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Best Vintage Gear Selection

Chicago Music Exchange

Chicago, IL

There are many guitar shops in the world but there's only one that qualifies as a bona fide guitar museum - the one and only Chicago Music Exchange. For over 20 years a diverse list of stars and other serious axe men have made the pilgrimage to 3316 N. Lincoln Avenue to see some of the rarest and most coveted new and vintage guitar equipment ever assembled.

It is also a very unique retail setting - a definitive pro's destination in a spacious, friendly, and chill environment that welcomes all who enter and respect the Tao of tone.

Who shops here?

tweedy11- Well in the last few months I hear that Wilco's Jeff Tweedy (left) picked up a nice '66 Rickenbacker.

- Or that the boys from CME brought G Love a 1960 Gibson J-45 when the airline lost his luggage.

- Lollapalooza is Guitarpalooza in August. Billy Joe Armstrong added a beautiful '61 Gibson SG TV Yellow Jr. last year.

- Awesome bluegrass/rock foursome (and Master Tour users) Yonder Mountain String Band jammed in the acoustic room recently.


A Local Shop with National Reach

Don't let the "Chicago" name fool you - this is no local joint. It's a pro's haven and quickly becoming a go-to place nationally for hard to find gear. A change in ownership last year accelerated growth plans and consequently they have significantly upgraded their ability to sell and ship all offerings through their web site.

 A Sample of CME Merchandise

gibson 1957_lespaul_goldtop

1957 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top (first year with Tune-o-matic bridge and humbucking pickups). This baby will set you back $110K.

Trussart SteelTopCasterJames Trussart Custom Guitars - James Trussart is a musician-turned-luthier who specializes in making custom hollow steel-bodied guitars with a vintage look and feel. The steel is not just for show - the hollow body produces resonant tones with massive sustain. (CME carries a variety of these rare Trussart guitars.)


1965 fender_super_reverb1965 Fender Super Reverb - This vintage amp is the real deal - so much that Fender has recently reissued this very year and model as the '65 Super Reverb.

1964 gibson_thunderbird_bass1964 Gibson Thunderbird Bass - this classic bass has an incredibly punchy, yet thick and clear tone. The "Thunderbird" logo is still on the pickguard - a great pickup for only $6,995.



So what can CME do for you?

Get an appraisal.

Insurance needs it. You want it. CME will do it.

Come out and try some gear.

You're going through Chicago (everyone does). Come to Mecca and play until you're heart's content. They have nice private practice rooms filled with tons of incredible amps so you can tinker until you find that phat tone.

They might bring it to you.

You're doing a gig in Chicago but don't have time to come up. Give us a shout, maybe CME will come see you and bring some "axes of interest".

Sell or trade.

Want to change up your collection? CME will buy your guitar. Sure, it's at wholesale but you know that you're getting a fair price because these guys know what your stuff is worth.

Repair and Restoration.

CME has the very best repair and restoration center in Chicago. They're able to take on all types of repair jobs ranging from set ups to full restoration - for electrics, acoustics, and basses. Most techs can handle basic repairs with common parts backstage or in the van on tour, but they more often than not will run into a problem beyond their limitations in a given tour situation. CME carries a plethora of both common and hard to find parts, and has them readily available for techs, tour managers, and professional musicians alike.



  • Street: 3316 N. Lincoln Avenue
  • Zip: 60657
  • City: Chicago
  • State: IL
  • Country: United States


Key People

David Kalt

David Kalt


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Comments (1)

  • Anonymous


    30 August 2011 at 04:44 |
    Great shop.
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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