The RD was available with a Bob Moog active electronics option in 1981. This model was named RD Artist.

In 1981 Gibson also offered the RD Artist CMT, which indicates curly maple top with binding.

Other 1981 Gibson RD Artist CMT 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, serial number stamp on back of headstock, Schaller BM tuners with Gibson name on gear plate, volute on headstock back, unbound rosewood 20 fret board with pearloid dot fret markers, glued in neck, black/white/black/white/black pickguard, two large black plastic pickups, four black speed knobs including numbers, three pole bridge, toggle switches, strapholder on body back, string through body grommets, input jack on body front, large plastic controls access covers on body back, rectangular Tolex case including Gibson name and crimson interior

Gibson continued the eight digit serial number headstock dating scheme in 1981. Ex: 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.