NGD -Kubicki Vintage Guitars Tele needs work

B-Rockington

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NGD for me. Just picked up a Kubicki Vintage Guitars Telecaster. TDPRI seems to be the best website with the most knowledgeable people regarding Mr. Kubicki's work, so I wanted to post and document the guitar here for other enthusiasts and hopefully obtain some expert knowledge as well. The body cavity, neck, and back chrome neck plate are all stamped with the number 14; could this be the 14th guitar he made under the Vintage Guitars company name? The 250K CTS pots (1377849) date it to Dec. 1978. The wood appears to be either Mahogany or Andaman Padauk; any way to know for sure? The pickups are unmarked, not sure if they are original and whether they are SD's or not; anyway to tell? The tuners are Schaller inline with the double mounting tabs; 1 has been replaced with an incorrect one so I'll need to find the correct tuner to replace that. It's missing the top-hat from the switch, so I hope to find an original. The bridge has no name on it and 1 of the saddles has either been replaced or stripped of its' chrome. Do these saddles appear original and any idea who the manufacturer of this bridge is? What I'm looking to do is get this guitar back into the best playable condition without breaking the bank. Looks like it needs a new nut and re-fret (should all frets be replaced?). Also, the fingerboard has some fairly deep grooves in the first 6 frets. Can this be corrected or does it need to be corrected? Will it need a new fingerboard? Should I plan on replacing the p/u's; recs.? Anything I'm not seeing that will need to be fixed? What work would you do to this guitar? Luthier recommendations in Los Angeles area? All thoughts, info, and opinions are welcome as I didn't know anything about Mr. Kubicki and his work until I got this guitar and searched online for info. Here are the pics:
 

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B-Rockington

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additional pics
 

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dreamingtele

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The bridge has no name on it and 1 of the saddles has either been replaced or stripped of its' chrome. Do these saddles appear original and any idea who the manufacturer of this bridge is?

Looks like an Armadillo bridge/saddle.. not sure though.. Im not even sure if they were around during the 70's..
 

brookdalebill

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Howdy and welcome to this cool place!
Philip Kubicki made the neck on my avatar guitar.
He did great work!
I someday hope to own one of his Ex-Factor basses.
RIP, and thanks, Mr. K.
 
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hamerfan

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Good news is that you don't need to replace the fingerboard. Maybe you could get away with fret level for little coin. But if you want to restore the fingerboard to old glory you need new frets. If you do that be sure to order a stainless steel refret to get another 40 years fret life.
 

Wound_Up

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Looks like an Armadillo bridge/saddle.. not sure though.. Im not even sure if they were around during the 70's..

Look like PRS or Hamer saddles to me.

Matter of fact, these Hamer saddles from MannMade USA look very, very close.

Edited: actually, the Hamers look like the Armadillo saddles from what I see

Screenshot_20221110-062710_Reverb.jpg


Vs Armadillo. These appear to be pretty much the same as the MannMade Hamers from what I can see

zmlam19scrcdqsjgkwz0.jpg
images (82).jpeg
 
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brookdalebill

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Looks like an Armadillo bridge/saddle.. not sure though.. Im not even sure if they were around during the 70's..
Armadillo is a cool company!
They’re local.
I bought a bridge and some other parts a few years ago.
I’m pretty sure they were not around in the 70s.
I’d have know about them.
 

Hodgo88

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The original Charvels had keyhole saddles VERY similar to those that were used, only all brass, I think manufactured by Kahler and sold by DiMarzio. That would be around the same timeframe of 1978-1979. Hamer also used saddles just like that in the same era, called the "Sustain block bridge". Given how much of Hamer's later hardware was also Kahler, I think it's possible they are original and probably Kahler manufactured.
 
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Sax-son

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Back in the late 1990's, I attended a guitar show where Phil Kubicki had a booth and we got into a lengthy discussion regarding his Fender style guitars. He said that he was building his own parts (bodies and necks) and was using Seymour Duncan pickups. He also had a variety of Strat and Telecaster necks and his Factor Basses on hand. Based on my conversation with him, I sensed he was trying to distance himself from his Fender association and was trying to market himself with a variety of new designed products.

He was a very interesting guy, I was considering purchasing a black Kubicki telecaster from him, it was very reasonably priced, but he warned me that this particular guitar had been left in a trunk of a client's car that was stuck in below zero temperatures. He thought that exposure changed the tonality and playability of the guitar in his opinion. I respected his opinion and passed on the guitar. I found him to be very nice person who was honest and a person of integrity.
 
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B-Rockington

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Thanks to everyone for all the replies! Looks like old Mighty Mite and Charvel saddles are near identical with their teardrop style shape vs. more of a keyhole shape on others. Doesn't seem like it will be easy to find a chrome replacement one though. Hamerfan, glad to hear you think the fingerboard is good to go! I'll probably just put the money into a SS refret then. Any opinions on keeping or replacing the p/u's? Looking for more of a general hard rock 70's type distortion like Zep, AC/DC, Budgie, Tull, etc. Thanks
 

B-Rockington

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Nick, what you said sounds great! Honestly, I can't give the p/u's a fair assessment right now. The height adjustment springs are missing on the neck p/u and the guitar just needs too much other work done. My thought was, would I just be better off bringing new/used known quality p/u's with me to the guitar tech while they are performing all of the other work or to stick with these and just see how it comes out. From what you're saying I should definitely give them a shot.
 

naneek

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cool guitar. the color of the finish is like the gradient between red and yellow in a classic fender sunburst.
Doesn't seem like it will be easy to find a chrome replacement one though. Hamerfan, glad to hear you think the fingerboard is good to go! I'll probably just put the money into a SS refret then. Any opinions on keeping or replacing the p/u's?
If that one saddle is completely identical aside from the material, it may be original and just a little custom touch or tonal choice.

Looks like brass, a lot of older telecasters had brass. maybe they thought it made the low E twangier or bassier, or just wanted to hear some contrast between the other strings.

Definitely keep the original fretboard, and no need to level the fingerboard wood to remove the wear. You'll probably come to like the way it feels, it will become part of your muscle memory for those frets.

Just get the fretwork done. Depending on how badly the frets are worn, maybe it just needs a polish and fret level. Refret if necessary, and if it was me, I would keep it as close to original spec and materials as possible for the frets.

Is there any reason to suspect the pickups are not original?
If they are unoriginal, I would try to get something similar to what the builder would have used at the time. If I wanted something more specific, I would stick with pickups that fit the existing routes.
 

B-Rockington

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The rear pickup appears original with no splices and 1 black and 1 white wire. The front one I'm less sure about since there are 2 white wires coming off the pickup that are spliced into a 1 black and 1 white wire going back to the control cavity. see pics
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