Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1869322 - 03/27/12 04:26 PM Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano?
ErinEileen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey
I am considering buying a 1972 Yamaha U3 for $4500. I ran the serial number through Yamaha's website and found it was not made for the North America market, and I live in New Jersey. The piano sounds great, but I'm concerned with long term use - has anyone had any problems with this model? I've read many of the posts saying this is not an issue, but it is disconcerting when the manufacturer doesn't recommend purchase.

This is the first piano I've bought so I'm new to this...Thanks, Erin

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

#1869368 - 03/27/12 05:50 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ErinEileen]
mcours2006 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 32
Forty-five hundred dollars for a piano that is 40 years old seems a bit exorbitant to me. When I was in the process of buying a piano for my sons I initially really wanted a U1 or U3, but a new one was beyond our budget and used ones that were between 30-40 years old were selling between $3500-$4500. The idea of buying that old a piano for that much just didn't sit well with me. One has to ask how much musical life does a 40 YO piano have left before major work is required?

In the end we settled for a 12-yr. old Czech-made Petrof for about the same as a 30 year old Yamaha.

You might consider buying a new Chinese-made one that might not cost much more than the 40 YO Yamaha.

Top
#1869378 - 03/27/12 06:09 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ErinEileen]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2631
Loc: western Wisconsin
Considering the age of the instrument, that price seems high. It cost less than that as a new piano, and new full-size uprights 48-52" of entry level to average quality can easily be found for that price.

What exactly has been replaced on this $4500 piano? Have you had the piano inspected by an independent tech?
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

Top
#1869406 - 03/27/12 07:29 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ErinEileen]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Way too much money. I recently sold a good 20-year-old U3 and after trying to get $4,900 and then $4,500, all I could get in the end was $4,000.

These are solid, reliable instruments, but 40 years on any unrestored piano is asking for trouble and charging $4,500 is asking too much. Until recently I'd owned U series Yammy uprights for many years. My advice: hunt for one with a lower price and few miles on the odometer. Worry less about gray market issues. Good luck!

Top
#2024638 - 01/31/13 01:03 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: jivemutha]
ErinEileen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey
I am considering purchasing a P22 Yamaha upright - the dealer is asking $3000 plus delivery. Dealer said it was made in 1981. Serial # is T140646. In good condition. Is this a fair price? This is for my 12 y o daughter who has been playing for 5 years and is at an intermediate level. Thanks for all your help.


Edited by ErinEileen (01/31/13 06:38 PM)
Edit Reason: forgot price

Top
#2024639 - 01/31/13 01:03 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: jivemutha]
ErinEileen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey


Edited by ErinEileen (01/31/13 06:39 PM)

Top
#2025228 - 02/01/13 11:01 AM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ErinEileen]
ClassicU3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Chester County, PA
I just purchased a fully restored (A+ restoration) 1963 U3 for $4780 a couple of weeks ago. Mine was also not manufactured for the US market, so I'm assuming it's gray market. All wearable parts in the piano were replaced and it was beautifully refinished. Also came with a five-year parts/labor warranty. It is basically a new piano. I wouldn't expect to pay anywhere near that for a piano of that age that hadn't been restored. Unless this 1972 U3 has been restored to a certain degree, I think the price is too steep.


Edited by ClassicU3 (02/01/13 11:11 AM)
_________________________
H Weber
1963 Yamaha U3, Polished Mahogany (restored)

Top
#2025487 - 02/01/13 05:45 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ClassicU3]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Hi Erin,


These are the reasons why I would not purchase a 40 years old Yamaha Gray market.

The potential problems in a 40 years old piano are:

Death bass strings. (Copper wound string with no resonance)
Worn out bushings in the action, damper assembly and keyboard. Bushings are made of felt and they gradually deteriorated not only from use, but also the environment takes a toll. I have never seen a gray market piano with new strings and bushings.

Overly compressed hammers. The hammers in a piano can be voiced or reshaped. However these are maintenance and enhancement techniques that usually work better on new to 25 years old hammers depending on the use and the environment. The tonal quality in these instruments is usually one-dimensional, I will advise you to try pianos in a place where you can make tone comparisons.

NOBODY selling gray market pianos in North America knows the history of the piano and what the instrument was previously subject to, it is likely that the pianos were under heavy use.
It is not typical but possible to have problems with the sound-board system as well. The restoration of these instruments is mainly for a quick resale and it is kept to minimal, a proper restoration will trigger the price to the cost of a new piano.
Penny wise pound foolish: Yamaha makes great products; sort of many other less known brands. A new smaller Yamaha let say a U1 will cost you only about 35% more. In proportion the gray market should cost you about $2,500 which is what gray marketeers pay to the middle-man in North America.

If I were you buy a new piano even if it is smaller. You will enjoy it more and likely that you would not have anything to worry about and perhaps 20 to 30 years from now you or somebody in your family will find a sitting-duck who will buy it for more than you paid for today. wink


Edited by Kurtmen (02/01/13 05:46 PM)
_________________________
San Mateo Piano
Purveyors of:
Kawai, Wilh. Steinberg.
Kawai Digital Piano, Pianodisc.
<a href="http://sanmateopiano.com" style="color:#FF0505;font-size:10px;font-family:Times New Roman;text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" >http://sanmateopiano.com</a>

Top
#2025557 - 02/01/13 07:55 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: Kurtmen]
SteveM732 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 25
Loc: Beaverton, OR, USA
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
These are the reasons why I would not purchase a 40 years old Yamaha Gray market.

The potential problems in a 40 years old piano are:


The OP is now asking for advice on a 45" P22 built in Georgia in 1990 for the US market.

I offer a rebuttal for the answer you gave. I am an adult beginner that just bought his first piano so I write from that perspective. While I won't argue that a 40 year old piano can be a bit of an unknown and may not have a lot of life left, you have to consider the buyer's needs and budget before passing such dismissive judgement on a whole group of pianos that lots of people are buying and the only people complaining about them are the manufacturers and dealers of those brands. While the exact history of any used piano is usually unknown, the condition that use has resulted in can be evaluated fairly accurately. How many times have we heard the seller's line "Bought it new 10 years ago and last tuned it 5 years ago" and found out it was double or triple that?

Our piano needs were simple; good quality, good condition, good sound, and at the lowest price possible without sacrificing any of the previous points. We looked at new and used and in the end happened to walk into the Yamaha dealer right after they took a trade-in of a 1969 U3 that met all of these requirements. We're not going to be stressing this for hours an hours every day so why shouldn't it last us for 10 or 20 years?

A few pluses about our particular U3:
1) Inspected, tuned, and regulated by the Yamaha dealer
2) 5 year warranty with the Yamaha dealer
3) Lifetime trade-in policy
4) It was in the area before being traded-in so if it was going to implode in our climate then it likely would have done so already
5) It already sounded quite good as-is fresh from the trade-in so we knew what it was like before the dealer went over it
6) We were able to pay cash

Because of their trade-in policy we could decided tomorrow to go buy a new U1 (why we would want to, I don't know) and all it would cost us is about $2500 plus $330 for shipping both pianos. If it starts to have problems while in warranty we get them to fix it, if the warranty has expired and it is breaking down on us they'll take it as a trade-in and credit us what we paid. Where is the down side?

When we went to go pick up the piano we asked the dealer to play a bit on it so we could listen. As soon as he started to play other customers that had been looking at grand pianos gathered around to listen. If a guy playing Chopin on a grand stops what he's doing to step over and listen to a 1969 U3 being played then it must be an ok purchase for a rank amateur.

If you're experienced or have a lot of money, by all means, go buy a new piano.
_________________________
-Steve
1969 Yamaha U3

Top
#2025579 - 02/01/13 08:33 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: SteveM732]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Quote:
When we went to go pick up the piano we asked the dealer to play a bit on it so we could listen. As soon as he started to play other customers that had been looking at grand pianos gathered around to listen. If a guy playing Chopin on a grand stops what he's doing to step over and listen to a 1969 U3 being played then it must be an ok purchase for a rank amateur.


Steve this is completely subjective but also it doesn't make sense. Because if the end user is a skilled or professional player a 40 years old gray market piano will do the job but not to the best standards (for sure).
However if the end user is a casual or intermediate player, why wouldn't he/she be satisfied with a new piano at the same price from a less known brand. Instead of taking chances on a 20, 30 or 40 years old piano.
Either way the buyer is getting less for his/her money.
Anybody can buy this grade A Yamaha pianos direct from distributors for about $2,500 to $2,900. For those dealers without access to Yamaha or Kawai it is an alternative to capitalize on two well branded products. Those with access to new pianos usually would not buy gray market, because they are too expensive in relation to a new one.


Edited by Kurtmen (02/01/13 08:36 PM)
_________________________
San Mateo Piano
Purveyors of:
Kawai, Wilh. Steinberg.
Kawai Digital Piano, Pianodisc.
<a href="http://sanmateopiano.com" style="color:#FF0505;font-size:10px;font-family:Times New Roman;text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" >http://sanmateopiano.com</a>

Top
#2025916 - 02/02/13 01:44 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ErinEileen]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 384
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Some of those people are assuming the 40 year old piano is worn out because it's 40 years old and just has to be completely worn out. Lots of people buy pianos and take one lesson then poof it sits idle. I'd be finding out how much wear it had before just saying because it's old it's automatically shot.
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

Top
#2025924 - 02/02/13 02:01 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3521
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Nash. Piano Rescue
Some of those people are assuming the 40 year old piano is worn out because it's 40 years old and just has to be completely worn out. Lots of people buy pianos and take one lesson then poof it sits idle. I'd be finding out how much wear it had before just saying because it's old it's automatically shot.


True. My mid 60's U3 is in pretty good shape. I've done a bit of work on it, mainly key bushing and a few adjustments, but it's certainly not worn out and the pinblock is tight and holds a stable tune.

Top
#2026819 - 02/04/13 10:23 AM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: Kurtmen]
ClassicU3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Chester County, PA
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
These are the reasons why I would not purchase a 40 years old Yamaha Gray market.

The potential problems in a 40 years old piano are...


I guess I'll just chalk my restored 1963 gray market U3 up as an anomaly, then. I'll post a picture of my piano's internals so that you can then say you've seen a gray market piano with new strings, bushings, and just about any other wearable part.

It's true that nobody knows the true history of a gray market piano, but if the piano has been restored to a good condition, costs half of that of a new one, and plays/sounds/looks to your liking, who cares? Just because a piano has been "played hard" doesn't mean that it isn't any longer a good instrument if it's been restored. All "playing hard" will do is wear out wearable parts, which are replaceable.

I'm not saying that every restored gray market piano out there is great. I'm sure there are plenty of examples of poor restorations and pianos that are poor in condition or have issues. These are just realities in the used instrument market that you have to be aware of. It's definitely recommended to have a trusted piano tech inspect any used piano you are considering to buy to identify any issues. But I wouldn't shy away from a nice piano just because it is what is considered gray market or an older piano.
_________________________
H Weber
1963 Yamaha U3, Polished Mahogany (restored)

Top
#2026975 - 02/04/13 03:21 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ClassicU3]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ClassicU3
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
These are the reasons why I would not purchase a 40 years old Yamaha Gray market.

The potential problems in a 40 years old piano are...


I guess I'll just chalk my restored 1963 gray market U3 up as an anomaly, then. I'll post a picture of my piano's internals so that you can then say you've seen a gray market piano with new strings, bushings, and just about any other wearable part.
But I doubt very much all the wearable parts were all replaced. How about the entire action for example? The pinblock? Just refinishing the case can easily cost several thousand dollars.

Top
#2027050 - 02/04/13 06:00 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: ErinEileen]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Yamaha seasons its pianos for destination, and does not recommend grey market pianos for North America.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2027051 - 02/04/13 06:01 PM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: pianoloverus]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ClassicU3
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
These are the reasons why I would not purchase a 40 years old Yamaha Gray market.

The potential problems in a 40 years old piano are...


I guess I'll just chalk my restored 1963 gray market U3 up as an anomaly, then. I'll post a picture of my piano's internals so that you can then say you've seen a gray market piano with new strings, bushings, and just about any other wearable part.
But I doubt very much all the wearable parts were all replaced. How about the entire action for example? The pinblock? Just refinishing the case can easily cost several thousand dollars.


It's not likely that they'd refinish the case. Polyester can be buffed out unless it's in really bad shape.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2027382 - 02/05/13 11:20 AM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: pianoloverus]
ClassicU3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Chester County, PA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ClassicU3
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
These are the reasons why I would not purchase a 40 years old Yamaha Gray market.

The potential problems in a 40 years old piano are...


I guess I'll just chalk my restored 1963 gray market U3 up as an anomaly, then. I'll post a picture of my piano's internals so that you can then say you've seen a gray market piano with new strings, bushings, and just about any other wearable part.
But I doubt very much all the wearable parts were all replaced. How about the entire action for example? The pinblock? Just refinishing the case can easily cost several thousand dollars.


Well, my piano tech inspected the piano and informed me that everything that could be replaced was replaced. Looking at the internals of the piano, I'd have to say that I would agree. They even replaced felt that they didn't need to replace, like the felt between the piano frame and the case. Everything looks new. I would say that it's likely the pin block was not replaced, but it didn't need to be. After tuning the piano, my tech indicated that the pin block is good.

So far as finishing the case, I can't say for sure. It looks like it has been refinished as I can't imagine a 50-year old piano would look so good, and the finish doesn't strike me as having been an original color, although who knows what Yamaha did for finishes for the Japanese market. It definitely has a custom look to it, so I'm assuming it was refinished when restored.
_________________________
H Weber
1963 Yamaha U3, Polished Mahogany (restored)

Top
#2027390 - 02/05/13 11:29 AM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: beethoven986]
ClassicU3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 27
Loc: Chester County, PA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
It's not likely that they'd refinish the case. Polyester can be buffed out unless it's in really bad shape.


I don't think it's polyester. It looks more likely to be urethane or lacquer.

_________________________
H Weber
1963 Yamaha U3, Polished Mahogany (restored)

Top
#2028654 - 02/07/13 10:07 AM Re: Recommend 1972 Yamaha U3 Piano? [Re: SteveM732]
ErinEileen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 4
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks Steve, my daughter's piano teacher will be evaluating this 32 year old P22 piano tomorrow. According to the dealer, it was made in Georgia. Do you think a $3,000 price tag is too expensive? What specific questions should I be asking about what was replaced in the piano? As far as I know, nothing has been replaced, but it does look&sound to be in good condition. Thanks for your help.

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
116 registered (AndresD, AndrewJCW, 36251, Allard, Abby Pianoman, 34 invisible), 1325 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75602 Members
42 Forums
156328 Topics
2295952 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Feurich 190 cm grand from 1920 - Is it any good?
by pinkfloydhomer
08/01/14 08:16 AM
Who's gigging with MP11
by 36251
08/01/14 07:45 AM
piano technician cost list
by ascc
08/01/14 01:36 AM
Liszt on Steinway A3
by Reno
08/01/14 01:35 AM
Roland RD800 initial impressions
by fizikisto
08/01/14 12:28 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission