Value of Yamaha Pianos – Assessing a Yamaha Piano’s Worth
Are you aware of the true value of Yamaha pianos? If not, we’re here to help, as we’ll walk you through a few examples of pianos on the marketplace to help you assess what it takes to understand the true worth of your prized piano.
Yamaha Piano Value – What’s the Value of a Yamaha Piano?
Before we start breaking down the average costs of a vintage Yamaha piano, let’s go ahead and showcase six examples of Yamaha pianos up for sale right now. I’ll then break down whether or not each piano seems to provide good value for the money.
1) We begin with a 1993 Yamaha GH1 Baby Grand in mahogany polish being sold at Jordan Kitt’s music store. In fact, this particular piano is at their Tidewater store in Virginia Beach. This baby grand is priced at $11,999, down from its original new price of $30,599.
The lone picture we have is decent, though I would have liked to see more pictures of the inside and the keys to really determine the pianos’s condition (and better assess its value). The description does mention that the GH1 was Yamaha’s premiere baby grand before the new GC1M.
With a measurement of 5 ‘3’’ as listed in the description, this helps someone looking for a baby grand for their living room or home studio. This listing is a great representation of what buyers want to look for. The more detail is the better in my book.
2) From DC Pianos in California, we have a Yamaha U1 Upright Piano in ebony finish priced at $4,795 measured at 48 inches. Another great listing, the U1 Piano is another exemplary model from Yamaha. Do keep in mind that DC Pianos has more U1s for sale, in fact they listed ten for sale.
I highly recommend anyone in the Berkeley area to check this seller out to hear these pianos in person. For the prospective buyer outside the area, it is worthwhile to contact the store to get more information.
One part I liked in this listing is the confidence given to the prospective buyer that these pianos were made in air-conditioned environments, far away from the harsh conditions of certain places across the United States. We will discuss this factor later on.
3) From Frank & Camille’s in Hauppauge, New York comes a Yamaha G2 grand piano in satin walnut with serial number 3500891 priced at $11,995 from its original price of $13,995. This is another beautiful piano for a professional with the space and money. As for the G2 piano, they were made in the 1980s and like other models from Yamaha, they are of the utmost highest quality piano for its time and materials used.
4) Another Yamaha G2 grand piano comes to us from PianoTek, for $13,999 in a stunning ebony black finish. Another great listing because they detail the story of the G2; the highlight is that the G2 along with Yamaha’s top level pianos were made in Japan.
You will know the quality of an instrument when it’s made in Japan. As for the photos, they are clear and crisp, detailing the piano and its finish. As far as I see, the finish is clean and lacks any fatigue or scratches.
A golden rule of thumb for any listing is if the seller offers any warranty or repair be verified by a technician of your choice. This is unique and quite comforting, because PianoTek seems to focus on making a happy customer, perhaps one that will return in the future.
Below, listen to how a (different) Yamaha G2 grand piano can look and sound in the video below:
5) Another Yamaha upright (a U3 from 1975) is on sale at Rick Jones Pianos for $6,898 in ebony black finish. For being an over forty-year old piano, it’s in stunning condition in sound and finish. In fact, a golden plus is a video that shows the piano being played by a professional or staff member. If you’re not there to play it, rest assured that the piano is in great condition.
Some people just dislike anything that is old, and will even claims that pianos made over forty years old are not worth the investment. But in all honesty, they can be—if they’re taken care of like this Yamaha U3. This is a steal compared to a new U3 for $14,000.
6) At the Piano Man Superstore in College Park, Maryland for sale is a 1983 Yamaha G1 Baby Grand for $11,750 in beautiful ebony black finish (in my opinion, the only finish befitting a Yamaha!). There are a few minor scuffs at the left side of the piano, but this is a nicely kept and respectable baby grand.
Plus, we have a video showing the piano in playing motion, and dare I say, it’s a great sounding piano for its size at five foot three inches. If you’re local to the DC area, you have free shipping for 100 miles near College Park, a ten-year warranty on the parts and labor for this piano, and free in-home tuning for the first thirty days of ownership.
If you have the cash, do check this Yamaha out! Especially if they add such great goodies like free tuning and free 100 mile shipping.
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What is the Average Value of a Yamaha Piano?
The average value of Yamaha pianos tends to fluctuate. As a rule of thumb, grand pianos can go up to $30,000, but most used pianos listed are at $15,000 below. The second tier, the baby grands, can go up to $11,000, but can go down to as low as $5,000. Finally, upright Yamaha pianos can go higher than $5,000, but seldom will go lower than $1,000.
Compared to other vintage pianos, Yamaha pianos do hold their value. Part of this is about brand recognition, as everyone knows and respects the Yamaha name.
Yamaha Brand Recognition
The Yamaha brand of musical instruments has been acclaimed across the world in Japan, Europe, the United States, and other places. They started in 1887 after founder Torakusu Yamaha began repairing and building organs; the first organs were of questionable quality, but Torakusu was determined to make the fledgling business thrive.
Yamaha’s philosophy is a commitment to excellence, to bring joy to customers, and to challenge to bring innovation. It’s with these ideals that the Yamaha brand has succeeded in making musical instruments since their humble beginnings.
Of course, it has led them to become the most recognizable brand of not just pianos, but other musical instruments from around the world. When you want a piano of sublime quality, you tend to think of either Yamaha or brands like Steinway and Sons.
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Factors that Affect a Piano’s Value
The factors that affect a piano’s value the most are tuning, the tone and overall piano sound, condition of the piano itself (does it have sticky keys?), and the pianos’ branding. Let’s begin with the tuning because if the piano is out of tune, it’s a big problem. An out of tune piano, in the case of the piano market, will command a lower price point because it’s another cost for the buyer to factor in after they purchased the already pricey piano.
Also, the finish of a piano—while a cosmetic—is going to affect its value. A piano that has its finish in clean and unscratched condition will cost more than a scratched up piano finish. Like a car, a scratched up RAV4 will be cheaper than a well-polished RAV4. Prices may go even lower if the finish is faded or there are visible finish chips, exposing the wood below.
On top of that, the overall condition of the piano (including its sound) of course playa major role too. For instance, are the strings clean or dusty (or even rusty)? Are the piano keys in good condition or are they chipped at the edges? When you play the piano keys, do they stick or do they jump back to resting position? These factors, though they can be their own separate factor, overall affects the overall condition of the piano.
Finally, there is the brand. The biggest question for the piano is “is the brand recognizable?” Does the brand need research or do most people recognize it? In the case of Yamaha, it’s the most recognizable piano brand, besides Steinway and Sons.
Therefore, more recognizable brands will command higher prices, even if they are vintage, because people know that brands like Yamaha are known for their sublime quality and tone. Even a worn down Yamaha can still hold a strong price range.
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