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.