In the summer I bought an excellent MIJ Squier Bullet Bass from Gareth of this very forum. And it really was excellent. It recorded beautifully and looked handsome, which always helps. But I ended up having difficulty playing it for long due to the state of my left shoulder, neck and back problems and this made me move towards something short scale and hollow bodied. I'd planned to sell the 34" scale Squier Bullet and buy a 30" scale hollow body bass, before emigrating on the 17th of December. I'd advertised the Bullet on here but it didn't sell so I was resigned to taking it with me but still getting another bass before I moved to France. And then maybe buying something online from Thoman.fr or Le Bon Coin once I'd moved.
On the night of the 14th I googled 'Hofner Violin Bass' just out of curiosity and the search results threw up a load of results but at the top of the first page were a load of ads for Hofners, from Thomann, Absolute Music, Guitar Guitar etc. And among them was an Ignition series Hofner Violin Bass at a stupidly cheap price with 48hr delivery so I hit the buy-it-now button and hoped for the best. Me and my wife were fully occupied, still packing up boxes of our belongings for the move, so I didn't have much time to think about it but hoped it would arrive before we left for France.
On the 16th I had a mate come down to Brighton to buy my old 1960's Philips organ. He's a pedal-steel player by trade but he's just got a studio space in north London and before he set off for Brighton he was looking for a bass on the Facebook marketplace in East Sussex. He hadn't found a bass but he did collect a Fender Twin from somehwere on the way. Then he got to our place and he saw the Bullet bass, picked it up, said "God, how light is this?!" and fell in love with it and we did a deal. While he was playing the Bullet, the doorbell rang, it was the courier guy with the Hofner Bass. When he handed me the box I thought it was an empty box, that's how light these things are. Even double boxed with bubblewrap it still felt empty. When I opened the boxes and got the Hofner bass out I was surprised at just how light it was. I don't have any scales so I didn't weigh it, but it's probably about the same as two packets of crisps or something daft like that. Big packets of crisps obviously, but you get my drift.
Our move was being co-ordinated and handled by Douglas a.k.a. @Dad3353 and he knows a fair bit about Hofners so I handed it to him and he said, yeah they're all usually pretty light. Didn't have a lot of time to spare before the morning of the 17th so I boxed it back up ready for the move. I was sad to see the Bullet go but at least I knew I was going to a good home, and I did mates rates on it because I've known him for years and we'd done sessions together etc. All good.
Anyhow we did the drive from Brighton to South of France (well @Dad3353 did, I just looked out the window and drank fizzy pop) and the day after we settled in I got the Hofner Violin Bass out, plugged it into a little practice amp and fell in love - It's such a funky sounding little thing, super light, and has more bottom end than it looks like it should. Couldn't stop playing it, didn't want to put it down. The neck is so easy to get used to, and the pickups are great. It has more sustain than I was expecting but flats and a bit of foam at the bridge should sort that. The whole feel of it is superb for the money, I can fully recommend the Ignition series violin bass if anyone is thinking about one, they're ace.
I removed the guard as I prefer the look without one, and I couldn't get on with the roundwound strings that came with it though, so tried putting on a used set of Roto black nylon flats I had hanging about. But the E string was too big to fit into the tiny little guitar machine heads that the Hofner has. No problem, I've got a set of D'Addario Chrome flats that I'd had on my last Mustang bass, I'll just put them on. But no, the gauge is still too big for the tuners. Fergling little Bergstedts!!! 😡😆
So I've ordered a set of Hofner Contemporary flats from Thomann. They haven't arrived yet so I'm still making do with the roundwounds, but once they arrive I'll get them straight on and record some clips. Meanwhile, here's the obligatory pics:
And because @Len_derby asked for a pic of it in the sunshine I took it out onto the balcony of our apartment and took a quick pic. It's not my best photo, but the sun was out and it was 14 degrees here. I was even wearing shorts but of course nobody wants to see that 😂 Anyway here's the bass in the sun:
If anyone is on the fence about buying one of these, or can't quite make their mind up, all I can say is the one I got is brilliant. Wish I'd bought one years ago. If you see one at a decent price go for it 👍
Hiya folks, hope you’re all warm and well and lockdown isn’t driving you all nuts. I need to ask the Basschat collective mind some advice about lightweight basses.
My left shoulder is knackered through a combination of old rotator cuff tear / weakness after a biking injury. It’s bad enough at the moment that if I pick up my bass with my right hand it’s painful in my left shoulder straight away. Even sitting down to play is painful. Reaching for a low F on the E string hurts, for instance.
I’ve had recurring trouble with this shoulder for years and sometimes I can’t play bass at all. Just wondering if I’m destined to only play a Kala U-bass for the rest of my days or if something like a Hofner Violin bass might work for me? Anybody here had a similar problem? Or do I just man the flip up and hammer the co-codamols any play through it? 😆
A mate of mine switched from Jazz bass to a Violin bass after his back and shoulder problems got serious, and I’m wondering if I might have to make that decision too. I remember seeing old pics of Robbie Shakespeare playing a violin bass so I know they’re not just for Macca fans. Anyone else here gone through the same kind of thing? Thanks in advance 🙏 - Lee