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Were Kubicki Ex-Factor Copies ever made?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rogerbmiller, Jul 8, 2005.


  1. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    Okay, here is on for the memory vaults.

    Did anyone ever make Kubicki Ex-Factor copies? I bought a bass which I was told is a Fender prototype but I have my doubts and Phil Kubicki does not recognize it (I sent him pics). But this bass is almost identical to the real thing and if it is a knockoff, someone did a damn fine job. The neck is ebony and every bit as well made (and feels the same as) the real deal.

    The bridge is conventional and the tuning system is a Steinberger type system. The scale is 34" and the strings are fastened to the "headstck" with bolts.

    i'd love to hear a bit of history on Kubicki knockoffs if anyone remembers. Pics attached.

    Thanks.

    Roger
     
  2. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What kind of electronics are in there?
     
  3. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    2 Passive PU's. 2 volume, and a 3 position tone selector switch. Pics inside the cavity attached. Notice the writing that says 1/85 (or 1/88), Corona. Fender made the licenesd Factors in Corona, CA, hence I believe this may be a Fender prototype, perhaps as an attempt to make a 34" ex-factor (they are 32" due to string lenght issues).
     
  4. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I would believe it's a prototype. Contact Fender perhaps? (good luck)
     
  5. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    Thanks. Any idea who to contact there? Which office?
     
  6. bassaussie

    bassaussie

    Oct 6, 2001
    Portugal
    I'm not a Kubicki expert by any means, but the thing that really sticks out to me is that the bridge and tailpiece are nothing like a Kubicki - they look far more Steinberger to me (or even Status, due to the seperate bridge).

    If this were a Fender prototype, you'd assume it was made with the co-operation of Kubicki himself, and if that were the case, why use such different hardware?

    Cool looking bass, nonetheless.
     
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    I'd contact Kubicki instead. They'll have better info and response.

    I don't think any Kubicki knockoffs were ever made. I mean, these basses never exactly flew out of stores...
     
  8. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    My thoughts exactly. Fender is looking in to this for me.

    One hunch I have is that prototypes are usually built to solve a specific problem or set of problems with a production line. I know that Kubicki could never made a 34" ex-factor because no one made strings long enought for the E/D string based on a 34" scale. Thus he made the ex-factors 32".

    My bass pictured in this thread is a 34 inch scale "ex-factor". It is quite possible that it was prototyped to solve the 34" scale problem. That would also explain the cheeseberger bridge-- the balls go in the tuning bridge and the strings are claped down at the "headstock" by the fasteners pictured, so standard strings would be long enough. The problem with this design (and if this is a prototype, a very likely reason it did not go into production) is that the fasteners get in your way sliding up and down the extended frets.

    This is kind of a cool mystery-- like "This Old House" only "This Old Bass". Kind of has my blood pumping. I'll keep everyone posted, and again, if anyone can recall of copies being made...
     
  9. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    I have kind of hit a wall with Phil Kubicki (who doesn't remember the bas) and Fender who could not tell if it was made in their shop.

    My gut tells me this is an early prototype. The bass was premiered in 2/1985 by John Taylor when the Power Station played SNL. The black one he played was a prototype. They did not go into production until later in the year or in a following year. Mine is dated 1/1985.

    Given old the instrument is dated I find it impossible to beleive it is a copy. I have asked a few guitar store vets and techs and no one can remember copies, and again, this thing is too close in terms of looks, sound (even with the passive PU's) and quality. I truly think this was a first stab at a 34" ex factor.

    I guess I may never have a definitive answer and a letter of authenticity from the maker seems out of the question. Now I have to think long and hard about whether to put this on ebay and see what the market tells me it's worth...
     
  10. Looks like some sort of prototype for sure...those string anchors on the head look like they would interfere with fretting the first 2 frets of the "D-string"...quite odd, actually.

    nevertheless, I dig it.
     
  11. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    I put it on the bay just to see what happens. Hopefully some of the other bass junkies viewing the bay will chime in with some valuable info. And if it is what I think it is, hopefully the reserve will not be met :bag:
     
  12. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I hope you set the reserve absurdly high so that if it is met, and it is what you suspect, you are well compensated.
     
  13. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    It's actually not absurdly high but rather it is fair. There is risk on both sides of the transaction, because this bass may not be what I thnk it is. So I set a fair reserve. My BIN price is also fair. We'll see nhow it goes...
     
  14. M5Yates

    M5Yates

    Feb 7, 2005
    Austin, TX
  15. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Well, I think your reserve was significantly too low, if it's been met already. You said that production versions were going for $1500 ( a shop near me has a blue fretless for just under $1k) I would have put the reserve at at LEAST that ($1500) if not $2k or more for a rare desireable (to most with the 34" scale) prototype. It's not my thing and I can't afford it even at $700, but if I were you I'd either end the auction or buy it from yourself at that price.
     
  16. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    Understood, and all good points, but remember there are questions as to whether this bass is what I think. Neither Fender nor Kubicki are claying claim to it, so I am letting the community decide.

    BTW, could you PM the name and number of the store with the fretless. I'd like to inquire. Thanks.
     
  17. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    Well, I spoke too soo as the high bidder who met the reserve pulled out on his bid. "Your bid is a binding contract"-- year right. What a drag! Anyway, the BIN of $1999 is available again.
     
  18. dooft11

    dooft11 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    HongKong
    Once in a while, i spotted a Factor like bass, and it had name "blaster" or "bluster" printed on the body, same fonts as the Kubicki's, and i believe it is the copy. I did emailed to Mr. Kubicki for proof and the answer is they dont have any other licensed Factor bass maunfacturer except Fender. But that Japan copy look pretty decent!
     
  19. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Why would anyone want to copy a Kubicki? :D :bag:
     
  20. I've heard rumours that Steve Wishnevsky is toying with a copy called the "Wish-factor". :eek:

    He's just having a little trouble figuring out how to put a couple of frets on that wild headstock of his. :D :D