Yamaha G1 Grand Piano review & information

The Yamaha G1 is the smallest of the G range, was made in Japan, and is perfect for the home or studio. Some G1s are quite old so check the condition carefully before buying. If you have any technical info or corrections for this article, please email mgpianos@gmail.com.

The pros of buying a Yamaha G1

  • The Yamaha G1 is more compact than other grand pianos, making it a wonderful option for those who want the beauty of a grand piano, but don’t have a large space.
  • It is cheaper than a C1 but is very similar in build, quality and musicality
  • It is made from the highest quality materials and is built to last a life time.

What are the cons of buying a Yamaha G1?

  • It’s shorter bass strings means the sound quality is limited. In fact, a tall upright piano (U3, UX, etc) has longer bass strings than most baby grand pianos.
  • It is an older model so take care to carefully check the condition.

When was it produced?

The Yamaha G1 was produced between 1984 and 1994.

Where was it made?

Yamaha’s Hamamatsu factory in Japan is where all of the G series was made, in fact all of Yamaha’s professional grade pianos were created here, including its concert grand, the CFX, which sells for £140k.

What differences between similarly named models?

The Yamaha G1 is very similar but slightly smaller than the Yamaha G2. The G3 is the next size up from the G2. The G models were replaced by the C series pianos are very similar in terms of quality and performance, featuring only slight design changes.  The G series are cheaper due to them being slightly older.


And another:


Don’t just take my word for it, here is a quote I found on Piano World…

“I grew up playing one through high school until college, and it served me very well for a smaller grand piano while preparing auditions.” – http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1599986/Yamaha_G1_who_knows_this_model.html

And another…

“I grew up playing a 1982 G1 through my teens, and it treated me well.” – http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1374769/1980-yamaha-g1-worth-it-or-rx2-1980-1987.html

Who should buy them?

If you’re in love with the idea of a baby grand, the Yamaha G1 is a great choice for the home. It won’t dominate the room too much and you can find a G1 for several thousand pounds cheaper than the later Yamaha C1. It’s probably too small for studio recording or for use as a concert piano.

Will I need to upgrade at some point?

If you can find a Yamaha G1 that has been well looked after, it should last you a lifetime if you have it regularly maintained. However, if you find yourself with more space and a bigger budget, then you might find yourself itching to upgrade to a G2 or G3 (or C2 / C3)  to enjoy the extra depth of tone that you can only get from those longer models. 


Width: 146cm
Length: 160cm

New and used prices.

A used Yamaha G1 will cost around £6000-£8500 and the latest new equivalent model (C1X) costs around £19,000 brand new.

Alternative models to consider similar to this.

If you have the available space then the obvious alternative model to the Yamaha G1 would be the G2 or G3 as their extra length will provide a richer sound. If you find the G series a little too old then you should look towards the C1, C1L, and C1X which are more recent versions of the G1.  Finally, did you know that a full-sized upright piano (Yamaha U3, U30BL, UX, etc) has longer bass strings than most baby grand pianos? So perhaps consider whether you can live with an upright piano instead and have a look at those models.


The G1 is the perfect choice if space and budget is limited but you know that you really definitely do want a Yamaha baby grand piano. Paying £70 or so to have it inspected before purchase will be money very well spent but most people ignore that advice and take a gamble. Don’t gamble.

Nerdy info

  • A customer from California has emailed to say that most G1 pianos have the mahogany grain running horizontally around the main cabinet but that his runs vertically. If you have more info on this please let us know.