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Yamaha provenance?
#2440242 07/10/15 11:57 AM
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Hi all! I am in need of some help tracing the provenance of my Yamaha piano. My grandmother bought it new in 1977. It was (apparently) built in the parent factory in Japan and then shipped direct to Canada. It's an upright piano, serial number B2244108 - but no music stores or piano salespeople can tell me anything about it.

I am wanting to sell it and have a prospective buyer who insists that I should lower my price because it is a "b" series - but I have told him it's not the same "B" and is a much better quality instrument than the one he is referring to (for starters, the soundboard is NOT plywood!).

Can anyone help me here? I would like to be as accurate as possible with potential buyers, and am listing it for sale at £1900.

Thanks much.

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Re: Yamaha provenance?
IngridCanuck #2440278 07/10/15 02:47 PM
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According to the Yamaha website this piano was manufactured for the North American market (good), and was built around 1976-1977 (which you already know).

What model is the piano?




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Re: Yamaha provenance?
IngridCanuck #2440292 07/10/15 04:09 PM
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Ingrid,

CALL Yamaha Canada and ask them to trace your serial number. They will tell you exactly what model it is. You're also right it's not the same as the present indonesian made B series. The B in the serial number is a either a design revision designator or it's as simple as they ran out of numbers and re-started with a B leading digit.

Kurt


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Re: Yamaha provenance?
KurtZ #2440401 07/11/15 03:20 AM
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Thanks so much. Appreciate the feedback!

Re: Yamaha provenance?
BrianDX #2440402 07/11/15 03:30 AM
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Hi Brian

Oh dear...is the serial number I listed no the same as the 'model number'? And if not, where on the piano would I find the model number??

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Ingrid

Re: Yamaha provenance?
IngridCanuck #2440403 07/11/15 03:38 AM
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Finding age of Yamaha pianos. This has information about where you can find the serial number and model number, and the age of the piano.


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Re: Yamaha provenance?
IngridCanuck #2440416 07/11/15 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by IngridCanuck
Hi Brian

Oh dear...is the serial number I listed no the same as the 'model number'? And if not, where on the piano would I find the model number??

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Ingrid

Hi Ingrid;

Inside our piano top lid the model (in our case M500-F) is listed along side the serial number of the piano.

My guess is that somewhere inside or on the back the piano model is listed. Can you post some pics of this piano?

Brian


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Yamaha provenance?
IngridCanuck #2440451 07/11/15 10:41 AM
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The key to the confusion is the number stamped on the top right of the gilded plate. If the number there is preceded by an upper-case letter "B", then you really need to call Yamaha Canada as was already suggested. Or you could e-mail them.

Yamaha uses letters at the beginning of serial numbers only to specify countries of manufacture other than Japan, and the letter B is not accounted for in their list of country codes.

Your customer may have a legitimate concern about the piano's provenance or he may simply be looking for a tool to lower your price. In either case, he's not likely to accept what you learn from anonymous forum participants. Something in the form of writing from Yamaha would be definitive.

B stock refers to seconds, pianos with defects, like scratch and dent furniture. Usually those defects are cosmetic and occur AFTER a piano is produced and a serial number assigned, most often in packing, in transit, or in unpacking. There is no clear definition of B stock for the piano industry. It's most often something that one dealer accuses another dealer or maker of selling, in other words, a scare tactic.

A manufacturer is not going to celebrate a deficient or defective piano by giving it a special designation in the serial number.

If, on the other hand, the serial number stamped into the top right corner of the gilded plate on your piano consists only of the numbers you provided here with no preceding letter, then you don't need any documentation from Yamaha. You're selling a genuine Japan-made Yamaha from late 1976, The customer can then tell you he wants a discount because your piano is grey market since you're in UK and the piano was initially sold in Canada. grin In the US most customers of private sellers expect to knock down the seller's price at least a little, and most savvy sellers set their price accordingly.


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Re: Yamaha provenance?
IngridCanuck #2440468 07/11/15 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by IngridCanuck


I am wanting to sell it and have a prospective buyer who insists that I should lower my price because it is a "b" series - but I have told him it's not the same "B" and is a much better quality instrument than the one he is referring to (for starters, the soundboard is NOT plywood!).
Thanks much.


It should be fairly easy to prove to the customer that your piano is not a b series Yamaha. All b series Yamaha pianos are manufactured in Jakarta, Indonesia and Yamaha did not produce any pianos there until 1999.

You should be careful about denigrating b series Yamahas however. They are not bad pianos. At least in the US, b2 and b3 are sold with a solid spruce soundboard with a reinforced crown. Specs sometimes vary from country to country, but unless you have documentation that b2 and b3 in the UK have a plywood soundboard, you should avoid that kind of accusation. It will only add to the confusion.



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Re: Yamaha provenance?
IngridCanuck #2441074 07/13/15 01:51 PM
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Disclaimer, this is a 'Usually, but not always' answer.

Depending on country of destination, I agree there can be a letter used to denote Yamaha's country of manufacture but there can also be a letter to denote which particular 'vintage' model it is. (U3A, U3B, U3H etc)

Before the days when Yamaha used the same iron frame for different models, they would have the model cast into the frame and every few years as they revamped the models, by changing hammer heads and other components, they would simply stamp a letter immediately before the serial number to denote the model change eg U1A, U1B etc. To complicate things, that letter would not always follow alphabetical sequence. eg some U3A uprights were built later than some U3H and U3M. For economy, and marketing, wink as Yamaha now use the same U1 frame on at least four different models and the U3 frame on three they simply stamp the model on the frame next to the serial number.

I'm not saying Ingrid's piano is a U1, but as an example, here's a Yamaha U1B made the year before Ingrid's, the following link shows the U1 model name cast into the frame with the model vintage (B) and serial number B2036177 stamped onto the guilding.
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-piano-keyboa...80027804?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true





Chris Venables
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Yamaha Pianos, Petrof Pianos and Venables & Son
UK Grand Piano Centre.

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