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Strings for Hofner Ignition Bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by marie79, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. marie79


    Nov 19, 2013

    I've bought my husband a Hofner Ignition Violin Bass for Christmas and I have read that La Bella flat wound strings make it sound much better.

    There seem to be two types/measurements though. One set says 0.39. 0.56 0.77 0.96 and the other says 0.50 0.65 0.80 0.100. Does it matter which ones I get - those numbers mean absolutely nothing to me!

    I'd ask him, but it's a surprise! Thanks for your help!
  2. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    Those measurements apply to string gauge - or how thick the strings are. The lower numbered set means the strings are thinner and should have less tension than the larger numbered set.

    The tension on the string is a personal preference that differs among many players. Paul McCartney (probably the most famous user of Hofner basses) is said to prefer the lighter string gauge (.039-.096).

    The tension on the strings is very important when you have hollowbody basses, as too much tension on the bridge can create stress on the top of the bass (even cracking the top in some circumstances). But, your Ignition bass has a center block right under the bridge. So either string gauge will work and there is really no risk in cracking the top.

    I have played both sets and personally prefer the heavier (larger) of the two (.050-.100). One additional factor you should consider... The lighter string set (.039-.096) is made of stainless steel and tends to be a little brighter sounding than the "standard" or larger set (.050-.100). If your Husband likes 50's and 60's music, the larger set sounds a little less bright and better (in my experience) for classic blues/rock than the lighter stainless steel set.

    That is my 2 cents. But, I don't think you could go wrong with either set.

    Congrats to you for such a thoughtful gift.
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    The contemporary has the center block. The ignition/icons don't.
  4. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    You are correct - My mistake.
  5. marie79


    Nov 19, 2013
    Thanks for your detailed advice - that really helps. I think he would prefer the sound of the larger ones from the sounds of it. He has commented on preferring a bluesier and rockier sound with his acoustic guitar in the past so I guess he would think the same about his bass. It would suit the style of the music he tends to play too. And he thinks I never listen to him when he's talking about guitars! Thank you again!
  6. I've been looking hard at this same bass for myself. I hope he enjoys it!!

    P.S. You sound like one exceptional wife!! Mine would say, "Why do you need another one?"
  7. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    Glad to see there's another good bass wife out there! My wife bought me the Hofner Icon violin bass for Christmas a few years ago! I put the LaBella's on too, but couldn't tell you what gauge they are. I use my Hofner all the time. Probably my 2nd most used bass after my P.
  8. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    My wife and kids bought me a Hofner copy a few years ago for XMas. One of best presents ever. Actually is my main recording bass. I have Daddario XL medium scale chromes on it 40-100 guage. They are about 3 years old and strings still thump. It is a great 60's tone.