Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

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

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano, Melodytune

Post Reply
Petrea
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 12 Mar 2012, 05:13

Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

Post by Petrea » 12 Mar 2012, 05:28

Hi,
I'm in Australia and have been offered by a private seller a 1970 Yamaha upright piano (7-digit serial number starting with 101). It is Japanese built. It has been with the one family who is 'getting rid of it' because no-one plays it anymore and they are renovating the house. The seller only wants $250 for it. For that price (plus moving costs) it doesn't seem worth getting a technican to look at it. We have looked at it and it sounds lovely to me, but would benefit from a tuning. It just for my 6-year old to start on. Is it a bargain? Or am I naive? Btw, I know nothing about letters (U1, U3, etc) about it.

I would appreciate your feedback.

Cheers,
Petrea.

User avatar
Barrie Heaton
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3955
Joined: 30 May 2003, 20:42
Location: Lanc's
Contact:

Re: Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 12 Mar 2012, 17:29

The price is very good but... Are the tuning pins any good if it will not hold in tune that will be expensive to put right

I would still get a tuner to look at it or at least find out who tuned it last and ask them what state was it it when they last tuned it

Barrie
Barrie Heaton
Web Master UK Piano Page

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1836
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 12 Mar 2012, 18:56

Thinking of buying a piano for yourself, and thinking of buying a piano for your 6 year old child are two different things. There is nothing worse in telling your child that 'we are getting a piano, and you can start piano lessons' .... when you then hear from your piano tuner that either it cant be tuned, or that the piano is in poor condition and wont last very long - and then shivers running down your spine! If you intend to start piano lessons, age of 6 is an ideal age to start - but if the piano is no good - this will ruin the child's confidence, and not allow them to hear the expected sound & touch from a piano.

Imagine teaching your child to ride a bike with 2 flat tyres, rusty frame & no brakes.... or learning ballet in an old pair of slippers - or even yourself learning to drive in a knackered old car that wont start etc......

When you buy a piano, dont just think about the name, serial number, age, model number.... more importantly is the internal structural condition - very important. Depending on the climate you live in, (as I know from experience my sister lives in NT and pianos dont last very long out there!!) .... for an extra 100 oz dollars, its well worth having it checked over. Yamaha are a good name in general, and their U3 and U1 range are very good.... but I've also seen some Yamahas that resemble a shed! That sounds an un-realistic amount to pay for a Yamaha.... if you popped a '0' on the end - about right. If you do not know the seller, they may have had the piano condemned or untunable!! I know several pianos like that in NT and near some friends in NSW...... and basically, I think you'll get what you pay for. I might be wrong, but for that price, I would have thought that kind of offer would have been given by your parents or a very close friend.... not a complete stranger.

For a child to learn the piano successfully, and if you intend to start lessons, they must immediately relate to the touch and sound of a piano being nicely in tune. I teach several pupils, parents have no interest in music, learning on a piano that is only fit for the skip (even 1970's pianos) .... and very soon, the poor kid gives up.

Have a think! .... remember the piano is for your child mainly (if to start lessons) .... if however just for fun.... go for it, and book a tuner after about 2 weeks when the piano settles in...... hope that helps.

Colin
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

User avatar
MarkGoodwinPianos
Senior Poster
Senior Poster
Posts: 698
Joined: 04 Nov 2006, 05:28

Re: Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 13 Mar 2012, 20:43

Do what Colin says ASAP and then if everything is fine GET IT QUICK!!
However, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Yamaha Pianos for sale (usually 50+ in stock)
email markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com with any Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein or Steinway questions :)

Gill the Piano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4208
Joined: 25 Oct 2003, 19:39
Location: Thames Valley

Re: Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Mar 2012, 17:49

I tuned a 1970s Yam upright yesterday, serial number starting 101, and she'd had it shipped here from NZ. When I tuned it 6 months ago, I raised the pitch over a semitone - rough tune first, then a fine tune - and when I went yesterday, it was still on pitch. I was impressed - very nice piano, very nice tone.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Petrea
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 12 Mar 2012, 05:13

Re: Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

Post by Petrea » 31 Oct 2012, 10:53

Hi All,
Thank you for sharing your wisdom many months ago. I considered all your advice.

We went ahead and purchased the early 1970s Yamaha upright for $AUD250 back in March - it cost more to move it with a specialist piano remover within the city!!! We didn't get it checked beforehand given the price. It seemed worth the risk given we had viewed it and played it.

Anyhow, this week, we finally got it tuned. The piano tuner said he thought it was the second time in its life that it had been tuned!! It was quite flat but not terrible. Now it sounds very cheerful. He was very positive about our purchase. He advised that the pianists for the university dance students prefer these models.

We are so pleased that we went for an 'old' good quality instrument than a 'new' cheap version.

Cheers,
Petrea.

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1836
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Contact:

Re: Yamaha 1970 Model - Is it a Bargain?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 31 Oct 2012, 12:00

Good luck with your new purchase - I hope the tuning lasts a while.

I've just returned from Australia last week (east coast NSW) and stayed with some friends & an old college mate. I would use with caution wording "old good quality" .... as I have now had first-hand experience of the problems with pianos in Oz heat!

Yamaha are very good, but so are Steinway and Bosendorfer. My friend has a concert grand Bosendorfer (92 key), and a Steinway model A.... sounds very impressive! However, when I tried to play the Bosendorfer, nothing happened! Took 2 of us to pull the action out, and every single lever (whippen) was just flopping around under the hammers - all flanges were very loose.... luckily no breakages, so I tightened everything up. The Steinway is also known for its "tubular action rail" .... this is a wooden rail encased in brass sheet metal. Mostly good, expect the hammer rail has almost completely dried out - a few flange holes have been stripped of their threads, just turning & turning without becoming tight.

So.... just check your humidity & temperature. I believe most of the city areas are alot cooler than the Gold Coast - but when you have your piano tuned again, maybe best for your tuner to check all the flange screws - takes about 10 mins to tighten them up. Tuning-wise, mostly stable, few problems with tight centres, and hammer butt holes enlarging to over 1.45mm (tech guys will know what this means). A bit of fettling and regulation, but they are working fine now.

Back in the cold UK now!!
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
http://www.aatuners.com
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

Post Reply