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
[email protected]
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, Elton John, and Frederic Chiu.

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 4,799 4,799
b1 43 Continental Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 4,999 4,999
b1 43 Continental Polished White 4,999 4,999
M560 44 Hancock Satin Brown Cherry 7,199 7,199
b2 45 Polished Ebony 6,749 6,598
b2 45 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 6,949 6,798
b2 45 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 7,159 6,998
P22 45 Satin Ebony/Walnut/Dark Oak 7,549 7,398
P660 45 Sheraton Satin Brown Mahogany 9,129 9,129
P660 45 Queen Anne Satin Brown Cherry 9,129 9,129
b3 48 Polished Ebony 8,259 7,798
b3 48 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 8,459 7,998
b3 48 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 9,129 8,298
U1 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 11,399 11,399
U1 48 Satin American Walnut 13,499 13,499
U1 48 Polished Mahogany/White 13,499 13,499
YUS1 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 15,599 14,998
YUS1 48 Satin American Walnut 18,799 17,930
YUS1 48 Polished Mahogany/White 18,799 17,930
U3 52 Polished Ebony 14,559 14,098
U3 52 Satin American Walnut 16,599 16,398
U3 52 Polished Mahogany 16,599 16,398
YUS3 52 Polished Ebony 18,899 17,998
YUS3 52 Polished Mahogany 21,799 20,598
YUS5 52 Polished Ebony 20,999 19,978
SU7 52 Polished Ebony 39,999 38,390
Yamaha Disklavier Verticals
DU1ENST 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 29,099 27,558
DU1ENST 48 Satin American Walnut 31,199 29,698
DU1ENST 48 Polished Mahogany/White 31,199 29,698
DYUS1ENST 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 33,299 30,698
DYUS1ENST 48 Satin American Walnut 36,499 33,630
DYUS1ENST 48 Polished Mahogany/White 36,499 33,630
Yamaha Silent Verticals
b1SC2 43 Polished Ebony 9,299 9,398
b1SC2 43 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 9,499 9,698
b1SC2 43 Polished White 9,499 9,698
b2SC2 45 Polished Ebony 11,249 10,298
b2SC2 45 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 11,449 10,498
b2SC2 45 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 11,659 10,698
b3SC2 48 Polished Ebony 12,759 11,498
b3SC2 48 Polished Ebony with Chrome Accents 12,959 11,698
b3SC2 48 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 13,629 11,998
U1SH2 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 15,899 15,558
U1SH2 48 Satin American Walnut 17,999 17,698
U1SH2 48 Polished Mahogany/White 17,999 17,698
YUS1SH2 48 Satin and Polished Ebony 20,099 18,698
YUS1SH2 48 Satin American Walnut 23,299 21,630
YUS1SH2 48 Polished Mahogany/White 23,299 21,630
U3SH2 52 Polished Ebony 19,059 17,798
U3SH2 52 Polished Mahogany 21,099 20,098
U3SH2 52 Satin American Walnut 21,099 20,098
YUS3SH2 52 Polished Ebony 23,399 21,698
YUS3SH2 52 Polished Mahogany 26,299 24,298
YUS5SH2 52 Polished Ebony 25,499 23,678
Yamaha TransAcoustic Verticals
U1TA2 48 Polished Ebony 17,899 17,558
YUS1TA2 48 Polished Ebony 22,099 20,698
YUS3TA2 52 Polished Ebony 25,399 23,698
YUS5TA2 52 Polished Ebony 27,499 25,678
Yamaha Grands
GB1K 5 0 Polished Ebony 14,999 14,158
GB1K 5 0 Polished American Walnut/Mahogany/White 17,339 16,198
GB1K 5 0 French Provincial Satin Cherry 19,179 18,598
GB1K 5 0 Georgian Satin Mahogany 18,359 18,198
GC1M 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 23,999 23,858
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 37,999 34,098
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 28,959 26,998
GC2 5 8 Satin American Walnut 33,859 31,198
GC2 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 33,859 31,198
C2X 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 43,999 40,198
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 57,999 52,298
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 63,899 58,098
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 0 Satin and Polished Ebony 71,199 64,698
C6X 7 0 Satin American Walnut 85,999 77,718
C6X 7 0 Polished Mahogany/White 85,999 77,718
S6X 7 0 Polished Ebony 95,599 92,998
CF6 7 0 Polished Ebony 119,999 119,598
C7X 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 82,999 74,698
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 0 Polished Ebony 179,999 179,999
Yamaha Disklavier Grands
DGB1KENCL 5 0 Classic Polished Ebony (playback only) 23,999 23,158
DGB1KENST 5 0 Polished Ebony 28,599 26,758
DGB1KENST 5 0 Polished Mahogany/American Walnut/White 30,939 28,798
DGC1ENST 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 41,699 39,558
DGC1ENST 5 3 Satin American Walnut 48,299 43,898
DGC1ENST 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 48,299 43,898
DC1XENST 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 55,699 49,798
DC1XENST 5 3 Satin American Walnut 64,069 56,818
DC1XENST 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 64,069 56,818
DGC2ENST 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 46,659 42,698
DGC2ENST 5 8 Satin American Walnut 51,559 46,898
DGC2ENST 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 51,559 46,898
DC2XENST 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 61,699 55,898
DC2XENST 5 8 Polished Ebony w/Chrome Accents 63,399 57,098
DC2XENST 5 8 Satin American Walnut 71,099 63,638
DC2XENST 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 71,099 63,638
Yamaha Disklavier Pro Grands
DC3XENPRO 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 80,899 71,098
DC3XENPRO 6 1 Satin American Walnut 92,899 81,598
DC3XENPRO 6 1 Polished Mahogany/White 92,899 81,598
DS3XENPRO 6 1 Polished Ebony 117,999 112,998
DCF4ENPRO 6 3 Polished Ebony 145,599 144,198
DC5XENPRO 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 86,799 76,898
DC5XENPRO 6 7 Satin American Walnut 100,699 88,360
DC5XENPRO 6 7 Polished Mahogany/White 100,699 88,360
DS5XENPRO 6 7 Polished Ebony 124,999 118,998
DC6XENPRO 7 0 Satin and Polished Ebony 94,099 83,498
DC6XENPRO 7 0 Satin American Walnut 108,899 96,518
DC6XENPRO 7 0 Polished Mahogany/White 108,899 96,518
DS6XENPRO 7 0 Polished Ebony 135,599 130,998
DCF6ENPRO 7 0 Polished Ebony 159,999 157,598
DC7XENPRO 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 105,899 93,498
DC7XENPRO 7 6 Satin American Walnut 122,899 108,278
DC7XENPRO 7 6 Polished Mahogany/White 122,899 108,278
DS7XEMPRO 7 6 Polished Ebony 144,999 138,998
DCFXENPRO 9 0 Polished Ebony 219,999 218,998
Yamaha Silent Grands
GB1KSC2 5 0 Polished Ebony 19,499 17,858
GB1KSC2 5 0 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 21,839 19,898
GC1SH2 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 28,499 27,558
GC1SH2 5 3 Satin American Walnut 35,099 31,898
GC1SH2 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 35,099 31,898
C1XSH2 5 3 Satin and Polished Ebony 42,499 37,798
C1XSH2 5 3 Satin American Walnut 50,869 44,818
C1XSH2 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 50,869 44,818
GC2SH2 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 33,459 30,698
GC2SH2 5 8 Satin American Walnut 38,359 34,898
GC2SH2 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 38,359 34,898
C2XSH2 5 8 Satin and Polished Ebony 48,499 43,898
C2XSH2 5 8 Polished Ebony w/Chrome Accents 50,199 45,098
C2XSH2 5 8 Satin American Walnut 57,899 51,638
C2XSH2 5 8 Polished Mahogany/White 57,899 51,638
C3XSH2 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 62,499 55,998
C3XSH2 6 1 Satin American Walnut 74,499 66,498
C3XSH2 6 1 Polished Mahogany/White 74,499 66,498
C5XSH2 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 68,399 61,798
C5XSH2 6 7 Satin American Walnut 82,299 73,260
C5XSH2 6 7 Polished Mahogany/White 82,299 73,260
C6XSH2 7 0 Satin and Polished Ebony 75,699 68,398
C6XSH2 7 0 Satin American Walnut 90,499 81,418
C6XSH2 7 0 Polished Mahogany/White 90,499 81,418
C7XSH2 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 87,499 78,398
C7XSH2 7 6 Satin American Walnut 104,499 93,178
C7XSH2 7 6 Polished Mahogany/White 104,499 93,178
Yamaha TransAcoustic Grands
GC1TA2 5 3 Polished Ebony 32,499 31,558
C1XTA2 5 3 Polished Ebony 46,499 41,798
C3XTA2 6 1 Polished Ebony 66,499 59,998

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