The good news is that, if you want a mahogany body, the S, R, and JS
series models are already there for you.
There are some basic questions we could ask to help point you in the right direction:
1. Do you want to try a 24 fret neck or are you happy with less?
With a few newer exceptions, the S, R, and JS
series guitars have been 22 fret instruments. Newer JS
and S series guitars sport double-octave necks but, of course, newer = pricier. RGs have come equipped with 24 fret necks since the beginning.
2. Do you hope to be able to use the bridge for dive-bombs and crazy fluttering sounds (in the fashion of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani), or do you plan to simply use it for basic vibrato?
If you are interested in the dramatic trem effects, then you'll want to seek out an instrument with an Edge, Lo Pro Edge, Edge Pro, or Edge Zero.
If you're just planning for basic vibrato, the lesser bridges (Edge Pro II, Edge III, Lo-TRS) should still be serviceable. Start really wailing on them, and you'll find that they lose tune quickly though.
3. Do you have a preference for pickup configuration?
If you want single coils up in the neck position, you'll want to check out early Radius (the model that became the JS
) and S series guitars or RG560s and 760s. Of course, if you go for an RG550, you'll have a strat-style pickguard which allows you to load more or less whatever pickups you want.
4. What kind of neck do you want?
Ibanez is most famous for the Wizard necks on the MIJ RGs--those incredibly slim necks that make fast playing feel easier. But the cheaper necks from Korea and Indonesida are still pretty slim and might be more to your liking if you like a Strat.