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YAMAHA

Including Cable-Nelson. See separate listing for Disklavier in “Buying an Electronic Player-Piano System.” However, see below for Disklavier models and prices.

Yamaha Corporation of America
P.O. Box 6600
Buena Park, California 90622
714-522-9011
800-854-1569
infostation@yamaha.com
www.yamaha.com


Pianos made by: Yamaha Corporation, Hamamatsu, Japan and other locations (see text)

Torakusu Yamaha, a watchmaker, developed Japan’s first reed organ, and founded Yamaha Reed Organ Manufacturing in 1887. In 1899, Yamaha visited the U.S. to learn how to build pianos. Within a couple of years he began making grand and vertical pianos under the name Nippon Gakki, Ltd. Beginning in the 1930s, Yamaha expanded its operations, first into other musical instruments, then into other products and services, such as sporting goods and furniture, and finally internationally.

Export of pianos to the U.S. began in earnest about 1960. In 1973, Yamaha acquired the Everett Piano Co., in South Haven, Michigan, and made both Yamaha and Everett pianos there until 1986. In that year, the company moved its piano manufacturing to a plant in Thomaston, Georgia, where it made Yamaha consoles, studios, and some grands until 2007, when a depressed piano market and foreign competition forced it to close its doors. Since then, the company has introduced new models, made in other Yamaha factories, to replace those formerly made in Thomaston.

Yamaha is probably the most international of the piano manufacturers. In addition to its factories in Japan, Yamaha has plants in Mexico, China, and Indonesia. Yamaha pianos sold in the U.S. are made in Japan, China, and Indonesia. In 2009, Yamaha closed its factories in England (with Kemble) and Taiwan. Models formerly made in those factories are now being produced in Yamaha’s other Asian plants. Yamaha also owns the renowned Austrian piano maker, Bösendorfer.

Yamaha’s console line consists of the 43" model b1, in continental style, with a laminated soundboard; and the 44" models M460 and M560 in furniture style (freestanding legs), representing two levels of cabinet sophistication and price. All are internally similar (except for the soundboard) and have a compressed action typical of a console, which means that the action will not be quite as responsive as in larger models.

The studio line consists of the popular 45" model P22 in institutional style (legs with toe blocks) with school-friendly cabinet; the furniture-style version P660; and the 45" model b2, with a less-expensive institutional-style cabinet. The b2 replaces the Chinese-made model T118. All studio models are internally similar, with a full-size action. All Yamaha verticals under 48" tall are now made in the company’s Indonesian factory, which has been making pianos for more than 30 years and, according to Yamaha, adheres to the same quality standards as its Japanese plant.

The uprights are the very popular 48" model U1; the 48" model b3, which is made in Indonesia, has the same scale design as the U1, and replaces the Chinese-made model T121SC; and the 52" model U3. The U3 joins the YUS5 (see below) in having a “floating” soundboard — the soundboard is not completely attached to the back at the top, allowing it to vibrate a little more freely to enhance the tonal performance. A new Super U series of uprights (YUS1, YUS3, and YUS5) have different hammers and get additional tuning and voicing at the factory, including voicing by machine to create a more consistent, more mellow tone. The YUS5 has German Röslau music wire instead of Yamaha wire, also for a mellower tone. This top-of-the-line 52" upright also has agraffes, duplex scaling, and a sostenuto pedal (all other Yamaha verticals have a practice/mute pedal). The U- and YU-series uprights are all made in Japan and come with soft-close fallboards.

Yamaha verticals are very well made for mass-produced pianos. The taller uprights in particular are considered a “dream” to service by technicians, and are very much enjoyed by musicians. Sometimes the pianos can sound quite bright, though much less so now than in previous years. The current version of the model P22 school studio is said to have been redesigned to sound less bright and to have a broader spectrum of tonal color. Double-striking of the hammer in the low tenor on a soft or incomplete keystroke is a problem occasionally mentioned in regard to Yamaha verticals by those who play with an especially soft touch. This tendency is a characteristic of the action design, the trade-off being better-than-normal repetition for a vertical piano. If necessary, it’s possible that a technician can lessen this problem with careful adjustment, but at the risk of sacrificing some speed of repetition.

Yamaha grands come in several levels of sophistication and size. The Classic Collection consists of the 5' model GB1K, the 5' 3" model GC1M, and the 5' 8" model GC2. The GB1K has simplified case construction and cabinetry, no duplex scale, and the middle pedal operates a bass-sustain mechanism. It does have a soft-close fallboard. It is currently the only Yamaha grand sold in the U.S. that is made in Indonesia. The GC1M and GC2 have regular case construction, duplex scale, soft-close fallboard, and sostenuto pedal.

The Conservatory Classic and Conservatory Concert Collections of C-series grands were replaced in 2012 with the CX series, consisting of the 5' 3" model C1X, the 5' 8" model C2X, the 6' 1" model C3X, the 6' 7" model C5X, the 7' model C6X, and the 7' 6" model C7X. The new CX series incorporates some of the design elements of the limited-production CF series (see below) into the higher-production C-series pianos to create a sound more like that of a high-end American or European instrument — see our review in the Spring 2014 issue. Features include a European spruce soundboard crowned using CF-series technology, a thicker rim and bracing, German music wire, additional time spent voicing, regulating, and tuning by very skilled craftsmen, and some changes in cabinet design.

Both the C and CX models have the advanced construction, scaling, and cabinetry mentioned earlier, including a true sostenuto pedal and a soft-close fallboard. Both also have vertically laminated bridges with maple or boxwood cap. The vertically laminated design is similar to that found in Steinways and other fine pianos, and is considered to give the bridges greater strength and resistance to cracking and better transmission of vibrational energy. All C and CX grands have keytops of Ivorite™, Yamaha’s ivory alternative.

The new CF Series, one of two Yamaha Premium Collection lines, comprises the 9' model CFX (replacing model CFIIIS), and the 6' 3" model CF4 and 7' model CF6 (respectively replacing, in the U.S., models S4B and S6B, which will remain available by special order only). The pianos in this collection are made in a separate factory to much higher standards and with some different materials: e.g., maple and mahogany in the rim, which is made more rigid, for greater tonal power, than in the other collections; higher-grade soundboard material; a treble “bell” (as in the larger Steinways) to enhance treble tone; German strings, and hammer and scaling changes, for a more mellow tone; as well as the more advanced features of the other collections. The result is an instrument capable of greater dynamic range, tonal color, and sustain than the regular Yamahas. The new CF-series pianos have a thicker rim and more substantial structure than their predecessors, for greater strength and tonal projection, and the method for developing the soundboard crown has been changed to allow the soundboard to vibrate more freely and with greater resonance. The models CF4 and CF6 have an open pinblock design reminiscent of some European pianos, which gives the tuner slightly greater control over the tuning pins. Yamaha says that the CF series represents 19 years of research and development by its craftsmen, designers, and engineers. The Yamaha concert grand is endorsed and used by a number of notable musicians, including Olga Kern, Michael Tilson Thomas, Chick Corea, and Elton John.

The second Premium Collection line, added in 2017, is the SX Series, positioned between the CX and CF lines and comprising the 6' 1" model S3X, the 6' 7" model S5X, and the 7' 6" model S7X. The SX series uses the same soundboard and scale-design approach as the flagship CFX model; has a completely new hammer design derived from testing more than 100 prototypes; and, most significant, has a new, thicker rim construction in which the wood is treated with a patented accelerated-aging process called Acoustic Resonance Enhancement, to give the piano a warmer, more romantic sound with a wider range of expression.

The price differences between the SX and CF models are related to their production processes: the CF instruments are fully handcrafted, whereas the SX pianos are built with a combination of handcraftsmanship and innovative technologies. Yamaha says that SX pianos are intended especially for institutions and smaller concert venues, the CF models for larger concert halls.

Yamaha grands have historically been a little on the percussive side and have been said not to “sing” as well as some more expensive pianos. The tone has been very clear and often bright, especially in the smaller grands, although the excessive brightness that once characterized Yamahas has long since been corrected. The clarity and percussiveness are very attractive but are less well suited for classical music, which tends to require a singing tone and lush harmonic color. On the other hand, Yamaha has long been the piano of choice for jazz and popular music, which may value clarity and brightness more than the other qualities mentioned.

In recent years, however, Yamaha has been trying to move away from this image of a “bright” piano whose sound is limited to jazz. First with its larger grands, and later with the smaller ones, Yamaha has changed such things as bridge construction and hammer density, and provided more custom voicing at the factory, to bring out a broader spectrum of tonal color. Now, with its Premium Collection models, and the innovative soundboard, hammer, and rim technologies used in their design and construction, Yamaha has come fully into the world of instruments suited for classical music (as well as jazz).

Both Yamaha’s quality control and its warranty and technical service are legendary in the piano business. They are the standard against which every other company is measured. For general home and school use, piano technicians probably recommend Yamaha pianos more often than any other brand. Their precision, reliability, and performance make them a very good value for a consumer product.

Until recently, Yamaha made an entry-level line of pianos under the name Cable-Nelson. This is the name of an old American piano maker whose roots can be traced back to 1903. Yamaha acquired the name when it bought the Everett Piano Company, in 1973, and used the name in conjunction with Everett pianos until 1981. The most recent Cable-Nelson models were made in Yamaha’s factories in China and Indonesia.

There is a thriving market for used Yamahas. If you’re considering buying a used Yamaha, please read “Should I Buy a Used, ‘Gray Market’ Yamaha or Kawai Piano?” on pages 176–177 of The Piano Book, and “Buying a Used or Restored Piano” in this publication.

Yamaha also makes electronic player pianos called Disklaviers, as well as a variety of hybrid acoustic/digital instruments — including Silent Piano (formerly called MIDIPiano), the AvantGrand series, and the model NU1, that account for a substantial percentage of the company’s sales. These products are separately reviewed in the articles “Buying an Electronic Player-Piano System” and “Hybrid Pianos.”

Warranty: Yamaha — 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.



Acoustic Piano: Model & Pricing Guide

* See the Introduction for an explanation of pricing.

Model Feet Inches Description MSRP* SMP*
Yamaha Verticals
b1 43 Continental Polished Ebony 4,599 4,599
b1 43 Continental Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 4,799 4,799
M560 44 Hancock Satin Brown Cherry 6,999 6,999
b2 45 Polished Ebony 6,549 6,398
b2 45 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 6,749 6,749
b2 45 Polished Mahogany/Walnut 6,959 6,798
P22 45 Satin Ebony/Walnut/Oak 7,349 7,198
P660 45 Sheraton Satin Brown Mahogany 8,929 8,929
P660 45 Queen Anne Satin Brown Cherry 8,929 8,929
b3 48 Polished Ebony 8,159 7,598
b3 48 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 8,359 7,998
b3 48 Polished Mahogany/Walnut 9,029 8,198
U1 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 11,199 11,199
U1 48 Satin American Walnut 13,299 13,299
U1 48 Polished Mahogany/White 13,299 13,299
YUS1 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 15,299 14,798
YUS1 48 Satin American Walnut 18,799 17,930
YUS1 48 Polished Mahogany/White 18,799 17,930
U3 52 Polished Ebony 14,259 13,918
U3 52 Satin American Walnut 16,299 16,198
U3 52 Polished Mahogany 16,299 16,198
YUS3 52 Polished Ebony 18,599 17,738
YUS3 52 Polished Mahogany 21,499 20,598
YUS5 52 Polished Ebony 20,699 19,578
SU7 52 Polished Ebony 39,999 38,390
Yamaha Disklavier Verticals
DU1E3 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 27,399 25,398
DU1E3 48 Satin American Walnut 29,399 27,398
DU1E3 48 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 29,399 27,398
DU1ENST 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 28,199 26,658
DU1ENST 48 Satin American Walnut 30,299 28,858
DU1ENST 48 Polished Mahogany/White 30,299 28,858
DYUS1ENST 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 32,299 29,798
DYUS1ENST 48 Satin American Walnut 35,799 32,930
DYUS1ENST 48 Polished Mahogany/White 35,799 32,930
Yamaha Silent Verticals
b1SG2 43 Polished Ebony 8,599 8,598
b1SG2 43 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 8,799 8,799
b2SG2 45 Polished Ebony 10,549 9,498
b2SG2 45 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 10,749 9,898
b2SG2 45 Polished Mahogany/Walnut 10,959 9,898
b3SG2 48 Polished Ebony 12,159 10,698
b3SG2 48 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 12,359 11,098
b3SG2 48 Polished Mahogany/Walnut 13,029 11,298
U1SH 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 15,199 14,758
U1SH 48 Satin American Walnut 17,299 16,958
U1SH 48 Polished Mahogany/White 17,299 16,958
YUS1SH 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 19,299 17,898
YUS1SH 48 Satin American Walnut 22,799 21,030
YUS1SH 48 Polished Mahogany/White 22,799 21,030
U3SH 52 Polished Ebony 18,259 17,018
U3SH 52 Polished Mahogany 20,299 19,298
U3SH 52 Satin American Walnut 20,299 19,298
YUS3SH 52 Polished Ebony 22,599 20,838
YUS3SH 52 Polished Mahogany 25,499 23,698
YUS5SH 52 Polished Ebony 24,699 22,678
Yamaha TransAcoustic Verticals
YUS1TA 48 Polished Ebony 21,299 19,898
YUS1TA 48 Polished White 24,799 23,030
U1TA 48 Polished Ebony 17,199 16,758
YUS3TA 52 Polished Ebony 24,599 22,838
YUS5TA 52 Polished Ebony 26,699 24,678
Yamaha Grands
GB1K 5 Polished Ebony 14,799 13,858
GB1K 5 Polished American Walnut/Mahogany/White 17,339 16,198
GB1K 5 French Provincial Satin Cherry 19,179 18,598
GB1K 5 Georgian Satin Mahogany 18,359 18,198
GC1M 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 23,999 23,598
GC1M 5 3 Satin American Walnut 30,599 28,198
GC1M 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 30,599 28,198
C1X 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 37,499 33,598
C1X 5 3 Satin American Walnut 46,369 41,118
C1X 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 46,369 41,118
GC2 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 28,559 26,650
GC2 5 8 Satin American Walnut 33,559 30,998
GC2 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 33,559 30,998
C2X 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 43,399 39,598
C2X 5 8 Polished Ebony w/Chrome Accents 45,699 41,398
C2X 5 8 Satin American Walnut 53,399 47,938
C2X 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 53,399 47,938
C3X 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 56,999 51,470
C3X 6 1 Satin American Walnut 69,999 62,798
C3X 6 1 Polished Mahogany/White 69,999 62,798
S3X 6 1 Polished Ebony 77,999 74,998
CF4 6 3 Polished Ebony 105,599 105,599
C5X 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 62,899 57,198
C5X 6 7 Satin American Walnut 77,799 69,560
C5X 6 7 Polished Mahogany/White 77,799 69,560
S5X 6 7 Polished Ebony 84,999 80,998
C6X 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 70,199 63,718
C6X 7 Satin American Walnut 85,999 77,718
C6X 7 Polished Mahogany/White 85,999 77,718
CF6 7 Polished Ebony 119,999 119,598
C7X 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 81,999 73,598
C7X 7 6 Satin American Walnut 99,999 89,478
C7X 7 6 Polished Mahogany/White 99,999 89,478
S7X 7 6 Polished Ebony 104,999 100,998
CFX 9 Polished Ebony 179,999 179,999
Yamaha Disklavier Grands
DGB1KE3C 5 Classic Polished Ebony 19,999 19,998
DGB1KENCL 5 Classic Polished Ebony 23,799 22,858
DGB1KE3 5 Polished Ebony 25,399 23,998
DGB1KE3 5 Polished Mahogany/American Walnut/White 32,949 30,698
DGB1KENST 5 Polished Ebony 27,799 25,858
DGB1KENST 5 Polished Mahogany/American Walnut/White 30,339 28,198
DGC1E3S 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 39,549 36,798
DGC1E3S 5 3 Satin American Walnut 50,549 46,738
DGC1E3S 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 50,549 46,738
DGC1ENST 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 40,999 38,598
DGC1ENST 5 3 Satin American Walnut 47,599 43,198
DGC1ENST 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 47,599 43,198
DC1XE3S 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 53,549 50,398
DC1XE3S 5 3 Satin American Walnut 60,549 57,798
DC1XE3S 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 60,549 57,798
DC1XENST 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 54,499 48,598
DC1XENST 5 3 Satin American Walnut 63,369 56,118
DC1XENST 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 63,369 56,118
DGC2E3S 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 46,599 43,598
DGC2E3S 5 8 Satin American Walnut 53,099 49,998
DGC2E3S 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 53,099 49,998
DGC2ENST 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 45,559 41,650
DGC2ENST 5 8 Satin American Walnut 50,559 45,998
DGC2ENST 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 50,559 45,998
DC2XE3S 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 63,899 56,198
DC2XE3S 5 8 Polished Ebony w/Chrome Accents 66,899 58,798
DC2XE3S 5 8 Satin American Walnut 73,899 64,998
DC2XE3S 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 73,899 64,998
DC2XENST 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 60,399 54,598
DC2XENST 5 8 Polished Ebony w/Chrome Accents 62,699 56,398
DC2XENST 5 8 Satin American Walnut 70,399 62,938
DC2XENST 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 70,399 62,938
Yamaha Disklavier Pro Grands
DC3XE3PRO 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 77,999 65,298
DC3XE3PRO 6 1 Satin American Walnut 91,999 77,798
DC3XE3PRO 6 1 Polished Mahogany/White 91,999 77,798
DC3XENPRO 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 78,999 69,470
DC3XENPRO 6 1 Satin American Walnut 91,999 80,798
DC3XENPRO 6 1 Polished Mahogany/White 91,999 80,798
DCF4ENPRO 6 3 Polished Ebony 145,599 144,198
DC5XE3PRO 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 87,999 73,498
DC5XE3PRO 6 7 Satin American Walnut 100,999 85,698
DC5XE3PRO 6 7 Polished Mahogany/White 100,999 85,698
DC5XENPRO 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 84,899 75,198
DC5XENPRO 6 7 Satin American Walnut 99,799 87,560
DC5XENPRO 6 7 Polished Mahogany/White 99,799 87,560
DC6XE3PRO 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 94,999 80,998
DC6XE3PRO 7 Satin American Walnut 110,199 93,898
DC6XE3PRO 7 Polished Mahogany/White 110,199 93,898
DC6XENPRO 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 92,199 81,718
DC6XENPRO 7 Satin American Walnut 107,999 95,718
DC6XENPRO 7 Polished Mahogany/White 107,999 95,718
DCF6ENPRO 7 Polished Ebony 159,999 157,598
DC7XE3PRO 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 102,999 87,798
DC7XE3PRO 7 6 Satin American Walnut 117,999 101,898
DC7XE3PRO 7 6 Polished Mahogany/White 117,999 101,898
DC7XENPRO 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 103,999 91,598
DC7XENPRO 7 6 Satin American Walnut 121,999 107,478
DC7XENPRO 7 6 Polished Mahogany/White 121,999 107,478
DCFXE3PRO 9 Polished Ebony 259,999 232,598
DCFXENPRO 9 Polished Ebony 219,999 218,998
Yamaha Silent Grands
GB1KSG2 5 Polished Ebony 18,499 16,558
GB1KSG2 5 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 20,999 19,098
GC1SH 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 27,579 25,898
GC1SH 5 3 Satin American Walnut 33,999 31,098
GC1SH 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 33,999 31,098
C1XSH 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 40,739 36,098
C1XSH 5 3 Satin American Walnut 50,369 44,218
C1XSH 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 50,369 44,218
GC2SH 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 31,999 29,298
GC2SH 5 8 Satin American Walnut 37,199 34,098
GC2SH 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 37,199 34,098
C2XSH 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 46,499 42,098
C2XSH 5 8 Polished Ebony w/Chrome Accents 48,799 44,098
C2XSH 5 8 Satin American Walnut 57,419 51,038
C2XSH 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 57,419 51,038
C3XSH 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 62,929 53,678
C3XSH 6 1 Satin American Walnut 78,239 65,838
C3XSH 6 1 Polished Mahogany/White 78,239 65,838
C5XSH 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 65,639 59,198
C5XSH 6 7 Satin American Walnut 81,739 72,660
C5XSH 6 7 Polished Mahogany/White 81,739 72,660
C6XSH 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 72,879 65,578
C6XSH 7 Satin American Walnut 90,979 80,818
C6XSH 7 Polished Mahogany/White 90,979 80,818
C7XSH 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 83,999 75,298
C7XSH 7 6 Satin American Walnut 105,199 92,578
C7XSH 7 6 Polished Mahogany/White 105,199 92,578
Yamaha TransAcoustic Grands
C1XTA 5 3 Polished Ebony 45,499 40,698
C1XTA 5 3 Polished White 54,369 48,218
GC1TA 5 3 Polished Ebony 31,999 30,698
C3XTA 6 1 Polished Ebony 64,999 58,570
C3XTA 6 1 Polished White 77,999 69,898