Help ID Höfner model, and rough valuation

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dinosaur Punk, Mar 5, 2014.


  1. Dinosaur Punk

    Dinosaur Punk A dinosaur that likes punk music, or vice-versa? Supporting Member

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    May 15, 2008
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    Near Chicago Illinois USA
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    Endorsing Artist: DNA Cabinets
    I'm looking into a trade deal, but the owner doesn't know exact specs on his "Beatle Bass"

    He says:
    It is fully Hollow. I purchased it new about two years ago and I am about 75% certain that it is an Ignition series and was made in Indonesia... Do you know how I can distinguish between the Chinese Icon and Indonesian Ignition?

    I replaced the modern black knobs with tea cup knobs like on the original '60's.

    It says "HI-Series" on the truss rod cover... From one google search I thought that backed up the Ignition but from another it seems they might have used the same cover. From a few forum searches I can't really get any concrete idea between the difference between the two.

    This bass does not have a zero fret. Beyond that I am having trouble determining the difference between whether this is Icon and Ignition (or something else?).

    Does anyone have a clearer idea on identification of this bass, and a rough USD value?

    Thanks!

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  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    From what I understand the only difference between the Chinese Icon and Indonesian Ignition is the country of origin. The zero fret is on the CT and German models as far as value I would say in the $300.00 dollar range used.
  3. Redrama

    Redrama

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    Finland
    The ignition has a white pickguard and different kind of volume switches. Can't see any other differences compared to mine.
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  4. Dinosaur Punk

    Dinosaur Punk A dinosaur that likes punk music, or vice-versa? Supporting Member

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    Thanks. Good to know.
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  6. Dinosaur Punk

    Dinosaur Punk A dinosaur that likes punk music, or vice-versa? Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Yeah, the owner swapped out the knobs for teacup-style.

    He also has the pick-guard, but never mounted it.
  7. Redrama

    Redrama

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
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    Finland
    Well, for value, thomann used to sell Ignitions with a solid case for 250€
  8. Troels Schmidt

    Troels Schmidt

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    The Hofner Icon and Ignition basses are the same. Both made in Asian factories and using only Asian produced parts. From 2006 to 2010 it was called Icon - and from 2010 to this very day it's called Ignition. The idea of building these violin basses in Asian factrories is the opportunity to utilise the low production costs - in Indonesia for instance.

    The Hofner 500/1 CT is very different. It's made in a German factory located in Beijing using exactly the same moulds, jigs, presses - and construction procedures - as the violin basses coming out of Hagenau in Germany. They are identical - except for the finish type (polyesther), the pots and switches, and the inside mounted sustain block in the CT's - and of course the price. Even the Chinese crew is trained i Hagenau, Germany - and the Hofner factory in Beijing is one of only a handfull western factories that has obtained a Chinese production and export license from the Chinese government. So there truly is a huge difference in build quality between the CT and Icon/Ignition.
  9. Treadstone71

    Treadstone71

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Dinosaur, ask the person you're trading with to unscrew the control panel and lift it off.

    Inside the body cavity (directly beneath it) will be the serial number label and "made in" information.
  10. Troels Schmidt

    Troels Schmidt

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    If some of you are interested in Hofner violin basses - more than just playing it - you should get your hands on this book: "Hofner, The complete violin bass story" - Steve Russel & Nick Wass. (ISBN 978-1-57424-291-1). That's from where I got the information above about the 500/1 CT, Icon and Ignition. I do btw own both a CT and an Ignition - an they are very different in construction and build quality - particularly when you take a look into the guts... Only the CT has a body shape exactly like the German build ones. But that said CT's are of very high quality whereas the Icon/Ignition is a bit more down to the earth - still being quite fine.
  11. Redrama

    Redrama

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    Location:
    Finland
    In other words, the Ignition is the poor mans höfner.
  12. Troels Schmidt

    Troels Schmidt

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    No, it's a bass made to a price... You don't have to be poor to get one ;)
  13. Dinosaur Punk

    Dinosaur Punk A dinosaur that likes punk music, or vice-versa? Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    I went ahead and traded for it. I liked the sound, and the information here helped a lot - so thanks.

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    I still don't see information about which model or country of origin though:

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    Is there a serial number decoder for Höfners like we have for Fenders and Gibsons somewhere? Or can anyone here tell?
  14. mcarp555

    mcarp555

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    Location:
    East Midlands, United Kingdom
    It's an Ignition. The "Icon" name was meant for use only in North America, but for trademark reasons, they discovered they couldn't use it, so now they're all "Ignitions" (previously on another thread I had the names backwards).

    My understanding is most of them are made in Indonesia. There's probably no difference between them and the Chinese models, tho. I doubt even Hofner would know (or care) which was which.

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