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Phillip Kubicki Telecaster Questions/Value

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by jptopdwn, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. jptopdwn

    jptopdwn TDPRI Member

    3
    Jun 26, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    I have the opportunity to purchase a Phillip Kubicki Telecaster and I have some questions. To be up front, I am not a Telecaster player.....I am a banjo player of all things. hahahaha But....this is a great guitar and I don't want the opportunity to slip through my fingers. This particular guitar has three pickups, 5 way switch, butterscotch/yellow body (can see the grain in the wood), black pickguard, natural maple neck and fingerboard. It has black binding around the sides of the body with another wood checkerboard binding beside the black trim. It is a beautiful guitar and plays super smooth. My question is......how collectible are the Kubicki guitars now and would it be a better investment than a regular Fender Tele? Also....how hard would it be to track down who originally had this guitar built?

    Thanks in advance!
     

  2. BrowneFace

    BrowneFace TDPRI Member

    4
    Oct 13, 2008
    New York
    They should be a lot more collectible than they are.
    Even since Phil passed away, on March 18th, interest in his guitars seems to be minimal to the bulk of the guitar playing community.
    Despite making some extremely high profile guitars, he is still known mainly for the instruments that he focused on, since he abandoned six string guitar making in the mid-eighties, the Factor Basses.

    I'm such a fan of his necks that I've -somewhat inadvertently- become a Kubicki collector, with a dozen of his necks, some of them on complete Kubicki guitars.
    The most that I've ever paid for one was $1275, and that was for an extraordinary, hand-signed Strat, with a very highly figured, one-piece koa body (nearly impossible to get these days) and an extremely flamed maple neck. That was pretty much one-of-a-kind, yet it was prominently listed on eBay (for ten days), and I was the only bidder.

    That was almost two years ago, but -in the last couple of months- I've purchased three Strats with Kubicki necks (and other high quality parts), each for $500-$550, shipped.
    So… I do think that they're really undervalued!

    There was a really beautiful Kubicki Tele that languished on Los Angeles craigslist for a couple of months, with the price steadily dropping until it finally sold for $1,000.
    It was a completely Kubicki-constructed instrument, even rarer because it was from his short-lived "Vintage Guitars: A Kubicki Company" brand. That one had a gorgeous one-piece body of the rare Andaman Islands padauk that Phil favored. If I had $1,000 I would have happily purchased it! That was a rarity, for sure, and that sale took place in late April.

    Kubicki actually produced a very large quantity of necks (his wasn't a one-man shop; he had a number of employees) and bodies. Much like Warmoth, USACG, and Musikraft today, they mostly sold replacement parts for players to modify their Fenders, or build instruments from scratch.

    The one that you're describing definitely sounds interesting, primarily due to its double-bound body. You need to post some photos of it, if you can. Please!
    It's gotten terribly risky to purchase any instrument, with regard to their "investment" potential, but -if you can get this one for a fair price- I don't think that you'll regret it.
    Certainly, it will hold its value better than a current mass produced Fender, but the pool of interested buyers will be much smaller. On eBay, though, all potentially interested parties will see it, and -possibly- drive its price up. I have seen this happen a handful of times, with Kubicki necks made of exquisitely figured (or scarce) woods.

    This Tele sounds like one that you should buy, primarily for its value as a player (assuming that you play any guitar at all), then you can't lose.
     

  3. jptopdwn

    jptopdwn TDPRI Member

    3
    Jun 26, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    I appreciate the response. This particular Kubicki is priced over $2k which seems a bit high with the numbers you threw out there. I do play guitar and don't have an electric at the moment. I am going to do some more research. Thanks!
     

  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Great guitars!
    I have owned 3 PK necks over the years, and still have one.
    Most Kubicki guitars were made in the 80s.
    Mr. Kubicki made and designed wonderful instruments.
    Albert Lee and John Fogerty were users/endorsers.
    Between $1500-2000 sounds fair for a guitar like you describe.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
     

  5. Zac

    Zac Tele-Meister

    471
    Mar 30, 2003
    TN
    Please post a picture
     

  6. jptopdwn

    jptopdwn TDPRI Member

    3
    Jun 26, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    Attached are a couple of shots of the Kubicki.
     

    Attached Files:


  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Cool binding!
    Looks like a keeper.
     

  8. mc2NY

    mc2NY TDPRI Member

    9
    May 22, 2008
    New York
    The OP didn't take it...was still in the store, so I bought it.

    After pulling it apart, I thought it was one of Gatton's the way it was spec'd. it was built in 1983, with original single blade Bardens. Arlen Roth told me Gatton's custom doubleneck and his MOTS Tele both had checker binding, so the checker on this one makes some sense. But neck pocket marked by Phil Petillo as a 6/97 refret...after Gatton's passing. VA store it was in said they were only told the original owner had died. Hmmmmm?

    After a lot of investigation....it was built for Howie Epstein...I was able to get a copy of the original build order based on the neck and body SN#s. Small world because I own three of Howie's old custom basses. A former bandmate of mine is one of the back-up singers in the live Heartbreaker videos from the 80s.

    One Odd spec on the original work order....neck plate with SN44 on it? Up charge of around $80 for that...so wondering if it might be a real Fender plate Phil may have had...since I doubt he would charge to put one of his own on a guitar? But I have no idea what such an early legit plate SN# looks like. Anyone know?

    Great axe!

    My other Kubicki Tele is even cooler....one of the couple he made from old 60s Fender Wildwood. The back matches the front...sides are black; 5 ply binding.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013

  9. mc2NY

    mc2NY TDPRI Member

    9
    May 22, 2008
    New York
    Here's the SN 44 neck plate on the Epstein one.

    Might this be an actual early Fender neck plate?
     

    Attached Files:


  10. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 22, 2003
    Georgia/Minnesota
    You pulled the picture, too bad, it's great to have a documentation of these cool, historical instruments.
     

  11. dented

    dented Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Apr 17, 2006
    Back at the Beach
    Welcome jptopdwn, BrowneFace and mc2NY. Thanks for sharing this info about Kubicki and the others. Interesting reading for sure and always like to hear the goods on builders and their wares. Great guitar gossip. Photos are appreciated!
     

  12. mc2NY

    mc2NY TDPRI Member

    9
    May 22, 2008
    New York
    OK...Here ya go. Notice I joined 5 years ago but haven't posted because I have a number of Teles but only one or two are Fenders.
     

    Attached Files:


  13. Justjammin

    Justjammin Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    218
    Feb 2, 2008
    Central Calif Coast

  14. mc2NY

    mc2NY TDPRI Member

    9
    May 22, 2008
    New York
    A few Hamers I've had.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013

  15. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Hey, post away... don't worry about being Fender made. I have 5 Tele style guitars and I made all of them!
     

  16. mc2NY

    mc2NY TDPRI Member

    9
    May 22, 2008
    New York
    I had this one that I got from Kal David for a few years...Factory Duncan Firebird mini-hum at the neck. Unofficially referred to as "Kal David Model" in-house at Hamer. Sold it to a friend of Kal's that really, really wanted it. I loved the custom color. K.D. still has a white one like this.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013

  17. mc2NY

    mc2NY TDPRI Member

    9
    May 22, 2008
    New York
    Yeah, I told that guy saying a mahogany body with a maple neck is "just like Harrison's Tele" that had a mostly rosewood body and neck, is stretching it.

    He's been trying to sell that for months.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013

  18. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 22, 2003
    Georgia/Minnesota
    Thanks, very cool teles!

    BTW, Redd Volkaert had an ad in Vintage Guitar Magazine for years looking for those single blade Bardens.
     

  19. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    Cool looking gear.
     

  20. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey TDPRI Member

    89
    Oct 19, 2006
    So Cal
    A bit late finding this thread. Phil was a friend of mine and our shops were only a few blocks apart. So sorry he's not here now. I own a spectacular instrument of his, one that reminds me of his Harrison Rosewood Tele. Here it is:

    [​IMG]
     

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