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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Question on current Hofner Beatle basses

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

our time in hell
Sep 29th, 2018 01:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

This one isn't for me, but for a friend who's in the market and she wanted comments on the current Hofner violin basses.

We're trying to replace a lost/stolen old one, and won't get to play it first - are they any good? Functional out of the box?


digiboy

New York City

Sep 29th, 2018 01:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Need a lot more information about what you are trying to replace.(and maybe how much she is willing to spend). Was it an old German made violin style Hofner? Gonna be upwards of $1000-$2000 maybe more to replace with a current German handmade. Go even higher to get an older model in good shape.

OTOH the Hofner "ignition" series violin style which looks and functions about the same, is made in China and will sell for under $500. The ones I've seen in use actually sound fairly close to the German models.

I would tend to trust the German handmade ones to be near perfect out of the box. Ignition models are more likely to need some tweaking but once adjusted, they should be OK.

There have been at least a couple of other versions of the Hofner violin models over the years, some German, some Chinese, etc. I don't know much about them.

Should note that these Hofner violin style designs are not the sturdiest of basses. It would not surprise me to find that even a handmade German model might need some adjusting out of the box.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

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Sep 29th, 2018 02:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yea, not talking handmade or NON-CURRENT models - as in "buy new."

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

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Sep 29th, 2018 02:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

I should note as well they're an experienced player but not tech saavy (setup or otherwise), and they like the quriks of that particular model.

Needing a setup for perfect I already recommend, just talking about "will this thing fly right" without investing a ton of money into the process.

digiboy

New York City

Sep 29th, 2018 02:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

From what I've seen, the Ignition models are decent basses "out of the box". But I don't know if she'll find the particular "quirks" she likes on these models especially if she is replacing an old German handmade.

(This message was last edited by digiboy at 04:59 AM, Sep 29th, 2018)

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

our time in hell
Sep 29th, 2018 05:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'll inquire but I don't believe it was an expensive one.

Jeff Scott

On a spinning rock

Sep 29th, 2018 01:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I'll inquire but I don't believe it was an expensive one."

If it wasn't an expensive one then it was a inexpensive import version of some iteration, or a copy, like a Rogue or similar. Was it a Höfner? Or a copy?

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Sep 29th, 2018 07:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had the Rogue VB-100, a good little bass, I wasn’t using it so I gave it to my nephew.

digiboy

New York City

Sep 30th, 2018 12:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

OP says it was an old one. Go back far enough and the German Hofners were not expensive. He needs to check and determine exactly what it is he wants to replace.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

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Sep 30th, 2018 01:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

Old one, as in "older, not 1960s" - it was an import cheapie, Hofner branded. Don't have much else than that, and not a huge budget.

digiboy

New York City

Sep 30th, 2018 09:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Old one, as in "older, not 1960s" - it was an import cheapie, Hofner branded."

OK that makes a huge difference.

The current Hofner cheapie is the Ignition model. I can only say that I've seen 2 of them in action and both sounded good and the owners were happy with them. Should be OK "out of the box." I've also heard good things about that Rogue version. There are another handful of the violin/Macca-bass designed models from pretty respectable brands that you could look into.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

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Oct 3rd, 2018 08:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yea, I'm trying to stick with stuff she knows and compiling a list of options.


When in doubt, I'll just have her get a Squier P Bass honestly - but if the Ignitions are generally passable, it's what she knows and wants first and foremost before going solidbody and longer scale.

digiboy

New York City

Oct 3rd, 2018 10:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Going to a P bass from a Hofner short scale would be quite a stretch...literally. If she is used to the feel and weight of a Hofner and is happy with it, I'd say that's the best bet for her.

It looks like Hofner has some other "violin/Beatle" models along with the Ignition series that sell in that same general price range, roughly $400-800. I don't know what the differences are.

I would check in with Sweetwater (link above) and ask about the current Hofner line. They seem to be the most customer service oriented.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
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We all want

our time in hell
Oct 3rd, 2018 05:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

She's played a P Bass before, it's the distant second choice.

I'm not randomly tossing forth recommendations!

Tony Wright
Contributing Member
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Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Oct 3rd, 2018 10:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

I picked up a Hofner Icon in Guitar Center, once. Did not buy simply because I don't want a Hofner violin bass. That said, it was a nice bass, IF that style is what you are looking for.

Looking at Musician's Friend, there are 161 reviews of the Hofner Icon bass. It has a 4.3 star review rating (out of a perfect 5.0). The people who like it, like it a lot. The "other reviewers" typically comment that it needs new strings, fret ends seem to be "sharp", and the Icon is NOT quite as good as the currently produced "Vintage 62 model" or the actual Hofner Violin basses made in 1960s in Germany.

Functional out of the box....that might be a slight issue:

Most comment that it needs flat wound "SHORT SCALE" bass strings and it really helps to clean up the fret wires as they are pretty sharp.

I bought a Rogue "Beatle style" bass about 4 or 5 years ago and had flats put on it. I owned it for 3 years and played it less than a half dozen times. It looked great sitting in front of my 1968 Vox Essex bass amp...it looked great sitting in front of my North Coast Music reproduction of the Vox T-100 (dual 15 bass cabinet). But I was out of a classic 60s rock band and playing blues by this point and I let the T-100 go (mistake) and the Rogue (I took a loss on it) and would probably pick up a Hofner Ignition Club if I found a deal on a used Club.

But I have no personal experience comparing the Ignition Violin to any of the other Hofner versions of the violin bass. Ya put down yer money and takes yer chances.

heynorm

Omaha, USA

Oct 3rd, 2018 10:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

After back surgery this spring I got an Ignition from North Coast Music. I had the choice between two and actually chatted with Gary, who recommended one over the other, which he said had a better neck. I love that it’s only five pounds. A little neck dive, but I can deal with that. Mostly adjusted to the short scale after years of playing a P or J. Also it has a very skinny neck. I know you’re supposed to put on flats, but the cheap, stock rounds really sit well in the mix for my country bands and oldies trio. Overall, I’m quite pleased and in no hurry to go back to regular use of my Fenders. Oh, I’m 68 this month and don’t mind any ways to reduce schlepping weight.

digiboy

New York City

Oct 4th, 2018 02:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

On the P vs. Hofner thing. Even though she's OK with a P, you're saying she would prefer another Hofner, right? I don't see any reason not to abide by that and get another Hofner, unless you stumble on to an insanely good deal for her on a P.


Rick Knight
Contributing Member
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St Peters, MO USA

Busy doing something close to nothing
Oct 8th, 2018 07:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

I looked into import Hofner Club basses a few years ago, but didn't buy one. My understanding is that Icon, Ignition and HI are all similar, if not the same. Contemporary or CT models are somewhat more expensive Asian made instruments with German pickups. The ones I played were store display models and seemed ok.

marosborne
Contributing Member
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USA

Oct 16th, 2018 08:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

There are a bunch of Hofner violin basses on eBay for under $300. Reverb probably has some, too.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

We all want

our time in hell
Oct 23rd, 2018 08:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yea, I spoke with her over the weekend.

I suspect it will boil down to what's found at any given day and like most of us, impulse will win out!

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Question on current Hofner Beatle basses




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