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Gibson RD Artist

solid body electric guitar

RD overview | RD artist | RD custom | RD standard

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Gibson RD Artist - There Is No Energy Shortage
Gibson RD Artist - There Is No Energy Shortage
Late seventies advertisement for the RD Artist guitars and basses, detailing the active electronics and the expansion/compression features built into these guitars
Gibson RD Artist - The Active Sound Of The 80s
Gibson RD Artist - The Active Sound Of The 80s
This advert features three Artist series guitars; each with active electronics designed by Bob Moog: the RD Artist which had been around since 1977, the semi-acoustic ES Artist and Les Paul Artist, which were both new models in 1979
Gibson RD Artist - Passive Active Gibson RD
Gibson RD Artist - Passive Active Gibson RD
Advertisement from the magazine Music Life (April 78), which comes from Japan. The functionality of the RD artist guitar is explained in detail (In Japanese)
Gibson RD Artist - Power Play - Basses Loaded
Gibson RD Artist - Power Play - Basses Loaded
This advert for the RD series actually appeared on two consecutive pages of the magazines in which they were printed. The top half, for the RD Artist guitar on the left, the RD Artist bass on the right

Latest RD forum posts from the VintageGuitar forum
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1978 Gibson RD Artist
2 replies
last message by ChazMeatball
23/12/2014 07:15

Gibson RD Artist
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12/04/2011 13:22

Custom RD Artist
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last message by Bnmnq
05/08/2009 09:38

78 Gibson RD - moog bypass?
2 replies
last message by freq42
19/11/2008 14:19

Re my 77 Gibson RD77 Artist
4 replies
last message by Ted Chappell
30/10/2008 11:09

Guitar of the week Gibson RD guitar
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last message by jules
14/05/2008 20:32



Artist

The three versions of the Gibson RD artist. Top: the RD 77, middle: the RD 79, bottom the RD CMT

The three versions of the RD artist. Top: the RD 77, middle: the RD 79, bottom the RD CMT. There are a number of differences, in electronics, hardware and also scale. These are summarised below.

Model RD 77 RD 79 RD CMT
Available1977-791979-811981
PickupsGold-plated series VI humbuckers.Nickel-plated series VI humbuckers, with cream pickup surrounds
Active / PassiveActive, 9V
BodyMapleBound maple with curly maple top
NeckLaminated maple. Ebony fretboard with pearl block markers. Bound headstock with pearl inlay. Neck bound from 1979.No headstock inlays
Width at nut1 11/16"
Frets22
Scale25 1/2"24 3/4"
HardwareSchaller tuners, tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece. Gold-plated throughout. Black speed knobs.Schaller tuners, tune-o-matic bridge and TP6 tailpiece. Gold-plated throughout. Black speed knobs.Schaller tuners, tune-o-matic bridge and TP6 tailpiece. Nickel-plated throughout. Gold speed knobs.
FinishesAntique Sunburst, Ebony, Natural, FireburstAntique Sunburst, Ebony, NaturalAntique Sunburst, Antique Cherryburst
NotesTwo volume, master treble, master bass controls. 3-way pickup selector, 3-position mode switch
 expansion/comp.
 neutral
 bright/lead
Two volume, master treble, master bass controls. 3-way pickup selector, 2 mini toggle switches
 expansion/comp.
 bright/lead

When the RD Series of guitars and basses were first designed, the Gibson Research and Development department wanted to pack their electronic innovations into the most suitable body. The RD guitars were styled at the same time as their active circuitry was developed, in this way the design of this instrument was a completely integral process. The result of this integral design is quite obvious - guitars and basses that are balanced and effective without gadgetry or ornamentation

The RD series consisted of three guitars and two basses, but this was certainly the flagship instrument. All advertisements featured the new active Artist models - which is not surprising as these were certainly very new and groundbreaking guitars

The scale of the RD77 was 25 1/2" - the longest Gibson guitar produced. When it was replaced with the more traditionally scaled (24 3/4") RD-79, the longer-scale RD-77 was still available as a custom order, at the same price. These new RD-77s still had the RD-79 expansion/compression switches.

1981 RD Artist CMT
A fine example of a CMT RD Artist, with a particularly nice top veneer
In March 1981, Gibson announced to dealers a limited run of 100 RD CMT guitars, for delivery in April. Ths guitars had mixed features; a slab body with a curly maple top, bound and with no contours. Hardware was nickel plated rather than gold, and there were no pearl inlays, just a Gibson decal. The price list released at the same time (April 1st 1981) has no mention of any RD guitars, so these were very definitely an end-of-the-line model. Was this Gibsons attempt to shift some RD Artists at a reduced price?

Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment




US ebay listings

1978 Gibson RD Artist Bass with Original Case & Tags Natural

Current price: $1999.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 21h 25m
Gibson RD Artist Bass Guitar - Vintage 1977

Current price: $1895.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 2h 45m
GIBSON RD STANDARD BASS 1978. Natural Finish. Sylish and Unique. Loud. Maple.

Current price: $1895.00
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Time left: 13d 17h 38m
Gibson Vintage 1977 RD Artist Natural Bass Guitar.

Current price: $1799.99
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Time left: 13d 2h 11m
GIBSON RD CUSTOM GUITAR, 1978, BLOND, MAPLE FINGERBOARD, CASE, CLEAN

Current price: $1199.00
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Time left: 19h 12m
Gibson RD Custom*Vintage 1977*Moog Electronics*NO RESERVE*

Current price: $900.00
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Time left: 3d 6h 33m
1981 Gibson Victory MVX vintage guitar, not Marauder SG Les Paul RD Artist

Current price: $599.00
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Time left: 5d 6h 4m
VINTAGE 1974 USA GIBSON RIPPER BASS GUITAR BRIDGE RD EB ORIGINAL 1975

Current price: $249.00
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Time left: 22h 36m
Vintage 70's Gibson BASS BRIDGE Ripper RD EB-3 Les Paul? 3 point

Current price: $239.99
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Time left: 22d 18h
1973 Vintage Original Gibson SG Standard Harness Pots Caps 3rd week of 73 711PT1

Current price: $144.00
buy it now
Time left: 10d 18h 2m
70's 80's NICKEL GIBSON TUNERS SG Flying V Les Paul RD Standard + Custom L6-S

Current price: $139.99
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Time left: 16d 18h 4m
70's 80's GIBSON TUNERS SG Flying V Les Paul RD Standard + Custom L6-S CHROME

Current price: $129.99
buy it now
Time left: 14d 16h 39m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Gibson Chrome Tune-o-matic ABR-1 Bridge Guitar Parts ES Les Paul R9 V Custom RD

Current price: £36.83
buy it now
Time left: 6d 20h 11m
Gibson Historic Nickel Tuners Set Guitar Parts Les Paul RD SG ES Tuning Machines

Current price: £69.86
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Time left: 5d 20h 2m
Gibson Grover Nickel Tuner Set Guitar Parts Les Paul SG V ES RD Tuning Machines

Current price: £53.98
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Time left: 4d 21h 3m
Gibson Stop Tailpiece Nickel Guitar Parts Les Paul ES Explorer SG Firebird V RD

Current price: £36.83
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Time left: 4d 20h 42m
Gibson Grover Black Tuners Set Guitar Parts Les Paul SG V ES RD Tuning Machines

Current price: £57.16
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Time left: 3d 5h 16m
Gibson Stop Tailpiece Gold Guitar Parts Les Paul ES Explorer SG Firebird RD LPJ

Current price: £36.83
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Time left: 3d 5h 16m
Gibson Rd Artist Bass pickguard

Current price: £40.00
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Time left: 1d 15h 18m
Gibson Nickel Tune-o-matic ABR-1 Bridge Guitar Parts ES Les Paul R9 V RD Custom

Current price: £36.83
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Time left: 19h 38m
Gibson Stop Tailpiece Black Guitar Parts Les Paul CS SG ES RD Studio Custom LPJ

Current price: £36.20
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Time left: 19h 31m
1978 Gibson RD Artist electric guitar GLOSS BLACK vintage MOOG norlin USA

Current price: £2031.89
buy it now
Time left: 20d 17m
GIBSON RD STANDARD BASS 1978. Natural Finish. Sylish and Unique. Loud. Maple.

Current price: £1203.63
buy it now
Time left: 13d 17h 38m
1973 Vintage Original Gibson SG Standard Harness Pots Caps 3rd week of 73 711PT1

Current price: £91.46
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Time left: 10d 18h 2m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

1979 Gibson RD Artist Bass - Sunburst

Current price: €2600.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 13h 19m
1977 Gibson RD Custom Natural Maple Board Active Electronics! Original Case

Current price: €1690.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 22h 7m
GIBSON RD CUSTOM BAUJAHR 1978 - TOP ZUSTAND

Current price: €2395.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 19h 51m
See more results on eBay here

There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
jan Comment left 22nd January 2014 19:07:18
I have been offered a 1979 RD guitar. MY doubt is if this guitar is TOTALLY ACTIVE or if it can work as an ordinary guitar also. Is it dual active/passive or does it ONLY works with the 9V battery,and how long does the battery last . thanks a lot Jan price is arround U$2.500 is this price ok ?

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