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, please note that 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:
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The real sound of the old school, and the best beats from the streets – the kind of early underground hip hop tracks that still sound wonderful after all these years! These are tracks from the earliest years of the style – when funk was as much a part of the music as lyrics – and ... LP, Vinyl record album
A very well-titled set – given that the Colemine Records label has given us some mighty soulful slabs of wax in recent years! Although a small label, in the hinterland of Ohio, Colemine is fast rising to be one of the coolest funk labels in the world – right up there on a par with ... LP, Vinyl record album
The funky third volume of the Living In The Streets series – and easily the best in this great series – a really hard and heavy batch of rare funk tunes that pushes past the cliches of the title to come up with an all-solid batch of tracks that's sure to please any fan of deep funk. ... LP, Vinyl record album
Heavy heavy funk from the Louisiana scene of the late 60s and 1970s – and a great collection that really gets past the dominance of the New Orleans sound! The set moves way past the Crescent City to uncover a wealth of great bits recorded in smaller studios located in Shreveport, Lake ... LP, Vinyl record album
Stones Throw does it again – with a massive batch of older funk rarities that tops most of the rest on the market! Cold Heat is a follow-up to the label's smoking Funky 16 Corners set – and like that one, it's overflowing with great bits that have barely (or never) been heard by the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Way more than just a typical collection of rare funk and soul – as the selections here not only meet the stunningly high standards of the BGP label – but they've also been sampled in more recent years for hip hop records and other contemporary recordings! Essentially, you've got the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Mr Bongo really goes back to its roots here – and returns to the kind of rare global gems that first made us fall in love with the label in the first place! Over 20 years ago, Mr Bongo were one of the key global forces in opening up people's ears to the sounds of funk and soul from around ... LP, Vinyl record album
Classic breaks – all the way through – the kind of sharp funky nuggets that have had a rich new life, thanks to their use in hip hop and club tracks in recent years! This may not be the most underground stuff in the world to those out there who've been digging through crates for funk ... LP, Vinyl record album
A great set of tracks that's billed as music "you can almost dance to" – and which hits this sweet midtempo groove throughout – filled with female vocals, and served up in a wicked soulful style of AOR! The collection's an excellent all-girl companion to the previous Too Slow ... LP, Vinyl record album
An amazing batch of rare 60s bossa nova – all hand-picked by the mighty Nicola Conte, an artist who definitely shows a strong love of the bossa in his own music! The package digs even deeper than Conte's first volume in the Viagem series – and brings together loads of rare bits we ... LP, Vinyl record album
Rare funk from deep in the crates – and deep in the vaults, too – given that some of the tracks are issued here for the first time ever! The collection's a stunner from the folks at Ace Records – a label who've already been digging through the catalogs of rare soul labels for ... LP, Vinyl record album
Raw funky Philly soul – all recorded at the tiny Virtue Recording Studios – a small place to work, but a great one too! Virtue has maybe more of a deep soul approach than you're used to hearing from Philly – no soaring strings, polished production, or crossover dance modes – ... LP, Vinyl record album