Yeah...Phil is know for his tight pockets. even if you ordered a spare neck he usually wanted you to send him your entire bass so he could make sure he fit it precisely.
so....I pulled the neck on my SN035 and it looks similar....also no visible SN on this one.
On later ones Phil started stamping the SN and dates into the neck pocket in larger type font than on neck...not sure exactly when that began but I checked my SN 212 that was handy and it was on that body. I know he also stamped the SNs into his Fender style bodies. That he made before the Factors. So, perhaps the SNS ARE on these but not visible under the paint....and that is why he switched to the larger size font stamp on the bodies? On his unfinished Fender style bodies, the SN# was in the same smaller stamp size used on the Factor headstocks.
So, not sure what to say except...l
I'd say KEEP IT. If it were me and I ran across it, I'd buy it and take a chance on it.
It definitely seems like a legit, early Kubicki. The SN just seems wrong for the build date and location of pickups.
My guess about the "2" stamped instead of a "5" is the best guess to explain.
Another less likely explanation....Phil decided to reuse #024 for accounting purposes, since the first #024 wasn't "sold" and was on loan to John Taylor? That sounds very UNlikely...but would also fall into the several month difference in the SN - vs - build date.....since he sent the black #024 over to the UK for Taylor to try out and decide on.
But, bottom line, it seems legit and a cool find, despite the mystery. Sorry I could not be of more help.
Too bad you didn't find it a few months ago, so we could have asked Phil about it.
HEY...BTW, would love to see a pic of your Key 5? What's the SN#? Does it have a black or natural end of the fretboard on the body end?
I have a couple Key 5's...one fretted, one fretless. Nice basses.
Funny....I was playing ExFactors full-time from the time they came out (my first one I bought new was SN#153) until I think 1990 or 91 but I wanted a 5 string and Phil wasn't yet making one and Fender was handling Kubicki at the time.
So, I ran across the Leduc designed Logabass at a NAMM show in CA and loved it. They had a few early run prototypes at their booth and knew I played Kubickis. So, after I tried them out a bit, I faxed them my thoughts and a few suggested changes.....I then saw them again at the Frankfurt Musikmesse a couple months later. To my surprise, out walked Christophe Leduc himself WITH my fax!! I thought he would be mad that I had the balls to suggest changes...but he smiled and said "good suggestions...we used all four of them" and he showed me the production basses with the changes. So, I ended up as an endorser and bought a couple of 5 -strings. I'm still friends with Leduc. He and Mike Tobias are VERY close friends.
I was at Mike's old Hollywood shop back in that time and he also knew I was a headless player. e had me try out a headless bass he'd just made for Spinal Tap for my opinion on it...said it was the first headless he'd ever made. THEN....Mike said " The best headless basses in the world are made by a guy in France named Christophe Leduc." He was surprised when I told him that I'd recently become an endorser.
Here is a pic of one of my Kubickis next to a Leduc Logabasss.