I couldn’t contain my excitement when my brand new upright piano was delivered. I was a little bit intimidated to play in front of the piano company, but once they left, I sat down on the piano bench and played for hours. I just loved the sound, the feel, and the look of this beautiful upright acoustic piano.
Upright acoustic pianos are an excellent choice for most homes because they are a finely tuned balance of appearance, sound, feel, size, and cost. In this article, we’ll talk about our favorite upright pianos. We’ll also talk about what to look for in an upright piano and what features you should consider for your new piano.
Quick glance at the best upright pianos:
The Yamaha U1 is loved by musicians of all abilities for its beautiful tone, fantastic feel, and sturdiness. This piano will sound great for many years to come, even with regular use. In addition, it features an extra-wide music desk to hold plenty of sheet music and a soft touch fallboard to prevent fingers from getting smashed when you close the keyboard lid.
You’ll find a soft pedal, a mute pedal, and a damper pedal. It is available in a variety of finishes, but polished ebony seems to be the most popular. This piano would be grand for professional pianists, music or piano teachers, churches, and schools, both on the stage and off.
Although not inexpensive, this piano offers excellent sound and feel for the price. It’s an easy choice for anyone who is serious about music and wants to develop musical expression and nuance. Listen to a Yamaha U1 demonstration here.
Excellent feel and responsiveness
Rich, well-balanced tone
Very durable for everyday use
It is equally good on stage, in studios, and in the home
Will fit in most rooms
This is not a tiny piano, so you will need to make space for it
This piano does have a serious price tag
The music desk is somewhat fragile compared to the durability of the rest of the piano
The Yamaha B1 Acoustic upright is an excellent choice for small spaces. Its smaller size and lighter weight make it easier to move and easier to fit through small entryways and hallways. If you need an even smaller piano, you might prefer a digital piano, like these.
This entry-level piano is packed with vibrant tones and rich sound, far above its entry-level pricing. In addition, it borrows components from the Yamaha U1 line, so you don’t have to sacrifice quality or durability to get a smaller size and a budget-friendly price.
This piano is worth considering for anyone needing plenty of volume in a small space with a smaller budget. It’ll work great in schools, churches, and in your living room. You may also be interested in this piano if you are looking for an entry-level piano to start piano lessons.
The Yamaha P22 is a mid-priced piano with exceptional durability. If you are looking for a piano that will receive heavy daily use, this might be the piano for you. This piano is great for both at home and public use since it can hold up to constant, rigorous playing. Not only is it sturdy, but it also locks, so you can be assured no one will play it when you don’t want them to.
The P22 has a standard soft-close fallboard, which means when you close the lid, you don’t have to worry about smashed fingers. In addition, this piano has an extra-wide music desk that spans the entire width of the piano, so you’ll have plenty of room for extra sheet music, and awkward page turns.
This piano has the quality and tone you would expect from Yamaha pianos with extra durability for daily use.
If you want an upright piano that is the most like a concert grand, you might want to check out the Yamaha YUS series. This Yamaha YUS series is the most advanced, high-end upright piano that Yamaha makes. It has a rich tone and incredible acoustics for the most discerning pianists. It is a beautiful piece of furniture to showcase in your home as well as a high-end instrument.
This piano is relatively expensive but would work well in houses of worship and professional studios as well as in-home use. In addition, the YUS would be a thoughtful choice for professional musicians, music teachers, choirs, and college performances.
Unrivaled sound, feel, and appearance
As close to a grand piano as an upright can get
It is crafted with the most advanced piano technology and the finest wood
The Yamaha YUS is considered to be an upgrade of the U1
Pianos are an investment and not something you want to purchase lightly since you’ll be spending a significant amount of money on a new one. Ideally, you would visit a number of music stores and test a number of pianos. You’ll find that even the same model of piano produced on the same line in the same factory will have a different sound and feel. Each piano is uniquely crafted and will have subtle nuances that make it special.
When you first play a new upright piano, you might find that the action feels a little stiff. Over time, though, the piano will adapt to how you play, and you will adapt to the way the piano sounds.
If this is the case, what do you look for when buying a new upright piano?
Imagine what the purpose of your new piano will be. Do you have a young child who is just starting to take piano lessons? Are you a piano teacher who teaches from home? Maybe you’re a professional who needs a solid home piano to practice on. Will you use your piano a lot or just once in a while? Or maybe you just love pianos and want a beautiful piece to grace your living room. These are all great reasons to buy a new piano, but if you know what the primary purpose of your piano is, you’ll have an easier time selecting the one that is just right for you and your family.
If your primary consideration is the music you will play, you’ll want to focus on how the piano feels and sounds. Consider a more durable piano if your primary consideration is finding a piano that will stand up to school or heavy home use. If you are looking for a beautiful piece of furniture, you’ll want to consider how the piano will look in your room and how much space you have for it.
You also need to factor in the size and accessibility of your living space. For example, if you live in a fourth-floor apartment, it could be challenging to get a piano there, and you might want to opt for the smallest possible model. On the other hand, if you live in a large ranch house, perhaps space and accessibility aren’t an issue at all.
Upright console pianos are probably the most popular models in American homes today because they offer a pleasant, well-rounded sound without taking up too much room. On the other hand, if great sound is important to you, you might be willing to sacrifice extra space or unnecessary furniture to make room for just the right piano. Even upright pianos come in a variety of sizes, so you can easily find one that fits your needs.
Obviously, budget is a concern for all pianists shopping for a new piano. However, Yamaha gives plenty of options to fit various budgets. Of course, the entry-level B1 piano is the least expensive model, and if this is the one that fits your budget, you’ll have a wonderful, playable piano to practice and perform on.
On the other hand, if you can find more room in your budget for a higher-end model, you may want to consider the Yamaha U1 or YUS, both of which will give you a much better-quality piano for your dollars in terms of precision, nuance, and sound.
Of course, if you’re unsure, there is a more mid-range option that gives you the best of both worlds.
You’re going to want a piano that looks beautiful in your home, and none of Yamaha’s lines will disappoint you. They are all available in a variety of finishes, with black ebony being extremely popular and versatile.
But don’t count out the other available finishes – you may want your piano to match your floors or trim or the other furniture in your home or studio. Or maybe you want something that just really stands out so it can be a showcase piece.
A piano should last you many years, so you’ll want to choose a beautiful finish that fits your décor. It isn’t easy to paint or change the look of a piano, so look for something that you will enjoy for many years.
The old saying, ‘you get what you pay for,’ is true, even when it comes to piano shopping. More expensive pianos will likely use better quality materials and higher precision mechanics and produce richer, fuller tones.
Also, larger pianos tend to have better inner mechanics. The smaller the piano is, the harder it will be to fit in all of the working parts. You’ll want to consider which is most important to you – higher quality materials, better price, or something in the middle.
The way a piano feels is essential, and even the identical model pianos can feel different from each other. So ideally, you’ll try out a few different pianos and see which one you like the best. But keep in mind that over time an acoustic piano will adjust to the way you play. Just like breaking in a new pair of shoes, your piano will ‘break in’ over time.
Grand pianos, especially concert grands, are the plumb line for how a great piano should sound. But grand pianos get their sound from the combination of high-end components and massive size. So you can’t just shrink down the components and expect them to sound just as good.
However, upright pianos are designed to have beautiful rich tones, but some sound better than others. So again, if you can play and compare the different pianos before purchasing, you’ll be able to decide if you prefer the brighter tone of the B1 or the richer, more grand sound of the U1 or something in the middle.
Another factor to consider is who will be playing the piano. A family of young children may be primarily concerned with a piano that can handle the daily abuse of energetic kids taking lessons. A religious center may want a piano that can be locked when it isn’t being used, and a school might require something extremely durable if it needs to be used all day, every day.
On the other hand, if the piano is for an experienced musician, you may want something with better precision and high-end sound rather than something that is just good enough.
If I were going to dote on a piano, it would be, without question, the Yamaha U1. This piano sincerely has it all. It works as a home piano and professional studio piano. So if you’re a busy kid taking lessons or a piano teacher with a whole load of students, this piano has you covered.
While it isn’t the smallest piano you can buy, it is a beautiful piece of furniture available in a number of finishes to suit your décor. Simply put, it’ll look pretty even when you’re not playing it.
On the other hand, it has a beautifully rich sound that you won’t find in a spinet or console piano. And it has a smooth action, is easily maintained by piano professionals, and is very durable.
As far as upright pianos go, it’s about as close to a grand piano as you can get without actually purchasing a grand piano. However, the Yamaha U1 is a piano I never regretted purchasing, and it continues to look and sound beautiful, no matter how much I play it.
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