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Hot Rod Your Guitar - Round I

On Thursday April 23rd, our Repair Shop took over the bass floor at Chicago Music Exchange. Usually, the Repair Shop crew is known for being the behind-the-scenes masters and sound. Not this time! They were up front and center, ready to lead the crowd in the ultimate goal of achieving "That Tone".

Our first ever Hot Rod Your Guitar event was an exciting night for the store. Master Technician, Darryl Chabot, hosted as MC and all around sound expert. Guitar techs, Phil Glodek and Alec Johnson, did on the spot pick up swaps behind him. Joel Bauman sat closely by to demo all of the different guitar sounds being showcased. 

The night began with an eager feel in the air as excited tone seekers filled the room. The repair shop explored pickups from Lollar, Bare Knuckle, and Fralin as well as Callaham hardware. It was incredible to hear the multitude of sounds achieved with different tools. Time and patience were given to explaining each pickup while the live demonstration allowed for the audience to not only learn about each tool, but to hear it for themselves.

After an intense hour and a half of informative speaking, Darryl opened the floor to questions, and the audience jumped right in, wanting to learn even more. It was a wonderful night, paving the way for future events like this one.

The night ended with two exciting giveaways; a stunning set of Imperial Pickups from Lollar Pickups and another prize for a free setup at our Repair Shop. As the crowd was exiting, the enthusiastic buzz around the room was noticeable. And we can't wait to do it again!

For more information on our amazing repair shop, please visit here or come on in to the store.
For information on upcoming Chicago Music Exchange events, see our Events page.

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April 06, 2015

Effects » Repairs »


The Truth About True Bypass

It is sometimes crazy to think that when some of the first "guitar heroes" were paving the way for the electric guitar and its place in the sonic landscape of rock'n'roll, that there may have been only a handful of pedals at their disposal (and half of them weren't even designed for guitar!). Whenever I walk past the big glass case of pedals on the Chicago Music Exchange showroom floor, I always find myself hypnotized by the number of amazing pedals in existence.

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February 17, 2015

Amps » Repairs »


Amp Tune Up Service

Guitar amplifiers work hard. Many are hauled around from show to show getting bumped and bruised. Some get drinks spilled on them. Some lay dormant in dusty basements for years at a time, while others are lovingly cared for and treated with the respect they deserve. Regardless of their lifestyle, guitar amplifiers are vital to a guitarist and need to be reliable when beckoned. They need to play sweetly whether in the studio, or in a dark club. And, like any other instrument, they need the occasional Tune Up.

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The Journey of a Used Guitar

When we buy used guitars or vintage guitars at Chicago Music Exchange, a lot goes into getting that guitar ready for the showroom floor. From thorough inspection and appraisal, to professional assessment of the authenticity of the gear and its components, we know that selling your gear can be a little scary, so we do our best to make the experience as easy and comfortable as possible.

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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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January 22, 2014

Amps » Repairs »


Electrolytic Capacitors & Amp Sound

Written by Brian Carstens – CME Amplifier Repair Manager

Like all things, instruments age with time. With age comes the need for certain upkeep in order for your instrument to perform to its utmost. In a guitar amplifier the electrolytic capacitors play a huge role in your amp’s sound and should be maintained to ensure they are helping your amp perform at its best.

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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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