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#1879646 - 04/14/12 04:54 PM Yamaha U300 vs. UX5
brooklynmommy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 6
I have my eyes on a 1996 Yamaha U300 which is refurbished in excellent condition. It will cost me $ 4500. On the other hand, I can order a1986 refurbished UX5 for about the same price. Which one should I go for? I need to make up my mind tomorrow . Can anyone help? Thanks a lot.

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#1879648 - 04/14/12 05:06 PM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: brooklynmommy]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2676
Loc: western Wisconsin
Buying a used piano you haven't played or had inspected by a technician is an unwise risk of your $4500. I have never seen or played a ux5 or u300 so it's difficult to say which started life as the better piano. At the age of 25 years, maintenance, use, and expertise and extent of "refurbishment" matter as much as the model or brand.
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#1879672 - 04/14/12 05:48 PM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: brooklynmommy]
brooklynmommy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 6
Both of them are from a used piano dealer. The dealer played the U 300 for me. It sounds great. The ux5 is from the same dealer. If I don't like the one I buy, I can exchange with no problem.

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#1879735 - 04/14/12 08:39 PM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: brooklynmommy]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Wouldn't happen to be a used dealer in Suffolk County?

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#1879769 - 04/14/12 09:39 PM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: brooklynmommy]
brooklynmommy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 6
Yes, it is a small used piano dealer in Suffolk county. Any experience with it?

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#1879846 - 04/15/12 02:02 AM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: brooklynmommy]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Neither is a current model designation for Yamahas sold in the U.S. While I don't know the details, it's tempting to guess that the U300 might be a Japanese-market ("gray market") variant on the 52" U3 upright and that the UX5 might be a predecessor to the current YUS5 (top of the line 52" Yamaha upright) with a fancy ("X") construction to the back of the piano. In any case, there are several important issues here.

First, you must play both or have someone play both for you to decide which sounds best to you. This is critical. Don't buy a piano you don't like the sound of. At one level, it's that simple, though of course there's more to it . . .

Second, you need to have the one you're most interested in (or both if they're both in the same place and you're not sure which way to go) inspected by a piano technician independent of the dealer. This is also critical, and absolutely worth the money before spending thousands of dollars on an used piano. Many many seasoned players and technicians have all agreed on this crucial point. Some gray market Yamahas were played to death in Japanese schools and "refurbished" often means little.

Third, it would help if a Yamaha dealer would come into this discussion to confirm or deny my hunches above about what these model designations signify. Such information should tell you how & why the UX5 is supposed to be better than a U300 (and how a U300 presumably has some advantages over a regular U3). It may be stuff of very little use for most players (like a sustenuto pedal) or it may be important (e.g., better hammers).

A decade of difference in age for the same price (assuming a tech says that the newer instrument does indeed have significantly more life left in it after looking at the hammers, etc.) is significant. If you don't have a big preference for the sound of the UX5 over the U300 and the UX5 truly does have significantly more wear, it would be wise to seriously consider the U300, as all 52" inch Yamaha U-series pianos start life as good instruments and tend to hold up well over time.

Let's hope a dealer familiar with these model designations will chime in here with more detail. 'Sorry I can't tell you more.

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#1880361 - 04/16/12 03:45 AM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: brooklynmommy]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
The U300 is a newer high end Yamaha gray market 52" uprt. The very few I have had in the past were twotone Ebony and Mahogany. They are very similar to the older Yamaha YUX with the big music rack, boston fallboard, agraffes in the bass and the X radial back. I believe it had sostenuto like the YUX Can't remember. Both the U300 and the YUX had a innovative Yamaha double step action design. I've never had a UX5 but believe they are a newer version of the UX3. The UX3 did not have agraffes or sostenuto. In Japan both Yamaha and Kawai mixed and matched cases and strung backs and created new mdls. Only the Yamaha dealers in Japan know the differences in the many many Yamaha mdls. in that Yamaha USA only imports a handful of them.
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#1881258 - 04/17/12 03:15 PM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: pianobroker]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
Originally Posted By: pianobroker
The U300 is a newer high end Yamaha gray market 52" uprt. The very few I have had in the past were twotone Ebony and Mahogany. They are very similar to the older Yamaha YUX with the big music rack, boston fallboard, agraffes in the bass and the X radial back. I believe it had sostenuto like the YUX Can't remember. Both the U300 and the YUX had a innovative Yamaha double step action design. I've never had a UX5 but believe they are a newer version of the UX3. The UX3 did not have agraffes or sostenuto. In Japan both Yamaha and Kawai mixed and matched cases and strung backs and created new mdls. Only the Yamaha dealers in Japan know the differences in the many many Yamaha mdls. in that Yamaha USA only imports a handful of them.



PB,

Not that it matters, but I think you've mistaken the UX300 for the U300, which except for a few case differences looks like a U3 from the outside, that is, no large music desk with mahogany accents, no x-back, nor agraffes.

Neither did the YUX have the big music rack or agraffes,(it had the three piece front) that was the YUA. The UX5 was similiar to the UX3 (three piece front), as you mentioned, but with the big music desk(no accents), agraffes, and sostenuto with mute lever(in some cases).

I would agree they are all good pianos, rivaling, if in good shape, some of today's top verticals, including Yamaha's. And as was mentioned, time and any alterations due to restoration or refurbishing, will also dim somewhat the original designers intentions.


Mike
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#1881808 - 04/18/12 03:21 PM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: brooklynmommy]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
You're right Mike, I did misread the U300 with the UX300. In any event I have had a few U300 in the past. They are basically a newer 52" ebony polish uprt.similar to the U30BL and or the U30A. Both these are again a bit different than a traditional U3. These were the mdls. that replaced the U3 as for production and distribution in Japan post 1986 and other countries worldwide where the U3 is not sold. The USA is one of those where one can still buy a new U3.

You're right again. Again I've had both the YUA sand the YUX though they are harder to get nowadays. I've imported and sold thousands of these gray market high end uprts. After a while it is just a blur.
Thanx for keeping me in check, Mike grin
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www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#1882260 - 04/19/12 10:03 AM Re: Yamaha U300 vs. UX5 [Re: pianobroker]
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 714
Loc: BANNED
PB,

I like your posts which is why this one had me scratching my head a bit. Yamaha and Kawai both went out of their way to ingeniously drive people nuts with their numbering system. I've often wondered why Yamaha didn't push the x-models, a european design, in America, unless it was because American salesfolks were so fond at pointing out the number of backposts as some sign of quality which didn't help astin-weight, either, come to think of it, with no backposts.


Mike
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