Ignition Beatles Bass review by Hofner

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (23 votes)
Hofner: Ignition Beatles Bass

Price paid: C$ 550

Purchased from: Steve's Music Store Ottawa

Sound — 7
I play mostly Beatles songs, so it fits most of it perfectly. I play through a Fender Rumble 15. The controls are not intuitive. Hofners are designed so that everything is on all the time. "Bass on" turns off the bridge pick-up and "treble on" turns off the neck. Turning both to on will shut off both pick-ups. The rhythm/solo switch is set so that in solo the sound is full but in rhythm the sound gets muted. The range of the bass is a bit limited (or maybe its me) and does not have the deep presence of my Squier VM Jaguar Bass, but for what I play it is perfect, having a woody tone.

Overall Impression — 10
For what I needed it is perfect. Meaning a bass guitar to accompany my sons and nephew as they play Beatle tunes. I also record a little with it some songs that I write. It suits some better than the Jaguar, but not all. I have been playing music for 10 years or so, but the bass only for the last year. I would buy one again since it fits the music we play at home, and aesthetically it looks great hanging on the wall. I love the look and the lightness of the bass. I hate (maybe too strong a word since I sit to play) that it is neck heavy. I compared it to the Epiphone Viola Bass and the Hofner Contemporary violin bass. The Epi did not seem to fit into my hand as well, and was heavier. Tonally it may have had a bit more range. The Contemporary was another $300 and had a solid block inside to help with sustain. But it did not sound different enough from my Jaguar Bass to justify a purchase.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I don't gig, but the guitar seems to be well built, but keep in mind it is a hollow body. If I dropped my Squier VM Jaguar I'd worry about damaging the floor. With the Hofner I'd worry about the bass. But nothing has worked loose. The floating bridge stays in place. The bass is still too new to talk about long term wear.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Store bought, the set up was spot on. Neck, intonation, and action were great, holds its tuning great. Not a blemish or flaw in the finish to be found. Strings were not the best for the guitar as it comes with round wounds and flat wounds seem to be better.

Features — 8
- Indonesian Made, 2011 HI-BB-SB - 30" Short Scale, 22 Frets - Spruce Top, flame maple side and back, 3 piece neck (maple, beach, maple), rosewood fret board. - Violin shape - Hofner fretted floating bridge, plastic nut - Hofner Ignition Staple pickups at neck and bridge - Single Nickle Tuners, Trapeze Nickle Tail Piece - 2 volume controls, 2 switches to shut off the pick ups individually, and rhythm, solo switch to chnge the tone a bit. - It came with a hardshell case.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i sometimes distort this bass with a digitech grunge... with the gain turned way up, on a small practice amp you would maybe just want to use the Trebble pick up, but on a bigger one... say a 200w amp or so.... far too much erm, noise comes from the Trebble pick up, personally, i love that, being a grunge musician but i was at an audition before and i was asked to get rid of the feedback i just swapped to the Bass pick up and got a really 'Time is running out' by Muse sort of sound, this is the only bass i presently own, and im in no rush to get any new one.....it can do anything you could possibly want it to, which i honestly did not expect for the price i got it for!! i have played an Epiphone Viola bass and a Tanglewood copy of it (i forget what it's called exactly)just to see what they were like..personally i prefer the tanglewood, it sounds a lot closer to the Hofner when distorted, the epiphone doesnt distort well at all, but both of them sound savage clean..... just no way as awesomely savage as the Hofner Ignition \m/
    john dayman
    Just bought an Ignition Bass 'based' on these recommendations - will have to see how it pans out. So far, I'm well impressed with the sound and handling. I'll change the strings presently to flatwounds, see what difference that makes. The Epiphone Viola bass does look very good, I have to admit but I managed to get a good deal on this Hofner so went for it.
    bought one second hand and have to say im really pleased with it, i have spondulosis of the spine and this effects the neck muscles , so 'heavy' basses are out of the question for me, being born and bred in liverpool in the 60s i was brought up on the beatles and always loved the 'macca' bass, being left handed (same as macca) also influenced my choice, the extra cost of getting a leftie can be quite prohibitive ! anyway found this one online for only 150 euro including softcase , so went for it. took a bit of time to figure out how the switches worked i find that leabving both the bass and treble in the off position and the 3rd switch on 'solo' works best for me, the neck of the bass is easy to get your hand around, some necks are quite thick and awkward if you have smallish hands, but the big thing for me was the weight, i have tried older hoffs and the other 'look a like' copies and the weight was a big turn off, even on the tanglewood version, and i love tanglewood guitars. we play a lot of 50's and 60's stuff so it fits in well with that. for me id recomend it, it wont break the bank, or your neck !