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newbie seek advice on U1&UX1, new vs used
#2998466 07/04/20 01:48 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
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Hi all, thanks for such a great forum smile I am new to piano. Learnt a lot on 'internet' which I know some are true some are false.
True or false:
1, The piano dealers who mostly sell new piano told me that those refurbished pianos (imported from Asia) were not made for the US market and climate here, therefore they will break down in a year or two...
2, The resale broker tells me that number 1 statement is a myth. They emphasize how great used pianos conditions are and stating with care and maintenance, they last forever.
3, the internet tells me a piano's ilfe spam is about 40-50years, but most of the refurbished/reconditioned pianos are from 1980s or earlier. An acquaintance who is a musician indicated to me that it is better and very possible to find something under $5000 with in 5 to 10 years of age....however I searched online and called a few dealers, and I could not find any 'young' pianos like this....I am wondering if it is realistic

Right now, I am looking at yamaha used U1 or UX1...I found two. Both are quoted at $4000ish (not including shipping). 1984 and 1986...I watched videos but my non-professional ear could not tell a difference frown is it a good price for this age of piano?

Welcome all comments. Very appreciated! Happy July 4th!!

Last edited by JYHolick; 07/04/20 01:51 AM.
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Re: newbie seek advice on U1&UX1, new vs used
JYHolick #2998543 07/04/20 08:07 AM
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Hello and welcome.

1. Mostly false. It might be wise to watch the humidity, particularly if you live in a very dry place (Arizona, or upper Midwest winters, for example). See this article:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/gray-market-pianos-and-cracked-soundboards/

2. Also false. These pianos vary in condition and use, and can be bought by the dealers at a variety of price points, conditions, and ages. They definitely don’t last forever, and the extent of refurbishment is heavier on the cosmetic side of things, and lighter on the mechanicals (i.e. cleaning, adjusting, reworking original parts instead of replacing, whenever possible). If these pianos have issues, they’re usually not apparent to the naked eye. This is why a pre-purchase independent tech inspection is so essential.

3. First part: sometimes true. Second part: True, if you’re patient and then act fast. Pianos don’t magically die at a certain age, but I’ve seen institutional and climatic environments that will wipe out a piano that fast (or faster, i.e. a conservatory practice room). The touch and tone gradually degrade (more so if you don’t maintain the regulation and voicing occasionally), treatable mechanical problems start to occur, and eventually the issues become serious enough that repairing or rebuilding the piano exceeds its market value.

The idea of buying a 5-10 year old used piano is a great one in theory, but there aren’t a ton of quality acoustic pianos from this age range for sale. When they pop up for sale, they tend to sell quickly. You might be able to snag a 10 year old used U1 near that amount, but depending on where you live, you may be waiting a while until one becomes available. I troll Pianomart, Craigslist, dealer websites who update inventory, but also call local technicians and let them know, local music teachers organizations (maybe they know a student who has upgraded to a grand piano, or quit, or non-playing parents who are now empty nesters). It also helps if you cast a wider net than just one brand.

Do not buy one of these pianos sight-unseen. Or any piano, for that matter. Videos are helpful, but do not tell the complete story.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: newbie seek advice on U1&UX1, new vs used
JYHolick #2998565 07/04/20 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JYHolick
The piano dealers who mostly sell new piano told me that those refurbished pianos (imported from Asia) were not made for the US market and climate here, therefore they will break down in a year or two..

Yamaha do make some pianos for markets that are in drier climates than typical Asian country humidity by drying out the wood a bit more before they cut it accurately for the internals of the keyboard mechanism. They are not doing this for fun - they are doing it because they have some experience of past problems in dry climates if they don’t do it.

But this does not automatically mean you will have a problem. In my home state of Western Australia (with a very dry climate) there hasn’t been a spate of problems (and we have LOTs of grey market Yamaha imports here.)

And of course the US has a wide range of climate types. If you live in a state with a climate similar to Tokyo you wouldn’t expect too much of an issue! Maybe, just maybe if the piano had been kept permanently in a desert area or with low humidity airconditioning there might be a concern.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45. Yamaha RD-250 (a long time ago). smile
Re: newbie seek advice on U1&UX1, new vs used
JYHolick #2998576 07/04/20 09:25 AM
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Pianos (well) over ten years old can be comparatively "new". They'll just require careful inspection, like any other used instrument. The piano that's rarely played - or was fairly frequently played for five years or so - and has been sitting, hardly used, for years - just isn't that rare. Broaden your age horizons and take your time.

Re: newbie seek advice on U1&UX1, new vs used
JYHolick #2998695 07/04/20 01:55 PM
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Thank you! I appreciate all your input. I live in California, pretty dry. Maybe I shall take your advice to look some other brand..but I dont know much of them. Yamaha is only one sounds familar.. I did notice the website piano mart, I like it. Now i like it more smile Thank you so much!

Re: newbie seek advice on U1&UX1, new vs used
JYHolick #2998797 07/04/20 07:19 PM
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The other piano that is frequently considered with a Yamaha U1 is the Kawai K3/K300. Generally a bit less expensive and equivalent quality according to what is discussed here. The Kawai is a different voice than a Yamaha of older years but the more recent Yamaha pianos are more similar in voice. Kawai also makes Boston pianos if you find one of those around might fit your needs. There are others in the market but these 3 are the more well known I would think. Baldwin used to be a big player but the newer ones are a Chinese piano not to be confused with the older ones. Above all, condition will always be the more important factor. If you havent read any of the article in the margins here look into those. If you want to share your location there will be others on the forum that may know where to point you for shopping near you.


David




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