Hofner Ignition Violin Bass

Year: 2019
Metallic Purple
Origin: China
Acquired: 2019
Mods: La Bella flatwound strings, Q-Parts knobs, Schaller straplocks
Still owned: Yes

My appreciation for the Beatles is pretty well established. When we started work on PLSDSP, I figured I would need to get a Hofner violin bass like Paul McCartney played, but research showed me that he actually played a Rickenbacker on Sgt. Pepper’s. The right choice turned out to be a Variax 700, which could mimic both well and proved to be a great bass for recording.

That didn’t necessarily make the desire for a Beatle bass go away, so when I spotted a “dent & scratch” sale offering a metallic purple (!) specimen for an unbeatable price, I asked a bit. Turns out this particular batch had failed the retailer’s quality control, but the sales rep confided that if I was willing to do a little final setup work myself, I’d probably find it to be no big deal. I decided to take the risk and found the only real problem was some slightly sloppy work on the finish (in areas few would notice) and some leftover polishing compound on the fretboard, which I needed to scrub clean. That was pretty much it. For the money I saved off the original price, I was able to add a hard case and a set of the same flatwound strings Sir Paul uses and still have money left over. Putting the flats on let me drop the bridge to its lowest; I happened to have the chrome/purple knobs from the gray Dean Razor so they replaced the nondescript black MXR-style knobs, which aren’t exactly vintage anyway.

It’s super lightweight and has the usual neck dive, but a (purple) suede strap set that in order. I got a good deal and it’s a slim-necked fun-playing bass, so mark this one “fab.” 

Hofner Ignition