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#2158150 - 01/27/10 05:17 PM Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender)
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7293
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Hey guys, I've always liked these basses. If you are unfamiliear, more info here.

Anyway, a friend of mine has an original 18V, pre-Fender Kubicki Ex Factor from 1987. He's the original owner, and he'd like to sell it. I'm interested in buying it, but we're having trouble figuring out what it's worth - there aren't any on Ebay right now, and I know the 9V ones from after Fender took over are not worth as much. Originally I think these things sold for a few thousand, but it seems like in recent years, I've seen some in the $900-$1,100 range, but I can't find anything to back that up.

Anybody out there know?
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J. Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2158154 - 01/27/10 05:31 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: J. Dan]
jeremy c Offline
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Registered: 02/01/01
Posts: 16087
Loc: Berkeley,CA,UNITED STATES
Wally has one of those.
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#2158164 - 01/27/10 06:04 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: jeremy c]
groover Offline
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Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 701
Loc: Harrisburg, Pa
I have a friend that has one of those pre-Fender Kubicki Ex Factors. Was thinking about buying it off him until I borrowed it and played it at a gig, loved the sound and hated the feel. My left hand between the thumb and pointing finger hurt really bad for several days after gigging with that bass.

He's still looking to sell it, asking around $1500. Says he's seen a couple go on eBay for that amount recently. I personally would guess it to be worth somewhere in the $1K to $1.5K range.

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#2158266 - 01/27/10 11:38 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: groover]
rizzo9247 Offline
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Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 2392
Loc: NYC
A search on talkbass could net a general price on a used one. I've never played one but a buddy of mine has used his exclusively for over 20 years and loves it.
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#2158267 - 01/27/10 11:40 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: rizzo9247]
getz out Offline
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Posts: 7397
57pbass has one. Not my bag.

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#2158460 - 01/28/10 11:22 AM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: getz out]
Wally Malone Offline
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Still loving mine made and bought in 1986. After laying off for two months from my injury the first of my basses I picked up was my Kubicki. Of all of my basses it is the easiest to play. The prices that groover mentioned are in the ballpark depending on the condition.

Wally
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#2158492 - 01/28/10 12:31 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: Wally Malone]
_Sweet Willie_ Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
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Loc: New Jersey
I've played Wally's and 57pbass'. I liked them both.

I agree with groover's and Wally's assessment of prices, but I'm sure that at least Wally knows better than me in this regard.

Peace.
--SW
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#2158708 - 01/29/10 08:03 AM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: _Sweet Willie_]
57pbass Offline
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Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1944
Loc: FOREST HILLS,NY,UNITED STATES
I also agree with groover's and Wally's assessment of prices. There was just a 1988 Pepto Bismol Pink one on Talkbass ... I think it sold for 1900? It was mint and a rare color.

They are great basses...radical looking but great sounding....they set up in a snap...
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#2158735 - 01/29/10 09:03 AM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: 57pbass]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7293
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Just FYI - as a followup, I found a similar one on ebay that had sold for $837 (that was the lowest sale price I've seen), and lots that had been listed in the mid thousand range that did not sell. Our current bass player has 2 of them and payed $900 for one and $1400 for the other one.

I haven't seen this one for a while, I need to take a closer look to see what condition it's in these days... last time I saw/played it was probably about 3-4 years ago.
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J. Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2158806 - 01/29/10 10:43 AM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: J. Dan]
57pbass Offline
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Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1944
Loc: FOREST HILLS,NY,UNITED STATES
One of the great innovations on this bass is the device that changes the E string to a D without changing the fingerings...and the preamp gives you many options...

Considering the features and craftmanship that goes into these basses..they are really undervalued... IMHO of course...


Edited by 57pbass (01/29/10 10:44 AM)
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#2158886 - 01/29/10 12:43 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: 57pbass]
_Sweet Willie_ Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 9411
Loc: New Jersey
One of 57pbass' Kubickis:



...we'll see if I got the image code right...

Peace.
--SW
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Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.
Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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#2159349 - 01/31/10 09:19 AM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: _Sweet Willie_]
Tom Capasso Offline
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I agree that they are undervalued. Not to get psychological, but they are not well understood.

For those of you who haven't played one, they allow going to a low D without changing the E string notes. If you have a Hipshot Drop-D thingy, it gives you the D but does it by dropping the whole string by a whole step. The Kubicki actually extends the E string into the head to extend the fingerboard.

Best of luck on the sale
Tom
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#2159554 - 01/31/10 08:41 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: Tom Capasso]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7293
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Thanks, I actually have one in my posession right now (a different one). My bass player wanted me to look at it because the output is low on it. Incidentally, I couldn't find anything. If I bypass the entire preamp completely and go straigt from the pickups into the amp, it's the same volume as with the switch in bypass, and the preamp engaged is the same volume. The bass boost adds a little, but everything seems to be working right. It is quiet though. Compared to my Steinberger, it's almost a full 8-10dB quieter. And he said it's quieter than his other Kubicki as well (he has 2). Don't know. Sounds good, just quiet. I'm enjoying playing it though. Still gotta check the condition of the one for sale before I make an offer.
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J. Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2159669 - 02/01/10 06:52 AM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: J. Dan]
57pbass Offline
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Registered: 11/02/01
Posts: 1944
Loc: FOREST HILLS,NY,UNITED STATES
There should be a huge difference between the passive and active settings.....
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#2159849 - 02/01/10 01:33 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: 57pbass]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7293
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Originally Posted By: 57pbass
There should be a huge difference between the passive and active settings.....


The sound is different - the active treble and bass controls work, and the switch position for bass boost works, but the volume's not any hotter. Any idea how much hotter it should be? Could you plug yours into a mixer or something with a VU or LED meter and tell me the difference between passive and active?

Oh, and before anyone asks, battery voltage measured on the pream board was 17.5 V.
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J. Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2159855 - 02/01/10 01:43 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: J. Dan]
davio Offline
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Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 6128
Loc: Boston, MA
Many people prefer their passive vs. active volume to be as close to the same as possible. It's totally a preference thing. There should be a little trim pot somewhere inside to set the gain for active mode.

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#2159993 - 02/01/10 09:34 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: davio]
J. Dan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7293
Loc: St. Louis, MO
No trim pot I saw.

Incidentally, I checked again. Pluggin 1/4" directly into my mixer and soloing the channel to view on the meter, with channel Gain ALL THE WAY UP, which is +20dB, in passive it was hitting -20 on the meter, Active was hitting -7. So active is hotter, but both are still really week. If I plug my Steinberger into the same channel, it completely clips the channel (clip light is the next after +10, so I assume +20 if the scale is the same on the + side as the -) - an I mean solid clip.

So that's an enormous difference in volume. I don't think it could be the pickups - I mean if something went wrong, they wouldn't BOTH go bad at the same time. The Neck and Bridge pickups have the same volume, and it's the same running direct from the pickup wires as running through the preamp in PASSIVE.
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J. Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2160160 - 02/02/10 10:12 AM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: J. Dan]
Wally Malone Offline
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Registered: 02/03/01
Posts: 3675
Loc: Boulder Creek,CA,UNITED STATES
I bought mine in 1986 and in 1987 went to the factory where Kubicki did change out something in the preamp and the difference in the output was big. It could be possible that the bass you are posting about here was before this change. You should call and inquire about if it was made before that change and have your serial number handy.

Wally
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#2160200 - 02/02/10 12:20 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: Wally Malone]
J. Dan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7293
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Originally Posted By: Wally Malone
I bought mine in 1986 and in 1987 went to the factory where Kubicki did change out something in the preamp and the difference in the output was big. It could be possible that the bass you are posting about here was before this change. You should call and inquire about if it was made before that change and have your serial number handy.

Wally


The owner of this bass said it didn't use to be this quiet - that it got quieter (compared to his other Kubicki). He actually called Phil Kubicki and talked to him about it. Phil said he didn't know what it could be but that he could send it into him to check out. Me being an electrical engineer, he thought he'd have me look at it before he paid to have Phil look at it. My initial thought was the bias on the op amps, or the op amps themselves. But when I found out how weak the passive signal was, I kind of dropped that train of thought and started wondering about the pickup outputs.
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J. Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2160600 - 02/03/10 02:21 PM Re: Kubicki Ex Factor (pre-Fender) [Re: J. Dan]
J. Dan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 7293
Loc: St. Louis, MO
UPDATE: Talked to Phil Kubicki today. Very nice guy and very helpful. The pickup outputs should be as low as they are. I'm only getting about 3dB gain out of the preamp - he tells me it should be more like 17.5 dB. That would bring it right up to the level of my Steinberger, so that makes sense. So there's definitely a gain problem on the Preamp. He said 9 times out of 10 when he gets an electronics problem, he replaces the electrolytic capacitors and it fixes it. So I'm going to try that first.
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J. Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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