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what to do with my RD Artist?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by HertzWhenIPlay, Jan 15, 2012.


  1. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    hello, fellow TB'ers
    i have a 1978 gibson rd artist that unfortunatley had the moog electronics removed way before the bass was mine.

    i'm looking at turning this bass into a versatile gigging and recording machine that would cover just about everything and do it well. i understand the big al to be one the most versatile basses currently out there and would like to accomplish something along those lines. :help: I know the big al has a third pickup in the neck position.

    IS IT POSSIBLE?

    the rd artist has 2 pickup, 4 knobs, 2 switches, and a rear-routed area that would dang near house a pedaltrain mini. lol

    what i'm looking for...would be:
    active and passive, varibale mid freq, bass, trble, volume, blend, etc...

    thanks in advance for any help!:bassist:
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    i'd put good pickups in it, and maybe a straightforward 2 or 3-band preamp. that moog mess is no great loss.
     
  3. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Put it back to correct, less the Moog stuff. Those basses sound great, if I remember correctly. A guy I knew had one (around 1982) I loved that thing. I had a great '75 Jazz at the time and I wanted that Gibson!
     
  4. 67precision

    67precision

    Jan 25, 2011
    Up North, MN
    Alembic Activators

    I plan to restore with these - granted I have an Alembic, but everyone I talk to about their electronics say there is no better.
     
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Not nearly so "unfortunate" as you would suppose. I used to own one of these. Bought it brand new. In 1978. So I know this from experience... :meh:

    Take Walter's advice: Get a nice set of aftermarket pickups, plus the onboard preamp of your choice. Trust me: the standard electronics components of today are of uniformly better quality than the cutting-edge components of 34 years ago. Even if they were designed & produced by Bob Moog... :meh:

    MM
     
  6. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    thumbs up, folks
    this is what i will do! :hyper:
    I have been looking for original replacements (half heartedly) for the past ten years.

    now...which preamp? :bag:
     
  7. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    can anyone provide input as to which pickups will fit an original issue RD artist?

    thanks.
     
  8. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    any recommendations on replacement humbucker size pickups and preamp that will allow me to cover a wide range of sounds?
    I play mostly rock, blues and some jazz, funk.

    thanks in advance
     
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The '78 RD Artist had pickups that measured 73.5mm x 42mm (2.89" x 1.65"). They measured 6.5kΩ.

    That's slightly larger than a guitar humbucker size, and both smaller and larger than something like an EMG 35.

    Do you have the original pick guard? Since the pick guard holds the pickups, the easiest thing would be to have a new pick guard made with the openings to fit new pickups.

    Or, you can have new pickups made in the original size. That sounds harder than it is.

    The RD reissue that Gibson is making looks really tacky because they used Jazzbass pickups in it.

    Sometimes this eBay store has them. They currently have a pickguard for one:

    http://stores.ebay.com/Greatdealz1967?_trksid=p4340.l2563

    They also have the RD Standard pickups:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Gib...ccessories&hash=item3a6f64890c#ht_1755wt_1299
     
  10. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    David, thanks for the info
    i am enjoying learning more about the offerings from SGD lutherie,
     
  11. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    i have narrowed the preamp down to two options;
    Aguilar or John East...

    If i go with the Aguilar, I plan to source my own pot so that i can have variable mid freq selection, rather than only two pre-determinded frequencies in the mid band.

    Any advice between the aguilar and the john east??
     
  12. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Unless they put two of those into another housing, that looks more like a G3 single coil than an RD humbucker. The listing even says single coil after calling it an RD standard pickup. Weird.
     
  13. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Those are RD Standard pickups. The Standard had jazz-bass like pickups, the Artist had the guitar-ish sized humbuckers and the active Moog pre.
     
  14. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I'm not sure why everyone says they are Jazz bass like pickups. They are actually humbuckers. Even Gibson got it wrong on the reissue.

    The only similarity to a Jazz pickup is they are narrow aperture.
     
  15. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Ah interesting, didn't know that. I basically meant they look more like Jazz pickups, VS the guitar humbucker Looking ones on the Artist.
     
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    They do look like Jazz pickups. I believe they were split coils too.

    They used the same pickups in the Victory bass.
     
  17. sj_bass

    sj_bass Supporting Member

    May 23, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    Moody Leathers endorsed artist
    This is what I have with my '78 RD Artist. Gutted, with EMG active pickups and 5(!) producer switches that do nothing... I swear, one of these days I'll wire two of the switches including the pickup selecter and a battery kill switch.

    But all I do is play the hell out of my 12lb. beast.

    and... loving it </maxwell smart>
     
  18. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    i have made the decision to use a filter preamp in my beast.
    ordered an ACG preamp from the UK, it is one of their newer model, the Eq01.
    ...will use the stock pickups for now.

    this is likely to become my primary instrument once the mods are done.
    must admit that im pretty darn excited about the possibilities of this bass....
     
  19. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Please be sure to follow up with the thread once you get it installed.
     
  20. HertzWhenIPlay

    HertzWhenIPlay

    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    will do.
    Alan, at AGC said the preamp will ship tomorrow and I will try and get my instrument to the Atlanta Bass Gallery for the installation by Friday 3/2.

    so, it might be up to two weeks until I'm able to report.
     

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