Gibson Rd Artist

Gibson Rd Artist

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Rd Artist, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Gibson.

3 user reviews
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Gibson Rd Artist tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Gibson
  • Model: Rd Artist
  • Category: V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitars
  • Added in our database on: 11/09/2004

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Gibson Rd Artist user reviews

Average Score:4.0( 4/5 based on 3 reviews )
 1 user review33 %
 1 user review33 %
 1 user review33 %
Gordon Zoot12/21/2019

Gordon Zoot's review"Fabulous sound and great playability"

Gibson Rd Artist
When you understand this guitar, you'll not need anything else...
Turn off the active circuit (switch in centre position), have both pickups on and set vol to 10 on both - a typical full Les Paul sound. Then set the active switch to rear position - oh no! it will be all a bit overblown and not very musical. This is because the volumes need to be set to 5 to equal the non-active levels, 10 is far too much. I think this is the reason some people have doubts when they first encounter this guitar.
For an ideal sound set the active switch to rear position, front p/u volume to 7 and rear p/u volume to 5. This gives that beautiful Les Paul scooped creamy mid sound (like Gary Moore on 'Still got the blues') but with an even longer sustain that goes on for ever without sounding falsely compressed. Leave the front vol at 7 but tweak the rear from between 4 - 8 if you want to change the brightness and attack depending on what or whether you a taking a solo. You'll get all those favourite LP sounds but with a little bit of extra goodness.
The scale is long like a Strat so strings stay nicely in tune, the neck is very slim so allows really fast playing and this is helped by the hard ebony fingerboard with fat and low frets.
Yes it's a bit heavy but it's a good shape for playing whilst seated so not a real issue.
I have had this guitar since the early 80's and it's still the best in my collection and the one I always turn to.
Oliver Hock10/14/2019

Oliver Hock's review"Unusual Gibson"

Gibson Rd Artist
My guitar is a Gibson RD Artist in natural, made in 1978. I bought it used almost 25 years later, it is still in all original condition except for the Schaller straplocks. I think the features of this guitar are well-known by now. Active MOOG electronics with bright/compressor/limiter switch, bass and treble boost/cut. All maple construction, mine is the early version with the Fender-style 25.5" scale. This guitar can sound from tinny-bright to deep. I guess it may work well for some fast country picking. I think with some bass boost and bright switch it can produce jazzy sounds very nicely. As for distortion sounds, this guitar sounds best when keeping the electronics on zero. The gain sound definitely don't benefit from the electronics. Jimmy Page used this guitar on one song on their performance in Knebworth 1979, seems he didn't know how to handle the electronics (you can see a clip of it on YouTube). Also Steve Howe used an ES Artist which has the same electronics as the RD. I think this guitar is well in hands of fast pickers, Tele-players, jazz players who like to use guitars like the Gibson L-5S. It is also well for clean funky riffs. The neck can become sticky with sweaty hands. I think it looks like a great rock guitar, but I think it isn't. Maybe the 2018 RD Artist edition is more of a rock guitar, as it is all mahogany construction, 24.75" scale and without the Moog electronics (which I happen to like, though it sounds dated), yet newer active electronics. It is neck heavy the weight is moderate (which I can't say for the RD Artist Bass that I also own, that thing is heavy!).

timberson's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Gibson Rd Artist
Made in USA
Maple body
Channel 22 boxes in Maple
2 humbuckers a little weaklings (for rock): I replaced the handle of a Di Marzio
no vibrato
very good mechanical

a pickup selector (neck, bridge or 2)
Electronic active: a serious, acute a + a micro volume. more than one selector enables either a compressor (on pickup), or an expander (on neck pickup), a mode "bright" or neutralize


Channel type GIBSON: rather thin and fast neck balance / body feels like a long handle and makes the game hard bottom (eg agreements with strikethrough) to hand the set up is easy.
The biggest criticism that can be done to this guitar is its weight: 6 I put so because of that disability.


As I said, the pickups seem Putôt original planned for the pop or jazz: with a Di Marzio, it gives! : Big sound so good on the neck pickup, still a bit compressed and typed GIBSON.
the sound is warm and hénéral therefore we do not just talk about "crystal"
Electronic gadgets "compressors, expanders, bright" I have never entousiasmé because they are used only on clean sounds, and again, I prefer external add Effetre. As against the ELECTRONICS actrive can be interesting on the tone (not to put the issue thoroughly Augustinian here under penalty of feedback!)
I used a marshall for years: the impeccable sounds crunchy. I use a small maintenat amp (for my bedroom that's enough) that enhance the mat under his.
In general and despite the active electronics, the sound palette is not very large but adequate.


I have over 20 years and am committed myself: it's a little known model and the wood is pretty clear. The shape is now very vintage.
At the time, I was a little dark on the first of which I found gibson OCCAZ soon as I had had the means and had just missed the particularity of the handle (see above) that do not suit very well my game rather in rhythm. Now that I have a godin strato type for this type of use, I like to return to Gibson for her and for her solos.

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Other names: rd artist, rdartist

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