What Is So Special about the Yamaha U1?

Sep 21, 2017

The Yamaha U1 is undoubtedly the most popular upright piano ever made. Larry Fine's Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer lists the Yamaha U1 as a staff pick, calling it “the standard against which every 48” vertical [piano] is inevitably compared”. The resale value of used U1s is so good that there is practically a cottage industry for selling just Yamaha U1s. And the Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada's foremost music education establishment, endorses only one brand of piano – Yamaha.
What makes the Yamaha U1 so special? Is it all just sales hype?

1. Made in Japan
Buyers know that consumer goods that are made in Japan generally have the best cost-for-value ratio, and the piano industry is no exception. Piano manufactures generally outsource their lesser-quality models to other countries with cheaper labour and make their higher-quality products in their home factory. The U1 is made in the same factory as the Yamaha CFX concert grand, one of the best pianos in the world.
2. Full-sized
Upright pianos less than 48” have to have serious design compromises to fit the piano into a small case. The Yamaha U1 is big enough that it can have a deep bass tone and quick repetition.
3. Consistency
The U1 has been made by Yamaha for over 50 years. Teachers, performers, and technicians know what to expect from a U1: excellence. This leads to the last important point about the U1:
4. Resale value
Because the U1 is such a well-known and well-loved piano, the resale value is particularly high compared with other models.

The Yamaha U1 is so popular because it is good enough for performance, rugged enough for institutions, and affordable enough for the home. The Yamaha Performance Rebate makes the U1 even more affordable by taking $500 off of the price, but only until September 31st. If you are thinking about getting a new piano, now is the time!