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#1330812 - 12/21/09 04:42 PM 40 year old Yamaha G3
musicperson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 60
A 1969 G3 is currently for sale in my area, supposedly in excellent condition, serviced regularly, etc. Ad says it was built for U.S. market (which I'm in.) Pic's are in the seller's ad; looks nice. I've not seen it personally, nor heard it, nor played it. Asking price is just under $7000.


1. Can anyone share any pros/cons of this piano, and the quality of Yamahas of that era?

2. How do I determine a decent price to offer? If I use Fine's SMP for a 2009 C3 as a base price, and take 30% of that, the price comes to around $14000. So either the C3 is not the proper piano to base this on, or the deal is a really good one if it's really in excellent condition.

Thanks for any info...

Edited by musicperson (12/21/09 08:45 PM)

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#1330819 - 12/21/09 04:52 PM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: musicperson]
meowmix52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 110
The asking price is near the high end... but it all depends where you live.

If it is made in 1969 then it means the piano is 40 years old. If it hasn't been rebuilt or reconditioned, it might mean the piano is at the end of its lifetime.

My advice would be to bring along a technician, who can assess the repairs that you would have to take before it is a decent, playable piano and account that into your asking price.

Another thing, the G3 is a step, albeit small, below the C3 -- so you shouldn't base it on that.

Again, the price is ok, but condition is what really matters (not just the looks, but the mechanical parts, soundboard, etc inside).

#1330821 - 12/21/09 04:54 PM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: musicperson]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
IMO, Yamaha products have improved in quality, durability, and performance a great deal since 1969. 30 years old is "old" as far as Asian built pianos go. The G3 was a notch below the C3 and is not longer built. I always liked the G3 for its warmth and broader tone.

Fine's formulae for used falls out a little as you get beyond 15 or 20 years of age. Depending on your specific market and the condition of the piano, $7k may or may not be a decent price.

If it were me, I would shop for a newer piano, less than fifteen years old. You stand a better chance of getting many years of good musical use out of it.
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

#1330835 - 12/21/09 05:14 PM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: Marty Flinn]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 725
Loc: Zichron Yaacov, Israel


Have a tech evaluate the piano. If it checks out, it's a nice piano. That piano is built more solidly then a new C3, in that the pinblock is fitted to the stretcher, the bridge work is hand made to a high calibre and the action reliable. If it's solid, there is no reason to expect it not to give you years of reliable service. I would choose it over a 15 year old Korean product, for instance. 6'1" is a nice size too.

Good luck

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#1331037 - 12/21/09 09:32 PM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: Steve Jackson]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604

Sorry to disagree on some of your points that contend a 1969 Yamaha G3 was built more solidly than a new Yamaha C3. I do not believe many folks would agree with you.

The stretcher in all Yamaha grands that I have ever worked on were removable and not attached to the pin block. Even if it were so, would give little measurable "solidness".

There is little hand work on Yamaha bridges then and now and no higher calibre on the G3 than any other Yamaha grand. The more recent evolutions of the design incorporate duplexing and vertical laminated bridges for better tone transmission to the soundboard.

The action reliability is far superior today as Yamaha has continued to evolve their materials and processes. Better wood selection, computer controled wood curing kiln drying, CNC machining to much closer tollerances, better advanced adhesives, etc.

The G3 was never looked upon as being a "performance" piano. The current C3 is selected by many universities and professional musicians as a performance instrument.

The G3 was 6' by the way.

I liked the G3 and I said so. That doesn't mean that I'd recommend a 40 year old one.

The notion that a 1969 Asian built piano will deliver "years of reliable service", follows the same logic that if a car with 250,000 miles on it is still running, it will deliver years of reliable service.

Yes, I sell new Yamahas and will be critized for a bias. I don't know the OP or where they live. I am not trying to sell a piano here. I sell used pianos too. Sound advice is sound advice and the poster is looking for help.

You and your company specialize in the sale of older used pianos. Perhaps your bias is showing in your endorsement here.

I have seen some Samick and Young Chang 6' grands from the mid 1990s that I, indeed, would prefer to a 1969 G3. Just my opinion.
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

#1331070 - 12/21/09 10:16 PM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: Marty Flinn]
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 725
Loc: Zichron Yaacov, Israel

Hi Marty:

I don't and never have sold Yamaha, new.used, rebuilt or gray, so your assumption is wrong. I did, however, just work an a 1969 G3 and was quite impressed. I see lots of 60's Yamahas that are end-of-life.

This piano was seriously built, not assembled as the new ones are. Yes, there are many new 'features' on the newer piano. Each new feature came with a corresponding cost saving that to my eyes, saved more money than the new feature cost. Not to knock the new ones, they're a leader in the market for a good reason. However, condemning all older pianos is not always justified. A tech needs to see it. A 1969 G3 can be a great piano for the price with many years left. I guess Korean pianos get whacked in our climate more than yours. Rim separation is common, as are seriously messed up actions in <20 year old grands in my area. Just my hands-on in the field everyday experience.

Take care,


#1331161 - 12/22/09 01:01 AM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: Steve Jackson]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1476
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
I see I'm not the only one that recommends viewing a piano before condemning it. And we're both Canadian, eh? smile
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.

#1331178 - 12/22/09 01:37 AM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: scepticalforumguy]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4346
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
I would agree as for the older vintage G3,G5 and G7 being solidly built pianos. If one can acquire one on the crusty side for the right $ price point,they can be refurbished to be quite good for minimal $ invested as for restoration. Yamaha originally uses less than #1 tuning pins so the pinblock can usually be saved with oversized pins. If one refinishes the sounboard,harp,restring,damper felt and maybe hammer shank,flanges,you'll have a righteous piano that will last for decades to come. The big "IF" is whether the piano can be acquired for much lesser $. 7K is way to much unfortunately. The finishes on these older Yamaha grand pianos can either be buffed out as in high gloss /polyester or rubbed out as for satin uh...as long as the case has minimal chunks missing as in case damage. grin

Another note.If one does this minimal refurbishment, there is absolutely no issue as for the piano being gray market or not except for maybe the two pedals.

Edited by pianobroker (12/22/09 01:42 AM)
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#1331251 - 12/22/09 07:00 AM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: pianobroker]
joe80 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 2549
Personally, I'd avoid it. My friend has a 1967 Conservatory C3, and to be frank it's pretty rubbish. Not a patch on a new C3. I think you'd find greater reward in spending a bit more on a newer piano. Remember, this is something that will sit in your house for a long time. You will see it and play it every day.

I'm utterly convinced that new Japanese Kawai and Yamaha are amongst the best pianos being built and have decades of life in them. The older ones though, some of them weren't quite as well built.

THAT SAID, I once had a Kawai KG-2 from 1971, and it was a beautiful piano. I sold it last year and got a new Brodmann, I replaced it because I wanted a bigger instrument with a new action but I'm sure the Kawai could have been refurbished and voiced up very well. I sold it for UKP £3000 (about USD $5000??) which was a good price for me, and a good price for the buyer.

#1331835 - 12/22/09 08:39 PM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: joe80]
musicperson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 60
Hmmm...thanks for the opinions, everyone. Seller isn't the original owner, as it turns out. I will keep looking.

#1331859 - 12/22/09 09:26 PM Re: 30 year old Yamaha G3 [Re: musicperson]
masaki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 374
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
 I am just wondering how much was the Yamaha G3 in late 60s' USA. In Japan, it was upy500,000, which was equivalent to usd1,400. JPY/USD exchange rate was 360 yet to the dollar. By the way, Collins KWM2 transceiver was jpy400,000. Fender Rohdes was jpy1,000,000.


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