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Staff Picks: Andrew Yonke
Now, these are some serious picks! Would you expect anything less from the CEO of the world's greatest guitar store? With access to the most sought-after gear on earth, Andrew gets his hands on and creates – with the CME buying team – the coolest darn guitars we've ever seen. Enjoy Andrew's Staff Picks!
It is no secret that the Fender Custom Shop has been creating the best instruments since 1987. Here at Chicago Music Exchange, we have collaborated with the best minds at Fender to build the best instruments from top to bottom, tirelessly going over each spec to ensure that we offer you the best of what Fender has to offer.
We take customization a step further with rift sawn necks for added resonance and expanded control sets for tonal versatility, and every “Chicago Special” Fender Custom Shop guitar features our own custom Chicago Special pickups, designed in conjunction with Fender Custom Shop Vice President of Product Development Mike Lewis.
The new Fat Rat allows you to choose between the original and new MOSFET clipping circuit that delivers smooth upper-mids and a more natural, amp-driven tone. The bass enhancement switch allows you to bump up your low-end response with a simple flick, which is ideal for bassists or guitarists that want a little more "oomph."
"I chose this because it is literally the only Gretsch of that vintage year in that color of black that I have ever seen, and on top of that, it’s a killer guitar!! WAY cool look and vibe. Cannot get enough of this guitar!"
The 1901 Limited Edition Antique White Maple Club Kits is an easy pick! Made with exclusive 7-ply maple/poplar shells and patented untreated raw lugs, this kit comes fitted with nickel-over-brass hoops on the toms and maple hoops on the bass drum, which is a killer look.
9x14 Rack Tom
16x18 Floor Tom
14x26 Bass Drum
"One word: craftsmanship. We love when we get Craviotto in-store. Big fan of what they have been doing. Plus, the color of this burned grain snare drum is SICK."
"I challenge you to come by, strum an E-chord on this baby, and not buy it. Seriously, come by and play it and try not to leave with it."
The Gibson Custom Shop takes pride in knowing they provide discerning players and collectors some of the most refined Historic Reissue, archtop, and custom guitars available today. Their achievements reflect decades of a passionate commitment to their position as the World's Finest Guitar Maker.
"This guitar checks off all the boxes for me. GRADE-A collectible with 100% ownership provenance, known and documented. Gorgeous natural wood, perfectly matched PAF set, and a Bigsby to boot!"
"I designed this guitar in person at the Fender factory in Corona, California. I carefully hand-selected the Korina body and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard alongside Fender's Director of Wood Technology, Mike Born. It features our brand new "Chicago Special" Telecaster bridge pickup, paired perfectly with a Seymour Duncan SH-55 Seth Lover model humbucker in the neck position."
The answer for portable synthesizers. The ability to create on this thing knows no bounds. If you want an all-in-one synthesizer, this is the pick.
The PRS Silver Sky is an idealized version of a vintage single-coil guitar where every detail adds up to set it apart from the pack—and the past.
The Coles 4038 was the overhead microphone of choice used to accurately capture Ringo Starr’s drums in early Beatles recordings. If one wants to hear the sonic capabilities of the 4038, they need look no further than “Please Please Me”, “Beatles for Sale,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.”View Details
In a rare moment of recurrence and recognition, the staff here at CME couldn’t help but notice the seemingly historical significance of three iconic delay pedals that debuted in March 2022: the BOSS RE-202 Space Echo, Line 6’s DL-4 MKII, and Chase Bliss Audio’s Habit—all within the same month!View Details
An homage to a rare and early Catalinbread pedal, the Catalinbread Tribute is an all-analog circuit that combines expressive, high-headroom overdrive with a powerful, flexible tone control based on the Catalinbread VariOboost semi-parametric EQ voiced for guitar—which was first designed by Catalinbread’s Founder, Nicholas Harris. Now, the Catalinbread Tribute offers guitarists of all stripes a supercharged one-band parametric EQ in lieu of a tone control, for serious tone-sculpting power!View Details