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Hofner VS Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GabrielB, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Hofner

    18 vote(s)
  2. J-bass

    20 vote(s)
  1. GabrielB


    Jul 2, 2017
    Hey everyone, first time posting here.
    I wanna get a 2nd bass since I only own one mij P-bass which I love with all my heart.
    I've been drawn to getting a guitar that's basically the opposite of a P just so I could experience what it's like to play something completely different, ie a Hofner Club Ignition bass. Short-scale, hollow body, flatwounds; overall a much smaller and more modest sounding guitar. People have either recommended it or bashed it to me but I still think it's a doll for certain sounds an feels I wanna get when playing different things.
    Now here's the predicament - I've been playing Fenders since I first started. I've owned a couple of J's before buying my P. I never really cared for them, until just recently when I've fallen for their feel and giant sound, and although I still want a bass that's different than a P, I've been having second thoughts about it.
    A mij J-bass would be dreamy and just a little more expensive than an Ignition Club bass.
    So, should I get something different, or should I get something that'll better cover my territory? I play in a power trio and in an electronic-acoustic group, so the P-bass has been perfect for it so far.
    Any thoughts and opinions anyone might have about this whole ordeal would be much appreciated.
  2. I had a Hofner beatle bass, which is currently owned by my brother,I used that bass on multiple recordings and man, the tone is spectacular for that warm thump. weighing about 5 lbs. it won't be hard on the ol' back.
    Have you ever played a hofner bass? Your best bet is always to try before you buy, you may discover that the neck or string spacing maybe not quite to your liking.
    Anyway, thats just my 2 cents...
  3. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    Want to be "different"; go for the Hofner.
    If playing for a living; go for the J.

    With a P and a J you will handle most any gig that comes in you way.
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I've owned a few Hofners and clones. They always get sold due to how they feel, their severe neck dive, and their lack of tonal flexibility.
    BassChuck likes this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Hofner is a one trick pony thump - good if that works for you. The J will expand your tone options.

    Do you want steak or a taco?
  6. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    My two favorite sounds are Fender Precision and Hofner, so that's my vote. But the Hofner will feel very different from your Fender (even 'wrong' at first), so try before you buy. In my case it took a couple of times at the shop really sitting down and taking the bass on its own terms, and then it clicked for me. Now I find my Hofner the most comfortable of any bass I've tried (no neck dive, by the way), and of course the tone is fantastic (and fits with a wide variety of genres/groups). But you need to spend some time figuring out if the instrument is a good fit for you. (And if it is, and you can afford it, the Contemporary (CT) models are excellent.) Also, a Hofner should sound fabulous in your electronic-acoustic group.
  7. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I gig my Hofner Ignition Club when I want a more upright-ish tone which happens frequently but I've found it's far from a one trick pony. Like any of my other basses, I find with judicious EQ on my amp and maybe my SABDDI I can get many different tones out of it. I use it for rock, roots, blues, country, bluegrass, funk, Motown, Stax and jazz, often all during the same gig.

    Truth be told, the Club is the most comfortable bass I own due to it's very light weight, pencil neck and flat sides that I can use as an arm rest to put my right hand it just the right position for the majority of what I play.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    RiZzBot, sneha1965 and fermata like this.
  8. GabrielB


    Jul 2, 2017
    Well, it seems like a J would be the most practical choice for now... If I'm gonna spend a bunch of money on a new guitar, it should be whichever one is more practical to best serve my interests.
    Follow up question: Which flatwounds sound best on a J? I'd wanna get that John Paul Jones-vibe if I'm gonna get a J, and it's my understanding that he'd switch between flats and rounds now and then. Am thinking about La-Bellas currently.
    Cheers and thanks for the feedback.
  9. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Hofner vs. Jazz ... what an odd dichotomy!

    Have you tried playing a Hofner? The feel is extremely different from heavier bass guitars like the P-bass or Jazz. Personally I hate the feel of a Hofner - it's too light, strings are too high off the fingerboard, and it feels like a cheap flimsy instrument. Maybe you'll dig it ... or not. But it's so dramatically different I wouldn't recommend buying on until you experience the instrument in person.
    Geri O likes this.
  10. Mannyinnewyork


    Sep 28, 2016
    New York
    I've got 2 J basses (fender mij and an SX) both medium scale. Two Hofners - Ignition and CT.
    I like them all. If I could only keep one it would be the mij Fender JB45M.

    Any one of these is gig worthy. It's nice to have options and the Ignition does sound very different from the other three - more percussive maybe? More double-bassy? Not sure how to describe it but there is a difference. For such an inexpense bass, it does have a unique sound and feel.
    Boristhespyder likes this.
  11. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You should get something different.
    I've played a Thunderbird with flatwounds in an acoustic setting and the L 2000 can play in any situation.
  12. hopsbb


    Nov 8, 2014
    I got with a Hofner ignition that I gig with sometimes. It's far from the one trick pony ppl claim they are. I love the sound,weight,feel,just about everything about it. String spacing does take some getting used to. Not a real big jazz bass fan.
    Boristhespyder likes this.
  13. Mike Arthur

    Mike Arthur

    Jun 7, 2017
    64 yrs old. Playing since the mid 60's.
    I own 2 "P"basses and 4 HOFNERS.
    I have the 500/1 CT USA flag,500/1 SB,500/1 IGNITION,and 500/1 CAVERN IGNITION.
    They all sound "EXACTLY DIFFERENT"from each other,and,each one is far more than the one trick pony.
    OTOH,I love my "P" basses,but my shoulders and back really limits my ability to play them much.
    If I had to keep one...........
    500/1 CT USA FLAG.
  14. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    I have six violin basses, five of them Hofners. I've never had any problems with neck dive or high action on any of them. I've ended up liking J basses way more than I expected to, but in recent years my preference has been violin basses. Really, though, you can't go wrong with either one.
    Boristhespyder likes this.
  15. mac10


    May 28, 2002
    wilmore, KY
    I'd say try the Hofner first before you spend the money. I got a V63 in 2007 that sat in its case for years because it just didn't feel right. Now I play it all the time but I had to figure out its quirks. With any other standard bass I use fingers, but I play the Hofner like I play guitar: palm mute and a pic. Once I figured that out I fell in love with it.
    Ward Phillips and sneha1965 like this.
  16. RiZzBot

    RiZzBot Drunk + bass + broken strap locks = :'(

    Nov 23, 2014
    210, Texas
    After 20 years of P and J basses, I finally went with a Hofner. Last month I purchased an Ignition BB. At first it took a lot of getting used to i.e., the light weight, narrow neck, tight string spacing. The breakthrough for me was when I quit trying to set it up to feel and sound like my Fenders, and accepted the Hofner for what it was. I absolutely love this bass. My Fenders barely get any love these days. Definitely not a one trick pony.

    Ward Phillips, Rocker949 and fermata like this.
  17. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    Exactly! Comparing it to a 'normal' (Fender-style) bass results in a pretty alienating experience the first time one picks up a Hofner. But take it on its own terms (assuming one comes to like those terms) and it's a pretty remarkable instrument both tonally and ergonomically. I've come to prefer mine over pretty much every other bass I've tried (which isn't to say I don't also appreciate other basses, but the Hofner has something extra special going on).
    Mike Arthur and RiZzBot like this.
  18. jsxtal

    jsxtal Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Ft. Worth
    Hey Mike, do you happen to have any information regarding the amount made of the limited USA bass?


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