The Yamaha U1 has a great history, as well as an enormous impact on the piano industry and is still playing a very very big role here at Merriam Pianos, as well as in the rest of the industry. The Yamaha U1 is definitely a 100% Japanese made piano manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation, and this model dates back to the 1960s. Asia had an enormous impact on the development of the North American piano industry and really the piano Street worldwide. After World War II the manufacturers in the United States really started focusing on lower cost, smaller, and to be honest very cheaply made pianos. In some ways the world of pianos was mirroring the auto industry where quality and lasting shelf-life wasn't necessarily a focus. All that changed very quickly when pianos like the Yamaha U1 started to cross the Pacific from Japan. People quickly figured out that for what they normally would have been paying for (supposedly a fairly decent midrange North American piano) they can get instrument like the U1 which delivered consistent action and a nice big sound from its 48 inch frame. It it quite frankly obliterated dozens and dozens of manufacturers. Right from its outset it really had a big impact on the piano industry. The Yamaha U1 has been made consistently in Japan through that entire history at this point. I know there's been some talk on a few blogs or websites are even some dealers for the say that the U1 one is not made in Japan anymore. Even though we're not a new Yamaha dealer, we certainly do sell our fair share of used Yamaha's, and it's a product that I still have a very positive impression of. To this day the Yamaha U1 is still in fact made completely in Japan. There are other Yamaha models that are starting to do some outsourcing and are are starting to shift other factories in other countries. For the time being, the U series is still 100% a Japanese product just as the K-series from Kawai is still a 100% Japanese product. The U1's history as it came into North America is more than just talking about a specific model because the U1 and other models like K3 spawned essentially an entire sub industry of used pianos. How the Yamaha U1 Came To North America It's a bit of a quirk that a lot of people are necessarily aware of. When a family in Japan buys a piano, they always purchase a piano brand new for a combination of both religious and cultural beliefs. It's not considered a particularly tasteful thing to buy a used piano in Japan. I'm not an expert's so I won't get into the reasons why, but I do know that this is a major influence on the used Japanese Piano market. In the 1970s and 1980s as more and more Yamaha's and Kawai's found their way into Japanese homes, people eventually started to I get [...]
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