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?
The most popular used piano
We should first qualify our claims about the used Yamaha U1 piano’s popularity. Our website, chicagopianos.com, 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.