Rare? SG

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by loki890, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. loki890

    loki890 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a 1980 SG with active electronics that were factory. Its got chrome over the pickups and the pearl crown on the headstock. it also has dotted pearl up the neck. the serial is 80170053 im not sure what model this is. according to the serial it is a sg standard reissue but those don't have the active electronics it also has a switch to go back and forth between the active electronics. anyone know anything abou this ill be glad to email pictures
     
  2. Bogart

    Bogart Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    0
    Photobucket.com, and then post them here. It'll be the easiest way for us.

    It sounds to me like a special. Did you buy this brand new? Because no SG's come with active electronics, so I'm thinking whoever told you that they're factory was doing a bit of fibbing.

    SG standard's have trapezoid inlays on the fretboard, and a bound neck. Special's don't come with humbucker covers, but those were likely installed when this person put in the active electronics.
     
  3. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,189
    Likes Received:
    528
    Location:
    LINY and Satillite Beach
    [​IMG] loki890 [​IMG] Post a [​IMG] here if you can ...see directions on the top of the main page!
     
  4. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    13,566
    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Location:
    Warsaw, In
    Welcome to ETSG loki890! :) :) :)

    Definitely ditto on the pix. Photobucket's the way to go.............. 8)
     
  5. dcooper

    dcooper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    toledo,ohio
    we saw one of these here this year ESS has a picture I think

    sound like the RD series if you guys remember, had the same back route as the RD
     
  6. dcooper

    dcooper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    toledo,ohio
    from an old post here pictures of an sg  artist    like a rd artist series don't know the real name
    we did this before

    http://www.freepichosting.com/Albums/421590919.html

    email gibson customer service serial number and some pictures and see what they say
     
  7. loki890

    loki890 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok guys the guitar's pictures are up on photobucket http://photobucket.com/albums/b69/loki890/ they are the only photos in my album my user name there is loki890 as well and i opened it to the public i haven't used it before so if there is a problem let me know
     
  8. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    13,566
    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Location:
    Warsaw, In
    No problem on the pictures.................. Cool! 8)

    If you decide you need or want to bring one here (on the posting) copy the IMG (bottom one?) and then paste it in your post. 8)
     
  9. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,189
    Likes Received:
    528
    Location:
    LINY and Satillite Beach
    Very interesting contents of the control cavity .... scares me a bit! ;) Hows the guitar sound with all the active electronics? Anything stand out worth mention?
     
  10. loki890

    loki890 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok everyone look no there is a picture of the back on the so you can see that the active electronics look facotry and not added. does anyone know what this is? is it an artist series?
     
  11. TNT

    TNT Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8,161
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Noblesville, IN
    It is a RD SG. You'll find more pics of the other body styles than the SG. The SG seems to be pretty rare.The RD-Artist is most common.
    RD-Artist rework page: http://www.timeelect.com/exbody.htm
     
  12. CharlieB

    CharlieB Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,128
    Likes Received:
    2
    WELCOME LOKI....!!
     
  13. Bogart

    Bogart Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I'm wrong. I was thinking active electronics such as EMG's, with the batteries.
     
  14. Hard2Hear

    Hard2Hear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northern KY
    Whats the scoop on these RD guitars? Whats RD stand for?

    H2H
     
  15. TNT

    TNT Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8,161
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Noblesville, IN
    The RD Artist
    Some time ago when the Gibson M-III was introduced to much fanfare, a lot of people could be overheard expressing awe at the possibilities of the switching system. But, as we’ve seen, this is only the latest example of Gibson’s long infatuation with complex switches. While the Les Paul Recording remains my personal favorite, it’s followed quickly by the often insulted RD Artist, occasionally referred to as the “Research & Development” Artist.

    The RD line was originally conceived in 1975, officially introduced in 1977 and ultimately discontinued in 1982. The RD series was essentially Gibson’s response to the emerging success of companies like Alembic and B.C. Rich, which specialized in lots of switches with fancy electronic options. It’s curious to note that a Norlin subsidiary, the distributor L.D. Heater, of Portland, OR, handled B.C. Rich as well as Gibson guitars in the early ’70s. Early B.C. Riches used Gibson humbuckers obtained through L.D. Heater until Gibson found out. B.C. Rich switched to Guild and then DiMarzio pickups and took over its own distribution shortly thereafter. Maybe the RD was Gibson’s revenge?...

    To execute this design, Gibson employed Robert Moog, of Moog synthesizer fame, and the man behind the last mach of the Gibson Maestro effects of that very same era.

    The RD series was, admittedly, a little demented. First of all, its shape is sort of a retread Reverse Firebird, maybe the offspring of mating with a Guild Thunderbird (one which unfortunately didn’t inherit the built-in stand!). The maple body is comfortably contoured, though, and the neck solidly glued on for an overall pretty nice feeling guitar, sort of like an SG. Put a pillowcase over the body and you can get down with this baby.

    RD 77: Standard, Custom and Artist
    The RD series originally came in three models, the Standard, Custom and Artist, all called the RD 77 (for 1977, geddit?). All had an atypical 251/2" scale.

    The RD Standard was basically a two-humbucker gitter with an unbound rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays and no active circuitry. Hardware was nickel plated, with a finetune bridge, stop tailpiece and Schaller tuners. Pickups were two Gibson Series VI humbuckers, with two volume and two tone controls and a threeway select.

    The RD Custom was similar to the Standard except it had a maple fingerboard with abalone dot inlays (much like some L6-Ss). Pickups were Gibson Series VI humbuckers with a threeway select, two volume controls, and separate treble and bass tone controls. The RD Custom also had a second large toggle switch that activated a built-in preamp circuit run on a 9-volt battery.

    The RD Artist was the top-of-the-line, with an unbound ebony fingerboard (the catalog said bound ‘board, but most if not all were not bound), block inlays, gold hardware, fancy bound pearl inlaid headstock and more comprehensive active features activated by a second large toggle switch. Pickups were two Gibson Series VI humbuckers with a threeway select, two volume controls, individual treble and bass tone controls, and a built-in preamp circuit with compression/expansion and bright/lead functions.

    Also appearing in 1977 were the RD Standard and RD Artist basses, both with 341/2" scale. The Standard bass had a maple fingerboard with dot inlays, nickel plated hardware and two passive Gibson Series IV humbuckers with a threeway select, two volume and one tone controls. The Artist was the same cosmetically, but had two Gibson Series V humbuckers, two volume controls, individual treble and bass controls, threeway select, and a second large threeway toggle that activated a preamp circuit identical to the Artist guitar.

    Unfortunately, Moog and Gibson didn’t just settle for a simple preamp switch like the B.C. Rich. Instead, we get another complex switching system on the Artist models. Here’s the skinny; bear with me.

    The threeway pickup select and individual treble and bass tone controls are pretty clear and a very nice feature on any guitar. In the center position, the second threeway toggle switch is in neutral, making the guitar active but without the special circuits. In the forward position, the switch activates a bright/lead function which accentuates the treble frequencies. This works for both pickups.

    In the back position, the active switch turns on a compression/expansion circuit. The compression function operates on the neck pickup only and reduces the fundamental attack time and “compresses” each note into a longer sustaining signal. In this mode, the output remains stable no matter how hard you play.

    The expansion function (we haven’t moved the second toggle yet) operates on the bridge pickup only and “permits the player to play harder and louder without the note collapsing. Expansion offers a very fast, explosive response with a rapid decay,” says the Gibson literature.

    Of course, either function works in the middle pickup selector position, too.

    But wait, there’s more...
    If it were just this easy, it’d be easy to see why guitar folks didn’t warm to the RD. But, there’s also the matter of the tone pots, which are really notched filters. 0 is in the center and flat out. 0-5 clockwise gives you bass boost on the front pot, treble boost on the back pot; 0-5 counter-clockwise cuts bass/treble respectively. In other words, you have an EQ system with the tone pots combined with the active options. Got it? So, you can boost the bass to clockwise 5, cut the treble to counter-clockwise 4, with the active selector in the middle, cut the bridge pickup volume to 8, then throw the active switch forward to the bright mode and get...oh, never mind. Where’s my Les Paul?

    RD Artist 79
    The long-scale RD77 series was available in toto until 1979, when the more typical Gibson shorter scale RD Artist 79 was introduced. Except for the RD77 Artist, which was still available on a custom-order basis, the RD79s replaced the RD77s at this time.

    The RD Artist 79 basically was a shorter scale version of the old RD 77 Artist with improved active Artist electronics. The older compression/expansion and bright/lead functions were split off into two mini-toggles instead of relying on one threeway toggle. Much simpler to figure out, although still requiring an engineering degree. The RD Artist 79 had a bound ebony fingerboard with block inlays, the fancy headstock, a TP-6 tailpiece and a 243/4" scale.

    In 1979 the RD Artist Bass replaced the older RD Standard and RD Artist basses. In 1980 or so a 6-string bass version was made, in very small numbers, perhaps only as prototypes.

    Although they disappear from 1982 price lists, the RD Artist/79 and /77 were still listed in the 1983 Gibson catalog, essentially the same guitar with the addition of those nifty little built-in tuner cranks. Deciphering the purple-prose description in the catalog is a bit tough. It appears that the two volume pots “act as expansion or compression intensifiers (front pickup compression — back pickup expansion).” This sounds as though they function as sort of presence controls when in the compression/expansion mode. Fortunately, on the earlier RD the volume pots just control the volume, but then again, that may just be what Gibson’s copywriter was saying in ’83...

    Artist Actives and out
    After the RD Series proved quite unsuccessful, the active circuitry was put into a few Les Pauls and ES-335s, promoted as “the Active Sound of the 80s” in around 1980. Among these were the RD Artist Active, the ES Artist Active and the Les Paul Artist Active. The RD appeared to be the old RD 79. The ES and Les Paul Artist both had three mini-toggles. In a look reminiscent of the old Gretsches, the ES had dot markers inlaid along the top edge of the fingerboard. All had the TP-6 tailpieces and gold hardware. But, alas, these, too, headed straight for the guitar graveyard.

    Still, you’ve got to admire the chutzpa of these guitars, and, despite their complexity, RDs play well and still represent a pretty good bargain for what was once a high-end Gibson guitar.

    Vintage Guitar Magazine-  Guitar stories #1
     
  16. Bogart

    Bogart Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    0
    A friend of mine has an RD. I'll try to find the picture. I played it once, and it kicked ass. Had no active electronics though.
     
  17. Active

    Active New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    Sounds like you've got a 'Gibson SG-R1' that I believe were produced in 1980. I think they were renamed 'SG Active' in 1981 but I'm not sure if there were any physical changes.

    The SG-R1 has two standard volume pots, two active tone pots offering treble & bass cut and boost, two selector switches one standard three way pick-up selector and the other a two way that appears to boost output. On the back should be a 9v battery compartment.
     
  18. barbas23

    barbas23 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,917
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milano, Italy
  19. barbas23

    barbas23 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,917
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milano, Italy
    and welcome loki890 too!!! ;)
     
  20. Metal God

    Metal God Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    now after reading all that, it sounds like a rare guitar, in either case, contact Gibson, im pretty sure they will probably say the same thing, but just incase.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice