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#1893558 - 05/08/12 02:39 PM Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3
KC&EC Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Washington DC area
If you can get U1 or K3 for the same price, which one would you pick and why?

thanks

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#1893560 - 05/08/12 02:40 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
Andy Platt Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2334
Loc: Virginia, USA
I picked the K3. Warmer tone.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
    My Hungarian Period wink

Kawai K3

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#1893570 - 05/08/12 03:04 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
Enrico Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 71
Loc: NJ
Come on . Really? I don't sell either product , but the yamaha u1 is a much better instrument in terms of it's structural build. A full perimeter plate. Sturdier back post construction and some sustain of treble tone while the kawai tends to be a bit muffled. I know k3 won the mmr dealer award for the millionth time in a row, but this is voted on by people who sell them and Kawai has more dealers in the USA than any other piano manufacturer and they have a drive every year to call all their dealers and tell them to vote for the k3. I have this last bit of information from a very credible source. Kawais action is also very very light. As a pianist myself I feel this limits dynamic control and most music is played at a mezzo forte or forte. A true controlled pianissimo is not easily done a piano with such a light action. Responsive is good, but light is not good. The k3 has a wholesale closer to the Yamaha t121. The true competitor to the u1 is the kawai k5. The k5 is structurally a better piano than the k3 and prices out similarly to the U1. (although still the very light action) many piano stores actually sell both Yamaha and Kawai. In all those stores Yamaha is the flagship product and if you can't afford it they will move back down to the Kawai. Just my two cents. Of course I believe there are many better values in this price point than these two pianos. But I just wanted to be straight forward and compare the two pianos asked about.
_________________________
Rick Aquino
Worldwide Piano
www.worldwidepianostores.com
732-777-7381

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#1893572 - 05/08/12 03:06 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I'd take the U1, which sells near $8000 and sell it. Then I'd buy a K3 which sells for thousands less, and take a nice vacation on the difference!

laugh
_________________________
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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#1893578 - 05/08/12 03:14 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: Steve Cohen]
Enrico Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 71
Loc: NJ
I have yet to see a u1 sell for $8000. Whatever the pricing I have seen about a thousand dollar difference.
_________________________
Rick Aquino
Worldwide Piano
www.worldwidepianostores.com
732-777-7381

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#1893607 - 05/08/12 04:23 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
I've been lucky enough to spend time playing both pianos. My favorite is the one I'm playing at the time.

I disagree about the Kawai action being lighter than the Yamaha action. At least that's not the case on the two I know.

If you can get a new U1 for the same price as a new K-3, I'd buy the U1! Then you can follow Steve's advice.
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1893638 - 05/08/12 05:21 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: Plowboy]
kurtie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
I disagree about the Kawai action being lighter than the Yamaha action. At least that's not the case on the two I know.


Me too. The Kawais I've tried have actions that I am not sure if I would call them heavy, but for sure I won't call them light. Yamahas I've tried were lighter.

Regards,
Kurt.-

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#1893663 - 05/08/12 05:48 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: kurtie]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
I could not make this decision so I bought both brands.

My Kawai K8 action is lighter than my Yamaha YUS5 action.

The Yamaha U1 is more comparable to the Kawai K5 as stated by another poster.

You can't lose either way. I think it's what feels good and sounds good to you at this point.

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#1893791 - 05/08/12 09:34 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
DougMorgan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Kelowna BC, Canada
For our last round of comparisons we looked at the U1 with a broadmann 52" upright (don't recall model) as well as the K3 and K5 and selected the U1 over all three, mostly because we preferred the sound. The U1 does have a firmer touch than the others but we found that we preferred that as well.

The K3 is a nice piano but I would take the K5 over the K3 and for sound at least probably the Broadmann over the K3 as well.

New U3's seem to be insanely over-priced in Canada so that was not a new option otherwise that likely would have been chosen over the U1. I was surprised when the piano was delivered how much fuller the sound was in our own home compared to the showroom which kind of negated at least one reason to consider the U3. Between the K3 and K5 though I think the sound quality rather than volume is the reason to prefer the K5.


We are very happy with the U1 and the only regret was that we couldn't find enough cash (or the will to spend it) for a 6'+ grand.

Good luck
Doug

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#1893818 - 05/08/12 10:16 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2633
Loc: Atlanta, GA
The K3 is a very good product, but it is not an equivalent product. That they are the same height is what is causing the confusion. For the quality equivalent, you have to look more at the K5 vs. U1. In this case, you have a true and close race among these traditional competitors.

Or you can go and buy a Hailun H-1P (and make the dealer prep it fully) and "take a nice vacation on the difference!" shocked wink
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1893844 - 05/08/12 11:34 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Congratulations on your U1. Tough choice to make!
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1893908 - 05/09/12 02:00 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Congratulations. U1s are solid uprights that hold a tune very well, rarely need repairs, and tend to be easy to sell should you ever choose to.

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#1894058 - 05/09/12 10:16 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Andy Platt Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2334
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
The K3 is a very good product, but it is not an equivalent product. That they are the same height is what is causing the confusion. For the quality equivalent, you have to look more at the K5 vs. U1. In this case, you have a true and close race among these traditional competitors.


While theoretically true - and definitely something the Yamaha salesman was telling me when I was shopping, the practical matter is that the K3 is a darn fine piano and, for many - including myself - is the better piano (though I can easily see why others would reverse that, different strokes for different folks). For what it's worth I did try the K5 as well and, for me, both beat the U1 but the K3 was "good enough" that the price difference to get the K5 wasn't worth it.

At least in my area (Northern VA), the U1 is priced much closer to the K3 than the K5 ...
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
    My Hungarian Period wink

Kawai K3

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#1894115 - 05/09/12 11:53 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: Andy Platt]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2633
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
While theoretically true...
Sound and feel are subjective to preference, but quality of construction is not subjective. For decades, Kawai's 48" uprights have been made to a significantly lesser standard than their 49"+ models. That's not theory.

In the competitive nature of Yamaha vs. Kawai, those higher standards are better reflected in U1 vs. K5.

I'm not a dealer for either. Continue to enjoy your K3. For the OP, if you're only looking for a Yamaha comparison, the K3 is probably somewhere between the T121 and the U1.

My earlier suggestion still applies...you would really benefit from including other brands in your selection and then see where you end up.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1894213 - 05/09/12 02:31 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I think that the Millennium action adds value to the K3 when compared to the U1, so I find them to be comparable in value.

Of course, as a Kawai dealer, I would have to say that!!! smile
_________________________
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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#1894671 - 05/10/12 09:53 AM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
KC&EC Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Washington DC area
Thank you very one for sharing your inputs on this. I started this thread to find out what are the pro/con for each without concenring the price issue.

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#1895357 - 05/11/12 01:03 PM Re: Yamaha U1 vs. Kawai K3 [Re: KC&EC]
Enrico Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 71
Loc: NJ
To those of you who have tried the millennium 2 action, this is the extra light action I was referring to earlier. Older kawais do have a heavier and what I believe is a better action. As one earlier poster said. Sound is subjective. Construction is not. The u1 is constructed better than the k3. And I agree the k3 matches up better with the t121 Yamaha is quality of build. Don't be fooled by made in Japan. It is really how a piano is made not Where it is made. Like I said, there are many better made pianos at the same price point by other manufacturers. Do the research and you will find them. Dont necessarily pay for the name on the piano, pay for whats inside If I tell you several brands I fear I will be chastised for selling my wares on the forum.
_________________________
Rick Aquino
Worldwide Piano
www.worldwidepianostores.com
732-777-7381

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