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.
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.
A heck of a step forward for Gregory Porter – and we're stunned to say that, because he's already had so many great steps forward in his career! Gregory's already been a hell of a singer for years – we've loved him since the very first note he ever recorded – but with a record ... LP, Vinyl record album
Great late Frank Sinatra at Capitol Records – a set that still grooves in all the Nelson Riddle brilliance of the early 50s years, but also points the way towards the mature masculinity that Frank would find working at Reprise! The title tune, "Nice and Easy", is a classic swinger ... LP, Vinyl record album
A mindblowing look at the early years of Nat King Cole – a set that stretches in a mighty wide space before Nat's big fame at Capitol Records – and which also greatly expands our understanding of the material he recorded during his Decca years too! The music takes Nat back to a time ... LP, Vinyl record album
Late work from the great Billie Holiday – the kind of mature set that made Verve Records such a perfect home for the singer in the 50s! Where other labels might have pushed too much to try to get Billie into more commercial, or more straightforward modes – Verve just relaxes into the ... LP, Vinyl record album
One of the greatest vocal albums of all time! Sinatra's never sounded better than on this album – one of the first truly cohesive albums of torch and ballad songs ever recorded – done by Frank at a time when his heart was really breaking, and sung with a depth you'd hardly ever find in ... LP, Vinyl record album
An important early live show for Nina Simone – a move from the world of small nightclubs (as mentioned in the title of her first record), to the classy Town Hall venue – working in front of an audience filled with left-leaning listeners who were the perfect crowd to get the unique bag ... LP, Vinyl record album
Maybe the grooviest collection of work we've ever seen from the lovely Nancy Sinatra – a set that features some of her hits, but also includes a lot more material that's much more obscure – and which shows that Nancy was a hell of a song stylist, far from the charts! The core of the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Sunny wonderfulness from one of the grooviest vocal groups of all time! This is Free Design's legendary album for children – referred to in the title as "very important people" – and it's a strangely hip set of tracks designed to get the kids to open up in a groovy late 60s ... LP, Vinyl record album
The voice of June Tyson was a key part of the sound of the Sun Ra Arkestra during the first few decades of its existence – but this is the first time the lady herself has ever gotten a record under her own name – a beautiful collection of Ra-backed, Tyson-fronted tunes that includes ... LP, Vinyl record album
Tripped-out pop by the great Sandie Shaw – a real departure from her other work of the 60s, and an album that's overflowing with wonderful late 60s tunes, grooves, and production! Sandie actually produced the set herself, in collaboration with supervisor Kenny Woodman – and she's going ... LP, Vinyl record album
One of the greatest jazz vocal albums of all time – and one of the first true moments of genius from a young Dee Dee Bridgewater! The album's a Japanese only release (proof that they're always hipper to our jazz artists than we are!) – and it features Dee Dee singing material that's ... LP, Vinyl record album
Freddy Cole is Nat King Cole's brother – hence The Cole That Nobody Knows – but although Freddy may not have hit the heights as Nat, he's had a wonderfully rich career that's lasted for decades – and yielded some real gems like this in the process! The album's one of Freddy's ... LP, Vinyl record album