Gibson RD Bass Make-over: Finally finished !!

  • Posted by Krishna
  • at 1/28/2009 01:11:00 AM -
This is a project that I started a LONG time ago and finally completed.

This started out as a natural finish Gibson RD Bass, with a headstock repair and very worn down or filed down, frets.

The early steps in this project are covered in this blog entry, but I'll summarize what was done.

-The neck was shaved down slightly to thin down the profile, though the width of the fretboard was not changed.
-The frets were removed and the entire fretboard was stripped and re-radiused, and then refretted.
-The finish on the rest of the bass was stripped, and then the bass was refinished in Ember Red lacquer, a very uncommon 60s Gibson custom color.
-The routings were modified for two Rickenbacker humbucking pickups, the wiring was modified to be similar to a Fender Jazz bass, and a new pickguard was fabricated to work with them.
-The bridge and tuners were replaced with higher quality units.
-The knobs were replaced with 60s style Gibson reflector knobs.

The end result is a pretty awesome looking and nice playing bass - though the neck is still quite chunky.

The look reminds me of John Entwistle's Fender-bird basses - which had various Thunderbird style bodies married to Fender Precision necks.


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  1. Hi Andre, I did this project for a customer, who has since sold the bass off - if you go to the Talk Bass forum you may be able to track down who owns it now - it turned out to be a really cool bass!

  2. hi, i´m sell a 1977 bgibson rd artist bass..someone it´s interested?

  3. Nice red bass. Really goot work. Inspiring for either own custom builds or ideas what to do with the strange variant of the RD currently produced by Gibson.