The Diary

Schertler Group


Lafaro doublebbas with velvet strings


Velvet Strings hit the right note at ISB 2017

Visitors to the recent International Society of Bassists (ISB) convention in Ithaca, New York, had first-hand opportunity to check out the playing power and musicality of Velvet Strings. The convention, which attracted nearly 1500 bassists from over 30 countries, provided a 6-day feast of workshops, masterclasses, recitals, lectures, and exhibits.

Two of the "house" double basses were fitted with Velvet Strings: The famous Scott LaFaro 1825 Abraham Prescott was strung with Velvet Compas 180, a string originally designed for orchestral use, but now considered by many players to be a great hybrid/all-round string due to its excellent bowed response and strong, organic-sounding pizzicato.

The other bass - a copy of the LaFaro - was strung with Velvet Blue. This is the only Velvet string with a synthetic core (all the others have a natural silk core). The fast playing string has more "modern" characteristics,  offering great articulation and sustain while still retaining  the “Velvet” sound: full, rich and organic.

Response from bassists was excellent, with many seasoned players praising the innovative nature of Velvet Strings.

The verdict: Strings that enable the instrument to "breathe", while allowing full scope for musical expression.