What we suspected - Velvet Strings is "closed"

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Mark Gollihur, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    I made this a new thread rather than posting in the dozens of various threads for Blues, Animas, Garbos, etc...

    It was pretty much a foregone conclusion, as they've not made any strings in over 18 months, but I did finally get in touch with my longtime contact at Velvet Strings, and he confirmed in writing for me that Velvet is "Closed" (his word).

    So if you were holding a slim hope that they might pull it together and start making strings again, I'm sorry to report that which seems to be the final nail in the coffin.

  2. Thanks Mark.
    Are they still in the pickups market?

  3. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    As to the rest of Schertler, I don't know. Velvet was sort of a "sub-company" that still ran somewhat independently within their organization, and that part, at least, has been shuttered.
  4. jazzwalk


    Mar 10, 2006
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Shall we start a new thread entitled "Closest alternatives to Velvetstring qualities"...? So far for me, D'Addario Zyex retail cost, tension force, & timbre qualities seem nearest to the Velvetstring 'standard'; does anyone know of any brand/model that's closer to Velvetstring's watermark qualities...?

    Recently I also had contact with someone close to ground zero with this; Carlo Gervasini, a sales manager with Schertler SA, who made it clear that, alas, VS is no more...:rollno:.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
  5. elmer


    Oct 1, 2004
    What a loss! Great strings - great sounds. Thanks Velvet for many happy years with Animas!
    Mark Gollihur and Ed Fuqua like this.
  6. Depending on what their price will be, the new Tempera strings Gerold Genssler and Jan-Ole Fabian are developing might be a hopefully affordable alternative as they will be the closest in sonic aesthetic to Velvet.
  7. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV

    Nov 30, 2008
    Too bad. I loved the Garbo set. Also mixed very well with guts
  8. jazzwalk


    Mar 10, 2006
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Thanksfor the heads-up about this, Sean; here's their web presence: About | Tempera Strings
    Noxius and Sean Riddle like this.
  9. Once they’ve been out for a bit I think I’m gonna give them a try. I’m very happy with Spirocores and they will be my go to strings, but I used Animas for a year and they were my second favorite string. Genssler was originally involved with Velvet, but left and started his custom string business.
  10. jazzwalk


    Mar 10, 2006
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Good to know, thanks...would you happen to know btw, the lb or kg tension force stat's for the Spirocores (assuming weich here), comparing with the Animas (if not the Blues)..? It's a little more critical for this guy; 50+ years back, broke/shattered both wrists in a hang glider crash (yeah, another crazy 17 year old ;-). So besides having an older instrument originally designed/built for low tension gut strings, it's always nicer to have that greater ease of playing in thumb position.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
  11. User @DoubleMIDI has created a tension chart that should be easy to find with a quick search.
  12. Spirocore Orchestra Double Bass | Orchestral Strings | Products | Thomastik-Infeld Vienna
    Spirocore Solo Double Bass | Orchestral Strings | Products | Thomastik-Infeld Vienna

    Here's the info from Thomastik's website. The weichs are going to feel more tense than any Velvets and have a different feel since the tension is not equal throughout the set. Spirocore solos tuned down a whole step might be a good fit tension wise, but the gauge will be very thin.
  13. 16fuss


    Apr 25, 2005
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I loved the Garbos except for one thing...they kept breaking on me on the pegbox end. Once, a brand new G string snapped as I was tuning it to pitch after putting it on.
  15. Noxius


    Feb 3, 2019
    I had heard, that G. had invented and developed these strings, merged with S. to form a new company and was then forced out of business by him after disputes over patent rights. He then started again in Berlin.
    Sam Dingle likes this.
  16. That‘s what I was told too (by a third person).
    I also heard that S. claimed the patent only to his name on his own and that this was the reason for G. splitting up.
  17. jazzwalk


    Mar 10, 2006
    Lewiston, Idaho
    After some time spent researching a close, viable substitute for the defunct Velvetstring's Animas/Blues, that project is now done. Plainly, I hadn't been alone in this search; MANY also have evidently been bird-dogging this idea. I've finally settled with a "there's no place like home" solution, i.e., Thomastik-Infeld Spirocore Solos, orchestra-tuned (yeah, I know; I'm late to the party, as usual :cool:).
    It wasn't only just a matter of optimal suppleness of playability, for me; sonic/timbre response also greatly matters, as my bass was made back when the only strings available were were made from animal gut, with lower average kp of ~25 or less (which, as Velvetstring made quite clear, facilitated a lessened damping of the soundboard). At least in my case, this meant a fuller, more satisfying timbre overall.

    This researching thing, for me, has finally been laid to rest; calling it "fait accompli"...;)
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  18. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I found an Anima E string. I really dig the feel and tone so far. Hope I don’t fall in love.
  19. robassable


    Feb 2, 2014
    Just stumbled on to this and bummed to find out Velvet is not making strings. I had both Animas and Blues sets and really liked the way they played and felt. Had reliably string breaking issues but Velvet would send me a couple of free replacements.
  20. I'm not broken hearted about their closure. I've had lots of issues with my last set of velvets. Strings breaking and unwrapping. The quality had dropped off markedly and although I loved the strings, I'm sick of the dramas.

    I'm keen to know what I can replace them with because I liked the gauge and the feel. Zyex?