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Hofner Ignition series violin bass bridge replacement

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dick Pountain, Jan 19, 2019.


  1. Dick Pountain

    Dick Pountain

    Nov 18, 2017
    London
    Recently returned to bass playing, having sold my leftie Ibanez long-scale active 10 years ago. I bought a Hofner Ignition Violin bass, recent Indonesian repro, because it was cheap and looks nice. It's well made for the price, and with a bit of fettling it plays nicely enough.

    Then I saw Tina Weymouth's BBC TV documentary, where she mentioned Hofner basses and their lack of sustain (which some like, some hate). This triggered a brainstorm: I went to my box of assorted historic metal junk and found an old metal bridge from a '60s Italian horror bass, and two anonymous brass ferrule thingies. Replaced the bass's cheap wooden adjustable bridge with these, held on only by string tension (so easily reversable). It was transformational, lowered the action without buzz, clarified tone on both pickups, increased sustain enormously. £200 instrument now plays like £500. Result.
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    [​IMG] DSC03232-01.jpeg DSC03235-01.jpeg DSC03232-01.jpeg DSC03235-01.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  2. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Very cool!
     
  3. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Nice. Is it a Vox Cougar Crucianelli bridge?

    nhrstib8xf66ez7ck5s5.jpg

    I'd like to try something like it on my Hofner Club bass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  4. hotbass57

    hotbass57

    Nov 27, 2011
    Fairfield,Ohio
    Wow great idea. I just ordered a real Hofner bridge for my copy. But I like that way better.
     
  5. Dick Pountain

    Dick Pountain

    Nov 18, 2017
    London
    It was off a nameless Italian bass from the sixties, glitter paint, pretty much like the cheapo ones Framus used to do.
     
  6. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    It’s amazing that nobody has produced a commercial replacement bridge upgrade for Hofner or similar clones. The whole “fretwire in wood” bridge design is comically Borky. Cool solution with the Italian bridge. Having intonated (more or less) my son’s Jay Turser clone a few times, I’d buy an upgrade if it was available. Hipshot, get on it!
     
  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Not sure what "Borky" is, but the Hofner bridge is quite good. It maintains the character of the bass by providing a nice wood filter interface between string and body. It's also reflects the character of the bridges on many fine jazz guitars.

    H72-20B.jpg

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  8. Dick Pountain

    Dick Pountain

    Nov 18, 2017
    London
    > Is it a Vox Cougar Crucianelli bridge?

    Haven't had the instrument for 30+ years, and it definitely wasn't a Vox, but that looks like the same bridge - probably used by several makers back then.
     
  9. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    "Borky" is local vernacular for "doesn't work well", or "overly complicated". Any intonation on a Hofner with the standard bridge is a little iffy at best. I worked out a technique marking position with tape , tapping it incrementally with a dowel, where you can accurately intonate the E and G strings, the A and D will always be approximate, and usually good enough if you stay out of the "dusty" end. You can move the fretwire saddles, but its always at least a little out of whack. What I'd like to see is a floating wood bridge with the wheel adjusters to maintain the classic look, but an adjustable saddle insert. Does such a bridge exist?
     
  10. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I guess it's all a case of degrees of acceptability. The intonation on my violin bass with the Hofner-style bridge is actually far better than on my U-Bass. AFAIK there is no bridge like the one you describe. Perhaps I'm wrong about that - I was wrong once before.

    Well actually it turns out I was right before, so I was wrong about thinking I was wrong, so even though I was right, I was wrong. So I really was wrong about something once before. Though the thing I was wrong about was not the thing I was right about. And perhaps it is wrong of me to go on about this. So maybe I have been wrong three times now? Right? Or am I wrong about that?
     
  11. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Well, your wrong about being wrong, right?:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Right, wrong.

    I think it's alright to be wrong, so long as you're not all wrong, which is not alright. And sometimes being left is right, but being right is never left. And if it's wrong to be right, what's left? I guess you just give the last rites to the rights.

    Can we talk about basses for a while?
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  13. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    So, having finally got my son’s Jay Turser clone reasonably well intonated, we keep it that way by changing one string at a time,and marking the corners of the bridge with tape before re-stringing. It helps to not use an electronic tuner too much, down that road lies madness with this bridge. It came with crappy rounds, but we recently got some Hofner scale Labella Deep Talkin Flats on it, sounds great! Now if we could just figure out the bizarre control layout......
     
  14. Dick Pountain

    Dick Pountain

    Nov 18, 2017
    London
    Control layout is 75% rational, 25% mad. Bass On gives neck, Treble On gives bridge, both On turns them *off*, both off turns them *on*. As you guys say, go figure...
     
  15. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I have tried to understand the rational process behind that switching layout, and failed,so I guess you just get Down with the Sickness.
     
    Dick Pountain likes this.
  16. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    That would work if you made an ebony or rosewood base for it, there isn't any wood below to sink those studs into.
     
  17. BassBeginer64

    BassBeginer64 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2018
    Riverside Ca
    Floating Bridge Question
    Is there much of a difference from the German one vs; China one?
     
  18. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
  19. Ghook

    Ghook Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2018
    Eastern US
    Interesting set up. Not sure if I want sustain on my Ignition. I had a floating bridge on my Framus Star (/149 ) and as almost all basses back then (mid 60's) it had flats. Once intonated you made sure nothing hit the bridge and you simply had little reason to change flats on a hollow body bass, they simply got thumpier as time wore on. It was a pain intonating my Ignition. I did it with the crappy rounds it came with and changed to LaBella Flats, one string at a time. It's in tune well past the 12th, a region of the fretboard left unplayed by most of us back in the day.
     

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