Gibson RD Artist: anyone own or play one of these

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by RSRD, May 25, 2005.

  1. RSRD

    RSRD Member

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    I came across a 77 Gibson RD artist with a Maple body and Ebony fingerboard. It has the original Moog designed circuit with Treble/Bass Boost and Compression in the pickups. I REALLY loved the feel of the neck. It sounded great unplugged...BUT it sounded just awful plugged in. I am sure the brightness of the Maple body/ebony fretboard didn't help.

    I am considering buying it and switching out the original electronics for some darker, thicker pickups to make it usable in my hard rock band. So I was curious if anyone has experience with these guitars and if they have modded them in anyway. Its a really sweet looking and feeling guitar! I just wish I could get some tone from it.

    ~Thomas
     
  2. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I payed one a few years ago and thought the same thing, I put it down to the active electronics, sounded super hard and sterile.
     
  3. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I had one of these a few years ago. It was the Bass Version. It was loaded had a flamed maple top mahogony body and a 35 inch scale neck.

    It had the bet tone dont know why I got rid of it other than I dont play a lot of Bass.

    Never Modded it though. For Bass those electronics were great. I recorded an album with it.


    For guitar I have never liked Active Electronics. My guess would be just take everything out and replace it. Keeping the Moog Electronics just in case.

    The pots may be different values for the Low Impedance pickups.

    Just stick you a couple of Humbuckers in there maybe some you can coil tap and use the Mini Toggle Switch for a coil tap. You might get some really cool sounds out of it.

    Let me know how it turns out. I would be curious.

    Can you post a PIC of it I'd like to see it?
     
  4. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    I'd advise against buying it to gut,especially sonce there is no guarantee you will like the results when you change the pickups.Also it takes a while to figure out the moog electronics which are pretty much the feature that makes those guitars collectible as so many have had the electronics switched out.
     
  5. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I agree witht he MC but you should be able to remove evrything in a Manner in wich you can put it back should you need to.
     
  6. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    I sold Gibsons back in those days and the RD series were not good sellers. In fact the way it worked then was if I wanted certain popular models I had to take certain unpopular models. We had problems with the few artisits we sold coming back for electronic repairs. The RD standard was the better seller. Collectable ? , well I guess people will call anything old collectable. Gibson had a lot of bad experiments in the 70's and 80's.
     
  7. JingleJungle

    JingleJungle Member

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    Guess I must disagree with most out there.
    I had a RD Artist myself and kept it / played it for about 4 years (just recently sold it).

    What WILL bug you is the wheight - it IS heavy.
    The electronics are pretty simple and IMHO functional.
    The 2 tone knobs are to cut / boost he bass and treble frequencies.
    Normally I had my treble control set on "2" and the bass about flat.
    If I needed to crank the amp I'd usually have the treble on 5 and the bass knob on 3 (remember you are *boosting* the level of bass and treble frequencies this way).
    I seldom used the treble boost and the comrpessor was of no use, virtually.
    My RD sustained like hell and sounded absolutely great in dropped tunings, thanks to the 25.5" Fender scale.

    Good luck with your quest. If you need more info feel free to send me a PM.

    JJ Paul
     
  8. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Well... I don't know if this will help or not, but Zakk Wylde loves them, although he guts the electronics & puts in EMGs. Not sure if that improves the tone or not.

    Personally, I'd rather have a nice Firebird V, but, you know, to each his own :D

    --chiba
     
  9. JingleJungle

    JingleJungle Member

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    LOL bro'!

    I'd LOVE a 'bird...it's very high on my wishlist and it's the reason I bought the RD in first place (I like "x-factor" guitties).

    Rock on :D

    JJ
     
  10. hackenfort

    hackenfort Supporting Member

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    Had a couple of RD - Artists, Customs. One with an Ebony board, another with a maple fretboard.

    I liked them, but always took out that factory pickups, electronic's and put standard pickups & pots/switch in. If I remember correclty the pickups are potted and have a molex connector on them, so you can just unplug them from the moog board. Very Easy to remove and re-install.

    I also had a very limited RD / SG - thicker body, with front arm countour like a strat, ebony fretboard w/dots. One of the best SG's I ever owned.

    Kevin

    PS Some people like the active set-up - Didn't work well for me.
     
  11. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    I seem to remember Krist Novoselic from Nirvana playing one of the basses for a bit.
     

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