New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano, Melodytune

Post Reply
pianocat
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 18:59

New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by pianocat » 16 Mar 2013, 19:13

Hi

I have been deliberating over these two choices:

New Yamaha B3 - £3977
Used Yamaha U3 - £3750 (c1980)

I have read forums where it's suggested that B3 is just like Yamaha U1, except that the sound board is different. Although personally I am leaning towards the sound of the used Yamaha U3, but I am looking for something that will last longer.

Any advice? Should I go for a better but older model (Yamaha U3) or is it wiser to go for a newer model for long term reliability (Yamaha B3)?

My original budget was £2k, but I couldn't find any reasonable professional piano within this budget unfortunately :-(

I am looking for a piano that is suitable for up to Grade 8 or Diploma playing (for teaching), I would also appreciate if anyone has any advice on other models.

User avatar
athomik
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 356
Joined: 03 Jan 2007, 12:14
Location: England

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by athomik » 17 Mar 2013, 15:06

The U3 is getting on a bit, but if it's in good condition it should be a good piano( if it hasn't spent it's life in a bar, hotel or school and hasn't had mice nesting in it- get it checked by a piano technician to make sure of the condition). If the U3 is in good condition, it would be a better piano than a B3. Better build (Made in Japan), better sound.

pianocat
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 18:59

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by pianocat » 17 Mar 2013, 15:14

The seller himself is a piano technician who also sell piano, do you think I should always ask a second opinion from a different technician?

What is the life span of a Yamaha U3? Since it's already 33 years old and I am planning to use it for another 30-50 years at least...

pianocat
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 18:59

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by pianocat » 17 Mar 2013, 15:31

Hi

Thanks for your advice.

The piano seller is also a piano technician who own a piano shop, do you think I should always consult a different technician to confirm the quality of a second hand product?

What is the life span of a Yamaha U3? It's 33 years old now, and I am planning to use it for at least 30-50 years- does it still sound like a wiser choice?

Thanks.

User avatar
athomik
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 356
Joined: 03 Jan 2007, 12:14
Location: England

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by athomik » 18 Mar 2013, 20:54

pianocat wrote:Hi

Thanks for your advice.

The piano seller is also a piano technician who own a piano shop, do you think I should always consult a different technician to confirm the quality of a second hand product?

What is the life span of a Yamaha U3? It's 33 years old now, and I am planning to use it for at least 30-50 years- does it still sound like a wiser choice?

Thanks.
As the person selling the piano has a personal interest in getting the sale, it is always worth getting a second opinion from an independent technician. As far as life span is concerned, this depends on a variety of factors,in the wrong conditions it might be beyond rescue in 5 years, in the right conditions, it could last for decades. Whichever piano you get, build up a rapport with a good, regular tuner/technician and he should be able to advise how to look after your piano.

quattrorings
New Member
New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 08 Feb 2013, 14:17

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by quattrorings » 18 Mar 2013, 23:44

I have just gone through the same process - except I was considering a new U1.

I consider myself reasonably competant - Grade 5.

I spoke to plenty of non biased dealers and played a few of both. I went for the B3 - it is a great piano for the money.

Chris Venables - who contributes extensively to this forum has a good piece on his website outlining the differences between a used U1/U3 and the newer Yamaha pianos - worth taking a look as it is very useful.

I would also add that you can get the B3 considerably cheaper than the price you quote if you shop around.

vernon
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1407
Joined: 12 Mar 2008, 10:29
Location: N.E.Scotland
Contact:

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by vernon » 19 Mar 2013, 00:27

You will always get a U3 from a monkey dealer for peanuts who is about to go broke but look to your after sales service and warranty.
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

www.lochnesspianos.co.uk

mdw
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
Posts: 604
Joined: 05 Jan 2008, 19:18

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by mdw » 19 Mar 2013, 08:06

There are lots of other makes other than Yamahas out there. Whilst Yamaha seem to be a default ( I dont want to think for myself) option it does concern me the fact that they seem to need a big overhaul at just 30 years old with new bass strings, loops, key tops and other things. I have also seen quite a number of broken bass bridges on other Yamaha made product (Kembles ) made in the last 10-30 years and that shouldnt be happening. Very good PR, perhaps more should be spent on making the product than promoting it.

pianocat
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 18:59

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by pianocat » 19 Mar 2013, 12:48

quattrorings wrote:I have just gone through the same process - except I was considering a new U1.

I consider myself reasonably competant - Grade 5.

I spoke to plenty of non biased dealers and played a few of both. I went for the B3 - it is a great piano for the money.

Chris Venables - who contributes extensively to this forum has a good piece on his website outlining the differences between a used U1/U3 and the newer Yamaha pianos - worth taking a look as it is very useful.

I would also add that you can get the B3 considerably cheaper than the price you quote if you shop around.
Thanks!

How much did you get for a B3?

Do we actually get chance to try out a "new piano"? I mean yes, we can try out the piano in the showroom, but surely the piano that they actually send to us are brand new from the warehouse?

joe
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 322
Joined: 24 Apr 2009, 08:40

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by joe » 19 Mar 2013, 17:32

Did you try an essex 123 model,or a kawai k3,nice pianos also,b3 overly bright for my liking ?

pianocat
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 18:59

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by pianocat » 19 Mar 2013, 17:43

Haven't tried Essex or Kawai yet, although I did come across some forums suggesting Kawai K3 is as good as or better than U3.

Has anyone tried Kawai US-60/70 and Boston 125 (Steinway & Sons)?

I have tried Boston 125- I like the sound, but the keys are heavier than Yamaha (more difficult to play fast notes.

mdw
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
Posts: 604
Joined: 05 Jan 2008, 19:18

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by mdw » 19 Mar 2013, 19:49

pianocat wrote: Do we actually get chance to try out a "new piano"? I mean yes, we can try out the piano in the showroom, but surely the piano that they actually send to us are brand new from the warehouse?
If you get the one from the warehouse you will have been stiched up. The one on the showroom floor should have been prepped and set up properly and is the one you want. Even take the serial number to make sure you get the one you try on the showroom floor.

User avatar
NewAge
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 426
Joined: 07 Nov 2007, 18:29

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by NewAge » 19 Mar 2013, 20:49

Pianocat,
As MDW so rightly indicates, never opt for a new piano just from the crate. The chances are you'll get a raw deal.
In different showrooms you may have to play several pianos of the same make/model before finding one which really pleases. Another wise rule - never rush into a purchase. Some of the buyers-remorse piano tales I've read over the years make for depressing reading.
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

pianocat
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 18:59

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by pianocat » 19 Mar 2013, 21:01

Thanks for the tips!!!

It sounds like the rule of thumbs to buy a piano is to try it before hand, even for a new one!

I hate it where there is a limited choice where I live :-(

Does anyone knows where else I can try out pianos in York, other than Stephen Brandon Pianos Of Yorkshire and Bridge Music Pianos?

joe
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 322
Joined: 24 Apr 2009, 08:40

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by joe » 19 Mar 2013, 21:34

Besbrode pianos in leeds,plenty it choice.

joe
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 322
Joined: 24 Apr 2009, 08:40

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by joe » 19 Mar 2013, 21:44

pianocat wrote:Haven't tried Essex or Kawai yet, although I did come across some forums suggesting Kawai K3 is as good as or better than U3.

Has anyone tried Kawai US-60/70 and Boston 125 (Steinway & Sons)?

I have tried Boston 125- I like the sound, but the keys are heavier than Yamaha (more difficult to play fast notes.
Hi,kawai k6 is the comparable model to u3;yamaha,i find b3 Action too light,Boston 125 are nice a. I personally prefer the more resitant touch,best of luck.

quattrorings
New Member
New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 08 Feb 2013, 14:17

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by quattrorings » 19 Mar 2013, 23:00

pianocat wrote:
quattrorings wrote:I have just gone through the same process - except I was considering a new U1.

I consider myself reasonably competant - Grade 5.

I spoke to plenty of non biased dealers and played a few of both. I went for the B3 - it is a great piano for the money.

Chris Venables - who contributes extensively to this forum has a good piece on his website outlining the differences between a used U1/U3 and the newer Yamaha pianos - worth taking a look as it is very useful.

I would also add that you can get the B3 considerably cheaper than the price you quote if you shop around.
Thanks!

How much did you get for a B3?

Do we actually get chance to try out a "new piano"? I mean yes, we can try out the piano in the showroom, but surely the piano that they actually send to us are brand new from the warehouse?

Thanks. Probably not fair to name the dealer or the price on the forum - but if you PM me I can give you the details.

It comes down to the sound you like. I personally think the B3 is excellent.

I did consider the essex 123 - it is a nice piano but produces a very big sound.

mdw
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
Posts: 604
Joined: 05 Jan 2008, 19:18

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by mdw » 20 Mar 2013, 08:34

pianocat wrote:I hate it where there is a limited choice where I live :-(
Difficult one that as the reason you are going to get a dirt cheap price is the same reason you cant try one localy. Yep the internet and to a slightly lesser degree Yahama new and 2nd hand dealers. Ohh and the economy as well :D . There are loads of 2nd hand Yam dealers who just buy it in and bang it out. You can even see them working out of big yellow box self storage centres via ebay. Most are not techs and simply sell as thats where the money was. Trained techs and workshops cost money. The route seems to be , get made redundant. Spend pay out on van ( become piano mover) or buy a few pianos ( become piano dealer).

pianocat
Junior Poster
Junior Poster
Posts: 18
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 18:59

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by pianocat » 20 Mar 2013, 15:55

mdw wrote:There are lots of other makes other than Yamahas out there. Whilst Yamaha seem to be a default ( I dont want to think for myself) option it does concern me the fact that they seem to need a big overhaul at just 30 years old with new bass strings, loops, key tops and other things. I have also seen quite a number of broken bass bridges on other Yamaha made product (Kembles ) made in the last 10-30 years and that shouldnt be happening. Very good PR, perhaps more should be spent on making the product than promoting it.
Agree with you, but is Yamaha the only popular brand that has this problem (e.g. need a big overhaul at 30 years old)? I read somewhere that the new yamaha pianos seem to be better- e.g. old U3 vs. new U3.

More people are buying digital pianos nowadays, as a result, manufacturers prefer to spend less money for acoustic piano R&D.

It's just sad....... :(

User avatar
athomik
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 356
Joined: 03 Jan 2007, 12:14
Location: England

Re: New Yamaha B3 vs. Used Yamaha U3

Post by athomik » 20 Mar 2013, 20:47

pianocat wrote:
mdw wrote: Agree with you, but is Yamaha the only popular brand that has this problem (e.g. need a big overhaul at 30 years old)? I read somewhere that the new yamaha pianos seem to be better- e.g. old U3 vs. new U3.

More people are buying digital pianos nowadays, as a result, manufacturers prefer to spend less money for acoustic piano R&D.

It's just sad....... :(
There are many choices. New Japanese (even if they don't last as they used to in the old days - they can sound good and are well made), new Chinese (they used to be at the cheap end of the market, but they are getting very good at their job), Indonesian ( a bit hit and miss, but improving - see current Kembles) or trust that an old English, US or German piano has survived or been has restored enough to be useful.

I think that the bottom line always has to be : try the piano, if you like the sound and touch and your tech says it's OK, go for it at a reasonable price.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests