RG550, overrated? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy RG550, overrated?

Now the original late 80's and early 90's RGs are getting quite old, more than 20 years. And given how theyre kind of a "player's guitar" intended to be used a lot and used live by the working man, one would suspect they have more wear then most guitars that age. So typically models on sale have fret wear, dings and paint chips, rust and knife wear on trems. The tender wizard neck might have cracks and fret board wear that one would expect from guitars favoured by technical guitarists that work their axes hard.

So given all this and the massive hype that surrounds them on guitar forums, are they finally become overrated? In the last few years the prices have only gone up while the quality.. well down as the guitars have aged. And as they were mass manufactured from the start and have a kind of cheesy 80ies stereotype associated with them, the collectors' value isnt perhaps as big a deal as with Fenders and Gibsons. Have we reached the point where newer used guitars (and newer RGs) are a better deal on the bay?

Last edited by nandnor; 03-16-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

No I don't think so!
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

back in the day, I was about 16 during the golden era, worked as a stock boy at a music store that sold Ibanez/Randall/BC Rich, Crate etc.
I don't remember playing any Ibanez 550s. I had a 570 that I loved.

Fastforward to 2007, got my first one and have not looked back. I can confidently say the 550 is quote possibly the best instrument produced in that era, without bringing up the RG vs. saber debate, but they are consistent and have a unique sound a playability unmatched by other brands and models. Just my 2 cents.
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

RG550 overrated?? I would say that they are very much underrated. Great guitars, especially the late 80's/early 90's models.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:48 PM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

As the owner of a 550EX which doesn't match up to a number of other guitars I own, I'd say yes, they are overrated.

On top of that, honestly, I don't find guitars designed like 550's to appeal anymore. I want a 12" radius. I prefer wilkinson vibratos to Floyds. I don't want or need a super thin neck to shred, I've put the time in and can play faster and cleaner on a thicker neck, with all the extra comfort that provides.

These days, I'm somewhat of the opinion that 550's and suchlike are guitars for people who never outgrew their overriding love of one style of music, and don't play much else. I can't think of any session musicians who use 550s, for one thing. Or if I can, they're players like Rob Marcello, who are very much 80's metal guys. On the other hand, monster players like Guthrie Govan and such, are leaning towards a wiser blend of old and new in their instruments.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by corpraider69 View Post
No I don't think so!
Quote:
Originally Posted by metalgod72 View Post
back in the day, I was about 16 during the golden era, worked as a stock boy at a music store that sold Ibanez/Randall/BC Rich, Crate etc.
I don't remember playing any Ibanez 550s. I had a 570 that I loved.

Fastforward to 2007, got my first one and have not looked back. I can confidently say the 550 is quote possibly the best instrument produced in that era, without bringing up the RG vs. saber debate, but they are consistent and have a unique sound a playability unmatched by other brands and models. Just my 2 cents.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IbanezDaemon View Post
RG550 overrated?? I would say that they are very much underrated. Great guitars, especially the late 80's/early 90's models.
Dont get me wrong, im not saying they are bad instruments - just that with the big price inflation they've had in the last few years they arent as competitive any more, and their age isnt helping(compared to newer, less worn guitars)
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 07:26 PM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

I've actually never understood why the 550 is the most beloved of the 500 and 700 Series guitars?
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 09:57 PM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

simple!
it's the AK 47 of guitar.
it's cheap, easy to find, and get the job done.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 11:49 PM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
As the owner of a 550EX which doesn't match up to a number of other guitars I own, I'd say yes, they are overrated.

On top of that, honestly, I don't find guitars designed like 550's to appeal anymore. I want a 12" radius. I prefer wilkinson vibratos to Floyds. I don't want or need a super thin neck to shred, I've put the time in and can play faster and cleaner on a thicker neck, with all the extra comfort that provides.

These days, I'm somewhat of the opinion that 550's and suchlike are guitars for people who never outgrew their overriding love of one style of music, and don't play much else. I can't think of any session musicians who use 550s, for one thing. Or if I can, they're players like Rob Marcello, who are very much 80's metal guys. On the other hand, monster players like Guthrie Govan and such, are leaning towards a wiser blend of old and new in their instruments.
With all due respect this is a bit of a "high brow" opinion.
Most session guys will play whatever fits a given scenario. Sure, most lean towards LP's and Strats, but I'd imagine tuning instability would get any Floyd-equipped guitar kicked out of the studio. Even guys like Vai will track with an LP or an SG here and there.
And speaking of Vai last time I checked he was a Zappa level player. Can most session guys claim that? No. Also notable session guy Mike Keneally (also a Zappa guy) played Jems live for a while because it FIT with what he was doing with Vai. If Mike is going to play on, say, Taylor Swift's next record would he bring his Mesa rig and Deathlok-style EMG equipped guitars? I think not.
Yeah, there are a lot of guys who play RG's who remain fond of 80's shred. Nothing wrong with that if it makes them happy. This doesn't make the RG more or less versatile. In fact, you could say the general looking down of noses at guys who play RG's is a bit of gear snobbery. I've had this happen to me and the snobbery gets kicked to the backseat when I switch to position 2 or 4 on the 5 way and kick out a country or reggae lick. Is my RG generally suited to this? Not really as I have high gain pickups on the guitar and my rig is geared more towards rock. It can come somewhat close though.
Sure, I might be biased towards the RG550 as I've been playing RG's for 21 years and I'm posting on a board called Jemsite.
In terms of the original question I do believe the RG is very underrated.
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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Smile Re: RG550, overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takin' a Ride View Post
I've actually never understood why the 550 is the most beloved of the 500 and 700 Series guitars?
What RG5XX or other model is your favorite?

To me, if you wanted a JEM but didn't have the money, you bought a RG550.
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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 10:00 AM
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Re: RG550, overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nandnor View Post
Now the original late 80's and early 90's RGs are getting quite old, more than 20 years. And given how theyre kind of a "player's guitar" intended to be used a lot and used live by the working man, one would suspect they have more wear then most guitars that age. So typically models on sale have fret wear, dings and paint chips, rust and knife wear on trems. The tender wizard neck might have cracks and fret board wear that one would expect from guitars favoured by technical guitarists that work their axes hard.

So given all this and the massive hype that surrounds them on guitar forums, are they finally become overrated? In the last few years the prices have only gone up while the quality.. well down as the guitars have aged. And as they were mass manufactured from the start and have a kind of cheesy 80ies stereotype associated with them, the collectors' value isnt perhaps as big a deal as with Fenders and Gibsons. Have we reached the point where newer used guitars (and newer RGs) are a better deal on the bay?
Strats, Teles, Les Pauls, all have that antiquated look as well as the cheesy '50s american schtick going on, who'd want one of those?

The RG550 isn't overrated in the same way that those three classic american 50s guitars aren't overrated.

In the same way that those guitars have been changed by their manufacturers over the last 50 or 60 years, the RG550 has too.

The main difference is that the RG550 has had changes to its nomenclature as well. So whilst the Strat can have Mexican Strats, Japanese Strats, Squier Strats, American Standard Strats, American Classic Strats and even American cheeseburger and fries with extra pickle hold the mayo, extra relish Strats, but they're all identified as just "Strats" the RG550 gets a whole host of extra or different numbers instead and folks miss the point that an RG2550 or a RG350 is still an RG550, but at different price points.

So, to answer the OP's question...

No.
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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 10:05 AM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

I actually prefer the 570 or 1570 a little. Being rear-routed they're easier to maintenance I think. I really like how the 550 sounds though. I think sound-wise they have a bit more pop and are a tad more versatile.
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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 10:10 AM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

isn't an aged guitar supposed to sound better?
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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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Smile Re: RG550, overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mertay View Post
isn't an aged guitar supposed to sound better?
Not and electric-
It should be the same unless the electronics rot out from age.
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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 11:16 AM
 
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Re: RG550, overrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
. . .
On top of that, honestly, I don't find guitars designed like 550's to appeal anymore. I want . . . I prefer . . .
This is the key to this whole over- / under-rated thing. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. For example, the Gibson Les Paul is an icon, but if you prefer 1960s Teiscos (and they do have a certain funky appeal), more power to you, rock on.

The variability of guitars astounds and excites me. There really are differences, and if you're too loyal to one brand, body style, neck radius, whatever, you're gonna miss out on some great instruments.

I think many of us (myself included) focus too much on guitar consuming and not enough on playing or evaluating. The best thing you can do for yourself as a guitar buyer is to evaluate gear on its own terms, without paying too much attention to the name on the headstock. Ears and hands, fellas.

Peace

Mike
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