Author Topic: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass  (Read 1162 times)

Dave W

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2017, 09:21:17 PM »
I remain unconvinced. This bass wasn't manufactured by Gibson.

Granny Gremlin

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2017, 12:57:44 PM »
My EB-4L neck is all maple & a fairly large headstock.
I'll post a photo of the RD Artist, don't know if it will show the headstock well enough............

Right - series II EB3s - forgot about those. L version too probably.  Weren't those 3 pc?  .... anyway from the pics on your site (small; grainy when enlarged to match your previous shop) it seems the  1972 EB3L headstock is a bit bigger  but still not that big.

I remain unconvinced. This bass wasn't manufactured by Gibson.

Neither am I, but if Jules isn't so sure I want to follow that line, just to see.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 01:11:13 PM by Granny Gremlin »
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Basvarken

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2017, 03:07:34 AM »
Why are you guys so focussed on the maple neck with large headstock? The fact that they haven't done it before, doesn't mean they wouldn't be able to.

The entire bass looks like something Gibson could have done. But it just isn't very likely that it's an official Gibson product.
Maybe the late Les Paul had something to do with this bass?
He had a reputation for cutting out crude pickguards and putting together parts  ;)

Granny Gremlin

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2017, 07:04:01 AM »
Because if they did it somewhere else, then we likely know where the neck came from.  If not then there is more of a chance this was a custom one of Gibby neck and the bass is (partially) legit (because the workmanship is generally so horrible it's unlikely the person who put it together made that neck).
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Basvarken

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2017, 09:48:34 AM »
I really don't think the workmanship on this bass is all that horrible.
There are two things that are a bit dodgy: the pickguard and the bridge.
The rest looks perfectly fine.

doombass

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2017, 09:53:26 AM »
Why are you guys so focussed on the maple neck with large headstock? The fact that they haven't done it before, doesn't mean they wouldn't be able to.

Yes, how would they even come up with new models without making new custom parts? Gibson was definitely experimental enough in the 70's to come up with the idea of a longscale baritone guitar. Also if they wanted come up with such a thing they would need a bridge that fit (heavier gauge strings). In that case they probably had nylon saddle material leftovers for that bridge along with all the other parts periodically correct for that time. The only thing not convincing me it's a Gibson hasty made prototype is the sloppy cut pickguard. It could'nt have been that kind of hurry right?

Basvarken

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2017, 10:02:03 AM »
Maybe the pickguard isn't even the original.
Lots of things can happen over forty years time.

uwe

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2017, 11:11:53 AM »
Did anybody ever throughout the 60ies and 70ies play a long scale six string bass tuned B to E i.e. C to F? I'd be surprised. There was zilch market for it and any experienced luthier would have frowned at the sound implications of the string tension on the high B and E i.e. high C and F. You cant get those to "sing" if they are thick enough to still sound like a bass and if you thin them out they sound like an overstretched guitar.

If there was a dedicated long scale six-string bassist somewhere, then Gibson might have built this as a one-off for him if he was famous enough, but where is he then? I can't think of anybody. None of the 8-string bassists I know from that time ever dabbled with a 6-string.

That Gibson would say "Let's add a B and E (or C and F) string to our new long scale bass to hear what it sounds like!" seems incongruous to me given how both the 6-string EB-2 and the 6-string EB-3 had flopped even as niche models in the 60ies. If that is how they approached prototypes, no wonder they were technically broke by the end of the decade.  :mrgreen:

PS: There is something iffy with the truss rod btw too - looks like they added a spacer below the nut. String pull might be an issue, but I've seen modified 8-string RDs hold up to the additional tension without such "help".
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 11:18:16 AM by uwe »
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66Atlas

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2017, 11:24:09 AM »
I was less concerned about the pickguard, That could have easily been replaced when the original cracked.  The thing that would make me steer clear of it is the sloppy routing work on the electronics cavity and un-even line & spacing on othe string through holes. 



If you zoom in more on the aution image it looks like the cover is nice and straight while the cavity itself is meandering around a bit.



The overall shap of the body seems off, the uppor "horn" almost looks like it is flattened out a bit to me.  It also seems to have an inconsistent round over on all the body edges and I cant make out any belly carve or angles carved on the face (but this may just be due to the angle of the photos).  To my eyes it looks like a roughly cut two-piece slab body vs the production RD's.  Unless it was the first RD body they ever made you would expect it to be much more consistent with the production models.

Anything's possible with Gibson I guess but there are a lot of things about this bass that would make me run the other direction before bidding without a physical inspection.

Basvarken

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2017, 11:51:15 AM »
Hmm... yes, that control cavity does look sloppy too. And so does the spacing of the string through body ferrules.
All in all too much evidence that this bass was not put together by an employee of Gibson.

Granny Gremlin

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2017, 11:51:39 AM »
Exactly what Attlas66 said. It's not the bridge hardware, but the installation. No way that thing left the Gibson factory (in any official sense) with a bridge that was mounted too far north by at least 5mm (approx 1/5").  Zoom in on the fretboard too and note how close the low E is to the edge vs the high E (assuming guitar tuning).

The string thru body ferrules on the top seem to be not level either (the damage on the high E one, is neither here nor there - could be play wear)...edit: I see Rob beat me to the punch there.

The rear cavity route screams 'freehand' vs using a jig (which Gibson would have, because they already have one in that size/shape or very close so why the hell not?).

So that's why we're fixating the neck or headstock to be more specific, because it doesn't fit with the workmanship on the rest of the instrument.

.... and is that a burn mark (maple doesn't have knots like that does it? ) down on the butt end under the cavity cover?  It does look like there's some scorching on the edges of the cavity route - def freehand with a dull bit or crappy router.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 12:00:07 PM by Granny Gremlin »
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uwe

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2017, 11:53:59 AM »
"that would make me steer clear of it is the sloppy routing work on the electronics cavity"


Yes, I saw that too, just glaring. And the string holes don't just have uneven spacing but also uneven height.

Plastic saddles on a late 70ies bass is strange too.

I don't rule out that some Gibby employee built this from the Gibson scrap heap, it would account for the handicraft pick guard.
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uwe

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2017, 11:57:29 AM »
"the damage on the high E one, is neither here nor there - could be play wear"

Yup, that kinda damage is frequent even on regular models. Of course given how thin that high E must be and the tension it has, it will cut right thru the ferrule very quickly.
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uwe

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2017, 11:58:33 AM »
But whatever this bass is, it has generated more learned discussion than any other RD in a long time.  :mrgreen:

One other aberration yet unmentioned: The combo of a natural body with a dark fretboard is very un-Gibsonish.

I might still give this a bid just for the heck of it (assuming it is fake) and because it is an interesting little (large!) Franken-RD. What has me hesitate is getting the right length strings for this baby - that might just be impossible as regards high B and E (C and F).
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 12:05:31 PM by uwe »
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Basvarken

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Re: Uwe! Six string RD Artist bass
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2017, 01:59:06 PM »
.... and is that a burn mark (maple doesn't have knots like that does it? ) down on the butt end under the cavity cover?  It does look like there's some scorching on the edges of the cavity route - def freehand with a dull bit or crappy router.
I suspect this is actually shadow from the stand where it stood in when they photographed it. But when they cut it out in Photoshop they didn't correct the colour there.
Or it may be damage from the plasticizers of the stand.