How does a Japanese built Ibanez RG550LTD compare with today's guitars coming out of Ibanez? Be surprised.
Ibanez RG550 Japanese Made Guitar Review
This is a different guitar than the old RG470 I had (now sold) and this has become one of my main play anytime guitars. I bought this from the USA second hand many years ago from now for about £350.00 pounds or $500 so it was not expensive and that included shipping from the USA.
When I got it the thing had pretty poor pickups in there so I fitted an EVO1 in the Bridge and a Jazz (yes really) in the neck later updated to an EVO II in the bridge. The jazz pickup gives you great 'woody' tones when cranked and does not over drive the amp too hard - this avoids that wooly bottom end you get on some guitars and amp combinations; this is a trick I learned a long time ago and you should try this out it really does make the guitar much improved if you play rock.
Overall this guitar is other than the pickups and a rewire for stratocaster single tones from the switch you see is a completely stock guitar - but it IS Japanese origin and I would stress if you can get one get the Japanese model it's much better quality in my opinion. The neck is reminiscent of the Vai Jem 7VWH also shown on this site but without the vine inlay; the vine inlays don't make the sound. This is a short review really as there is not a lot to say except that with these pickups this might as well be a 7VWH for far less money.
Of course the Ibanez RG550LTD version that this one is, is now quite rare; indeed it was always a rare guitar and can be difficult to determine the model from Ibanez as they don't often mark the guitar with the exact model; because they make probably hundreds of models you might find that locating one of these is not easy; you could also conclude that it is just another guitar without any special features or benefits but I think then that you might just be wrong. Modify those pickups and to be honest this is one of the best guitars I have at any price!
So you want a 'cheap' guitar with great sound? Get a second hand one of these making sure its Japanese, fit the pickups and you have a REAL bargain. This guitar is all over the Berner Street Album I wrote in 2009 which is available from streaming and iTunes etc.
I would rate this at 10 out of 10 but only after those important mods to the pickups and the dumping of the old electrics as they were at best mediocre.
Here's what I like about this guitar:
- Awesome Sound
- Very low cost
- Low weight
- Great neck feel
- Designed to rock
Actually this guitar was shown on this website as an RG550 but later correctly identified by internet viewers; many of these Ibanez guitars change their title by the day. But just look for one like this because this is the one you want!.
Here is the video review I made of this exact guitar where I show it in close detail:
And here are a few photos of this exact guitar:
Click for larger image
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