The Yamaha U1: A Classic Analog Upright Piano
Upright pianos deliver beauty in a much more compact space than a grand piano, making them a popular choice among musicians everywhere – and no other model is more beloved than the Yamaha U1. In fact, when musicians from around the globe were polled about their preferred upright piano, a staggering 43 percent responded with the Yamaha U1, whereas the remaining 57 percent of respondents were spread thinly across hundreds of other models.
Most would agree that a piano’s main function is to produce beautiful music when in the hands of a trained musician, however it’s no question that pianos also serve as a furnishing for those who own them. In fact, many homeowners wish to purchase a piano to serve as a furnishing alone, making the aesthetics of the instrument more important than the sound. Acoustic pianos are known for their great size and beauty, and are often used to bring a touch of traditional class to a home, thanks to their great size and sheer elegance. Acoustic pianos come in many different shapes and sizes, and in nearly any color imaginable, however none deliver a more elegant look and sound than the Yamaha U1.
Grand pianos are a beautiful addition to any home, however if you’re looking to save on space with an equally beautiful instrument, you may want to consider an upright model instead, such as the Yamaha U1. Upright pianos deliver the same rich tone as grand pianos, but do so in a much more compact space. They can be tuned using similar methods to those of tuning a grand piano, and typically sport three pedals. While upright pianos may appear smaller than grand pianos, they do weigh about the same, so be prepared to make arrangements for moving your Yamaha U1 should you decide to purchase one. In addition, it’s important to understand that upright pianos are nearly as loud as grand pianos, and have no volume option.
It’s no secret that Yamaha produces some of the highest-class pianos in the world, as both their acoustic and digital piano lines are used by professionals in nearly every genre of music around the world. Touring musicians can often be seen toting a Yamaha to each of their shows, and many of the world’s most timeless hits were recorded on a Yamaha model of some kind, giving the company its stellar reputation.
Unlike their digital counterparts, most acoustic pianos are viable for a very wide range players from every skill level, and the Yamaha U1 is no exception: this legendary piano serves as an excellent for both beginners and professionals alike, thanks to its timeless sound and painstakingly designed keys.
When you purchase the Yamaha U1, you can rest assured that you will find use out of the instrument for many years to come, as this model has been shown to stand the test of time without losing any of its original elegance, in both looks and sound.
Upright pianos can be a hit or miss with sound quality, and cheap pianos will be less comfortable to play, with less vibrant tones, and will typically sport a less attractive aesthetic as well. The Yamaha U1 is not the least expensive piano on the market, but it does outperform nearly every other model of its kind, from cheap upright pianos to highly respected models used by professionals.
What makes the Yamaha U1 so spectacular?
Much of what makes the Yamaha U1 such a widely respected instrument is its history; the company began producing the U1 just over 60 years ago, and very few changes have been made to its specifications over the years. While Yamaha has introduced the music industry to some of the greatest music innovations in history, the U1 is proof that the manufacturer had the right idea from the very beginning.
As of writing, the Yamaha U1 is out of production by Yamaha themselves, but there are hundreds of used U1s for sale. These models have been refurbished, and will play and look like a brand new U1. In addition, these refurbished models can still be serviced by professional piano tuners and repairmen, making them an excellent addition to your instrument collection, as well as your home.
The Yamaha Hybrid NU1 Upright Digital Piano: The best of both worlds?
Yamaha’s take on a hybrid model that combines the best of the U1’s aesthetic and playability is the NU1. It’s shape is familiar to those who know the U1, but the form factor is much smaller. They’ve packed a classic-but-updated-style cabinet with the latest technology. This hybrid offers an authentic playing experience that would be indistinguishable from the classic U1 to most pianists. This is thanks to the same action and natural wood keys that were used in their upright pianos.
Specifications for Yamaha NU1 Hybrid Upright Digital Piano:
- Keyboard: 88 keys with adjustable touch sensitivity
- Pedals: 3 (damper with half-pedaling, sostenuto, soft)
- Voices: 5, with 256-note polyphony and CFX sampling
- Speakers: 4 x 40 watts
- Recording: 1 track via USB
- Connectivity: Headphones, MIDI (In/Out), Aux (In/Out), USB (to Host/to Device)
- Other Functions: Reverb, Metronome, Tempo, Transpose, Alternate Tuning, Volume Control
For a quick demonstration of the quality and sound from the NU1 see the video below. Beautiful action.