This page mainly relates to the tonal differences between various Yamaha U3 pianos but you can apply this information equally to the Yamaha U1 pianos. If you are interested in the differences between the Yamaha U3 and U1 models then please read this article also.
Watch my Video Response to this question
Note: The differences in tone between the pianos that we play during the above video are more noticeable in real life compared with this video recording.
Bright Yamaha U1 and U3 pianos
Bright pianos have a very energetic feel to them. You can hear an immediate response as soon as the hammer strikes the string. The result is a clear, bright, positive sound that tends to be a tad louder than pianos at the mellower end of the scale. This extra volume could be useful if you have a particularly large room or perhaps you want to use the piano in a choir rehearsal setting where it needs to cut through and make itself heard.
Mellow Yamaha U1 and U3 pianos
Some Yamaha U3 pianos have a distinctly mellow sound to them. It can make them quite charming and relaxing to play as they tend to be easier to stay in control of and the sound never reaches a particularly high volume or bright tone, so it’s all quite smooth and soft and laid back. This is good if you like that sort of sound but probably won’t be suitable if you enjoy hearing the full dynamic range from a piano. You might feel frustrated that it does not “jump out” when you try to play your louder passages.
Medium Yamaha U1 and U3 pianos
These are my favourite really and would most likely be the type of piano that I would recommend to my customers. They are bright enough to bring out the top end when you want to really hear the piano sing out but they are also mellow enough to handle your softer, more delicate passages. You get the full dynamic range without being frustrated at it being too soft and you don’t risk it being too bright either. So a nice medium toned Yamaha U3 is what I recommend most often