Buying a used Japanese piano

Over the last 10 years buying a pre owned Yamaha or Kawai originating from the used piano market in Japan, has become popular. It is important to bear in mind that many of these pianos that were built for the Japanese domestic market differed in quality to the instruments built for export. This is particularly the case the older the instruments are. It is always preferable to invest in a new export built piano. However, if you are thinking of purchasing a pre-owned Japanese piano then a few rules should apply.

Avoid ‘Reconditioned’ Used Imports.
Be aware of people describing the pianos they have for sale as ‘reconditioned’ Kawai or Yamaha used imports. Although at first glance it sounds as though there is added value to these instruments, however if a piano needs to be reconditioned then it suggests that it was a ‘well worn’ instrument requiring significant work to be carried out on it before re-sale. These pianos will typically tend to be 35 to 40 years old and often ex-school instruments, in our opinion these pianos cannot be considered an investment. You can check the age of an instrument with the serial number. Provide Pianos Plus with the serial number and we will be happy to tell you the year of manufacture of the piano you are looking at.

Avoid Economy Models.
It is important that you buy a used Yamaha or Kawai piano from the higher quality ranges, equivalent to current Yamaha U1/U3 and Kawai K5/K6 models. Economy models built for the Japanese market are not recommended and do not stand up well to European conditions due to their poorer quality of materials and build.
Examples of models to consider:

  • Yamaha UX1, U10/UX3, U30
  • Kawai K50/K60 and also BS1/BS2/BS3, XO2/XO5/XO8, DS60/DS65, CS11/CS14/CS40

Choose A Younger Model!
In our opinion if you are purchasing a used Japanese piano then you should spend a little more and purchase a piano around 20 years old or less. These pianos are more likely to have come from a private home and been subjected to normal domestic use. As a result, these instruments are capable of performing at a decent level for another 10 – 15 years. Pianos Plus specialises in a range of advanced student standard models of used Japanese Kawai and Yamaha pianos between 5-20 years old. All used pianos have a 5 year guarantee and a trade-in allowance of 80% of original purchase price.