NEWS: Ibanez RG550MXX – awesome

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I recently got my Roadflare Red Ibanez RG550MXX out of its case after a few months locked away, and I was immediately reminded how freaking awesome this guitar is. I could never use it live with my band because our singer was a bit of a firecracker on stage, and my stage guitars (Ibanez RG7620 and RG7420) took a few chips here and there in the chaos. So this one remained safely stashed away and is yet to see live use. But that will change soon.

The RG550MXX was released in 2007 to mark the 20th anniversary of the RG550. They were available in three colours (Desert Sun Yellow, Roadflare Red and Black), and only 1,987 were produced. Each was individually numbered.

Specs include:

Slim, fast Wizard neck (with Titanium strengthening rod)
Maple fretboard (rosewood on the black model)
Jumbo frets for easy leads and chording
Lightweight basswood body with upper edge sculpted for comfort
Floyd Rose-licensed Edge tremolo with die-cast saddles
Pickups include V1 and V2 humbuckers and a high-output single coil
5-way switch
Special RG20th hardshell case, special strap, picks in colors matching the guitar

There’s a website called RG20th.com devoted to these guitars. Owners can upload photos, rate their guitar, and register it on a chart of who has which number.

These guitars pop up on eBay from time to time, and the price seems to fluctuate a bit. You might luck out and get a bargain, or you might be caught in a bidding war with someone who’s wanted a Roadflare Red RG550 since 1987. 

Check out this video of Paul Gilbert demoing the RG550MXX for Ibanez.


6 Replies to “NEWS: Ibanez RG550MXX – awesome”

  1. Ooh I want to see more of your guitars now, I loved my RG550DX, I wish I hadn’t sold it to buy my Eggle in hindsight!

  2. Hey, an Eggle’s pretty damn impressive! What colour/year was your RG?

    I found a black RG550 from 1987 at a local pawnshop for $200 a few years ago, with a Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis Trembucker and a Dimarzio PAF Pro. SCORE!

  3. I love my RG750 I got back in 1991… Yes, not the RG550s but I think even better, hehehe. Made In Japan, mostly purchased by us that could not afford a JEM at that time.

  4. That was why I got my first RG too. My first Ibanez was a 1993 Japanese-made RG370. It has an original Edge trem and V6 series pickups, with a strat-style square block neck heel instead of the crescent carve of RG550s at the time. I’ve tried to find out the story behind these guitars because it’s very unusual to hear of an RG3XX series being made in Japan with an Edge. Every one I’ve heard about was sold through Australia’s Custom Music chain so perhaps they were a special order through the distributor. Anyway, I picked it out as my Christmas gift in 1993 and it was on the wall at the store next to a used Jem7PBK. The Jem was a whole $300 more than the $800 RG, so Santa bought me the RG instead. I still love that guitar but it would have been great to get the Jem. I don’t think I’ll ever see a $1,100 PBK again!

  5. I remember my teenager years with my black maple neck RG 550 (pronounced “five fiddy”) before going stratcat, sure was fun!

  6. Aaah, I always wanted the black one with the maple neck. My 1987 one has the rosewood fretboard. I’ve often entertained the idea of getting the black/maple one and having a custom pickgaurd made up with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder Telecaster pickups.

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