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1978 Gibson RD Artist Vintage Electric Bass Guitar Ebony w/ Case


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Out Of Stock
Up for sale, a 1978 Gibson RD Artist Bass, professionally setup and complete with the original hardshell case. A well-loved example with its original gloss Ebony nitro lacquer finish, this Gibson is an absolute beast, weighing 12lbs with a maple body and three-piece maple neck capped with a slab ebony fingerboard.

Designed as a collaboration between Gibson and Moog Music (who were both owned by Gibson's parent company Norlin at the time), with input from The Who's John Entwistle, the RD Artist sports an active compression and expansion circuit designed by Moog, available at the flip of a switch. Perhaps best known for its use by bass players such as Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, IMAROBOT, Nine Inch Nails), and Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), the RD bass has a wonderfully aggressive tone that translates the immediacy of the tonewoods and natural sustain of the instrument through the stock Mark V humbuckers. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 45-125 roundwound strings, this bass plays well with comfortable action and solid intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, yet with very full shoulders in every register and more heft as you travel up the fingerboard, measuring .810" deep at the 1st fret and .999" at the 12th. The ebony fingerboard retains the original jumbo frets which have been recently leveled and crowned, currently showing no wear and playing cleanly up the 34" scale. The bass plays well up the straight neck with a responsive truss rod, and the original nut measures 1 5/8" in width. The headstock retains the stock Gibson-embossed clover button tuning machines which turn smoothly and hold pitch well. There is a small amount of rack rash adjacent to the nut, and a couple similar marks in the finish on the bass-side edge of the headstock face.

All of the electronics work as intended, and the RD Artist's tonal range is extremely broad, boasting Volume and Tone knobs for each humbucker and a pair of three-way switches, one governing pickup selection and the other engaging the active Moog electronics. With the Moog electronics disengaged, the bass dishes out plenty of midrange grind and low end punch, offering a distinct sound in every pickup position. Neutral in the middle position, the three-way Mode switch has a Bright setting when engaged in the Up position, and it's a fairly extreme tonal shift with tons of treble detail and cut, accentuating the growl of the roundwound strings. In the Down position on the Mode switch, the Compressor/Expander setting is similarly ripping and bright with (unsurprisingly) added compression. Hardware includes an upgraded Hipshot chrome-plated bridge which can be strung either utilizing the RD's string through body or as a top-loader, currently configured as the latter. Plastics comprise the original pickguard and a quartet of black speed knobs (two original knobs and two modern replacements).

The gloss Ebony nitro lacquer finish is 100% original, with pick scuffing across the guard, a sliver of forearm wear through the gloss at the bass-side waist, and buckle rash across the back, with some additional finish chips and nicks on the body perimeter. The neck retains its nitro gloss with just a few scattered shallow marks on the profile length.

The original black tolex hardshell case is included.