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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art

Story Tale

LP (Item 13072) Jazzland, 1961 

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We realize that there are many different interpretations of the standard grades used for pre-owned vinyl record albums & CD, so we thought we'd offer you the ones that we are working with, so you have an idea what we mean when we give the grade for a non-new item on our pages.

Used Vinyl Grades

Below are stated conditions for a used vinyl records at Dusty Groove. Grading for the cover should be assumed to be near (within a "+" or "-") the grading for the vinyl. If there is significant divergence from the condition of the vinyl, or specific flaws, these will be noted in the comments section of the item. However, please be aware that since the emphasis of this site is towards the music listener, our main concern is with the vinyl of any used item we sell. Additionally, all of our records are graded visually; considering the volume of used vinyl we handle, it is impossible for us to listen to each record. If we spot any significant flaws, we make every attempt to listen through them and note how they play.

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

Sealed

This is what it says, that the record is still held fast in shrink-wrap. We tend to be pretty suspicious about these things, so if the shrink-wrap doesn't look original, or if the record seems to have undergone some damage over time, we'll probably take it out of the wrapper to ensure that it's in good shape — which is why we don't have more of these. In some cases the shrink-wrap may be torn in spots, but if it's not possible the record has been taken out and played, the record will still qualify as "Sealed".

Near Mint

Dusty Groove does not use the grades of Near Mint (or Mint, for that matter) because in our experience, we find that no records ever qualify for such a high grade. Even sealed records tend to have one or two slight faults, enough to usually qualify them for a grade of NM- or lower. We've often found that records which are clearly unplayed will have a slight amount of surface noise, especially in quieter recordings.

Near Mint - (minus)

  • Black vinyl that may show a slight amount of dust or dirt.
  • Should still 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 so. These marks cannot be too deep, and should only be surface marks that won't affect play, but might detract from the looks.
  • 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. (Buddah and ABC pressings from the 70's are a good example of this.)
  • May have some slight marks from aging of the paper sleeve on the vinyl.
  • Possible minor surface noise when played.

Very Good + (plus)

  • Vinyl should be very clean, but can have less luster than near mint.
  • Should still shine under a light, but one or two 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 will play "near mint", but which will have some signs of use (although not major ones).
  • May have slight surface noise when played.

Very Good

  • Vinyl can have some dirt, but nothing major.
  • May not shine under light, but should still be pretty 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. Most marks should still not click under a fingernail.
  • May not look near perfect, but should play fairly well, with slight surface noise, and the occasional click in part of a song, but never throughout a whole song or more.
  • This is clearly a copy that was played by someone a number of times, but which could also be a good "play copy" for someone new.

Very Good - (minus)

  • Vinyl may be dirty, and can lack a fair amount of 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 play, but not because it looked that great. 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, or heavily played by a previous owner and has some marks across the surface. The record should play okay, though probably with surface noise.

Good + (plus)

  • Vinyl may be dirty, or have one outstanding flaw, such as a light residue, which could be difficult to clean.
  • May have marks on all parts, too many to qualify as Very Good-, or several deeper marks, but the record should still be ok for play without skips.
  • In general, this is a record that was played a fair amount, and handled without care. A typical example may be a record which has been heavily played by a DJ, and carries marks from slip cueing. Depending on the quality of the vinyl, may play with surface noise throughout.

Good

  • A record that you'd buy to play, cheap, but which you wouldn't buy for collecting.
  • Will have marks across all parts of the playing surface, and will most likely play with surface noise throughout. May have some other significant flaws, such as residue, or a track that skips.
  • In most cases, a poor quality copy of a very difficult to find record.

Fair

This is a grade we rarely use, as we try not to sell records in very bad condition, though in some rare cases we will list a record in such bad shape that it does not conform to the standards above. A "Fair" record will have enough marks or significant flaws that it does not even qualify as "Good", but is a copy you might consider for playing, if you're willing to put up with noise and/or flaws. An example might be a recording with surface noise so heavy that it is equal to the volume of the music. For records listed as "Fair", we will describe the extent of the condition in the comments.

Poor

Like "Fair", we rarely list records in this condition, as they represent the extreme low end of spectrum. These records typically have multiple serious problems, and we offer them as "relics" or "objects" only — for those who want to at least have a copy of a record, even if it is not really worthy of play, perhaps for the cover alone. For these records, we will describe the extent of the condition in the comments.

Additional Marks & Notes

If something is noteworthy, we try to note it in the comments — especially if it is an oddity that is the only wrong thing about the record. This might include, but isn't limited to, warped records, tracks that skip, cover damage or wear as noted above, or strictly cosmetic flaws.


Used CD Grade

We have only one grade for non-new CDs at Dusty Groove — "Used CD". This grade is somewhat all-encompassing, but we choose it because we try to offer Used CDs in the best shape possible. All of our Used CDs are guaranteed to play without skipping or flaws. If you purchase a Used CD from Dusty Groove, you have 1 week to play it to determine that it plays correctly — and if it does not, then you may return it for a full refund.

With our Used CDs, you can expect the disc to be free of all but the lightest of surface marks — clean, and not dirty at all. You can also expect the case to be clean (we often change the cases ourselves — putting fresh cases on Used CDs we handle) — and you can expect the booklet to be in good shape, unless noted otherwise. We will list any specific details/defects underneath the item — so look for notes on cutout marks in the case, stamps on the barcode, or details like that.


You might be interested


Jazzland, 1960. Very Good
Fantastic work from the Cannonball Adderley Quintet – one of their greatest performances from the seminal early 60s years! The band at this time includes Cannon on alto, Nat on cornet, Victor Feldman on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Louis Hayes on drums – and although Feldman's not as ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jazzland, 1957. Very Good
A Jazzland issue of a top Golson side originally cut for Riverside. You can't get any more classic Benny Golson than this – a sublime late 50s album that features Benny with a sextet, working out amazing versions of the sorts of material that set him apart from every other jazz arranger of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jazzland, 1957/Early 60s. Near Mint-
An interesting little LP that compiles alternate takes from Monk's classic album for Riverside – Monk's Music – the session that featured the unique twin tenor lineup of John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins. The album features 4 different alternates of tunes from that set – "Nut ... LP, Vinyl record album
Take Twelve
Jazzland, 1962. Very Good
A rare non-Blue Note outing from Lee Morgan – and a record that's sometimes mistaken as a large group effort because of the "twelve" in the title, but which is a tight small group set that's equally cooking as some of Lee's better known records! As with the best mid 60s Blue Note ... LP, Vinyl record album
Shadow Waltz
Jazzland, Late 50s/Early 60s. Very Good
Early 60's album that repackages Rollins' classic Freedom Suite recording for Riverside. The record is exactly the same – and features Rollins on tenor, in a spare stripped-down trio that include Oscar Pettiford and Max Roach. His playing is amazing – especially on the extended "F ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jazzland, 1955. Very Good+
One of the most modern moments from Don Elliott in the 50s – a twin-trumpet album that's awash in counterpoint experiments of the time! Trumpeter Rusty Dedrick joins Don in the frontline – working together in tight head arrangements that have a strong chamber feel to them, but then ... LP, Vinyl record album
Jazzland, 1959. Good
One of the better-known sessions from Chet's time in Italy at the end of the 50s – a really beautiful album that has Chet working with a string orchestra in a set of lush arrangements that really bring a lot to his sound! The album really sounds great – not sleepy, but warm and ... LP, Vinyl record album
Top Trumpets
Jazzland, Late 50s. Very Good+
A strange little album that combines tracks from 2 different earlier Riverside LPs – Serenade To A Bus Set by Clark Terry, and another session that features Kenny Dorham and Ernie Henry, possibly issued under Henry's name as Seven Standards & A Blues. The Terry set features Johnny ... LP, Vinyl record album
Gemini
Jazzland, 1961. Very Good+
One of the few albums ever cut as a leader by Les Spann – an extremely talented jazz player who worked a lot with Dizzy Gillespie in the 50s, and Quincy Jones in the 60s! Les plays both guitar and flute on the set – grooving soulfully in a mode that recalls the stylings of Frank Wess ... LP, Vinyl record album
Nearness Of You
Jazzland, 1961. Sealed
A lesser-known post-Prestige album by Red Garland – played in a mellow mode that features plenty of smokey tunes and late nite numbers! The style's certainly more gentle, and almost more tentative, than Red on Prestige – and many numbers have him slowly stepping along the keys of the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Upendo Ni Pamoja
Columbia, 1972. Very Good
Sublime electric work from Ramsey Lewis! Ramsey's working here with his hip 70s group that included Morris Jennings and Cleveland Eaton, and he's playing some fantastic electric piano – a blend of funky grooves and soulful spiritualism, stripped down into a sound that's one of his leanest ... LP, Vinyl record album
Swingin' At The Gate
Pacific Jazz, 1966. Very Good+ Gatefold
Tight groovy organ/vibes cuts by Johnny, caught live in a slightly Latin-ish vein, at the Village Gate during the height of it's 60's Latin scene, with the addition of conga player Patato Valdes! The crowd is extremely lively, and the band grooves hard and heavy on cuts like "Gonna Get That ... LP, Vinyl record album
 



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