Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Steelin4u
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Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Steelin4u » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:46 pm

After lots of searching on this forum and elsewhere, I'm coming up short on spots to try out classicals in the 1k and up price range. Besides Chicago Music Exchange, can anyone recommend a suburban or downtown store/salon/shop with classicals in stock to try?

I'm still rocking my Cordoba C7-ce Cedar with a bridge repair and my (crossover) Taylor NS72-ce Spruce/RW. Would like to A/B actual guitars that are 'next level to me': new or used in the 1-2k price range.

Thanks for the help!

Adam

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Keith
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Keith » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:49 pm

It has been a while since I lived in Chicago but here goes. There are a few Guitar Centers (Halsted St and Arlington Heights), The Chicago Music Exchange (was on Lincoln Ave. and might still be there), Avenue N (North Ave.)and The Old Towne School of Music (Lincoln Ave.). For really upper end guitars there is R.E. Brune (used to be in Evanston but I believe he may have moved). For a fun outing there is Jim Sherry's place on Michigan Ave. across from The Bean. Go in for the opportunity to meet a legend (if he still alive) and listen to his stories, theories, etc. but DO NOT BUY unless Jim has gone off the deep end and is selling something dirt cheap.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

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souldier
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by souldier » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:41 am

Probably better to say your price range starting with your maximum rather than minimum so people have a better idea of what range you're looking in. If you have an unlimited ceiling, then I'd definitely check out RE Brunes.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
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Steelin4u
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Steelin4u » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:18 am

souldier wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:41 am
Probably better to say your price range starting with your maximum rather than minimum so people have a better idea of what range you're looking in. If you have an unlimited ceiling, then I'd definitely check out RE Brunes.
Good point. I was hoping for between 1-2k because:

-I am a music teacher & bassist
-I'm musically educated, but I'm not an orthodox classical player. Therefore, fingernail tone and playing properly, unfortunately, isnt in the cards for me unless I quit all my bass gigs
-I'm not impressed with the 'high-end' Taylor production model classical I have
-Classical isn't my primary instrument, but I enjoy playing jazz standards, classical studies, bossa nova
-I might only perform out on classical 1-5 times a year so I dont require anything better (even though I'd love a luthier level instrument). I enjoy playing at home.

I figured I would be happy with an instrument in the 1-2k range (maybe lower if used). As the meme says, "change my mind" (any insight on choosing is appreciated).

My basses are Keith Roscoe high-end instruments (3-6k range) if that provides perspective.

Steelin4u
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Steelin4u » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:19 am

Keith wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:49 pm
It has been a while since I lived in Chicago but here goes. There are a few Guitar Centers (Halsted St and Arlington Heights), The Chicago Music Exchange (was on Lincoln Ave. and might still be there), Avenue N (North Ave.)and The Old Towne School of Music (Lincoln Ave.). For really upper end guitars there is R.E. Brune (used to be in Evanston but I believe he may have moved). For a fun outing there is Jim Sherry's place on Michigan Ave. across from The Bean. Go in for the opportunity to meet a legend (if he still alive) and listen to his stories, theories, etc. but DO NOT BUY unless Jim has gone off the deep end and is selling something dirt cheap.
Ha, this is great info. I had forgotten all about Old Towne. Thanks for your great list. Chicago Musoc Exchange had a Cordoba C9, 10, and 12. Wondering of there's something better between 1-2k.

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souldier
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by souldier » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:06 pm

Not sure what you can really try in person, but in that price range I'd go for a Yamaha GC32 or a vintage Japanese guitar.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

Podobin
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Podobin » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:28 am

Only one real shop, Brune and they moved up to Wauconda from Evanston in October. Some used stuff there. You can do much better by ordering a used instrument like an Antonio Picado or Esteve on Reverb and returning it if it doesn’t fit the bill. There is a nice Picado 54 on Reverb now btw. I have advocated acquiring guitars in the 1000-2000 price range in this manner. Buy very clean used with a return policy. If you don’t like the setup take it to Chicago Fretworks if you are in the city or schlep up to Wauconda and have Brune or his son make the adjustment. No reason to buy new a Cordoba at a local dealer. Yes Chicago needs more access to classical guitar dealers. Also wait for the weather to break if you are having one shipped to Chicago this week. May risk some stress in shipment from freezing extremes.

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MrSteve
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by MrSteve » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:40 am

Brune is always worth a visit. He and his son are very nice
And will let you play a virtual wonderland of beautiful instruments. He might have something he acquired in trade that is in your range.

Don’t waste your time at Chicago Music ExchAnge if your
Goal is a classical, as they only have a half dozen Cordobas and really low end Yamaha.

You can also try reverie guitars in Indianapolis. 3 1/2 hour drive. I’m sure they will have options.

Good luck
Steve
2016 Chris Sobel Luthier Guitar Cedar/Madagascar Rosewood
2007 Darren Hippner Hauser SP/BRW
Yamaha SLG130NW Classical Silent

2012 Yulong Guo Chamber Concert Double Top SP/EIRW (SOLD)

Steelin4u
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Steelin4u » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:27 pm

Podobin wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:28 am
You can do much better by ordering a used instrument like an Antonio Picado or Esteve on Reverb and returning it if it doesn’t fit the bill.
Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. I was lucky enough to find a Picado model 53 (special order 640mm) a little over an hour away. My first impressions comparing it to my Cordoba C7 are that it is much quieter, sweeter, and more focused. The Cordoba is louder, possibly fuller and more dynamic (until I get used to the Picado), and more 'unbridled' in its delivery of sound. I'm excited to get to know the 'new to me' 53!

Navdeep_Singh
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Navdeep_Singh » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:34 pm

Brune is a really cool guy. His shoo moved from Evanston to Wauconda. I bought my nylon (flamenco) from him. Not his build -10 year wait for that. While there, I got to play his restored Charlie Byrd 1928 Hermann Hauser.

Navdeep_Singh
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Re: Chicagoland area classical guitar shops?

Post by Navdeep_Singh » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:35 pm

Chicago Musical Exchange has practically nothing.

Last time I checked, ny old teacher Jack Cecchini was selling off various guitars as well. Well worth looking him up and giving him a call.

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