Yamaha C1 baby grand piano for sale - Review and information

Are you looking to buy a C1?

If you are considering buying a Yamaha C1 please contact us with your requirements (approximate budget and preferred age of piano) and we will reply with some options for you. If you have any technical info or corrections for this article, please email mgpianos@gmail.com.

What’s so good about the Yamaha C1?

The Yamaha C1 was made in Japan in Yamaha’s premier factory in Hamamatsu which is where all of Yamaha’s finest pianos are made including their monstrous CFIIIS (sometimes called CF3S and now replaced by the CFX) concert grand piano.

The C1 is 161cm long (5ft 3in) and is a very sought-after piano which means it holds its value very well. Let’s look at a few points in more detail.

How does the C1 differ from the G1, C1, C1L, C1X?

Yamaha G1
The Yamaha C1 started life as the Yamaha G1. The G1 was a high-quality piano, made in Japan, suitable for top-level performance. If you are considering buying one you need to make sure that it has been fully reconditioned as most G1s will be at least 30 years old.

For some reason most G1 baby grands in the UK have a mahogany veneer and many have sun-bleaching or general fading and the value of these wood-finished G1 pianos is not as high as the gloss black versions.

Yamaha C1
The G1 was discontinued in the early 1990s and the C1 took over as the UK’s favourite top-quality baby grand piano.

Some say the C1 was an improvement over the G1 but here is an interesting comment from the PianoWorld forum by Steve Cohen (piano industry consultant):

“I was a Yamaha dealer when they changed from the G1 to the C1. There were no significant changes in their specs.”

There are a large number of C1 pianos in the UK as many were imported from Japan by UK piano shops. They are strong, reliable and have a very consistently high-quality tone and touch. However, most will now require some level of reconditioning work to make sure the action and the sound are brought back up to “as new” standard.

Here is a recording of one of our C1 grands. This is a post-2000 model

And this recording is another one of our post-2000 Yamaha C1 grands

Here is a pretty little Christmas song being played on a Yamaha C1 on Youtube.

Yamaha C1L
All C1L pianos were made after the year 2000. The C1L can be viewed as a very close relative of the C1. When Yamaha makes changes to a design they sometimes prefix a letter to the serial number, as is the case with the C1L. Please refer to the below photo to see that the C1L is still a C1 but they’ve added a letter “L” before the serial number. The model “C1” is still embossed onto the frame just like with the standard C1.

We don’t have any of our own recordings of a Yamaha C1L but here is one we found on Youtube. Its serial number is 6040xxx and I’ll edit this article with the specific age for this piano soon.

Here is another C1L video. This time serial number 5925xxx so it’s a little older than the other C1L but it’s still post-2000 and I’ll include the specific year soon.

Yamaha C1X
Please see the below image (from Pinterest) of a Yamaha C1X frame which shows the same embossed “C1” logo that has been there since the introduction of the C1 in the 1980s.

I will soon update this article with design changes between the C1L and the C1X but for now here are a couple of recordings we found on youtube of the C1X.

We think you’ll love this one!

Do people like the Yamaha C1?

  • PianoGuy from the piano-tuner.org forums likes the Yamaha C1 and rates it lists it amongst his favourite Yamaha models.
  • A London piano buyer tried a Yamaha C1, GC1, Kawai RX-1, Boston (designed by Steinway, built by Kawai) before concluding “I think its going to be Yamaha C1 for me”
  • Here is a helpful discussion about the comparison between the C1 and the GC1. Everyone loves the C1 and says the GC1 is the same beast but with all of the bells and whistles (sostenuto pedal most notably) left out.
  • As mentioned earlier, this discussion features piano industry consultant, Steve Cohen, remark that “I was a Yamaha dealer when they changed from the G1 to the C1. There were no significant changes in their specs”


Length: 161cm
Width: 149cm
Height: 101cm
Weight: 287kg

Who buys them?

People buy a C1 when they don’t have enough space or budget for a C2. The Yamaha C1 is very popular with piano teachers, ambitious students and discerning musicians who know that they really must have the very best build quality but they need to fit the piano into their music room at home.

Who doesn’t buy them?

Music studios tend to push up to the longer C2 or C3 in order to get that richer, deeper tone. Performances venues also shy away from anything this small. Anyone who has the available space and budget for a C2 or C3 then you should definitely push up to one of those models. The difference in sound in the bass register is remarkable.

If you don’t have the extra space or budget to go for a C2 or C3 then you the Yamaha C1 will certainly knock your socks off with its incredible quality in a wee small package.


I’ve been told many times over the years that a Yamaha U3 upright piano has a longer bass-string length than a Yamaha C1. I will be back soon to add those specific measurements to this page.

New and used prices

Coming soon

Alternative models

  • If you want the quality of a C1 at a lower price and you are willing to do without a sostenuto pedal then you might consider a Yamaha GC1 instead. Same great action and overall build quality but with fewer features.
  • If space is limited and you are looking for a rich bass sound you might drop the idea of a baby grand and go for a Yamaha U3 instead. It has longer bass strings than the C1 and is a top-quality Japanese-made piano with nice long keys for increased touch control.

Not to be confused with…

  • The Yamaha GB1 which is not in the same league and is made in Indonesia.
  • The Yamaha GC1 (mentioned above) is a very similar piano, in fact, it’s the same piano but with fewer design features (no sostenuto pedal).
  • The Yamaha GH1