Author Topic: Kubicki Ex-Factor  (Read 3905 times)

mc2NY

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2013, 08:26:07 PM »
I meant SN024

Got a photo of the rear side?

The dates/SN on your's sounds wrong....the real Kubicki SN024 is black and was made 01 85...I knew Phil and wrote a feature on Kubicki years ago.  My sn044 is dated 06 85...I have quite a few other early ones, so I know the correct numbers vs dates.

There were a numer a fakes floating around around 10 years ago....old Fender parts someone stamped with early SNs that did not jive with correct dates. I have photos of them somewhere but do recall one being white.

Back at the time, the seller had three fakes on EBAY...each one had telltale signs that they were fakes. I questioned the guy and he was bogus. I reported him to EBAY and he vanished.

Hate to have bad news....A photo of the back would help....also a better pic of the SN that is easier to see.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 08:40:55 PM by mc2NY »

Highlander

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2013, 01:10:05 AM »
A bit of research later...

... a fake (but with non laminated neck and BIG pups...)

John's had more hands-on (by the sound of it) with these beasties than any of the rest of us here but without knowing how to spot the "fakes" now PK has gone could be fun...

The key things in the "defence" of Robert's instrument is the multiple laminations on the neck on his; the bridge looks right, as do the pups... that "FIXER" bass has the right "look" but the wrong parts...

I think you two should be able to figure this one...
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mc2NY

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2013, 07:14:17 AM »
Yeah...that's tha Fixer Asian cheap, crappy knockoff of the ExFactor......there was also one called the Blaster that was a fair knockoff that actually had the same style multi-ply neck. I've got one of each in my Kubicki collection.

Phil was VERY bitter about both of those. I think the Fixer was a total unauthorized copy....the Blaster, I think a tentative OEM deal that was not finalized but a run was made anyway. I only discussed them once with Phil because he was so angry about them that it was one of those things I knew to never bring up again. It's the only time in nearly 30 years of conversations with the guy that I ever heard him break his mellow demeanor.

BUT....those are NOT the "fake" Kubickis I was referring to above. There were also some fake counterfeits made from what appeared to be real leftover parts....and then someone stamped fake SNs and dates on the headstocks....EARLY DATES....to try and make them appear valuable. Again, that was around ten years ago and they popped up on EBAY, all by the same seller....I think they were in California.

I recall from the info the seller gave me and photos he sent, that they appeared to be made from leftover Fender Kubicki parts....probably scrapped after Phil cancelled his deal with FMIC to make and distribute his basses.

Phil had told me that the first serial number of an ExFactor that left his shop was SN024....and that pretty much the first one hundred he considered "prototypes" because those were made before he standardized all the features on the basses....such as the electronics circuitboard, pickups, etc.  The rear cavity is also routed differently on these.

BUT......since you say your's is SN024......and I can spot that the manufacture date is off by months of what it should be....I KNOW it is not legit.

....ESPECIALLY because I KNOW that THIS is the real SN024 ExFactor that I almost bought from Phil at one point, as it was sitting in his shop for many years:

http://entertainment.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=605&lotIdNo=32001

Hörnisse

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2013, 08:45:49 AM »
That is some great info.  You seem to be the expert Kubicki guy on here.  I've taken a few more pics.  One of the pots is dated the 37th week of 1984.  Let me know what you think.  I may be taking this one back! (although it plays and sounds so good!)




mc2NY

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2013, 09:28:37 AM »
Hmmmm.....

Well, the good news is that your rear cavity cover IS the correct style with the small dogear parts that sticks out by the input jack. And the back of your tuning assembly is plain black, although I cannot see the writing on it well enough to definitely say if it is correct.

But, like I said, the SN is out of sequence for that date by around  four months....and it is the SAME SN# as John Taylor's famous ExFactor, which seems VERY strange.  You can look in the neck pocket to see if the same SN024 is also stamped there.

Also....the pickups are positioned wrong. If that IS SN#024, the neck pickup would be butted up against the neck. Phil even states that in the auction link for John Taylor's one, that he changed the pickup positioning later on.  You can see my SN035 still has the early positioning.

Your pickups/circuitboard look like later ones and not original to an early SN# one.
But Phil also routinely swapped out earlier pickups and circuitboards for his later production ones because they sounded so much better...so it is hard to tell just from that.  
 
So....there are a few suspicious inconsistencies. But the other fakes from a decade ago that I mentioned, I think, all had the later style electronics cover.

Attached are a couple pics of my SN#035 and SN#044, which I KNOW are legit, for comparison. I've owned/own around 50 Kubickis and also have a couple hundred in my photo files for reference.

It DOES seem to be made from legit Kubicki parts....plus has the upgraded better PUPs and electronics (BTW...are there two 9v batteries and a 6-position rotary switch...counting "off" as one position?)  So, if is plays a sounds good, it might not matter what the SN# says.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 09:57:39 AM by mc2NY »

mc2NY

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2013, 09:33:28 AM »
Couple more pics of SN#035 for comparison.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 09:51:25 AM by mc2NY »

Hörnisse

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2013, 10:05:55 AM »
I love the pickup positioning on your 035.  Mine does have the 6 position switch and 2 nine volt batteries.  No writing on the back side of the tuning assembly either.  I'll take the neck off and check for the number.  Would it be on the body or the neck?  Thanks for all of the good info. 

Hörnisse

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2013, 10:24:06 AM »
Here is a better shot of the serial number.  Judging by yours it seems like this one should be around 074 instead of 024.  One of the main reasons I bought it was it reminded me of John Taylor's Kubicki that he used during the Live Aid performance.  I saw Duran Duran the year before in Austin but he was still using the Aria bass.  I was a huge fan of his after hearing the original Duran Duran (s/t) LP in 1981.


nofi

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2013, 10:43:21 AM »
nice bass, robert. i think it's real in spite of what the 'expert' says. not every bass that gets talked about here is a refin or a fake... :rolleyes:
"life is a blur of republicans and meat"- zippy the pinhead

mc2NY

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2013, 11:06:09 AM »
Normally Phil also stamped a matching SN in the body neck pocket that matched the neck.

Your SN style and font look correct...the earlier ones lacked a zero before the single digit month...Phil started adding the zeros later that first year.

Maybe you will find a later SN# in the neck pocket that will help explain the confusion? Could be someone stamped the "2" by mistake and it should have been maybe a "5," since they look the same upside down on a number punch?  SN054 would also explain the later neck PUP position...and it would make the date likely correct.

Hörnisse

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2013, 11:11:03 AM »
Man, that was a tight neck pocket!  I had a tough time getting it off (and back on!) but it looks like nothing in the neck pocket or on the neck itself. 



mc2NY

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2013, 04:34:06 PM »
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.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 05:07:12 PM by mc2NY »

Highlander

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2013, 04:53:37 PM »
Even if it's a "parts" bass, Robert, it's still a Kubicki, so it seems...

What it depends on is the feel and the sound... if they both work, that's all that counts...  ;)
Staring at the event horizon is a dirty job, but someone has to do it...
Time is relative; lunch time, doubly so... Douglas Adams rip...
How many grasp that Thunder is the sound of the Lightning bolt, but in reverse, to the point of creation...?

mc2NY

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2013, 05:29:50 PM »
Robert.....

Can you get any history on the bass from the seller that might help?

I'm really curious about it?

Seeing as it has the same. SN# as John Taylor's (but different build date) it makes it an interesting bass.

Phil was pretty adamant about stamping his build dates correctly. He told me that, even when owners of ExFactors later ordered spare necks...so they could swap out to a fretless or non-D neck....he would stamp on their ORIGINAL SN# onto the new neck BUT stamp the ACTUAL build date on them.

So....another possibility on your's....maybe John Taylor asked for a spare neck or Phil later made him a fretless that he didn't want and it got converted to a fretted neck to fill an order in 8 85? That's a definite possibility.
Or when the possibility of landing John Taylor as an endorser popped up...Phil may have had #024 sitting there as an dual neck order that fell through or was in the works...and he sent him what he had to fill the request for a black ExFactor..then later reused the spare neck. Does your's have side dash marker between the frets (as on a fretted bass) or dot markers AT the fret positions ( as on a fretless?) Got a good photo of the side view?

Either way...I since it plays and sounds good, I'd keep t.

Either way...looks legit. But having Taylor's SN# is VERY strange, so there must be some explanation.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 05:41:04 PM by mc2NY »

Hörnisse

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Re: Kubicki Ex-Factor
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2013, 07:42:51 PM »
I've found out a lot more about Ex-Factor basses than I knew before, that is certain!  I appreciate all of the info.  I no longer own the Key 5.  It was an Ebay purchase and the truss rod was maxed out and I tried to back it out but I didn't want to force it so I sold it for what I paid for it.  I just could not get the neck adjusted to my liking.  I saw it sell for $400 more than I sold it for!

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f126/phillip-kubicki-key-factor-5-string-$999-shipped-960360/

The neck has the regular fret side dashes.  The only thing I could find out about the bass was that it spent some time in Louisiana before ending up in Austin.  The neck has a lot of player wear on the back.  Nice and worn in for sure. 



I was attracted by the August build date since that is my birthday month.  I turned 24 in 1985 and could only dream about owning a Kubicki.  I remember seeing one at Guitar Resurrection when they first came out.