I just had the good fortune of acquiring a very prime example of a Gibson RD Artist bass. What an amazing instrument! It is a tobacco sunburst instrument with a beautiful ebony fretboard and is in inredibly clean condition. A few questions for anyone who knows about these basses - First of all I'm trying to get a ball park date on the bass - the serial number is so lightly stamped that it seems impossible to make out what it is, so that's no help. I do understand that the later versions had slightly different switches than earlier ones. I have the usual 4 knobs (bass and treble cut/boost plus a volume for each pickup). Then there are 2 toggle switches (3 way) - the bottom one is the pickup selector while the other one engages the compression/expander circuit. So can anyone tell me if this might be an earlier or later one? My other question is regarding the compression/expander circuit. I'm not sure I understand the control. When I flip the switch to the right (away from the bridge) it seems to engage the circuit. The middle position seems to be normal, but I don't know what the left (toward the bridge) position does. Does anyone know? In any case, the RD Artist has certainly got to be one of the most overlooked basses out there. The thing just sounds incredible! One of the best vintage finds I've ever come across.