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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.
Two versions of a great track by Joe McPhee – both of which have the saxophonist laying out some surprisingly soulful sounds! If you only know Joe from his later avant years, you'll be stunned to hear McPhee here – as "Cosmic Love" has Joe spinning out this soulful saxophone ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Very early work from Peter Brotzmann – material recorded in 1965, and presented on a limited edition 45! The group's a unique twin-alto quartet – with both Brotzmann and Horst Prehn on horns, alongside Peter Kowald on bass and Gerd Panzer on drums – and the music was originally ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
The Hytones have a really warm style of vocals here – harmony soul, but with a special sort of appeal that's hard to put our finger on – yet which comes through right from the minute you first hear the track – a perfect accompaniment to its very catchy groove! "Good ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Two very cool, very trippy numbers – both with almost a freakbeat sort of vibe! "Look At The Lights" has superb arrangements from John Cameron – who brings in a bouncy groove with jazzy flourishes next to the more psychedelic vocals, lyrics, and guitar! "Hold On To Your ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Two great cuts from Clydene Jackson – a singer who works here with some great production work from Ray Charles! There's a romping piano line on "I Need Your Love", which sets a nicely soulful current for Clydene's soaring vocals – almost a Carole King sort of energy, but ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
A brilliant bit of brown-eyed soul from the San Antonio scene of the 60s – served up by a group who really show the great way that the sweet soul style found a great home in Texas at the time! The Royal Jesters do a fantastic job with this familiar tune – slowing it down even more, and ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
A really fragile girl group gem from the Texas scene of the 60s – a track that moves a lot slower and with more heartbreaking qualities than many of the big hits of the period – wonderfully gentle, and with that late nite, moody vibe that we usually find in male groups from the sweet ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Two cuts of sweet soul by this band of minors who recorded for part of the All Platinum set of labels – with a raw harmony sound that was crafted in Ohio, but handled with a pure New Jersey early 70s sound! "Bound" is a ballad track, but one that's got this massive slow funk groove ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Four of the best tracks from one of the greatest Roy Ayers albums of all time – and one of the rarest! The record is right in the same vein as Roy's groundbreaking He's Coming LP – a righteous mix of soul jazz, subtle funk, and some of the cosmic wisdom that Roy was spreading among the ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
The guitar work of Zac Sokolow is totally great here – echoing both older surf and South American modes – as the rhythms do with the latter, but at a pace that's nicely laidback, and which really lets the guitar find all this space for tone, texture, and echo! The approach follows ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Two rare gems from Westbound Records – both of them great! "Ain't No Telling" has a groove that's partly the Northern Soul of Detroit in the late 60s, mixed with some of the headier sounds that Westbound was starting to craft during the early 70s – all topped by fantastic ... 7-inch, Vinyl record
Two obscure 70s cuts from Darrow Fletcher – both making their debut on 45! "Hope For Love" is the kind of slow-burning tune that Darrow does so well – a perfect showcase for his unique vocal approach, and set to a gentle groove that's perfect for the later hours! "No ... 7-inch, Vinyl record