Yamaha YUA upright piano review and information

We have had plenty of Yamaha YUA pianos in our shop over the years. The YUA is a lovely piano from Yamaha’s top range of upright pianos, but it comes with a spring bar which some people love but other people don’t like. If you have any technical info or corrections for this article, please email mgpianos@gmail.com.

The pros of buying a Yamaha YUA

  • It is a slightly better version of the Yamaha U3
  • It uses an experimental “spring bar” (more on that later)
  • It will hold its value very well
  • It has the wooden X-shaped frame around the back

The cons of buying a Yamaha YUA

  • Some piano tuners don’t like the “spring bar” on this piano
  • It’s difficult to add a silent kit to the YUA due to the spring bar.

When was it produced?

The Yamaha YUA was produced in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Where was it made?

The Yamaha YUA comes from Yamaha’s best factory, in Hamamatsu, Japan, which is where Yamaha make all of their best pianos including their very special concert grand piano, the CFX, which costs £140,000. 

More on the spring bar

Yamaha added a metal spring bar to the YUA to help bounce the hammers back to their starting position after being played. In almost every other model, Yamaha use a spring and a loop made from fabric to do this job, but the fabric loops usually snap after 20-30 years so the metal spring bar was added to prevent this.

Here is some more information about the spring bar (it has a proper name which I’ll add here soon). First, I haven’t seen it on any other piano, which tells me that Yamaha decided to end the experiment.  Maybe it did work really great but if Yamaha believed that the spring bar made it more difficult to install their silent system then that may have been why they ditched it. Yamaha sells lots of hybrid pianos, so why introduce a feature that prevents them from installing a silent kit? This is just speculation, if you have more accurate information, please let me know so I can update this page.

Selective sostenuto pedals

The Yamaha YUA has more pedals than a standard piano. It has a hand-operated lever (normally called a practise pedal) to make the piano play very very softly by lowering a piece of felt in front of the hammers. The middle pedal is called a “sostenuto” pedal which is allows certain notes to be held on whilst the rest of the keys can be played as normal.  And then there is the sustain pedal on the right which is the same on all pianos.

videos

You can see the pedals being demonstrated by Chris Price in this video playing a Yamaha YUA that we had in stock a few years ago

YUA being played

Quotes from blog, forums
Back in 2010 a private piano buyer posted on the pianoworld.com forums asking for opinions about the YUA. She received a number of enthusiastic responses including this one from a piano dealer based in California:

“The YUA is a great piano!. Back in it’s era,it was the flagship Yamaha artist level 52” 131cm. uprt. It was a gray market mdl. and was not available in the states. It was very similar to the nongray market WX7 in it’s features though it did not have the radial back but the regular backposts, It had agraffes in the bass and had a true sostenuto pedal though it still had the practice mute rail with the cabled lever underneath the keybed. It had the premium high grade Yamaha hammers. It had the large grand style music rack and the upgraded boston type fallboard.
Now the action design was quite innovative for it’s time. It had a double step action more reminicent of a grand. I don’t think Yamaha continued this action design in other mdls. in that I have not seen it in any newer pianos except in the gray market YUX which was like the WX7 with the radial back. Now the preowned ones that I have had in the past all needed regulation in that it was a bit more complex than a regular Yamaha uprt. action”

Source:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1434394/1980_Yamaha_YUA.html

 
h3. Who should buy them?

The YUA is an excellent piano for any piano players looking to improve their playing. It will last you for a full lifetime. It is also easily good enough for the very best concert pianists.
  
h3. Will I need to upgrade at some point?

No. The YUA is a professional piano that is built to last a lifetime.

Dimensions

Height: 131cm
Width: 153cm
Depth: 64cm

New and used prices.

You can’t buy a brand new Yamaha YUA anymore and they cost around £5500-£6000 secondhand. They are quite hard to find.

Alternative models to consider similar to this.

Uprights of a similar quality include any from the U-series (click here). Those of you with deep pockets, and lots of space, check out the Yamaha C3 (click here)

Conclusion

We love it, you’ll love it, but get it properly inspected before you buy. The unique “spring bar” will be something you can show-off about to friends, other players and tuners.

Looking to buy?

To see our current stock list, click here.

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