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FDP Forum / All Other Fender Guitars and Instruments / Kubicki Factor Bass with Fender logo

General Rocker


Feb 16th, 2005 05:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I purchased a Kubicki factor Bass from Hower Music in Dayton about 15 years ago. It has a Fender logo burned into the neck, and I fell in love with it. A few years later I learned about Mr. Kubicki and his affiliations with Fender, that he went off to do his own thing. I liked the sound of the Bass, and the neck fit my hand like a glove.

I did some research and found Phil Kubicki, gave him a call to find out more info on factor Basses. He took my call and he said the deal with Fender was not working out. He also said that the did not like the specs Fender used for the electronics, suggested I send it to him for an upgrade, which was around $300 or so (as a struggling musician I couldn't part with the money, or the Bass, for the few weeks required for the upgrade). He seemed upset at Fender and I recall laughing to myself about his disposition at the time.

I used the search engine here to search threads and posts concerning the " Kubicki-fender" relationship concerning the bass, and came up empty. I am curious of its value.

Anyway, I cannot find any info on this Bass other than that Fender distributed the Factor at one point in time? Perhaps Fender has an area related to its affiliates and some info on the Factor I own, but I cannot find it.

Any more info would be greatly appreciated.

A fellow musician,



General Rocker


Feb 16th, 2005 06:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here is a dump of some serch results from google, if it may help someone else.

Price Paid: N/A
Purchased from: N/A
Features: 10
fender x factor
Sound: N/A
i find it humorous that most factor owners point out the fact that their bass was not made by fender. i have 2. one 1985 model and a 89 fender model. the preamp on the fender is better. sorry, but it is. the 1 passive mode is very usable because the treble knob works as a tone pot. the original pre has 3 unusable preset passive modes. the fender model also has a small pot connected to the circuit board in the body cavity to adjust mid boost in the 2nd active mode. the original pre has a preset mid boost in active mode. i think the fender model is a better model because of the preamp.
Action, Fit, & Finish: N/A
Reliability/Durability: N/A
Customer Support: N/A
dont believe what others say, the fender models are as good or better. whoever says different doesen't play for a living.
Overall Rating: 10
Submitted by Anonymous at 11/10/2004 17:33

Price Paid: US $1150
Purchased from: N/A
In 1988?... It was Skip's Music in Sacramento, Ca
Features: 9
I bought my Ex-Factor in late '88 just after the announcement that Fender was to begin handling distribution. I am certain that I had purchased the last known pre-Fender Ex-Factor in Northern California. I later confirmed the serial number w/ Philip himself as a pre-Fender bass. This bass fretted with the 6 position selector, stacked volume/pan, stacked bass/treble knobs, two original Kubicki humbucking pickups, and the body tuner/headless d-latch combination that are signature features for the guitar.

The amazing laminated neck is bullet proof even though it is a bolt on.
Sound: 10
I have grown into this bass over the years and have tuned my system to respond well. I'm a live performance rocker and for my tone, I use an old Trace GP-11 pre-amp bi-amped with full range to a ported 800 watt 15x2 cab with only the highs fed to an Eden 2x10. Thump and pop is very evident. Various class-a amps configured to suit the venue and are used to link between the Trace and speakers. For the smallest venues, I have a late model SWR-900 that can approximate the same tone through a 1k-watt Eden 4x10.

Of the 5 settings on the selector, there are 3 passive that I never use and the 2 active settings that pull all the lows and brightness I need. I used to use the flatter active occaisionally, but in recent years, I have only used the fatter active with the scooped mid-range. The treble knob is wide open and the bass is "almost wide open" as "wide open" is just too much bottom. For grit, the bridge pickup is strongly favored with just a taste of neck pickup for "sweet spot" warmth.

To avoid channel switching, I have since removed the Bartolini pickups and electronics from my 5-string Modulus and switched to EMG pickups and electronics... this is the closest I can get to the sound of the Kubicki without having to re-EQ in live performance.

For reference, I also enjoy the tone of a Stingray Bass with the tone cranked and the pickup selector pointed to the rear. The Music-Man, my "custom" Modulus, and an old P-Bass with EMG pickups can all approximate "that tone".
Action, Fit, & Finish: 9
This bass plays like butter. I have used that analogy for years. I hadn't realized how short this bass was until I recently compared and researched the 32" string length (d-latch closed). The makes for short fingered players like me to be able to reach those pinky finger trills and to have the luxury of lower string tension. Action is low and stable. Reduced string tension is also really nice for vibrato, particularly when you want to shadow a guitar lick! I did have to abandon the Roto-Sound RS-66's as the nut (remember this is configured kind of like a Stienberger) does not allow for the reduced diameter of the exposed core - I have been using Dean Markley Blue Steel strings all these years, instead. I think I go through Blue Steels faster than the Roto's, but a fresh set of strings after 4 gigs is not a problem.

The only adjustment I have made in 16 years is file the bridge saddles only slightly to extend string life... I tug on the string pretty hard.
02-01-2005, 07:24 AM
whats the full serial of yours?...fender started producing kubickis with the serial 1500-06-89, with kubickis after 1800-10-89 being the mass produced, cheaper quality and downsized preamp ones...on that, how many switch is your preamp? 4 or 6?

mines 1516-06-89, so really one of the first fender custom shops, but still made with the kubicki leftover stock..bit of a rare color these days

The full serial number on mine is 2024-01-90. I also emailed Phil himself, and he responded as follows: "Hi Jason: Fender made serial numbers are between 1287 thru 3049 during '88 thru 91. I made all others. Best regards, Phil Kubicki

My preamp has the 4 position switch. I'm aranging with Phil to send my bass to him, and have it re-worked with all new electronics. I must have reached the 1000 hours of service that the system will provide, because my bass doesn't have the sound it used to.

02-01-2005, 07:26 AM
The full serial number on mine is 2024-01-90. I also emailed Phil himself, and he responded as follows:

My preamp has the 4 position switch. I'm aranging with Phil to send my bass to him, and have it re-worked with all new electronics. I must have reached the 1000 hours of service that the system will provide, because my bass doesn't have the sound it used to.
you know you have to change the 2 9v batterys inside it...but i would send it back to phil and get the proper preamp put in it
11-14-2000, 06:00 PM
Early "fender manufactured", but with no fender markings. If I didn't ask Phil himself I would have thought that this was a pre-fender bass. All hardware, electronics ( 18v, 6 position selector ), construction methods, etc. are identical to my pre-fender Ex-Factor, and the build quality is actually superior to my earlier bass. Seafoam green, excellent condition. Asking $850.



Kubicki basses rule!!
Feb 26th, 2005 05:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I own 4 kubicki factors, 2 pre-fenders, 1 fender, and 1 post-fender era. What i can say is all of them sound different from each other. my 1985 blueburst kubicki is the loudest with lots of midrange. these were the first few kubickis that had three prongs connecting the pickups to the circuit board. my 1987 bahama green is the best sounding for me. it captured the sound of vail johnson's kubicki. my 1989 black fender-kubicki still had the 6-way tone switch. it sounded very kubicki-like but it was a little bit brighter than the original kubickis. i have to turn the treble down. according to phil kubicki, the body was made in japan, the hardware and electronics by fender, and the neck in his shop in sta. barbara, but fender opted to spray clearcoat on them. my 1993 bahama green post-fender kubicki is my favorite. original kubicki tone on original kubicki made woods and electronics. tight, punchy, lots of attack, very, very clear. my friend had a 1990 fender custom shop kubicki with the four way switch and it also sounds awesome. the real score is, NO SAME BASS SOUNDS EXACTLY THE SAME!!! ALL KUBICKIS, WHETHER ORIGINAL OR FENDER-MADE SOUNDS AWESOME!!!

Contributing Member


Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'
Feb 26th, 2005 05:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

All I'll say is, Phil Kubicki is indeed a character. I also talked to him via phone about an old Kubicki Strat neck I ran across. He certainly has some issues with Fender.



Mar 1st, 2005 12:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Kubicki had the hottest aftermarket Fender parts for a period of time. This was in the early 80s. There was also talk that he had gotten ahold of old wildwood stock and was making Tele bodies out of it. At that time there were a few cottage industry/boutique type people making bodies and necks, like Chandler and Hosono and some others, and his was the hippest stuff if you could get it. A Kubicki bass neck was balls.

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