RG550 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (97 votes)
Ibanez: RG550

Price paid: C$ 50

Purchased from: Private Sale

Sound — 10
With upgraded pickups and electronics the instrument sounds absoutely stunning! For playing djent/metal and eveything in between the guitar absolutely delivers. Added flexibility of the switching system I devised is my ideal set up! Thru any amp and effects the tone you get is amazing. Warm thick mids, amazing low end response, clear articulate highs. From country to blues, jazz to metal! All at the flick of a switch and a turn of the volume control! No tap dancing channel switching required!

Overall Impression — 10
I love it to pieces! I hope it never gets stolen or I would be greatly saddened. Not every day you can buy a '91 MIJ RG550 for $50. I've invested about $350 in pickups ($300+) and electronics. And $75 for a tremel-no as I don't use the bar on this guitar, the bridge's knife edges are completely shot. As a blue book value the instrument is only worth the sum of its parts, but I love it more than ANY stock RG550... In my eyes, its priceless.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This is my main Live and rehearsal guitar. Very reliable. Occasionally breaks a string when I neglect string changes once a month. Otherwise Bullet proof. I always bring a back up, just a good habit to get into. The neck did see a refinishing from previous owner. Not very good job mind you, a spray lacquer that is showing cracks, and was coating the frets. A quick fret polishing removed that easily enough.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
No idea of factory settings or hardware. It was very far from stock. After my set up the guitar worked amazingly. The neck/body fit was amazing and tight. I made sure to remove excess finish and paint build up in the neck pocket to get a good wood to wood contact. It def increased the guitars response and tone. Sustain heaven! As always Ibanez used high quality Basswood and Maple for this guitar. There were some cracks in the neck where the locking nut is, but that could have been from poor up keep on the owners end. Either way it doesn't effect the guitar at all!

Features — 7
1991 MIJ. 24 frets, Wizard Neck (Thin) XJ frets 25.5" scale. Basswood Body, Maple Neck/Board. Was a flat HOT pink when I got it. Sanding it down I found it was black before being pink, and originally Desert Yellow. I painted it Barber Green (John Deere) with a pearl clear coat! Came with a licensed (Gold) FR, not the EDGE bridge. Bridge pickup was swapped for a low output no name humbucker. Volume, Tone, 5way switch. Grover Tuners (Stock). For $50 I'm not complaining at the "throw together" state of this instrument, as I had plans of fully upgrading everything. The bridge will have to wait for now, but I up graded all electronics. DiMarzio D Sonic (bridge), Virtual Solo (Middle) and Paf Pro (Neck) added mini switches for series/split/parellel and a switch in the tone position to toggle between single coil/both humbuckers in position 3.

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