RENOWNED GUITAR BUILDER AND BASS designer Philip Kubicki passed peacefully March
18, in Laconia, NH. His grandfather’s guitar
and Segovia’s playing fascinated him. At 12,
Kubicki felt a “mysterious connection” with
the instrument, and he built three guitars
while in high school. After attending engineering
classes at Fullerton Junior College,
he took an eye-opening tour of the Fender
factory in 1963. Learning of their plans for
an acoustic division, he applied for a job.
Two weeks later, Roger Rossmeisl took on
Kubicki to develop Fender’s flat-top Kingman
series, the Coronado, and fancy LTD
archtops. Kubicki made a rosewood Telecaster
for George Harrison, and he nearly
jumped out of his seat seeing it in Let It Be.
During his tenure, Kubicki was truly Fender’s
’60s Custom Shop artisan.
Moving to Santa Barbara in 1973, Kubicki
pursued an independent career building
acoustics and electrics. Seymour Duncan
collaborated with him in the early ’80s,
and introduced me to him, resulting in the
Wildwood ’50 Esquire seen here. In 1985,
Kubicki’s progressive masterpiece, the X
Factor bass, debuted a truly advanced bridge-tuning
Kubicki’s genius was in creating simple
yet sensible, ergonomically perfect instruments.
Always a wonderful friend with
admirable enthusiasm, he had the kindest
of hearts. He will be dearly missed by the
many who had the great pleasure of his
warm friendship. Hats off to those playing
the lasting legacy of Kubicki instruments.