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Gateron Melodic switch performance

Gateron Melodic switch performance

ThereminGoat's review of Gateron Melodic switch. If you want to know more, please read his full review. Click here


At the highest level, the Gateron Melodic switches come in a pink and blue color scheme with a transparent pink polycarbonate top housing, opaque light pink colored stem, and baby blue nylon bottom housing. Internally, these switches feature 20.00 mm long silver springs of normal threading rated for approximately 50 grams of bottom out force. While these switches may not necessarily look all that different from most other MX-style switches at a distance, they are absolutely teeming with unique features across all three major components upon closer inspection. A breakdown of the unique and not so unique features of each of the housing components may be found below in the following paragraphs.

Figure 5: Gateron Melodic switches and their components.

Looking first to the transparent pink polycarbonate top housings of the Gateron Melodic switches, these initially do not look all that different from most modern, premium Gateron switches. The two features which immediately distinguish the Melodic top housings as coming from the more premium lineup of offerings is that of the inverted ‘GATERON’ nameplate and the half-height LED diffusing bubble that has most recently been seen in Gateron’s Jupiter set of switches. However, upon closer inspection, it can be seen from the outside that the left hand side of the bubble is not uniformly filled in with plastic underneath like the rest of the bubble. Flipping the top housing over, this portion of the LED diffusing bubble is not only hollow but also features a thin vertical outcropping not present in other switches to date. The purpose of this outcropping is to compress the click leaf in the bottom housings of the Melodics, and without this compression, the leaf does not bend forward enough into the bottom housing to interact with the stem upon pressing. (In fact, I did not discover this was even present until after I had tried activating the click leaf in a switch that had had its top housing removed for better visual inspection.) Beyond this outcropping, though, there are no other distinctive features of the Melodic top housings that separate them from other Gateron switches. Like most other premium offerings, the molds markings for the top housings come in the form of capital letters in both the upper left- and right-hand corners underneath the nameplate region on the inside of the switch.

Figure 6: Gateron Melodic top housing external design showing inverted 'GATERON' nameplate and asymmetrical, mid-height LED bubble covering the LED/diode slot.

Figure 7: Gateron Melodic top housing internal design showing mold markings in upper left- and right- hand corners as well as underside of asymmetrical LED bubble with outcropping for compacting the click leaf.

Figure 8: Angled view of Gateron Melodic top housing interior showing protruding clip in LED bubble used to compress click leaf for proper mechanism activation.

Moving next to the opaque pink POM stems of the Gateron Melodic switches, its honestly a bit incredible just how many unique design features they managed to cram into them. The most obviously distinctive feature of their design is that of the raised, split hollow slider rails on the sides of the stem. As can be seen below in the bottom housing internal design photographs, the Gateron Melodics also feature a brand new guider rail design, in addition to their new click leaves, which come in the form of a centered ‘third rail’ that slides inside of the stem slider rails when the stem is pressed. While no modern MX-style switch has had guided rails modified out of the existing MX platform in quite this fashion, there have been a few which have had interlocking housing and stem designs to aid in up and down travel straightness, though they invoked the design of the Taiwan Jet Axis switches in doing so.

Given the raised nature of the hollow Melodic slider rails on the stems, these are the first MX stems I’ve measured to have a complete cross-stem width that is beyond the 9.00 mm mark, measuring in at 9.61 mm wide. In addition to these unique slider rails, the lower left-hand side of the backplate of the Melodic stems also feature a unique square outcropping that acts as the portion of the stem that rakes across the click leaf during normal usage. This outcropping is especially more easily seen in the marketing photos from Gateron as shown above in Figure 4, above. Beyond these two unique features, the rest of the stem design for the Gateron Melodics is largely mundane and includes points I otherwise commonly note like the small mold ejector circles located above the stem legs on the front plate as well as the fact that the back plate of these stems is angled rather than squared off.

Figure 9: Back and front sides of Gateron Melodic stems showing their expanded, hollow slider rails and angled backplates.

Figure 10: Angled view of Gateron Melodic stem backside showing hollow slider rail construction and click leaf actuation nub on far right-hand side of image.

Figure 11: Size comparison between Gateron Melodic click leaf and stem. Note that the small, raised portion of the leaf is what interfaces with the stem during usage. The large flat end is what is wedged into the bottom housing.

Finally arriving at the baby blue nylon bottom housings of the Gateron Melodic switches, these too pack in an impressive amount of features as they directly interact with the plethora of new design points noted above in the stems. The first feature which jumped out to my eyes upon opening the switch is that of the click leaf located in the lower left hand corner of bottom housing. Taking up roughly 20-25% of the horizontal span of the LED slot much like that of the top housing asymmetrical LED outcropping noted above, the click leaf is secured in the housing by being wedged in between the outer wall and a pair of lateral outcroppings that are best seen in the marketing photos from Gateron in Figure 4, above. The click leaf, itself, is only about 1.08 mm at its widest point where the stem interacts with it and is made of a silver-colored metal that is presumably steel. As a result of the click leaf storage location taking up a portion of the LED region, its also interesting to note that Gateron shifted the external plate clip rightwards in order to center it in the remaining LED space available with this switch. As a result, when viewed from the front the Gateron Melodic housings appear asymmetrical in nature.

Figure 12: Angled view of Gateron Melodic bottom housing interior showing location of click leaf outcropping and 'third rail' stem guider system.

Figure 13: Head-on view of complete Gateron Melodic switch showing bottom housing plate clip being off-center relative to the centerline drawn through the switch's stem.

The second feature of note inside of the Gateron Melodic bottom housings is that of the ‘third rail’ guiding system present in the slider rails. Located dead center of the guider rails on both sides, it is interesting that the width of the guider rail is not consistent laterally nor vertically. Laterally, the third rail is winged at the furthest point away from the housing in order to ‘lock’ it into the stem when inserted and prevent side-to-side stem wobble. Vertically, the third rails are also thin and then flare out to a much wider, flatter appearance about 1/5th of the way down their length. The reason for this is unknown to me.

Figure 14: Top-down view of Gateron Melodic stem in housing without a spring showing the interlocking effect of the hollow stem slider rails and third-rail guider rails in the bottom housing.

Beyond these two large defining features of the Gateron Melodic switches, though, the bottom housings otherwise have fairly normal design points. Internally they also feature a mild south side spring collar and small dampening pads at the bottom of their slider rails. Externally, the Melodics clearly only come in 5 Pin/PCB mount configuration and also feature a series of mold markings similar to that of other premium Gateron switch offerings. This specifically refers to the inverted capital letters present in the lower left- and right- hand sides of the bottom housing exterior as well as the sideways ‘GATERON’ anticounterfeiting mark present between the metal PCB pins. As well, I did find it a bit interesting to see the lower right hand side of the LED slot blocked out from the outcropping used to house the click leaf in the switch.

Figure 15: Gateron Melodic bottom housing internal design showing location of click leaf in lower left-hand corner, innovative new guider rail system, south side spring collar, and front-side asymmetry.

Figure 16: Gateron Melodic bottom housing external design showing 5-pin/PCB mounting posts, anticounterfeit mold marking between the metal PCB pins, and LED slot asymmetry from the click leaf mechanism.

Push Feel

While the Gateron Melodics are the second switch which I’ve reviewed in full that have a click leaf mechanism in them, I have to admit that my takeaway experience with their push feeling was pretty substantially different than when I had tried the clicky mode Zeal 3-in-1 Clickiez. In that review, I had constructed the push feel section by comparing and contrasting the different modes of the Clickiez switches, and given that the clicky mode came after that of the tactile one, the majority of the comparison was pointing to how the clicky mode felt like a ‘baby tactile mode’. However, upon trying a click leaf switch like the Gateron Melodics on their own, I think referring to the push feeling of a mechanism like this as tactile-like in any way is a bit misleading. Sure, the force curve below this paragraph very clearly shows a bump that more or less could be considered ‘tactile’ on paper, though I think this interpretation is missing a key bit of nuance. A tactile bump has a ramp up in force to some peak point followed by a fairly symmetrical curve down in force. Even clicky switches which have click jackets or click bars, to a degree, have this similar sort of rise up to a peak force followed by a symmetrical return back down to baseline, even if it is incredibly short. The Gateron Melodic switches, though, have more of an asymmetrical construction to their “bump” in which there is a linear increase in force up to 1.50 mm of displacement followed by a sharp, sudden drop off in force. Without that rise up and symmetrical return down in force, you end up with a feeling in hand that is basically two different linear regions that are separated in a step change-like fashion by an incredibly short bubble-popping sensation about halfway through the downstroke. Further surprising is that this is really the only thing I feel in Melodics. Even with the click leaf removed, the housing collisions of these switches are almost completely unnoticeable, making for an almost floating linear experience that is punctuated by that click leaf-induced drop in force.

Figure 17: Force curve diagram for stock Gateron Melodic switch.

In addition to the more elegant interpretation and appreciation I now have for the click leaf mechanism in action, I should also stress that the two separate linear travel regions in the Melodic’s push feeling are also quite technically sound as well. As was noted above in the ‘Appearance’ section, the Melodic switches clearly had premium design features put into the mold-level details, though it did not just stop there. The factory lubing that is present on the stems produces a quite smooth feeling throughout the stroke of any given switch and was incredibly consistent in its application across the batch that I received in a similar fashion to that of some other premium Gateron offerings which I’ve reviewed to date. However, it should be noted that the factory lube is a bit heavier than quite a few other modern lubed switches and thus it is a touch more noticeable in the hand than not. Regardless of this, though, I’m actually fairly impressed that the factory lube worked this well given the increased surface area between the stems and bottom housings as a result of their third rail guiding system. Switches like the Taiwan Jet Axes that also feature increased housing-stem interfaces than traditional MX-style switches largely seem to suffer from increased scratch even when lubed by hand in my experience and I assume this is largely as a result of that increased surface area for contact with the stems. So while the factory lube in the Gateron Melodics may be a bit more heavy handed and feel a touch more gummy than other, more delicately lubed switches, the fact that these are just largely smooth overall with extra area for friction to occur is quite honestly a feat in and of itself.


Without any other pretense leading into this description, I think a great way to really nail the overall sound profile of the Gateron Melodics is to return immediately to the ‘bubble popping’ analogy used in the push feeling notes above. Strikingly similar qualities to how one would physically describe a bubble, the click leaves in the Melodics sound light, airy, thin, and only the vaguest bit metallic as they ‘pop’ with their sharpened, medium-high pitched sound. They sound more crisp than any click jacket could attempt to match with their mechanism while also maintaining a certain amount of hollowness that is absent from the comparatively heavy, pen-clicking like sound that people associate with traditional click bar clickies. In a way, these are among the most refreshingly light clicky switches I’ve ever tried that actually deliver a substantial enough volume of sound as to actually register as clicky switches instead of only accidentally so while also not being overly aggressive on the ears. Given that there is basically no sound that is noticeable from the housing collisions, and the heavy factory lubing present largely dampens the majority of the sound of these switches save for some subtle large grain scratch that can be heard at lower typing speeds, these switches are almost entirely characterized by their short and bubbly click leaf sound. It’s a certain amount of elegance I simply can’t describe in any more words than that, regardless of my tendency to ramble.


Surprisingly, given all of the internal design details poured into the stems and the bottom housings that should, in theory, reduce stem wobble in these switches, there is still a noticeable amount of equal magnitude N/S and E/W direction stem wobble. Is it going to really bother anybody? No, almost certainly not unless they are sensitive to it. However, I really had expected there to be damn near no wobble in these switches whatsoever and they clearly did not live up to that.

Final Conclusions

While I already used this line in one of the sections of my Scorecard for the Gateron Melodic switches, I can’t help but kick off my final thoughts about this switch with it as it is truly encompassing of my feelings for them – this is the switch design that nobody asked for and yet it is something that we all should have been demanding. Gateron took their premium mold designs and factory lubrication that have proven remarkable successes over the last few years and tacked them onto not one but two effectively niche designs which have had questionable success over the years, and did so all within a single switch. Sure, Taiwan Jet Axis switches have guided slider rails. Sure, Zeal 3-in-1 Clickiez have full click leaves like ProWorld switches before them. But did the Jet Axes have an incredibly smooth stroke consistent across multiple switches in spite of this extra surface area for contact? Did the Zeal 3-in-1 Clickiez install click leaves in a truly unique way that has never been seen before in the MX footprint? And above all, did either of these switches do both of those things at the same time? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding no. The Gateron Melodic switches are technically, from the ground up impressive switches that deliver a crisp, light, and airy clicking sound that won’t fight your noise cancelling headphones when used in a keyboard at your desk nor will they drive you to have to get those headphones out to reduce headaches in the first place. There’s hardly any scratch, no interference from the housing collisions nor their materials to take away from the click leaf feeling, and the sound is crisp and consistent across the entire batch of switches that I received. There’s honestly not all that much more I could expect out of a switch like this, and it feels even more so impressive considering my own personal bias against clicky switches in general. As of the time of writing this review, the Gateron Melodics have landed themselves among the very top of switches that I’ve ever scored and reviewed and I really should stress that readers should not take that endorsement lightly this time. Sans gimmicks, historical significance, and really any marketing whatsoever, these switches truly do pack in performance that is worthy of their price and worthy of being in a board on your desk. Go out of your way to try these switches and I hope you will find them as damn impressive as I have.

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