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Hello all, well, I got the Ibanez RG 3550MZ in Roadstar Orange Metallic today, I traded even up for a JEM VBK 777. So Im trying to help other Ibanez players who are considering buying one. So here is some sort of review for it. Hopefully it doesnt bore you :)

First off, so you know I have been around the block with guitars, I have been playing for 30 years, (when I was 7, I saw KISS, and that was it, I needed a guitar), I too was influenced by all the awesome technical players of the mid to late 80's and early 90's. I have had EVERY guitar through out the years, Jackson, Charvel, PRS, Fender, G&L, Hamer, Washburn, Yamaha, seroiusly, I have had them all plus others. I started buying up Ibanezs 9 years ago, and thats all I have now. Just a butt load of Ibanez. (JEM's, older RG's & RT's). To me, they are the best guitars ever made. I have released 4 CD's, and you can check out my latest one by doing a google search for Rodger Deering. I cant link yet, I'm still a nOOb member :) O.K., enough of this onto the review...

I am critical when it comes to my guitars. When I get a Ibanez I dont like, its gone within 2 days, or depending when it sells. I had a RGA121, gone. A DBK JEM, offed that one, a blinding rock mirror JEM, sold it. Among a few others. So this RG 3550MZ would meet that same fate if it ended up being a flaming pile of dung.
<<<<OPENING THE BOX>>>>>
So this morning, the UPS guy drops it off, I bring it in, grab the closest sharp object to cut the box open, (it was a steak knife BTW) pull the Prestige case out and put it on my kitchen counter. I open the case and.......the "WOW" factor kicks in....the guitar is STUNNING. Whoever at Ibanez though of this color, pickguard, pickup combination, neck inlays, etc, is brilliant. My first impression on sight was radiant and Bad A$$. Just on the looks factor this guitar could go toe to toe with a JEM. So I grabbed a bag of pretzels to munch on while I just kind of walked around it for about 5 minutes, looking at it. I think I was hoping the neck felt good and in general the guitar played liked how I wanted it to play like. I did off a JEM for this remember. But again, this is a awesome looking instrument.
<<<<<<PLUG AND PLAY>>>>>>>

I grabbed my mid 80's Marshall Lead 20 amp that sounds like a little JCM 800 and put it in my living room. (16 foot vaulted ceilings, hardwood floor, it sounds killer in that room) Settings are volume 5, gain 10, treble 3, mids 8, bass 10. So I pick up the Ibanez and before I even plug it in I notice the neck (super wizard they call it) feels AWESOME. I believe its wider then a original wizard neck, but the roundness is close. The fret work is SUPERB, this is the make it or break it for me on guitars. My tech guy does my fret work, but this guitar doesnt need anything at all. THIS is how fret work should be on all upper model Ibanez. The music store that shipped it to me, set it up with super low action as I requested them to. So I plug it in, kick to the bridge pickup, crank the guitar volume on 10 and 3 words pop in my head. Ibanez. Is. Back. The Dimarzio pickups sound awesome in this guitar. I ran the usual gamut of playing on a new guitar. Tapping, sweeps, dive bombs, arpeggios, chunky power chords, pinched harmonics, then basically just plain out shredding the living hell out of it. Then I set the amp for a clean setting, and did some blues and jazzy stuff, again, it did not disappoint. I did this for about an hour. Loved every minute of it.

<<<<POINTS OF INTREST>>>>>>>
The Volute---I read some players dont like this, this did not bother me at all. It didnt hinder me nor bother me at all. I heard its there for extra support. So be it then, it didnt effect playing the guitar at all.

The Edge Zero trem--- I REALLY, REALLY like the feel and tuning stability of this trem. I dont like the mechanism on it that holds it stable. Upon finishing this LONG review :) its coming out. It does do what it sets out to do, that is keep the trem stable when doing bends. But, I would prefer a true floating trem. Also, the trem NEVER once needed adjustment after I tuned it to where I wanted it. I gave that trem hell, and never once lost its tune. I like this as much as my Lo Pro's on my JEM's.

The volume and tone knobs--- Hate'em, Im switching them over to black strat knobs with white lettering. You may like those knurled dome knobs, I think it would look/fell better with strat knobs. Just a personal preference.
<<< SUMMARY AND BOTTOM LINE>>>>

I don't miss that JEM VBK777 for a minute, not even a second. But, to me that JEM just didnt feel right. This RG 3550MZ just plain out feels and sounds great, inspiring, comfortable and just awesome to play on. I really hope Ibanez continues down this path and introduces more models in this direction. This guitar reminds me of there hey days from 87 to 93 and I mean that in a great and positive way. I think there move back to Japan for there Prestige line was a great move on there part, as this guitar is proof of it. Oh, and yeah, yeah, I hear someone saying "You know how much that JEM will be worth down the road!" Ya know what I say? What ev dude, it's only money, who cares. Just give me a guitar I sincerely enjoy playing and to create music with. RG 3550MZ F.T.W.

<<<< FINAL SCORE>>>>>
9.8 out of 10 (change those dome knobs to strat knobs Ibanez!!!!)
 

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sick man, i have an rg2550z (basically the same except rosewood board and dimarzio/ibz pups) and it kicks ass. i'll soon be replacing the pups to a tone zone and paf pro. i also love the edge zero, it works a dream, but i keep the ZPS bar in. i dunno why people bash it so much, it's such a cool trem.
 

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must be mad thats all i can say.but its up to you,ive had a 777vbk and a rg2550z prestige,i thought the jem was light years better.this is just my opinion though.enjoy your new guitar mate
 

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God bless some one who agrees on the money subject, Glade you found something that felt right. I second the photos to, hole collection not jsut the 3550!
 
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