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Older Yamaha U3 Question
#2951506 02/25/20 06:32 PM
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Hi all,

I have been looking for an upright acoustic piano (currently on a Kawai ES-110), and I saw a 2001 Yamaha U3 for $4,000.

Do you think an almost 20 year old piano is too old to have many years ahead? Supposedly this piano has been well-maintained and constantly tuned.

I was originally looking at purchasing a new piano in the $5,000 to $7,000 range. But I realize the U3 is higher quality. Just not sure about the age. Please let me know any opinions, thank you!

Joe

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Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
JoeCB #2951514 02/25/20 06:46 PM
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So what is the history of this U3?
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
JoeCB #2951516 02/25/20 06:54 PM
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If it’s from a normal, non-institutional/commercial setting and was in a stable environment, it could provide decades of good service with regular maintenance.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
JoeCB #2951593 02/25/20 10:46 PM
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Acoustic pianos are a world apart from consumer electronics like your DP as far as useful life goes. Some of the most beautiful pianos for sale today are over a century old.

The U3 that you’re looking at might be a pile of junk, or it might be an immaculately maintained instrument, or something in between. Regardless, there are thousands of U3s around the world much older than the one you’re considering, and their owners will expect them to keep going for many years yet.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45. Yamaha RD-250 (a long time ago). smile
Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
JoeCB #2951597 02/25/20 10:55 PM
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Get it checked out By someone who KNOWS.


Pwg


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Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
JoeCB #2951709 02/26/20 06:06 AM
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The lifetime of a well build piano is comparable to that of a human, so 20 years isn't old for a U3, unless it's very heavily played and not maintained well etc.

Yes, get it checked! I think the price is low for a U3 of that age.

Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
JoeCB #2951778 02/26/20 10:29 AM
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get the serial number of the piano and have an authorized yamaha dealer look up the SN in the Yamaha database to find the market it was built for. this is to make sure you avoid gray market pianos for the US market

Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
ineedpiano #2951843 02/26/20 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ineedpiano
get the serial number of the piano and have an authorized yamaha dealer look up the SN in the Yamaha database to find the market it was built for. this is to make sure you avoid gray market pianos for the US market


Well that is a point of view. The opposite point of view is that grey market used Yamaha pianos are absolutely fine and the whole thing is essentially a scare story trumped up by the dealers to reduce competition for the (at one time) very lucrative used import business.

Re: Older Yamaha U3 Question
gwing #2951871 02/26/20 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by ineedpiano
get the serial number of the piano and have an authorized yamaha dealer look up the SN in the Yamaha database to find the market it was built for. this is to make sure you avoid gray market pianos for the US market


Well that is a point of view. The opposite point of view is that grey market used Yamaha pianos are absolutely fine and the whole thing is essentially a scare story trumped up by the dealers to reduce competition for the (at one time) very lucrative used import business.


That is a good point and I discussed this topic with the piano technician I had hired. Part of my thought included what you said as the gray market pianos being a scare tactic by yamaha or dealers, but I wondered if there was any truth to it. When asking the tech his response was yes/no. He has worked on gray market pianos and seen some that did have big issues while other gray market pianos were totally fine (regarding yamahas), so he has not really seen anything to prove or disprove it.

I suppose it comes down to what climate you live in. If you live in a really really dry desert climate, perhaps gray market pianos would be a larger issues than somewhere more humid like near the warmer coasts.


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