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Daveox

Hofner ignition violin bass

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Hi all, I’m considering a Hofner ignition bass, the Chinese version at around £250, it seems cheap in £ ? Anyone got one? Any good? Are they versatile or just Beatles type music? 

Seem to good to be true!

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I've got an Ignition Club bass, which is identical to the violin bass other than the shape. 

It needed a decent set up (intonating it was tricky*) and I put on some (expensive) La Bella flat wounds on it for extra sixtiesness.  It does 60s Garage Rock, 'Beatles' and folky/acoustic very well.  My main bass is a Precision - the Horner serves really well as something quite different to that.

Is it versitile? No. 

Do I like it? Yes, a lot.

 

*If you get one, I'd be happy to pass on what I learned about intonating these. Drop me PM

Edited by James Nada

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I've got a slightly earlier version of this - I think mine was called the "Icon"...

They're fantastic basses for the money. It'll need a bit of a tweak out of the box if my experience (and that of James Nada) is anything to go by. Intonation can be tricky and mine had a little bit of fret buzz which was cured by a tiny tweak of the truss rod. If you're looking to play a whole bunch of clever slap licks, then this isn't the bass for you. Roll off a bit of treble, grab a pick (and maybe even a cheeky bit of sponge at the bridge for a mute...)  and you've got a great sounding, lightweight, fun instrument to play. I keep meaning to change the stock strings which are an OK set of roundwounds, but now they've gone a bit dead, they're starting to sound better. Anyway, short scale flatwounds are a bit pricey...

They're nice and easy to mod, if you want that "authentic" Macca look - teacup knobs and a quick repaint of the selector switches and you're getting close to Fab-ness, if that's the direction you want to go in. 

They're ace basses for not much money. I'd be inclined to get a hard case for it tho', as they're a wee bit fragile.

 

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I have a fretless version.  Great for sitting on the sofa playing.  Great tone for country/americana.

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I had one, not a bad bass. However I traded up to the German made custom Hofner Club bass. Completely different instrument.  They're not cheap, $2,500.00

Blue

FB_IMG_1521994740103.jpg

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22 hours ago, Daveox said:

Hi all, I’m considering a Hofner ignition bass, the Chinese version at around £250, it seems cheap in £ ? Anyone got one? Any good? Are they versatile or just Beatles type music? 

Seem to good to be true!

I bought one for my now ex girlfriend. 

Good Hofner sound no sound block like some of the newer models. Needs decent strings, as ones they come with are cheap garbage! 

Versatility wise well it's a Hofner sounding, semi acoustic bass so obviously it's not anywhere near as versatile as other completely solid body bases. Personally I would say the versatility is poor if you consider the broad spectrum of music. However they can do a lot of genres such as any 50s a lot of 60s genres pop, blues, country, some classic rock, Motown, and of course most beetles stuff. After that it's maybe a bit more hit and miss ive seen them do punk and well! But thats woth alot of distortion. I mean obviously you can play any type of bass to any music but the hofner sound is very distinctive even with quality bright roundwounds they still sound like a hofner. 

Build wise they are ok. However my (ex) girlfriend's came delivered unplayable, frets all over the place! I sorted that instead of sending it back to the store. I'm sure mileage will vary on fret level quality and never heard anyone else having that issue, but it happened. And after a year or so the cheapo bridge collapsed. Other that they are built fine for the price and I'm sure would last a long time.

 

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Hi Daveox,

 

For the sort of money you are looking to spend, personally I would forget the Hofner  and get a Gretsch Junior Jet II bass... It's extremely versatile tonally, not too heavy and looks the business. It can do anything to the point it doesn't even sound like a short scale instrument if you get the right strings on it.... very punchy and has loads of character. I can play anything from 60's pop and 70's / 80's rock right through to Iron Maiden sort of stuff etc … Absolutely love mine ! Maybe worth thinking about at least.

 

DSC01197 (2).JPG

Edited by Bleat
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On 06/09/2018 at 21:11, James Nada said:

 

Is it versitile? No. 

Do I like it? Yes, a lot.

This. I have one, and I adore it. It's a bass sound technology has been working to get away from for decades, but it's such a joyous thump it just makes me grin like a loon.

And I hate to use the cliché but it sits in the mix wonderfully.

Flats are an absolute must however. 

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11 hours ago, Bleat said:

Hi Daveox,

 

For the sort of money you are looking to spend, personally I would forget the Hofner  and get a Gretsch Junior Jet II bass... It's extremely versatile tonally, not too heavy and looks the business. It can do anything to the point it doesn't even sound like a short scale instrument if you get the right strings on it.... very punchy and has loads of character. I can play anything from 60's pop and 70's / 80's rock right through to Iron Maiden sort of stuff etc … Absolutely love mine ! Maybe worth thinking about at least.

 

DSC01197 (2).JPG

Agree 100%. The Gretsch is my main bass. It looks, feels and plays absolutely fantastic. I also looked at the Hofner but dismissed it because it seems to fit into a very limited niche and I wanted something I could use every day on every song. For me the Gretsch fits that bill perfectly. (And gowd damn she's purdy!) 

I still fancy a Hofner, and may indeed pick one up one day when finances allow and I can indulge myself in a niche instrument just for the fun of it, but for a superb every day instrument.........

IMG_20180816_181741.jpg

Edited by Newfoundfreedom
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Thank you for the Gretsch suggestion. I have been thinking that short scale might be easier for me while reading parts.

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I have both the Hofner Ignition and Contemporary violin basses.  I like them both.  As for a review of the Ignition, I think this guy's review is about as thorough as it gets.  I discovered this when I was getting interested in the Ignition bass.

 

 

 

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I enjoy playing my violin bass, they are great fun and just different. I've had a few makes, Epiphone, Tokai, Alden. They all differ depending on construction, pickups etc. Lots of reviews online.

But I always wanted to try a Hofner and when I found a lovely example of an Ignition at The Little Guitar Shop in Brum I couldn't resist. A set-up and new flats it was a joy to play. Yes,  a sort of one-trick-pony in that it definitely had that thumpy sound from the fully hollow body. Build quality was fair and so light-weight.

But then flea-bay raised it's ugly head and I bought a HCT, still made in Indonesia but German hardware. This model has a centre block so not fully hollow and is less thumpy. As the label says it has a more contemporary sound.

I sold the Ignition to a gentleman from the Isle of Wight who wanted a light-weight instrument and he was chuffed to bits with it. I immediately regretted selling. Although they look the same they don't sound the same, they are 2 different animals.

So, my HCT is a keeper, and the Ignition should have been a keeper.

 

Edited by grandad
mispelling
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^^^

I like my Contemporary more, too.  But I think Ignitions are good, too, especially at that low price.  I also might be interested in an Epiphone Viola some day.  

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I had one and it was stunning for the money. As said, swap out those cheap strings and you'd think you had spent double the money. I only got rid of it as I am 6ft 3 so it looked like a toy on me. 

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51 minutes ago, Cat Burrito said:

I had one and it was stunning for the money. As said, swap out those cheap strings and you'd think you had spent double the money. I only got rid of it as I am 6ft 3 so it looked like a toy on me. 

I was 6ft 4 and 26 stone when I played mine 🤣

You'll understand why I never played it live.

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