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Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324490
01/23/08 02:11 AM
01/23/08 02:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
canada
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solfege1 Offline OP
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solfege1  Offline OP
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My 1st post...I've been researching and looking for a used piano for my 6 yr old son (who has been using a Yamaha keyboard for the last 2 yrs, which I can see now is not helping him build strong fingers). I am quite certain that we would like a Yamaha U series piano, within our $3000 budget. We've narrowed to the following:
-Yamaha U1 25 yrs old - $3300
-Yamaha U2 27 yrs old - $3100
(the above are from the same store, in excellent condition, includes taxes, delivery & 10 yr warranty, parts & labor)
-Yamaha U1, 21 yrs old - $3300 (privately owned; not sure of condition yet)

My questions:
-which is my best bet from the above, or keep looking?
-should I have any concerns of getting a U2 over a U1 (ie. why is it cheaper even though it's a taller piano?)

Would love and appreciate any input you have to my questions!

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Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324491
01/23/08 04:26 AM
01/23/08 04:26 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
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North Hollywood CA.
Your best bet is the piano that is in the best condition both internally as well as cosmetically in that the prices are comparable. The newer U1 is not just newer age wise but a newer scale design as Yamaha makes subtle changes scale wise in bettering the piano.
If all are gray market the newer U1 is an U1A as opposed to the 25 yr.old U1M. Now the newer U1 if non gray market may be a U1E the (U.S,designated mdl)and being non gray market is deemed more valuble to many. Check the serial # with Yamaha's website.

The reason the U2 is less expensive now is because,it was a mdl. never marketed in the states via Yamaha USA or Canada.
This piano technically was more expensive than a U1 in Europe and Japan in that it is 50" tall as compared to the 48" U1 with no toe blocks as for case design. In that it has less mdl. recognition among piano shoppers it is deemed less valuble. One can't compare the preowned price to a new one because there is no new one. I would go for the newer U1 upon tech approval.Now if you are considering any of these uprts. hire a tech to assess the condition especially the repetition springs in that many dealers don't even know what they are.
Now you know enough to be dangerous and may know more than the salesman. Good Luck !!


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Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324492
01/23/08 03:08 PM
01/23/08 03:08 PM
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Posts: 6
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solfege1 Offline OP
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Thanks for your input, Pianobroker. Much appreciated. I must admit, we were hoping to get one of the store ones, as my husband is keen on the price including 10 yr warranty. However, I do know if it's in good condition, we shouldn't even need it...right?

Thanks again.

Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324493
01/23/08 05:07 PM
01/23/08 05:07 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
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pianobroker  Offline
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North Hollywood CA.
A store warranty in most cases covers usually structural integrity issues. Sticking keys,regulation, tuning,squeaky pedals are not warranty issues but basic upkeep and maintenance. The pianos are already preowned so they have already survived the structural integrity phase hopefully thus so far. Thats why it is important to assess the cond. NOW with a credible tech. In the industry some of the worst pianos have the best warranties in that warranty doesn't amount to much in a preowned piano. What does "lifetime warranty mean" what does it cover and to whom does it apply to. I have my attorney hat on at present.Ambiguous term means nothing in the end.


www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
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Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324494
01/25/08 06:08 PM
01/25/08 06:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
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solfege1 Offline OP
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solfege1  Offline OP
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Here I am, back after a couple days of more research and piano testing. I've written off the U2 above as an option, and now am down to 2 U1's. My question is whether a few years difference in age is worth a little more $? Here is my shortlist:

1. U1 A - 22 yrs old. excellent condition. $3500, including tax, delivery, standard tunings, and this great Japanese-made sturdy adjustable bench, which would be great for my 6 yr old.

2. U1 M - 25 yrs old. excellent condition. $3200, as above, but just a standard bench.

I know the diff is only $300, but we're already over our $3000 budget, so every $100 counts. But am wondering whether it's worth paying the extra for the A model and that great bench!! or is the M model acceptable and good for the price?

Please help! I need to make a decision by this weekend. Thanks for any input you may have on the matter.

Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324495
01/25/08 06:21 PM
01/25/08 06:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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West Coast
"20+ year old Asian pianos" and "excellent condition" do not jibe with me.

Nearly always these pianos have come out of schools with 30,000 hours of play on them (five hours per day X five days a week X fifty weeks a year X 25 years) or more. They may have been cleaned and polished. They may have had the hammers filed and voiced down.

I can nearly guaranty no flanges rebushed, no keys rebushed, not restrung, no new hammers. Sustain not nearly what it was when new. Bass response nearly flat compared to performance of new.

Understand that the 10 year warranty is not a manufacturer/distributor warranty, but just given by the retailer you are shopping at. Retailers are dropping like flys in this market these days.

I encourage you to check out a new Cable Nelson (Yamaha) model CN116 at about your price point. Or, a new Yamaha T118 for just a little more. Will these instruments perform as well as a new U1? No. Then again, your 20+ yo used gray market U1 will not perform as well as a new U1.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324496
01/25/08 06:28 PM
01/25/08 06:28 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
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pianobroker  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
Again it is contingent on condition as to which one is the better choice. The newer U1A s I get seem better not just cond.wise but sound wise in that they are newer and ?. Again newer scale though Yamaha is kinda vague as for the subtle differences in scale. Hire a tech to discern the difference in cond.The upgrade from the duet to the artist bench is probably worth $100. So now you're talking minimal $. Have the tech check the repetition springs.


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Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
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Preowned & Restored
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Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324497
01/25/08 07:25 PM
01/25/08 07:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,746
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Vancouver B.C. Canada
PB has mentioned having the repetition springs checked. thumb

I have seen them clipped off so there is noting to check. I have seen many "wet" Yamahas with silk cord problems. The only repair is to replace the cords or install new flanges. This takes plenty of time. If you don't see springs then they have been clipped off.
If you see just ONE, 1, I, UNO, that is broken, then the rest will surly start developing problems.

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Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324498
01/25/08 08:59 PM
01/25/08 08:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
canada
S
solfege1 Offline OP
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solfege1  Offline OP
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Posts: 6
canada
Thanks for your input - and fast!! Being a non-player, yet wanting to make a sound and quality purchase within our budget, this forum is a wonderful resource!!

The store of the U1M claims that they are selective about each piano they import from Japan, and that they do not buy pianos from schools. Of course that's just their word...

Repetition springs...got it. Will be sure to ask my tech to check that out.

Is it better to have a piano with their original parts, or one that's rebuilt/refurbished (or are these different terms?) I guess it depends on the condition of the original parts?

Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324499
01/26/08 02:51 PM
01/26/08 02:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 379
Vancouver, B.C.
F
Frank Offline
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Frank  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 379
Vancouver, B.C.
solfege1,

Take special care with Rod's advise. He is right on.

When I was in retail we sold many imported Yamies to a clientel that was "Closed" to the many choices out in todays market.
Always based price on age, not condition and worse, these same customers totally rejected pianos (no matter the price or condition) over 30 years.

Where will your "Re-Sale" value be in 5-10 years??

In todays market, unlike years past, there is a wide variety of makes from Indonesia, Korea, China that offer far better performance and resale value.

Do hire a PTG tech to check out any used piano.


Frank Woodside
www.hzmpiano.com
Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324500
01/27/08 08:31 PM
01/27/08 08:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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Craigen  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Gray market Yamahas are sold by jobbers in container loads. Nearly 100% come from schools. Sellers that buy from these jobbers have no way of knowing where they have come from or the conditions. Frequently jobbers grade the piano A, B, or C. Often times they hook the seller with a container of A grade pianos at A grade prices. The second and third container will come with B or C grade pianos at A grade prices.

Even the A grade pianos have problems with excessive wear and moisture problems.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324501
01/27/08 09:04 PM
01/27/08 09:04 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
It's always a crap shoot if you go into this comparative analysis between better mdl. preowned gray market vrs."new" lower end mdl.pianos of the same manufacture without a tech to assess each and every piano. To each their own. I think for a beginner the low end mdls are probably acceptable but so would a Baldwin Acrosonic at their level of proficiency. But for the musician /player on a budget these newer gray market pianos are a no brainer as for value. You gotta get the near new ones that most dealers buying from the trade co.s and distributors never see. I thought the lower end Yamaha uprts. at the Namm show except for one P series studio had "no sound" as for possible options for the proficient player.It is not hard to find a great piano with no budget restraints but in the real world among full time musicians and teachers there is.


www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE
Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324502
01/28/08 08:25 PM
01/28/08 08:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
canada
S
solfege1 Offline OP
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solfege1  Offline OP
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canada
Thanks all for the feedback. I've decided to go with a U1A, 22 yrs old, which I found directly from a trading co, and approved by our tech, for $3400 Cdn (includes tax, delivery, tuning, artist bench, 5 yr warrnty). They're even delivering it today! I am quite excited, and even wish I (and not just my 6 y.o. son) could play this beautiful instrument. Who knows, maybe later in life with more time on my hands...

Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324503
01/28/08 10:57 PM
01/28/08 10:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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Craigen  Offline
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West Coast
Congratulations on your new piano!


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324504
01/30/08 04:20 AM
01/30/08 04:20 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
Congrats. Sounds like you got a good one. That tech approval is worth every penny and a small price for your peace of mind.


www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE
Re: Need advice on Yamaha U1 vs. U2 #324505
02/15/08 11:33 AM
02/15/08 11:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 5
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fi5ban Offline
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fi5ban  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 5
fyi i just purchased a yamaha u1 2002 for 3900 with delevery 1 free tuning and take my 88 yr old piano in nebraska


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