Yamaha P121 upright piano

The Yamaha P121 is the best of the pianos in the P series, but it isn’t made in Japan, and Yamaha’s best pianos come from the Hamamatsu factory there. There are better options for the same price, some of which are listed below. If you have any technical info or corrections for this article, please email mgpianos@gmail.com.

The pros of buying a Yamaha P121

  • At 121cm, the Yamaha P121 is the same size as the amazing Yamaha U1. This means it has a decent sized soundboard and lovely long strings.

What are the cons of buying a Yamaha P121?

  • The best Yamaha pianos are made in Japan, this piano is made in Indonesia.
  • It won’t see you through the higher grades and you will likely want to upgrade to something with a better sound quality before long.
  • The Yamaha U3 is 10cm taller at 131cm, so if you want a full-sized piano with nice long strings, that will produce a far superior tone, go for a U3 (or similar), not a P121.

When was it produced?

The Yamaha P121 is still being manufactured today. It was originally released in 2002.

Where was it made?

The Yamaha P121 was originally made in the Kemble factory in the Uk. Now, all of the P series pianos are manufactured in Yamaha’s Indonesia factory, here they are able to keep production prices low.

What differences between similarly named models?

The P121 is a slight upgrade to the Yamaha B models, and a slight downgrade to the coveted U models, which are a little more expensive, but have a larger range of tone. There is also the P116, which is part of the same P series range, but is even smaller.



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

‘‘The U1 will last longer (than a P121, but more importantly, it will show wear much more gradually with regular service, maintaining a “plateau” of performance. It will also respond better to service if it ever goes through a period of neglect.”

Who should buy them?

If you are absolutely set on the Yamaha P121, then it is the best of the P series, however, you could get a Yamaha U1 in the same space, or if you have the room you could even get a nice reconditioned Yamaha U3 with a similar budget.

Will I need to upgrade at some point?

Maybe. The P121 will be OK as you work through the earlier grades, but there may come a time when you long for the best sound, the best touch, and for that you are going to have to upgrade to something like the U3, UX, U30A or U30BL. Why not save yourself the expensive process of upgrading in future and get a high range piano to start with?


Height:  151cm
Width:    154cm
Depth:    62cm

New and used prices.

The Yamaha P121 will cost around £7000 new, and around £4500 used. Its worth considering looking at a Yamaha U3 which will cost only slightly more, but is a full sized piano and is a better quality. You could possibly get a great U1 for less!

Alternative models to consider similar to this.

An alternative model to the Yamaha P121 is the U3, which is a much better option for those who want a concert level piano that will never need to be upgraded. If size is an issue, you could also consider the U1, similar in size to the P121, but from Yamaha’s best factory in Japan.


The Yamaha P121 is a nice piano, it will serve most people perfectly fine, but it would be a missed opportunity if you don’t at least consider the other models mentioned above, as they are truly outstanding pianos that will last you a lifetime and impress you always.

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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.