Meet Your Maker: Carlos Lopez

Inside the Fender Custom Shop is a limitless universe of creation, occupied by some of the most talented luthiers ever to pick up a rasp. Carlos Lopez, one of the newest Master Builders, has established himself as a rising star.

Vintage Vibes - 1956 Fender Blonde Esquire

Nathaniel takes us down, down, down into a burning ring of fire with this scorching hot 1956 Blonde Fender Esquire, the solid-body electric guitar that started it all.

Book a Virtual Appointment

Book a Virtual Appointment with Us The storefront is closed but that doesn't mean we are! Our sales associates are on the phones and in the store ready to help you. Not quite sure about that guitar you saw pop up on the site or on social media? Well, we have good news, we're rolling out virtual appointments! Get the gear you're sure you want and have one of our sales associates walk you through a tone tour or key features, with video and audio dialed in to capture whatever you're interested in!

Fuzzrocious Croak Double Filter Fuzz

New from Fuzzrocious, the CROAK puts your fuzz in conversation with two separate filters as well as an optional expression input for total control over a full spectrum of fuzz tone in realtime.

Make More Music—Buy a Guild Electric or Acoustic—Get a Cordoba Ukulele for Free

Make More Music with Guild and Cordoba. Get a FREE Cordoba ukulele when you buy any Guild acoustic or electric guitar! Limited time offer, get yours now!

Gift Card Bundles get more with a Gift Card

Just because you can't decide on a gift, doesn't mean they shouldn't get one. Grab a Chicago Music Exchange gift card for the musician in your life! The perfect gift for all musicians! This is a physical gift card. It will be mailed to the address specified at checkout and will include a corresponding gift card holder along with your bundled item!

Enhance Your At Home Rig & Gear Up Today

Your Chicago Music Exchange resource for at-home playing and recording! It’s never been easier to take your sound with you wherever you go. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of must-haves for any player stuck at home.

Wren and Cuff J Mascis Signature Garbage Face Fuzz

Developed over the course two years with the Dinosaur Jr. frontman himself, the Garbage Face emulates the interaction between two of the most important components in J’s rig: his favorite fuzz, a 1970’s EHX Ram Head that he got in 1987, and a vintage Rangemaster germanium transistor treble booster. Sam shows you just what happens when these two legendary effects work together.

Taylor Guitars Taylor Days Spring Break Promotion Buy a Taylor Get One for $99

In honor of Spring Break, Taylor is offering limited buy-one-get-one bundles on all models now through May 3rd. Buy any 300 series model or higher and get any acoustic GS Mini or Academy Series for just $99! Buy any 100, 200, 200 Plus, or 200 DLX series guitar and get any acoustic Baby Taylor for just $99!

KugeScreamer Overdrive Presented by Chicago Music Exchange and Rigs of Dad

Created in conjunction with Rigs of Dad and Keeley Electronics, the Limited Edition CME Exclusive Kugescreamer overdrive pedal features exclusive art by John Bailey and a unique, three-knob design that favors one thing and one thing only: tone.

Inside: Earthquaker Devices Q&A with Jamie Stillman

Earthquaker Devices began as many effects brands do, with one guy and a broken overdrive pedal. But that guy, Jamie Stillman, would spend years ensuring that Earthquaker Devices would never become just another effects brand.

Earthquaker Devices Afterneath V3 Enhanced Otherworldly Reverberation Machine

Earthquaker Devices’ popular Afterneath Otherworldly Reverberator is back! With a completely analog dry signal path and all-digital delay path, the Afterneath V3 Otherworldly Reverberation Machine includes nine new modes of sweep, Drag parameter with CV or expression pedal control, FlexiSwitch bypass, relay-based switching, and Trail/No Trail switching, all at a decidedly otherworldly price.

Vintage Vibes - USA Dean From Hell Lightning Bolt #65 of 150

Number 65 out of just 150 worldwide, this Dean From Hell Signature Series electric guitar is the spitting image of Dimebag Darrell from Pantera’s, down to the same Bill Lawrence and DiMarzio pickups, electrical tape, and soldered volume knobs.

Epiphone USA-Made Texan Acoustic Guitars

Epiphone uses all solid woods to construct new Montana-made Texan acoustic guitars, outfitted with LR Baggs VTC electronics, and hand-rolled, long-scale necks for increased volume and a substantial feel.

CME Exclusive Caroline Guitar Co Camo Meteore

You may not be able to see it, but you can definitely hear it. The extremely limited CME Exclusive Camo finish Météore Lo-Fi Reverb from Caroline Guitar Company, inspired by Line 14 of the Paris Métro, is available while it lasts, and only at the Chicago Music Exchange.

CME Exclusive Fender Player Jazzmasters

Shelby knows nothing about Jazzmasters, so we’ve asked the real jazz master, Nathaniel, to teach him a thing or two about the beloved Fender electric guitar by showing him our new CME Exclusive Fender Player Jazzmasters, equipped with American made Pure Vintage ‘65 Jazzmaster pickups, color-coordinated headcaps, and a pre-routed cavity for the rhythm circuit.

Vintage Vibes - '60s Wildwood Fender Coronado

Designed by former Rickenbacker builder Roger Rossmiesl, this 1960s Fender Coronado Wildwood II electric guitar features a fully hollow body with stained beechwood back, sides, and top, a hot pair of DeArmonds, and a very responsive tremolo assembly.

Vintage Tour: San Antonio 2020

We sent word that there was fittin’ to be a sale down San Antone way. That being Texas, we thought they could use some extra muscle. Midwest muscle. So we made arrangements, while our buyers set their spurs on the Alamo City for to see about the second annual Guitar Bazaar, where their Hemi-loaded Dodge Challenger would be waiting.

Vertex Steel String MKII Demo with Isaiah Sharkey

Nathaniel and Isaiah Sharkey trade tips on how to get the most out of the new Vertex Steel String Clean Drive MKII pedal, a clean drive based on the Dumble String Singer #001, one-third the size of the original, and with new "Rock/Jazz" toggle switching for bass cut control.

Vintage Vibes - 1976 Gibson Limited Edition Explorer Mahogany

Nathaniel takes this ‘76 Limited Edition Gibson Explorer electric guitar and its retro-style, chunky neck on a trip to the edge and back with characteristic precision. Have a vintage Gibson electric guitar like this? Call us to speak to one of our vintage experts about your sale and trade options.

Vintage Collection - The Ultimate Amp Haul

Our buyers could’ve used an extra hand with this collection. They made away with over 50 guitars, 40 amplifiers, and 10 sets of keys. Among the massive lot are dozens of high-end, boutique electric and acoustic guitars from yesterday and today, like a ‘61 Gibson Les Paul (SG), new Gretsch Masterbuilts, Fender Custom Shop Stratocasters, beautiful Collings acoustics, and a number of PRS Private Stocks, like this John Mayer Super Eagle II.

Vintage Vibes - 1959 Fender Sunburst Precision Bass

Purchased at a Chicago garage sale in the early ‘70s, this beautiful 1959 Fender Precision Bass is now in the capable hands of a North Side native, our vintage buyer Mike Larsen. He details for us the essential features of the ‘59, like the anodized aluminum pickguard and Three-Tone Sunburst finish, as well as what separates it from earlier models and why this Precision Bass is one of the finest of its kind.

Caroline Guitar Co. Megabyte Lo-fi Delay Computer

Caroline Guitar Company adds a second lo-fi digital chip to their Kilobyte to create the Megabyte, a "lo-fi delay computer" with increased delay time, subdividable tap tempo, trails/true bypass switching, and an even more hectic "Havoc" mode with momentary footswitching.

Inside Heritage Guitars

Since 1985, Heritage Guitar has been handcrafting some of the finest musical instruments in the world. Housed at the iconic 225 Parsons Street location in Kalamazoo, the company continues to build guitars of uncompromising quality as they have been for a century in that location.

Tone Exploration - Led Zeppelin

Using the Fender Reissue Jimmy Page Dragon Telecaster electric guitar, a 1967 Supro Thunderbolt amplifier and more, Henry does his best to emulate the classic Jimmy Page sound of the early Led Zeppelin records we know and love, and we think he did a Supro job.

Walrus Audio MAKO D1 Delay Pedal

Henry runs us through the powerful new MAKO Series D1 Delay from Walrus Audio, and shows that it can handle everything from epic movie scores, to '80s pop hits.

Vintage Tours - Orlando Guitar Show

We headed down to the Orlando International Guitar and Music Expo and home 28 incredible vintage guitars, basses and amplifiers in this Vintage Tour

Heritage H-530 Hollow-Body Guitars at Chicago Music Exchange

Heritage electric guitars are handmade in Kalamazoo, MI, at the old Gibson factory. Designed for pure tone and maximum natural resonance, Heritage Guitar Inc.’s double-cut H-530 features scatter-wound Lollar P90s with Alnico 5 bar magnets on the neck and bridge, premium hardware, and a laminate maple rim set.

Vintage Vibes - 1967 Gibson Byrdland Sunburst

A portmanteau of both Billy Byrd and Hank Garland, who designed the guitar with Gibson’s Ted McCarty, the Byrdland evolved out of the L-5 CES. The three reduced the body depth, scale length, and nut width to make a lean, mean, rift-ripping machine, equally suited for jazz, country, or rock, which Nathaniel happily demonstrates.

Vintage Vibes 1952 Goldtop Gibson Les Paul

Nathaniel Murphy takes this first-year 1952 Gibson Goldtop Les Paul for a spin to highlight its two P90 pickups, wrap-under trapeze bridge, and classic Gibson Les Paul Goldtop tone.