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Gibson RD Standard Reissued

20 June 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s one to split opinions and have guitarists arguing over their beer for a while. The Big G has reintroduced the RD Standard, a guitar originally offered back in the late ’70s.

First beer-argument point: the looks. Personally, I love how this thing looks but I can definitely see how there are some that might not. Does that make me right and them wrong? Probably, but if it’s your round, I’m prepared to enter into debate.

Second beer-argument point: the specs. Gibson have released the RD Standard in typical Gibson dress. It’s made from mahogany (body and neck) and it’s got the usual, 24 ¾ inch scale length. So far, so Gibson. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things but when you consider that the original RD was offered with a maple body and neck and with a (Fender-style) 25 ½ inch scale length, the decision to pass these up on the reissue seems a bit unimaginative.  If memory serves, the ’70s RD also had a chamfered top—it was bevelled back towards the edge a little—and these appear to be slab-bodies.

A maple guitar with a longer scale-length is very non-Gibson and gives a very different sound, focus and playing feel. I’d love to have seen Gibson shake things up a bit with the RD Standard and go back to its original specs. The Dusk Tiger and Firebird X prove that the boys and girls at Gibson aren’t afraid to step outside tradition. Of course, from a tooling and logistical perspective, it makes financial sense to stick to typical Gibson specs for the RD but, personally, I think they missed a trick with this one.

It does still look cool though. And it’s your round.

Gibson RD Standard Exclusive

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Written by: Gerry Hayes
This article is listed under: News, Opinion

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