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Here's a totally fresh 2017 MIJ Ibanez RG550 ready to rock. While clearly built with shredder-intentions, the RG550 can dial it back as needed for a range wide range of tones from clean to mean. Featuring top notch hardware and first-class workmanship, don't pass this one up.
The Ibanez RG550 features:
Basswood body, 8 pounds
5 piece Maple/Walnut neck, 25.5” scale
1.68” nut width
16.9” radius maple fretboard w/jumbo frets
.665” depth at the first fret, .740” at the 12th
Edge tremolo system with locking nut
V7 Ceramic neck pickup
S1 Alnico middle pickup
V8 Alnico bridge pickup
5-way pickup switch
All tools, paperwork, certificates
Gator hard case
Made in Japan
While the heyday of shredder metal is behind us, aficionados of the genre are loyal to the core, and Ibanez is probably best known for turning out some of the best of the breed. The RG550 packs plenty of shred-cred with its neon bright yellow paint, black hardware, and slim multi-piece quarter-sawn neck with a flat 16.9" radius. As you expect, workmanship and finish are top notch and every inch of the guitar feels expertly crafted.
While constructed to excel at hard rock and metal, the RG550 is surprisingly at ease when not raging against the machine. The ceramic neck pickup has a crisp attack, a warm top end, but plenty of definition and note separation. The alnico middle pickup sounds exactly as you would expect, with that slightly metallic, grainy bark that characterizes a typical "Strat" middle pickup. The bridge pickup does amp it up a bit with a noticeable jump in output, and a more pronounced midrange emphasis. It's a strong sounding pickup, but not overly dark, and devoid of the nasal midrange bump that some hot pickups have. The 5-way pickup switch employs the traditional Strat pickup combinations, but in the neck+middle and middle+bridge settings, the humbucker coils are split to keep the tone lean and more vintage sounding. High gain performance is assumed, but we were mightily impressed with the tonal breadth and nuance that we could achieve with the RG550.
While guitars like this might get pigeon-holed as metal-only, the RG550 is at heart a great cover band guitar. With its musically voiced pickups it can cover, blues, funk, pop, and of course high energy rock and metal. Sometimes things are not what they seem, and the Ibanez RG550 is one of those things.
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