To simonk, or not to simonk?

I’m trying to copy David’s V.2.5 tricopter. This is my first tricopter. HobbyKing did not have the exact model of ESC, so I substituted with the Mystery 30A BEC Brushless Speed Controller (Blue Series). I reflashed all of them with the simonk firmware. I bought the HobbyKing Multi-Rotor Control Board V3.0 (Atmega328 PA) and used the latest kkmulticopter flashtool to put Minsoo Kim’s XXcontrol_KR_TriCopter v2.9 on the control board.

I completed my tricopter and I tried running it up last night and it was extremely jumpy and not controllable at all. I moved the gains back and forth with no change in behavior. I missed the step of balancing the props/motors (I’m using the orange GWS props), so I hope that is the cause of my problem, but it has made me question my choice of putting the simonk firmware on my ESCs.

I’ve been blindly following all the tutorials/tips I can find without fully understanding the reasons behind them. What does the simonk firmware give us? Should I even be using it? I noticed that David did not reflash the ESCs on his V2.5, but he has commented on reflashing them before (V2), but he has never specifically called out the magic “simonk” firmware like others have. My understanding is that the new firmware offers greater precision and responsiveness compared to the stock firmware, but is that true? Do I HAVE to reflash in order to use a KK Board?