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April Staff Picks

Chicago Music Exchange staff members always have the scoop on the latest new, used and vintage gear. Check out this week's 'Staff Picks' from Joel, Marc, Matt & Alex:

Greedtone JHI-100

Hand-made 100 watt amp

Nobody's got it, but CME's got it. 100 watts of pure hand-wired, point-to-point EL34 tonal bliss – there is not a single "rock guitar" tone that this meticulously designed and hand-crafted amp cannot produce. Don't be scared – it's got a master volume, and it's the best master volume in the history of the idea. From wide open, sparkly cleans to strident, Zeppelin-esque crunch, all the way to the type of massive, musical gain that would make Tony Iommi proud – it's all here at ANY volume, all the way down to "bedroom levels" (for the women in our lives).

The note clarity is absurd at any level, it cleans up exceptionally well with your guitar's volume knob, and it handles singles coils and humbuckers with equal aplomb (though this writer is predisposed to humbuckers). The control layout is instantly familiar – hi/low gain inputs, master volume, gain, and 3-band EQ – BUT THE EQ ACTUALLY WORKS.

Come by the shop and try out the last EL34 amp you'll ever need – or check out Queens of the Stone Age live this year – to hear what it's all about. 


Thunderfunk TFB 750A

Bass Amp Head

To call this thing 'thunderous' would be an understatement. It packs a hell-of-a punch, can take the paint off the walls, but it also gives you the freedom to experiment with the sweeter tones…and its semi-parametric EQ won't leave you scratching your head – it's VERY user friendly!


Fender Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster in Oxblood

My staff pick this week is the absolutely stunning Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster from Fender. This is my favorite new guitar of 2014 and has a ton of badass appointments that make for a killer player. The Oxblood finish is incredible and is rounded out with a matching headstock, along with block inlays and binding on the neck. Add in the mustang bridge, two '65 American Vintage pickups, custom knobs/switches, and a hardshell case to boot, and you've got one of the best looking and playing guitars in the store with mojo for days.


Paul Reed Smith Custom 22

I feel like the PRS Custom 22 is one of those guitars that deserves to be called a classic. Great pickups, killer neck and a nice tremolo to boot. The faded whale blue is one of my all time favorite finishes, too. 


Chrissy Hansen
Chrissy Hansen