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Hofner ignition or Cavern ignition?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by vonbirner, May 15, 2016.

  1. vonbirner


    May 15, 2016
    I'm getting my first Hofner (hopefully!) next week, and I can't decide between the standard ignition or the cavern. What are some of the main differences? Not only in sound, but does the pickup placements on the cavern make it difficult or uncomfortable to play closer to the neck? Your insight would be greatly appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  2. primussucks9126

    primussucks9126 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    Bronx, NY
    I've got the cavern ignition, and I like it.

    If anything, it makes easier to play near the neck since the moved up pickup is closer and gives your thumb another anchor point up close.

    Personally, I don't like pickups right up against the bridge. Too thin on its own, and when combined with the neck pickup, I think it sounds like a cow (I know that's an absurd description).

    You can't get the bite out of the bridge pickup on the cavern, but I think it's a great sounding bass.

    I put pyramid gold flats on mine, but I think I got a bad set because there's all kinds of weird overtones on the A string. Replaced the A with a daddario chrome flat and the overtones were gone.

    Hope this helps!
    staurosjohn and vonbirner like this.
  3. ecadad


    Sep 4, 2011
    I would go standard; there's a reason Paul stuck with the one with moved pickups. (In sure both are great though! I'm hoping to get a Hofner too!)
  4. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mine has the standard spacing; I haven't had the chance to try a Cavern. The Cavern won't give the bite and twang of the bridge pickup on the standard, but I wonder if the middle pickup could be quite useful on its own--sort of in the P-bass spot, isn't it? Here's a good demo:

    With the standard spacing, the soloed bridge pickup isn't a very useful tone (unless you're going for some sort of low-fi AM radio sound). The three tone settings I use are neck pup soloed (using the "Bass On" switch), the neck pup soloed by turning the bridge pup all the way down (brighter sounding than the "Bass On" setting due to capacitor switching), and varying degrees of bridge pup mixed in with the neck pickup. (In that sense, the bridge pickup works a bit like a tone control.) Sounds great. Really, I don't think you'll go wrong either way!
    staurosjohn likes this.
  5. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    I think the questions, for Cavern dwellers/ehm, owners, are:
    -does the back pickup have a usable tone on its own?
    -does the bass sound good with both pickups on?

    And more importantly:
    Hofner Cavern vs. Contemporary?
    I thought I was imagining things when I opened that thread and didn't find early posts I remembered reading...
    (Yep, I wrote a near-identical post there.)
  6. coolrays

    coolrays Commercial User

    Aug 23, 2017
    A/V Director - Keeley Electronics
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I'm looking into both options as well and I have the exact same question.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this?
  7. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I'm seriously considering adding a middle pickup to my Ignition Club since I'm not a fan of bridge pickups either alone or in combination ("sounds like a cow" I like that) and I like the sound of the cavern spacing on my Rumblekat.
  8. coolrays

    coolrays Commercial User

    Aug 23, 2017
    A/V Director - Keeley Electronics
    I'm leaning heavily towards Cavern model. I like neck pickup sounds better in general and I'm wanting a fatter sound anyway, so...

    I know they're MiC, but can anyone attest to the quality? I understand that it's not top of the line, but I just need a sound that's close without spending $1000+.
  9. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Can you clarify: are you thinking Ignition or Contemporary? They both sound great, but the build and aesthetics are nicer on the Contemporary line, and they use Hofner's German-made pickups. (And the Contemporary line is made at the Hofner-owned and run factory in China, with Hofner-trained employees.) The Ignition models, while contracted for Hofner, are good basses, too, so you can't really lose.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    chip134 likes this.
  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    If they're anything like my MIC Icon 500/1, Contemporary 500/5 and Galaxie basses the quality is very good.

    The quality of my MII Club bass is on a par with the MIC.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  11. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Rogue VB-100.jpg Well, it's not a Hofner, but it's configured like the "normal" 500/1 - what Hofner seems to be calling the "Mersey" Bass these days. I guess it just depends on what you want from the thing. On mine? Yes, the bridge P/U output is noticeably lower than the neck P/U. Not a lot of string vibration going on, back there. Especially with tapewounds...:rolleyes: IMO, about the best you can do with it, in that position, is flavor the neck pick up. Which is what I do... If you're after maximum out put from both pick ups, I'd say the Cavern model would be the way to go...:whistle:
  12. coolrays

    coolrays Commercial User

    Aug 23, 2017
    A/V Director - Keeley Electronics
    Interesting about the differences between contemporary and ignition.

    Now I am on the hunt for a Contemporary Cavern.

  13. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Good on ya. The CTs are lovely instruments. Looks like Beatle Bass Dealer might have the Cavern model in stock. (It's no longer listed on the Hofner website, so out of production? They do show an Ignition Cavern.)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
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