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Hi, I'm from Israel, and here in piano forums there's a myth that the 1970's yamahas are far better than the new ones.
I couldn't see any opinion that support this in forums that I seeked, and I was told that I should ask technical forums.
So, what do you recommend, an 1970 U3 on about 5000$ or a new U1 in 9000$?
Also, what is the technical opinion about Hailun?

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I had a wonderful holiday in Israel in 2019.

Yamaha U3 and U1 are both fine pianos. I may be wrong about this - others with more experience can correct me - but I think that while U1 pianos are made in various countries for Yamaha, U3 are only made in Japan.

I haven't heard of older ones being superior, but again, others can correct me. It's worth remembering that a piano from the mid 1970s will have 45 years' wear on it (how worn, depending of course on how much played).

With any used piano, as with used cars, you have to think "age, mileage and service history".

Hailun pianos seem to be pretty impressive.

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According to my tech's opinion, newer Yamahas are more poorly built and all their changes over the years have been for the worse in order to cut costs.

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Originally Posted by GnGEmpire
According to my tech's opinion, newer Yamahas are more poorly built and all their changes over the years have been for the worse in order to cut costs.
I have seen no evidence to support this. Yamahas have always been very well built, and they still are.

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Yes I imagined there are probably opinions both way. Just shared the opinion that my technician happens to have.

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Opinions both ways are not a very good guide to truth. Evidence is better.

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Itung Offline OP
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Well, this is why I asked here, because you have experience with many pianos I guessed.
So I'm asking for evidence based opinions

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Originally Posted by Itung
Well, this is why I asked here, because you have experience with many pianos I guessed.
So I'm asking for evidence based opinions

Just think of it like this, the piano market and the whole world has become more competitive. Yamaha have since their founding as a piano manufacturer pushed their quality and the level at which their pianos compete upwards. They are a major global manufacturing company that are continually making improvements to their products. It would be frankly ridiculous not to expect improvements over the years and if you have someone suggesting the opposite it is probably just prejudice. This btw goes for all the major manufacturers not just Yamaha.

That said, in the old days there was I think more high quality timber and exotic hardwoods generally available than now, and the general level of woodworking hand skills in the workforce was higher. So if you value hand craftmanship and cabinetry above modern matching consistency and improvements from modern materials and incremental design changes and refinements over the years the perhaps, for you, the old pianos are better.

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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Itung
Well, this is why I asked here, because you have experience with many pianos I guessed.
So I'm asking for evidence based opinions

Just think of it like this, the piano market and the whole world has become more competitive. Yamaha have since their founding as a piano manufacturer pushed their quality and the level at which their pianos compete upwards. They are a major global manufacturing company that are continually making improvements to their products. It would be frankly ridiculous not to expect improvements over the years and if you have someone suggesting the opposite it is probably just prejudice. This btw goes for all the major manufacturers not just Yamaha.

That said, in the old days there was I think more high quality timber and exotic hardwoods generally available than now, and the general level of woodworking hand skills in the workforce was higher. So if you value hand craftmanship and cabinetry above modern matching consistency and improvements from modern materials and incremental design changes and refinements over the years the perhaps, for you, the old pianos are better.

As you asked for a direct recommendation between a new U1 and older U3 I recommend go play both and see which you like the best. Personally I had to make that same choice and opted for a 1980s UX3 as, for my tastes, it was a much better piano than the U1. Of course if I had had the budget for the modern equivalent of that UX3, say the YUS5 or SE132, the new piano would have been *far* better than my old UX3.
(If you are not familiar with, it the UX3 was at the time a higher grade version of the U3)

Last edited by gwing; 03/16/21 10:11 AM.
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Originally Posted by GnGEmpire
According to my tech's opinion, newer Yamahas are more poorly built and all their changes over the years have been for the worse in order to cut costs.

I'm inclined to suggest you find yourself a new technician, given his opinion on voicing and now this.


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I found this page informative. Scroll down to the heading "Yamaha models since 2001 are superior" for a list of differences with pictures.

https://faustharrisonpianos.com/used-yamaha-pianos/

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Hi,
I've tuned a number of new Yamahas at a local dealer. My only comment thus far: Darn those tuning pins on new Yamahas are tight!

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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
Hi,
I've tuned a number of new Yamahas at a local dealer. My only comment thus far: Darn those tuning pins on new Yamahas are tight!

I tuned an upright Essex or Boston (not sure which one it was!) when
I tuned for a Steinway showroom, and my arms almost fell off, the
pins were sooo tight! I have never before, nor since then, tuned a piano
with such tight pins. Does the Incredible Hulk know how to tune pianos?

It must have been some sort of mistake at the factory: Someone probably used the wrong size drill bit, or something like that.

But the good news is: The pins will only get looser with age!

grin


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Essex pianos are made by earl River, and Boston by Kawai.

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Originally Posted by pianofish
I found this page informative. Scroll down to the heading "Yamaha models since 2001 are superior" for a list of differences with pictures.

https://faustharrisonpianos.com/used-yamaha-pianos/

Somehow my 1985 u3as actually has not 4, not 5, but 6 backposts. (maybe it's an extra luxurious model? It also has sostenuto, i think that's what the "s" stands for.)

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It is the trademark of Japanese companies to try to constantly refine and improve their products and processes over time. I believe Japanese companies are the only companies in the world that have written one hundred year plans.

So, I do not believe that old Yamaha pianos are better than the new ones, and the new DYUS5 I own is far better than the rental U1 I had that was built in the 1970s. The old U1 blew up with huge crack one day. I also owned one of the Mark II Disklaviers and the DYUS5 is better than that piano.

I know that comparing models across decades is tricky. I maintain that, overall, modern Yamaha pianos are better built than those built in the past.

People like to romanticize the past, but the truth is that so many of the old products were actually worse than their modern equivalents.

A few anecdotes. I owned one of the first Honda Civics, back in the 1980s. It was a wretched, awful car. It was still carbureted, and had the most horrendous vacuum control system, and it barely ran. and the engine would quit at highway speeds. So, the Japanese did not stick to this design, they went to fuel injection, and they made the Civic one of the most reliable cars in the world.

I spent four years working for a multi billion dollar Japanese container shipping company. They came back from WWII after losing every ship, save one, because their ships were nationalized. Did they stick to the old breakbulk ships of the post WWII age to get to the level of a multi billion dollar companiy? Of course not. They scrapped the old and they sent with the new, constantly.

That page from Faust Harrison shows real world examples of the differences between the old models and the new models and I think those differences show how the new models are superior than the old models.

Last edited by LarryK; 03/17/21 06:02 AM.
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Well I wouldn't want the tone of my piano being sucked into tone collector bolts!


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Yes, and they are made from that rarest of all elements, Penultimatium.


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Originally Posted by WilliamTruitt
Yes, and they are made from that rarest of all elements, Penultimatium.

That's only the second rarest....

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And those 'improvements' for the 2000 onwards models were actually already there on my 1980s UX3 so the Faust Harrison article is more than a bit suspect. Except possibly those tone collector bolts - I can't remember if Penultanium had been invented back then.

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