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Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
#2893354 09/23/19 10:28 AM
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Hey everyone,

Recently I’ve been looking at a Yamaha U7 from a reputable dealer. It’s from the early 70s but information on it is a little scarce on the web. There are a few posts on this website but they're pretty old at this point. Supposedly it was the flagship piano of the day, with many of it features like the hammers and piano action being the same as the Yamaha grand of its time. It’s 52” tall and made of teak. From the time I tried it out in the store it sounds good and the action feels good— the store’s techs had reconditioned it and it has a 5 year warranty. So my questions for you guys are:

Do you have any experience with this piano? What did you think of it?

Should I have any concern at its age, despite it having been reconditioned?

It’s price is a little more than a third of a new U3. Is it worth it to save a little more and go for a used U3 or U1?

Any information would be appreciated. As I said earlier, information on the web is scarce and I’m not sure if the age should be a concern.

Thanks!

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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893358 09/23/19 10:37 AM
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U7s were nice pianos. However, they are pretty old by now, and suffer from the same things other Yamahas suffer from, mostly the spring loops deteriorating, as well as wear. You should not count on the dealer's word that the piano has been reconditioned, nor that what they call reconditioning is adequate for the needs of the piano, and check for these things yourself. You can see broken loops by looking down past the hammers: the springs will be pointing outward instead of being pulled down by the loop. In some cases, they might be bent. If the hammers are badly worn and filed, that should be evident. Damper wear might keep the sostenuto pedal from working properly (U7s have them). If you cannot judge these things for yourself, you should have an independent technician check for you.


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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893367 09/23/19 11:16 AM
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So, just to be clear, are you saying this 45-50 year old piano is on sale for $4000-4600?? (Assuming price of new U3 is $14000 as per Piano Buyer). Also assuming you're in the US, apologies if that's wrong.

If so, then I think that is way too much -- unless by reconditioning they mean significant work and replacement etc.

I am a huge fan of Yamaha pianos (and my first acoustic was a used U1), but any 45-50 year old piano, regardless of brand, is pretty old and should be approached with extreme caution IMO.

Have you had the piano evaluated by an independent tech?


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893390 09/23/19 12:18 PM
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I haven’t had the tech go look at it but I did talk to the tech today and they said that the store does really great work and with a warranty it shouldn’t be an issue.

But the price is higher than you suggested. Close to $7000.

Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893398 09/23/19 12:34 PM
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It's good that the tech spoke highly of the store, that's a good start. But - to be clear - by "the warranty shouldn't be an issue" does that mean, the store offers them, or the tech is suggesting you don't need one? (hopefully the former)

Re the price, again, are you in the US? If so, I feel like that's way too much. Maybe I'm off though?

Maybe someone else can comment on price??


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
ShiroKuro #2893405 09/23/19 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
It's good that the tech spoke highly of the store, that's a good start. But - to be clear - by "the warranty shouldn't be an issue" does that mean, the store offers them, or the tech is suggesting you don't need one? (hopefully the former)

The store has the warranty-- we're going to make sure we get a copy of the warranty so we know exactly what's covered. My guess is it's being sold for what it is because it was reconditioned, but I imagine we should get in writing what was done to it exactly as well.

And we're thinking it might be on the high side of price-- there's a shop elsewhere in the country that has a U7 for at least $1000 less. Hoping to talk the salesman down a bit. Saw another sold online for $5500 not too long ago on Reverb.

Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893466 09/23/19 04:24 PM
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I recently bought an extra upright piano a Kawai KL502 from 1985 for $4,000 CAD.(I think I may have overpaid ?) However I am very happy with it.The tone being very lovely and action moves as
if new.I know it was not much used so I am very happy with it.Because it all worked out so well ,
the piano is worth it to me.
About your U7 I have heard of these but never seen one.It certainly is at least 10 or 12 ?older
than my Kawai.So definitely have the piano checked carefully by a technician. Ask the dealers
technician about the work done,ask to look at the tuners log book to see when it was last tuned.
Just to make sure it still holds tuning well.
Otherwise look around to find perhaps a used U3 or Kawai upright.Of course a new U3 would be
great or a Kawai K500 (which would be cheaper but also a glamorous sounding piano )Just buy
the floor model if you buy new just to make sure you do not end up with one straight from the crate !

Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893468 09/23/19 04:44 PM
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Kidney, I take it you're in the US? How long have you been looking for an upright to buy? Do you have a sense of the prices in your area? I recommend you visit as many dealers as you can, and look online at PianoMart, and Craigslist (despite the fact that it's a cesspool as often as not), and also Facebook Marketplace and NextDoor if you have access to it. Oh, also OfferUp (I don't know how commonly this is used)

Again, I feel like the price for that U7 is too much considering its age, but I could be wrong. If you've been looking and test-playing various pianos, you'll start to get a feel for what prices make sense in your area.

Regarding Reverb, I hadn't heard of that before. It looks like it's not oriented to acoustic pianos, which only matters because unlike other kinds instruments/gear, getting a piano delivered is a bit more complicated, so you want to be able to narrow your search down to a specific region/area. In any case, the more you look at and play, the better able you'll be to judge.

Back to this U7 -- are you asking about it because it's your favorite of all the uprights you've tried so far? Or is it the only you've tried that you like at all?


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893496 09/23/19 07:04 PM
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So just a little update. We decided to buy it because we talked them down about a quarter of the price so it’s in line with other U7s we’ve seen elsewhere on the web— although in this case we know this is a respected seller and it’s fixed up. I’ve played pianos for years and have known I’ve wanted a Yamaha and it sounded great to me. The action felt really good too. I have no concerns about the sound of thepiano, just more about if there were any issues with an older piano, and now that the price has come down it has helped quite a bit. This store also offers a trade up policy so if we decide we’re not happy with it in a couple years we can trade it in for it’s value for something else— or for 75% of its price within the first year which is less desirable but at least a decent fall back should we find out it really doesn’t work for us.

Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893498 09/23/19 07:10 PM
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In that case, congratulations!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893513 09/23/19 07:46 PM
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Congratulations on your U7 ,wishing you many happy hours of playing !

Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893526 09/23/19 08:25 PM
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Good for you. Congratulations and enjoy!



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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893549 09/23/19 10:13 PM
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Thank you guys! I’ve always wanted to own a Yamaha. I’m so excited to get back to playing more and teaching my wife. I appreciate all of the insight though— I think it helped save us a big chunk of cash!

Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893594 09/24/19 04:30 AM
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Well done Kidney, sounds like you have a piano you love from a reputable dealer & that you negotiated well. Wishing you and your wife many happy years with it!


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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893624 09/24/19 08:41 AM
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Congratulations on your new to you Yamaha U7! Please post pictures when you have a chance after delivery. Just a side note, but you might want to photograph or videotape the delivery of your new piano. It’s a terribly geeky piano nerd thing to do but I occasionally enjoy looking at and recalling how exciting a new piano delivery was. Best wishes on your piano adventure.


J & J
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Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
j&j #2893628 09/24/19 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Congratulations on your new to you Yamaha U7! Please post pictures when you have a chance after delivery. Just a side note, but you might want to photograph or videotape the delivery of your new piano. It’s a terribly geeky piano nerd thing to do but I occasionally enjoy looking at and recalling how exciting a new piano delivery was. Best wishes on your piano adventure.

That's a great idea! I would have never thought to do it.

I actually feel I'm somewhat responsible to document this piano since there is so little information on it. I'm not exactly sure what people would be interested in besides pictures but I can definitely post them.

And thank you barbaram, NobleHouse, Lady Bird, ShiroKuro- you are so incredibly nice. I'm looking forward to it!

Re: Yamaha U7 - worth it to buy?
Kidney #2893654 09/24/19 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Kidney
Originally Posted by j&j
Congratulations on your new to you Yamaha U7! Please post pictures when you have a chance after delivery. Just a side note, but you might want to photograph or videotape the delivery of your new piano. It’s a terribly geeky piano nerd thing to do but I occasionally enjoy looking at and recalling how exciting a new piano delivery was. Best wishes on your piano adventure.

That's a great idea! I would have never thought to do it.

I actually feel I'm somewhat responsible to document this piano since there is so little information on it. I'm not exactly sure what people would be interested in besides pictures but I can definitely post them.

And thank you barbaram, NobleHouse, Lady Bird, ShiroKuro- you are so incredibly nice. I'm looking forward to it!


Why not start a piano journal? Write down details of your playing experience and what if any changes you hear or feel as your piano settles in. If you have a question you can ask it here or the Piano Technicians forum. When you get your first tuning done, you can share your experiences with your piano technician.
Stuff like “I think the damper for G3 is slow, can you adjust that?”


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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