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gibson RD artist

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, May 16, 2001.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i'm lookin for information and opinons about this bass. i know that it was HEAVY, LOUD and with an enormous active circuit designed by bob moog. are there guys who own or play one of these gibson rd basses. i have never tried one, but i'd like to see one in person, play and maybe buy. pics are really welcome! thanks
  2. Hey Barroso, I almost bought one of these basses about twenty years ago, and I still regret the fact that I did not. I'm sure you know it has body style that's similar to a reverse Firebird, but with a more rounded look. It was a bit on the heavy side, but, not the heaviest I ever played. The sound is what got me. It had a very advanced tone circuit for the time. It had a compression/expansion switch on it, and the sounds you could produce were from a pipe organ to a very angry Jazz Bass. It sounded good with the tone circuit on or off. I'm partial to Gibson basses, and considering its looks, sound and feel, it was one of the best basses that I've played.

    There are a few guys here that own or have owned one; I remeber talking about RDs in a thread about 3 months ago. If you can get a decent price on one, I'd say jump on it.

    Good Luck,
    Mike J.
  3. I had a black RD Artist way back when and it was a great sounding and playing bass, in fact my only problems with the bass were ergonomic, it just was not a comfortable bass for me to play, not the weight that body shape just wasn't happening for me. I later traded it with a guy that had a Steinberger bass that he hated cause it didn't look "Rock!"
  4. gibsonbassist45


    Jul 13, 2008
    ive wanted an ebony gibson RD artist for a while now.if anyone has one thats EBONY and looking to sell it please send a reply or mesage to me.

    *and to bassbrad; no, that doesnt make you old. im going on 18 and i love old basses and equipment. thus is why im looking for an RD aritist and many other old gibson models.
  5. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
  6. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    I ordered mine in 78 and still have it to this day without any real issues all these years.

    The good - Very versatile tone, Moog Electronics, infinite sustain & great harmonics-Unique shape, no other bass I have tried can do what it does. Great bright modern piano tone and thunderous lows. Just about any tone can be had but a warm passive one.

    The bad-really heavy, active only electronics-no passive mode or warm passive tone, Electronics can be noisy when cranked.

    Has more of a p neck, if that's good or bad?

    I love mine and still is my go-to bass after all these years

  7. play4zero


    Dec 29, 2005
    Edorsing Artist: Eden
    You can see and hear one on the Gov't Mule Deepest End concert. Dave Schools plays one on Blindman in the Dark.
  8. play4zero


    Dec 29, 2005
    Edorsing Artist: Eden
    Also, if you like the sound, but don't like the weight, the Gibson Victory Artist also has Moog electronics without the effects in a lighter package. So awesome sounding that I bought two.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I owned a black RD Artist during 1978-79. Very powerful tone. And yes, very "rock".

    I didn't keep it very long. The thing was incredibly big and heavy - even for me (6'2" & 200 pounds). And the neck was just massive - like playing a polished log. Plus, I thought the electronics were crude - nothing subtle about it. :meh:

  10. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    I own both an RD Artist and a Victory Artist.

    RD Artist - I'd echo all the comments thus far. It really plays and sounds great, but the weight is it's limiting factor IMHO. Mine, for some reason, picks up radio (I can hear it through the amp) when I use the bridge pickup alone. I suspect it's an RF shielding problem I'll have fixed at some point.

    Victory Artist - Weighs as much if not more than the RD. Huge headstock, angled pickup at the neck which some may not like the look of. Electronics, while modern aren't as versatile IMHO. Not sure if they're Moog designed either, but I could be wrong. Thinner neck than the RD, and it's a bolt on. Plays fairly well, though if I had to pick between the RD and the Victory, the RD would win.

  11. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    The RD Artist is the least "Gibson-sounding" Gibson I have owned if that makes sense.

    I found mine to be very modern sounding compared to the other Gibsons I have owned over the years (SG Reissue, G3 and Rippers). I didn't find mine noisy but it was really heavy (10lb++).

    If I bought another Gibson, it would be an RD Artist.

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