RG550 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.8 (97 votes)
Ibanez: RG550
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Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
The stock pickups are decent, but I swapped them out for the DiMarzios. The maple fretboard produces a brighter tone than the rosewood counterparts. The stock YM-50 5-way selector is OK for what it is, but changing it out for a multi-pole 5-way yields many more wiring options. The basswood body is lightweight, but still enough for some great sustain and low end chunk. I've run t through my Carvin Legacy, B-52 AT100, Dime Blacktooth, Epi Valve Jr - and it also sounds Stellar straight into my mixing board. The DiMarzios are quiet. I can coax any type of sound I want from it: from rock and metal to smooth jazz. I run too many effects to list, and they're constantly changing on my board.

Overall Impression — 10
- What style of music do you play? Is this a good match? Hard Rock and metal - perfect match! - How long have you been playing? What other gear do you own? 29 years and I own 36 Ibanez guitars and too much other gear to list. - Is there something you wish you had asked before buying this product? No. - If it were stolen / lost, would you buy it again or get something else? Yes - and I already have 4 of this model. - What do you love about it? What do you hate? What is your favorite feature? Liked about it: The neck! The best necks EVER! I love the finish options. The stock pickups are decent. The Edge trem is second-to-none! I will never get tired of playing an RG-550. These can still be found used at a real bargain. Didn't like: The only negatives to say about the RG-550s are the YM-50 5-way switch should have been upgraded to a multipole switch, and that Ibanez should have installed DiMarzios as stock pickups. + Did you compare it to other products? Which ones? Why did you choose this one? + Anything you wish it had? No.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The RG-550s came out in 1987, and many of the originals are still around - talk about durability! As wish anything else, longevity and durability go hand-in-hand with proper care and storage. I love the RG 500 series so much, that I've got four of them.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The available finishes were enough to satisfy pretty much everyone. The Desert Sun Yellow will go down in history as the favorite of most, though. Straight from the factory, these RG-550s were ready to rock. Minor adjustments are sometimes needed to make these really sing. As far as action, well - it's got the original Wizard neck. These necks are the best, fastest, and easiest to play necks that have ever been mass produced. They are thin and play like butter. The original Edge trem is king of the floating bridge lot. They are much better than an OFR, and when setup right - you'll be hard pressed to knock it out of tune.

Features — 10
- What year was it made? Where was is made? 1992 Made in Japan. - How many frets? Neck/Scale 24 frets, Wizard profile 25.5 scale. - Solid-Top? Laminated top? Solid - Body and neck woods? Basswood body, maple neck and fretboard. - Finish: solid purple neon. - Body style: Super-Strat. - Bridge style: Ibanez LoPro Edge. - Active or Passive electronics? Passive. - Which controls are given 1 vol, 1 tone and a 5-way lever switch. - Pickup configuration? Make and model of pickups? H-S-H. I installed a DiMarzio Super Distortion bridge, HS-3 middle and a PAF Pro neck. - Tuners: Gotoh. - Any included accessories? Mine came with OHSC and wrenches.

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