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#1697301 - 06/18/11 12:34 AM Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model?
BTR1975 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/17/11
Posts: 2
I found a Yamaha U1 that I was planning on purchasing, but now I'm starting to think it's a gray market item and I'm looking for some guidance.

It's a 1971 model, but it does not have the middle pedal. Also, on the inside of the soundboard the model is "No. U1," not just U1 like on the newer models. The last thing I found interesting was a stamp on the back that said "Made in Japan." Did Yamaha send two-pedal models to the US during this time period?

I played this piano and I really liked it, but I'm weary that it could be a bad choice. I checked it out and there seems to be nothing wrong with it. It actually plays and sounds better than most other U1's I've ever played.

Is the whole Yamaha "Seasoned for Destination" thing as important as some make it sound? This piano has been in my area for at least 15 years--if it was going to damage from the climate, wouldn't it have started the process already?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Edited by BTR1975 (06/18/11 12:36 AM)

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#1697327 - 06/18/11 02:37 AM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: BTR1975]
PianoShop.ol.sg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 21
Loc: www.SingaporePianos.com
Normally YAMAHA U1 has 3 pedals. The model no. shoud be U1F, U1G, U1H around 1970s if made in Japan.
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#1697401 - 06/18/11 09:26 AM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: BTR1975]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10790
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
This topic has been debated here many times, with varying opinions. A good, relatively objective article on grey market pianos can be found at http://www.pianobuyer.com/spring11/58.html.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#1697432 - 06/18/11 10:54 AM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: BTR1975]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 558
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Originally Posted By: BTR1975
Is the whole Yamaha "Seasoned for Destination" thing...


Miami or Minneapolis?
San Fransisco or Savannah?
Las Vegas or Louisville?

Pure marketing scare tactics, sir.

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#1697446 - 06/18/11 11:27 AM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: Guapo Gabacho]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10790
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Guapo Gabacho
Originally Posted By: BTR1975
Is the whole Yamaha "Seasoned for Destination" thing...


Miami or Minneapolis?
San Fransisco or Savannah?
Las Vegas or Louisville?

Pure marketing scare tactics, sir.


A little research will show that it is not as simple as you think.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#1697470 - 06/18/11 12:17 PM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 558
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Only dealers say things like that.

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#1697471 - 06/18/11 12:17 PM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: BTR1975]
BTR1975 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/17/11
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies. However, I'm more interested in whether or not this particular model I bought was built for the US market rather than the gray market debate at this point. Did Yamaha ever send two-pedal pianos to the US, or were they exclusive for the Japanese market?

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#1697472 - 06/18/11 12:19 PM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: BTR1975]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 558
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas

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#1697477 - 06/18/11 12:34 PM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: BTR1975]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10790
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Yamaha did not import 2 pedal uprights to the US.

Jasosn Music Center was the oldest Yamaha dealership in the US, having started carrying new Yamaha pianos is 1961. The original instruments imported were not seasoned and had major issues, all of which Yamaha addressed. They soon began seasoning the pianos that were destined to come the the US.

The comment that "Only dealers say that". is false. Also, I no longer sell new Yamahas and DO sell grey market Yamahas. Therefore my statement that seasoning was done and did make a difference does me no good.

Guapo, may I ask what factual basis you make your statement on?

Mine is made based on my visit to the Yamaha factory in Hammamatsu in the late 60's where I saw the process 1st hand.

I am not herein claiming that it still makes a difference as the grey martket pianos brought to the US are generally stable. However, they do pose a higher risk that those that are seasoned for destination as their failure rate is higher.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

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

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#1697482 - 06/18/11 12:56 PM Re: Yamaha U1--Gray Market Model? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 558
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Guapo, may I ask what factual basis you make your statement on?


No.

I could buy properly seasoned, but seasoned for the US is bull plop.


Edited by Guapo Gabacho (06/18/11 03:26 PM)

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