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U2 - Atomic: Adam

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GIBSON // RD Artist Bass // 1977-1981 (vintage uncertain) / natural finish

The RD Artist was launched in 1977, as Gibsons first active bass guitar. It was a very high quality instrument with a terrific array of sounds, but as was often the case with Gibson basses, it did not get the attention it deserved in terms of sales figures, and by 1981 had disappeared from the Gibson catalogue. It was available in natural, ebony, antique sunburst and fireburst finishes, with maple or ebony fingerboards.

The RD artist first appeared in the 1978 catalogue, along with the RD standard, and a range of RD guitars. The artists models were the first Gibsons to use active electronics and were powered by a 9 volt battery. The electronics were designed by Moog (another Norlin company at the time) and had built in expansion and compression circuitry. The artist bass used newly designed mark V active humbucking pickups. Exact specifications can be seen by expanding the images to either side of this text. The Gibson Product development director at the time was Bruce Bolen. in this 1978 he explains the vision behind the RD artist.

The RD artist has got a huge range of sounds - second only to its ability to drain batteries.

 
For more information on the Gibson RD Artist Bass:

MAKE: Gibson
MODEL: RD Artist bass
FINISH: natural finish w/maple neck
VINTAGE: (uncertain) [although the RD Artist bass was only in production from 1977-1981]
NOTES: (see sidebar to the left)
USE:
- STAGE: I've not seen Adam use this bass for live shows nor have I seen pictures of him using this bass at any live shows.
- STUDIO: I have only seen picures of Adam using this bass in Hansa Studios (Berlin) during the recording of "Achtung Baby".

Adam & his Gibson RD Artist, Hansa Studios 1991
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* click photo for larger view *

U2 - Atomic: Then And Now
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* click on photo for main U2 Atomic site *