Hofner IGNITION Violin Bass Guitar Review


If you want a beautiful Hofner Bass at a fraction of the cost of the vintage models, this is your bass.

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The Hofner Electric Violin Bass was made famous by the Beatles own Paul McCartney for best bass guitars.  The violin shape and vintage look are what make the bass recognizable around the world, but its also the recognizable tone that made this electric bass famous.

The Ignition Violin Bass is a make of the original 70’s Violin Bass that is well made and very affordable.  The opportunity to have one of the most iconic guitars that there are for the price that it is is kind of mind blowing.

Even this cheaper model in my opinion is worth much more than it’s cost.  The Hofner Ignition SB Electric Violin Bass Guitar is essential a replica version of the Hofner Electric Bass played by Paul McCartney.  It includes the Hofner control panel, wooden bridge and Hofner tailpiece.

The short scale, four string, hollowbody Hofner Ignition bass is not necessarily a soloists instrument, it’s made for that old school thumb with the elegance and tone of an upright bass.  Since most of us don’t have the room to travel and gig with an upright bass, this is a nice option for finding that great tone. If you have kids or have small hands and want a travel-friendly acoustic, consider giving our Martin LX1 review a read.

This bass guitar is especially effective in folk, indie and Americana music but really can be used for any style.  If you want to pop out and rock, there are other versions that pack a little more punch, but this one has the pulse and low end push that is the sound of the origins of rock and roll.

Hofner Electric Violin Bass Guitar Features:

  • An iconic semi-hollow body electric bass that any serious bass player can afford
  • Flame maple back and sides topped with spruce provide plenty of natural acoustic resonance
  • Comfortable solid maple neck offers excellent sustain and phenomenal playability
  • Hofner Staple hum buckers deliver classic warm, woody, and almost acoustic-style tone
  • Full set of traditional 500/1 style tone controls let you dial the perfect sound for any gig

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it come with a case?
No it doesn’t but there is a Hofner case available that has the perfect shape.
Does it come with strings?
Yes it comes with strings.

If you can’t afford the vintage models of this bass that can get quite expensive but you wan to own one of these beautiful guitars at a very affordable price, this is the answer.  It’s not as powerful as the more expensive models, but it has that quintessential Hofner Hollowbody tone.


9.1 Expert Score

The Hofner Violin Bass Guitar comes in a range with different features at different costs, but they all have that thing.  


Obviously, we all immediately think Paul McCartney.  And for good reason – the bass playing on the Beatles tracks is remarkable in the way the tone meshes with the other instruments and supports the overall sonics, no matter what kind of song it is.  The sound is hard to describe – “woody” “hollow” “thumpy” “dark” – these come close, but it is truly a sound like no other.


For me, though, my love of this instrument really started when I first heard Chris Wood using it with Medeski Martin and Wood on the Combustication album & tour.  He still uses it with the Wood Brothers, and it is the perfect compliment to his incredible upright playing. 

  • Beautiful Guitar
  • Amazing Price
  • Signature Hofner Tone
  • Can be rough around the edges
  • Not as loud or powerful as the more expensive models