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
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.