"We have a goal. That goal is to build pianos of such quality that lives will be enriched, that human culture will be elevated by the use of our products. That is Yamaha's top priority."
Logans' first Yamaha piano in June 1968 is the subject of an often retold pieces of store mythology.
In the Geoff Logan's retelling, his father could not, despite his best negotiating efforts convince the importer to supply him with a single piano to sell in the early years of thier business in Australia. Eventually, they were able to acquire a new Yamaha Upright through another piano shop.
The reaction when this piano arrived was one of utter shock. The shop's technicians, (Including Geoff and his father) were amazed to find that Yamaha had effectively found a way of incorporating Steinway-esque European design and quality into a smaller, lighter piano, at a vastly reduced price. In some retellings, Geoff's father either remarked that Yamaha are likely to either be sued out of existence, or completely change the piano market.
Luckily for everyone, the latter came to pass and Yamaha Pianos are now know worldwide as the best value pianos money can buy. Luckier still for us, Logans ultimately became an Authorised Yamaha Dealer later the same year, and have sold tens of thousands of Yamaha Upright, Grand and Digital Pianos since. Today, Logans Pianos is the only Yamaha Piano Authorised Sales and Service Centre in New South Wales, and carry a full range of Yamaha Upright and Grand Pianos.
Geoff's father was right about one thing, Yamaha Pianos in 1966 were remarkably similar to their Steinway counterparts. Just one year prior, Yamaha coaxed four former piano designers from Steinway & Sons to join their ranks in Japan, effectively redesigning their pianos, incorporating the best elements of Steinway's designs, right down to sourcing tone timbers and felt from the same places.
While Yamaha pianos have changed dramatically since 1966, this has been the result of a consistent process of design and process refinement, making these superb pianos better, and more affordable than ever before.
The modern craftsmen have at their disposal tools and methods far superior to those of their predecessors. In the same way the parts in the Yamaha piano of today need to be better than those of yesterday. In Yamaha's case, the only way to reach the required quality level is to produce most of them in Yamaha's own facilities, by Yamaha's own workers. Craftsmen cooperate with engineers and machinists using ultramodern techniques to develop equipment for highly specialized tasks, and these too, become tools of the craftsmen.
In determining the basic design of any individual model, Yamaha take into account the feedback of leading piano technicians from around the world. This "in practice" understanding of piano mechanics is combined with the most up to date research and production techniques in the fields of Acoustic, Chemical, Wood Metallurgical and Electrical engineering.
The results of some of these experiments can be found on Yamaha's Website
Every year Yamaha's craftsmen make as many as several hundred "test pianos" to check performance and revise each part until the piano satisfies thousands of important performance indicators. Even after all of this analysis and effort has been devoted to establishing specifications for directing the operations in a plant, this still does not guarantee craftsmanship. That is because variations in natural substances are unavoidable. For instance, no two trees will ever have the same grain. Furthermore, there is simply a limit beyond which specifications cannot take into consideration the human expressions of individuality and sensitivity. So even if all the seemingly necessary specifications are set forth, they are never sufficient.
That is why Yamaha craftsmen play the key role in all of the production processes. They are the ones who have to make the quality judgments that go beyond the specifications. They recognize how their observations and actions will ultimately influence the finished piano. This keen awareness assures that superior craftsmanship is practiced in every step of the piano making process. Most importantly, these craftsmen have the artistic sensitivity to judge "touch" - the final determinant of piano quality.
Each craftsman couples their sensitivity and unique talents with an all round knowledge of pianos and the production process. Of course, all of Yamaha's people receive technical training in schools, but the craftsmen are organized into small "quality control groups",each of which make thousands of suggestions for improvements every year. Mutual exchanges at the group level are essential in fostering the skill and knowledge needed to exceed the limitations of the individual craftsman. This culture of mutual respect and desire for constant improvement permeates Yamaha's corporate structure at every level, and is perhaps the single biggest reason for their success as a brand over the last century.Since its invention in the early 18th century, the piano has been continuously improved by craftsmen and designers of the past. We believe the traditions of piano making at Yamaha have entered a new era in which the concept of craftsmanship is being developed and expanded. Yamaha are striving to make pianos that an ever increasing number of musicians can enjoy and be able to play to express their emotions more fully, and more creatively than ever before.