We've been fielding requests to add Oliv strings for quite a while, and they're finally here! The Oliv is a natural gut string wound in chrome steel (as opposed to the Eudoxa, which are wound in sterling silver). They have a strong, thick pizzicato tone with a quick decay and short sustain. Because of this, Jazz players after "the gut sound" might prefer the Eudoxas, which have a more jazz-friendly sustain character.
The Olivs are certainly bowable, but require a bit more bow pressure than other strings. They produce a dark, warm sound under the bow.
It's quite common to mix the Oliv G (and sometimes D) with other strings. We do sell the strings individually, as well as in sets - see the graphic, above!
- dark and strong sound
- big tonal volume
- high pressure on the bow
They offer them in ¾/full size and at one gauge only, Medium. All strings have white with green spiral thread at the tailpiece, and the following colors at the headstock: High C=violet, G=brown, D=red, A=black, E=green, Low B=yellow.
String Gauges (subject to minor variation):
HIGH C: .064
I have three carved basses, and Olivs are on two of them. I play pizz and arco. My orchestra bass has Bel Cantos. My cheapest bass was for a while strung with plain Gamut pistoy guts on G, D, and A. The D and A are great bowed, but the G string's sound was just too cutting with the bow. The Oliv G produces a still-bright but rounder, more pleasing tone. My quenoil-styled bass now lives with Oliv G/D/A and Evah Pirazzi weich E. I did have an EP A string on it, but the Oliv is better: Starts easier and is more likely to produce the "core tone" we look for when bowing. I don't understand the comment regarding "needing more bow pressure," as the Oliv actually does nicely with LESS weight than the EP. Of course the Olivs - at least G and D - are deservedly considered one of the best strings for jazz pizz. In arco, the G can be a little "fizzy" on some basses. Whether that fizz is objectionable is a matter of taste. It certainly responds well to the bow. Much is made of the supposed fragility of Olivs. Two years in, I've yet to have one fail. Just make sure that your bridge and nut slots are smooth, properly sized, and lubricated.