Used / Second-hand Pianos and FAQ

What about Purchasing a Used Yamaha Piano?

Customers frequently call the Piano Technical Manager at Yamaha Music Australia to ask about purchasing a used Yamaha piano. Typically, they want to know how old the piano is, whether it is a good piano or not, how much the piano is worth, and if they should purchase it or not. We do our best to answer their questions, from a technical standpoint. We first remind the customer that they are asking us about a used piano. We explain that there is always some degree of risk involved in purchasing any used product. 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, how worn out the piano is, or whether the piano is in need of major rebuilding. We recommend that they contact a competent piano technician and have the technician make a thorough inspection of the piano, before purchasing it. We can also run a serial number search on the instrument to confirm year of manufacture and if the piano was originally manufactured for the Australian market.

What Potential Used Piano Buyers Should Be Aware Of

Along with the extensive experience we have had providing warranty support for Yamaha pianos in Australia, we can provide information that may assist in reducing the purchase risk for the potential customer. More and more frequently, however, the used pianos customers are asking about were not originally sold new into the Australian market. More often than not, it is a well-used older piano that was recently brought in from Japan and sold to a piano dealer in Australia (a "grey market import"). When asked about one of these pianos we cannot provide information about the piano, other than the year of manufacture and that it was not made for this market.

What's The Main Issue With Used Yamaha Pianos Made for Overseas Markets?

Yamaha had manufactured pianos for Japan and the Asian market for over 50 years before exporting pianos to other parts of the world. When Yamaha began exporting pianos to Australia and North America the Yamaha engineers were unaware of the level of dryness that existed in Australian and North American homes. As a result, some of the first pianos sold in Australia during the 1960s developed dryness-related problems. Upon researching these problems, our engineers found that in general, the indoor environments of homes in Australia are considerably drier than in Japan. Some of this is related to the outdoor climate and some of it is related to the indoor environment, which is affected by such conditions as air conditioning and heating systems. This research led Yamaha to the development of computer-controlled drying kilns, as well as other manufacturing procedures, so that pianos destined for Australia would be properly seasoned for the Australian home. Most of the used Yamaha pianos being brought in to Australia today are pianos that were manufactured for the Japanese market. These instruments were manufactured using the same seasoning techniques that were used on the pianos we had moisture-related problems with. In addition, these used pianos have lived in a very moist environment since they were new.

So What Does Yamaha Music Australia Recommend?

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Will one of these pianos develop severe problems after several years in Australia? Unless the piano is placed in a very humid environment (similar to Japan), the piano could potentially develop problems that will be expensive to correct. We know this because of the numerous calls we receive from customers and piano technicians reporting dryness-related problems with these used pianos brought in from Japan. We do not experience these types of problems with pianos that are seasoned for the Australian market. Parts availability is another problem facing the purchaser of a Yamaha piano not made for the Australian market. Yamaha makes different models of pianos for various markets around the world. There are many models of Yamaha pianos that were sold in Japan that were never sold in Australia. From a service standpoint, we do not have information on these models. As a result, part replacement, in most cases, is a challenging and sometimes lengthy process.

Based on our experience with pianos not seasoned for the Australian market, from a service standpoint, we strongly discourage the purchase of one of these used "made for Japan" pianos.

You can locate your nearest Yamaha accredited technician on our website. Service Centers


FAQ - about Yamaha pianos

From 15 to 80 years depending on several things:

1. How well built the piano was in the first place.

2. How much use the piano has had (if used in a very heavy work situation possibly only about 15 years).

3. Service history

4. Climate control

No, they are a bit like people. Some people live to 100 years but don't perform as they did at 20.
Most piano manufacturers agree that the first 20 years of a new pianos life is the best part. After 30 years -depending on the amount of use it has had, it may need an extensive overhaul which could cost thousands of dollars.
If the piano needs new strings and tuning pins you could spend around $4000 - Action reconditioning $2000 -Regulation $1000. Structural and soundboard problems could cost anything.
If you bought a second-hand car you would want to know what sort of life it has had, where it has been and what sort of work it has done. Also some proof of age. Many second-hand piano dealers cannot answer these questions except to say "It came from a private home".
If you buy a second-hand piano from a shop which closes down, you don't have a warranty. A new Yamaha piano is warranted by Yamaha Music Australia (a wholly owned part of Yamaha Corporation Japan) for ten years and actually states that if a defect is not able to be repaired by Yamaha they will replace the piano. The warranty is backed by a company that has existed since 1887.
Yamaha Corporation have never stopped researching and developing techniques to improve their pianos. They make several hundred "test" pianos per year. The pianos Yamaha build today are superior to those built even twenty years ago.
All Yamaha pianos are made in Yamaha. All Yamaha factories share the same cutting-edge machine and hand-crafting technology, and are state-of-the-art facilities that have received ISO Quality Management Standard certification. The only difference is their location. KAKEGAWA, JAPAN Models: U1PEQ, YUS Series (YUS1 etc), GC1, GC2, CX Series (C1X, C2X etc), S4, S6, CF4, CF6, CFX YAMAHA INDONESIA Models: JU109, JX113, U1J, GB1K
It’s more complex than that. There are many cases where smaller pianos outperform larger ones.
If in doubt seek the advice of a qualified piano technician. His job is to know and assess pianos from a technical standpoint.
Yamaha Music Australia is committed to ensuring its customers enjoy the finest pianos that are maintained by the best technicians. To this end Yamaha established a piano tuners college with Master Technician Brent Ottley; The Australasian School of Piano Technology. At this college Mr Ottley teaches new technicians their trade, and more experienced technician’s new and improved techniques. Qualified Technicians leaving this college are accredited by Yamaha Music Australia to work on our pianos. Yamaha also sends experienced technicians to our Yamaha Piano Technical Academy in Kakegawa, Japan. Here the technicians learn the skills required to work on our concert series grand pianos. We are the only company in Australia that provides this level of support for and backing of our pianos.