Ibanez RG550 - Black : Hatsubai's user review
"The evolution of the RG550"
1 people did not find this review helpful
This is the revision of the original, extremely successful RG550. The RG550 was around for so long that I once thought it would never be changed, and ironically, not much has changed on this model. The biggest difference is that this has the new Edge Pro tremolo, but aside from that, it's nearly the same guitar. The guitar features a basswood body, a maple neck with a maple fretboard, 24 extra jumbo frets, dot inlays, an Edge Pro tremolo, HSH configuration, one volume, one tone and a five way switch.
The guitar had some good fretwork. The ends were nicely rounded, and the frets were crowned properly. The maple on this looks pretty nice as it had some good wear on it. This was a used guitar, after all. The neck on these guitars are very thin, but it wasn't quite as thin as the original RG550 as this was a Prestige model. The Edge Pro is a great trem, but it's a bit stiff compared to the previous Edges. One thing worth noting is that, to get the action I want, the trem had to be lowered a bit. That means a limited pull up. To counteract that, I had to shim the neck a bit to get the pull up I wanted along with the action I wanted.
The guitar had some aftermarket DiMarzios installed in it. It ha an X2N in the bridge, a Chopper in the middle and a Tone Zone in the neck. It's a slightly odd combination, but this is very similar to what Michael Romeo is now using. The X2N in the bridge is SUPER hot. It's easily one of the hottest pickups I've ever come across. Tons of harmonics and very "in your face." The overall tone is fairly even with a slight high end bite going on. Great for high gain, but it kinda lacks some dynamics. The Chopper in the middle was cool, but it wasn't really doing anything for me. The Tone Zone in the neck was super hot, and it could pull off some sick solos. It also split nicely with the Chopper middle pickup, but I felt it was just a bit too hot for me.
The guitar is a great guitar, and if you can't find a good deal on an RG550, try looking at the RG1550. These guitars will have less wear, and if you can deal with the Edge Pro, they'll probably be a better overall guitar, especially in the fretwork area as they're Prestige models.