Gibson RD Artist/Standard 1970's/80's Basses

I'm downright in love with the look of these basses. I love Gibson also, and one of the only companies I trust, along with Fender and Music Man. Maybe I simply dont know much about basses yet, and so I tend to judge basses by looks a little more than I should.
But that being said, can anyone give me some feedback on one of these beauties?
Are they actually any good? How do they sound? What kind of style do they play best. I wish I could get my hands on one to try one out, but Ebay seems to be the only place I can even be lucky enough to see one...pain in the ass.

But I want to know absolutely everything I can about it before I go and blow and grand off of one of these vintage guitars. I dont want to be speanding money simply because it's vintage (though, i expect I have to anticipate that a little bit anyway)

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RD basses are great. they are a little different from the older Gibson EB and Thunderbirds in that they have solid maple body and neck. Still a glue in neck though - typical Gibson. The standard is passive, the Artist all active. Solid body Gibsons were usually mahogany until the Grabber/Ripper/G3 series came along, and this is the first active Gibson bass. The compression / expansion circuitry is all quite interesting,

Very big and heavy, but with a terrific range of sound. I prefer the Artist to the Standard. You can get super bass, to super treble and anywhere in between. I play it live more than most of my other Gibsons because of this flexability

And yeah, they really do look cool
You can see some info on these basses here
Gibson RD artist bass Gibson RD standard bass

Juju, thanks for the opinion and also the link to the Gibsonbass site. That was a handy ref for the RD Artist, although it's a pity the audio clips used such a limp preamp (TBF, my USB speakers aren't all that good). It sounds like a versatile bass, although a bit more "oomph" in the recording level would have made it a bit clearer. If I were being picky about the RD, I'd say that the black/ebony looks better than the natural/maple (which reminds me of some of Gibsons cheaper lines).

SICK. Yeah black is definately best.

I found those audio clips. Same deal. The recording quality was shit, and didn't give me a good enough idea what it sounds like. But still helpful.

And yah, the ebony artist is the way to go.

Saved me from ditching my USB speakers, Mack :) Although, given that even Connie's "Welcome to AOL" sounded clearer than those audio clips, I had a feeling that it wasn't my little cones that were the problem :lol:

Must say, that black/ebony Artist looks proper droolworthy and it's nice to see a bass that doesn't look like yet another Prec/Jazz stylee or (worse) one of those "upper horn glued all the way up to 9th fret" moderns.

Couldn't agree more.

Finally got a chance to look at that Jim Reed site. For some reason, the last little while (after you sent me the link) i couldn't get into it, and find the BE4 or 5. I just cruised back to this forum, and thought i'd try again.

I must say, its a beautiful bass. Actaully its very similar to the Washburn T24, as far as looks go. But that could be it. I've found myself looking closely at that bass recently, also. The double J pickups in the T24 are a bit of a worry though.

The Jim Reed BE4 looks like a jem though, and the right types of pups on it. Course, you mentioned the Kramers were a bit of a set back. I know vertually nothing about kramer pups (actually, i know little about pickups in general), so i'd probably be unaware of their flaws. But for information sake, what kind (or kinds) would YOU suggest replacing them (or one) with instead. What are the disadvantages of the Kramers.

(sorry more questions to come:)

Also, can you comment on the playability/action on it? I know we've talked about keeping the low end blues/jazz tone, which I want... but i find myself in the annoying position of wanting that AND fast action. Will I be able to play 16th's at 120bpm, (or w/e our last rediculous song requires) on it? So many basses I've played just can't seem to handle the speed without the fret noise. (Maybe im just a lousy player, who knows)

Anyway, NICE!!!! looking bass, and I would like to know more! :D

Mack, I've got to run off the cyberPC but, in the meantime, have a read (I've just spotted an awful pun that I won't commit) on the BE5 that I put in Harmony Central's user reviews. There's a mistake I made about the ease with which the treble boost/cut can be altered (it can't), but otherwise I covered the details. The action is very good, straight out of the box. Pups are standard EMG40 sized. Bartolini also make this size of pup.

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