Yamaha U1 Upright Piano Specs and Review

Yamaha came out with their U models in the 1960s, and since then, they have continued to modify and improve the U series. The Yamaha U1 Upright Piano is one of the best-selling (if not the best) pianos in the US and is a popular choice of pianists, teachers, and enthusiasts. Let’s take a closer look at the Yamaha U1 Upright.

The Yamaha U1 Upright belongs to the U Series Class. It is manufactured in Japan and was designed with professional musicians in mind. The U1 Upright has an outstanding tone and touch that will last for many years. The U1 Upright is the best-selling upright piano in the US.

Read on to learn more about the Yamaha U1 Upright, its features, specifications, and much more.

About Yamaha U1 Upright Piano

Yamaha U1 Upright Piano

For more than half a century, Yamaha has been making upright pianos that have been favored by musicians, teachers, students, and more. In fact, Yamaha has sold over 4 million upright pianos since 1967. Yamaha crafted with care the U1 Upright Piano. That’s why you can hand it down through generations.

The Yamaha U1 Upright belongs to the U Series Class of pianos. It is made in Japan and was designed for professional musicians. They have outstanding tones and touch that will last for many generations. The U1 Upright is by far the most popular upright piano in the US.

The Yamaha U1 Upright has many features to offer, and among them are good resale value, consistency, and full-sized, so it can have a rich, deep bass tone and is easy for quick repetition.

The Yamaha U1 Upright Story

The U1 Upright dates back to the 1960s. Many other piano brands were being produced cheaply after World War II, and people were buying them, even if they weren’t made well. The Yamaha U1 Upright made waves when sold in the United States after being manufactured in Japan.

People realized that purchasing a Yamaha U1 Upright, albeit a bit more expensive, was better than buying a lower-cost piano. The consistent action and deep tones of the Yamaha U1 made a huge difference with the performance of other pianos.

Since then, the Yamaha U1 upright has been among the best-selling pianos in the USA.

Yamaha U1 Upright Piano Features

1. Scale Design

The U1 Upright has refined sound production elements, giving a richer, resonant sound with a balanced timbre.

2. Soundboard and Frame

The piano boasts a special rib configuration that strengthens the soundboard while the back post enhances rigidity, structural stability, and resonance.

3. Redesigned Hammers

The Yamaha U1 Upright has hammers specifically made just for the model to provide the best tone and response with durability.

4. Soft-Close Fallboard

The Yamaha U1 comes with a fallboard with a damping mechanism to stop the fallboard from abruptly closing on the keyboard that can cause accidental injury or damage.

Specifications of the Yamaha U1 Upright

yamaha u1 upright piano dimensions

The Yamaha U1 Upright has been the best-selling upright piano in the US for years. Let’s take a look at the specifications of the piano to see why it has fared so well in the market:

Speaking length of #1 bass string46.8”
Hammer Weight22lbs.
Soundboard2137 square inches
Soundboard materialSpruce
Back post materialSpruce
V-pro PlateYes
Bridge MaterialHard Maple
Pinblock MaterialHard Maple
Tuning PinsCut Thread
Center PedalMute
Metal Action RailYes
Seasoned for DestinationYes
Soft-Close FallboardYes
Number of KeysStandard 88
PedalsSoft Pedal, Mute Pedal, Damper Pedal
FinishesPolished Ebony, Satin Ebony, Satin American Walnut, Polished American Walnut, Polished White, Polished Mahogany
Weight502 lbs.

Again, what does the Yamaha U1 Upright offer? The Yamaha U1 Upright is included in the U Series Class. Also, U1 Upright is among the best-selling upright piano in the US, due to its outstanding tone and touch, among many other reasons. Yamaha created this piano in Japan with professional musicians in mind.

Reasons to get a Yamaha U1 Upright

The Yamaha U1 Upright Piano did not become the most popular piano all over the US without good reason. It has superior features that make it different from other pianos. Let’s take a look:

1. Made in Japan

Many piano makers outsource their production to other countries where labor is cheaper. The U1 upright is made in Japan. And many people associate Japan with quality and great attention to detail. Also, Yamaha made the U1 Upright Piano in the same factory as the Yamaha CX Grand, so you don’t have to worry about loose quality control.

2. It Has a Rich Tone

The U1 Upright Piano gives a resonant tone – a Yamaha signature sound. The piano has become very good for playing classical music, jazz, rock, and pop. It’s a very versatile piano that can hold a tune quite well.

3. Made from High-quality Materials

The U1 Upright uses Spruce wood for its soundboard. Yamaha uses this material for top-of-the-line pianos because of its outstanding acoustical properties. For this reason, the Yamaha U1 Upright has become popular with music schools to use for their classes and performances.

The Yamaha U series lists the following materials:

  • Spruce soundboard,
  • Beech bridges,
  • White wood hammers,
  • Pine back-posts, and
  • Cast-iron frame.

4. Precise Action

The Yamaha U1 has superior precision that responds astonishingly well when you shift dynamics. It allows for a wide variety of possibilities in tone. A bonus is that the Yamaha U1 Upright does not need to be tuned often as it can keep a tune well, so you’ll always have a satisfying time when you play.

5. Very Reliable

Robust is something you need to look for in a piano if you want it to last for generations. A piano has many, many parts, and it gets struck constantly with hours and hours of playing. The Yamaha U1 Upright is sturdy and robust so that you won’t have to replace parts, even after years and years of playing.

6. Has a Very Good Resale Value

The Yamaha U1 Upright Piano has a market value that holds very, very well. All pianos in the U series actually have a strong resale value. While many other pianos depreciate over time, the U1 Upright still commands a good price even after years of use.

If you take the time to check the prices of a second-hand U1 Upright, you’ll be surprised to find that many 10-year-old models can still sell for half the price they were worth, or even more, depending on how well they were maintained.

Yamaha U1 Upright Pricing

yamaha u1 upright piano review

Let’s get real. The Yamaha U1 Upright Piano isn’t cheap. They start at $11,399. You may be able to get a discount if you buy it during a piano sale. The price may seem high, but the value you get is way more than the price. In fact, for that price, you can do a lot worse with other brands.

Remember, the Yamaha U1 was built with high-quality materials in Japan. They also hold their value very well, so there really aren’t cheap U1 Uprights out there – either brand new or second-hand.

Best Quality Cost Ratio in the Market

We need to mention that the Yamaha U1 Upright has one of the best quality cost ratios in the market. Pianos have a quality-to-cost ratio, and if you are getting a low-cost piano, more often than not, it will have parts that are not up to par and will affect tone and performance.

The $11,399 you spend on a brand-new Yamaha U1 Upright is an investment for an instrument that will last plenty of years because Yamaha manufacturing has a history of using high-quality raw materials and excellent production.

Is It Okay to Buy a Second-hand U1 Upright?

We mentioned earlier that the U1 Upright could command a good resale value as long as it has been well-maintained. So, yes, buying a second-hand Yamaha U1 Upright Piano is okay, but you’ll need to check it well.

Some U1 Upright Pianos on the second-hand market seem like they were hardly played, and these will last for many more years. The first U1 Uprights that were produced have a mellower sound than the ones made more recently. So, don’t be surprised if the tones sound a bit mellower. Just check that the strings and hammer felts are still okay.

To check a second-hand Yamaha U1 Upright, inspect for signs of corrosion on the strings and tuning pins. Inspect the hammer felts, too, and see if they need to be changed by a technician. It will be a good idea to consult a piano technician when buying a second-hand piano.

Conclusion: Yamaha U1 Upright Piano Specs and Review

Yamaha has been known to manufacture pianos with deep, rich tones made with high-quality materials. The U1 Upright is no exception.

The Yamaha U1 Upright belonging to the U Series is manufactured in Japan and designed with a professional musician in mind. The U1 Upright plays an outstanding tone, with outstanding touch, and will last for many years.

If you’re thinking of getting a Yamaha U1, you’re making a good decision. It has become popular for its outstanding quality that’s good for performance and durable enough for institutions.