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A Comprehensive Review: Ibanez RG Review

Ibanez RG Series

Build Quality

Pros:

The Ibanez RG550 impresses with its robust construction and sleek design. The Japanese-made versions, in particular, are noted for their superior craftsmanship. The neck is slim and fast, reminiscent of the JEM 7VWH but without ornate inlays. The overall build quality ensures durability and a professional feel.

Cons:

One potential drawback is the difficulty in identifying specific models due to Ibanez’s numerous variations and sometimes unclear markings. This can make it challenging to find the exact model second-hand. Additionally, the original pickups and electronics, while decent, are not exceptional and may require upgrading for optimal performance.

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Sound

Pros:

After replacing the stock pickups with DiMarzio EVO1 in the bridge and a Jazz pickup in the neck, the RG550 produces an outstanding sound. The modified pickups deliver a wide range of tones, from rich, woody sounds to powerful rock tones. This guitar excels in various genres, particularly rock, thanks to its enhanced electronics.

Cons:

The stock pickups and wiring might not meet the expectations of advanced players. They are considered mediocre, and upgrading them is almost essential to unlock the guitar’s full potential. Without these modifications, the sound quality may not stand out as much.

Playability

Pros:

The RG550 is designed for fast playing. Its slim neck and low action make it ideal for shredding and technical playing. The lightweight body ensures comfort during long playing sessions. This guitar is highly responsive, making it a joy to play for both rhythm and lead parts.

Cons:

The thin neck profile, while great for speed, might not suit all players, especially those who prefer a chunkier neck. Additionally, the need for modifications to achieve optimal performance could be a drawback for those looking for a plug-and-play experience.

Overall Value

Pros:

A second-hand Japanese-made RG550 offers incredible value, especially after pickup upgrades. It provides professional-level performance at a fraction of the cost of higher-end models. The combination of build quality, playability, and sound makes it a great investment for serious players.

Cons:

Finding a Japanese-made model can be challenging due to its rarity. Moreover, the necessity of upgrading the electronics adds to the overall cost. For those unwilling to modify their guitar, the out-of-the-box experience might not justify the price.

Conclusion

The Ibanez RG550 is a remarkable guitar that stands out for its build quality, especially in the Japanese-made models. Its playability and potential for excellent sound make it a favorite among rock and metal guitarists. While it requires some modifications to reach its full potential, these upgrades transform it into a top-tier instrument. For those willing to invest in these improvements, the RG550 offers exceptional value and performance, making it a worthy addition to any guitarist’s collection.

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