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:
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.
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.
One of the most beloved country rock albums of all time! Grievous Angel is likely to have cemented Gram's legacy even if he didn't pass away before it's release – it's really that good – mixing mournful honk tonk laments, bleary-eyed barroom rockers and soul searching lyricism in a way ... LP, Vinyl record album
In the past 30 years, this one's gone from being a fierce outpouring of the Bay Area underground, to a cliche of classic rock, to a brilliant example of west coast Latin rock/funk/fusion in action! Features a stellar cover of "Oye Como Va", plus "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen", ... LP, Vinyl record album
Some great work by one of the grooviest groups of the 80s! Back when it seemed like nobody cared about 60s soundtracks, Burt Bacharach, and other easy instrumental sounds, Marden Hill were a lone outpost in pop – flying the flag of sounds first created by John Barry, Michel Legrand, and ... LP, Vinyl record album
The amazing first album from Third Ear Band – a set that's maybe even more distinct than some of their later, better-known recordings! These guys emerged in the British scene at the end of the 60s – but they're not really psych, or prog – and although they have a love of ancient ... LP, Vinyl record album
Sure, these guys are mostly a rock group – but they've got a talent for funky jamming and long grooves that's always made them a favorite with the crossover soul crowd. This best of collection is unfortunately missing the track "Long Red" – but it does include many other ... LP, Vinyl record album
An incredible album – and one of the most revolutionary rock albums of the late 60s! The Who recorded this one as a tribute to mainstream radio at the time – linking together some solid stand alone tunes with shorter, wittier tracks that were recorded as commercials for products that ... LP, Vinyl record album
The landmark first album from The Band – and along with the follow-up, it's among the greatest records of its time – which is all the more astounding given how independent of late 60s trends it is! Each member of The Band brings such inimitable textures – Garth Hudson's imposing ... LP, Vinyl record album
A great set from that unique small combo moment in the career of vibist Lionel Hampton – that Verve Records stretch when he stepped away from his big band, and cut a handful of small group records that really let him open up on the vibes! This set's one of the best from that time – and ... LP, Vinyl record album
A masterpiece – and don't pass it up! Sure, the date's a bit later than some of Roy's classic work, but the record's got a sound like no other – with a slow mellow jazzy style that shows Roy working at the height of his powers! There's some wonderful spacey production on the record ... LP, Vinyl record album
One of Jean's classic Philly albums, recorded after she left Doug Carn, and started to make records as a solo artist. The record's got stellar production by Gamble & Huff and Dexter Wansel, and features a nice mix of up-tempo cuts and mellow ones. With the monster "Don't Let it Go to ... LP, Vinyl record album
One of the biggest recorrds ever for Ian Carr's Nucleus group – a set that helped the British combo cross over to the US market, thanks to a key release here on Capitol Records! Carr's at the height of his powers here – stretching out on trumpet and flugelhorn, but also playing a bit ... LP, Vinyl record album