Price paid: £ 650
Sound — 9
It has a 5-way selector Switch, which controls the 3 pickups. They follow a Standard humbucker-single-humbucker by DiMarzio, which are all passive. The middle pickup is utter SHIT, and I recommomend staying away. The humbuckers are the exact opposite, however. I always use the bridge pickup as it gives harsher distortion, and it sound marvellous. Even without distortion, the clean is actually very clean. I play mostly Rock/Power Pop/Metal and whilst looking slightly out of place in the Pop genre, it sounds good everywhere. The neck pickups get slightly fuzzy as your lows get higher. I use a Marshall AVT100 (100watts) + AVT Amp head, and it sounds very good with my style. Scraping, tapping and harmonics aren't complimented very well, but you can do it. Generally apart from the waste of space, time and money of the middle pickup, it is brilliant.
Overall Impression — 10
I said I play mostly rock/metal, and this fits in fine. I have been playing for at least 4 years and the only thing that comes close is my customized Ibanez XPT700. All I needed was to play it, and want it immediately. I already said I would buy a new one if it came down to it. I love it so much. Of course, the middle pickup is like having fruit flavoured metal. Pointless and shit, but appeals to the odd. The only possible change I wish it had was a Floyd Rose, but the Edge Pro is good enough. I wonder if Ibanez know that they have just created a GibsonSlayer?
Reliability & Durability — 10
Yes, it withstands live gigs, in fact, I dropped it once, and that was how the strap button mentioned earlier was loosened. But other than that, it is very enduring. Strap buttons are good, the pickups will last ages, I mean, they're not called the 'Roadster Guitars' for nothing. I need a backup, but only for alternative tunings. If it was stolen, I would obviously try to get it back before buying a new one, but if it came down to it, I would. The built-in Ikea tools are useful if my set does not have anything in Drop C, so I wouldn't need a backup then. They are almost as enduring as my Gibson SG GT.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I was buying it, after I told him I had a gig in 2 days, he said 'You could play it in 2 minutes with this.' And it was true. The neck was perfect apart from the minor truss rod problems I mentioned eariler. The pickups were good, and a few days later, the bottom strap button was loose, but super-glue fixed it soon. But from the factory, it was very good. Nothing wrong as far as I could see.
Features — 10
The Ibanez RG2550EX (Now renamed 2550Z) is one of the new RG Prestege series from Ibanez's 2008 catalouge. It is one of the new 'Team J-Craft' special editions, and has a 'Galaxy White' finish with a black/greish pickguard. It is also lucky enough to have the all new DiMarzio/ibz pickups, which are quite good. It also has the special Edge Pro trem system, which is a fusion of EdgeIIIand the ZPS-3, which is no Floyd Rose, but does have a Floating Bridge setup, and works well. It also has a new Top-Lok system which eliminates the need for a tension retainer bar on the locking nut. It has a new 24-fret ultrathin WizardIII neck, so it plays fast, the ergonomic bolt-on means high frets are easy to access. The 5-Piece maple neck feels solid, but I did have to adjust the truss rod slightly. The new model also has 'Hollow Sharktooth' inlays, which are basically sharktooth outlines. It came with the special Prestege Series hardcase, and the place I got it from gave me 2 sets of spare strings (one Standard, one Drop C), a tin of free Ozark picks, a Planet Waves cable, a Planet Waves strap, and a Planet Waves guitar care kit. Very good.