Kubicki Factor & X-Factor

Kubicki Basses

Phil Kubicki makes some amazing instruments and this was proven by the three instruments above which I sold some time ago. From left to right they are: fretted X-Factor, fretted Factor and fretless X-Factor. The powder blue bass was a lightweight pre-Fender model that I wish I still had today.

X-Factor is clearly the most popular instrument made by Kubicki and is certainly the best known example of his work. It is a 32" scale bass with a capo-like lever which, when released, provides two additional frets corresponding to Eb and D. The added string length ensures that the tone of these notes is in character with the rest of the fretboard range.

The Factor bass is a straight 34" scale instrument, but offers the same wonderful pickups and versatile preamp. These basses all feature a bolt-on neck and clean fretboard with no fret markers.

Both the Factor and X-Factor use an interesting bridge & tuning system. The ball of the string fits into the headstock of the instrument and the other end of the string is wound into a large cogged wheel that is hand-tightened (as much as possible) to provide tension. Then there is a fine-tuning adjustment that brings the string to it's proper pitch. Personally I found this system a bit cumbersome when compared to modern top-loading bridges for quick string changes, but this is a minor point.

These are great-sounding well-built basses and I will own an X-Factor again at some point. The 32" scale is very easy to work with, but on the X-Factor basses tone is not sacrificed in favour of the shorter scale.