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January 2015 Staff Picks

Chicago Music Exchange staff members always have the scoop on the latest new, used and vintage gear, and we love to tell you about it all. Check out January's Staff Picks:

Alex Chadwick

Swope Geronimo Knock Around Relic

ALEX'S PICK

"The Swope Geronimo is one of the coolest new products I've played in a long time. It's a great and very unique twist on a classic design, the neck is fantastic and the pickups are incredible. It's snappy and responsive and every pickup combination sounds great. Definitely an instant classic!"

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Brian Carstens

Tone King Falcon 12W 1x10 Combo

BRIAN'S PICK

"I am always intrigued when an amplifier is not the standard rectangle black box so often seen, but this Tone King Falcon is more than just a pretty face: vintage-style tones, a great sounding Ironman attenuator, tons of versatility with the 3 Voicing settings and solid construction all packed in a small box make this an amp worth plugging into!"

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Dan Albert

PRS Custom 24 Tortoise Shell Special Finish 10 Top

ALBERT'S PICK

"For my staff pick, this PRS Custom 24 really captured my eyes and ears! This guitar actually has a Tortoise Shell finish over its beautiful 10 Top, a color normally reserved for Artist Package guitars, making this a very rare bird. Before even plugging it in, I was floored with how resonant and expressive the guitar itself plays. When you do get it plugged in, the 59/09 pickups are perfectly articulate, soulful, and reminiscent of the beautiful harmonic overtones that can usually only be achieved with a vintage humbucker. This guitar is a certainly a crowd-pleaser in both the sight and sound departments!"

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Marc Najjar

Mayones Jabba 5-String Custom Eye Poplar Top

MARC'S PICK

"The Jabba Custom is taking the world by storm in the 'J-Bass' arena. With an incredibly smooth, fast, and precise feel, this bass makes life a little easier for a player -- it does all the work for you! The maple is strong and resonant, and the rosewood fingerboard rounds everything out beautifully.

It's certainly clear that every detail was well thought-out; from the meaty-punch of the Aguilar AG 5J-70 Alnico V pickups to the Mayones 2-band GP-BP2 active preamp, it's really difficult to find an "unusable" sound. Even the hardware is custom designed by the folks at Mayones, ensuring tonal accuracy and superior resonance every time.

...And don't get me started on this gorgeous Eye Poplar top! YOWZA!"

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Rob Andre

Q Drum Co. 14/16/18/26 Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany 4pc Kit

ROB'S PICK

"This is an incredible kit from a fairly new company from Los Angeles called Q drum Co. This particular 4pc kit is constructed of thin Mahogany/Poplar/Mahogany shells with Maple reinforcement rings. The sizes are 14x10, 16x16, 18x16, and 24x14.  These drums have incredible low end range, warmth and projection.  These shells have the fullness and attack of maple but with a darker and slightly drier tonality. The sound of these drums is naturally very controlled, not too “live” and not too dampened, making them great sounding drums for any style of music. The 7x14 matching snare is available, so call quick before this one is gone!"

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Shelby Pollard

Victoria Silver Sonic

SHELBY'S PICK

"To say I am an avid believer in all things Fender amplifier would be a bit of an understatement.  So naturally, I am quite apprehensive when anything tries to mimic the quality clean sounds of a classic Fender amp. I must say, the Victoria Silver Sonic changed my mind. The Silver Sonic is not only a good reminder of the wonderful amplifiers of the past, it is also something entirely its own. 20 watts of pure tube power allows you the versatility of clean headroom, or a natural overdrive. The Victoria tube reverb creates a wide range of possibility, and the harmonic filter vibrato starts to modulate as you push the intensity. Oh, and they are handmade in the Chicagoland!"

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Alyssa Welch
Alyssa Welch

Author