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#119093 - 11/11/07 10:56 PM Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Harling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 92
Loc: Victoria BC

My son and I are off to visit a Yamaha U7 tomorrow, its going to be a 5-6 hour round trip, but we are hoping to have fun. If we are interested in the piano, we will have an independent tech look it over for us prior to purchase.

What do people think of the U7?

This is what I know about this particular piano - all from the current owner who has had it since 1992. It is being sold due to a move of house and not enough room, combined with the fact the piano playing son lives thousands of miles away and has no room either.
Its a 1984 model, apparently well cared for. It has been in western Canada since at least 1991, but the Yamaha website says the serial number indicates it is not for the American market (not sure if that means it is grey market, or if it would say that if sold into Canadian market). In any case, it has been tuned for years by a former Yamaha technician and given good marks by him for its condition.

I cannot find out much about the U7, most of what I have found out is on a few threads on Piano World and it sounds like a pretty good piano. Is it roughly equivalent to the U5 - does it have any additional features over and above the U5? What else would it be comparable to in terms of quality, features and so on?

Thanks for any insights you might have, I look forward to hearing from you.


BTW, for the curious who are not familiar with the U7 (which seems to be a majority) here is the thread that I could find with the most information in it: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/5262.html#000000

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#119094 - 11/12/07 12:27 AM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
RichterForever Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 157
Loc: Singapore
I have never known of the existence of the U7 but have certainly heard and even tried an SU7. The SU7 is Yamaha's finest upright they are currently producing. It is supposedly hand-made using the finest materials. Apparently its got the same scale design as the U5 or YUS5. The cabinet is made from premier quality wood. Like the YUS5, its got Roslau strings, and Wurzen felt for the hammers.
Yamaha C3, Yamaha CVP 405

#119095 - 11/12/07 09:15 AM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
GoatRider Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/07
Posts: 460
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
Is this one of the few uprights that has a proper sustenado pedal?
- Benton Jackson. Permanent piano novice.
Kawai RX-2 #2555861 in Satin Walnut
Kawai ES6

#119096 - 11/12/07 11:45 AM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
A little while back when searching for an upright, I read the PW posts about the U7 as well and found one on Craigslist.

From my memory - it was very contemporary looking. No front legs and the wood was teak if I recall. Not my style so I didn't go look at it once I saw the picture.

I hope it works out for you. LL
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#119097 - 11/12/07 11:48 AM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10779
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
The U7 was the "top of the line" Yamaha upright.

It was built based on the G2 scale and does have sostenuto as well as agraff construction with a duplex scale.

I think it one of the best mass-produced uprights.
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Since 1937.

My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

#119098 - 11/12/07 12:01 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
I. Bruton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 861
Loc: Raleigh
I have an old Yamaha brochure from the era that you mentioned (I believe it was printed in November, 1981).

Here's what it says about the U7:

88 keys 51 1/2" high, 60" wide.
27" deep, 561lbs.
Agraffe construction,
Third Pedal: Full sostenuto
Hammer Felt: 2-layer Royal George,
Humid-a-Seal Pin Block,
finished in vertical grain Teakwood

It also mentions the following on the back page:
Soundboard Material: Solid Spruce
Acoustibar 2
Full-length ribs
Grand Piano Key Travel
Metal Action Rail
Balanced Action
Unique Stringing Method (no further details given)
Cut Thread Tuning Pin
Steel Casters

I hope this helps.
I. Bruton
B.A. Music Composition
M.M. Music Education
High School Choral Director
Church Music Director
Pianos owned: Yamaha C3
Pianos at work: Yamaha P22, Kawai K3, Steinway B

#119099 - 11/12/07 12:15 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1769
Loc: Massachusetts
I played a U7 once. It sounded very much like a Yamaha U series piano.

#119100 - 11/12/07 12:16 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Harling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 92
Loc: Victoria BC
I. Bruton - fantastic! What a resource these forums and their members are. Thanks so much.
S. Cohen - thankyou as well for your information. And everyone else for your input. Appearances are not a big deal in our household, so that will not be a consideration (or not much anyway)
We are setting off soon and I will let you all know what we think. My son is not a huge Yamaha fan, but this model is supposed to have a mellower tone, so I am thinking it might please him.

#119101 - 11/12/07 01:12 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
SylviaM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Metchosin BC
Dear Harling,

I'm so glad you're going to see it--it sounds good!

Re: the tone--it seems from what I read here that it is possible for a technician to do things with the tone of pianos (but hey, I'm a flute player and I know beans about pianos). Jurgen Goering (Supply) who posts here lives pretty close to where this U7 lives, I think--if you are interested, maybe you could ask him for some advice?

Hope you have a good trip--it's pretty wet out there today. Let us know how it turns out! You're a nice dad!

Take care--

#119102 - 11/12/07 08:37 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Harling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 92
Loc: Victoria BC
Sylvia, you were going to be my first contact about this since you put us onto the piano. I can't thank you enough as I would have missed it, I did not even know there was a Nanaimo Craigslist.

My son loves the U7 - it has a tone he really likes, though his initial impressions are that the upper octave and half or so are a bit bright for his tastes. The action is great, the bass is wonderful, the piano is in good condition. It is a bit of an odd ball in appearance, but I quite like the teak look, and can certainly live with the piano on the furniture side of things.

So, we are going to buy the piano (provided it checks out OK). I too had thought of Jurgen (Supply) and he has agreed to do the technical check on it. This is so great - you both responded to an earlier thread I started and it looks like we are going to end up with a great deal more piano that we thought we could afford. Can hardly wait to have it in the house, acclimatised and set up to my son's liking, with him at the key board. He too is excited. And what a relief, to have the search over....Its been months.

As someone is bound to ask, we are paying the asking price which seems like a pretty good deal, at least in this part of the world, $5,700 (hard to know what a good deal is as these pianos are not very common, but the price seems to be only 700$ more than early 80's U3's around here). I guess if it does not check out OK, the price might have to come down, but I really don't see that happening. [Edit: oops, that was $5,500, the mover was $225]

Sounds from the owner that the piano, which has a 1984 serial number, was not sold until 1991 - the person she bought it from had got if for her grandkids who refused to play it. So when she bought it in 1992 it had not been played.

Now what to do with a very well used 1912 54" Willis??

[Edit-removed my son's name from this thread for the sake of more privacy for him]

#119103 - 11/12/07 08:48 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
SylviaM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Metchosin BC
Oh, Harling, I'm thrilled for you and your son! I taught flute for years (too busy now with three little ones), and it was always, always so very exciting when a good student finally had an instrument worthy of his/her skills--there's this great leap forward in both ability and confidence that a good instrument gives you.

Glad you got home safe and sound in this monsoon--my husband had to come home from work a different way, because of roads closed by flooding.

Congratulations on your new piano, laddie! Give your folks a great big hug!!!

Best wishes,

#119104 - 11/12/07 09:28 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Harling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 92
Loc: Victoria BC
For those of you that are curious as to what the piano looks like, here are some pics:

#119105 - 11/13/07 01:05 AM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
SylviaM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Metchosin BC
Great pictures! It's nice to see it!


#119106 - 11/13/07 01:46 AM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 15090
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
The U7 is a truly superb piano and definitely the best upright among all Yamahas I ever played.

Beats me why they are not making it anymore...

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#119107 - 11/15/07 05:17 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Harling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 92
Loc: Victoria BC
Our U7 has arrived!!!!

Last week SylviaM let us know about the advertisement - thank you Sylvia for such a selfless act when you too are shopping.

On Monday we drove up island and looked at it, and loved it.

On Tuesday Supply (of Nanaimo) checked it out for us - he happened to be going up to the Parksville area for other things so could do it right away. Jurgen you have no idea how big a grin I had when you told me on the phone that we had "a real gem of an instrument". Thank you so much for fitting us in quickly like that, and your other help too.
On Wednesday James Enterprises of Victoria picked up the piano. They too had an up-island trip planned for that day and added us to their list, for a discounted rate no less!! Great moving job - very slick, good communication.
On Wednesday night, their truck had problems, so we had to wait. You can imagine what that was like, after we were totally ready for it to come after dinner last night.
And today at 1:30, the U7 came to its new home.
And now - it is sitting patiently waiting for my son to come home from school. The fall board is locked, and we are leaving the pleasure of unlocking for him. I can hardly wait to hear it played. And to see him play it.

Photos of the arrival and current state of waiting:

And a big thank you to everyone else from Piano World that helped us, offered opinions, shared knowledge, and so on. And same to Ron Giesbrecht (Manager of Piano Tech Support) of Yamaha Canada who dug around in old records and confirmed that the piano was shipped to Canada and sold to a Yamaha dealer not long after it was made, and gave me a bunch of information about the U7's - very quick, informative and friendly responses.

#119108 - 11/15/07 06:10 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
SylviaM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Metchosin BC
Well, it's 3:09 as I type this--so school should be out soon!!!! How exciting!

Congratulations once again! How terrific that everything went so smoothly--I still think it was destiny! Your son and that piano were meant to be together.


#119109 - 11/16/07 08:56 AM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
I. Bruton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 861
Loc: Raleigh
Congratulations...I would love a chance to play a U7.
I. Bruton
B.A. Music Composition
M.M. Music Education
High School Choral Director
Church Music Director
Pianos owned: Yamaha C3
Pianos at work: Yamaha P22, Kawai K3, Steinway B

#119110 - 11/16/07 12:30 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4346
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
That piano is a rare find. I import preowned Yamaha and Kawai pianos from Japan by the hundreds
and I've never had a U7 that new in 10 years. I've seen considerably older Teak ones but never that newer vintage. Congrats !!
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#119111 - 11/16/07 01:51 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Agathis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 420
Loc: Southwest
love love love that teak finish!!! i love pianos like this, top of the line upright, somewhat unconventional color/design, is AWESOME. \:\)

tell us this, hows the lower quarter sound? looong strings, muy bueno! i bet wonderful.

#119112 - 11/16/07 04:01 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
gutenberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 385
Loc: Wichita, Kansas
this is an enjoyable thread. it does play out like destiny. and i really do like the looks of the piano. i'm very curious now about how it feels and sounds. Congratulations and Enjoy!

#119113 - 11/17/07 04:49 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
I have serviced about a half dozen of these teak beauties over the years. They are great. Congratulations. I will always remember my fishing trip to Campbell River. We went through Nanimo on the way. Beautiful countryside. Friendly folks. Great fishing.
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

#119114 - 11/17/07 04:57 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1930
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Congrats on the U7. \:D (Someone (was it you?) recommended I look for a U7 while I'm searching for a piano.)

Question for you techs out there... What's the difference between the U7, and the U5, WX-7, YUS5, etc?
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
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1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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#119115 - 11/17/07 05:14 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
ASOP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 144
Loc: USA
Great find. You will not be dissapointed. Yamahas are known to be built to last and to be played.

#119116 - 11/17/07 06:15 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Harling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 92
Loc: Victoria BC
Nice to hear so many supportive comments. \:\)

We are loving the deep rich tone of this piano - it is remarkable how you really hear the differences once a piano is at home. My son is having a bit of tendonitis problems these days, so has not had a chance to play it a lot, but what he has played is giving us a sense of what a lovely piano it is. The sustain is high class. The lower and middle registers are fantastic, but really it all sounds great.

My son was concerned when we tried out the piano in its old home that the upper octave or so was a bit bright, but now that it is in our house he says this is no longer a problem. I presume the acoustics here are different. He does not really think this piano has a sound typical of Yamahas, or at least of the U1, U3 and U5's that he has played - it is a bit hard to get more than 3 sentences out of him (typical 15 year old I am afraid) but I think the reason he feels this way is the mellower tone. He is not sure yet whether the action might be a bit heavy for him, but this could just be related to his tendonitis and won't be able to tell for a while, or possible its a matter of getting used to the longer keys, though he plays on a grand at his lessons, and other places too so is pretty used to this aspect.

It is still remarkably well in tune considering it travelled from Vancouver to the island and then again down the island and I dont think has been tuned for a year or so.

So, he is very very pleased, and the rest of us are too. Once the piano is settled in and set up I will see if he will record something to post here so you can hear what it sounds like.

Harling \:\)

#119117 - 11/17/07 07:48 PM Re: Yamaha U7: Opinions?
Secondo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 312
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I just took a look at the photos of your piano. I think it is beautiful and the hammers look like they are in great shape. Best wishes.
Baldwin SF-10 320152, Marshall & Wendell, Steinway B


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