Synthetic Guts That Are Most Like Velvet Garbos

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by DBeauregard, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. DBeauregard

    DBeauregard

    Jan 22, 2013
    Just started playing bass again after several years and to my extreme disappointment learned that Velvet has stopped making strings. Any recommendations for synthetic gut strings that have a similar sound and feel as Garbos??
     
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    nothing is gonna sound like it. One friend went to innovation super silver and is happy but it’s not a direct replacement he just likes the sameish gauge and tension is lower than spiros
     
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  3. elmer

    elmer

    Oct 1, 2004
    Finland
    +1 for the Super Silvers. And half the price vs Garbos.
     
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  4. DBeauregard

    DBeauregard

    Jan 22, 2013
    Great thanks I'll check em out. Yeah the price tag is on point!
     
  5. lurk

    lurk Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    NYC
    If you find out, let me know.
     
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  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Velvet strings in general we're markedly different than everything else on the market. There are no direct replacements.

    I think with Garbos you'd come closest with a gut string set.
     
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  7. DBeauregard

    DBeauregard

    Jan 22, 2013
    Yeah that's what it seems like. I wish they were still making strings. Sigh.
     
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It is definitely a loss for us that they don't exist anymore, but they were more expensive and had way more quality issues than any other manufacturer on the market. They really needed to fix one or both of those issues to stay competitive.
     
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  9. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    A lot depends on the kind of playing you are doing. There are lots of "synthetic gut" strings out there to choose from, but some are more acceptable and some are are less acceptable in certain musical environments.

    A little more info is needed: Where and how do you intend to play these strings?
     
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  10. Genßler Sonores.
    After all, Gerold, to my knowledge, invented the Velvet line of strings.
    They sure are pricey, though.
     
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  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    This is what I did. I was having way too many Garbos breaking to pay the premium price. The Super Silvers do not sound quite as good but I've been happy with them. Neither Garbos or Super Silvers sound like real gut and real gut is way too expensive for me.
     
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  12. DBeauregard

    DBeauregard

    Jan 22, 2013
    I wasn't aware of all the issues, what type of problems did they have?
     
  13. DBeauregard

    DBeauregard

    Jan 22, 2013
    Right for sure. Basically, playing lots of jazz pizz in small settings mostly acoustic but occasionally through a fishman loudbox with a fisherman realist pickup. Practice several hours with the bow each day and enjoy playing classical although I don't professionally. I like strings that offer a deep punchy sound but are still a little softer on the fingers.
     
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I had lots of string breakage with Garbos. At one point I bought a brand new set, put them on and started tuning to pitch. The G broke right at the silk in the pegbox before it was even at pitch! The dealer sent a replacement right away, but still for over $200 a set (when Spiros were under $100) it was ridiculous. I had 3 or 4 break in all over 3 sets. I never had a Spiro, Helicore or Super Silvers break, even with many years of use.

    They also reformulated Garbos at one point, the originals sounded better to me.
     
  15. DBeauregard

    DBeauregard

    Jan 22, 2013
    Yes that's terrible for over $200 def should not be happening.
     
  16. Matthias Hacker

    Matthias Hacker

    Apr 8, 2018
    It´s a pity that Innovation strings are not available in Europe. I don´t like to order oversea because of tax mess. Or is there a dealer that I didn´t find?
     
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  17. DBeauregard

    DBeauregard

    Jan 22, 2013
    I'm in the same boat. I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina so getting things down here can be particularly complicated.
     
  18. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    We're working on lining up distributors over in Europe. For the areas that Strings & Things services as a distributor, there shouldn't be any issue ordering them.
     
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  19. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Ah, I love Buenos Aires, I hope to visit again someday.

    Lots of breakage with Velvet Strings. As as been stated, they stood behind them admirably, but still, compared to other strings significantly higher instances of breakage. I've actually never broken a DB string, it shouldn't happen more than once or twice in anyone's playing lifetime and with Velvet, your chances of exceeding that were significantly higher.

    You could try Pirastro Obligato or Evah Pirazi or D'Addario Zyex or a few other synthetic core choices, but I don't think anything is really like any of the Velvet strings (for better and for worse). If that's the sound and feel you want, you might consider going gut. There may also be some stability and maintenance issues and they are more expensive than steel strings, but that's going to be closest for you in terms of what you liked about Garbo, but objectively better.
     
  20. chilensko

    chilensko

    Sep 27, 2010
    Yes! Garbos are great, I still have a full set in my drawer, also I have Blues. The only down side is that they don't bow well at least in my experience. If a had two bass one definitely would have some Garbos on it.
     
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