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There may be different interpretations or standards used to grade pre-owned vinyl record albums & CDs.
These are the grades that we use and what they mean for items that are not new copies.
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 only use the grade "Used CD" for non-new CDs.
This all-encompassing grade was chosen it because we only buy and offer
used CDs in the best possible condition.
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 describe the item's condition (just like we do with LPs),
so look for notes on cutout marks, stickers, promo stamps or other details before ordering.
All of our used CDs are guaranteed to play without skipping or flaws.
After you receive a used CD from Dusty Groove, you have 1 week to play it to determine
that it plays correctly.
If it does not, you can request a return for a full refund.
A record filled with cover images that run from Richard Nixon to Elvis Presley, to Mick Jagger, Caetano Veloso, Chairman Mao, Jorge Ben, Jimi Hendrix, and Andy Warhol – and a set whose sound definitely seems to live up to such heady company from the 20th century! Erasmo Carlos is at his ... CD
A seminal set from Erasmo Carlos – a record that has him stepping past the simpler rock modes of his youth, and really embracing some of the great changes going on in Brazilian music at the start of the 70s! These changes aren't just the expected psych modes, but also some of the more lofty, ... CD
An amazing early album by Nara Leao – one that features mostly spare vocals and acoustic guitar, plus some additional percussion – coming off in a style that's halfway between the best 60s work of Geraldo Vandre and early albums by Joyce! Nara's vocals are incredible – really ... CD
A bold leap forward from Gilberto Gil – his first album recorded during the Tropicalia years, and an amazing collaboration with arranger Rogerio Duprat! The album's got a sound that really bridges scenes in Brazil – elements of older folkloric musics, folded with samba rhythms, folded ... CD
A stunner of a record from the mighty Jorge Ben – and a record that catapulted the Brazilian singer to international fame at the time! Ben had already been making magic for almost a decade down in Brazil – and his compositions and grooves left an undeniable impact on the scene in the ... CD
A rare British recording from Gilberto Gil – sung completely in English, and recorded while living in London, in political exile along with Caetano Veloso! The album's somewhat similar to Veloso's famous London album from 1971 – certainly in structure, as the backings are relatively ... CD
The rare 3rd album by Gilberto Gil, and a key piece of the Tropicalia puzzle – one of the most wildly experimental albums from those years, and Gil's last before going into exile! The sound is much more electric than his other albums from the late 60's – and the production, songwriting ... CD
A landmark album – not just in Brazilian music, but in all modern music in general! The set's a legendary manifesto for the Tropicalia movement in Brazil – and features key works by all the leading musical luminaries in the movement – including a few later stars who are heard ... CD
Light and lively work from the great Gal Costa – a set that's light years away from her Tropicalia experiments of a decade before, but which is equally beautiful in its own sort of way! First off, Gal's vocals are amazing – more expressive and dynamic than in the early days – ... CD
One of the grooviest albums we've ever heard from Erlon Chaves – a Brazilian arranger who got his start in the bossa generation, later did some more traditional music – but here explodes with this great fusion of European and Brazilian soundtrack styles! The record's credited to the ... CD
Killer work by Astrud Gilberto – very different than her Verve sides of the 60s! The album was produced by Astrud, arranged by Deodato – and has that wonderful warm full jazz feel of her classic album on CTI, but also a bit more like some of the funky work of Jorge Ben at the time ... CD
A landmark album from Milton Nascimento – not only a set that really marked his growth as a singer, songwriter, and overall musical visionary – but also a record that really showcased the collaborative spirit that would be a part of his music for years to come! The album features ... CD