Is the Yamaha U30BL better than a Yamaha U3?

I’ve had dozens of Yamaha U30BL pianos in stock over the years so I think I’m fairly well qualified to give a little bit of information about them. If I miss anything out or you have any questions in general, please feel free to email me at (UK enquiries only please).

The U30BL can be thought of as a very very close relative of the Yamaha U3. The important thing to note is that the Yamaha U3 and the Yamaha U30BL both begin with the letter “U”. The U means that the piano is in Yamaha’s top line of pianos. You have the B series at the bottom (made in Indonesia), the P series in the middle (made in various factories all over the world) and you have the U series, most of which are made in Yamaha’s premier factory in Japan. It is in this same factory that Yamaha make their concert grand piano, the CFIIIS which retails at over £100,000.

The U30BL was produced as an improved version of the U3.

Physically, the 2 pianos look very similar and there are only some very minor differences to the cabinet design. Here are 3 different photos of a Yamaha U30BL and 3 photos showing a Yamaha U3. Article continues below the photos.

Yamaha U30BL cabinet

Yamaha U30BL – Notice there is no lock

Yamaha U30BL notice that the model number is a transfer, not embossed.

Yamaha U3 Cabinet. Sorry for the fuzzy photo quality

Yamaha U3 – Notice that there is a lock on the U3

Yamaha U3 model number is physically embossed to the iron frame

In terms of the musical characteristics of the U30BL I find it to be very similar to the U3 which means it has a rich, deep tone with just enough brightness to bring the melody out but certainly not overly bright as many smaller Yamahas can be. To avoid overly bright pianos try to stick to pianos that are at least 130cm tall. The extra string-length and soundboard size of these pianos help give a richer, deeper tone.

Overall, my advice when considering this model is that you should think of it as a U3 but with a slightly higher gradient of components made with a slightly more demanding pianist in mind. I have now written a more in-depth article which looks at U3 variants such as U30A, U30BL, UX, U3X, U300, YU30. Read that for my latest info and research.

As ever if you have any questions at all please drop me a line at and I’ll be happy to discuss anything with you.

Many thanks for your interest