Ignition Beatles Bass Review

manufacturer: Hofner date: 03/30/2012 category: Bass Guitars
Hofner: Ignition Beatles Bass
This is basically an inexpensive version of the famous Paul McCartney violin bass, made by Hofner. 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.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 7.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (4) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7
Ignition Beatles Bass Reviewed by: MaxMix, on june 23, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 220

Purchased from: Thomann

Features: 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

Sound: 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! // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 7

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overall: 8.8
Ignition Beatles Bass Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 30, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 550

Purchased from: Steve's Music Store Ottawa

Features: - 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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