Velvet Strings was a company that made several well-regarded double bass string sets; the Anima, Garbo, and Blues were their most popular offerings. The Velvet strings were somewhat unusual in their design and materials usage, and over the years they have earned a very dedicated and devoted user base. With the unfortunate (and unforseen) dissolution of Velvet Strings, many people have been looking for string sets that have a similar feel and tone to the strings that the company once made.
Bernhard at Thomastik-Infeld (in Vienna, Austria) has worked with some of our customers to develop a combination of their strings that provide (as close as possible) a decent stand-in for the Velvet "Blues" set. This set on this page is what he came up with.
The set consists of a G and D from the Belcantos, and an E and A from the Spirocores. However, he advocates using the Solo Tuning versions of the strings (and tuning to standard pitch) in order to get the lighter, more flexible feel that the Blues offered.
Rather than make you put together the custom set, we offer it here as a pre-configured option.
The strings included are:
- BC61S - Thomastik Belcanto Solo A1 String (tuned to G)
- BC62S - Thomastik Belcanto Solo E2 String (tuned to D)
- S38S - Thomastik Spirocore Solo B3 String (tuned to A)
- S39S - Thomastik Spirocore Solo F#4 String (tuned to E)
We hope this provides a good option for you to substitute for the Velvet Blues that you may have once loved!
Glad I took the chance! I’ve been hunting for lighter tension without sacrificing clarity. These are quick-speaking, warm and punchy. Very warm arco tone. Very close to the Velvet Animas I once tried. But I like these better because they don’t leave your fingers smelling like an old penny. And the metal core means they tune up faster and are very stable. These are my favorite I’ve tried on my first bass. So I requested them installed on my brand new Upton which just got a few weeks ago. They really nailed my setup and these strings feel & sound insanely good to me. I’m actually quite picky and I can’t find a single negative quality to them. Thank you Thomastik & Gollihur!
Super slinked out feel ... makes me wanna play for days and days and days. Belcanto's are a nice touch on top, they are "dryer" sounding for sure. Not too much wetness/mwah on them. Nothing can beat a Spiro E, the solo here is a dream. Super wavy set, this is the pontoon boat of string packs! Lake o' BASS.
After considerable time spent researching a close, viable substitute for the defunct Velvet Strings' Animas/Blues, the search is now over. Plainly I haven't been alone with this effort; MANY players have been bird-dogging this one. I'm now settled with curiously an almost "there's no place like home" solution, i.e., these Thomastik Infeld Spirocore Solos, orchestra-tuned. It wasn't only just a matter of sonic/timbre response with optimal suppleness of playability; my bass was made when the only strings available were gut, with that lower average kp of ~25; which (as Velvet Strings once made very clear) facilitated less damping of the soundboard, implying a probable heightened/louder resonance. Upshot: fait accompli, I like these TI strings, enough to end the replacement searching. ;-]
I call these Strings "Thomastik Blues" as a replacement for Velvet Blues Strings (Velvet Strings should come back again someday because they were a big hit).