving little room for the wires to move around the stems and housings of the stabilisers. In theory, this should keep any rattling and ticking to a minimum, and…well, this is certainly the case.
I was curious to see how the Staebies would perform straight out of the box without any tuning, and I’m happy to report that they sound and feel great. There are still some ticking and rattling, of course, but I have never seen stabilisers that sound this good without lubing or modding – it’s incredible.
Of course, I will be lubing them to see if the wire rattle can be eliminated completely, and I’m optimistic the Staebies will perform incredibly well once I’ve done so. In fact, I don’t think I need to holee mod them either to get desirable results, unlike other options in the market, such as the Durock V2 and C3 stabilisers.
Anyway, the excellent tolerances of the Staebies even extend to how tightly the wire clips onto the housing. It feels almost as tight as a C3 stabiliser, so chances are, the Staebies won’t suffer from any wire popping; a huge issue for certain stabilisers.
There are also some notable differences between the all-black nylon Staebies and the clear polycarbonate model. The nylon version feels more “firm” and tight, while the polycarbonate variant has a “looser-feeling,” but smoother downstroke – much like a Durock V2 stabiliser, actually.
The sound profiles of the two Staebies are quite different too. Not surprisingly, the black nylon version offers a deeper sound signature, while the polycarbonate, all-clear model has a higher-pitched sound signature. Keep this in mind if you want stabilisers with a particular sound profile.
The Bad Stuff
While I’m very happy with how the Staebies perform, it does have a couple of small niggles. Because of how tight the tolerances of these stabilisers are, the stem can actually get stuck in the housing during assembly – this actually happened to me while I was testing them out.
I didn’t notice that this one stabiliser was stuck when I was assembling it, so I had to take it apart and make sure that the stems are properly lined with the housing before mounting it onto the keyboard again. Once I’ve done that, the stabiliser works without issue, thankfully enough.
Aside from that, the Staebies’ stems are also quite tight. I tested a number of different keycaps to confirm this – including GMK – and I do need to push down on the keycaps quite a bit to make sure that they are seated properly on the stabilisers. Not a huge issue by any means, but definitely worth pointing out.
Last but certainly not least is the overall availability of the Staebies. At the moment, only Keyboard Treehouse – which is based in Australia – is opening pre-orders for them, so depending on where you’re located, shipping can get quite expensive.
Granted, AEBoards did say that US vendor Cannon Keys will have the Staebies in stock soon, but if you’re in Asia (like us), it doesn’t make much of a difference. Hopefully, more vendors worldwide will carry the Staebies soon – it’ll be great if these stabilisers are more widely available to everyone.
Is It Worth It?
Without a shadow of a doubt! The Staebies may have their faults, but all things considered, they are easily the best screw-in stabilisers we have ever tried. Their tight tolerances are unlike anything I’ve ever seen, making them so much easier to tune for a desirable sound and feel – it will save folks a lot of time and frustration.
The only thing that really needs to be worked on right now is the overall availability of the Staebies. Once more vendors have them in stock, I’m confident they will sell out very quickly – that’s how good the Staebies are.