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 47" model T118 in a less-expensive, traditional institutional-style cabinet. All are more or less the same internally, with a full-size action. The institutional-style studios are made in China, the furniture-style consoles and studios in Taiwan.
The uprights are the very popular 48" model U1, the 48" model T121 in a less-expensive cabinet (otherwise the same), and the 52" model U3. Models U1 and U3 now sport a longer music desk — a very welcome addition. Model U3 joins model U5 (now available only as a Super U model — see below) in the use of 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 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. Model YUS5 uses 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 uprights are made in Japan.
Yamaha vertical pianos are very well made for a mass-produced piano. 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 have an improved spectrum of tonal color. Double-striking of the hammer in the low tenor on a soft or incomplete stroke of the key 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 tradeoff being better-than-normal repetition for a vertical piano. It's possible that a technician can lessen this problem if necessary with careful adjustment, but at the risk of sacrificing some speed of repetition.
Yamaha grands come in four levels of sophistication and size. The Classic Collection consists of the 4' 11" model GB1K, the 5' 3" model GC1M, and the 5' 8 model GC2 (new this year). 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 fallboards, and sostenuto pedal (the sostenuto was restored this year to the GC1, which was then renamed the GC1M), making them in most respects just like the models C1 and C2 (see below).
The Conservatory Collection consists of the 5' 3" model C1, the 5' 8" model C2, the 6' 1" model C3, and the 6' 7" model C5. The Conservatory Concert Collection comprises the 6' 11" model C6 and the 7' 6" model C7. Both collections have the advanced construction, scaling, and cabinetry mentioned above, including a true sostenuto pedal and a soft-close fallboard. Both now 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. The larger grands also have keytops of Ivorite™, Yamaha's ivory alternative.
Finally, the new CF Series Concert Grand Pianos (replacing the current Handcrafted Concert Collection and available in Summer 2010) consist of the 9' model CFX (replacing the model CFIIIS), and the 6' 3" model CF4 and 7' model CF6 (replacing, in the U.S., the 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. For example, they use 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 conducted by its craftsmen, designers, and engineers. The Yamaha concert grand is endorsed and used by a number of notable musicians, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Chick Corea, and Elton John.