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Thread: Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    New Jersey

    Default Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia

    Not a uke review but a store review. Stopped in at Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia last weekend when I was in the city. I had browsed their inventory online and purchased a 30's Martin Style 0 by mail from them but this was my first visit. The store is housed in a beautiful old brownstone on Broad Street. The owner is apparently a regular appraiser on Antiques Roadshow, and they have everything from Collings guitars to vintage cellos. I was a little overwhelmed walking in to this place at first, but the woman behind the desk kindly directed my downstairs to the uke section. I told Gabriel that I was interested in playing some vintage Martin sopranos they had online, and he pulled out 7 of them for me to try, ranging from a 1919 style 0 to a 30's style 2 to a 20's style 3. I also played a Kamaka pineapple from the 60's, 3 brand new Kamakas and a Kiwaya soprano.

    They don't do a free setup at Vintage Instruments, so you have to know what you are looking for, although they do have luthiers available. It was a wonderful place to pass an hour or two, and I am still thinking about a couple of instruments I played there. Highly recommended!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    SE Connecticut, USA


    I bought a used Kiwaya KTS-4K (koa) here in the forum. I searched the internet for others like it but could only find discussions of the very example that I owned. So I reached out to Takumi and asked about it. Turns out that it was one of only three made, all of which were shipped to Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia in 2010.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Kiwaya KPC-1M; Kiwaya KCU-1, Takumi TC-1M, Takumi TC-3K, Musicguymic’s Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    I have dealt with them online and they have been extremely knowledgeable, helpful and honest. Sounds like a great shop.

  4. #4


    I have visited their place a few times. Originally I went to try out a Kamaka soprano. I returned, tried several Martin vintage sopranos and ultimately purchased my Takumi concert ukulele. They are great folks who don't rush you to decide. And the Brownstone is magnificent. Each room/floor is dedicated to a different instrument. I greatly enjoyed my trips to the place and would recommend them.
    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors including Baritone body at a Tenor Scale - 4 String, 5 String and 8 String :-)
    For Sale: Seagull Nylon String
    For Sale: National Mahogany Resonator
    For Sale: Gold Tone Resonator

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016


    I went there some years ago, when I was playing fiddle, on my first and only visit to Philadelphia. They let me sample their beautiful, expensive, bows--which make ukulele collecting seem simple and inexpensive. I have wondered sometimes if I just dreamed the place, it's so wonderful, as is the surrounding neighborhood.

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