View Full Version : McCabe's Visit: Collings Kiwaya and Martin

10-15-2012, 02:38 PM
McCabe's music instruments is a bit of a distance from me, but I had a business meeting in the neighborhood. When it was over I got to stop in; it wasn't busy and I had a chance to try a bunch of high end ukes.

Kiwaya KTS 7 - This is the Martin Style 3 copy. I never played one before. It was really light and really loud. It definitely captured the vintage Martin sound. I've got a Kiwaya KS-7, and the KTS-7 is quite a bit better. There is a certain quality that carries over into my cheaper model though. Playing the KTS-7 made me want one.

Martin Style 3 Vintage - They had a Martin Style 3 Vintage that I actually got to play side by side with the Kiwaya. The Martin was amazing. They want over $5000 for it. The amazing thing is that the Kiwaya KTS 7 was almost as good and nearly identical to play.

Collings - I got to play several Collings concert models - their basic model in Koa and Mahogany and some upgraded ones in Koa and Mahogany. Beautiful ukes. The workmanship is truly breathtaking. Sound quality outstanding. They had a traditional Martin sound and were quite loud. I was impressed, but they are pricey.

Martin C1K - I got to try the Koa Martin Concert, a Mexican model. It really played and felt great. For the asking price, around $469, I thought it was a great value. I don't think I could tell the difference from the Collings in a blind test.

I also got to try the Anuenue Harp ukulele. It was very strange but seems like it could be a lot of fun to play. The harp strings are tuned to bass notes CDEF. The top note is a low G. Lots of interesting possibiliities.

I also got to play a genuine Nunes which played great.

I had to leave though because I had money in the meter and had to get back to work.

10-15-2012, 03:07 PM
I was there last month. It was a nice place to visit.

10-16-2012, 04:17 AM
I went to McCabes last summer when I was visiting the L.A./Orange County area and loved the store! Thanks for your review of the ukuleles you played. I would love to have a Kiwaya someday.

10-16-2012, 09:42 AM
Being a sometimes-harper whose main instrument is the uke, I'm really interested in the Anuenue harp ukulele. It has me wondering whether it would be worth buying one, at least to me, since it wouldn't be my go-to uke. But it would serve a purpose.