This image is a general representation of the item and the actual product may differ slightly in terms of color shading, logo placement, borders, or other small details. Used items may have various 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, 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.
One of the moodiest soundtracks we've ever heard from Manuel De Sica – a set that really fits in with the darker range of the Italian horror scene, filled with dark tunes that have an overall bleak quality – strings and woodwinds coming up with the meanest notes they can find, laying ... LP, Vinyl record album
A wonderful score by Bruno Nicolai – one that follows strongly in the mode of work from the time by frequent collaborator, Ennio Morricone! The approach on most tracks is spare and moody – using a lot of harpsichord over light orchestrations – and going for a tense feel that ... LP, Vinyl record album
Sweetness and darkness – perfectly blended together in this classic mid 70s soundtrack by Ennio Morricone! The main theme of the film – "Bambole" – is one of those Mondo Morricone type numbers that floats along on a gossamy sheen – vocals gliding softly over light ... LP, Vinyl record album
Dark and moody work from Ennio Morricone – scored for a film that's also known as Evil Fingers or The Fifth Cord, a 1971 crime thriller directed by Luigi Bazzoni – with a sound that's as spooky as you might guess from the cover! The music is very edgy – with lots of strings drawn ... LP, Vinyl record album
An ultra groovy soundtrack and one the rarest records ever by the hip Italian group! Like many of I Marc 4's other legendary efforts, it was originally issued as a sound library release – but this one was actually composed as a crazy 1970 film soundtrack. It's got some wild use of ... LP, Vinyl record album
A fantastic funky soundtrack from Riz Ortolani – quite different than some of his bigger hits of the 60s, and full of heavy basslines and lots of great drums! The style here is in the best cop/crime mode of the time – but has even more blacksploitation grit at the bottom than the usual ... LP, Vinyl record album
A groovy little soundtrack by the great Piero Umiliani! The score is for a b-grade spy film from the late 60s – starring Stewart Granger as (according to the notes) "a seasoned secret agent, but always ready to kiss and to bang!" A lot to live up to, we know – but Umiliani ... LP, Vinyl record album
Bruno Nicolai's soundtrack for the second and last film in the Sabata trilogy from the early 70s – noteworthy for the fact that Yul Brynner took over the starring role, and that Nicolai handled the scoring of the film! Nicolai's style here borrows a lot from frequent partner Ennio Morricone ... LP, Vinyl record album
One of the most haunting Morricone soundtracks ever – and one of the grooviest too! The album's a perfect blend of our two favorite styles of Morricone work – that of the floating female vocal over a gentle groove, and the darker, tenser side of his music. The main "Verushka" ... LP, Vinyl record album
A really unusual Italian soundtrack from the 60s – one that mixes some of the jazzy modes of the time with a few elements that might sound a bit more "Dallas" – like occasional acoustic guitar or barroom piano! The tracks here are mostly short, but work together in a nicely ... LP, Vinyl record album
A rare one from Bruno Nicolai – a composer that many people recognize from his work with Ennio Morricone, but one who can sound even groovier on his own! Bruno's got some really wide-open ears on the set – able to bring in lots of unusual sounds and odd inflections, while still keeping ... LP, Vinyl record album
A creepy cover, and some creepy music as well – a starkly dramatic 60s score from Italian maestro Carlo Rustichelli! The style of the music predates some of the more famous Italian horror to come in the late 60s, but it's still directed with a similar thoughtfulness and sense of sound – ... LP, Vinyl record album