Yamaha Upright Acoustic Pianos
The Yamaha Upright Piano range consists of a variety of models catering for all budgets and individual requirements. Each instrument is categorised within a series, which can be identified by the letters within the model code. As an example, a Yamaha “B3” is part of the “B Series”.
When choosing your piano, there are two main factors to take into consideration; height, and quality. Taller upright pianos have longer bass strings, and as a result, a more full, rounded sound and longer sustain. The quality of each piano is simply determined by the series in which it belongs. There are a total of 13 models in the Yamaha upright piano range, and these are grouped within 6 series.
The B Series was developed in Japan, but these pianos are manufactured in a specially designed Yamaha-owned factory in Indonesia. This series provides Yamaha Quality at affordable prices.
The entry-level model in the B series is the B1. At 109cm in height and 148cm wide, it is a compact entry-level model. It has a contemporary cabinet design and slim profile, with a laminated soundboard.
Next up is the B2, which features a solid spruce soundboard, allowing the sound vibrations to travel more easily than through a laminated soundboard. At 113cm tall, it has a traditional cabinet and castors to allow easy repositioning.
The flagship model of the B series is the B3, which comes in at 121cm in height. The longer strings create more depth and a rounder tone. Five back posts provide additional stability to the structure of the piano. The B3 uses the same design, body, frame and bridge as the popular Japanese-built U1 model, which you can find out more about further down.
All the B series pianos are available with the Yamaha SG2 silent system for quiet practice using headphones.
The P series has been designed specifically for the European market. Built in Indonesia with a classic cabinet design, the back posts and soundboard are made from European spruce. There are two models in this range, which feature slightly different designs; the P116, which is 116cm in height, and the P121, at 121cm in height (the same height as a B3 or U1). The P121 has a two-piece top lid, which can be opened to allow the full range of sound to be heard. Both P Series models are available with the upgraded Yamaha SH silent system, which features audio recording as well as bi-naural sampling for a truly authentic experience when practicing using headphones.
Yamaha’s U Series upright pianos are the first models that are both designed and manufactured in Japan. The construction process, components & materials, and performance are all an improvement from the B and P Series instruments.
The U1 model is 121cm tall, which is the same height as a B3 or P121. The improvement in tone and touch is clearly noticeable however, as a result of the higher quality components and manufacturing process.
The U3 stands at 131cm tall, and offers a more full-bodied tone. This particular model is extremely popular thanks to its light, responsive touch matched with its impressive, full sound. The U3 also comes equipped with a sostenuto pedal, which is traditionally found exclusively on grand pianos.
Both U Series models are available with Yamaha’s SH silent system, and the U1 is also available as either a Transacoustic or Disklavier piano.
The YUS Series is based on the standard U Series, but has superior voicing, hammer felts, and strings. The superior voicing simply means that the piano’s tone has been fine-tuned specifically to meet the requirements of each individual piano. Superior hammer felts and strings also improve the tone and provide more stability. There are three models altogether in the YUS Series.
The YUS1 measures 121cm, the same height as the standard U1. Along with superior voicing, felts, and strings, the YUS1 also features an improved cabinet design and double castors for easier repositioning and moving of the piano.
The YUS3 measures 131cm tall, the same height as the U3. The difference lies in the superior voicing, hammer felts and strings, along with the improved cabinet design and double castors.
The YUS5 sits at the top of the YUS Series, and builds on the qualities of the YUS3. It is the same height, at 131cm, but has a larger music desk with mahogany-panelled front vent, which can be opened to immerse the player in the sound. It also features Ivorite keys, which recreate the texture of a traditional ivory piano keyboard.
All YUS series models are available with Yamaha’s SH silent system or Transacoustic systems. The YUS1 is also available as a self-playing Disklavier model.
The SE Series upright pianos from Yamaha are premium hand-made pianos with European design and voicing. They have genuine Bosendorfer bass strings. Bosendorfer pianos are renowned for having an exquisite bass, with a rich, warm sound and long sustain, and the SE Series Yamaha pianos are able to boast this feature. The SE Series soundboards are made from European spruce, and the hammers are also European.
Both pianos in this series represent the same premium quality, with the SE122 measuring 122cm tall, and the SE132 measuring 132cm – Yamaha’s tallest upright. Both are available with silent systems installed, and the SE132 is also equipped with a sostenuto pedal.
Without doubt Yamaha’s finest upright, and one of the best uprights you will come across. The SU7 is Yamaha’s flagship premium upright piano, and is hand-made with the highest quality materials by master craftsmen in their Japanese factory.
With a pure and clear bass, warm tenor and a sparkle in the treble, you could be mistaken for thinking you are playing a grand piano – in fact this model is often closely compared to the 6 foot Yamaha C3 Grand Piano. This is also thanks to the key length being the same as what you would expect to find in a grand piano. The result is a wide range of expression, from pianissimo to fortissimo, that you would usually only encounter playing a Grand piano.
The SU7 is available with Yamaha’s SH silent system for practice without disturbing others in the household or neighbours.