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Review: Butterfly Hadraw VK

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DreiZ View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07/14/2018 at 3:26pm
Name: Butterfly Hadraw VK
Weight: 82g
Speed: OFF-
Thickness: ~5.7mm
Dimensions: 150x157mm
Plies: 5 (koto-koto?-ayous-koto?-koto)
Handle: FL

Background: 1700-1750 USATT, been snagging matches from 1850-1950 rated players lately. Previously played with TB ALC and ZJK ALC. Rubbers used were H3 Neo 39 2.2mm commercial (not boosted) and Sriver G3 2.1mm. I'm going to mostly compare this blade to ZJK ALC since I've used both blades with same rubbers. The blade was sealed with 1 coat of wipe-on poly. This is done to all my blades.

How did I end up with a 5 ply in plastic ball era?... So ive been playing with ALC blades for a while now and my main setup was TB ALC with T05 2.1mm both sides. I decided to try a flared handle ZJK ALC with previously mentioned rubbers to see if I would like the whole "Chinese rubber + ALC" thing and to my surprise it was good. But after playing numerous players that were USATT 1800+ I noticed I was lacking control and confidence in my shots so I decided to take a step back... to a 5 ply wood blade. 

Initially I was looking at Korbel and Primorac, but remembering how one felt almost "dead inside" and lacked power (Primorac) and the other was a chunky unbalanced brick (Korbel) I stumbled upon Hadraw VK (don't get me wrong I owned both Primorac and Korbel and those were wonderful blades but I was looking for something a bit more special this time). 

VK is advertised as a 5 ply (V for 5 ply and K for "Korbel-like") wood with "SOUL" Embarrassed, no kidding that's what was said in a Butterfly Mag.... https://en.butterflymag.com/2015/11/blade-with-a-soul/



Initial Impressions: Top ply which is koto is great: 10/10 quality, no knots, smooth, has that shiny koto grain that I love looking at. Overall quality of this blade is amazing.... ofcourse it has to be for $110+ 5 ply wood. One thing that did disappoint me was the handle. Even though it was nicely done with good finish, it's rather small... smaller than ZJK ALC flared. ZJK ALC flared handle is a bit thicker and squarer (similar to Viscaria FL) where as this one felt thinner and more rounded. I put some grip on it and that fixed the handle issue for me as I have large hands.

Another note about plies. The core is clearly made with multiple joints. I never noticed this before I read an article about BTY using multiple joints for the cores of their blades. On this blades you can clearly see it. It's not a negative to me but after reading a post about this practice I noticed the same on the ZJK ALC and TB ALC. Top plies however were all great on all 3 blades.


Speed: This blade is rated as OFF- and I would say that's appropriate, even though butterfly got rid of that system and now uses terms like "Reaction" and "Vibration" which it got 10.5 and 8.4 respectfully.
To put things in perspective butterfly gave ZJK ALC/TB ALC/Viscaria a Reaction: 11.8 and Vibration: 10.3 ratings. 

For the Reaction rating I would agree since it is suppose to represent the blade's speed with a numerical value. Hadraw VK is indeed slower than ZJK ALC and TB ALC. As for Vibration, Butterfly states that:
The higher the number (or frequency) of swings produced by the blade, the higher the vibration property. A higher frequency equals less feedback from the blade, making it more difficult to control.  
Source: https://en.butterflymag.com/2015/11/blade-with-a-soul/

I think this makes things more confusing for the customer (which I honestly learned today that higher the vibration number means the less feedback from the blade... you would think a higher number would indicate more vibration thus more feedback but I get it why its a reverse relationship), but it does correlate with this blade's feeling. It does offer more "feeling" of the ball as you hit with it. However it does not feel like some of the other 5 ply wood blades I've tried in the past that had "too much feeling" i.e. Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive aka YEO. 

So... to put things in simpler terms.... speed: ZJK ALC/TB ALC/Viscaria > Hadraw VK > Korbel > Primorac OFF-



Control: Like I previously mentioned in my other reviews control is relative person to person but to me this blade does offer more "control" during hits, drive, and loops compared to ZJK ALC/TB ALC/Viscaria. Its hard for me to rank this blade in terms of control for blocking because on one hand ALC blades provide that direct consistent block which can be attributed to great control, where as Hadraw VK offers a slower block due to its slower rebound speed. Take this with a grain of salt... but during gameplay I feel more control with this blade, especially playing higher ranked players.


Feeling: Not much to be said here other than what was said already. Hadraw VK has more feel than ZJK ALC/TB ALC/Viscaria in a sense that the blade vibrates on active strokes and lets you "feel" where the ball is on the blade without overwhelming you with "unnecessary overexaggerated" vibrations that Ive experienced in the past. This blade has that crisp koto feel you get with BTY ALC blades like ZJK ALC/TB ALC/Viscaria minus the "ALC numbness". Hadraw VK does feel harder than Korbel and Primorac OFF- (which are Limba outer ply).

Conclusion: Overall Im a happy camper with this one, I recommend it to anyone that wants to go back to 5 ply wood without sacrificing too much speed but wants to gain more feel and control. I also recommend this blade with Chinese rubbers like H3 Neo since both pair very well. The price may be high for some to spend on a 5 ply wooden blade but to me it is worth it.


Edited by DreiZ - 07/17/2018 at 2:18am
TB ALC ST 84g | 2x Rozena 2.1
Hadraw VK FL 82g | 2x Rozena 2.1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2018 at 2:15am
Updated!
TB ALC ST 84g | 2x Rozena 2.1
Hadraw VK FL 82g | 2x Rozena 2.1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PythonMonty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2018 at 2:40pm
Sounds like an interesting blade. Maybe something like the OSP V'King although maybe that's koto/spruce rather than koto/koto. Too bad about the small handle. I wish Butterfly still offered custom blades to regular customers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/18/2018 at 12:57pm
Originally posted by PythonMonty PythonMonty wrote:

Sounds like an interesting blade. Maybe something like the OSP V'King although maybe that's koto/spruce rather than koto/koto. Too bad about the small handle. I wish Butterfly still offered custom blades to regular customers.
 

I always admired OSP quality and maybe in the future ill try the OSP Vking, the handle dimensions and composition looks like something I would like. And I wish bty offered custom orders as well... its a shame they stopped the practice.
TB ALC ST 84g | 2x Rozena 2.1
Hadraw VK FL 82g | 2x Rozena 2.1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Pimple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/18/2018 at 1:08pm
Originally posted by PythonMonty PythonMonty wrote:

OSP V'King although maybe that's koto/spruce rather than koto/koto.

The OSP website says it is koto/spruce.
Alser Allround 5 ST; DHS H3 Neo 2.1, Dr. Neubauer ABS2 2.5

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote medivh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/08/2019 at 8:36pm
I got this in AN grip recently (i just could not find Korbel with AN grip) it weighs 87 gram and i am trying it out now. The first impression for me is that Hadraw VK feels quite less reactive compared to my Korbel ST, especially when hitting the sweet spot. Probably my Korbel is on the heavier end.. i will measure the weight when i’m changing the rubber next time. Also i just started trying this out so I will see if it’s matter of breaking in this blade & rubber.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/08/2019 at 11:55pm
Originally posted by medivh medivh wrote:

I got this in AN grip recently (i just could not find Korbel with AN grip) it weighs 87 gram and i am trying it out now. The first impression for me is that Hadraw VK feels quite less reactive compared to my Korbel ST, especially when hitting the sweet spot. Probably my Korbel is on the heavier end.. i will measure the weight when i’m changing the rubber next time. Also i just started trying this out so I will see if it’s matter of breaking in this blade & rubber.

I also tried a 87g korbel fl (which is currently for sale), and korbel is head heavy for me due to size and weight. Hadraw VK feels more balanced and slightly easier to control but i think thats due to lighter weight. 

During practice i enjoy blocking topspins with Hadraw VK more than my TB ALC. Ive been using only Rozena 2.1 and tried all 3 blades with it, and for offensive play i enjoy TB ALC the most due to its sharpness/stiffness and speed.
TB ALC ST 84g | 2x Rozena 2.1
Hadraw VK FL 82g | 2x Rozena 2.1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote medivh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/09/2019 at 12:35am
One thing I just started to wonder.. if this is Koto-Koto-Ayous-Koto-Koto, would this be actually revival of the old Oh Sang Eun blade? I think that blade is known to have that composition.

Edit: So the thickness for Oh Sang Eun blade is same, 5.7mm. However the Oh Sang Eun blade has bigger head with 158x152 while Hadraw VK has 157x150. Which explains why the average weight for Oh Sang Eun blade is higher.


Edited by medivh - 07/09/2019 at 12:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/09/2019 at 1:09am
I think Hadraw VK is similar to old Oh Sang Eun construction but OSE had a bigger handle/face, which is a rare gem of a blade. Wish i had a chance to try that blade. 

Funny how Oh himself used a korbel ST back in the speed glue era and only briefly used his sig blade after it came out.
TB ALC ST 84g | 2x Rozena 2.1
Hadraw VK FL 82g | 2x Rozena 2.1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote medivh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/09/2019 at 5:49pm
One chinese website is saying that Hadraw VK is Koto-Limba-Ayous-Limba-Koto, but i’m not sure how reliable that is.
Butterfly Petr Korbel ST w/ Andro Hexer+ both side
Butterfly Hadraw VK AN with Andro Rasanter R47 & Nittaku Fastarc C-1
Butterfly Timo Boll ALC ST with Xiom Vega Pro & Andro Rasanter R37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/10/2019 at 12:00am
If I recall correctly (I forgot where I read this), Hadraw VK is basically a Korbel with Koto outer ply.

Korbel is limba - limba - ayous - limba - limba, so Hadraw VK must be koto - limba - ayous - limba - koto.

Butterfly has introduced blade with that exact composition, but they named it Korbel Speed.   Somehow it is not that popular.



Edited by doraemon - 07/10/2019 at 12:01am
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