Used Musical Instruments: We Buy, Sell, and Trade

For nearly 40 years, we’ve taken pride in our used gear selection.  Many know about our annual Trade-in events, but we also buy used gear and take trade-ins year round.  A few things you should know:
1.  We have many years of experience in buying used Musical instruments and gear.  Because of this, we are able to accurately assess the value of your gear and offer you a fair price.
2.  We pay top dollar.  We’ve been in business for nearly 40 years and have earned a reputation as being fair and honest to deal with.  You will find that when you sell your used musical gear to us, it is a fast process and that you will get a much higher amount than you will at a Pawn Shop.  This is because, due to our expertise, we don’t have to guess about the value of your gear and thus, have no need to protect ourselves from giving too high an amount.  We also have a reputation in our community to uphold.
3.  You get paid quickly.  Unless your gear requires extensive research or lengthy testing, we can usually pay you on the spot.  You won’t have to wait a long time to sell your gear and you won’t have to deal with hagglers and low-ballers as you would on Craigslist and Facebook classifieds.
The bottom line is that if you should need to sell a piece of musical gear, we are your best option.  You can bring your items in any time during normal business hours…Monday through Friday 10 to 6:30 and Saturday 10 to 4 Pm.  It is also helpful to give us a call in advance at 217-258-8919.  We are located in Central Illinois.

Summer Clearance Deals Are Here: Save up to 50%

UPDATED 7/17/17:  Deals and more to come…be sure to check back as we update this page with incredible blowout and clearance deals.  Fender guitar and amps, Schecter, Yamaha PA gear, ADJ Led lights, Blackstar Amps, TC Electronic Pedals, Ukuleles, Acoustic Guitars and more.

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Review: Dream Come True or Pipe Dream?

When Ernie Ball announced their new “unbreakable” Paradigm line of strings, I was skeptical; I’ve been playing guitar for over 30 years and seen scores of exaggerated promises from gear manufacturers (and I’ve tried most of them):  amps that sound like *every* tube amp ever made, guitars that can sound like everything from a Telecaster to a 12 string, modeled effects that allegedly sound like vintage pedals etc.  Often these products would work to a certain extent, but with compromises that left me unsatisfied.  I’ve tried nearly every guitar string type and brand ever made and never noticed a truly major difference between any of them.  Elixir strings were a nice breakthrough and lived up to the promise of keeping their tone 3 to 5 times longer than normal guitar strings, but they had a weird “plastic-y” feel, felt a bit stiffer than most brands, had a higher cost, and you couldn’t get a good Eddie Van Halen-approved pick scrape with them.  Additionally, the long lasting tone was nice, but pointless if you break the strings first and they tended to get very stiff the longer you left them on your guitar.
Enter Ernie Ball Paradigm strings.  They offer a 90 day guarantee against breakage (a bold enough claim on its own), but what about the other factors:  tone, feel, and how long they keep their tone?  To test Ernie Ball’s claim, I decided to try out a set of the Paradigm Electric 10-46 in a real world environment:  a series of 4 hour long sweaty, dirty outdoor Summer shows.  So how has it gone?  I’ve successfully played 7 four-hour shows in dirty outdoor summer conditions without string breakage.  That alone should be worth the price of admission, but not if they cause me to compromise on tone and feel.  As far as feel goes, I noticed instantly that they reminded me of Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys; easy to bend and easy on the fingers.  Easy to get a killer EVH pick slide.  They feel like typical electric guitar strings.  No compromises in the feel department, and after 7 shows, they bend just as easy as the first.  But what about tone?  Again, right out of the box, I could discern no major difference between the Paradigm strings and Slinkys.  But, after 7 gigs in non-ideal conditions, what truly amazed me and sold me on these strings was that my tone was intact; nearly the same as when I first put them on.  This is a big deal for me as I’ve always been very picky about having reasonably fresh strings on my guitars; I generally change my strings every show or every other show to avoid breakage and keep my tone fresh.
So, I’m sold!  It’s true that the Paradigm strings cost more than typical strings at $14.99 a set, but this cost will be offset by the fact that they last longer…I will probably come out “money ahead”.  Additionally, as an owner of several guitars that need routine string changes, the amount of time I will save in changing strings is well worth it.  In fact, I’ve probably saved enough time in string changing to write 10 reviews about guitar strings!  🙂
-Jon Clarkson

Paul Gilbert runs Ernie Ball Paradigm strings through their paces:


Incredible Rebates and Financing on Yamaha PA Systems

What an amazing time it is to purchase Yamaha Active Loudspeakers and TF-series Digital mixing consoles. Yamaha has recently lowered the price of TF-series mixing boards…additionally, purchase any TF-series console or rackmount mixer and get a FREE 128Gb Ipad or NY64-D Dante card. Beginning July 1st, purchase any Yamaha DBR or DXR series active loudspeaker and/or DXS series active subwoofer and receive up to a $200 rebate per speaker. Yamaha speakers have a top-of-the-industry 7 Year Warranty. View the slideshow below for more info or call us a 217-258-8919.

TF1, TF3, TF-5, TF-RACK, DBR10, DBR12, DBR15, DXR10, DXR 12, DXR15, DXS12, DXS18

Father’s Day $100 Gift Card Winner Announced

The winner of a $100 Gift Card in our Father’s Day Musical Dad contest is:     Larry Clark.  The winning tribute (posted below) was written by Larry’s daughter, Theresa Jones.  We had some amazing, heartfelt tributes to musical dads; well worth the read for anyone.   To read through all of the entries, visit our facebook page:
Congratulations Larry and Theresa!  Here is the winning entry:
“How ironic that I write this on a day where my dad has 2 gigs today with 2 different bands! My musical dad, Larry Clark, wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to my musical grandfather, my dad was able to pick up the guitar at a very early age and continues to play 50+ years later. After hearing a song, he can play it, and somehow he makes it look so easy! He also remembers the name of every song you’ve every heard, and can tell you who sang it and when it was released. Then he’ll pick up his guitar and start playing it! In addition to being on the stage, my dad loves to watch musical icons that stretch both of our generations. We’ve seen Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton, BB King, and Delbert McClinton together to name a few. Whether it’s at a bar, outdoor festival, wedding, or church service, keep an eye out for Larry Clark! Chances are he’ll be there with a guitar in his hands! I’m not so good with “the words” – so hopefully I can tell his story better with a collage of pictures. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!”

Trade Days…Our Most Popular Sale Event…Begins April 7th

Our most popular sale of the year begins April 7th.  Call us at 217-258-8919 and click on the image below for more details and to view our complete sale flyer:


A simple tutorial on how to change strings on an electric guitar

Sound Source Music Performance Bands: Take Your Lessons to the Next Level

Here is a clip of our performance band “The Kick” working on “Love You Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor.  This group features Kirstin Elsea on Vocals, Isaac Ray on Guitar, and Colton Middleton on Drums.  Mentored by Jon Clarkson.  Performance groups meet once a week for a one hour rehearsal and the cost is only $10 per week.  You do not have to be enrolled in normal lessons to be eligible.  Take your lessons to the next level…sign up today!  For more info, call us at 217-258-8919.


It was an epic online guitar duel, the likes of which have not been seen since Steve Vai took on Ralph Macchio in the movie “Crossroads”.  It came down to the wire, and our winner, who edged out the next best finisher 127 to 114 is Wally Hooker!  Congratulations Wally!!!  Great job to second place finisher Rendell Dingman.  Also, thanks for the other submissions…there were some excellent and worthy videos posted…a great thing to see!!!  Wally, stop in and pick up your tickets anytime during normal store hours…10 am to 6:30 M thru F and 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday.  Enjoy the show!!!

Best choice for Church sound systems: Yamaha TF digital board

take the next step in Church sound with the digital Yamaha TF boards. Sound Source Music in Mattoon, the areas #1 choice for Church sound installs has everything you need for that next step. Whether it’s a LED video wall, traditional projector system and the best in sound with Yamaha. Call today for a Free visit and consultation 217-258-8919.

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