This image is a general representation of the album cover, but the actual product may differ slightly in terms of color shading, logo placement, borders, or other small details. If the item offered is a used, second-hand item, please note that there may be some cosmetic differences as well.
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".
As a rule, 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.
A key transitional album for The Kinks – a record that took them from the lighter "picture postcard" rock of their late 60s albums, into the headier concepts that would mark most of their early 70s work! The concept here is fortunately a light one – a faux-hillbilly sort of ... CD
Some of the most underground sounds you could ever hope to hear – quite literally, as the music on the set was recorded in a subterranean studio based in a cavern in Missouri! We could go on making endless jokes about "hard rock" and things like that – but we'll quickly skip ... CD
Dylan & The Band's legendary Basement Tapes – those amazing late 60s Woodstock recordings – and an album that was a classic long before it was officially released in the mid 70s! Bootleg after bootleg of some these recordings might have sold enough copies on the grey market in the ... CD
The complete studio recordings of Bedhead – one of the dreamiest, most rewarding and influential indie rock bands of the 90s! Bedhead were modern pioneers of the slowcore style, with slow tempos, delicately chiming guitars and moody vocals – a very, very distinctive approach given the ... CD
A big string of Brit pop gems from the legendary Tony Hatch – the man who made magic with Petula Clark and a fair bit of other singers too – and also recorded some great instrumentals on his own! This set's a UK variant of Ace's songwriter series – and features tunes penned by ... CD
Searing sounds from The Seeds – not just the group's well-known material on GNP, but lots of obscure non-LP tracks, b-sides, and even some late gems recorded for MGM! The sneering, gritty quality of the group really comes through on these tracks – tight numbers that pack a heavy punch ... CD
An incredible tribute to the legendary Arthur Russell – and maybe one of the coolest collections so far in the Red Hot series! The package features new work dedicated to Russell and born from his tremendous influence in a range of different styles – from club to experimental to ... CD
The second album from Invisible Hands – the group led by Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls – and a record that's even better put-together than the first! There's a bit more of a song structure this time around – and some of the more tuneful moments are surprisingly powerful ... CD
Fusion-drenched rock from Predmestje – an obscure Yugoslavian group from the late 70s, but one who made some mighty nice sounds at the time! The quintet borrow a bit from the progressive era of a few years before – but are also never too jamming, and instead have a nice sense of focus ... CD
A gem of a record from the great Billy Butler – brother of better-known Jerry from the Chicago scene, and maybe best known for his northern soul work of the 60s – but a hell of a great artist here in a rare group soul date from the 70s! Billy's lead vocals are supported by the Infinity ... CD
A group soul treasure from the 70s – and one with a very unique feel! The Mark IV are more of a southern soul group than some of the bigger east coast acts that were dominating the charts at the time – and they get some wonderful production here from Roy C, who keeps them in the same ... CD
A sweet symphony for two spies – done up in all the best jazzy crime styles of the 60s! The movie's a James Bond spoof, but the music is almost more sounds from a few years before – less John Barry orchestrations than smaller combo jazz with lots of lively touches – and ... CD