Finish: Galaxy Black Neck: 5-pc Maple & Walnut Prestige Neck, Super Wizard Profile Body: Basswood Fretboard: Maple with Sharktooth Silhouette Inlays Bridge: Edge-Zero w/ ZPS-3 Pickups: Zebra DiMarzio Air Norton Neck Humbucker, Black DiMarzio True Velvet Middle Single Coil, Zebra DiMarzio Tone Zone Bridge Humbucker Prestige Hardshell Case Included
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.
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.
I just found this tucked away on the website of Melbourne msuic store Eastgate Music. A little while ago to not much fanfare, Eastgate posted about the forthcoming Ibanez RG30AH, a special version of the RG550 being released to celebrate 30 years of Ibanez availablity in Australia, where they are distributed by Australis Music. The guitars will feature a maple fretboard with a special Southern Cross star inlay, original Wizard neck shape and original Edge trem. They will be limited to 60 numbered pieces. Eastgate has pictures of the prototype, which has the old school Ibanez ‘swoosh’ logo, but the final version will have the Prestige logo instead. Recommended retail price is $2,495, and Eastgate will be getting 2, one of which is already sold, according to their website. These look an awful lot like last year’s RG550 20th anniversary reissue, which were built largely to 1987 specs but with improved neck construction and hotter versions of the original pickups. The 20th annversary version was available in black, desert sun yellow and roadflare red. It seems more information about this limited edition guitar is very scarce. I’ve only found one other reference to it, from way back in March at the Ibanez Collectors website. If anyone’s seen these popping up in stores already, or if you have one, I’d love to hear about it. In the interests of full disclosure, I have no association with Eastgate other than playing a bunch of guitars there and geeking out over Ibanez with them. If they happen to stumble across this page, hi guys! Hehe.
Here’s my work-in-progress custom Ibanez RG. The body was an eBay find, and a Christmas present from Mrs Iheartguitar: it’s an Ibanez RG570 with a custom swirl paint job by Herc Fede. For a while, Herc was selling painted bodies on eBay, as well as doing custom work, but as of July 1, 2008 he stopped taking orders for custom finishes. He plans to still occasionally offer painted bodies for sale, so check his webside periodically to see if you can snag one. What I particularly like about this body is the abstract duck figure in the top left corner of the image.
The neck was another eBay discovery, and was hand made by Herc himself. The colours are based on the Ibanez Jem 77PMC purple multicolour model from the early 90s. The neck is in great condition and feels very smooth and comfortable.
The electronics will consist of a pair of Dimarzio EJ Custom humbuckers, which are designed to sound like old Gretsch FilterTrons, and a Dimarzio Vintage Solo single coil in the middle, which is voiced to sound like a P90. I already have so many shred-style guitars that I thought it would be cool to have something that sounds a little more traditional, yet looks completely over the top.
The hardware is all authentic Ibanez, in the Cosmo colour, a kind of matte grey. The clear pickguard is from Jeannie Pickguards.
All that remains to be done now is have the body clearcoated and the electronics cavities shielded, which will be done by ET Guitars.
Check out this wacky little innovation. Ever busted a string on a guitar with a Floyd Rose trem, and been unable to locate an allen wrench to fix it? A company called Strociek has designed the TurboTrem series of replacement whammy bars based on several popular models, with a hidden feature: a 3mm allen wrench built into the base of the bar. Now if you pop a string, just remove the whammy bar and use the screw/push-in end as an allen wrench. Genius!
Strociek currently offers 3 models of TurboTrem: threaded, collared, and pop-in. The company says the TurboTrem is compatible with any Kahler tremolo system and all original and licensed Floyd Rose single and double locking tremolo systems, such as the Ibanez Edge series, Schaller, Gotoh, ESP, Peavey, Jackson and Charvel and more.