Kawai CX-21D VS Yamaha U1

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

The Kawai CX-21D and Yamaha U1 are both vintage classical pianos that provide excellent music and touch. Not only they could be a good addition to your home, but they could also inspire you to play more. In this article, we will talk about the differences and similarities between Kawai CX-21D and Yamaha U1. 

Kawai CX-21D

Kawai is a well-known brand that is regarded as being on par with Yamaha in terms of construction quality and tonal quality. It all boils down to personal choice, but this Kawai is definitely worth a look when buying for a piano. This Kawai has a wonderfully bright and energetic tone to it, as well as a very pleasant, light motion to play.

The Kawai 48″ Ebony Polish Upright was built in Japan in 1992. It’s in excellent condition and a popular model for people looking for loudness and a rich sound at a reasonable price. If you’re thinking about getting a Yamaha U1 but find the tone too loud, the Kawai pianos should be a good fit. It’s equivalent to today’s K3 model and provides excellent value for money. This extremely popular instrument is 122 cm tall and has excellent power and sound control.


  • The Kawai CX-21D has a full tone and responsive touch. 
  • High-quality and balanced sound. 
  • Appearance is a perfect fit for your home. 

Yamaha U1

Yamaha U1 upright pianos are produced in Japan and are designed for expert pianists and professional performers. They have excellent tone, touch, and longevity. U1 upright pianos are a perennial favorite among discriminating pianists, offering exceptional musical performance and setting the benchmark against which many other upright pianos are judged.

The Yamaha U1 upright piano is still considered a “workhorse” instrument in the musical industry. It is a real sonic powerhouse at 48′′ tall (121 cm). When asked what the difference between the U1 and its bigger sibling, the Yamaha U3 (52′′ tall), is that the U1 seems more near and present, whilst the U3 is more resonant. This is not due to a lack of quality, but rather to a product of scale. The tone is sparkly conservative and the touch is firm.


  • Solid spruce soundboard and ribs.
  • Hard maple bridges.
  • Full-length ribs into a notched liner.
  • Aluminum alloy action rails.
  • Yamaha balanced action.
  • Spruce keys with hardwood buttons.
  • Vacuum Shield Mold Process (V-Pro) plate.
  • Cut thread tuning pins.
Kawai CX-21DYamaha U1
• 3 Pedals
• 88 Keys
• 3 Pedals
SIZE• Length: 56cm
• Width: 155cm (5’0”)
• Height: 121cm (4’3”)
• Length: 24”
• Width: 60”
• Height: 48”
WEIGHT226 kg500 lbs502lbs.
WARRANTY10-Year Warranty10-Year Warranty


Kawai and Yamaha have been producing quality pianos since then. As mentioned, they are on par in terms of sound and construction quality. There’s not much difference between the Kawai CX-21D and Yamaha U1 as both are classical grand pianos that produce great music. So, if you’re looking for a classical piano that could be a great addition to your home, check out these two.