Vinyl Grading

We realize that there are many different interpretations of the grades used for pre-owned albums, so here are the ones that we are using. Overall we tend to grade conservatively to avoid any disappointment.

VINYL
The following grading conditions apply to the vinyl component of an album or single:

Sealed
* This grade speaks for itself, the vinyl is sealed in shinkwrap. If the cover shows any significant signs of wear, we always open the album to check the condition. We happen upon sealed copies very rarely.

Near Mint (NM)
* Black vinyl that may show a slight amount of dust or dirt.
* Will be very shiny under a light, even with slight amount of dust on surface. One or two small marks that would make an otherwise near perfect record slightly less perfect. These marks cannot be too deep, and should only be surface marks that won’t affect play, but might detract from the cosmetic appearance.
* May have some flaws and discoloration in the vinyl, but only those that would be intrinsic to the pressing. These should disappear when the record is tilted under the light, and will only show up when looking straight at the record.
* Little to no surface noise when played.

Excellent (EX)
* Vinyl should be very clean, but can have less luster than near mint.
* Should still shine under a light, but a few marks may show up when tilted. Can have a few small marks that may show up easily, but which do not affect play at all. Most marks of this quality will disappear when the record is tilted, and will not be felt with the back of a fingernail. This is the kind of record that was cared for and will play very well, but will also have signs of use.
* May have slight marks from aging of the paper sleeve on the vinyl.
* May have slight surface noise when played.

Very Good Plus (VG+)
* Vinyl can have some dirt, but nothing major.
* May not shine as bright under a light, but should still be fairly clean, and not too dirty.
* May have a number of marks (5 to 10 at most), and obvious signs of play, but never a big cluster of them,or any major mark that would be very deep and which would go across a few tracks. Most marks should still not click under a fingernail.
* May not look perfect, but should play well, with only a small amount of surface noise, and the occasional click in part of a song, but never on an entire side or large fraction.
* Although this is a copy that was played a number of times, it is clean enough for the archives and it is definitely something a dj could play.

Very Good Minus (VG-)
* Vinyl may be dirty, and can lack some luster.
* Vinyl can have a number of marks, either in clusters or smaller amounts, but deeper.
* This is the kind of record that you’d buy to listen to, not because you’re a collector. Still, the flaws should be mostly cosmetic, with nothing too deep that would ruin the overall record.
* Examples include a record that has been kept for a while in a cover without the paper sleeve, and has some marks across the surface, but will play ok.

Good (G)
* Vinyl may be dirty, the marks may be on all parts, but the record should still be ok for play. A record that you’d buy to hear, or maybe only to get sample or loop.
* In general, this is a record that was played a fair amount, handled without care, but is not completely unplayable. Will have marks, noise, etc… but should not be totally useless.

Additional Notes
If there’s something else worth mentioning, we’ll do so in the additional notes section located in parentheses next to every albums grading. We try to ‘play’ grade when possible, the results are also listed in the parentheses.

 

COVER

The following grading conditions apply to the cover component of an album or single:

Mint (M)
Album is STILL SEALED.

Excellent (EX)
In original wrapping (UN-sealed) or UN-wrapped with very few indications of wear. Minor edge wear and/or cover fading/ring wear.

Very Good (VG)
Additional wear around edges, fading cover image and/or moderate edge wear and tear.

Good (G)
More edge wear, heavier fading cover image, larger edge tears.

Fair (Fair)
Water damage, writing on cover, more cover fading or more edge tears.

Additional Notes
If there’s something else worth mentioning, we’ll do so in the additional notes section located in parentheses next to every albums grading.

 

ABBREVIATIONS:

For Vinyl:

lm = light marks
m = marks (> than lm)
wl = white label
wol = writing on label
ssc = slight paper sleeve scuffs

For Cover:

psl = pic sleeve
sc = saw cut
soc = sticker on cover
ew = edge wear
sw = shelf wear
cc = cut corner
is = in shrink
dh = drill hole
woc = writing on cover
tst = top seam tear
bst = bottom seam tear

spt = spine tear
rss = radio station sticker
ps = promo sticker
pst = promo stamp
h20 = water damage (varying degrees, noted in listing)
tts = taped top seam
tbs = taped bottom seam
tsp = taped spine
toc = tape on cover