RG550 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (97 votes)
Ibanez: RG550

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 10
Sounds VERY bright amd midrangey. The maple neck gives it tons of snap and brightness, while the basswood body gives it nice bass response and a well defined midrange. The guitar is not very noisy on any of the positions. It suits my style of Punk/Prog Metal very well. Big chords that use all 6 strings come out beautifully and it has chugging ability for days. On all 5 positions, you can get any sounds you need. Metal/rock in the 1 and 5, blues and cleans in the 2, 3 and 4. The original edge is fantastic and IMO better than all other licensed floyds out there. It feels and sounds great while still retaining tune and intonation. And its 25 years old. Sounds Incredible.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is phenomenal. 25 years old and sounds better than most other guitars today. I play through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with an Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff and kill people with tone. I play rhythm guitar in my band and often had problems cutting through the mix. This guitar solved all those problems and gave me the best tone I've ever had. You can find them relatively cheap on eBay nowadays, so get one before they're all gone!

Reliability & Durability — 10
Well this thing is 25 years old and still kicking a-s. I think its both reliable and durable. I never gig without a backup, but I've never needed it. Strap buttons are great, never failed me. Very dependable. Finish is immaculate still except for a few dings from wear.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Floyd roses are notoriously hard to setup, so I got done by a professional as soon as it came. I suggest everyone do the same. I can't really say anything about how this came new. However, the hardware has NOT oxidized over time and retains its black color, except for the plate that anchors the neck to the body. There are no major cracks on this instrument, but the fretboard did begin to peel away from the body so I had to reglue it. Pickup selector was a bit noisy at first, but it's calmed down. Overall, a very high quality instrument.

Features — 9
Presenting: My 1987 RG550! It was one of the first 15000 EVER MADE as it was built in March of that year. Actually, this guitar is 8 years older than I am. FEATURES: - Made in Japan - 24 frets on an unfinished maple neck - Original wizard neck - Solid Basswood Body - DESERT YELLOW finish - Super Strat style body - Original Edge double locking tremolo system (Floyd Rose Style) - Mine came with 2 passive DiMarzios (I think the bridge is a PAF Pro) and the regular S1 pickup in the middle. - 1 tone, 1 volume, 5 way selector switch - HSH pickup configuration - Gotoh non-locking tuners Mine came with the OHSC, although it was very beat up and I ended up getting a new case anyway. All the features you could really ever need other than maybe coil taps if that's your thing.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought my desert yellow RG550 in the early 90s. Everyone was drawn to my playing and I was in the pocket cause the guitar is smoking easy to play. They are a biatch to setup but once its locked in forget it "your there". I felt the neck is a smidgen to thin which is apparent as crack defects around the locking nut occur but it doesn't effect the playability or tone. Swap the stock pickups and its a keeper.
    Had one in yellow. loved it. Had it stolen. Wonder if the $50 one was mine!
    Currently borrowing one. I have owned over 60 guitars in my life, vintage gibsons, fenders, guilds , gretches all sorts. The RG 550 plays better than them all! It looks ridiculous but it is so uncool it is super cool.