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We're the luckiest musicians in the world! We have our hands on the GREATEST GEAR that has ever existed. We build it, we buy it, we play it, and of course we sell it. We all have our favorites and good reasons why. We'd love to keep it a secret and have all of the magical tones to ourselves but that would be CRAZY! Staff Picks is where each of our experts shares their FAVORITE GEAR! It's always changing, always updating with the latest and greatest. Enjoy CME Staff Picks!
"All Firebirds are awesome. And I have a soft spot for the P-90 era ones. But to have a Cardinal Red one is extremely special. Not only is this stunning to look at, but it also plays and sounds incredible. Whoever ends up with this will be one lucky human."
"When this beauty hit the shop it took me to a special place. One riddled with wooden panels, cigarette smoke, and a faint taste of scotch on the rocks. This 'CME Spec' SG brings me back to an era I never knew I needed to live in, and I'm here for it. Our Custom "S" Buckers have this baby singing to the high heavens no matter the amp. Not to mention the aging, masterfully done by Tom Murphy and his team, flawlessly ties together an intense feeling of nostalgia. No need for a time machine with this axe by your side."Shop Gibson Custom Murphy Lab
"This bass is lightweight and as someone with small hands, the neck is super comfortable to play on. The red on this is also stunning! Considering this bass is from 1967, is has aged beautifully! 11/10 recommending sitting down with it, if you get the chance. "Shop Fender Coronado Bass 1977 Red
"This is an exclusive Vistalite snare in Coke Bottle Green. Perfect for rocking the holidays!"Shop Ludwig Vistalite Coke Bottle Green
"They would make the perfect stocking stuffer for the guitarist or bassist in your life. "Shop Gruv Gear
"This’ll help you get the searing lead tones that’ll warm you right up."Shop Way Huge Mini Supa-Lead Overdrive
"I love this green finish and the flame on the back looks incredible.."Shop Hofner
While the guitars from the Murphy Labs at Gibson Custom Shop now showcase Tom Murphy’s work in developing the painting and aging techniques Gibson Guitars uses to replicate the finishes on its limited-run historic models, Murphy’s contributions to the Custom Shop started long before the establishment of Murphy Labs, going all the way back to the first years we opened up shop!Now, in addition to Chicago Music Exchange's existing inventory of some of the best Murphy Labs guitars Gibson has to offer, The CME Collection gives us a look back at a tradition of excellence that Tom Murphy helped begin at the Gibson Custom Shop, including models that have been aged and painted by the man, himself!Read more
Taking cues from the “Inspired By” series of extremely limited Gibson Custom Shop runs begun in 2005, the Collector’s Choice series launched in 2010 continued to recreated more than 40 models until 2017, producing extremely limited runs or instruments virtually indistinguishable from their vintage antecedents—all of which have come to be recognized among collector’s as the crème de la crème of the vintage guitar world!While we may have seen a number of Collector’s Choice models come through Chicago Music Exchange over the years Gibson the series was in production, it’s safe to say we’ve never had this many at once!Read more
It may not be the first thing you see when you walk into Chicago Music Exchange but, tucked in the back corner of our store—past the counter, the wall of Les Pauls, and the Gibson thinlines on the left—you’ll find a pair of French doors that open up to our Acoustic Room. Walk in and you’ll find yourself a humidity-/temperature-controlled room, which is essentially a walk-in humidor full of all the six-string (at times, 12-string) acoustic instruments we have, from the most sought-after brands our customers love and are always looking for—all of which can be perused at a glance with one swivel of the head.Read more