Ignition Beatles Bass review by Hofner

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.3 (23 votes)
Hofner: Ignition Beatles Bass

Price paid: £ 220

Purchased from: Thomann

Sound — 7
For what it is it sounds fantastic with great bottom end that is perhaps just a little hollow or resonant sounding at times. The switching arrangement gives big variation via each pickup and is interesting. No pops of crackles and everything works as expected. Classic rock sound and rich bluesy tones available too, nice!

Overall Impression — 7
Much better than expected and perfectly playable producing a classic tone that won't dissappoint at all. It's a very good bass for the price, although not necessarily everyones cup-of tea. It's a great bass for noodling at home as it's so small and I often use mine for this purpose sitting on the couch in front of the TV, perfect, it's grown on me over time. If I were to accidentaly sit on it I'm not sure if I would rush out and buy another but as it's my "couch noodling" bass I'm sure I would miss it.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Have to say I bought this bass as more of a novelty item than for serious use but having used it often and taken it out several times I think it's up to the job if handled well. Nothings dropped off, it stays in tune and when it's round your neck you hardly notice it's there. Like anything, treat is with repect and it will look after you as I think is the case with this bass. There's nothing about it that concerns me and it certainly is not a toy.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Out of the box setup was pretty good, truss rod needed a slight tweek and nut action was perfect. The paintwork was not absolutely perfect (8/10) but incredible polish and the sunburst finish was well done. In all it looks very classy and I wouldn't be ashamed to show it to anyone or use it in public. The jack socket did come loose after a little use but this was easily remedied with the carful use of a spanner. The supplied strings weren't that brilliant but a set of flatwounds sorted that out and improved the tone considerably. The pickguard is a floating arrangement and is rather more decoration than of practical use. This bass is pretty light, very light in fact and extremely comfortable and great to use if sitting and sits good in the lap.

Features — 7
This is basically an inexpensive version of the famous Paul McCartney violin bass, made by Hofner. Bought this short scale bass about a year ago. A friend had one I tried and I wanted one too. Also Thomann (in Germany) were doing a great deal which included a hard case and free postage, not bad. I assume it's made in China. Top is spruce, maple body, rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, hollow body and two staple type humbuckers. The control panel has two volume controls. There are three switches, two on/off for either pickup and rhythm/solo Switch that changes the level, same as the Club Bass; Note: Only the Hofner basses have this switching arrangement. Scale length is 30". Hardware is nickel plated and looks pretty good and the bridge is the standard floating type. The tuners are Vintage open back type with pearloid knobs, very nice.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have both Hofner basses and this cheapo one playes easier then the 500Ct , the sound is a litle woody and hollow but I like it , it sounds different to the 500 ct and it is much lighter in weight , you don't even feel that it hangs on your neck ; I like it as much as my 500Ct and play both , I must say I changed to Labellas flatwounds because original strings where real BS , but then my 500 Ct has Labella Black Nylons and sounds o so sweet, originals from Hofner where not very convincing ; both are fine guitars better sounding then the Epiphone Viola ( I have it also , plays fine but sound is not terrible even with Labellas not to compare to the Hofners )
    *Does the tone get muddy?* Damn this drunken dyslexia...
    Works great with the Boss ODB-3. You might wanna use the bridge pickup though.
    Legra Guitars
    Hi, Just bought an Ignition bass. I owned a 500/1 for years, bought it in 1964 when I was 16. Being a professional luthier I've often thought of making one for my self so while looking round for photo's and info I came across a really good deal on an Ignition with a case from Germany. Despite a few adverse reviews I figured "at this price how bad can it be" reasoning that whatever, if anything, was wrong with it I could fix it. Well it turned up and I have to say that I was really impressed with the general construction and finish. It has a different neck joint that my old one but I think that's an improvement. The old "cello" style neck joint has always been a bit of a weakness and I have reset many of them over the years. This neck joint also seems to give it more punch so I guess it's a sort of halfway house between the old neck joint and the new "Contemporary" CT500/1 bass which has a solid sustain block through the centre of the body. I was really pleased with my first impressions but when I plugged it in there were a number of electrical faults mainly due to dry joints on the selector switch PCB. Probably took about ten minutes to repair but disappointing nevertheless. Anyway; apart from that I'm really happy with this bass. Considering I make basses that cost ten times what this one cost it's a little gem.....could be a fair bit of nostalgia thrown in there but it just makes me smile every time I pick it up.....Oh to be 16 again eh