Re: Need Help Choosing An Ibanez... Need Recommendations!
I don't think there are any major differences between the RG520, 550, and 570 except that the 520 has dual humbuckers while the 550 and 570 have an H-S-H pickup config. Also, it is possible to find 550s with maple fingerboards. As far as tone goes, I would say that maple is brighter than rosewood and it really makes your notes pop off the fingerboard. What I've noticed from the few guitars that I've run into with maple fingerboards is that you tend to get a very twangy sound out of the guitar.
Now if you LOVED the feel of the RGT42DXFX then maybe you should just buy that guitar. The RG5xx series guitars all have floating trems and their necks are CONSIDERABLY thinner than the RGT42DXFX. Whether or not you would like this or not you may not know until you actually play one. I got to play someone's RG520 recently and the neck was crazy thin to me. It had that cool-looking skunk stripe down the neck which I can only assume was to strengthen it but how then it was kind of bothered me. I could still play the guitar, but it wasn't quite as inviting as my RGs with Wizard II necks which feel a tad bit rounder and thus more comfortable on the hands IMO. With that being said, I believe the current Prestige line is slightly thicker than these older models but still not quite as comfortable as a Wizard II. I think that the JEM neck profile is about as perfect as you can get as far as necks go and I would really love to have one.