It’s official, a used Yamaha U1 piano is the most requested piano in the entire industry.

This is only news insomuch as it hasn’t been proclaimed in print as much as it has long been suspected, until now. A used Yamaha U1 piano is by far the most sought after used piano model, representing 35% of all inquiries. Considering that the remaining 65% represents piano inquiries for the entire industry, spanning literally thousands of brand names and over 100 years’ worth of products, this is quite a testimony to the popularity of this particular model number. It begs the question, why?

Used Yamaha U1 professional upright piano

The most popular used piano

We should first qualify our claims about the used Yamaha U1 piano’s popularity. Our website,, fields as much as 50 inquiries a day from people all over the world seeking information about buying a piano. Because our site has more images of new & used pianos than any other retail piano website in the country, the inquiries we receive are very broad in nature. When we first posted this blog in 2011, we studied the previous three months of used piano inquiries in our database and 43% specifically asked about U1. In 2016, the same study showed a used Yamaha U1 was mentioned in 35% of the inquiries.

While the percentage has gone down a little, it’s important to note that hardly any other model even registers on this list.  The used Yamaha U1 piano is a thing.

In all fairness to the rest of the industry, this isn’t much of a surprise for several reasons:

1) Yamaha has made the U1 for half of a century worldwide without changing the model. Very few manufacturers have models that have been available even a fraction of the time.

2) The Yamaha U1 does have an excellent reputation for being a terrific, durable, professional upright piano so it stands to reason that it is highly requested.

3) Yamaha’s competitor Kawai, changes models from time to time…and from country to country, so they don’t really have a chance to compete in this contest, even though a couple of Kawai’s taller, yet comparably priced used models (along with a used Yamaha U3) could eat a U1 for lunch.

4) Yamaha has made more U1 pianos than the total of all models produced by most piano manufacturers.

5) Many cultures ONLY request Yamaha U1’s, so with that sort of brand/product loyalty, the piano has tremendous presence.

It is important to remember, however, that not all used Yamaha U1 pianos do not weather time the same. This is why the price range for U1’s wildly varies on the wild wild web. Also keep in mind that age doesn’t often have much to do with resale value. We recently had a 5 year old U1 that rightfully sold for less than half the price of one that was 40 years old due to how it was cared for. The cabinets both pianos looked great but the insides told a different story. Used Yamaha U1 and U3 pianos imported from Asia also have a very wide range of quality…and therefore a wide price range as well. There is a LOT to know about these pianos when simply shopping price on the lawless internet, where “mint condition” has no legal definition so please feel free to contact us for more information. You can also Click here for Buying Tips that you will likely find to be most valuable if you’re looking for information on buying a used piano.

Cordogan’s tries to obtain as many used Yamaha U1 pianos and used Yamaha U3 pianos as we can get but good ones are often difficult to find — especially ones that have been cared for well, so please check our used piano inventory or call 630.584.5000 to see what we currently have in stock.  Our prices not only represent the best value you’ll be able able to find anywhere in the U.S. but you can also have the security of buying from a reputable, family-owned company established in 1950!

Does all of this talk of Yamaha U1’s mean YOU should want one? Not necessarily. It just means that it’s an easy product to research because it is widely popular on a global level and because it doesn’t have much competition given its long history and widespread popularity. There are definitely pianos that might be a better value for you, depending on your circumstances and use.

Also there are still plenty of issues to discuss if you should find yourself considering a used Yamaha U1 piano, so please contact us at 630.584.5000 for more information.


Cordogan’s Pianoland / Chicago Pianos . com featured in Suburban Life Weekly!

Read the article and view photos of Cordogan’s Pianoland, Illinois’ largest piano store!

The “Grand Piano Mute Rail” from!

Up until recently, there was no solution for owners of player grand pianos who found their pianos to be too loud. We have the solution! The Grand Piano Mute Rail from quiets the piano considerably for both pianists and player piano systems where the music is simply too loud. This device is easily retrofitted in the home and allows a pianist to enjoy the authentic action of their grand piano instead of considering a digital piano option. This device also solves the common problem of “note drop out” on player piano systems which occurs when the volume level is turned down to its lowest possible level in an attempt to achieve quiet playing levels.

So enjoy your grand piano without disturbing the family…the neighbors…the dead. 🙂

Please call 630.584.5000 for more information and watch the video!

New piano images online…and why this helps YOU. is proud to have the largest collection of new piano images anywhere on the web. If you are looking for a new piano, you have probably found the frustration of not being able to actually SEE in person what you have found online. There are good reasons for this unfortunate problem. We’ll address that first, then address our unique and truly ground breaking solution.

Leading up to and during this recession, over a dozen (and counting) piano stores closed in the greater Chicagoland metro area. That’s over half of the store fronts. Those that remain have tightened their belts, reducing their inventory substantially — a recipe for survival. But that doesn’t help you and your desire to see what you are looking to buy.

Making matters worse, a major finance company who specializes in floor planning for piano retailers waived good riddance to the industry in 2009 amid all these store closures, leaving many remaining dealers with the inability to stock product. To top it all off, consumers naturally want “internet pricing” along with the convenience of seeing a huge selection locally at a full service dealer.

Please allow me to digress in order to best illustrate the problem piano buyers face. I recently decided it would be a good idea to buy a high quality fire safe for my family’s documents and data. I’m not talking about a Home Depot safe. High security fire safes for documents and data are very expensive and aren’t sold through mass merchants.

I began my search online with the various manufacturers (along with dealers who incidentally came up in the search) and saw plenty of models from several manufacturers I was interested in seeing in person. I began Googling local retailers and was disheartened to find that this is an industry that has gone viral. In the words of one local locksmith / security expert here in Chicago, “No one wants to stock safes anymore because no one can have a showroom with a knowledgeable staff, carry the expensive inventory AND compete with online retailers who have none of that.”

My continued search upheld his sentiments. The days of actually touching a high quality fire safe before buying are pretty much gone. There seemed to be only a few online safe retailers who stock the product AND sell competitively online. Unfortunately, none of them are in Chicagoland.

It was at that time that my deja vu kicked in and I realized that the piano industry is sadly almost at that point. Piano buyers will quickly realize this when they take to the web to visit all the manufacturer sites — seeing all the various models and finishes, only to find that their local retailers don’t have the pianos on the floor.

Our 30,000 sq. ft. megastore is one of the top three largest piano stores in the country — but even still we can’t stock every model and finish from every manufacturer we represent. Despite having several hundred pianos in stock it doesn’t put a dent in what our manufacturers have to offer. To help with this problem, we photograph every instrument we have because manufacturers either don’t…or don’t do it properly, which is the subject of this blog entry.

This is where you come in. As you visit piano manufacturer sites, you’ll quickly see that they don’t have pictures of every model in every finish. Those they DO have, are professional photographs — free from glares, shadows and reflections — the very characteristics that would have provided you with some indication of what the piano actually looks like.

If you click on our new piano inventory, you’ll see all the manufacturer logos for which we are an authorized dealer. Every image we post is carefully taken to best represent what the piano looks like in person. We like glare…shadows…and reflections! We pay close attention to the camera settings to be sure the colors in the image are true to the colors of the pianos — something it seems manufacturers forget to ask of their professional photographers.

Additionally, there are many models and finishes offered by manufacturers that they’ve never even seen let alone photographed. For instance, Yamaha offers a DC5 Disklavier in snow white. If you would like to see what that looks like, you’ll need to go to our site because we have the only picture of it on earth. 🙂 Also, if you would like to see a Yamaha 5’3″ GC1 in satin mahogany, we custom-made that finish…or an Estonia 168 with nickel hardware, we custom-ordered that piano. A Yamaha CGP1000 in polished mahogany or a pink Modus F01? Visit our site to see what they look like because the rest of the world doesn’t even know those finishes are possible!

The end result is that our website has more new piano images and options for you than any other piano website. We not only have our own images posted (which are usually better than the manufactures’) but we also post the manufacturers images for those pianos that we have never had in stock, giving you the best of both worlds. On top of that, we offer finish options that the manufacturers don’t, so you’re not limited to what THEY offer — you’re limited to what is humanly possible.

Our site is a one-stop shop for over a dozen of the top piano manufacturers. With that we’re happy to answer you questions by phone (630.584.5000) or in person and hopefully earn your business. Hope this makes your online hunting easier! Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Cordogan’s has the largest selection of pre-owned Kawai & Yamaha pianos in Chicagoland and they’re all on sale now!

Cordogan’s has the largest selection of pre-owned Kawai & Yamaha pianos in Chicagoland and they’re all on sale now!

Yamaha C3If you’re looking for a “looks like new, priced like used” Yamaha or Kawai piano, this is the sale for you!

Many of these pianos have CERTIFIED WARRANTIES FROM THE MANUFACTURER!  Others have warranties from Cordogan’s — which should be of equal comfort to consumers since Cordogan’s has been in business longer than both Yamaha and Kawai have been in business in the U.S.!   Eleven Chicagoland piano stores have closed in the past two years, so when buying a used piano, choose your dealer wisely since your warranty relies on the future of your dealer!

All of our used pianos are thoroughly inspected and reconditioned to meet the specifications of the Piano Technicians Guild — a protocol that very few dealers anywhere are willing and capable of upholding.  Among other things, this assures you that the piano you buy from Cordogan’s — and the ~10,000 parts therein will perform to the level that the manufacturer originally intended.  Considering that many of the specifications of the moving parts require tolerances of less than 3/1000ths of an inch, this is no small feat!  The whole process can take days of preparation.

Yamaha C7Cordogan’s also has an on-site restoration shop and buffing room that allows us to spin a buffing wheel (like those used on automobiles) to return the polished ebony finishes to their original luster — free of swirl marks, packing material marks…and even scratches.  Strip mall stores can’t perform this type of work!

Between our internal and external restoration processes, along with our unmatched history / reputation in Chicago, Cordogan’s can truly provide a great value with a comfort level that no other dealer can match.  And now with prices being reduced on our used inventory, the value just got even better.

Be sure to view our Buying Tips and FAQ page for other valuable tips on buying a piano!  Please feel free to call co-owner John Cordogan directly at 773.383.1734 with any questions you may have.

Kawai K6Our store hours are posted here. 

If you’re planning on visiting our west-suburban Geneva megastore, please use the directions listed here.  Navigation and online map services do not work with our address. 

Thank you!