Butterfly Dignics 05 - Detailed Review
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Having recently reviewed the Butterfly Dignics 09C (D09C), Butterfly Tenergy 05 (T05) and Glayzer rubber, it is fitting that the Butterfly Dignics 05 (D05) rubber is next on the list. This new offering from Butterfly aims to improve on the best features of the legendary T05 rubber.
The D05 combines Butterfly’s new Spring Sponge X, which is more elastic than the original Spring Sponge used for the Tenergy series, with a High Tension topsheet that boasts improved abrasion resistance and grip characteristics. It also uses the same pimple shape as the T05. According to Butterfly, this topsheet-sponge combination results in an extended dwell time, a higher and longer arc, and exceptional spin values. Butterfly recommends the D05 for players seeking to generate powerful topspins and counter topspins both close to the table and from mid-distance, whilst allowing for a delicate touch close to the table or when returning serves.
Butterfly assigns speed, spin, and arc ratings of 86/85/88 for the D05, as compared to ratings of 83/76/79, 79/96/96, and 81/73/82 for the T05, D09C, and Glayzer, respectively. Thus, the D05 promises to be the fastest of the three and spinnier and higher throwing than the T05 and Glayzer. The D05’s sponge is listed as having a hardness of 40 on the Butterfly scale, sitting between the T05 (36 degrees) and Glayzer (38 degrees), and D09C (44 degrees).
Like all Butterfly rubber, the D05 arrives in a shiny black cardboard wrapper featuring a central holographic Butterfly logo on the front, surrounded by multiple multicolored concentric circles (red, light blue, purple, dark red, orange, yellow). Rubber-specific information is provided in several languages on the back. Unlike the D09C, the D05 is not protected by a transparent adhesive plastic film.
The D05 topsheet feels very grippy but is entirely non-tacky. The pimples are almost invisible through the topsheet. The bright red sponge has a high density of small pores and a hardness I would characterize as medium to medium-hard. The rubber sheet has a faint sweet rubbery smell and weighs 70 g uncut (black, 2.1 mm, height x width: 179 mm x 168 mm) and 48 grams when cut to the Viscaria test blade (158 x 150 mm).
I tested the brand-new D05 rubber (black, 2.1 mm) on a Butterfly Viscaria blade while using a well-used sheet of my usual driving-style short pips on my BH. I attached the rubber using one layer of Butterfly Free Check Pro II glue. I tested the rubber over 3-4 sessions, playing a mix of regular and match-like drills against my regular high-level practice partner (two-winged looper) using 40+ ABS training balls throughout this test.
The D05/Viscaria combo produces an addictive, almost speed-glue-like feeling on FH drives, which are fast and consistent, with long trajectories. The D05 is faster and bouncier than the D09C, T05, and Glayzer on these medium-impact shots. The throw angle is quite high, providing ample clearance over the net. These characteristics gave me the confidence to execute FH drives using more aggressive strokes.
Just like with the Glayzer, standard FH warm-up loops are supremely easy to execute with the D05. The throw angle is very high, providing plenty of safety over the net, and excellent consistency. However, despite the D05 being bouncier, the FH loops did not feel as powerful as with the D09C, due to a weaker power coupling between player, paddle, and ball, and lower overall spin levels. Thus, my regular practice partner had an easier time than usual returning my FH loops.
This conclusion was further substantiated during regular 3rd ball attack drills. Thus, it was very easy for me to attack long pushes with FH loops due to the rubber’s high throw angle and low spin sensitivity, but the resulting shots did not trouble my practice partner as much as with, for example, the D09C. Similar to my observations with the Glayzer, I had to be ready to follow up with a fast 5th ball loop drive to remain in control of the rally with the D05. However, the bouncy nature of the D05 rendered it a little challenging at times to keep the loop-drives on the table.
The D05 works reasonably well on FH loop-to-loop rallies far from the table. Its bouncier nature gives it an advantage over the D09C on these shots. Thus, I was able to generate rather powerful shots without going all out. This allowed me to feel the shots onto the table. However, I found it necessary to execute these shots with good, smooth form. If I tried to force the shots, I lost consistency as they either went into the net (due to mistiming) or overshot the table (overly bouncy).
The springy D05 seemed to work a little better with pancake-style FH flicks than the more traditional, mini-loop FH flicks, in which one uses a wristy motion to guide the ball over the net.
To my surprise, FH blocks proved to be the D05’s strongest suit. These shots are greatly facilitated by the speed-glue-like feeling produced by the D05/Viscaria combination, giving you a very precise feeling for the shot. The D05 absorbs the incoming energy from high-quality loops better than the softer Glayzer and redirects the energy in the form of very fast and deep blocks that are challenging for any player to follow up on. Also, the D05 seems to be completely insensitive to incoming spin, which allowed me to redirect the shots in hard-to-get places with excellent consistency. The D05 also excelled in counter-looping close to the table (which I consider an ultra-aggressive form of blocking). Given that I made similar observations with the D09C, this suggests that these characteristics are mostly due to the Spring Sponge X.
The combination of D05 and Viscaria works well for smashing and flat hitting, although the power coupling is weaker than with the D09C due to the softer sponge. Accordingly, the top-end speed of smashes is lower with the D05 than with the D09C (but greater than with the Glayzer) on these high-impact shots. Nonetheless, smashes are fast and nearly unreturnable.
Initially, the bouncy and fast nature of the D05 meant that I overshot long FH pushes by quite a margin. However, I adapted quickly and used softer hands, which increased my consistency, resulting in long and relatively fast FH pushes. Even though the ball grips the topsheet well, the more cautious pushing motion meant that spin levels were lower than with a more linear rubber like D09C. As a result, my practice partner had an easier time attacking the long FH pushes than normally. Short pushes require carefully calibrated input power to prevent the ball from popping up and long.
As with the D09C, I struggled to generate high spin levels on my FH pendulum backspin serves using the D05. However, I had no difficulties keeping the serves low and short. I was able to execute long and fast top/side-spin serves, but they were not particularly spinny.
ConclusionThe Butterfly Dignics 05 is a bouncy rubber of medium hardness that produces a lovely, speed-glue-like feeling on topspin shots. Its greatest strengths are in the blocking game, whilst also being quite capable in all aspects of the topspin game. Intermediate players will likely find it to be an easier rubber to master than the D09C given its higher throw angle and view it as a step up from the Glayzer. Highly advanced players will likely prefer the D09C in their FH as it allows for more effective power coupling on high-impact shots. I expect that the D05 will work well as a BH rubber, given its high-throwing characteristics. In the end, I view the D05 as a more controllable version of Tenergy 05, allowing for an improved blocking and short game, whilst being marginally less powerful and reliable in the looping game.
- Butterfly Dignics 05
- Butterfly Dignics 09C
- Butterfly Tenergy 05
- Butterfly Glayzer
- Butterfly Viscaria
About The Author
Patrick "ThePongProfessor" Hrdlicka is a table tennis enthusiast, who was introduced to the sport by his parents at the age of six. He progressed to play in the top national cadet and junior leagues in his native Denmark. With college looming, Patrick quit the sport for nearly twenty years. During this hiatus, he obtained a Ph.D.-degree in chemistry and moved to the US as he accepted a chemistry professor position. Since his return to the sport in 2015, he has been combining his analytical skills with his passion for table tennis by testing and writing about a wide range of table tennis equipment. He is a ~2200-USATT-rated left-handed doubles specialist who counts his 2017 US Open (O40 doubles) and 2018 Portland Open (open doubles) titles and Top-16 finish at the 2018 World's Veteran Championships (40-44 year doubles) among his fondest memories. He has a controlled offensive playing style and currently uses a 7-ply limba/ayous based all-wood blade and DHS Hurricane 3 and driving-type short pips in his FH and BH, respectively.
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