With the Butterfly Dignics 05 a new time period is introduced. The previous flagship rubber series Tenergy, which has brought Butterfly great success worldwide since 2008, is now being replaced by the Dignics rubbers.
The biggest achievement of the new rubber is the revision of the Spring Sponge technology. Now it is called Spring Sponge X. This should provide more dynamics, power and spin for the plastic ball.
The demands are very high. Measured by the success of the Butterfly Tenergy 05, the Dignics 05 will have a hard time from the beginning. For the market launch its predecessor only cost a little over 40€.
In addition, the T05 was initially unrivalled in terms of its playing characteristics. A whole year after its release the other table tennis companies followed with rubbers like andro Hexer, Donic Baracuda or Tibhar Genius. By then Butterfly also offered other versions like the Tenergy 64.
Dignics 05 in todays rubber market
Nowadays the competition for the top dog Tenergy is enormous. Be it the Tibhar Evolution rubbers, which were recently complemented by a hard version of the Tibhar Evolution MX-P, the Tibhar Evolution MX-P50. Or Xiom with its modern Omega VII rubbers. Or Donic Bluestorm, Nittaku Fastarc, Joola Rhyzer and andro Hexer Powergrip. There is no shortage of alternatives.
Things don’t become easier, if one must pay 80€ for a rubber. When played on both sides, combined with one of the Super ZLC woods, the calculator shows 510!! Euro. I think I’ve spent that much money on my rubbers in the last eight years together (of course except of my testing ? ).
In order not to spread the debate about whether one should spend 80€ on a table tennis rubber too broadly, I will deal with it again in my conclusion. Since my overall rating also depends on the price-performance ratio, the only question is whether an 80€ investment is worth it. In addition, I wonder how foolproof a change to Butterfly Dignics 05 is and for which players a change is possible at all.
In this test I would like to compare the Butterfly Dignics 05 only with the Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 05 Hard. As soon as I have tested the Tibhar Evolution MX-P50, I make a larger comparison test between the mentioned rubbers.
Technical attributes of Butterfly Dignics 05
Playing characteristics of Butterfly Dignics 05
I have to say that I haven’t had so many expectations of a table tennis rubber for a long time. And I wasn’t disappointed at all when I played my first strokes.
First of all I have to say that the rubber is not very heavy compared to other rubbers with a 50° sponge. Normally such rubbers weight around 48-52g. The lightness of the D05 suits me very well when it comes to handling the racket.
Generally the total hardness moves between T05 Hard (53-54° sponge) and T05 (47,5° sponge), whereby I see the felt hardness closer to the T05. This is probably because of the softer top sheet used with D05.
Basic speed and dynamics
Since I had played the T05 on the other side at the same time, it became immediately clear how much more power and dynamics there are in the Dignics 05.
The basic speed of the rubber is very high. The ball bounces constantly and amazingly fast out of the rubber. However, I had to adjust to the speed first. Normally I play the Tibhar Genius on both sides, which is much slower in comparison.
Topspin opening and topspins on underspin
At the first topspin the Butterfly Dignics 05 has a lot of rotation and power. I was able to open my play quickly and dangerously from any position. But when I played softer topspins it becomes clear that the Dignics 05 is harder than the T05. Therefore there has to be more arm acceleration to activate the rubber completely.
On underspins I felt the rotation level of the opening topspin ist about the same as with Tenergy 05. But compared to the Tenergy 05 Hard it is much easier to get dynamics on the ball, because you get more support due to the stronger catapult effect and the softer top sheet.
The arc with soft spin balls felt medium high to high, whereby the Tenergy 05 simply allows a higher arc in such a situation. The ball flight curve is much longer due to the higher basic speed. The ball touches onto the other side of the table later. I didn’t have any problems balls becoming to long, because the curve towards the end is very extreme and forgiving. But only on strokes performed correctly, of course.
Power and counter topspin
The overall picture looks different with the counter loop. While the T05 has its absolute strength at the opening topspin, the Dignics 05 has its strengths while counter looping. The rubber hits the ball like a exploding grenade.
Opposing topspins are easily answered with even more power. I had the feeling that the new sponge of the Dignics 05 transforms the incoming energy even better into its own dynamics.
I have already seen such power with many tensor rubbers. But this was always at the expense of the rotation. With the Butterfly Dignics 05 it’s different. The rubber achieves its full rotation with fast and hitting powerspins. And that felt like there were no limits to it. The better I hit the ball, the more rotation I could fetch out.
That led to the opponents having difficulties with blocking. The extreme trajectory makes the ball bounce off the plate very high and late, so that the opponents often hit the ball with the edge of their racket or simply had a bad idea of the trajectory.
At full speed the ball flight curve is a bit higher and much further than with the T05. I think that the harder, more dynamic sponge and the same enormous spin transfer of the top sheet lead to the ball following the stroke direction more exactly with full arm power.
My preference in hardness and playing style
On the other hand, I would personally like to see a softer setup with sensitive, controlled topspins. Well, someday there will be a Dignics 05 FX ?
In general, I found it much easier with my longer, more flexible forehand movement. My short, extremely over the surface gripping movement with the backhand topspin had a very tiny window for the right timing. The margin you have to get the right move on the ball is small. In general, due to its characteristics, I would rather see the rubber on the forehand side.
Service and rotation level
A lot of rotation can be generated during the service game. But I didn’t get more out than with the Tenergy 05. In general, the comparatively harder sponge of the Butterfly Dignics 05 makes it even harder to serve and requires more training.
In general the spin level is at the highest level. For serve and opening spin, the Tenergy 05 remains the non-plusultra, as most players will find it easier to play with the slower, softer and less catapult of the rubber. The Dignics 05, on the other hand, has a lot more to offer in attack and speed situations. Powerful strokes are more dangerous, difficult to block and equipped with an unpleasantly long, extreme arc.
Passive play and returns
While all active strokes are the flagship of the Butterfly Dignics 05, the passive game shows why I think most table tennis players shouldn’t play with this new rubber.
This becomes clearest in the return game. The Dignics 05 is extremely susceptible to spin. This is nothing new if someone plays the T05 or similar rubbers.
However, most of these rubbers are equipped with sponges with very little catapult. The catapult of the D05 is constant and assessable, but also very high and quickly activated.
In combination with the hardness of the sponge, this leads to the fact that even a minimal wrong racket movement or bad timing leads to many simple mistakes.
In higher leagues, apart from the fact that the players have more talent and can therefore cope better with such a fast rubber, textbook table tennis is usually played there. The situation is different in the lower leagues of our sport. Nobody can say exactly how many different player types and crooked strokes you have to expect.
And Butterfly Dignics 05 is nothing for such intuitive, non-textbook strokes. The rubber requires a clean technique and an offensive playing style designed for fast topspins an counter play. Otherwise the rubber quickly becomes a fountain of mistakes.
In exercises I had less problems with the short-short game or the ball placement. This only really matters in game situations, because sometimes I am too lazy to stand 100% correct or to concentrate absolutely on the different strokes.
Flips above the table
Active flips over the table perform wonderful with D05. Since the plastic ball I often have problems with my rubbers at openings above the table. Especially with empty balls my Genius rubber has not enough catapult. With the Dignics 05 it’s so easy.
Even the spinning banana flips are always dangerous and precisely playable. I had so much joy there.
Blocks and shooting play
I had to make some changes in the blocking game. At the beginning all blocks went behind the table. Then into the net. It took a long time for me to find the right timing for the passive block. The spin acceptance is enormous, which is why a very good timing is necessary.
The whole thing went much better playing with fast carbon blades. Powerful blocks were extremely fast and therefore difficult for the opponent to answer effectively.
The Butterfly Dignics 05 feels most comfortable on carbon blades. I had the feeling that slow or medium speed wooden blades like my Primo only slow down the rubber.
However, the Dignics 05 is a real rocket in combination with fiber layer table tennis blades. In my opinion the rubber needs everything else, but just no rubber tuning ?
With the shooting game I could break through any defence very easily. In general, with the Dignics 05 every half-distance player can be pushed far away from the table, while in your own defence not much time must be spent. Due to the enormous power, counterattacks are easily possible.
Tabletennisdaily: Dan and Timo Boll testing Dignics 05
For Dan and Timo, Dignics 05 has more control than T05. That’s why Timo is using this rubber on the backhand. It is faster and more direct. Also the narrative is that it has more spin than T05.
But I think you have to see this review in perspective. Timo Boll is a pro player, hitting the ball harder than you will ever do. With the softer top sheet of Dignics 05, a player of that level will feel more control when hitting the ball hard. The control comes from the stability on direct strokes from his backhand. He also says the ball goes faster out of the rubber, which is good for his counter loops on the backhand.
Timo Boll still uses Tenergy 05 on his forehand. When playing against Jonathan Groth in the finals of the european games, Timo was very tired and slow. In the beginning of the match, he made many mistakes, especially with his new backhand rubber. After a while, he often switched the sides when returning the and played it with T05. With that he had more control.
I can be wrong with my conclusion on why he switched sides often on returns, but you can see the difference between T05 and D05.
So even on such a high level, Dignics 05 requires more attention to play it correctly and active. Otherwise this rubber leads to many mistakes. D05 is very fast, hard and should only be played on your dominant, attacking side.
Conclusion on the Butterfly Dignics 05
The Butterfly Dignics 05 is a rocket in the attacking game. Counter loops can be played with enormous rotation, power and a dangerous arc. The opponent’s power and rotation can be easily taken and increased.
The rotation level is in the absolute TOP range. Also opening spins, active blocks and flips over the table are very well playable. Although serves require a lot of practice, but all serve types are very well playable.
The down side is to be classified with intuitive intermediate strokes and in passive play. The D05 demands even more than the T05 in terms of timing, position to the ball and technique. In general the playing strength should be very high.
Due to the grippy surface and the overall concept, the rubber is very susceptible to spin. This requires a perfect stroke execution and skillful assessment to the opponent’s spin.
In general, the D05 harmonizes better with carbon blades. On pure wooden blades, the rubber is not fully effective.
My recommendation and thoughts on D05
I would recommend the Butterfly Dignics 05 for players who find rubbers like Tenergy 05 or Nittaku Fastarc G-1 too soft and slow. And for everyone who, with the plastic ball, want more power and dynamics in the game.
For underclass players a purchase of the D05 is not worthwhile. For 80€ (or $104.99) you get a TOP rubber, which can only be used fully if you have the skillset.
If some people think they still have to play the D05 rubber, then I recommend 3-5 times a week hard, systematic training… Are you demotivated now to buy the Dignics 05? Then the rubber is not for you and I saved you 80€ ?
Of course, the rubber can be tested without hesitation from with an appropriate playing level. Especially if you had to “speed up” your rubbers by tuning, I think there is room for the D05.
Please also consider the hardness of the rubber. It plays slightly softer than the 50° sponge might suggest. But still the rubber is in a hardness region, which is not optimally suitable for most players. And I count myself among them. This may look different in regular ball exercises. However, this is a fact in game situations.
I hope that quite soon (1-2 years) a soft version will appear, which is more suitable for me or the majority of table tennis players. Butterfly has again made a jump with his fine-pored, high performance Spring Sponge X sponges, although the introduction of the T05 was of a different caliber.
I think it’s a pity that the rubber is so expensive. On principle I wouldn’t want to put so much money on the table every 3-4 months just to change a rubber. Edge hits would make me even more angry, by the way ?
That’s how you have to judge the overall valuation. Play characteristics TOP. Price FLOP -> Price-performance: Average.