Yamaha Grey Market Piano Review.
Blog Post: September 28, 2014.
Recently, a customer wrote in to us, asking if a particular used Yamaha piano is of a certain age and model, and might even be 'worth it' to purchase.
Here's our response to the inquiry.
"I researched the piano's serial number on Yamaha's website, and it appears this instrument is a grey market piano.
The serial number can be verified, here at Yamaha's website:
The words underneath the search box will appear:
"The entered serial number G_______ was not made for the US market."
To be clear, a Yamaha grey market piano is not backed, nor warrantied, by Yamaha, but instead is seasoned for use outside of North America, typically for very wet
and humid climates.
These pianos often exhibit excessive dryness and instability (e.g. pin block, action,
soundboard, glue joints, etc.) which produces a sound and action
response uncharacteristic of the "authentic" Yamaha brand.
As a technician who at one time worked for Yamaha, and as one whose mainstay is out in the field, I can attest to the validity of these comments.
It has been my consistent experience that these pianos do not play, sound, or function as a bona fied Yamaha piano would, seasoned for use in North America.
[End of response]
Many dealers who sell used Yamaha pianos would argue this reasoning is only a "ploy" or a "marketing tactic" used by Yamaha to sell more and new Yamaha pianos.
In response to these claims, it would be in the public's best interests to know:
If we argued this to the contrary, just as many used Grey Market Yamaha piano dealers so often do, it would be like saying the opposite:
'Our pianos are seasoned for very humid and wet environments, so it's a "marketing gimmick" to place these pianos in very dry and arid climates.'
This doesn't make any sense.
I suppose these used Yamaha piano dealers might also argue against this logic, to you, the consumer:
'They (the unauthorized dealers) are selling YOU a brand (Yamaha), they're telling YOU, is being untruthful to YOU.'
So who are you going to believe then, the unauthorized dealers, or the actual manufacturer who made the piano, with an excellent reputation and track record of performance and service?
My advice would be to save a little more, invest in a quality, non-grey market Yamaha piano, and hear, feel, and experience firsthand for yourself, the difference.