What Makes Kubicki Teles Special?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by pcutt, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. pcutt

    pcutt Member

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    Why would they be any "better" than a Fender Tele?

    The reason I'm asking is that I don't know much about Teles since I've typically been playing 335s and Jackson superstrats. I came across a used Kubicki Tele that seemed pretty nice, but given my lack of knowledge with the Tele family I couldn't tell much about it relative to a Fender so I passed on the chance to purchase it. I've heard good things about Kubickis, but also heard that he bought generic blank bodies from Warmoth and merely assembled kits.

    What's the word?

    Thanks!
     
  2. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    I haven't had the pleasure of trying a Kubicki guitar, but like any builder I'm sure some of his guitars are better and some are worse.

    I recently saw a Kubicki Strat for sale in the Emporium and while I was intrigued, I decided not to buy it since I couldn't play it first. They don't seem to be particularly expensive these days compared to some of the other small builders. I think he only makes Bass guitars now.

    That being said, it would be pretty cool to own a Tele made by the guy who built Harrison's Rosewood Tele.
     
  3. Cliff

    Cliff Member

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    Just a quick word, as it's late. Phil Kubiki is a local craftsman who produced bodies and necks, as well as completed guitars. This was way back for the most part....the 80's. I had a number of friends who worked in his shop, and I ended up with a Tele and Strat. Phil is a great guy and great craftsman. As far as the Warmoth myth....I don't give much creedance. Phil MADE bodies and necks....that was his deal. I never heard of him assembling guitars from other parts. As you may know, Phil's main focus for many years has been his "Factor" bass guitar. I believe he made or machined every single part on those guitars. No doubt there are guitars out there with one of Phil's necks on a Warmoth or All Parts body, but that's how it goes in the parts guitar industry.
     
  4. emjee

    emjee Member

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    I had a chance to buy a Kubicki Tele at a guitar show about six years ago. It wasnt in a booth, the owner just walked around the show with it strapped on him. It was a 53 Blackguard replica and I am still kicking my self HARD.
    I have yet to see another. If you have a chance to buy one and you pass, PLEASE PM me!! Thanks!

    Matt G.
     
  5. TD Moyer

    TD Moyer Member

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    I recently scored a lefty Tele Kubicki neck off ebay as THE piece I needed to make my ultimate Esquire. I won't be able to assemble the guitar for several weeks (body is being 'finished' by Mark Jenny at the moment) but this neck feels about as good as any I've ever held...10" radius, perfect C shape for me without reaching baseball bat proportions. I took a chance on it and I'm very happy I did...
     
  6. Strung Up

    Strung Up Member

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    Holy cats!!! I still mourn his transition/disappearance into basses. Back in the early/mid 80s, he was one of a very small handfull of builders of necks and bodies . . . and his F-style necks were PHENOMENAL!.
     
  7. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Supporting Member

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    I was living in Santa Barabara in the 80s ( I think thats where Kubicki is from ) and I've played several guitars w/ his necks.. They always inpressed me.

    I've never played one of his completed guitars - I always thought of him as a guy who handmade killer Fender style necks - and then did his Factor basses

    If I found one used at a reasonable price, I'd probably grab it - if for no other reason than to "just see what the fuss was about"
     
  8. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    You don't suppose this guy had anything to do with it, do you?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    S-style About 83. Big wide neck. Nearly flat. Hardtail, not quite a tele, but I still love it.

    [​IMG]


    dc
     
  10. bmutlu

    bmutlu Member

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    James Tyler was used Kubucki parts for build his first guitars.
     
  11. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

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    Love the Mondrian pickguard!

     
  12. eliot1025

    eliot1025 Supporting Member

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    Tyler used Kubicki necks for a while. I'm not sure about the bodies - at that point Tyler favored basswood bodies.

    I played a Factor Bass or two - I loved them.
     
  13. Shark21

    Shark21 Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I called Phil in 1983 as I recall, after seeing his 1/8th page ad in Guitar World. My order was a one-piece Honduras Mahogany body with a quilted maple top. The neck was a one-piece flamed maple neck with an ebony board. I used Kahler tremelos back then. Phil told me he had the perfect piece of maple. If you notice, the grain actually appears to compliment the Kahler! The front pickup is a real PAF Phil had and an Original Duncan PAF that Seymour wound for Phil. My fondest memory is Phil calling me to tell me that the guitar wouldn't be ready for the deadline. The deadline was Christmas. After all the hoopla on Christmas morning with the smaller children, my dad snuck in with one more gift. The only guitar I've owned longer is my Epiphone Caballero from 1977 (the guitar I first took lessons with). This guitar is priceless. I have "Polaroids" of the guitar in process. Phil, most definitely, crafted the neck and body. I haven't commissioned a builder for a custom guitar for 26 years. My Ian Anderson is weeks away. Phil was a trailblazer. I always thought he should have stayed in the custom guitar market, but he probably had a family to feed!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  14. brucesinger

    brucesinger Member

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    IMO it was the necks. I ordered a Koa Tele body and maple neck from Phil back in the early 80s. It is still my #1 guitar today. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have several more. The flat radius and neck shape is the most comfortable neck I've ever had. I let a couple of Kubicki necks pass through my hands over the years and still kick myself.
     
  15. edro

    edro Member

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    I'll necro post on this one due to topic. :)
    They are indeed special.....

    My 1983...
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    Is it so special that it doesn't get played at all...? Where are the strings?
     
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  17. edro

    edro Member

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    :)

    Had done some work on it as my bud that Phil built it for had not played it in a couple decades. Somebody had jacked with the wiring too waaaay back for some oddball reason and had to figure out how Phil had wired it with those SDs back then originally in 83. (5-way & a toggle between V&T) Ebony, 15" radius too. Top and back bound. Tiger flame neck. Unreal guitar.
     
  18. edro

    edro Member

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    And I play it most every day.... ;)
     

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