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Product 511788

Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass

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With authentic details inspired by the original, the Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Bass makes the legendary violin bass available to the rest of us....Click To Read More About This Product

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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 153 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (100)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (27)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (10)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (44)
  • Good tone (41)
  • Good feel (40)
  • Good pick up (29)
  • Solid electronics (19)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (13)
  • Poor pick up (3)

Best Uses

  • Practicing (37)
  • Jamming (35)
  • Recording (29)
  • Small venues (24)
  • Rock concerts (14)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (32), Professional musician (12), 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 153 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(33 of 33 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.

(22 of 22 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.

(18 of 20 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 17 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

(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!

(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.

        (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        FAB Bass!!!!!

        By Joe-0LTdf

        from New Jersey

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

        I just bought this Hofner Icon Bass and when I first started playing it, I thought I was going to form into Paul himself! The feel of this bass is great, it has a thin neck, great tuners, awesome pickups, and light body! I could play this thing for hours! The finish on this guitar is wonderful too, the sunburst goes from the body through the neck and even to the headstock, the pictures don't do it any justice! If you want a great bass for a great price... BUY THIS BASS!!!!!

        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Heck of a bass for a sweet price.

        By Texas Twelve

        from Houston Texas

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Tone

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Small Venues

          Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

          Heck of a bass for a sweet price. I wanted a Pauline bass for years, but couldn't get up the green gumption to buy one. Well this one came along for a good price, so I did it.

          It's so much lighter than my Jazz copy. I understand the comments about feeling like a toy, but it doesn't sound like a toy.

          I put flats on it like so many others, and it is a joy to play. The mellow, woody, resonant sound is great, especially for 60's and 70's music. The first time I used it at practice, two others in the band glanced over and said how much better it sounded than my now retired bass. Also, after about 40 minutes the weight difference was really a plus.

          All in all, a good bass, with a good sound, for a good price.

          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Fab-4-ulous Guitar

          By MarthaLennon

          from Cambridge, Ontario

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Tone

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

              I finally bought a Hofner.
              Great experience buying from MF.
              Fast delivery.
              What a neat guitar!
              It is amazing the sound you get out of this thing.
              I shouldn't be surprised as McCartney is still playing one.
              It may be made off shore so to speak but the quality is fine!
              If you like playing bass this will really add to your enjoyment. Plus it will give you that nostalgic feeling.
              I recommend it!

              (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Finally the Sound I Was Looking For

              By Seth Easton

              from West Virginia, USA

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Intonation
              • Strings

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Recording

              Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

              I have been wanting a short-scale bass for years, so I finally picked this one up just yesterday. I've been trying to get that "Beatles" sound for years with my P-Bass, which just is not possible. From the minute I picked up the Hofner, I knew I was going to love it. It's super lightweight, the action is close, and it really does play very much like a standard electric guitar - in fact I can do guitar-like rifts and bending on it that I could never do on my P-Bass. Yes, I am primarily a guitarist, and I think this bass appeals to them.

              Like almost everyone else is saying, this is NOT a pop 'n slap bass, so don't even try it (I did while in the music store and the string slapped the pickup and nearly blew out the amp). The best sound you can get out of this is to basically palm-mute and use a thick bass pick, which is exactly how I play it now. This may seem like heresy to "real" bass players, but McCartney was definitely on to something. Now I can get that thick and smooth "thud" I've been chasing.

              The only disappointment is that the intonation seems to be a bit off in the upper frets. Also, the stock strings are complete, thin, and buzzy-sounding junk - I just ordered some Rotosound Monel flatwould shortscale strings - I have read these are the absolute best strings for this bass. Can't wait to do some recordings with it!

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Can Buy Me Love!

              By plangent music

              from manhattan

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

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              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Recording

                  Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

                  People will gripe that this isn't quite the same as the more expensive original German made versions but what they fail to realize is that the original Hofner's were cheap basses! (The price has gone up due to the prestige). The Icons are everything you'd expect from a Hof -- the finish is absolutely beautiful and with flatwound strings it's the classic early McCartney sound. The only thing I changed was that I "antiqued" the pickquard and the pegs which have a cheap white plastic look to them. They say the short scale doesn't play in tune, but unless you're planning on playing above the 14th fret of the E string, I don't think you'll have a problem. In short, this baby gives you what you'd want from a Hofner.

                  (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  Not better than the Rogue

                  By Dean Radcliffe

                  from chicago

                  See all my reviews

                  Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

                  I have played the Rogue model that is most similar to this - and to echo another reviewer's comments about the 'cheap' feel - yeah, this one felt (but did not look) cheaper than the Rogue.

                  My main problem with it (of course the strings are crappy, but you expect that) is that the nut is impossibly high. You don't slap a violin bass, so this setup was intolerable for me. As it came from the factory, the intonation was poor at the 12th fret, even when tuned precisely. And don't even bother playing on the first two frets - the high action means you will be sharping your pitch noticably. My Korg pitchblack tuner confirmed this, though it didn't have a 'cents' measurement to say exactly how far off. But noticably to even my drummers ear.

                  I decided not to pay to replace the nut, but to send the instrument back. I expect to replace strings even on a higher end instrument. But not the nut. If I had to compliment this, I'd say the finish (black) and the electronics, including pickups, were nice - nicer than the Rogue, but what does that matter if it wont play on pitch ???

                  Stick with the Rogue. And of course, flatwounds sound lovely on this type of bass - you will be so happy if you do !

                  (6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  Avoid.

                  By Patrik Tanner

                  from Minneapolis, Minnesota

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

                      Avoid this one. I ordered one and sent it back. Sent the second one back as well. A flaw in manufacturing makes this bass impossible to intonate. I went as far as having a new nut cut by Hoffman Guitars in Minneapolis. Didn't help. I have guitars and basses from the US, Japan, Korea and China, so I know what I can expect in terms of workmanship depending on where it's made. The intonation on the first 5 frets is so bad that it renders the bass useless. I wouldn't even call it a beginners instrument. Easily the worst instrument that I've bought in over 35 years. Again, save yourself some trouble, and avoid this one.

                      (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Keep trying - 3rd time charm

                      By adamfretboard

                      from Metro, Michigan

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                      • Fret Buzz

                      Best Uses

                      • Jamming
                      • Practicing
                      • Recording
                      • Small Venues

                      Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

                      Been Playing decades. Finally got to third bass. This was a suprise Christmas gift and not intended to be a professinal quality instrument
                      (he has two other more expensive basses).

                      The first bass had electrical problems so I returned it. The second bass was returned, it had "wood knots" visible on the neck.(I never have seen such a low guality wood used). The third bass the electronics worked and the quality was OK for the price - new strings and professional setup needed.

                      Keep trying, they will work it out for you just keep track so that you do not get doubled billed.(they fixed that too, NOTE: they will work with you)

                      After the pro setup and new strings (flatwounds) nice for the price. Hope you don't have as much trouble.

                      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      an excellent bass for the budget minded

                      By Alexi

                      from Cleveland, Ohio

                      About Me Novice

                      See all my reviews

                      Ask me a question

                      Pros

                      • Fun To Play
                      • Good Feel
                      • Good Pick Up
                      • Good Tone
                      • Light On The Shoulders
                      • Solid Electronics

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Jamming
                        • Practicing
                        • Recording
                        • Small Venues

                        Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

                        I love the Beatles and I've always coveted Paul McCartney's bass. I also like the wooden bass tone of their early songs. However, the Germany-made Hofners costs 2K so this a very good alternative to the budget minded. You get the look and feel of the original for a good price. The tone of the guitar is a bit different than the German-made but you can adjust your amp to mimic it. I've been using this bass for my rehearsals and gigs. And I love it!

                        (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Violin shape has unique feel

                        By Thomas777

                        from GA

                        About Me Experienced

                        See all my reviews

                        Ask me a question

                        Pros

                        • Fun To Play
                        • Light body weight
                        • Shorter scale length
                        • Symetrical body

                        Cons

                        • Strings hard to find

                        Best Uses

                        • Practicing
                        • Recording

                        Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

                        Let there be no confusion, the top is laminated with a spruce vernere. This said it's still a must have.
                        I've gotten the best sound with the LaBella flat wounds that every one uses. Flats also help reduce string noise which the stock strings seem to intensify. Also raising the action will help give slightly better acoustics which in turn affect the amplified tone. I also added a thumb rest which improved right hand comfort a good bit.
                        I would describe the tone as being deeply voiced with a slightly out of focus fundamental and a somewhat subdued attack. This is ideal when adding bass to songs that are mainly accoustic. For rock I would still grab a full length solid body. Still, this is my most frequently used electric bass.

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