RG3550MZ review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (25 votes)
Ibanez: RG3550MZ

Price paid: $ 1500

Purchased from: Hong Seng & Son

Sound — 9
This guitar is incredibly versatile, it really is. I play a lot of hard rock (mainly the old Guns N' Roses) and instrumental rock (Satriani) and this baby could dish them out really well. I play though a Laney Lv300 and boy could it scream. Harmonics are breezes compare to my old crappy Aria copy. The Neck pickup has a very nice full bassy sound at the low end, good for soloing and it is very clear when playing up high. The single coil makes some of the most beautiful cleans I've ever heard, crispy and a bit bright. The Tone Zone has a crunchy sound, best for rhythm work, and metal riffs. The 2 and 4 position replicates a Strat sound, perfect for blues. Though it could have a bit more sustain, the sound dies away a bit too quickly for me.

Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is one of the most versatile guitar I've ever played. Rock, funk, metal, blues, even pop are covered well. When I bought it, I played other branded guitars, like the Dean MAB1, Schecter C-1 and even a JEM7V. This one had the best neck, looks are on par, but it was the sound was the feature that had me sold, even the price was better compare to those guitars. I compare mine with a friend's Schecter damien Elite fr once, and this baby blows his one out of the water. The feel was far superior and the sound it makes are more lively and has more variety than his set of EMGs, which sounded pretty boring as they all sound the same. The only part I didn't like about this guitar was the price, they could have made it cheaper for folks like me, I saved up for 3 years for it. Also the trem could be a little less stiff, playing for 2 to 3 hours gives my picking hand a cramp. The only additional thing I wished it had was a piezo, but alas it would only cost more. But overall, this guitar is made for both playing and showing off, brilliant tones and body style with a colour scheme that simply screams for the ladies.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This is where some of the problems start. The hardware are pretty durable, it would probably last my whole lifetime and the guitar is like a tank. But the strap buttons are very badly inserted. The button on the top horn loosened up very quickly when playing while standing, I fixed this problem by inserting straplocks. The finish chips very easily as it is quite thin, although this means I have to be a bit more careful with it. I wouldn't use it in a gig without a backup though, since it is guitar with a licensed floyd, when the strings snap it's a nightmare to restring.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
For the price, Ibanez has lived up to expectations. The Action is perfect for me, low, but not too low that using the tremolo is hampered. The intonation is spot on, no need for adjustment. Trem is routed flawlessly and pickup height are great. Pots are okay, they work as expect, not like some guitar that has no change in sound when you turn the tone pot from 0 - 3. Paint and top are in perfect condition, all in all, it had brilliant QC.

Features — 9
This Ibanez Prestige is made in 2009 at the Japanese Fujigen Factory by Team J Craft. Mine is in roadster metallic orange, it seems to attract the ladies really well though, as the colour is very striking. The neck is a five-piece has a 24 fret maple fretboard with ghost Shark inlays and jumbo frets. It is very thin, which I like very much. The Bridge is an Edge Zero, in my opinion looks pretty cool, although it is rather stiff. The guitar comes with DiMarzio pickups in a H/S/H configuration, with a Tone Zone in the Bridge, True Velvet in the middle position and an Air Norton in the neck. The pickups and in the zebra colour scheme, black and white. It is equipped with Non-locking Gotoh tuners, which works much better than generic tuners. The purchase included an Ibanez RG prestige hardcase, a set of Allan Keys, a cable, a strap, a set of new strings and some picks.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I always laugh at the "great for blues" things. I'm sure it sounds great and can do blues well, but the mental visual of playing a gig at a blues bar with an RG makes me lol a little.
    Seref wrote: I always laugh at the "great for blues" things. I'm sure it sounds great and can do blues well, but the mental visual of playing a gig at a blues bar with an RG makes me lol a little.
    Well, Strats are for blues and all this is is a super strat, so it ought to be super good at a blues bar, right? That said, I leave my RG behind and take my sunburst Strat with me to the blues bar. But mainly because it's still cold outside and the floyd's a pain to keep in tune as the guitar warms back up to room temp. Imagine a "Lazer Blue" 770 with an Offspring flaming skull logo under the clear pick guard in a blues bar!
    Seref wrote: I always laugh at the "great for blues" things. I'm sure it sounds great and can do blues well, but the mental visual of playing a gig at a blues bar with an RG makes me lol a little.
    dude, i once played a gig in a church with a dean razorback db floyd that i had "blood" splattered with red paint.
    I like how you said that it has a Licensed Floyd. Other than that, good review.
    I have this guitar. It's really easy to play. It does suit many Genres. Best thing was that even though the list price is $2000, I got it for $849. It was new and everything. I got it at a Sam Ash. There were only three left in all of the sam ash's. Good review.