The Bass-ment

NBD - Hofner


Decided to pull the pin and get myself a Hofner Ignition 500/1. I’ve always loved these things. It’s super light and sounds great. Ordered some teacup knobs for it and found a dog lead strap too. Used it at our last gig on Saturday night for all four sets. The drummer prefers it to my RIC 4003, so does my back !!!

Is there any escape from this short scale obsession ??!!!


Congrats Rusty!

I still can't get over the fact these cost more than what i paid for my 67 500/1 back in the late 80's!


Congrats! These are a good bang for the buck!


Incredible basses, always have been. Despite their seemingly diminutive size, they've got an authoritative low end that just thunders.

Preferred over a 4003? I don't know about that. I suppose the band could just be used to the Ric, and this is extra-special as a contrast. McCartney isn't stupid, though: between the Ric and the Hofner, all basses are covered.

Maybe I should want one. There's certainly nothing else like it!



The Asian Hofners are really nice these days. Good sound and what a price point!

I just took a long train ride yesterday to go grab an early Contemporary President bass. Only a handful of earliest ones came with the Stu Sutcliffe specs, and this is one of those flukes.


hofner icon/ignition violin (& club) basses are cool..super light...i recommend you remove the bright roundwound strings and throw on some old school thumpin flatwounds...the german made hofners still come from the factory with hofner (made by pyramid) pure nickel flats!!..great strings for it!

jb-nice score!! and i see it has some black nylon tapewounds on it..for max thump..along with the double neck position pups...a classic

congrats and enjoy guys!

macca still uses his hofner in concert these days...i assume he prefers the weight over the old ric as well


ps- the ct/contemporary line has a wood block to help curb some feedback..and a slimmer more modern neck


On strings - It used to be everyone went gaga over the Pyramids. But the hype died down and a lot of guys find them to be dead sounding. You get a big fat fundamental, and not much else. It was also revealed that McCartney likes to LaBella Deep Talkin' flats in .039 to .096. Those are my favorites, too.


yeah well pure nickel strings are always going to emphasize the fundamental rather than the an acoustic upright bass does! i said why german made hofners stil come with them..

the labella flats are stainless steel..have a little more brightness initially, but then turn dark and thumpy with age...i know macca has been linked using them, but...who knows..and why?? they might have shipped him a few cartons!! haha

if i remember he had black nylons on the roof hofner

i love labella..great old school stringmakers..been around for decades!!!

but i also like pure nickel flats like thomastiks!.another old school maker!!



Great, Rusty! I got my daughter Kelli a left-handed Höfner Ignition and hard-shell case for Christmas. The store I got it from were selling them already "Beatlized" with the knobs, plain truss rod cover and restrung with Höfner strings. She's a big Beatles fan (AND left-handed!) so I thought she would love playing one. She actually teared up when she opened the case Christmas morning!


I did not know that about the strings. Thank you for the useful info.

that young lady sure looks happy with that Hoffner!


JBGretschGuy..that President looks stunning, it was considered but the BB won.

Proteus..I think the drummer prefers the overall tone of the Hofner over the Ric due to the music we play, 50’s/60’s Rock’n’Roll, Rockabilly, Country. I don’t mind, I’ll use anything.....Precision, EB-3, Musicmaster, 4003, Hofner.........!!

duojet55..nice, I may have to replace the truss rod cover, it does look better, and the teacup knobs should arrive any day. I should play left handed but when I was initially learning I got talked into playing right.

JCHiggy..a ‘60’s era 500/1was probably gonna cost me in excess of about AU$4-5000, I mighta had trouble convincing the bride !!!!

I did get a set of La Bella flats for it, they’re 50-100’s, but I’m considering dropping to the 95’s. The rounds are pretty bright. I also tried the Contemporary model but it has a centre block, weighed a fair bit more and didn’t really have ‘that sound’. Oh, and it was another $800 more.


Just a comparison of the Hofner Ignition 500/1 and my Ibanez 2357 violin bass that I’m (very) slowly repairing.


This is the set they used on my daughter's bass.


just for info...the hofner ct strings ^ are asian made..stainless steel...the real hofner flats used on their german made violin basses are pure nickel and made by pyramid..a cut above...but also 1/4 the price of the actual ignition bass!! haha

the print/logo on the trussrod cover is easily removed with a bit of automotive scratch removal compound..ala need to look for a new cover

teacups are nice touch...some even paint the switches white or swap out for even greater beatle detail

many threads on getting icon/ignition more german looking online



I’ve had a few Hofners. Every one a winner.


The flatwound Höfner Contemporary Bass sets usually go for around $28.00. They're probably better than the roundwounds which come on the bass at the factory.


Ignition basses are great! Congrats! I have a HCT Cavern spec 500/1, which I love to pieces


The flatwound Höfner Contemporary Bass sets usually go for around $28.00. They're probably better than the roundwounds which come on the bass at the factory.

– duojet55

oh yeah..any flat or nylon tapewound is better than rounds on a hof!!

but u'd do just as well getting a usa made ss flat set..

if you want to get into true vintage hofner territory then you have to go with euro made pure nickel flats...ala thomastik, pyramids or hofner (made by pyramid)

anyways...great gift..hope she enjoys!!!



Congrats on the find!
Getting a Hofner 500/1 bass was high on my bucket list, even though I'm primarily a 6-string player.

In spite of the burst finish being so definitive and iconic (ala McCartney) I sought out a black model. It actually seems even more 'Beatles' to me. I think it's the black-on-black motif, from the early years. But I also dislike burst finishes, so this was it.

I also wanted one with the teacup knobs, which seem to be harder to find these days.
As luck would have it, one of my local GC outlets brought in a gently used model, on which I promptly swooped.
I only had to buy a case for it.

Of the 3 basses I have (the others being a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz, and an Epi Jack Casady 20th annie), the Hofner holds its own ground incredibly well.

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