Philip Kubicki, creator of the Factor Bass, has passed away after a battle with cancer. The renowned luthier spent nine years at Fender in their R&D department before creating his own brand.
Kubicki first realized his fascination with instruments at his grandparents’ house. “When I was young – perhaps 12 or 13 years old – I found an old, handmade acoustic guitar in my grandfather’s closet,” he wrote in Vintage Guitar Magazine. “It seemed funny no one in my family except me had any interest in it. I felt an amazing fascination and mysterious connection with it. Even at that early age, I felt my life pivot around that instrument.”
During his tenure at Fender from 1964 to 1973, Kubicki created several prototypes including the Fender Telecaster Thinline, an electric violin, and the first rosewood Telecaster for George Harrison, which the Beatle used to record “Let It Be”.
The luthier went on to his independent career and came to design the Factor Bass in 1983. It’s unique design and features caught the bass community’s attention and included a unique bridge tuner device, a mechanism for dropping the E-string down to D, a phantom-powered circuit board, and a 32-piece rotary-cut laminated veneer neck. The first production model was introduced in 1985. Notable players include John Taylor, Stuart Hamm, Vail Johnson, Roger Waters, and Victor Wooten.
Here’s a video of Stu Hamm performing solo with a Kubicki Factor Bass:
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Philip Kubicki.