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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art

Bartz

LP (Item 3407) Arista, 1980 

...

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.

When you purchase a Used CD you can expect the disc to be free of all but the lightest of surface marks, the case to be clean (we often change the cases ourselves), and the booklet to be in good shape. Used CDs may show some signs of use but if there are significant details or defects we will list them underneath the item — just like we do with LPs — so look there for notes on cutout marks, stickers, promo stamps or other details.

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.


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Michael Gregory Jackson

Gifts
Arista/Novus, 1979. Near Mint-
Features the enigmatic Michael Gregory Jackson on guitar and vocals – with Marty Erlich on flute, Jay Hoggard on vibes, Fred Hopkins on bass, and Pheeroan AkLaff on drums! LP, Vinyl record album
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One of Braxton's first recordings of his work for larger ensembles, and a masterpiece that gives a good example of the kind of early ideas that have informed some of his recent work in the same style. The orchestras vary from track to track, but they all include excellent players like Roscoe ... LP, Vinyl record album

Anthony Braxton

Montreux/Berlin Concerts
Arista/Freedom, 1977. Near Mint- 2LP Gatefold
Nice 2LP set that brings together 3 different sets of live material recorded by Braxton during the mid 70s! The first set features Braxton in trio with Kenny Wheeler and Dave Holland at Montreux, in 1975; the second set features Braxton and George Lewis, along with the Circle rhythm team of Dave ... LP, Vinyl record album

Mal Waldron

Signals
Arista/Freedom, 1971. Near Mint-
Beautiful solo piano work by Mal Waldron – long, drawn-out tracks that are far more expansive than his material of a decade before! Titles include "Things That Go Bump In The Night", "Zapata", "Touch Of The Blues", and "Signals". LP, Vinyl record album

Larry Coryell

Standing Ovation
Mood/Arista, 1978. Very Good+
Solo recording by Coryell, with titles including "Discotexas", "Ravel", "Piano Improvisation", "Sweet Shuffle", and "Moon". LP, Vinyl record album

Julius Hemphill

Coon Bid'ness
Arista/Freedom, 1972. Near Mint-
Arista Freedom release of 2 different sessions by Julius Hemphill – one from 1975, with Arthur Blythe, Hamiet Bluiett, and Abdul Wadud; the other from 1972, with Bluiett, Wadud, and Baikida Carroll. The 1972 session's a bit more interesting, and was recorded in St. Louis by Oliver Sain (of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Arista, 1978. Near Mint- 3LP Box Set
One of Braxton's most complicated works of the 70s – and one of the first times on record you can hear him composing for orchestra. The 3LP set features one long piece – titled with a graphic, like much of his work, written for four orchestras, in a manner that showcases some of ... LP, Vinyl record album

Ran Blake

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Arista/Novus, 1980. Very Good+
One of the most evocative albums we've ever heard from pianist Ran Blake – a set that's got all the sharp edges of some of his most adventurous solo work, but one that also has Ran working in a few different settings, often with a very poetic feel! The set's not a hokey retro-crime record ... LP, Vinyl record album
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Guitarist Charlie Byrd was one of the first American players to record bossa nova tunes – but although his work with Stan Getz has always been well-documented, some of the titles under his own name can be quite hard to come by. This is one of the best ones that Charlie cut on his own – ... LP, Vinyl record album

Gabor Szabo

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An excellent 2LP collection of some of the best work that Gabor Szabo recorded for the Impulse label during the mid and late 60s – tracks that mixed together jazz, Eastern spiritualism, and a hip 60s pop sensibility. At one time, we used to dismiss this stuff as too cheesy for our tastes ... LP, Vinyl record album

Coleman Hawkins & Ben Webster

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Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich Band
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Slick funky fusion from Buddy – a bit of a change from some of his other work of the 70s, but still pretty nice. The format is still in a big band mode, but the overall production's a bit slicker – so that there's more electric and studio touches next to Buddy's full-on horn section ... LP, Vinyl record album
 



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