Re: Please help date my RG550 (no serial #!)
The serial number would make it an '88. Between 1987 and 1996, the first number was the last digit of the year. However, I don't recall a lot of 550s have neckplates with serial numbers on them, so that could be a replacement at some point. Or who knows, sometimes funny stuff happens at those factories.
Either way, I think the RFRs were only in the 1988 catalog, but many have 1987 serial numbers. Although there was an RG550 supplement in 1987, but I don't recall if it had RFR on it or not. 1989 catalog has the FA (Five Alarm Red?) finish, but I don't think those had matching headstocks.
Hope that helps.