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January 28, 2016

Amps › Bass Guitars › Effects › Electric Guitars › NAMM ›


Winter NAMM 2016 Recap

Chicago Music Exchange was in full force at the 2016 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, searching to find the latest and greatest musical innovations, classic recreations, and everything between. Here are some highlights:

Reverend Billy Corgan Signature BC1 guitar

It took two years, we're told, for Reverend founder Joe Naylor working with Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan to complete the brand new Reverend Billy Corgan Signature BC1 electric guitar. The finished product is everything we expect from Reverend: classic and modern; bridges the gap between genres, very reasonably priced; extremely well built and high quality; and is available now for pre-order. Plus, it took home "Best in Show"!

Introducing Suhr guitars at Chicago Music Exchange

Before the NAMM show even got under way, we visited the Suhr guitar factory in Lake Elsinore, California and were simply blown away with the operation and the incredible beauty and quality of the guitars in production. We have of course seen countless used Suhr guitars, and we know the company well having been a proud Suhr electronics dealer for the last couple years, but experiencing the factory first hand pushed us into officially involving ourselves with the guitar line. Expect to see a wonderful selection of Suhr guitars available at Chicago Music Exchange very soon.

Fender Custom Shop Showcase Dealer

Chicago Music Exchange is proud to be partnering with the Fender Custom Shop as a "Showcase Dealer," meaning we will have among the most robust selections of custom Strats, Teles, Jazzmasters, Jaguars, basses and more, anywhere in the world. We will be working directly with the builders at the Custom Shop to create both accurate vintage recreations, amalgamations of our favorite guitars, and new variations the world has never seen before.

Fender Custom Shop Bass VI in Lake Placid Blue

Ibanez Artcore Vintage guitars and basses

This one really knocked our socks off. Ibanez introduced a brand new series of semi-hollowbody and hollowbody electric guitars and basses at incredible price points not commonly seen on "relic" guitars, beautifully aged and extremely playable. It's called Artcore Vintage, and it's coming to Chicago Music Exchange very soon!

Ibanez Artcore Vintage electric bass guitars

A visit to the Echopark guitars shop

Also before the NAMM show started, we paid a long overdue visit to Gabriel Currie and his Echopark guitars shop in El Monte, California. Long story short, he is building simply some of the best set neck electric guitars in the world, using possibly the most impressive collection of old wood we've ever seen. We'll be working closely with Gabriel to build the best Echopark guitars throughout 2016 and beyond.

Quick Hits

Fender The Edge Strat. Fender officially announces the long awaited U2 guitarist's signature guitar, available for pre-order right now!

Boss VB-2 Vibrato reintroduction. The original Boss Vibrato pedals often sell for over $500 on, if you can find one; this reproduction took 30 years too long to get back!

Fano Standard Series guitars. A simpler approach to a highly customizable instrument, now available under $2,000 and still a monster guitar!

Fano Standard SP6 electric guitar in Bull Black

Fender Offset Telecaster. A limited edition coming in 2016, the Offset Telecaster brings together the best of both without , proudly holding the Fender logo emblazoned on the headstock.


Z.Vex custom hand painted. Always displaying the most creative custom pedal artwork, this year was headlined by a theme of old watch hardware affixed to pedals in the most beautiful fashion.

Zvex custom hand painted pedals

Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run delay. This new digital delay machine is more powerful than anything we've ever seen from Jamie Stillman and Earthquaker Devices before. Available for pre-order now at only!

Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run

Strymon Zuma high current power supply. Strymon unleashed a digital pedalboard's dream with the Zuma power supply, designed so you never run dry on DC current ever again, encased beautifully to match the whole line.

Guild factory in Oxnard, CA opens. A couple days before NAMM began, we visited the new factory, a long eighteen months time of no USA guitar production from Guild. Wren Ferguson's operation is up and running with the simple and elegant M-20 all-mahogany concert guitar followed by several classic models throughout 2016.

Ren Ferguson tours new Guild guitar factory in Oxnard, CA

All of this, plus Chicago Music Exchange named Music & Sound Retailer "Single-Store" Dealer of the Year!

Dan Bordonaro
Dan Bordonaro