Hofner Ignition Violin Bass, Sweetwater Exclusive - Tea Cup Knobs & La Bella Flatwound Strings

4-string Hollowbody Electric Bass with Spruce Top, Flame Maple Back and Sides, 2 Humbucking Pickups, La Bella Flatwound Strings, and Upgraded Knobs - Sunburst
Hofner Ignition Violin Bass, Sweetwater Exclusive - Tea Cup Knobs & La Bella Flatwound Strings image 1
Hofner Ignition Violin Bass, Sweetwater Exclusive - Tea Cup Knobs & La Bella Flatwound Strings image 1
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Hofner Ignition Violin Bass, Sweetwater Exclusive - Tea Cup Knobs & La Bella Flatwound Strings
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A Limited-edition, Upgraded Violin Bass

Get closer to the classic violin bass sound than ever before with this limited-edition, short-scale Hofner Ignition Violin Bass hollowbody bass guitar. The maple body topped with spruce offers up cannon-like projection and a focused sound. Capture the classic sound and feel of a violin bass at far-less-than-vintage prices. To make this Violin Bass even more special, we've added tea cup knobs for a vintage Hofner look and strung it up with La Bella flatwound strings to put the quintessential Hofner sound right at your fingertips - all at an incredible price! Get signature Hofner bass tones with this limited-edition Hofner Ignition Violin Bass.

Hofner Ignition Violin Electric Bass Guitar at a Glance:
  • From the company that brought you the original
  • Upgraded with La Bella flatwound strings and tea cup knobs
  • Fit, finish, electronics, and playability are all top notch
From the company that brought you the original

Hofner wrote the book on the short-scale hollowbody style of electric bass guitar. In the hands of Sir Paul McCartney, the Violin Bass helped change the world with its unique design. If you close your eyes and remember all of those classic bass lines filling out and propelling the rock 'n' roll soundtrack, this is that sound. Take it from Sweetwater - no one knows that big thump sound better than Hofner. There have been many imitators, but only one true original. Don't play an imitation of the sound you're after. Play the real deal with the Hofner Ignition Violin Bass.

Upgraded with La Bella flatwound strings and tea cup knobs

This bass is not about cutting through, it's about that thump, that pulse. A key component of that signature sound is the strings. To give you the unmistakable Hofner tone, we've strung up this Ignition Violin Bass with La Bella flatwound strings that really bring out the character you've heard on legendary recordings from Liverpool's most famous band. And hey, if it's good enough for Paul, it's good enough for us.

Fit, finish, electronics, and playability are all top notch

One thing that's universally praised about these Hofner basses is that the fit and finish are just about flawless. Not only that, but the electronics package is as good as you could ask for - not always the case with vintage instruments. And not bad for a bass that costs about as much as you would pay for a vintage equivalent's tuning key. You'll get a great playing, great feeling bass with all the vibe of yesterday, but with all the reliability of today.

Hofner Ignition Violin Electric Bass Guitar Features:
  • Limited-edition Violin bass with premium La Bella flatwound strings and teacup control knobs
  • Short-scale hollowbody bass from a company that helped change the world
  • Hear and feel the warm round tone from the fully hollowbody
  • The shorter scale length delivers classic thump
  • Electronics offer on/off switches and a solo/rhythm switch
  • Hofner staple pickups give the authentic Hofner sound
  • All the vintage goodness, for a very non-vintage price
The limited-edition Hofner Ignition Violin Bass nails one of rock's ultimate bass tones!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Bass Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Body Shape Violin
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Number of Strings 4
Color Sunburst
Body Material Spruce Top, Flame Maple Back and Sides
Neck Material Maple
Fingerboard Material Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlay Dots
Number of Frets 22
Scale Length 30"
Nut Width 1.653"
Bridge/Tailpiece Rosewood Bridge/Trapeze Nickel Tailpiece
Tuners Nickel
Number of Pickups 2
Neck Pickup Hofner Ignition Staple Nickel
Bridge Pickup Hofner Ignition Staple Nickel
Controls 2 x volume, Rhythm/Solo Switch, Bass Switch, Treble Switch
Strings La Bella Flatwounds
Case Included No case included
Manufacturer Part Number HIBB - UPGRADE

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
Write your review

Great little Bass,Just like the old ones.

I had one of these back in the day. It was a 1963. As most of you guitar players know the story. Things happen and it was traded for something else. Always chasseing the "new better" Thing. Most of the time we look back and say I had one, wish I still did. One day on a whim I saw this on sweetwaters site and bought it. I thought for the money what could I lose? I have to tell you I lost Nothing this cheap little base feels, looks and sounds just like the real thing. I hate to bust your vintage bubble but I have owned a ton of vintage gear and most of the time it is not what it is cracked up to be. We tend to let the prestige of bragging over our vintage( what ever) to cloud our judgment. Heck the best Strats I have ever owned are made in Mexico (And I have owned a ton of them). Any way check this out you may be surprised what you get for the money. Oh and by the way the old vintage ones are just as light and sound the same, They feel as if they will fall apart. But they don't. As usual Sweetwaters team and service is FANTASTIC!!! Thanks Dan Overstreet and all the crew. Great job guys/gals!!!!

Great sounding bass

I'm a pianist first, a guitarist second and a bassist last, so I'm not a bass aficionado or anything like that. But I do a lot of home studio recording. I've got a nice '70s Fender P-bass that I typically use when overdubbing bass lines, but I thought it would be nice to have a Hofner bass for some variety. As a Beatle fan since way back, I always liked the classic, plunky bass sound of the early-to-mid Beatles recordings, and this Hofner really delivers, despite the low price tag compared to the German made model. I love the rich sound of this guitar. It arrived set up beautifully from Sweetwater. There are no surface defects or evidence of any shoddy or rushed workmanship. The LaBella flatwound strings that came with it are really the way to go--just a wonderful silky sound. Of course, flat wounds were the only option for electric bass guitars back when McCartney made this bass famous, so they are very true to the original sound and feel. One thing I appreciate--and many electric guitarists probably would as well--is the short 30-inch scale. The size of the guitar and the fret distances are instantly familiar and comfortable to a guitarist. It's less of a handful than a typical bass. Plus the lightness of the instrument is wonderful. You could pay up to thousands for a German crafted Hofner, and it may be marginally better, but it's hard to beat the price of one of these beauties for what you get.
Music background: Former Pro Musician, Current Hobbyist

Always wanted to have one and now I do.

Getting the inner box open and pulling away the foam sheets, the first glimpse of this instrument took my breath. Utterly gorgeous. A carpenter's and luthier's masterpiece. Thank you Mr. Hofner and Sons and Sir Paul McCartney for making this beautiful instrument, and making it famous. I got her in my hands and played the Day Tripper opening riff, which I have had memorized since that song was new on the radio. Yeow. Hair stood up on my neck. The bass sounded exactly the way I had imagined and hoped it might, not like other basses but like the one on the record. Pretty exciting. I really like this Hofner. After I've had it a little longer, I know I will report that I really love it. The La Bella flatwound strings that came with this configuration by Sweetwater just make the smoothest, creamiest, bass sound, wow, lovely! No trouble at all getting the sound I wanted through the amp with the switches and (teacup) knobs on the instrument panel. It's not set up the same way as a Fender is, for example, but if you're willing to start with a clean slate in your head it's easy to understand and get just the sound you want from the switches and pickups. Was for me, anyway. I've read about people customizing the instrument panel and pickups, but I am not a tinkerer by nature and come from the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school. And this bass is anything but broken. It just sounds and looks so gorgeous. No wonder it has never been out of production since it first appeared in 1956, and isn't much changed from the original. As an Aussie friend of mine used to say, "She's a RIPPAH!" (A huge compliment, by the way.) For the style of music I play, 60s pop, classic rock, heavy rock, psychedlic rock, this is the bass for me, sound wise, and affordable. Plus, I always wanted to have one and now I do.
Music background: Intermediate level, amateur. Playing guitar since junior high, adding more time on bass, drums, and mandolin since retirement.


Not a complaint to be had; this is the sound this produces blew me away on the first note, and it was set up perfectly with perfect intonation. The strings are an incredible improvement over the standard stock strings it would normally come with. The customer service is fantastic at this place; even sent me pics after my order was processed so I could see the exact instrument I was getting (even sent me a pic of the serial number). This bass not only plays like a dream, but the added features that they included really set it off to also being a beautiful instrument visually as well.

Excellent acoustic sound

I love my new Hofner Ignition Bass. Unplugged it sounds so much like my Lidal hand crafted in the Chech Republic 3/4 Upright Bass, but it is so much easier to play. Plus my Hofner bass weighs only 4 lbs 13 ounces. I have seen lighter versions here at Sweetwater, but honestly I am very happy with the weight of mine.I play it mostly unplugged and that's strange because I have two Ampeg Bass amps. But the unplugged tone is the actual tone of an acoustic upright bass so that's why I play it unplugged all day and all night long. I enjoy the tone, I love this bass.I know that everyone raves about the Sweetwater 55 point set up and Evaluation but this is my second Hofner where the output jack was so loose it would fall out in another day's playing. The first one on my Hofner Contemporary Verythin Guitar did fall out. Lucky for me on my second day of owning this fine bass as I was wiping it down I heard the sound of the jack being ready to fall off. I'm not going to praise the tech who missed this, nope not at all. He failed at his job. Actually there are two techs who signed the 55 point Evaluation card- and they both missed it.Also the next evening I found the middle screws holding the pick guard to the metal bracket was also very loose and soon would fall out. Hey guy's what gives? Can't you just go through the instrument and check off each inspection point properly, one at a time instead of signing the card signifying you checked "everything"?Lastly the fret buzz on the G string second fret was so bad I thought to myself I have to return the instrument. It's faulty. But I kind of knew it just was not set up correctly. So, since I am used to setting up all my instruments I knew what to do. The neck looked right to me so I raised the string height or action as we all call it. I raised it a lot, a real lot to get a clean sound from that string and that fret. She now plays perfectly and easily with no effort and sound like an acoustic bass. Since I play a real upright bass I am used to high action, very high action because that's how they are made. I can not tolerate any fret buss at all on any stringed instrument. Possibly because I play many fretless stringed instruments from all over the world. I like a clean sound. I play the violin and when I was 45 years younger I once lowered the strings all the way down to the finger board thinking it would be easier to play. I discovered it ruined the tone. Funny that most players want very low action. Not me, I want the best tone that each instrument can give me and that means a an action high enough so there is no buzzing. I feel it also improves the tone, allowing the strings to vibrate normally without a fret interfering. Now, I have a moderately priced, affordable Hofner Hollow body bass that thrills me as I play. The tones are constantly reminding me of songs I have listed to all my life. She's got tone all day and all night long. She is a keeper. I very highly recommend this instrument to anyone who likes to play bass. Anyone! Your ears will be thanking you. If you are the kind of person who can draw inspiration from good tone then you will be well served with this instrument.Peter
See also: Hofner, Hofner 4-string Bass Guitars