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Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass   (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
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Product# 511788
OVERVIEW

Authentic details inspired by the original.

With authentic details inspired by the original, the Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Bass makes the legendary violin bass available to the rest of us. Don't get the idea that this a just a "nowhere man" look-alike. This quality instrument features a real spruce top and beautiful flamed maple back and sides. The semi-hollow body and set neck will give you the warm, round tone you expect from the violin bass.

FEATURES
  • Authentic details inspired by the original
  • Spruce top
  • Flamed maple back and sides
  • Set neck of Maple/Beech/Maple
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • 42mm nut
  • 30" scale
  • 22 frets
  • Dot inlay

A quality instrument that's value priced. You'll love it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
HofnerIgnition Series Vintage Violin Bass
 
4.3

(based on 149 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (98)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (25)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (10)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (40)
  • Good feel (37)
  • Good tone (37)
  • Good pick up (26)
  • Solid electronics (18)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (12)
  • Poor pick up (3)

Best Uses

  • Practicing (34)
  • Jamming (33)
  • Recording (27)
  • Small venues (22)
  • Rock concerts (12)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (29), Professional musician (11), Novice (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

FUN LITTLE BASS!

Overall, this is a good little bass that is affordable, playable, and looks great! I own and play several Höfner intruments (mostly basses), and I also play in an acoustic...Read complete review

Overall, this is a good little bass that is affordable, playable, and looks great! I own and play several Höfner intruments (mostly basses), and I also play in an acoustic Beatles band. You obviously can't compare the Ignition / Icon series instrument with it's high-end German-made cousin...but there's no need to be a snob about it...this wonderful instrument just might fit your needs without breaking the bank.
You can essentially get the famed "Paul McCartney" Höfner bass at three price points: The most affordable would be this, the Ignition, which is constructed in Asia using Asian labor and parts and electronics (pickups, pots, jack). The next step up is the "Contemporary" series, which is more expensive, made in Asia using German-made electronics in a factory in China...owned and run directly by Höfner. You will notice right away that this series has the better pickups of the German-made bass...a big improvement over the Ignition's pickups. The high end is the expensive German-made violin bass...a true work of art!
I own all three levels of Höfner instruments, and each has it's purpose. I saved to purchase my German-made Höffy, but due to it's price tag, I don't care to take it to bar gigs outdoor shows where it might be exposed to the elements or get nicked. My main bass is the Contemporary (the 500/7 Verythin bass actually)...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this instrument! With a set of better strings (I prefer flats) and a good setup by a luthier...this thing is playable and drop-dead gorgeous. I use my Ignition as my main practice bass and I take it to the occasional gig. Again, put better strings on it, and have it setup properly by a good luthier. Sometimes this series has issues with the electronics, so you might consider upgrading the pots and jack at some point. Over time, the white "pearloid" film on the plastic pickguard might come off...in which case, just remove the pickguard. If you're a huge Beatles fan, there are plenty of mods some owners do to make this bass look more like it's more expensive cousin...just check out Youtube and the web.
I really like this bass...right out of the box it was more than I expected, and came with a case! I had my luthier do some work on the frets, set the action to my preference, and put some nice flatwound strings on (TI Jazz flats my personal choice), and I took the white text off of the truss rod cover (I did so also w/ my Contemporary bass and guitar...takes away from the beauty of the headstock IMHO). If I have any issues with the electronics going forward, I'll upgrade them.
A great bass for the beginner, bass player on a budget, and Beatles fans!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not bad but the Rogue version is better

My first bass was a violin bass in 1969 and cost nearly what they do now. I have a Rogue but always wanted a Hofner and my Hofner acoustic 12 string plays like butter....Read complete review

My first bass was a violin bass in 1969 and cost nearly what they do now. I have a Rogue but always wanted a Hofner and my Hofner acoustic 12 string plays like butter. When I received this guitar the first thing I noticed was how light it was, almost like a toy. I pilled out my Rogue violin and it felt substantially
more solid/ heavier. The playability was the same and the tone similar. I might keep this as part of a collection but I would recommend the Rogue to my fellow bass players unless they are hung up on the name. This is a Chinese instrument while the Rogue is Indonesian, I generally do not care where they come from when the quality is good and the price is right. One last thing unless you are a beatle grouppie I would recommend the Epiphone Allen Woody signature bass. It is well made sounds great and priced right.

Reviewed by 149 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(26 of 26 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This may be heresy, but...

By Manimal

from Portland, Oregon

See all my reviews

Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

Okay, I've owned this Hofner for six months now (Made in Indonesia), and I've put it through rehearsals and gigs. It's by far the cheapest bass I own, and yet has become my absolute favorite. The neck is marvelous: narrow and round, and combined with the short scale makes it a dream to play on. If you're used to a P-Bass or Stingray neck, this neck is going to seem awfully small, but give it 20 minutes and you'll have a hard time going back to your baseball bat neck. I actually much prefer the Hofner neck to my J-Bass' neck. The lightweight hollowbody is great on the shoulder, especially for those 4-set gigs. The finish on the new Indonesian models (they used to be made in China) is browner; more traditional and more like a German model. The tone out of the pickups is just fantastic, whether you're playing with roundwounds or flats (I've opted for the latter, but I put the bass through it's paces for a month with good roundwounds on it just to check it out). The tone is deep, very well defined, and works great for everything except slap-and-pop.

Now for the heresy part: I've had the opportunity to compare this Icon side-by-side with it's much more expensive German cousins (two '63 reissues, one '62 reissue, and one '68 original). I actually prefer the Icon. The neck on the German-made '63 reissues was slightly chunkier, the neck on the '62 reissue was substantially chunkier, and the '68 was pretty close to the Icon. I've got pretty large hands, and I normally go for chunky necks, but the Icon has the best neck of any bass I've ever owned, and I've owned all the major players at some point or another. Moreover, I actually like the Icon's sound much better - it's more defined and has more top end and clarity than any of the German ones. I'm not sure if the laminated wood of the Icon makes the top vibrate less than the solid wood of the German Hofners, but the Icon is also a lot less prone to feedback. Now, if you're a pro bassist wanting to add a Hofner to your arsenal and your livelihood depends on other's perceptions of you, you should probably get the German model, because snobbery plays a big role in musicians' perceptions (I'm just as guilty of that as the next musician). But, short of that, I strongly encourage anyone who is looking at getting a Hofner to try this baby out. It blew me away. My Jazz, Precision, Gretsch and MusicMan are sitting in their cases, while I take my Hofner to all my rehearsals and gigs now. Fortunately, even though my bandmates aren't immune to the snobbery factor, either, they all much prefer the sound of the Icon. This is an exceptional deal. Just watch out for those fret ends.
No tone knobs and weird switching arrangement, but if they made it different it wouldn't be like the original German model.
Everything on this bass is very well put together, but the fret ends were a bit sharp, so I used masking tape on the neck and took 0000 steel wool to the frets. Solved the problem with all of 10 minutes worth of work. It would be nice if they came from the factory in perfect condition, but for this price what can you expect?
It's a great playing, great sounding, lightweight hollowbody bass for $430. You can't get a better deal than that.

(19 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Fun, Great Value.

By David

from undisclosed

See all my reviews

Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

I think if this was my first bass, I may have never tried another; it's that hard to put down... and it would certainly have saved me money over the years.
There are sounds it will not get, so you should consider your music style, if this is to be your only bass... you may prefer this as a second instrument.
If you, like myself, enjoy uniqueness and variety in instruments, this is a huge bang-for-buck deal.
I have a recording studio and a lot of instruments. The Icon bass may not suit every style of music, but I love the sound it makes, and none of my other basses sound like it. It's a nice, full, acoustic-like sound.

When it arrived, the set up was as nice as I could have wanted; easy to play, and it tuned up perfectly. Maybe it was set up by Musician's Friend, or maybe it cmae from the factory as is, but I played it for hours, and it was inspiring and downright fun to play. I can think of several projects where it will be my bass of choice.

I ordered the black finish and couldn't be happier. I didn't want a Beatle clone, I just wanted a different sounding, fun bass to play. My friend said it looks like it's wearing a tuxedo. It does have an elegant, distinguished look, and the sound is incredible... maybe not just like the $2600 model, but I don't like to compare instruments... they are all different, and that's why I continue to collect them.

The light weight, the short scale, the narrow neck... it is a "different" bass, but then, it can do some things that other basses can't.

The pickup switching is a little tricky, but once you get it, it'll make some wonderful sounds, Beatles to bossa nova and beyond.

For the price, I feel that I got a fantastic bargain.
It's hard to say how an instrument will wear over time. I imagine that, at this price, the components are not the highest grade, but I am pleased with it so far. I intend to use it in my studio, so it will not have to endure much abuse.
The most fun I've gotten from an instrument in this price range... truly remarkable.

Many of the reviews that I read when considering this purchase, were obviously written by people who had particular expectations, and were perhaps not open to judging the instrument on its own merits, choosing instead to compare it with the tone, quality, looks, and basically, replication of the original Paul McCartney bass. Well, I never got to try Paul's bass, but I hear that he had some intonation problems with it. I've got a good one.
I own some very expensive instruments, and yes, there is a difference; but I am sure that I will enjoy playing this one as much as any of the others which I have chosen to keep in my collection. This Icon bass is a very welcome addition... and I am elated that it comes at such an affordable price.

(16 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

FUN LITTLE BASS!

By DW Lang

from Chicago Suburbs

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone

Cons

  • Fret Buzz

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • School Bands
  • Small Venues

Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

Overall, this is a good little bass that is affordable, playable, and looks great! I own and play several Höfner intruments (mostly basses), and I also play in an acoustic Beatles band. You obviously can't compare the Ignition / Icon series instrument with it's high-end German-made cousin...but there's no need to be a snob about it...this wonderful instrument just might fit your needs without breaking the bank.
You can essentially get the famed "Paul McCartney" Höfner bass at three price points: The most affordable would be this, the Ignition, which is constructed in Asia using Asian labor and parts and electronics (pickups, pots, jack). The next step up is the "Contemporary" series, which is more expensive, made in Asia using German-made electronics in a factory in China...owned and run directly by Höfner. You will notice right away that this series has the better pickups of the German-made bass...a big improvement over the Ignition's pickups. The high end is the expensive German-made violin bass...a true work of art!
I own all three levels of Höfner instruments, and each has it's purpose. I saved to purchase my German-made Höffy, but due to it's price tag, I don't care to take it to bar gigs outdoor shows where it might be exposed to the elements or get nicked. My main bass is the Contemporary (the 500/7 Verythin bass actually)...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this instrument! With a set of better strings (I prefer flats) and a good setup by a luthier...this thing is playable and drop-dead gorgeous. I use my Ignition as my main practice bass and I take it to the occasional gig. Again, put better strings on it, and have it setup properly by a good luthier. Sometimes this series has issues with the electronics, so you might consider upgrading the pots and jack at some point. Over time, the white "pearloid" film on the plastic pickguard might come off...in which case, just remove the pickguard. If you're a huge Beatles fan, there are plenty of mods some owners do to make this bass look more like it's more expensive cousin...just check out Youtube and the web.
I really like this bass...right out of the box it was more than I expected, and came with a case! I had my luthier do some work on the frets, set the action to my preference, and put some nice flatwound strings on (TI Jazz flats my personal choice), and I took the white text off of the truss rod cover (I did so also w/ my Contemporary bass and guitar...takes away from the beauty of the headstock IMHO). If I have any issues with the electronics going forward, I'll upgrade them.
A great bass for the beginner, bass player on a budget, and Beatles fans!

(15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

"Icon" an understatement!

By Kenneth English

from Tucson, AZ

Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

OK, first I will admit I have always been a huge fan of McCartney but I was reluctant to try the "Icon"series Hofner violin body bass after reading some reviews criticizing "limitations". Realizing that I was getting tired of supporting heavy solidbody Fender basses for 4 hour gigs, I decided to try the Hofner out at a local guitar store just to see for myself. Wow, this thing is amazing! What an awesome bottom and variety of tones available! This thing is really lightweight from a physical standpoint, but what a heavyweight from a tonal standpoint! I ordered mine from MF right away! I have been playing bass for forty years and currently play in a variety Rock/blues/oldies/roots band and with the user-friendly switchology am able to capture virtually any vintage sound perfectly, from Jamerson to McCartney and even the newer alternative styles. Beautiful sunburst finish and attention to detail in construction and perfect setup from the factory. Tuners, although smaller than most basses, are very accurate and keep the tuning dead on. I did install some LaBella flat strings out of personal preference, but the roundwounds it comes equipped with are not bad. The electronics seem to be sturdy and well made, with no noise when switching between settings. The "solo" switch allows a good volume boost when doing lead runs. All things considered, as others have mentioned, this is not just a British Invasion bass and capable of hanging in there with the best, and for the money, can't be beat!

(14 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice Bass for a Nice Price

By KevinGochezMusic

from Washington, DC

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Comes With Case
  • Easy Action
  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone
  • Nice Tone

Cons

  • And More Stock Strings
  • Stock strings
  • Stock Strings Again

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • School Bands
  • Small Venues

Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

Being a huge Beatles fan, I absolutely had to get this bass sooner or later. Having owned Fender & Epiphone basses and being a regular P-Bass user i had high expectations. Don't let the price fool you. This 470 has decent tone for the price. The short scale neck makes it easier to play. The one downside to it was the stock roundwounds, make sure to replace these with flatwounds as soon as you get it. my two main things to the buyer considering....IT COMES WITH A CASE, and also, BE SURE TO CHANGE THE STOCK STRINGS
....IT COMES WITH A CASE, and also, BE SURE TO CHANGE THE STOCK STRINGS
....IT COMES WITH A CASE, and also, BE SURE TO CHANGE THE STOCK STRINGS
....IT COMES WITH A CASE, and also, BE SURE TO CHANGE THE STOCK STRINGS

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Some Things to Consider

By Martin Crane

from San Francisco, CA

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts
    • School Bands
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

    I own this bass, and it's wonderful.

    Why an Indonesian model instead of a German? Couple of things...

    The German model's fretboard extends over the body, much like a violin... no support underneath (many early Beatles/Paul McCartney pix plainly demonstrate). This is the main difference... the offshore models are much more durable, due to the solid wood beneath the fretboard where it meets the body.

    In addition, on the offshore models, the pick guard is attached like a Gibson/Epiphone... very sturdy. In the German models, there are two pins... one to the side of the neck and one to the bridge. Not so great over time.

    If you can afford the initial price and the maintenance, go for the original. If I could afford it, I would. But for a down-home gigging bassist, the offshore model gives you the vibe and a lot more durability.

    (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Jaw Dropping

    By MrMorganFarts

    from Montana

    About Me Novice

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone

    Cons

    • Fret Buzz

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • School Bands
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

    I haven't been playing bass for all that long, but I've tried a number of different basses; I've played Fender Precision and Jazz bases, as well as SG Basses and Ibanez. This one tops them all. I love the design first of all (the Beatles rule!), and I also love the fact that it's hollow-bodied, making it extremely light and playable without an amp. Playing with an amp, I found that using only the neck pickup allows the bass to sound 100% identical to Macca's sound for The Beatles. An astonishing bass WELL worth the money.

    (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Im Really impressed!!!

    By JET!

    from Chicago, IL

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

        Was looking to pick up a Hof for 50's and Beatles music - read lots of reviews and the consistent comments were that the Icon and Hi Series were not only better than the $800 model, but better than the original German made models that go for $3k+ on [@].Played AMAZING right out of the box - extremely easy to play - lots of fun - great tone - and with all the talk of flat wounds - Ill tell you - playing Entwistle (My Generation) licks on this bass with Round Wounds - is E.A.S.Y!!!!!

        (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great Bass for the price

        By Kevin Brooks

        from IndianaI

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

        For the money, this is a quality bass with a good sound. Besides the tone quality of this bass I also like the sustain I can get out of it compaired to the solid bodies of the Fender's I compaired it to. Another advatage over the more expensive Fenders is that it weights a lot less! My back no longer hurts after playing for hours. I love my Hofner!
        I really like the bass, trebel, and solo switches. They allow for quick changes and even allows me to mute my bass with the flip of a switch. I am kind of a minimalist so I like that there aren't a lot of knobs and things to make the bass more confusing.
        I had a minor problem with the cable jack but it was nothing that a little solder didn't fix. Once again, for the price this is a quality bass.
        I compaired this bass to several fender jazz and p basses and just like the sound much better. Best of all, it was cheaper!

        (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing, Playable Bass

        By Wil

        from Tuscaloosa, AL

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

        I can't recommend this bass enough. It truly shines with some flatwound strings (I put Rotosounds on mine). The tone of the violin bass is all its own, yet can still be highly variated with the controls. I am a guitar player at heart, and the short scale neck allows me to play bass riffs with the same speed and fluidity that I would on my favorite Les Paul.
        The bass has two knobs--one for each pickup--and three switches. The rhythm/solo switch serves as a tone adjustment/boost, while the other two switches turn on and off the bass and treble pickups. In my bass guitar, the "treble on" switch actually turns on the bass pickup, and vice versa. It's confusing to someone playing who doesn't know this, but once I realized what controls do what functions on the bass, the label for those controls was somewhat irrelevant.
        The hollow body makes the bass incredibly light, and the thin short-scale neck plays both fast and smooth.
        I got the black model bass, and it is beautiful. The finish is flawless, and all the details are perfect. I had to tighten the input jack to keep in from falling in when I first got it. The black finish looks very fancy, and distinguishes itself from being a Beatles copy.
        For the price, this bass is an amazing deal. I never want to stop playing it, and would choose it over many far more expensive basses any day.

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