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Visited Chicago Music Exchange

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Johnny Danger, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    Was recently in Chicago for business and decided to stop in to CME when I had a free day. Seriously, they literally have just about one of EVERYTHING in that store. Amps I had never even heard of. Something like 20+ Rickenbackers on the wall, both new and vintage. A downstairs room that is completely dedicated to bass guitar. Custom shop Fenders at 7 grand just at eye level ready for you to grab and play.

    They have lots of employees on the floor taking care of people, so they keep an eye on you, but that is the only shop I have ever been to where anything and everything is right there for you to grab and play with under no judgement/hassle from having to flag down an employee.

    They also had a baby sitar from Danelectro that I didn't know existed and was also awesome to play.

    I got to play the new American Ultra HSS Strat. The coil split on the bridge was a lot of fun. Interestingly enough, I did play it directly against a Silver Sky and actually preferred the feel and sound of it much more. Apparently the noiseless single coils on the Ultra series are "half" noiseless? There is a perceptible amount of buzz with some gain on an amp in all pickup positions. But with the PRS in the 2 or 4 position, the RWRP was dead silent, as expected. And I hate to be "that guy" but the true single coils on the PRS sounded better to me (Insert organic/transparent vs lifeless/sterile buzzwords here) than the noisless pickups on the Strat. But hey, they both sound good.

    For me the star of that moment was playing through a Two Rock Bloomfield Drive. Man, that is one hell of an amp. something like over 4 grand for just the head, but worth every penny. I'm so happy with my PR clone that I'm not severely tempted, but if ever I feel like I need more amp, that's got to be number one on my list.

    They also had a massive acoustic room. Again, just phenomenal stuff just right there for you to grab. Lots of 4 grand Martins to play with. They even had a smaller section with just vintage stuff. Saw an 80 year old Martin that was right there but I was just too nervous to touch.

    If you are ever in Chicago, it's a must visit for guitar nerds. And if you are in the market for a serious level purchase that you wouldn't mind burning up some airline miles for, they should be on your shortlist.

    20191122_120728.jpg 20191122_120735.jpg
     
  2. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Most Honored Senior Member

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    And remember they also own Reverb.com.....just another plus especially for us southpaws....
     
    Nubs likes this.
  3. mjea80

    mjea80 Lost In The Light Silver Member

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    Reverb is now owned by Etsy. Im sure they paid a pretty penny for it too, great service for musicians alike.
     
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  4. Deathray

    Deathray Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes, CME is awesome! I have been there twice this year. It’s an easy train ride there, from my son’s apartment (or anywhere near a CTA stop). Literally less than 500 feet from the platform. It is the ultimate candy store. The employees are really helpful, and laid back. Definitely a must do, if you’re in Chicago! Lots of cool Musician’s pics on the walls from their visits
     
    3bolt79 likes this.
  5. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it or screw it.

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    Cool review. Thanks
     
  6. Nerd

    Nerd Strat-O-Master

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    Got a thing or two from CME in past. They always accepted even silliest offers I made on their reveb shop

    You gotta love them
     
    3bolt79 likes this.
  7. BuddyGuy

    BuddyGuy Strat-Talker

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    I must go. I’ll tell my wife when she gets home from work that we shall go there immediately.
     
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  8. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    I don't often look at a picture of a guitar store and smile, but that wall of Les Pauls is something else!

    Thanks for sharing. :thumb:
     
  9. integra evan

    integra evan Senior Stratmaster

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    Have gotten several things from them, would like to check it out if I'm ever in Chicago
     
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  10. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    The funny thing is that being a single coil guy, I've always said that any LP I buy will have to be a gold top with P90's. In that entire wall of LP's, there was only a single P90 equipped model in black.
     
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  11. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Very cool stuff! Thanks for sharing :)
     
  12. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Most Honored Senior Member

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    Wow that is an impressive display of gear!! I would be overwhelmed in there.
     
  13. ryunker

    ryunker Senior Stratmaster

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    Impressive yes, even live in the area, but likely never go. Just not a "Chicago goer" for anything.

    In the area, and a Fenfer fan? "Music Gallery" Highland park is just jaw dropping stuff. Enough employees, but not in your face ever. All stuff in reach.

    They have the largest selection of custom shop stuff i could ever imagine.
     
    3bolt79 likes this.
  14. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    Yeah, I noticed that the section seemed to be really focused on very similar models (superficially at least). While I'm partial to a sunburst LP Standard, it's hardly the only model. I love P90s too, but I'd want a choice of guitars before I thought "this is the one".
     
  15. SILENCER

    SILENCER Strat-Talker

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    What's Left Of California
    That had to be fun.
    I'd nerd pretty hard in there.
    It's reverb.com you can touch!

    I may be going to Nashville in Spring, so I'll hit Gruhn, absolutely.

    California Vintage Guitar and Amp in Van Nuys out here is pretty dork-worthy as well.
    I really don't even need to mention Norm's, do I?