This is another one of my main-guitars… the RG3550MZ. It’s just been discontinued, which is a bummer, because it truly is an awesome guitar. I have always loved RGs, and this is pretty much the epitome of RGs. It’s from the Prestige-Series, and apart from the killer-look (cosmo-black finish with a slight flake-effect… and nope, it’s not tacky at all), it has some great components:
- Neck: 5-piece maple/walnut Super Wizard HP neck with maple fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets
- Light and responsive basswood body
- Edge Zero Bridge w/ZPS3 spring system
- Neck pickup: DiMarzio Air Norton humbucker
- Middle pickup: DiMarzio True Velvet single-coil
- Bridge Pickup: DiMarzio Tone Zone
Let’s talk about the features mentioned above.
The Super-Wizard neck truly deserves its name… it’s probably the thinnest and fastest neck I ever played. It’s still very stable though, as it has Titanium-bars inside that provide stability even with the thin profile.
I did remove the counter-bar of the ZPS-vibrato system. I definitely see the benefits of this system, as it’s really incredibly stable, yet I do prefer the feel of the vibrato with that bar removed. You can use flutters, and the whole systems feels like a classic double-locking trem. The counter-bar and the springs add more stability but you have to apply more force, and flutters etc. don’t work. It’s easy enough to remove this, and if I ever feel like I want full ZPS, I can just as easily put it back in.
The combination of Air Norton and Tone Zone of course is a favorite of mine. The Tone Zone is such a great bridge-pickup, works amazingly well for rock and metal, yet also clears up nicely when you roll back the volume a bit. The Air Norton is a great addition to this, and with the True Velvet in the middle, it’s really easy to dial in some great clean tones.
My 3550 was set up by Det Moews. He lowered the action to my preferred distance, and in combination with the Super WIzard neck, it plays like a dream.
If you can locate one of these guitars somewhere, definitely check it out… it’s a totally awesome and addictive guitar!