1977 GIBSON RD ARTIST
RD basses were designed at the Kalamazoo plant and launched in 1977. The RD was available with a Bob Moog active electronics option in 1977 which included an extra black speed knob (4 total) including numbers, two toggle switches, larger pickups and two large plastic controls access covers on body back. This model was named RD Artist and was Gibson's first attempt at active electronics.
Other 1977 Gibson RD Artist characteristics: Pearloid inlaid Gibson logo on the headstock with "i" dot disconnected from the "G' and closed "o", ornate pearloid inlay centered on headstock, two screw truss rod cover including model name, serial number stamp on back of headstock, "MADE IN U.S.A." stamp on back of headstock between the tuners, Schaller BM tuners with Gibson logo engraved on gear plate, or occasionally Schaller M-4 tuners with Gibson name engraved on, volute on headstock back, unbound maple 20-fret board with pearloid dot fret markers, glued in set neck, black/white/black/white/black pickguard, three pole bridge, strapholder on body back, string thru body grommets, input jack on body front, rectangular black Tolex case including Gibson name and pink or purple interior.
Gibson production totals show 504 Artists were shipped in 1977. For the first part of the year serial numbers were eight digits beginning with an "06" prefix located on the headstock back. In August Gibson changed it's eight digit serial number headstock dating scheme to: YDDDYPPP- The first and fifth letter indicate year of production. The second, third and fourth letters indicate the day of production within the year. The sixth, seventh and eighth letters indicate the manufacturing plant: 001 to 499 shows production rank at the Kalamazoo factory and 500 to 999 shows production rank at the Nashville factory.