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MF MD HG August Big Sale 07-23-15
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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....Read More

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  • Transparent Black

    $349.99 Top Rated

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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 130 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (88)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (8)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (25)
  • Good feel (25)
  • Good tone (24)
  • Good pick up (17)
  • Solid electronics (11)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (7)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (21)
  • Practicing (21)
  • Recording (21)
  • Small venues (16)
  • School bands (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (18), Professional musician (7), Novice (4)

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 better than the Rogue

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)...Read complete review

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 !

Reviewed by 130 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Classic look, light, fun to play!

By 

from Monroe, LA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Acoustic Sets
    • Church
    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

    I use it mainly in church as part of our orchestra and praise team band. It is a perfect choice for acoustic sets as well. The string action was a little high out of the box, but was easy to adjust to my liking. The pickups are a little weak, but have a nice sound to them - I use an effects board and sometimes use a 7 Band EQ Boost pedal, which worked well with this bass.
    Let me also say that this is a good looking instrument - I got the Transparent Black. I have have gotten compliment after compliment on this bass.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Fun Light Delicate little BASS!

    By 

    from New York

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Light Weight
    • Looks Cool

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

      It's a fun short scale little bass with a massive, almost acoustic sound. I liked the way it sounds with the stock strings. The switches are confusing, I put them all in the "up" position, allowing me to blend both pickups with the 2 knobs. Great for Beatles tribute acts. I got mine in black, to not be a complete copy cat. It is perfect for non-agressive laid-back stuff like oldies, blues, and so forth.

      Now for the disadvantages: It's neck-heavy, which is not a huge problem while you are holding the bass, resting on the body with your arm. It is too light, and curved, so it doesn't sit flush to your body naturally; I found it more difficult to play very fast runs on this bass especially with fingers. The craftmanship is mostly good, but after I took off the pickgard, I noticed 2 holes instead of one where the pickguard was mounted, a clear misfire. I painted over the holes and tossed the pickguard. The jack is a piece of ****, as it fell out one day. It's not that difficult to knock the strings out of their bridge saddles, so don't go crazy with it. The switches are also confusing, and unnecessary, but historically accurate.

      Overall, it is what it is: a cheap version of a piece of history. It's very light, and looks great. I am using it for easy singer-songwriter gigs and get many compliments. Also, it's a perfect backup bass since it is so light.

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Hofner

      By 

      from Glendale, Ca.

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Fun To Play

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

          I've wanted a Viola bass for a long time and when I saw MF had one on sale I jumped on it. It came in a few day's and I really dig it. The only thing I want to do is lower the action a little. It look's great and is way lighter than I imagined. It's acoustically very loud which is cool for me cause if I plug it in then my neighbor's head's will explode....

          Comment on this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          union jack ignition bass

          By 

          from scottsdale az.

          About Me Experienced

          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:

            Hi. I bought this bass a week ago. Wanted it since Paul Mccartney used it. Found it new tried it bought it. It's a very addictive guitar. Hard to put down. The neck action is great. The tone is rich warm and full. Very happy with my purchase.

            Comment on this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            A Working Class Man's Beatle Bass

            Pros

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

            Cons

            • No Case Provided

            Best Uses

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

            Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

            I bought this when I decided to re-learn the bass (I started learning bass back in 2001/2002 before switching to guitar 6 months later). With some money given to me as a present I went into the local Guitar Center and tested this out. I was stunned by its light weight feel and good old fashioned Beatles vibe.

            I was concerned/wary as I bought a cheap Rogue Violin Bass (VB100?) way back when and I hated it! But this little bass kicks butt and nails the old Beatles/Sir Paul McCartney tone! As it stands this is in my bedroom and will be a staple of my sound/gear forever! I would HIGHLY recommend this for Beatles/Sir Paul fans who want the Violin/Beatle Bass sound and look but don't have the extra $2000-$3000 to spend for a Vintage Reissue model!

            My only complaint is that it does come with a case. I had to shell out extra money for a case from a local music store.

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Höfners are fantastic!!

            By 

            from Fayetteville, NC

            About Me Experienced

            Ask me a question

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

              I purchased this bass for our church and was not disappointed! This is a solid bass that is lightweight and easy to play!

              Comment on this review

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Jaw Dropping

              By 

              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.

              Comment on this review

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              sweet

              By 

              from LAS VEGAS,NEVADA

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

              • Church
              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording

              Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

              A magnificent bass that came set up and tuned, straight out the BOX. Action is low and easy, neck is thin and comfortable to play. Extremely light weight for long sessions. This is a great bass with outstanding tone and feel.

              Comment on this review

              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              I like it....

              By 

              from Bangkok, Thailand

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Tone

              Cons

              • Fret Buzz
              • The Case Is Too Tight

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording

              Comments about Hofner Ignition Series Vintage Violin Bass:

              It's worth the price.
              The sound and feel are very good. I wish the fret buzz was not there.
              The case is too tight, a bit short of length. I'm afraid it could bend the neck.

              Comment on this review

              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Heck of a bass for a sweet price.

              By 

              from Houston Texas

              About Me Experienced

              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.

                Comment on this review

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