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Hofner icon questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by VWbug, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. VWbug


    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    I've been reading the threads about the Hofner Icon on Talkbass for quite awhile.

    Looked at one again when I stupidly went to GC and found I was really intrigued by it.

    Some of the surprising things I found was.

    To "my" ears it sounded nice deep and woody acoustic bass like, without being prone to feedback like ABGs I'd had in the past and in a much more comfortable easy to handle compact instrument.

    I had often read threads where people strongly advocate Flats. I found it sounded great with the stock rounds and I ALWAYS get rid of the original strings when I buy a bass, they are ussually terrible.

    I generally play Jazz basses but this short scale had me playing different note choices and things, I guess by the virtue of the short scale?

    If I went for it, I'd want to get an SKB type molded case for better protection but haven't seen any on line.

    Any wisdom by folks that have one and like it as a pleasent change up able to do regular gigs? Ive not really ever been a real Beatles fan but this little bass seems to have some real potential. :)

    Thanks for any input.:cool:
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've used my Ignition violin and club basses with Labella nylon tapes for everything I play including rock, jazz, reggae, folk, roots, country, swing, and even the two Beatles songs we sometimes cover...but not metal...I don't play that too much.
  3. I own three Icons. They are great basses, pretty darn close to the German-made "real thing" for the money, and unlike other violin basses, this one is branded Hofner, if that matters.

    The stock rounds are fine if that's your tone. Many players want to get something closer to the McCartney thud, and flats are almost a prerequisite for that. But there's nothing wrong with rounds.

    I bought mine a few years ago, and they came bundled with a nice violin-shaped hardshell that was a perfect fit for the bass. There are one or two aftermarket case makers that make the violin-shaped hardshell as well. You can hunt them down on eBay and such.

    As for scale, I think if you're a guitar player you will especially appreciate a shortscale bass. When I play my Hofners and other short scales, I'm zipping around like a...well, like a guitar player! I think this was part of the appeal for McCartney (also a guitar player), who had strung up guitars with bass and low piano strings.

    You can definitely gig most styles of music with a violin bass, I'm seeing them more and more. They might have limitations at some extremes, but I've played a few sets of classic rock with one. Good for way more than Beatles music.
  4. bill reed

    bill reed

    Apr 2, 2012
    I use roto tru-bass 88s on my beatles bass and it reall does make a big diffrence. i also like the way you feel the vibration through the body of the bass even when playing unpluged.
    no other bass feels or sounds like a viola beatles bass.
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  6. My little Icon B has the most bottom end of any of my basses. I strung it with La Bella Beatle Bass strings. I'm not a big fan of short scale basses, but on this bass it's like part of the whole package.
  7. RED J

    RED J Lol Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    Love mine. Dig it with rounds. YMMV.
  8. VWbug


    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey

    Sorry MJAC28. No offense meant. I guess I was just trying to say I was appreciating the Tone from the direction of it sounding like a nice ABG, not as specifically emulating a Beatle type of vibe.:cool:

    Thanks Folks. I appreciate all the info and thoughts. Nice to be a member here and gain valuable experince from others. This site is a REAL resource.:cool:

    Along with the good case issue, I find myself mulling over the Black or Sunburst color choice. Maybe it really doesn't matter. Beauty is as beauty does.:)
  9. I love my Hofner Icon. Get one. It won't break the bank and you will love playing the thing. I bought a case for mine for $65.
  10. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    It is a very cool bass guitar with a very unique sound.
    Constructed more like a double bass than a solid body bass guitar, you get a woody warmth with initial punch to the note without ringing sustain and a note that decays fairly quickly. This instrument is gig-able quality.

    Very close string spacing takes some getting used to. Workmanship is good, frets a even and highly polished.
  11. These are wonderful basses. I've played Hofners for over 40 years and my Ignition (formerly known as Icon) model is my favorite. Put good flats on it and it's terrific.
    Just make sure you get the correct length, for Hofners.
  12. VWbug


    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    Thanks. Appreciate all the info.:cool:
  13. VWbug


    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    I did it and I'm having a BLAST! :D