The RG550 has been reissued a few times since the first version. It certainly handles rock and metal duties well but as its aged the pickups have taken on a more mellow tone.My RG550 is now over 25 years old and was my first serious working guitar.
The guitar tone cuts through the mix as it has quite a nasal tone - like most guitars of this type - when compared to the fat sounds of a Les Paul or the bright thinner sound of a strat. This is not a bad thing especially when playing lead guitar with a band. I don't play mine so much live anymore but it certainly comes in handy in the studio from time to time.
I've got a 1991 RG550 in Laser Blue with stock everything, and it looks as good as it sounds—and it looks pretty damn awesome. I've also got a white 1987 RG550 with DiMarzio PAF and X2N pups, with a LoPro edge replacing its stock Edge. They're both great workhorses, and my 1987's also one of only two I've ever seen!
I purchased this 1987 rg550 from a friend of a friend, when i received it the pickups had already been swapped out with two seymour duncan invader pickups so this think was ready to shred to hell and back. Even though it's a basswood body it still had a very comfortable feeling weight to it, doesn't feel too light. The maple neck is still smooth even considering its almost 30 years old.
These RG550LTD were released some years ago for a short while and this is my 'go to' guitar for everyday use. The video shows a really close up review of the guitar. While my guitar has seen many modifications such as Dimarzio 'Jazz' pickup in the neck and EVOII in the bridge pickup replacing the originals, this guitar is hard to beat for sounds and playability.