The Yamaha U1 is a great piano in every way, and any pianist who owns one can’t go wrong. Whether you are a beginner or a classical concert pianist, it suits you.
But what makes the Yamaha U1 so good? Why is it the piano of choice for institutions, schools, and pianists around the world?
Today’s piano market is a real jumble of piano makers in different countries around the world.
As you might expect, many pianos are made in China. Some are made in Indonesia and Japan, others in Europe and the United States.
You will often find that pianos made in Europe, the United States, and Japan are higher quality, while more budget pianos are made in China and Indonesia.
However, Yamaha’s U 1 series has been manufactured in Japan since the 1960s. The manufacturing facilities there have been honing their skills for 50 years.
Interestingly, Yamaha once owned a British piano company called Kemble and made U1 in their British factory.
Now Yamaha Corporation’s U 1 series is made in Japan. So whether you’re buying a brand new or 30 year old U1, you can make sure the quality and performance levels are consistent.
Manufacturing is an art form in Japan, where factories are among the most automated in the world.
Whether Yamaha, Kawai, or any other brand, Japanese pianos are among the most uniform pianos ever made, designed primarily for maintenance and longevity. Although they may be more expensive than pianos made elsewhere, there is nothing wrong with buying a piano made in Japan.
The delicate touch and rich timbre
The Yamaha U 1 has a very rich and resonant timbre. It’s perfect for classical music of any age, as well as jazz, pop, and rock. Yamaha does a good job of making pianos that are so powerful and versatile.
Although the Yamaha U1 hasn’t excelled in any of these areas. It’s certainly not perfect for many of these types, but it’s still a very good sound.
The Yamaha piano is very bright. Yamaha pianos may produce the brightest timbre of any major manufacturer, except for Essex pianos, which become very bright even shortly after tuning.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. One sound is too mellow, and the crisp, live sound you get from the Yamaha upright is very pleasing to the ear. It’s not as round as the Steinway.
One thing to consider is that the Yamaha does get brighter with age.
If you don’t adjust it for some time (a year or more), the tone becomes brighter than you want it to be.
It’s easy to fix. Ask the piano tuner to tune it, turn it down a bit, and then it’s much more comfortable.
If you like the crisp, lively sound of a piano, the Yamaha U 1 is infallible.
A precise, light movement
The movement of the Yamaha U 1 is extremely precise. The sound is perfect for any music, but it’s important to note that the action is the same.
It’s not too heavy. It’s not too light. It’s on the lighter side, but your control of the music is almost unmatched on the most expensive pianos.
For example, the Yamaha U1 responds admirably when playing demanding virtuoso music with ever-changing dynamics.
Whether it’s the late Beethoven Sonatas, Choppin ballads, and Schulze, or even a piano duet version of Stravinsky’s Rite of spring.
A zero secondary market for pianos suggests that pianos are either unreliable or, for some reason, do not retain their value well.
Yamaha U 1 has one of the strongest and most active markets for used pianos.
In other words, the Yamaha U1 is probably the easiest used piano to sell because they are known to be well made.
Price may be the only downside to the Yamaha U1, as they are well preserved and well made, so they don’t come cheap, but the value you get is second to none.
In general, if you want a piano that’s worth the money, the Yamaha U1 is the best value for money.