The Bass-ment

NBD - Hofner Ignition Cavern Bass

1

When I moved to DC, I fell in with a group of guys who jammed on Beatles tunes every Sunday. This jam has recently morphed into a cover band project.

It's a four-piece, where all of us are wearing multiple hats. Right now, I am playing the accoustic, singing, and playing bass (not all at the same time).

It turns out that I'm going to be playing bass about 60% of the time. I sold my Epi Viola bass during my great guitar purge, so I needed to get a bass. Thus I bought a Hofner Ignition Cavern Bass. I am surprised by how well-made these are.

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2

Congrats Andy! That looks killer.

3

Nice. I see you took care of the tea cup knobs mandatory mod. I have the Club shape one. I like these better than the $700 "Contemporary" series because they don't have the tone block and sound more woody as a result. Do yourself, your fingers and your ears a favor and get some flat wound strings. My fingers are still thanking me and they sound much more Fab on this model. I prefer the look without the pick guard, but that's just me.

4

I'm in Bethesda. Let me know when you are playing out.

5

Nice. I see you took care of the tea cup knobs mandatory mod. I have the Club shape one. I like these better than the $700 "Contemporary" series because they don't have the tone block and sound more woody as a result. Do yourself, your fingers and your ears a favor and get some flat wound strings. My fingers are still thanking me and they sound much more Fab on this model. I prefer the look without the pick guard, but that's just me.

– Bob Howard

The only thing keeping me from the Contemporary Cavern was the center block . . .no es bueno.

It is sporting Rotosounds Jazz Monel flats.

I will keep you posted. Our maiden voyage is a Sunday, early evening, birthday party/fund raiser gig at Haydee's in Mt Pleasant. February 19th @ 5pm. Come on down, Bob! Lots of Beatles tunes in the set!

6

Cool bass! I had one of the regular non-cavern ones that input those old guild humbuckers in (great pickups!). They are great playing and very comfortable. How variable is the tone with the pickups being close together?

7

Cool bass! I had one of the regular non-cavern ones that input those old guild humbuckers in (great pickups!). They are great playing and very comfortable. How variable is the tone with the pickups being close together?

– Cirecc

I don't have a bass amp at home, so I will find out at practice today. I don't know how variable I need the tone to be. Fortunately, we do have a p-bass handy, but I look like Danny Partridge when I play a full-scale bass.

8

Danny is a bad ass. Really, how much variability do you need? If you have to pop and slap funky-like, grab a Fender.

9

I'm just curious about it he bass as an instrument. I'm not judging it. I play a lot of bass (I don't pop or slap) and just wanted to know. My guess is that it will basically have one sound, but thought maybe I was wrong.

Again, I liked mine when I had it, though it wasn't the cavern style. I will probably get another Hofner someday as they are so comfortable to play, especially while singing.

10

I'm just curious about it he bass as an instrument. I'm not judging it. I play a lot of bass (I don't pop or slap) and just wanted to know. My guess is that it will basically have one sound, but thought maybe I was wrong.

Again, I liked mine when I had it, though it wasn't the cavern style. I will probably get another Hofner someday as they are so comfortable to play, especially while singing.

– Cirecc

It's a valid question, if just from a perspective of functionality. The pickup configuration certainly begs that question. Once I put it through the paces at practice, I will give a full report.

11

I must admit I've never had the opportunity to play a violin Hofner bass, but I sure do like the looks of them. Congrats.

12

I must admit I've never had the opportunity to play a violin Hofner bass, but I sure do like the looks of them. Congrats.

– Bear

They are fun to play, Bear. On you, it would probably look like an actual violin . . .just like that pic of Howlin' Wolf playing a P or Jazz bass, which he made look like a Strat.

13

The Ignition Cavern performed very well at practice . . . I, on the other hand, was just ok.

Right now, I'm playing with the Solo circuit on (bass boost), and the Bass and Treble circuit in the Off position, which engages both pickups . . .strangely enough.

To my ears, this is the best tone for our situation. The guys really loved how it sounded . . .lots of presence and lots of thump, w/o being boomy.

I messed with turning the Solo circuit to Rhythm, which immediately knocked down the presence. The neck pickup by itself sounded pretty good, maybe a little boomy; and the rear pickup sounded a little fiddly, but not bad.

I wouldn't say it's totally a "One-Trick-Pony", but one trick is all we need. I suppose there is more tone shaping possibilities depending on the amp being used, but I am happy as a clam with how it played and sounded . . . not bad for a $340.00 bass.

14

Usually, bass needs no other tricks. You rarely see a bass player with a pedal board. If you do, he's probably bored.

15

Usually, bass needs no other tricks. You rarely see a bass player with a pedal board. If you do, he's probably bored.

– Bob Howard

True that, Bob. And I'm not even a bass player . . . I am the odd-man-out, rhythm guitarist of this project. No Bootsie in my future. Johnny Rootnote all the way.

16

Got news for you. You are a bass player. Embrace it and have fun. Better to have a Johnny Footnote as a bass player than a Jaco wannabe.

17

I must admit I've never had the opportunity to play a violin Hofner bass, but I sure do like the looks of them. Congrats.

– Bear

Bear, the Hofner violin bass just might be the lightest-weighing bass ever made. It is stunning just how light it is. I can imagine that, at the end of the evening, McCartney didn't really feel nearly as tired as Harrison or Lennon did.

18

Got news for you. You are a bass player. Embrace it and have fun. Better to have a Johnny Footnote as a bass player than a Jaco wannabe.

– Bob Howard

Auto-correct hit the nail on the head . . . as a bass player, I AM Johnny Footnote!

19

Usually, bass needs no other tricks. You rarely see a bass player with a pedal board. If you do, he's probably bored.

– Bob Howard

While it is true that bass>cable>amp can be a wonderful thing, especially in "roots" music, there's a lot more to bass than that. Just as an example, here's a link to a thread of giant effect board builders... please note that's part 3 and they are on to page 294...

20

icon/ignition violins are good bang for the buck... teacup knobs & some flatwounds make it that much better..super lightweight...

just keep an eye on that bridge..it tends to lean from the tension...hofner goofed with the tailpiece length to make it different from the german mades...and the bridge can lean on those posts

the icon/ignition club is also a great bass (for the $$$)..& sans the overt beatle reference

cheers

21

icon/ignition violins are good bang for the buck... teacup knobs & some flatwounds make it that much better..super lightweight...

just keep an eye on that bridge..it tends to lean from the tension...hofner goofed with the tailpiece length to make it different from the german mades...and the bridge can lean on those posts

the icon/ignition club is also a great bass (for the $$$)..& sans the overt beatle reference

cheers

– neatone

Thanks, neatone! I've been keeping my eye on the bridge with that very thing in mind! No sign of tilt yet.

22

You won't find too many basses lighter than these, except a Kay pocket Bass or a Guild Ashbory.

23

Or a Steinberger, or Kala U-Bass:


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