The Tangerine offers incredible stock performance with a huge sound improvement after lubing
Today we’re reviewing the Tangerine, a switch that touts itself as the smoothest linear in the game. This is the v2 version that has been made with a brand new mold, featuring a tighter top housing. The Tangerine is designed by C³ and manufactured by JWK, although the first iteration of this switch was made by Gateron. Having been impressed by the Alpacas recently, I had very high expectations going into this review. JWK switches are known for their smoothness, excellent tolerance and low spring ping, and I can reaffirm this from personal experience. The Tangie is a linear switch available with two different spring weights; the light green stem is 62g and the dark green is 67g. An interesting fact about these orange boys is that the housing is made primarily of UHMWPE, deviating from the more typical PC and nylon combo.
You can get these for around $0.65 per switch, which is about what you would expect for a higher-end JWK switch. Slightly more expensive than Alpacas but cheaper than Black Inks.
It does look like the v2 Tangies are using the same mold as the latest batch of Alpacas, the only difference being the Equalz nameplate on the top housing. They sound and feel quite similar, the main differences being that the Tangerine has a slightly higher pitch and softer bottom-out feel. But once lubed and filmed these differences become blurred.
Now I rated the Alpacas as the smoothest linear I had ever tried, but somehow I think the Tangerines are even smoother. With a thin layer of factory lube on the stem, these switches felt like heaven! They’re almost completely frictionless on the downstroke, and I really cannot think of a smoother linear I’ve ever used, especially stock. Although it isn’t 100% UHMWPE, I’m definitely liking this material in terms smoothness. The factory lube on the stems is fairly consistent, so you’re getting a really nice stock feel.
Like the Alpacas, I found the stock sound of the Tangies so-so. They are fairly high pitched and sounded a little bit thin and sharp to me, at least on my KBD67 Lite. I did pick up some mild spring ping, but it wasn’t audible during actual use. The spring ping was among the lowest of any switch I’ve reviewed. Tangerines are notorious for their loud and sharp top-out sound, but this wasn’t an issue for me with the v2. Bear in mind that sound is subjective, and I like a deeper and richer sound, so inevitably I was going to mod these switches.
I used Krytox 205g0, applying lube to all the usual areas, namely the bottom housing, spring bottoms and stem. This latest batch has a very tight housing, and I didn’t pick up the bottom and top-out vibration issues that were prevalent on earlier iterations. You can definitely get away without films here, however films will give you a fuller and more crisp sound, so I would actually recommend them. These Deskeys 0.3mm films have been serving me really well, and this time I have the white ones.
As expected, there was a substantial improvement in the acoustics after applying lube. While the Tangies don’t quite have that deep thock of something like a Black Ink, they have this nice rich and creamy sound. I would describe it as more of a bright and poppy sound as opposed to low pitched, but they just sound so crisp and buttery that it’s hard not to like the sound. If you’re looking for deeper acoustics, you could try a frankenswitch with a milky top housing. The Tangie is of course used in the Creamsicle, which many regard as the smoothest frankenswitch out there. This one consists of a Tangerine bottom, NK Cream top, and Invyr UHMWPE stem.
The Tangerine is one of the most visually striking switches I’ve seen, and this bright orange colourway is really something to behold. They really have that wow-factor when you see them in person. They’re so orange that they will give your RGB an orange tint. It’s a stunning colourway, but for me they kind of ruined the RGB on my KBD67 Lite. So take this into consideration if you’re an RGB aficionado.
JWK continue to impress with their housing tolerance and lack of stem wobble. As mentioned, the housing is very tight and it hardly budged in my hands. No issues with stem wobble either, and this is fairly typical for a JWK where there is very low wobble on the East/West line with a tiny bit more on North/South.
The Tangerine joins the Black Ink, Alpaca and Cream as my favourite linears, and it offers incredible stock performance with a huge sound improvement after lubing.