What about purchasing a used Yamaha piano?

Last Update: 07/25/2014

What About Purchasing a Used Yamaha Piano?

As with anything used, the purchase of a used piano involves some degree of risk. Without a thorough inspection by a qualified technician, it is impossible to know whether the piano has been properly maintained, whether or not it is damaged, the extent of wear in the piano, or whether it is in need of extensive service. We recommend that a competent piano technician make a thorough inspection of the piano, before the purchase.

What Potential Used Piano Buyers Should Be Aware Of

We have a large database of serial numbers and many detailed warranty records on pianos Yamaha Corporation of America has sold in the United States. With this information, along with the experience we have from providing technical support for several hundred thousand Yamaha pianos in the U.S. during the last 50+ years, we may  be able to provide information that would assist in reducing the purchase risk for the consumer.

Frequently, however, these used pianos were not originally sold in the USA. A substantial number of them are well-used older pianos that were recently brought in from Japan and sold to a piano dealer in the USA. When asked about one of these pianos we cannot provide information about the piano, other than that it was not made for this market.

What's the Main Issue With Used Yamaha Pianos Not Made for the US market?

In trouble-shooting dryness-related problems that developed in some of the Yamaha pianos sold in North America during the 1960s, we discovered that the indoor environment in homes in North America are usually considerably drier than in Japan. Some of this is related to the outdoor climate, but most of it is related to the control we exert on our environment indoors, with extensive use of air conditioning and heating systems.

This research led Yamaha to the development of computer-controlled drying kilns, as well as other manufacturing processes that resulted in pianos destined for North America to be properly seasoned for the American home.  Yamaha’s reputation for long life and reliability in our pianos is the end result of this investment.

Most of the used Yamaha pianos being brought to North America today are pianos that were manufactured for the Japanese market. These instruments were manufactured without the seasoning techniques that were developed for our North American market, and in addition, have lived in a very moist environment since they were new.

So What Does Yamaha Corporation Of America Recommend?

Based on our experience with pianos not seasoned for the US market, we strongly discourage the purchase of one of these "gray market" pianos.  Coupled with difficulty in the correct parts procurement (models differ according to the target market), we feel that the risk far outweighs the benefit of a slightly reduced price.


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