Buying Guide

The main difference between a Yamaha U1 and a Yamaha U3 is that the U3 is 10cm taller and a little bit deeper (measuring from front to back). This gives it 3 main advantages:

1. The extra height of a Yamaha U3 means that it can house longer strings which result in a warmer, richer sound. The reason a concert grand sounds so amazing is largely due to the very long strings it houses. Similarly, the reason a Yamaha U3 sounds so much better than a Yamaha B1 or any other short upright piano is that the U3 has a much longer strings.

2. The larger cabinet of the Yamaha U3 also allows it to house a larger soundboard which is good for producing a richer, more resonant tone. I refer you again to concert grand pianos with their long strings and large soundboard.

3. Finally, the extra space created inside the Yamaha U3 cabinet allows it to house longer keys and a taller action which gives it a touch very close to that of a grand piano.

If you sit and play a Yamaha U3 next to a Yamaha U1 you can feel this difference. A U1 can feel a little bit “shallow” to touch compared with the deeper, smoother, more comfortably balanced touch of the Yamaha U3. Technicians and pianists alike comment on the better level of control you can achieve with the U3 action compared with the U1.

Other than that, they are equal. The build quality and component quality is just as good. The U1 is not a small piano so it does still have a good, rich tone, just not quite as rich as the U3. So if your budget will stretch I recommend the Yamaha U3.

Some of our U3 pianos are bright, some are medium and some are mellow. This is mainly down to the soundboards being unique from one piano to the next. The job of the soundboard is to amplify the vibrations from the strings and so each different soundboard gives each piano it’s own unique “voice”. However, when it comes to the Yamaha U1 pianos, they seem to have a much more consistent tone, there is less variation between bright and mellow.

Many piano owners worry about disturbing their next door neighbours with their piano practise and so Yamaha invented a clever thing called a “Practise Pedal” so that you can really quieten down your piano for those late night sessions when you are thumping through your favourite Beethoven pieces.

How to activate the practise pedal

Thankfully, you don’t need to keep your foot pressed on the middle pedal during playing. You can instead just press the pedal to the floor and then slide your foot to the left and lock it into place. That way your feet are free to use the other 2 pedals as you would normally. Very clever isn’t it?

How does it dampen the sound?

It is a very (very) simple process. When you press the pedal down, a long thin strip of felt is lowered in between the hammers and the strings so that when you press a key the hammer does not have a direct contact with the string, it has to strike through the felt instead. This creates a much mellower and quieter tone. I would estimate that the volume drops to around half of the normal volume which means you can easily have a conversation in the same room as the piano without raising your voice. Excellent!

Yes we are selling upright Pianos with silent system, It can be a big help to just plug in the headphones and play to your heart’s content no matter who is sitting close by or who is at home next door. please contact our sale department for viewing.

This question appears to be quite confusing at first but in reality, it’s quite simple. All of the above models are the same general piano, they are all the Yamaha U1. That’s the main thing to point out and they are all made in Japan and not in any of Yamaha’s other factories all over the world.

So here is a little run down of each different sub-model

Yamaha U1E
Yamaha U1F
Yamaha U1G
Yamaha U1H
Yamaha U1M
Yamaha U1A

Height: 48in / 121cm
Width: 60in / 151cm
Depth: 24in / 61.5cm
From floor to keyboard: 24in and 1/16th / 61.2cm

If you want to know if a Yamaha U1 will fit into your house/flat then please make a cardboard cutout using the below diagram. Then slide the cardboard along the floor and if you can get it around all of your tight corners without touching the walls then it will definitely fit. If it doesn’t fit one way, flip it over and try the other way. A Yamaha U1 will normally fit around even the very tightest of corners once it is laid on it’s side in this way. It doesn’t cause any damage if you use a professional piano mover.

Height: 52in / 130.5cm
Width: 60.5in / 153.5cm
Depth: 25.5in / 65cm
From floor to keyboard: 24.5in / 62.2cm

Here is a side view of a Yamaha U3 piano. If you want to know if a Yamaha U3 will fit into your house/flat then please make a cardboard cutout using the below diagram. Then slide the cardboard along the floor and if you can get it around all of your tight corners without touching the walls then it will definitely fit. If it doesn’t fit one way, flip it over and try the other way. A Yamaha U3 piano will normally fit around even the very tightest of corners once it is laid on it’s side in this way. It doesn’t cause any damage if you use a professional piano mover.

The manufacture location of a piano is much more important than the name written above the keys. For instance, the names Gors & Kallman or Weber might suggest that those pianos were made in Germany. However, the truth is that a Chinese manufacturer bought up the name and started making pianos bearing that brand. This is typical of the piano industry at the moment. They will use a German brand, they will ask a German man to put his name to the design, throw in a few German action parts for good measure et voila you have a “German Piano”, yeah right! What they don’t tell you is that the entire piano is made with budget parts, in a budget factory , cutting every corner possible and paying horrendously low wages so that the pianos can be sold to distributors brand new for about $1000. Yep, that’s right, they come off the production line and are sold to distributors for about $1000. If you’ve ever wondered why antique pianos have lost all of their value these days, there is your reason: dealers can buy brand new “German pianos” for $1000. Ouch!

I’ve gone a bit off topic there so just to confirm, YES all of my Yamaha U1 pianos in stock were made in Japan but many of the more recent brand new U1s being sold in the UK (and all over the world) were not made in Japan.

The full answer to this question is quite in-depth so I’ll start off with a quick little summary of my answer just in case you are in a hurry. Here goes:

Summary: As far as I know, every single Yamaha U3 piano that has ever been made has come directly from the premium quality Yamaha factory in Hamamatsu, towards the South West region of Japan. I believe even the brand new Yamaha U3 pianos are still being made in this same factory. So as long as you can find a professionally reconditioned U3 then you can be sure of getting a top quality piano.

Well I hope that summary helped, I’ll now waffle a bit about the wider aspects of the question. There was a time when you’d look at a Yamaha and think “Japanese”, you’d like at a Kemble and think “British” or maybe you’d look at a Bechstein and think “German”. But things have changed. The massively popular Yamaha B1 upright is made in Indonesia, Kemble pianos are now made in Indonesia and even Steinway have a range of pianos being made in China. So you have to dig a little deeper under the surface these days to find out where each make & model of piano is made.

Germany, America and Japan make some of the the best pianos today and if possible stick to those countires with the best reputation for piano manufacture. Yamaha manage to combine the highest manufacturing standards with some sensible prices too which is why they are so popular. As for the Chinese and Indonesian pianos I’d say they are a long way off being suitable for any serious or ambitious player or for anyone who wants to sit down and hear a nice tone coming back from the piano.

To sum up, YES the Yamaha U3 is made in Japan and for the best combination of quality and value for money a properly reconditioned Yamaha U3 or U1 is a very popular option at the moment. See my stocklist above to see what I’ve got in stock.

The majority of Japanese Yamaha pianos currently in the UK have a 7 digit (sometimes only 6) serial number which can be found to the top right area of the iron frame (you’ll need to lift the top lid of the piano to see it). For the purposes of dating, you can ignore the H, M, A, or other letters that may appear before the numbers.

The quick rules for giving an approximate date of any Japanese Yamaha is as follows

7 digit serial number beginning with a 1 means 1970-1974
7 digit serial number beginning with a 2 means 1975-1979
7 digit serial number beginning with a 3 means 1980-1984
7 digit serial number beginning with a 4 means 1985-1989
7 digit serial number beginning with a 5 means 1990+
7 digit serial number beginning with a 6 means 2000+


If you don’t see your specific serial number that’s because this list only shows the serial number of the very first piano made each year. So if your serial number is higher than 1980 but lower than 1981, that means your piano was made in 1980.

1700 / 1917
1800 / 1918
1900 / 1919
2100 / 1920
2650 / 1921
3150 / 1922
3650 / 1923
4250 / 1924
4950 / 1925
5700 / 1926
6500 / 1927
7750 / 1928
8928 / 1929
10163 / 1930
11719 / 1931
13368 / 1932
15182 / 1933
17939 / 1934
19895 / 1935
22397 / 1936
25158 / 1937
28000 / 1938
30000 / 1939
31900 / 1940
33800 / 1941
35600 / 1942
37000 / 1943
38000 / 1944
38550 / 1945
39250 / 1946
40001 / 1947
44087 / 1948
42231 / 1949
44200 / 1950
47767 / 1951
51621 / 1952
54800 / 1953
57000 / 1954
63300 / 1955
70000 / 1956
78000 / 1957
89000 / 1958
103000 / 1959
122000 / 1960
149000 / 1961
188000 / 1962
237000 / 1963
298000 / 1964
368000 / 1965
489000 / 1966
570000 / 1967
689000 / 1968
809000 / 1969
978000 / 1970
1169000 / 1971
1317000 / 1972
1510000 / 1973
1743000 / 1974
1943000 / 1975
2144000 / 1976
2383000 / 1977
2583000 / 1978
2812000 / 1979
3001000 / 1980
3261000 / 1981
3464000 / 1982
3646000 / 1983
3832000 / 1984
3988000 / 1985
4157000 / 1986
4335000 / 1987
4492000 / 1988
4650000 / 1989
4811000 / 1990
4951000 / 1991
5072000 / 1992
5181000 / 1993
5292000 / 1994
5375000 / 1995
5466000 / 1996
5530000 / 1997
5579000 / 1998
5792000 / 1999
5868000 / 2000
5928000 / 2001
5978000 / 2002
6020000 / 2003
6060000 / 2004
6100000 / 2005
6145000 / 2006
6191000 / 2007
6220000 / 2008
6250000 / 2009
6280000 / 2010

we try to keep 1-3 white U1 or U3 or UX pianos in stock all the time but sometimes I run out. It takes 1 months to get a fresh one prepared and ready for sale. So hopefully when you email us we will have one available but if not, your wait is likely to be around 1 months. The price for white U1 or U3 pianos is a bit more than standard U1/U3/UX prices.