Chicago Music Exchange

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The Chicago Music Exchange is a music equipment retailer based in Chicago. Located at 3316 N. Lincoln Ave, CME is known for its museum-like showroom containing one of the world's premier collections of vintage guitars and basses. Its reputation and collection has turned the store into a major Chicago destination for musicians.[1][2]


CME was founded in 1990 by Scott Silver who moved the store from 3270 N. Clark St to its current location in 2005. A major player in the global vintage guitar market, Chicago Music Exchange took an active role in vintage guitar boom of the mid to late-2000s.

The business and its inventory of instruments was purchased by David Kalt, co-founder and former CEO of online brokerage OptionsXpress, in 2010 for $7.5 Million.[3] Since then, the store has added a full drum shop as well as a dedicated bass room which opened in 2013. CME has also rapidly expanded its online presence and sales, and is known for its active YouTube channel featuring product demos of new pedals and vintage pieces.

In June 2012, CME posted a video entitled "100 Riffs" which went viral following a stint on the front page of Reddit. As of January 2014, "100 Riffs" has over 7.5 million views on YouTube.[4]

In 2013, Kalt launched as an open marketplace to buy and sell music gear.

Notable customers[edit]

As a music gear destination, Chicago Music Exchange has hosted a number of celebrity customers. They include:[5]


External links[edit]