Unique X-Shaped Support System
In the world of pianos, most of the pianos we commonly see, regardless of brand or model, typically use upright vertical supports. However, in Yamaha pianos, there is a subset of pianos that use an X-shaped support system. This type of support is mainly found in Yamaha's UX series pianos (some Yamaha pianos have only one X support, and many customers wonder why a piano with only one X is called "UX." The reason is quite simple: UX is an upgraded version of the U series, which is why a model with just one X is essentially the UX).
Pianos in the UX series differ from regular pianos because their back support is in an X shape. This design significantly increases the strength of the piano's soundboard, allowing it to withstand much greater string tension. The piano's soundboard is about 2.5 times more robust than that of a typical piano, which not only enhances its strength but also improves the overall tonal quality and sound across the entire range.
A Glimpse into Their History and Rarity
The X support technology was introduced to Yamaha from the German company Grotrian. In Germany, X support is referred to as the "resonance board." Although pianos with this type of back support are highly favored by many professional consumers, the production cost of X support is relatively high, almost approaching the manufacturing cost of a baby grand piano.
This led Yamaha to stop producing pianos with this type of support in the late 1990s, so Yamaha pianos do not use this technology in production today. Since such pianos are no longer in production, those wishing to own a piano with an X-shaped back support can only purchase a used piano. It can be said that the X support series is very rare, not only highly regarded in Japan but also popular worldwide.
Yamaha's X support models include
UX (the earliest independent model with X support, produced from 1975 to 1980)
YUS, YUX, YUA (YUA: 1978-1982, others: 1980-1982)
UX1, UX2, UX3, UX5 (produced from 1982 to 1987)
UX10BL, UX30BL, UX50BL (produced from 1987 to 1989)
UX10A, UX30A, UX50A (produced from 1989 to 1994) - An updated X support series with a "rice" shape, an improved design, and better exterior details.
UX100, UX300, UX500 (the last batch of UX series, produced from 1994 to 1997)
Apart from the UX series, Yamaha also designed another high-end series with X support based on the W series (colorful series), called the WX series. Main models in this series include WX1AWN, WX1AWNC, WX3AWN, WX3ABIC, WX5AWNC, WX102R, WX106, and others.