The Durock Lavender is a fairly new linear switch, having been released in December of 2020. You might think that this is yet another recolour, but Durock actually made new molds for the bottom and top housing. Another interesting point to note is that the Lavender makes use of a full-nylon housing, deviating from the more standard nylon and polycarbonate combination.
The Lavender’s bottom and top housing does not exactly match the Alpaca v1 or v2 and seems to have characteristics of both. It does retain the stem of the v1 however. It actually has a very tight housing around the stem, and for that reason it’s best to use a thinner lube like TriboSys 3203. Perhaps more interesting than the new housing molds, the Lavender comes with a full nylon housing and POM stem. The topping out of the nylon housing feels a bit more substantial than the conventional polycarbonate.
As you would expect from a Durock linear, the push feel is very smooth, however I did pick up an inconcistency where some switches were audibly scratchy. I actually think I received a scuffed batch, and there does seem to be batch variance issues with the Lavender. On some switches I could clearly feel stem on housing friction. But the switches that didn’t have this issue felt really good, especially after applying Krytox 205g0. There is a thin layer of factory lube on the stem, but I would recommend applying your own.
The best way I can describe the sound—at least on the batch I received—is muted. They lacked the deep pitch of something like a Black Ink or Alpaca and just sounded a bit lifeless. On polycarbonate they were almost unusable, but there was a slight improvement on aluminium. I cannot say much more than that, but I am eager to try another batch in the future. I’ve listened to a few sound tests, and they are supposed to sound much better than this.
One area where the new molds really shined was the tightness of the housing and (lack of) stem wobble. The housing tolerance is very good, and there is definitely no need for films unless you’re looking to modify the sound. Stem wobble is very low on the E/W line, with a little bit more on the North/South line. I was really impressed with the housing tolerance and wobble, and hopefully we continue to see this on future releases.
As much as I like the Alpaca colourway, this one looks even better, featuring a translucent lavender housing with an off-white stem. You will also see the Durock nameplate on the top housing. The Lavender has a gold-plated stem with a weight of 65g, which felt surprisingly good as I was making less typos without any sacrifice in speed, and no typing fatigue either like I sometimes get with 67g or 70g springs. I was easily hitting 140WPM on the 1-minute Aesop typing test, my personal best being 144. I might just consider the 65g spring weight over my favoured 62g.
So all in all, I was slightly disappointed with these Lavenders, but I do believe it’s because of batch variance. I’m hoping to try a proper batch in the future, as these switches have a lot of potential.