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 landmark album from Kiss – the set that really broke them out of the hard rock underground and firmly put them on the rock and roll map – thanks to an all-great set list, and overall presentation of the group at their best! Maybe it's the cover image, but there's a rock-solid quality ... LP, Vinyl record album
A mid 90s set from REM, and one that marks a slight and nice shift for the band – working here with textures that are different than most of their music of the previous decade, including moments that have some of the moodiness you might expect from the stark black and white image on the cover! ... LP, Vinyl record album
A new take on a classic set from Elvis Costello – a record that features all the tunes from the classic This Year's Model album, done anew, and with Spanish language vocals from a variety of global stars! The overall sound of the record is a bit more contemporary than the 70s release – ... LP, Vinyl record album
It's hard to get any more classic than this for Creedence Clearwater Revival – as this legendary late 60s album is definitely the place where it all comes together! The pairing of John Fogerty's lead guitar and the scratching rhythm guitar of brother Tom really sounds wonderful here – ... LP, Vinyl record album
An early classic – with titles that include "Out Of Control", "I Will Follow", "Twilight", "Shadows & Tall Trees", "A Day Without Me", "Another Time Another Place", "The Electric Co", and "Stories For Boys". LP, Vinyl record album
Incredible work from Human Expression – a group with this moody, dark quality that's completely mindblowing, especially given their young years at the time of these recordings! The music certainly falls into the garagey sounds of the Sunset Strip scene at the time – but there's also a ... LP, Vinyl record album
Great work from a really overlooked group – one who have the skills of a prog act, but some of the sensitivity of a more folksy combo – which maybe is why they were such a perfect fit for the unusual sound of the Dawn label in the UK! These guys clearly have chops – the keyboard ... LP, Vinyl record album
A heady bit of progressive rock from Marsupilami – about as high-concept as you might guess from the cover! The record features five extended songs that are all filled with plenty of jamming on guitar, keyboards, flute, and saxes – all in a suite of tunes that vaguely hint at the ... LP, Vinyl record album
A group with a biblical name, but a sound that's very down to earth – thanks to strongly soulful vocals from Peter Otten, whose English language contributions really make the record shine! Gomorrah come from a generation of progressive German groups, but this second album has the combo ... LP, Vinyl record album
Not the Utopia group with Todd Rundgren in the lineup, but an earlier German act who only cut this one album – which itself was sort of a side project away from the sessions for the Wolf City album by Amon Duul II! Utopia shares members, a producer, and a lot of energy with that group – ... LP, Vinyl record album
Fruupp are a group who may use ancient imagery on their covers, but who work with a very modern feel overall – or at least one that was pretty darn contemporary at the time of this release from 1973! The vibe is prog, but a bit more focused than tied around album-side jams – as Fruupp ... LP, Vinyl record album
Titus Groan isn't a guy, but the name of the group – a fantastic jazz rock combo from the UK scene at the start of the 70s, and one who work here without hardly any vocals at all on the start of the record! Yet the group hardly need lyrics to get their message across – as the tracks ... LP, Vinyl record album