• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Any opinions on the new RG550's (I'm planning on buying my first 'real' guitar)

Phil3

Senior Member
Messages
2,156
hi Phil, Searching for that first Ibanez is great experience. I’d at least consider something from the prestige line used. I went Down this very road. The used prestige guitars have rolled fretboard edges, chamfered fret ends, and impeccable workmanship. Of course, made in Japan. I settled on a 2003 RG3120dr and I bought the guitar used in 2007 and have loved owning it for 13 years now.

if you have your heart set, I know how that goes. But it’s worth exploring all options. My guitar was absolutely mint except for a store sticker outline on the back of the neck 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. It’s never bothered me. Good luck with your purchase either way.
Trying to decide what Ibanez to get has been a pain. So many amazing options. The Jem Jr, the Premium line RG's are beautiful, even some of the standard are nice, I would really love to get a Japanese one though. I don't want to end up with a thousand guitars that never get used(and with how sexy the RG's are I could easily end up with that many), I want to get one that just vibes with me and then maybe 1 or 2 here and there for fun.
But I will look into used prestige guitars just too see what I can find.
 
Messages
164
Trying to decide what Ibanez to get has been a pain. So many amazing options. The Jem Jr, the Premium line RG's are beautiful, even some of the standard are nice, I would really love to get a Japanese one though. I don't want to end up with a thousand guitars that never get used(and with how sexy the RG's are I could easily end up with that many), I want to get one that just vibes with me and then maybe 1 or 2 here and there for fun.
But I will look into used prestige guitars just too see what I can find.
If you can afford it, I would definitely go Japanese at a minimum. You want that real thing. Heh. Not knocking the others too hard, it’s just that if you are buying your first get the real deal. Of course, you probably know the JCustom line is their top end of the top end. It’s pretty tough to get a modestly priced j-custom Ibanez that hasn’t been beat to hell. I look all the time for fun. Whereas I find with the Prestige line, you’ll get superior finishing touches but maybe not the exotic neck inlays or body woods. That aspect - the finery so to speak - I personally put way down on the list for things I want in a guitar. If it’s there great, but I want the workmanship and finishing touches. No buzzing frets, no sprouted or sharp fret ends. Those are the things that I have to have. in case I didn’t post a pic earlier-

 

Phil3

Senior Member
Messages
2,156
If you can afford it, I would definitely go Japanese at a minimum. You want that real thing. Heh. Not knocking the others too hard, it’s just that if you are buying your first get the real deal. Of course, you probably know the JCustom line is their top end of the top end. It’s pretty tough to get a modestly priced j-custom Ibanez that hasn’t been beat to hell. I look all the time for fun. Whereas I find with the Prestige line, you’ll get superior finishing touches but maybe not the exotic neck inlays or body woods. That aspect - the finery so to speak - I personally put way down on the list for things I want in a guitar. If it’s there great, but I want the workmanship and finishing touches. No buzzing frets, no sprouted or sharp fret ends. Those are the things that I have to have. in case I didn’t post a pic earlier-

No way I can justify a J. Custom, but I've considered used Prestige
 

jasons7

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,192
I would go for the RG550 Genesis, give me Road Flare Red. Fujigen Japanese, Edge Trem, it's the best bang for the buck. Save a few bucks for some pickups down the road. If you watch reverb you can find them for around $700 pretty regularly.
 

JonSick

Member
Messages
1,392
1. Do you own one of the 550's. If so how do you like it?
2. How do the Premium(Indonesian) Ibanez compare to the Genesis (which are Japanese) and is the price increase worth getting a Japanese made guitar? (I am leaning towards yes.)
I have a Genesis model and had an RG550 back in the day. They are excellent guitars.

The Japanese guitars are miles better. The Premiums are perfectly usable but the Japanese ones sound and feel much much better. So yes, it's worth the extra dosh.

If an RG550 is in your sights, then that's the only guitar that's going to do the trick! I have mine in that yellow colour and I love it! It's basically me all over. I like my Charvel too, but they're pretty similar animals.

I would also recommend getting a new Genesis model over a 90s used guitar. At the end of the day, by now they're 20 year old guitars and will come with 20 year old guitar problems. Worn knife edges, frets flatter than a plank of wood and the creaks will have set in by now, the dings won't be your dings and there's too many closet queens getting not used and just generally eroding for me to try and save a couple of quid trying to get one. The new one will be brand spanking new, no problems and you won't need to put money into a refret and the like.

For reference, over the years have repaired/set up more than a few 90s Ibanez guitars (among other brands). And while they're great quality, if they're not sentimentally attached to you, given there's a brand new one for only a little more that's where I'd go.

Like I say, if an RG550 Gen is in your sights, anything else would be a mediocre proxy for what you really want.
 

R3deemed

Member
Messages
7,861
I’d also recommend a genesis RG 550. I don’t have firsthand experience with them, but I do with their Japanese models, and don’t think you can go wrong.

I’d also suggest buying from Rich Harris at Ibanez Rules! at the highest level you can manage. He’ll make sure your instrument is the best it can be, and his set-ups are top notch.
 

glockaxis

Member
Messages
267
I have a Genesis RG550 in yellow and I absolutely love it. I always wanted an RG550 back in the 90s (still have the old Ibanez catalogs) but never got a chance to buy an original one. Neck is comfortable for me, body shape perfect, tuning superb. I rotate it between my Prestige 652(same neck but all-access neck joint instead of the block; plus better pickups and a HH configuration) and my Jem (Japan). The Jem's neck is a little more full, but I have no trouble adjusting. I've never tried the Premium or lesser models, so I can't help you there. If you get the Genesis RG550, realize it does not come in a hard case. I had a Suhr gig bag and that's where my stays when not playing.
 

Phil3

Senior Member
Messages
2,156
I have a Genesis RG550 in yellow and I absolutely love it. I always wanted an RG550 back in the 90s (still have the old Ibanez catalogs) but never got a chance to buy an original one. Neck is comfortable for me, body shape perfect, tuning superb. I rotate it between my Prestige 652(same neck but all-access neck joint instead of the block; plus better pickups and a HH configuration) and my Jem (Japan). The Jem's neck is a little more full, but I have no trouble adjusting. I've never tried the Premium or lesser models, so I can't help you there. If you get the Genesis RG550, realize it does not come in a hard case. I had a Suhr gig bag and that's where my stays when not playing.
Cant imagine a case being too much.

I have a Genesis model and had an RG550 back in the day. They are excellent guitars.

The Japanese guitars are miles better. The Premiums are perfectly usable but the Japanese ones sound and feel much much better. So yes, it's worth the extra dosh.

If an RG550 is in your sights, then that's the only guitar that's going to do the trick! I have mine in that yellow colour and I love it! It's basically me all over. I like my Charvel too, but they're pretty similar animals.

I would also recommend getting a new Genesis model over a 90s used guitar. At the end of the day, by now they're 20 year old guitars and will come with 20 year old guitar problems. Worn knife edges, frets flatter than a plank of wood and the creaks will have set in by now, the dings won't be your dings and there's too many closet queens getting not used and just generally eroding for me to try and save a couple of quid trying to get one. The new one will be brand spanking new, no problems and you won't need to put money into a refret and the like.

For reference, over the years have repaired/set up more than a few 90s Ibanez guitars (among other brands). And while they're great quality, if they're not sentimentally attached to you, given there's a brand new one for only a little more that's where I'd go.

Like I say, if an RG550 Gen is in your sights, anything else would be a mediocre proxy for what you really want.
Good to know

I’d also recommend a genesis RG 550. I don’t have firsthand experience with them, but I do with their Japanese models, and don’t think you can go wrong.

I’d also suggest buying from Rich Harris at Ibanez Rules! at the highest level you can manage. He’ll make sure your instrument is the best it can be, and his set-ups are top notch.
Ill look him up.
 

Steve_U1S

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
834
I have a Genesis 550 Road Flare Red, which I purchased brand new on the box - it is outstanding.
Reissue in appearance, and the older tilt block heel neck joint (in truth I prefer the AANJ by far, but I got this wanting the 80s vibe through and through)... but in fact the neck construction is modern multi-piece for extra rigidity and longevity, and hidden inside, the neck actually extends all the way to the end of the fretboard in the same way as the AANJ ones are. It has sculpting to meet the block heel like the block joint requires, but it is full length. The original block heels were done with the neck carved out under the fretboard, making the last 3-4 frets an overhang. The bodies were channeled in a bit on top to clear the fretboard + remaining maple of the neck shaft overhang. The neck pocket was, I suppose you could say, Fender-compatible in its stopping point.
(The 30th anniversary Jems were constructed this same way - leads to a lot of body-to-neck coupling, which likely improves resonance and rigidity of construction... IOW, does not hurt, and likely helps).

The pickups are a matter of taste of course... In my case I pretty much always change the pickups in my guitars anyway...

Highly recommended.
I have also noted that they seem to be quite consistent; I have played several other examples, and they all have been quite excellent.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom