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So many Yamaha U1 models
#2961312 03/28/20 03:27 PM
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I have made more than one post about not being comfortable on my digi piano. I have been looking at used Yamaha U1 pianos but, evidently, there are different versions of this model, correct?
Can anybody offer information about the different models, which I assume were manufactured in different years, and which, if any, you would not purchase?
I've seen a range of prices, from under $3000 to over $6000 for a 2016.

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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961338 03/28/20 05:04 PM
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Hi Mils, For used pianos, condition is everything. Buy the newest, most pristine used U1 or U3 you can afford, then be sure to have an independent piano technician inspect it. Be sure you love the sound and feel of the upright before you get the tech to inspect it. The problem with piano shopping, especially during a pandemic is you really need to go play the piano yourself, then get a tech to inspect. If it were me I would get as many pictures and maybe even recordings of pianos you think might be suitable. Select repertoire to try. Collect a data sheet for each piano. Then, when we can move to more normalcy, you’ll be all set for tryouts. Good generalized info for U1s is good to know and many members have detailed info on that Yamaha upright. I do have to ask, have you tried other uprights like Kawai, or Boston?


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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
j&j #2961340 03/28/20 05:07 PM
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For me, making the visits to check used pianos, some just instantly get scratched off my lists as soon as I see or play them.


J & J
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I save far better than I play!
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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961370 03/28/20 06:54 PM
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You could look here U1 Pianos where there is some good information.

In general , like all things, the U1 has had changes and improvements over the years so the newer and better condition the piano is the better. Really, it doesn't matter too much what the model of U1 is, a good example of one of the older or cheaper variants beats a newer or more expensive variant in poor condition.

If you play a few used U1s you will probably discover that they can all sound and play differently, even when they are the same model variant. The best approach is to play lots, find the individual piano you love no matter what model it is, then check that it is in good condition and worth purchasing.

Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961380 03/28/20 07:32 PM
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Yes, be careful some of those variants are "grey "or wet used pianos from Japan.

There is one U1 which is not made in Japan but Indonesia. If I remember correctly
it is made in Indonesia and marked U1 J for Jakarta .
I have never played one of these.,they are cheaper than the Japanese made U1 pianos.
Some grey market pianos are OK ,others are a disaster. I have a KawaI grey upright made
in the 80's which is fine.
It had been Canada for 20 years after arriving as a used piano.(before I bought it )
Taking the advice of a dealer in "grey" pianos is not really objective.

Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
j&j #2961426 03/29/20 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Hi Mils, For used pianos, condition is everything. Buy the newest, most pristine used U1 or U3 you can afford, then be sure to have an independent piano technician inspect it. Be sure you love the sound and feel of the upright before you get the tech to inspect it. The problem with piano shopping, especially during a pandemic is you really need to go play the piano yourself, then get a tech to inspect. If it were me I would get as many pictures and maybe even recordings of pianos you think might be suitable. Select repertoire to try. Collect a data sheet for each piano. Then, when we can move to more normalcy, you’ll be all set for tryouts. Good generalized info for U1s is good to know and many members have detailed info on that Yamaha upright. I do have to ask, have you tried other uprights like Kawai, or Boston?
Actually, no. There are a couple of piano dealers in the immediate and surrounding areas but not a great variety in inventory. Plus, there are not a lot of pianos housed within in each location. So, even if I can try a Kawai, it wouldn’t necessarily be the model that I’d be looking for.

Last edited by Mils; 03/29/20 12:31 AM.
Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961441 03/29/20 01:20 AM
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Hello, Mils-

"....Be sure you love the sound and feel of the upright before you get the tech to inspect it. The problem with piano shopping, especially during a pandemic is you really need to go play the piano yourself, then get a tech to inspect. If it were me I would get as many pictures and maybe even recordings of pianos you think might be suitable. Select repertoire to try. Collect a data sheet for each piano. Then, when we can move to more normalcy, you’ll be all set for tryouts...."

I think you could go a long way before you find shopping advice that is any better, or more to the point of helping you to become competent to make a good choice, for yourself. As broad as your knowledge can be is all to the better. After all, this may not be the only time you will buy a piano, or something else expensive (a car, a house, etc.)

https://www.pianobuyer.com/

See what Piano Buyer has to say; what could it hurt.

That short little sentence about acquiring recordings is especially useful, especially once your head starts to spin about what you saw, where it was, what the room was like, and the condition of the piano you played. It could pay you to note the model and the serial number, and besides playing I suggest you try every key (soft to loud, trills if you can), every pedal, every moving part including the case and lid panels.

Good compact recorders can be put in your hand for around $200 (you could try http://sweetwater.com ; there are other good outfits, but I've had good luck with them). It is hard to become much of a player without listening to your own performances every so often.

And write back--- we love these stories.

Last edited by Jeff Clef; 03/29/20 01:21 AM.

Clef

Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961480 03/29/20 07:38 AM
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I wish I would have done this before getting my current digital. I hadn’t played at all before buying it, so I based my decision on online research. I guess I’ll have to wait until this situation resolves before making a more costly mistake than I did the first time. As much as I dislike my dp, I may also need to wait until I have a little more playing experience, in order to better evaluate e way a piano feels.

Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961483 03/29/20 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mils
I wish I would have done this before getting my current digital. I hadn’t played at all before buying it, so I based my decision on online research. I guess I’ll have to wait until this situation resolves before making a more costly mistake than I did the first time. As much as I dislike my dp, I may also need to wait until I have a little more playing experience, in order to better evaluate e way a piano feels.

Don't be too hard on yourself, Mils. When we are first starting out learning to play the piano, we honestly do not know what we want in a piano. Although it may occur on occasion, I doubt most people who are early learners don't rush out and buy the piano of their dreams, and life-long piano.

I've had several pianos myself, though none of them new. We learn as we go, and even if we experience buyers remorse or sell and lose money, or trade up and lose money, we learn from that experience.

The most important thing is to have something we enjoy playing so it motivates us to play more. smile

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961556 03/29/20 02:20 PM
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Thank you Jeff, you made my day!
Rick - +1
Mils - the pandemic could give you a great opportunity to research pianos before trying the pianos yourself. Some piano dealers are providing virtual visits to their pianos and are offering special sales right now. Business is tough right now so you might be able to take advantage of special pricing and get your requests for recordings and virtual visits. Something to consider.....

Last edited by j&j; 03/29/20 02:24 PM.

J & J
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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
j&j #2961589 03/29/20 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Thank you Jeff, you made my day!
Rick - +1
Mils - the pandemic could give you a great opportunity to research pianos before trying the pianos yourself. Some piano dealers are providing virtual visits to their pianos and are offering special sales right now. Business is tough right now so you might be able to take advantage of special pricing and get your requests for recordings and virtual visits. Something to consider.....


I don’t agree with buying any piano you have not played and heard in person, as a video of the piano is not the actual live experience. If virtual buying were always accurate, a. Dealer could have three brand xxx, same model and year and you would like them all because they would have an identical sound and feel. I believe the actual experience is critical for a first acoustic buyer. More advanced players will better know when ‘to take a chance’.


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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
dogperson #2961598 03/29/20 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by j&j
Thank you Jeff, you made my day!
Rick - +1
Mils - the pandemic could give you a great opportunity to research pianos before trying the pianos yourself. Some piano dealers are providing virtual visits to their pianos and are offering special sales right now. Business is tough right now so you might be able to take advantage of special pricing and get your requests for recordings and virtual visits. Something to consider.....


I don’t agree with buying any piano you have not played and heard in person, as a video of the piano is not the actual live experience. If virtual buying were always accurate, a. Dealer could have three brand xxx, same model and year and you would like them all because they would have an identical sound and feel. I believe the actual experience is critical for a first acoustic buyer. More advanced players will better know when ‘to take a chance’.


No, sorry, that’s not what I’m suggesting. I’m suggesting now is the time to do “due diligence” before deciding which pianos to go try. Normally piano dealer websites don’t give much information on inventory. They want you to come to the store. Now all that has dramatically changed. I’m saying the OP might have a unique opportunity to get details and recordings of pianos while sitting on the couch. Purchase would only happen after the OP finally tries it out and a piano tech inspects it.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2961602 03/29/20 04:11 PM
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Car dealers are offering virtual tests drives and will send a salesperson to drive out your selected vehicle for you to test drive. Personally I would keep my klunker until at least the stay at home cautions are done. I don’t like the idea of completely disinfecting a brand new vehicle but maybe that’s just me.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2963161 04/03/20 04:09 AM
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I would stay away from any Yamaha older than 10 years old, and they are uplayable harsh instruments. Build like a tank though. If they are imported as used from Japan, than they are extremely worn-out instruments after schools etc. At least this is happening in Europe, japan just throws off junk for nothing and buyers think that they buy very good piano, while it's place should be in trash.

In not always the case, but be aware.

Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
impossiblejj #2963171 04/03/20 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by impossiblejj
I would stay away from any Yamaha older than 10 years old, and they are uplayable harsh instruments. Build like a tank though. If they are imported as used from Japan, than they are extremely worn-out instruments after schools etc. At least this is happening in Europe, japan just throws off junk for nothing and buyers think that they buy very good piano, while it's place should be in trash.


Sorry but this is misinformation and we could do without the anti-japan sentiment as well. You even contradict yourself with the comment below but the truth is that used pianos, yamahas or not, ex-japan yamahas or not, can be anywhere from completely trashed and worthless to something lightly played and in superb condition, even ones forty years old let alone ten. You have to treat each individual piano on its own merits not rely on some sweeping generalisations.

Originally Posted by impossiblejj

In not always the case, but be aware.


Last edited by gwing; 04/03/20 04:55 AM.
Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
impossiblejj #2963195 04/03/20 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by impossiblejj
I would stay away from any Yamaha older than 10 years old, and they are uplayable harsh instruments. Build like a tank though. If they are imported as used from Japan, than they are extremely worn-out instruments after schools etc. At least this is happening in Europe, japan just throws off junk for nothing and buyers think that they buy very good piano, while it's place should be in trash.

In not always the case, but be aware.



Ridiculous. A great example of the mis-information available for free on forums such as this.


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
impossiblejj #2963202 04/03/20 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by impossiblejj
I would stay away from any Yamaha older than 10 years old, and they are uplayable harsh instruments.


This sentence is rubbish.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2963221 04/03/20 09:01 AM
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gwing, Furtwangler, and terminaldegree are spot on! Yamaha and Kawai both make wonderful, quality pianos now and in the past. Shopping brand new uprights just pick the one whose sound and action you love because Yamaha and Kawai offer a different sound palette and different feel on the actions. Used -condition is everything and whatever you choose should be inspected by an independent piano technician. I myself preferred Yamaha but Kawai runs a tight race and many players prefer the more mellow tone and the Millennium III carbon fiber action. Good Luck.


J & J
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Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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Re: So many Yamaha U1 models
Mils #2963251 04/03/20 10:11 AM
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I've owned a Japan U1 since buying new in the 70's. Two things to look for if buying used from that time period U1.
The hammer butt return spring strings will be shot and need replacement due to the material used disintegrating.
Also, I've broken about 8 strings in the high treble area from the pressure bar being too soft. The string cuts into the bar making grooves into it from tunings. This weakens the string and breaks. Replacing the string after sanding the groove fixes it.
Yamaha corrected this issue with the pressure bar by coating it with chrome I believe on later models.
All said, I still love my U1 and it's been played a lot. Normal wear that any piano incurs would't stop me from buying another U1 from that era if I had to. Just realize things wear and need to be fixed. Have a piano tech check it out first before buying used.


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