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March 2016 Staff Picks

Chicago Music Exchange staff members always have the scoop on the latest new, used, and vintage gear, and we love to tell you about it all. Check out March's Staff Picks:

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August 2015 Staff Picks

Chicago Music Exchange staff members always have the scoop on the latest new, used, and vintage gear, and we love to tell you about it all. Check out August's Staff Picks:

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CME Gives Away Custom Martin Guitar Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

Elephants are one of the most magnificent creatures to ever wander this world. From deep family bonds to living in tight matriarchal family groups of related females, they are undeniably fascinating. They are incredibly intelligent with memories that span many years. They display signs of joy, anger, play, and even grief. This is only a tiny piece of what makes these animals so magical.

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July 2015 Staff Picks

Chicago Music Exchange staff members always have the scoop on the latest new, used, and vintage gear, and we love to tell you about it all. Check out July's Staff Picks:

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January 14, 2015

Acoustic Guitars »


Why is Everyone Kookoo for Koa?

We love koa, you love koa, everyone is kookoo for koa. What is koa? Found on the big island of Hawaii and made from the Hawaiian acacia koa tree, this tropical hardwood blends the midrange of mahogany with the top end of maple. Due to its density, a new koa guitar often starts out sounding bright – but the more it is played, the more the sound opens up...

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Start The Year Off with A Fresh Guitar Setup

I can remember getting my first real guitar. An early 90's American Fender Stratocaster. I played that guitar religiously for months straight. I couldn't have been happier to have a "made in the USA" Fender guitar…until I played a friend of mine's "frankenstrat." It was a hodgepodge of random parts, some not even real Fender parts. Yet, this guitar made me dread coming home to my trusty Stratocaster.

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April 24, 2014

Acoustic Guitars » Musical Musings »


Used Guitars: The Future is Bright

Used guitars are an important part of our business here at Chicago Music Exchange. But did you know that used guitars are also critical to the sustainability of the instrument industry AND the environment as a whole?

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Collings: David Kalt Takes The Factory Tour

Austin is one of those mysterious cities to me. I've been amazed to see the massive migration of smart, creative minds to this quickly expanding city. The opportunity to experience South By Southwest this year would not have been complete without a visit to The Collings Factory where Bill Collings and Co. are building some of the finest guitars in the world right now – right here in America.

From downtown, the Collings Campus is a brief 15-20 minutes away, and if you’re not careful you can easily pass by the inconspicuous driveway of their 20-acre complex. As we parked, I started to get that feeling...the excitement a kid might feel when entering the Wonka Factory. This is where the magic happens! Read more...

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September 30, 2013

Acoustic Guitars »


Your Resource for Collings Guitars

Collings is a guitar manufacturer based in Austin, Texas. The company was founded in 1973 by Bill Collings. Bill Collings is a renowned acoustic guitar aficionado whose instruments have been regarded highly for decades. With a background in engineering, Bill Collings brings a perfectionist quality to the manufacture of his guitars.

Collings guitars pay homage to the classic American guitar models of the 20th century while maintaining the small-shop quality and attention to detail that larger manufacturers are often unable to achieve. Each Collings guitar is handcrafted by an expert using high-quality materials and components. Acoustics take about three months to make, from the time the specs are written to the time the guitar is shipped.

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September 16, 2013

Acoustic Guitars » Q&A » Repairs »


Guitar Repairs – Top 5 Questions & Answers

One of the most important branches of the Chicago Music Exchange is the Gear Repair Shop.  Many of our customers bring extremely rare and vintage guitars and amps to us – items that are incredible but need a bit of refreshing. Consequently, we get a lot of questions about gear repairs.

guitar repairs
Bone and nut saddle fabrication done here at the CME Repair Shop.

Here are the answers to the Top 5 Guitar Repair Questions we get on a regular basis:

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