The Hofner Ignition is a very inexpensive Hofner Violin Bass manufactured in Indonesia. Retailing at about $400 (shop around), this bass is constructed in the same way and uses the same types wood as the German made version. A hollow sound box with very thin neck and tight string spacing and two humbuckers makes a unique sound.
I bought this bass on whim because in all may collection of professional instruments, I have nothing similar to this instrument. I bought it expecting it be more of a novelty than a playable instrument. Having been inspired by McCartney as young boy, it seemed like something to have in my collection.
The bass sports a spruce laminated top, and flamed maple laminated back and sides. Yes, flamed maple, not photo flame, and a rosewood fingerboard. I replaced the round wounds that came on the bass with Deep Talkin flats.
Fret work is perfectly done, level and highly polished. Intonation is right on from the factory, truss rod needed to be tightened a little.
The electronics are well..... weird! Not anything new to Hofner, they are weird. Switches labeled "on treble" or "on bass" on really mean, it shuts off the opposite pickup. Two volume controls, no tone control except a switch labeled lead or rhythm, which basically removes all tone and punch in the rhythm position. I think we leave that switch in the lead position.
The tone of this bass has a thud to the initial string attack much like an upright bass. Understandable, as the construction is more similar to double bass, than a solid body bass guitar. The body of the instrument resonates and you feel the notes in way you do not with a solid body bass. The neck pickup has a silkiness and warmth that is very pleasing. The treble pickup is more useful as way to bring brightness and articulation when mixed with the neck pickup than by itself (at lease with flatwounds)
This bass is challenging to play with a very narrow neck and narrow sting spacing. I find this is a bass that is better played with a pick at least until I get used to the very narrow string spacing.
I used the bass on a gig last night and to my surprise, it cut through the rhythm section and sounded awesome for soul, and classic rock tunes. Not great for everything but where it works, it was just great. It just has such a unique sound and it moves air differently than any of my other basses.
This may not be the bass to own as your only bass, but it is really well constructed and sounds great. It is an exceptional instrument at this price and it is very unique sounding.