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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

If you can add to this list please email

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US ebay listings

1977 Gibson RD Artist Guitar Ebony

Current price: $2395.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 19h 16m
Gibson Electric Guitar (Nashville) October 23rd, 2006 (120) Cherry

Current price: $299.99
buy it now
Time left: 2d 8h 32m
Gibson Limited Edition RD Artist

Current price: $2299.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 15h 2m
GIBSON FIREBIRD II CMT RD ARTIST w MOOG electronics ONLY 150 MADE!! 1981

Current price: $4995.00
buy it now
Time left: 20d 1h 44m
Rare!! Vintage Gibson Melody Maker Tremolo 1965 3rd Ver guitar Exc++

Current price: $1599.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 22h
1979 Gibson RD Artist Bass

Current price: $1595.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 19h 16m
GIBSON RD ARTIST BASS GUITAR 1978 OHSC RARE VINTAGE BASS WITH MOOG ELECTRONICS

Current price: $4499.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 9h 3m
Vintage Circa 1977 Gibson RD Artist Custom Bass w/ Moog Electronics & Hard Case

Current price: $2195.00
buy it now
Time left: 11d 10h 12m
1981 Gibson CMT RD Artist Bass Guitar

Current price: $3250.00
buy it now
Time left: 20d 15h 24m
Gibson Vintage 1977 RD Artist Natural Bass Guitar.

Current price: $1799.99
buy it now
Time left: 22d 10h 2m
1978 Gibson RD Artist Bass with Original Case & Tags Natural

Current price: $1999.00
buy it now
Time left: 25d 7h 33m
Gibson RD Artist Bass Guitar - Vintage 1977

Current price: $2295.00
buy it now
Time left: 18d 10h 35m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

1977 Gibson RD Artist Guitar Ebony

Current price: £1527.62
buy it now
Time left: 26d 19h 16m
Gibson RD Artist bass guitar

Current price: £975.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 5h 42m
1979 Gibson RD Artist Bass

Current price: £1017.35
buy it now
Time left: 26d 19h 16m
Gibson RD Artist Bass Guitar - Vintage 1977

Current price: £1463.83
buy it now
Time left: 18d 10h 35m
Vintage Circa 1977 Gibson RD Artist Custom Bass w/ Moog Electronics & Hard Case

Current price: £1400.05
buy it now
Time left: 11d 10h 12m
NEW - Earvana Compensated 1-5/8" Nut For Gibson Acoustic, Wound 3rd, CREAM

Current price: £18.49
buy it now
Time left: 5d 9h 37m
NEW - Earvana Compensated 1-11/16" Nut For Gibson Acoustic, Wound 3rd, CREAM

Current price: £18.49
buy it now
Time left: 1d 2h 3m
NEW - Earvana Compensated 1-11/16" Nut For Gibson Acoustic, Wound 3rd, BLACK

Current price: £18.49
buy it now
Time left: 1d 1h 59m
1974 Gibson Strap Buttons w Screws For Les Paul SG L6-S S1 Marauder RD USA

Current price: £14.17
buy it now
Time left: 25d 19h 30m
1979 GIBSON RD ARTIST - CUSTOM - STANDARD GUITAR PRINT AD

Current price: £6.37
buy it now
Time left: 27d 12h 25m
NEW - Earvana Compensated 1-5/8" Nut For Gibson Acoustic, Wound 3rd, BLACK

Current price: £18.49
buy it now
Time left: 11d 8h 13m
2013 Gibson Kluson Deluxe Tuner Treble Side W/Black Key Knob 3rd 2nd 1st String

Current price: £9.54
buy it now
Time left: 5d 9h 25m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

Gibson RD Artist Bass von 1978 mit Koffer top Zustand, near mint condition!!

Current price: €1850.00
buy it now
Time left: 7d 18h 56m
GIBSON RD CUSTOM BAUJAHR 1978 - TOP ZUSTAND

Current price: €2395.00
buy it now
Time left: 16d 3h 42m
1977 GIBSON RD ARTIST / CUSTOM GUITAR CASE -- made in USA

Current price: €398.00
buy it now
Time left: 8d 5h 45m
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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