MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv - Jemsite
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv

What guitar would you guys go for if both were being sold for $500? is the old 90s mij 550 better than the new one in terms of fretwork? I mostly just want low action and minimal fret buzz and a thinner neck. I'm somewhat new to ibanez guitars so any input would be great.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:31 PM
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Re: MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv

Hello Elatria.

I notice that no one has yet replied to you, so I taught I would write a bit based on my knowledge and hope to get other people more knowledgeable or that happen to have experience with both guitars to weight in.

I own a Premium RG1XXV shocking Pink guitar, and I am personally very happy with it. I have never used an RG550 from the early 90's, so I can't really judge on how they would exactly compare in sound quality and fretwork.

What I could mention is that the MIJ 550 based from a quick search online, comes with the Edge tremolo and is well known that these guitars from that period of time have a really good quality of craftsmanship.

They also have the features that were popular at the time, in contrast to the Premium that has seen the evolution of the RG with updated revisions to the classic design by incorporating the ibanez AANJ neck for extra comfort, adding the neck volute and multiple woods to strengthen the neck from cracks which the older design is prone to suffer. Also the RG1XXV comes with the Edge-Zero II with the ZPS3Fe system on the back to allow to adjust the springs of the tremolo with a knob.

At the end of the day the main actual difference comes down to the Classic RG550 design and features vs a more modern version of it, that have the crazy neon colors and happens to be made in Indonesia instead of MIJ. I must note that there has been plenty of talk online and here on this forum about the disparity of quality with the Premium guitars. That said is hard to know what exactly you are getting until you try the guitar. I bought mine online, so had no way to try it before buying it, but after doing a small tweak on the set up upon arrival, the guitar played great and has been ever since. I am personally very happy with my RG1XXV. (Don't know how the fretwork compare, but hopefully someone con shed light on that). I am inclined to think that the MIJ is superior, but lets hear from others who know more about this topic.

Both guitars are good on their own way and at such a price. It boils down to what you value and like more about either one and what they represent to you.

For me for example the deciding factor when I had to choose between this guitar and another was the guitar having the look of matching color for the body & headstock as well as the shark tooth inlays of the white RG450 that I was drooling as a kid since I saw that guitar on the Ibanez Catalog of 1999 + the Neon Pink like color of the early JEMs that I also remember from old guitar magazines. So this guitar had the nostalgia factor of 2 aspects I liked of 2 different guitars. The other guitar was the Sea foam green Jem. But at the end I went with the RG and do not regret it. (Price was also a factor in my case... as either I buy now and enjoy now or wait for months until I save enough for the other more expensive guitar)

I hope this information helps you decide on what matters most to you.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 01:59 AM
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Re: MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv

the 550 will have the thinner neck...and its hard to go wrong with an original or lo pro edge...d.m.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 02:02 AM
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Re: MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv

Old guitars = old guitar problems. Scarf joint shrinkage, loose stud anchors, and plenty more hidden issues. Personally I'd go with something from this decade.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 06:39 AM
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I have to agree with Rich. I have an Rg1xxv, just bought it a few months back. I got it for ~$500, and the thing is like new. I'm fairly certain it had the original strings on it when I got it.
With either, you're getting an unknown. I think that an Rg1xxv would be easier to find in better shape than a 30yr old guitar. A LOT can happen to a guitar in 30 years.

I think either way, you'll be pleased. For the price point, both are nice guitars. There's a ton of junk out there in their price range.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 09:27 AM
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Re: MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv

Disclaimer: - "Just My Opinion"!

As nice as the old 550s are (had the priviledge of trying an original '87 DY years ago, was a rather nice guitar, one of those "I wish it was for sale" moments...) they are getting on a bit. You might be lucky and get one that's been cherished and been looked after, however you're more likely to find one that's done many hard miles of sweaty shredding and been hacked apart with pickup changes etc. Or various states of condition in-between. YMMV.

I'd go with the newer guitar personally, less likely to have issues IMO.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 09:41 AM
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Re: MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv

Originally Posted by Elatria View Post
What guitar would you guys go for if both were being sold for $500? is the old 90s mij 550 better than the new one in terms of fretwork? I mostly just want low action and minimal fret buzz and a thinner neck.
same condition I'd always go MIJ with Ibanez. I'd also be patient and find the right one not be impulsive. You'll be thankful now when you play and later if you go to sell. YMMV.

Sure old guitars bring old problems but new guitars bring new problems and can be equally or more frustrating especially out of warranty when all the "hurry up and ship it from indo" blems shine thru.

Treat either purchase as an expendable (not collectible) consumables and your purchase will be more satisfactory. In 10 years both might be almost worthless to anyone but you.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: MIJ 1990 rg550 vs Premium rg1xxv

I agree. I wasn't saying I'd buy the RG1, I just said I'd be looking for something from this decade. I've seen some pretty cheap RG655's, not to mention 1550/70's have been cheap.
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