Yamaha M5J Upright Piano

The Yamaha M5J is a compact budget piano that may be too small to really meet your musical needs, it is very much a starter piano. If you have any technical info or corrections for this article, please email mgpianos@gmail.com.

The pros of buying a Yamaha M5J

  • It is amongst the smallest uprights.
  • It is a budget friendly piano.
  • It’s made in Yamaha’s best factory in Hamamatsu, Japan.

What are the cons of buying a Yamaha M5J?

  • The Yamaha M5J is a short piano, and while this may be useful if you have a small space, shorter pianos mean shorter strings. Taller pianos tend to produce a better range of tone.
  • The standard Yamaha M5J comes in a mahogany finish.
  • You will likely wish to upgrade the Yamaha M5J quickly.

When was it produced?

The Yamaha M5J was produced between 1982 and 1998.

Where was it made?

The Yamaha M5J was made in Yamaha’s best factory in Hamamatsu Japan. It’s here that all of Yamaha’s best pianos come from, including their world-famous concert grand, the CFX, which retails at around £140k.

What differences between similarly named models?

A similar model to this one is the Yamaha C108, which is very similar in height or the C110, which is slightly larger. There is also the Yamaha U1, another compact option, but with a much better sound.



Don’t just take my word for it, here is what I found on a Piano world forum…

“One of Yamaha’s shortest pianos, poor bass and tenor transition, short keys making the touch rather unresponsive and not worth half what the dealer is asking. In Europe, a new B1 is almost the same quality, equivalent height and about the same price, if you shop around.”

Who should buy them?

It can work as a starter piano, but ambitious students or more practised players who want a serious instrument may wish to select a different model. (See suggestions below.)

Will I need to upgrade at some point?

Yes, you may well want to, this piano will only really cover to grades 4 and 5, so students will need to upgrade after that, and accomplished players may soon want something with a better quality of sound.


Height:  108cm
Width:    148cm
Depth:    54cm

New and used prices.

This Piano is no longer made new, you can buy a used one from around £2000 which makes it a very cheap piano; however, the price really does reflect the quality, and if you can stretch your budget, you can get a Yamaha U1 for around £4000.

Alternative models to consider similar to this.

An alternative model to the Yamaha M5J is the Yamaha U1, which is a much better option for those who need a smaller piano but want a superior sound and want a piano that will last a lifetime. If you have a larger space and want to really treat yourself, the Yamaha U3 is a concert level piano that will make you smile.


The is a starter piano; you will likely need to upgrade, and it won’t produce the best sound. The budget and size may pull you in, but there are far better options available.

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I hope this summary was helpful to you, and as always your feedback, thoughts and questions are welcomed, so don’t hesitate to reach out.