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Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
#2441835 07/16/15 12:08 PM
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Hi everyone!

Opinions on this piano, please!! I'm thinking of trading up and, since I really can't fit a grand in my home and I doubt I'll ever have one, this seems like it might be a good option. Thoughts on price? Would this be markedly different from my U1, or enough so that it would be worth the trouble replacing? I'm just not sure. Thank you!

https://carusopianos.com/browse-pia...alnut-with-sostenuto-detail#.VafWZ_lVikp

The only thing I'm not nuts about is no warranty. But since it's out-of-state, there's no sales tax, which is great. Pondering....

Last edited by ebonykawai; 07/16/15 12:27 PM.

Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
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Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2441837 07/16/15 12:18 PM
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Don't know the market well enough to comment on the price. You should always have used pianos checked by a tech. If that tech finds no issues with the soundboard, bridges, ribs, pinblock, action, etc., then I wouldn't sweat the warranty. No reason to expect soundboard or bridges to start to crack now, if they haven't yet.

Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2441855 07/16/15 01:29 PM
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It's a good model and good vintage, but it is 29 years old, so the asking price would make it a non-starter for many. However, for a dedicated Yamaha user who has had a satisfactory relationship with a U-1 (screen name ebonykawai??), theprice may not be outlandish.

You used he term trading up. If that's the case, the actual price would depend on how much the dealer is giving you for your U-1. The qualitative difference between your U-1 and this U-3 would also depend mostly on the present condition of your U-1. Generally, the U-3 model has more of a kick to its output. Some of that comes from a stronger bass register.

This dealership has been around a long time and has sold a lot of used Yamaha pianos. However, I don't think it's an authorized dealer for new Yamaha pianos. That's not a red flag, but The fact that it touts a certification for some of its used Yamahas and is offering no warranty for this one would concern me, especially since the listing pretty much states that the piano is in optimal condition.

It looks like you're in Western New York. You mention saving sales tax because you're out of state. If that means that you're thinking of buying sight unsee, I would not do it.

The dealer's listing indicates a hold on that piano. Is that yours?


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2441860 07/16/15 01:43 PM
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It sounds pretty awful in the video. That could just be the video, however.

In my experience playing these models (the U3 and the U1) the U3 is the better piano, but it's not in another universe. The U3 is a solid piano and can be a lot of fun. But if you are looking for the ultimate upright, it doesn't rise to that level.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
turandot #2441865 07/16/15 01:54 PM
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Yes, the dealer is holding it until 4pm today. I told him I would make a decision by then. I did speak to them again just short time ago and they do have a 2 years warranty. Their 5 year warranty is for reconditioned Yamahas.

I agree, I'm reticent because this would be a sight-unseen buy. And sorry, by "trade-up" I didn't mean I'm trading mine in, but getting a "better" (?) model. I would have to sell mine outright, which also has me thinking that this is probably too much trouble than what it's worth. I can't see the U3 having THAT much more kick than my U1, though the sostenuto pedal was a good option.

The U3 is actually what I had been looking for in my piano search, but they don't come up often in my area, at least not used at a price I'm willing to spend, and my U1 was pretty much a dream come true in condition, tone, and price, so I snapped it up.

LOL, yes, I've been ebonykawai for almost 20 years (it's my email, too). One of my first pianos was a UST-8 that was quite a fantastic instrument. I didn't have the desire to change everything over; too much trouble!

Thanks for your appraisal of the situation, much appreciated!


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
musicpassion #2441868 07/16/15 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by musicpassion
It sounds pretty awful in the video. That could just be the video, however.

In my experience playing these models (the U3 and the U1) the U3 is the better piano, but it's not in another universe. The U3 is a solid piano and can be a lot of fun. But if you are looking for the ultimate upright, it doesn't rise to that level.


Wow, really?? I must have no ear, then, because I thought it sounded quite good. What sounded bad to you?


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2441904 07/16/15 03:25 PM
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Why no warranty, for a such a price premium?
It looks nice, the low bass sounds nice. Unison tuning above the 5th octave isn't great, and some of the temperament/voicing sounds like it could use some tweaking.

What else in your life would you buy for $7k, sight-unseen?


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2441931 07/16/15 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ebonykawai


The U3 is actually what I had been looking for in my piano search, but they don't come up often in my area, at least not used at a price I'm willing to spend, and my U1 was pretty much a dream come true in condition, tone, and price, so I snapped it up.


Assuming that you sampled that tone and eyeballed the condition in person, you really owe it to yourself to do no less in looking for a replacement.

Relative to the used market in general, a U-1 is an easy sell, but it's still a hassle. In my opinion your next piano decision should be another dream come true which doesn't necessitate relying on a recorded sample and wondering if the whole process is worth it.

The differing opinions of how the video sounds point to the fact that in listening to any recording of a piano you're dealing with recording quality, player quality, music played, and the piano itself. It's very hard to isolate the piano from the other three variables.

I see that the hold is now off the listing. The price seems to have dropped too. If nothing much comes up in your area and you can't get a U-3 out of your mind, I'd say a field trip to Caruso is in order. Besides eliminating the three variables that you're not shopping for, you'd probably see several U-3's and U-1's and form your own conclusion about how different the models are. And, if one stands out, you'd be in a much better position to negotiate a price. That's very hard to do over the phone.





Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2441956 07/16/15 06:05 PM
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Thanks so much for your support, everyone! I did decline. You're right, turnandot, I want my next piano (if there is a next) to be a dream come true, just like my present one is! I'm not even sure why I'm still looking, except for the fact that my original desire was for a U3. Silly of me, I need to be grateful for what I have.

Thanks again!!


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2442000 07/16/15 09:40 PM
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Yes, the dealer is holding it until 4pm today.


Rest assured he will also hold it until tomorrow 4pm.

U3's are very nice pianos but trouble is there are already more musical sounding pianos on market for about same price.

"New" - without having to sit on a wooden top box style bench...

[wow - did I say that again? sick ]

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 07/16/15 09:43 PM.

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Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
Norbert #2442001 07/16/15 09:49 PM
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LOL, maybe now is a good time to reward myself with one of these...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1AA0C0UI8JDH5


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2442003 07/16/15 10:09 PM
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I would never buy a used piano unseen.

Buying a piano is something not to rush into. There are lots and lots of pianos out there. I wouldn't restrict myself to a U3 - check out KAWAI, I saw a great Schimmel about that age not long ago for similar $$$.

I don't think I'd worry about a warranty - if you buy privately, you won't get one either. But certainly have your technician check it out.

I've noticed that new pianos have improved since I was in the market 3+ yrs ago, so it could be worth checking out the lower priced ones, at least for a comparison.

You have a good U1. They and U3s were very consistent, but at 30yrs old, there are MANY which aren't any more. Some sound good, but the action is worn out - and vice-versa, so don't listen to YouTube. I've played some well cared for U1s which were much better than the average 30yr old U3.

Enjoy your piano search - play plenty of pianos, take your time, and finally buy the piano which you really enjoy playing.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2442029 07/16/15 11:52 PM
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The price that dealer is asking is outrageous. If you're willing to travel to find a used U3, you might want to go to www.searchtempest.com and type in Yamaha U3 Piano, which will search all craigslist ads in any area you wish. I think you'll be surprised how much lower the prices are than what you are looking at.

Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2442068 07/17/15 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by musicpassion
It sounds pretty awful in the video. That could just be the video, however.

In my experience playing these models (the U3 and the U1) the U3 is the better piano, but it's not in another universe. The U3 is a solid piano and can be a lot of fun. But if you are looking for the ultimate upright, it doesn't rise to that level.


Wow, really?? I must have no ear, then, because I thought it sounded quite good. What sounded bad to you?
There are out of tune unisons throughout the piano - some in the higher register as already mentioned. The temperament sounds poor. The middle range of the piano sounds boxy. Some notes seem to have little sustain. The low range sounds nice.

Perhaps with a good tuning and some voicing it would sound good. It's also possible the video is distorting or creating problems.


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2442077 07/17/15 06:04 AM
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musicpassion hit the nail on the head.

This video is enough to make me NOT consider this piano. It is uneven (because of hammer wear?), is not in tune, and does not have a pleasing tone at all.

Good luck!

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
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Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
Rich Galassini #2442153 07/17/15 12:14 PM
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Thanks, everyone!!


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Opinions, please, on Yamaha U3, video included
ebonykawai #2442430 07/18/15 10:41 AM
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ebonykawai,

You're very gracious to thank everyone once again. But retailer advice that comes well after the horse has left the barn, or in your case, after you've left the horse inside the barn and moved on, is advice intended for a wider audience. Perhaps everyone who reads here should express gratitude to know that the tone of that piano is in no way pleasing, that it lacks an upholstered bench, and that for the same money you can buy a new (?Chinese?) piano that is more musically interesting.

Had the piano in question been housed in the barn of a retailer who posts here, this generous advice would surely have been more guarded.


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The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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