Velvet Garbo and bow?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by kristianbl, May 10, 2011.


  1. kristianbl

    kristianbl

    Sep 9, 2009
    Denmark
    Hi everybody.
    I play a full massive Eberle from 61 currently fitted with Evah Pirastro strings. These er great for both finger and bow, but I want a more "dark" and old school sound.
    Thinking about changing to Velvet Garbo strings, but as far as I can see in former threads, the Velvet Garbo isn´t god for bowing.
    Does anyone here have experience with bowing and Velvet Garbo?


    I currently play with two artist that both require that I play with bow. Is it possible with Velvet Garbo strings, or should I just "get along" with my current sound with the Pirastro strings?
     
  2. tww001

    tww001

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    Have you thought about the Velvet Animas? I have them on my 7/8 Romanian, and they get a great dark punchy pizz sound (still with enough sustain for my tastes), and they arco wonderfully.
     
  3. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    Hey tww001. When you say bow wonderful, can you elaborate? Is bowing them comparable to bowing on Spiro's, or BelCantos, or how else would you compare them. I like a string that starts easy under the bow and isn't too scratchy. I played spiros for years and would really like a string that bow's easier. have been leaning towards anima's as I love their pizz tone, but have only had doubts over their bowability. Thx!
     
  4. red_on_red

    red_on_red

    Dec 11, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I got 'surprised' with a Garbo set on a loaner bass, playing out of town a while ago. Found that the nylon-wound G isn't impossible to bow, but it's midrangey, fizzly, and tricky to start, so I'd never choose it for that purpose. The rest of the set isn't so bad, like a heavier Anima. I've seen the awesome Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten bowing on Garbos, but he's pretty far out from a standard approach, so YMMV.

    There's a huge amount written about Anima here if you search ...
     
    Reiska likes this.
  5. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    there is a great deal about Animas, I have read most of the Velvet megathread, but I can't seem to find a common consensus on their bowability. Some people say they are aweful to bow, and some say they are fine, and some compare them to bowing spiros, which would be just fine with me. Since trying them out is a $300 expiriement I am hoping for greater clarity. Most of my work will be pizz, but I won't be happy if I can't get a good arco tone. I really love their pizz tone from what I can hear though...
     
  6. red_on_red

    red_on_red

    Dec 11, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Well, strictly IMHO, they're very different from bowing on Spirocore, which is my usual setup. Anima are quite sensitive to bow position and speed (not a big deal) and to me, they've always *felt* like they have a slow response with the bow. Might just be my perception, but that's been the deal-breaker for me.
     
  7. kane612

    kane612

    Feb 12, 2011
    mn
    i find this quote more useful than most quotes in regard to the garbo bow-ability people often refer to on talkbass. i recently went back to using an anima e/a with gut d/g after a year of playing evah regs. after reading this quote i think i'm going to give garbo e/a a shot (once i break my animas), even though i bow a great deal.

    animas are a safe choice if you are looking for a decent arco response in a string that will have that old school pizz bounce. i got that for a while with evahs regs, but i had to raise the action too high to get the bigger pizz sound i wanted. i still prefer the lower tension of gut and velvet strings over steels and hybrids, but some people ( and basses) find lower tension is not their thing, and maybe that's why people say they are 'hard' to bow.

    i am really enjoying bowing gut strings lately. if anyone can compare bowing gut to bowing garbos, i would be interested to hear an insight.
     
  8. tww001

    tww001

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    engedi1, I can only compare the bowability of the Animas to my own experience (which includes Spiros, Obligatos, Evahs, Helicores, some cheap Chinese string I can't remember, and a brief stint with flexocors). Also keep in mind that I don't do a lot of solo playing, and have never been great with my off-the-string strokes.

    Out of everything I've tried on my bass with my bow and my technical ability, the Animas have bowed the freest, with the exception of the Flexocors. The tone is very open, and the response is scratch-free, even during slurred string crossings (though on my bass, I never had much of a scratch problem with Spiros...). The main thing I've noticed with the Animas' bow response has to do with a lack of clarity in the off-the-string strokes (but this is just as likely due to my own technique issues, as I can't get a good off-the-string stroke on a bass set up strictly for orchestral playing).

    I hope this is helpful information!

    Best,
    Tim
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have bowed Animas as well and they are OK - nice tone - no problem. I think it's due to the copper outer wrap that they have and the Garbos don't - but I'm no string expert?
     
  10. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    great response Tim and Bruce. Off the string strokes are my specialty but I don't see myself playing alot of Orchestral now. I am mostly concerned with getting a singing tone with the bow if I ever need to bow a solo in a jazz or folk type of setting. I am really leaning towards BelCantos becauase they bow SO nicely but I don't think their pizz tone is as happening as the animas...Now, if I can only find a cheaper way to test Animas than shelling out the $350.
     
    Jonathan Baylis likes this.
  11. tww001

    tww001

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    Tell a rich uncle that you would like a set for your next birthday!
     
  12. engedi1

    engedi1 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    Ya now, Uncles seem less inclined to sell out that kind of buck once you have graduated high school (15 years ago now!)

    I am also tentative to get used Animas, as they don't seem to have the longest lifespan. sigh...
     
  13. ethnotime

    ethnotime

    Sep 24, 2006
    New York, NY
    Well I think Garbos sound ok bowed. It's definitely more difficult to bow then Animas (and not as sweet sounding), but compared to pure gut strings (which I used for many years) they sound a lot cleaner. Maybe my bow technique has improved but the scratchiness factor isn't so high on Garbos than with pure gut where you get that PC bowed sound. I wanted to switch to Animas to be more versatile but that dark pizz punch of the Garbos is too good for me so I put up with the bow sound. Also since I bow only for myself, to improve my own playing/intonation, it doesn't matter so much.

    Hope this helps. I think Garbos are the best gut string. A very solid gut string at a decent price.
     
  14. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    What about Velvet "Blues" - I have no experience with them... Just asking.

    "Velvet Strings, the Swiss Double Bass strings maker is proud to present their newest string, Velvet Blue. The Blue is the first Velvet string that doesn’t have a silk core, instead having a synthetic core that took almost 2 years to develop. "We wanted to make a more affordable string that still sounds like a Velvet, following the philosophy of the other Velvet strings: great articulation, big volume and sustain and equal tension on all 4 strings. The Blue has it all, it’s a bit brighter than the silk cousins, but offers a fast response with a great articulation and nice volume. This is a string with a student price but with a professional sound."

    "After 15 years of the company existence, we are proud to offer a Velvet String with a great sound at a mainstream price, entering into a market, where price calculation is an issue."

    www.velvetstrings.com


    Louis
     
  15. tww001

    tww001

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    Two friends of mine each tried Velvet Blues. I played their basses, and I played a bass at my luthier's shop which had the blues. They are noticeably thinner diameter than the Animas Pizzicato was nice and dark. However, the arco was terrible. I could barely get the bow to stick, it felt like I didn't have any rosin on the bow at all. One of my friends said the same thing, but said that the pizz was so good he dealt with it.
     
  16. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the reality check. Some websites actually say this:

    "Synthetic Core- Mainly a jazz string, can be bowed like the Animas- Great articulation, big volume and sustain, equal tension on all 4 strings"

    OY!!

    Louis
     
  17. davpal

    davpal

    May 19, 2006
    Lambertville, NJ
    I thought the Blues bowed very easily, perhaps easier than the Animas I have on now. They do have to "break in" a bit... I think the rosin gets into the pores of the copper and makes for a stickier surface. I've had good luck with Kolstein soft rosin.
     
  18. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Is the G the only odd string on the Garbo set? Are the others all metal windings like. I've had my hands on a E and A but never seen the D or G.

    (this thread should really be in "strings" by the way)
     
  19. Jonathan Baylis

    Jonathan Baylis

    Aug 7, 2017
    The Sting Emporium sells Animas and Garbos for $270. <http://www.stringemporium.com/velvet-upright-bass-strings.htm>
     
  20. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    If I was going Velvets instead of my plain gut GDA / E.P slap E, I`d go for Garbo EAD / Anima G -combo, strictly for even bow response and balanced feel, Anima G and Garbo D have similar windings with nylon? and copper. I`ve read somewhere that Velvet has changed the Anima G winding recently, and to better direction. I have bowed both Animas and Garbos, and find that they have a lot similar qualities with gut strings when it comes to bow response. Another thing IME is that you have to like that sort of bowed tone if you wan`t to deal with Velvets, guts and the kind. They`re just not going to nail the thing you are after with other strings, you have to adjust your approach. But then, Spirocores are the first and best bowed strings on someones hands, and they make them sound wonderful. Velvets have a magical pizz tone, and they are slappable too. They have this shining, glittering and sparkling of guts in the way they sustain, and relaxed feel.