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Gibson RD
Solid bodied guitar

RD Artist
 controls
 pricing & publicity
 schematics & parts lists
  RD-77 general schematic
  RD-77 moog board schematic
  RD-77 parts list (1981)
  RD-79 parts list (1981)

RD Custom
 controls
 pricing & publicity
 schematics & parts lists
  RD Custom parts list (1981)

RD Standard
 pricing & publicity
 schematics & parts lists
  RD Standard parts list (1981)

RD Basses

The Gibson 1978 RD guitar and bass catalogue
Gibson 1978 RD guitar and bass catalogue
The 1978 electrics catalogue entitled Quality / Prestige / Innovation
Gibson 1978 Quality /Prestige /Innovation catalogue

The RD line of Guitars was unveiled in 1977. It consisted of three six-string guitar models (RD artist, RD custom and RD standard) and two basses (RD artist and RD standard). RD stands for research and development.... and this range of instruments certainly was a technological leap forward for the Gibson company. At the centre of this innovation was the RD Artist guitar and bass. Not only were they Gibsons first active instruments, but they were also equipped with Moog (another Norlin company) expansion/compression circuitry.

Throughout the 70s Gibson experimented with guitars that were completely different from its older mahogany solid-bodies. Taking ques from other manufacturers, and coming up with ideas of their own. Newer models had been made from maple (L5-S, L-6S) with a bolt-on neck (Marauder and S-1) and now were being taken one step further still with the RD series; aswell as active electronics, the guitars were Gibson's first extra long scale instrument (25 1/2" as opposed to the usual 24 3/4"). According to early literature, were designed "with size, shape, and density of materials, chosen for their brightness, brilliance, sustain and comfort"

Bruce Bolen The Gibson Product development director at the time was Bruce Bolen. in this 1978 he explains the vision behind the RD artist.

One of the particular musical qualities that I personally was looking for in one of the models, was a similar effect to that of a steel player - this being the reduction of the intitial attack and the swell of the note after the initial attack had been made. A steel player of course uses a volume pedal to accomplish this but it was still something missing. Bob designed a special circuit that would achieve this as well as an expansion circuit unlike any other that had been designed to date.




From top to bottom, the Gibson RD Artist, RD Custom, and RD Standard guitars

From top to bottom, the Gibson RD artist, RD custom and RD standard guitars

RD guitar users

RD Artist
Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
Alan Kendall (Bee Gees)
Rob Dean (Japan)

RD Custom
Dave Grohl

RD Standard

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US ebay listings

1977 Gibson RD Artist Guitar Ebony

Current price: $2395.00
buy it now
Time left: 18d 26m
Mint 2011 Gibson RD Standard Les Paul Pleked - International Buyers Welcome

Current price: $995.76

Time left: 16h 20m
Free Shipping!! Very Rare!! Gibson RD Custom 1977 Guitar 04

Current price: $2492.00
buy it now
Time left: 8d 9h 49m
2007 Gibson RD Standard Re Issue Silverburst GOTW #48 Guitar w Ebony Board

Current price: $1249.99
buy it now
Time left: 3d 14h 43m
Gibson / RD Artist Alphine White 2014 Limited Run “RD Artist” guitar δ

Current price: $2780.00
buy it now
Time left: 12d 4h 40m
GIBSON FIREBIRD II CMT RD ARTIST w MOOG electronics ONLY 150 MADE!! 1981

Current price: $4995.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 7h 31m
Vintage 1979 Gibson RD Artist Electric Guitar w/ Moog Electronics Original Case

Current price: $2995.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 22h 33m
1981 Gibson CMT RD Artist Bass Guitar

Current price: $3250.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 19h 33m
1979 Gibson RD Artist Bass

Current price: $1695.00
buy it now
Time left: 18d 23h 37m
Gibson RD Artist Bass Guitar - Vintage 1977

Current price: $2295.00
buy it now
Time left: 11d 16h 23m
Gibson RD Artist Reissue 2010

Current price: $900.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 13h 24m
1978 Gibson RD Artist Bass with Original Case & Tags Natural

Current price: $1999.00
buy it now
Time left: 14d 16h 41m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

1979 Gibson RD Artist Bass

Current price: £1049.60
buy it now
Time left: 18d 23h 37m
1978 Vintage Gibson RD Artist Bass *Moog Electronics *Made in USA *Exc Cond *NR

Current price: £990.15

Time left: 6d 19h 8m
2007 Gibson RD Standard Re Issue Silverburst GOTW #48 Guitar w Ebony Board

Current price: £774.04
buy it now
Time left: 3d 14h 43m
NEW - Earvana Compensated 1-11/16" Nut For Gibson Acoustic, Wound 3rd, BLACK

Current price: £17.95
buy it now
Time left: 24d 7h 46m
1973 Vintage Original Gibson SG Standard Harness Pots Caps 3rd week of 73 711PT1

Current price: £95.36
buy it now
Time left: 9d 10h 48m
1979 GIBSON RD ARTIST BASS & GUITAR PRINT AD

Current price: £6.19
buy it now
Time left: 1d 9h 3m
NEW - Earvana Compensated 1-11/16" Nut For Gibson Acoustic, Wound 3rd, CREAM

Current price: £17.95
buy it now
Time left: 24d 7h 50m
VINTAGE 1970's GIBSON RD CUSTOM HUMBUCKER BRIDGE PICKUP LES PAUL SG ARTIST 3.58K

Current price: £55.70
buy it now
Time left: 10d 20h 18m
Vintage 1979 Gibson RD Artist Electric Guitar w/ Moog Electronics Original Case

Current price: £1854.60
buy it now
Time left: 21d 22h 33m
NEW - Earvana Compensated 1-5/8" Nut For Gibson Acoustic, Wound 3rd, BLACK

Current price: £17.95
buy it now
Time left: 4d 14h
1977 Gibson RD Artist Guitar Ebony

Current price: £1483.06
buy it now
Time left: 18d 26m
Gibson RD Artist Bass Guitar - Vintage 1977

Current price: £1421.14
buy it now
Time left: 11d 16h 23m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

GIBSON RD CUSTOM BAUJAHR 1978 - TOP ZUSTAND

Current price: €2395.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 9h 29m
1978 Gibson RD ARTIST CUSTOM Preis vorschlagen ! Vintage! VERY RARE!

Current price: €3290.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 12h 22m
1977 GIBSON RD ARTIST / CUSTOM GUITAR CASE -- made in USA

Current price: €398.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 11h 32m
See more results on eBay here

There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
RD gassss Comment left 8th July 2012 15:03:49
RDs are some of the best guitars Gibson ever made. When will they put out a true reissue with moog board. I want one. Mega GAS!

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