The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson RD Artist Bass Antique Natural, 2018


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The Gibson RD Artist Bass were built during 2018, revisiting the original RD Basses from 1977 to 1981. These distinctive basses draw from Gibson’s original Firebird and Thunderbird designs, but are definitely not copies.

The early RD Bass line consisted of two models, the Standard, and Artist. Construction was Maple for the body and Laminated Maple for the neck, with a Maple fingerboard. Some custom fretless examples were built with Mahogany body and Ebony fingerboard. The Artist electronics, a Moog design powered by a 9v battery, offered a preamp with compression / expansion and a bright / lead switch as well as standard pickup selectors and tone controls. The strings followed a through-body path over a three-support bridge.

For the Gibson RD Artist Bass 2018 version, the body and neck design were largely maintained but without the through-body string path. Instead, a Babicz three point bridge based and improving on the Gibson bridge was used.

Again the body and neck are Maple. The fingerboard is Indian Rosewood with Mother of Pearl dot inlays. The headstock uses the traditional Gibson ‘Open Book’ format.

What is very different is the control layout and active electronics. First, there is a rear-mounted case for a standard 9v battery. The controls start with a Master Volume, then a pickup blend pot. Then there’s an Active / Passive toggle switch. Finally there are four active tone controls: Low frequency shelf boost/cut, Mid frequency boost/cut, Mid frequency sweep, and a High frequency shelf boost/cut.

The Gibson RD Artist Bass seen here is dated to February 20, 2018 and was built at Gibson Nashville. It is in excellent, clean and all original condition, with only minimal wear. It plays well, and has a huge range of available tones.

The original brown rectangular case is included and contains the dated inspection card and control reference.

Price: $2,000.00 CAD
  • Model: RD Artist Bass
  • Year: 2018
  • Finish Antique Natural
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 180050929, dated February 20th 2018 at Nashville TN
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Date Posted: 17/01/2024

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 12lbs 5.45kg
  • Scale Length: 34in 863.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.583in 40.22mm
Gibson Website

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