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My RD Artist

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassfuser, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    I was a guitar player when I first saw a Gibson RD Artist bass around 77-78. I thought it was the coolest looking thing and I knew I would eventually get one. That came true in 1982 when a music store was going out of business and I purchased an '81 model for $500.00. What a bass for a beginner. It weighed a ton and was really difficult to play with the 35" neck. Not to mention I freaked out the first time the battery went dead.

    Anyway, I never really cared that much for it and decided to have it made into a fretless after I got myself a '78 P-bass, which I still have and really like. That was a mistake and the RD Artist basically sat in the case for about 25 years.

    When I found this site I discovered that a lot of people really liked the RD Artist and it was worth some bucks. I got it out and started messing with it. The volume was weak and I still didn't like the fact that the frets were removed, so I took it in and had frets put back on. They did a great job, but the bass was still weak and had a lot of buzz. Back to the case for another year or two until recently I decided to work on it. I replaced all the electrolytic caps, a couple of bad JFETs which brought the volume up, but there was still a lot of buzz. Finally I found that the shield ground coming from both pickups were connected by just a few strands of the wire.

    I got it fixed today and I have to say I think it's the best sounding bass I have. The tone is just amazing. I always figured it was best for Metal type music, but the tones a so varied I think it can fit to any style.

    I've been playing 5 string for close to 20 years and I'm thinking I may have to go back to playing 4 strings again.

    Sorry to ramble on so long but I wanted to share with all of you my new "oldest" bass. :bassist:
  2. theavondon


    May 11, 2009
    That rules! I'm glad you hung onto such an amazing instrument. Have fun with it! I know I would.
  3. Fly Guitars

    Fly Guitars

    Dec 29, 2008
    Yes, as long as you are not a weedy 4ft schoolboy, the RD Artist is fantastic in every way. They look great, play great and sound great.

    Sound like you were not getting the best out of yours for some time.
  4. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
  5. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    Attached are a couple pics.

    Attached Files:

  6. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    Here are a couple more.

    Attached Files:

  7. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    God I want one so bad...
  8. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    I guess it was kind of a diamond in the rough for me. Didn't know what I had.
  9. Klopp18


    Dec 25, 2009
    New Hope, MN
    i know exactly what you mean :crying:
  10. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    How much does it weigh?
  11. xoloder


    Aug 14, 2009
    San Leandro, CA.
    that looks EXACTLY like my first bass. i didn't know what i had then, but because it wasn't what i really wanted, it was not at all appreciated. i sure wish i had it today.

    yours is BEAUTIFUL by the way...
  12. UnfortunateTony


    Jul 26, 2010
    Woah, sunburst. Personally I prefer the black ones but that's a finish you don't see too often.
  13. Had one just like that.....to this day it's the only bass I've owned that I regret selling :crying:
  14. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    i want one but know that the weight would put me off of keeping it

    what a drag it is growing old

  15. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    They weigh a ton! I have a '77 RD Artist, and if I had to take a guess, I'd say upwards of 12 lbs. They're heavy for sure. On the other hand, I think tonally they were ahead of their time.

    I've only gigged with my RD once ... did one set with it. My shoulder hurt so bad I did the rest of the gig with my Lakland 4-94. And this was with a 4" Moody strap. Sitting down with it, however, is no problem.
  16. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    Yep, it just weighed in at 12 lbs. I think I need to look into a fatter strap but so far I've pretty much been using it for practice. I can see using it for a few songs here and there. I'm mainly a five string guy so it'll take some getting use to.
  17. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    Wow.....the burst! very nice.

    If you ever want to part with it, let me know. :)

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