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Good bass shops in Chicagoland

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Engine207, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    I'll be heading to the city this weekend for my high school reunion and was hoping to check out some cool music stores while there. I haven't been back for a few years and I'm not up on what's there these days. We'll be staying in the Lincoln Park area.

    Any ideas are appreciated!!
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Bass Club Chicago is right in that area- Mark, who runs the place, is a great guy.
  3. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Chicago Music Exchange is also in Lincoln Park.
  4. Stop by Lakland
  5. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    What's the deal with Lakland. Is it just a factory, or do they have a showroom? Where is their facility located?

    Maybe I'll check out Ray's Music Exchange to see if Jake and Elwood are around...
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Neither of those shops are exactly in Lincoln Park. Chicago Music Exchange is actually in East Lakeview which isn't a big distance from Lincoln Park - just up Lincoln Avenue, and easily walkable through very good neighborhoods to get there from Lincoln Park. Bass Club is in East Village (or Ukranian Village, I think), west of downtown. From Lincoln Park it's not going to be as easy to get to. You could take a cab or the "El" to it, but you won't find a cab when you're ready to leave, unless you phone first. It is a pretty cool shop with a really nice selection, though.

    Will you have access to a car?

    Luthier's Access Group is pretty far southwest of the city, but if you have a chance to get there you'll become rapidly dehydrated from drooling...

    The Lakland factory is in "about" Lincoln Park on the far west end. I'm not sure if it's considered Lincoln Park or Bucktown over there. It's in an industrial park but cabs run through their fairly often and it's VERY walkable from Lincoln Park. They don't have a showroom but have always been amenable to my un-announced visits.
  7. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    Nice store....a little west and south of the Lincoln Park hood. If you have a car, about 10-15 minutes. Mark is a great guy and a trip is worth your time.

    Another fun store. A little north of Lincoln Park but closer than Bass Club Chicago. If you want to look at vintage stuff, this is one of the better spots in Chicago.

    Just a factory but if you are a Lakland fan you should make the trip. You'll see some very tasty basses and you can see their PLEK machine in action. The factory is on the edge of Lincoln Park close to the corner of Webster and Clyborn. It's in a factory building behind the Webster Mall and next to Finkel Steel. If you PM DaveC he might be able to give you some guidance on setting-up a visit.

    Even though everyone bashes it, there is also a GC on Halsted in the Lincoln Park area. They generally have a good selection of bass gear there. If you go there ask for Sean and tell him "Ben referred you (Markbass combo and Sterling by MusicMan SB14 in case he needs a reminder). Or, maybe you shouldn't, he might charge you retail :eek:.

    Just remember, if you cruising around in your car on Saturday, LP is nicknamed Lincoln "No" Park and remember the song Lincoln Park Pirates, they do exist!

    Have fun on your visit!
  8. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    I'll have a rental car, so getting there isn't a problem. I'm more into "regular" basses than super-boutiques, but I'm hoping to just see some stuff I can't see here and maybe grab a souvenir t-shirt.

    What I just realized is that I won't have a bass for almost two weeks!! I haven't gone for more than 36 hours without playing in years!! :eek: :bawl:
  9. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Chicago Music Exchange is a must, but mainly as a museum visit. Their vintage collection is nice, but the prices, just like any other store selling vintage gear, can be a bit outrageous. But they also have current gear at normal prices.
  10. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    Well, I hit Lakland and Bass Club today, and I can say I am thoroughly impressed with Lakland. All I knew about them before today, is that they have a very loyal following and their basses are considered top tier by many.

    Now I know why. I walked into their very non-descript industrial building and until I was courteously led to the luthier area, I had no idea I was in a place that made one of the best feeling and sounding basses I'd ever touch. The factory was basically a bunch of dudes sitting in front of workbenches sanding virgin bodies and polishing frets by hand.

    I met Carl, one of their master luthiers, and he spent some time explaining what makes Laklands unique and how the Skylines are different from the US models. He had me try a few and didn't seem to mind my kid-in-a-candy-store act. He even thanked me for coming by!

    I sent a one word text to my wife after I left: want. :hyper:

    She sent a one word reply: dreaming. :rollno:
  11. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    I must totally agree. I had called the lakland guys when I was looking for a bass a couple years ago and they invited me over. Unreal customer service.. they are so willing to talk about the basses and show you around. top notch company... i cant wait to afford another one.
  12. basspraiser

    basspraiser Jammin for the Lamb! Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Chicago - NW Burbs
    Glad you were able to visit!!!! I agree...some of the best guys in the business! quality build and quality service! you cannot ask for a better group of people!

    As for "dropping by" they have been requesting that people make appointments.....they are a very busy shop and they want to make sure they can spend time with you.

    I you call ahead (phone number on www.Lakland.com) or e-mail ahead (ask for Leo or e-mail Leo at Leo@lakland.com) they can set you up......

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