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Thread: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

  1. #1
    Cap't Brok Flurgin
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    Default ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    Anyone here know of any? I see lots of mom n pop generic music stores, and plenty of guitar stores - I'm looking for a place to try out fancy Mandolins!

    Regards,

  2. #2
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    You might have to make a trip to Nashville. More mandolins at Gruhn's and Carter's the you can shake a stick at.

  3. #3
    Cap't Brok Flurgin
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    Fun town, but no. Too far. Done enough travellin this year. Looking for Chicago.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    Chicago Music Exchange, Guitar Works in Evanston ... if you find any others, let us all know.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    The place to go is Down Home Guitars in Frankfort, IL. Home of the Frankfort Bluegrass Festival and the owner of the shop (Steve) is the one who puts it on. They have your Collings and Webers mostly, with some Eastmans thrown in for good measure. Great staff, they do repairs etc too.

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  8. #6
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    Closest I can find with much selection are 12th Fret in Toronto and Bernunzio in Rochester, NY. Still a long distance from you, I'm afraid.

  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    You said you don't want to travel but if you go across the lake to Elderly in Lansing you'll find one of the best selections in the country.

    It's amazing that Chicago, with its history of instrument manufacturing, doesn't have a plethora of well known shops.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    It's amazing that Chicago, with its history of instrument manufacturing, doesn't have a plethora of well known shops.
    Well, we did have an equivalent to 48th Street, on Wabash right in the heart of downtown, but that has all been developed out of existence.

    There's still some nice guitars around, but mandolins hardly at all.

  11. #9
    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    I'm in the Chicago area and finding great mandolins in our area is pretty tough. Years ago I found a nice Collings at Music Works but have not had success finding anything I was willing to shell out large sums of money for. I think the market for mandolins in Chicago is very small. My last major mandolin purchase was a Gibson Fern that I bought at Morgan Music in MO while we were on tour. I've been to Elderly many times but never found "the" mandolin for me there. They do have a nice selection though. (at least last summer when I was there)
    I was very much in to Northfield mandolins and wanted another Big Mon, but nothing Northfield had compared to the Fern I got. I traded in my Northfield to get it. It's funny, I felt for sure I did not want a Gibson with the flat fingerboard, narrow nut and small frets, but that's the one that sounded best. I just played everything I could get my hands on till I found one that had the right feel and sound for my playing.
    Happy hunting.
    Gibson 2016 "Harvey" Fern
    Collings MT Mandola
    Petersen Level 2 Irish Bouzouki
    Collings 0002H
    Couple of Banjos
    Lots of other Guitars
    http://www.shadowfields.com

  12. #10
    Registered User Miltown's Avatar
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    Default Re: ChicagoLand Mandolin / Folk Music stores

    I think the store in Chicago with the most mandolins is probably the Old Town School of Folk Music store in Lincoln Square. They don't have high-end mandolins, but they do have a good number of Eastmans and other such brands (Eastmans are personally as fancy as I can afford).

    Guitar Works in Evanston also has a good number of mandolins, and they usually have some high end ones - like old Gibsons and some new Collings mandolins.

    Chicago Music Exchange is an awesome store - for guitars and basses. Not so much for mandolins. The last time I was there they had one mandolin in the entire store: a recent Gibson F9. They did let me play it, at least.

    If you head north to Madison, Spruce Tree Music is a nice little store, with some Webers and Eastmans. And if you want to drive four or five hours east, there's always Elderly in Michigan - which has pretty much everything.

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