This is how we grade records:
Record first, then
cover (e.g. ex/nm).
If there is just one figure or letter (e.g.. 1),
this menas that both record AND cover are in condition EX . It
doesn't meant that the record is without a cove or picture sleeve! 99% of our
records , incl. 7" and 12" singles, HAVE picture sleeves. The few
exceptions are always CLEARLY described (e.g. "NO-PS" OR "NS", i.e. having
"NO PICTURE SLEEVE"/"NEUTRAL SLEEVE", or as FLC/CS, meaning they come in a company
sleeve instead of a picture sleeve. We grade record and cover separately
only if the the grading of the record is not the same as the grading of the
|AAA / NM||NEW
or AS NEW. This is the rare top condition. A record in such condition not only sounds
new or nearly as new but it also looks new or nearly new.
An AAA / NM cover naturally is as new, and it may even look as if it just came from the printing shop, i.e. there are hardly any creases or damaged corners, or "ring wear", no writings, no stickers added after purchase in the shop, no rubber stamp marks, no tears, no stains, etc.
Records at this level of quality are extremely rare, especially if they date back to the era before 1980. These superb copies of course have a price that corresponds to their rarity and quality. Still, their price in most cases is still lower than that of any common CD from your local CD shop! (Does anyone still buy CDs in this age of gimme either vinyl or free MP3"?)
|1, 1+ / EX, EX+, EX++||EXCELLENT. Trouble-free
listening pleasure. Slight to moderate noise may occur here and there,
with a maximum of 25% of the duration of the music.. Abrasion
marks - light, moderate or even clear - on the black vinyl, e.g.
from the protective paper sleeve, or fine scratches (which are
of the benign type, because they can be seen but not heard)
may occur. Sometimes a record we grade as condition "1
may sound new but look used (also depending on the source of
light you use when looking at the vinyl), or it may look new
and sound used.
The difference between a "1 / EX" and an "AAA
/ NM" grading
often is merely visual, not acoustic. And to us the acoustic
quality is more important than the visual looks of the vinyl.
So we attach more importance on sounds than on looks as far as the
vinyl surface is concerned. If you want a record that looks
AND sounds practically new, go for AAA / NM. |
A cover or picture sleeve of condition 1 / EX looks very nice and clean and will show only slight signs of wear.
|1- (ONE MINUS) / VG+||VERY
The record will have slight to moderate noise here and there,
but not throughout (max. 50% of duration of music).
The cover mayl have a few shortcomings, e.g. a small writing on the front or back, or a price
sticker that was torn off, leaving behind a white tear-off spot.
Or it may have a small tear, or a piece of adhesive tape repair,
spine break, or
a stain, etc.
|2 / VG||SECOND-RATE.
It sounds tough, but we grade from the point of view of perfectionists.
Personally, I hate the word "VERY GOOD", because this
is hype. A VG ("very good") record actually is a mediocre
Not everyone knows that. But they should. To many other record-sellers and record-buyers, it may appear
as "great", because they never saw anything better
or because they don't have the critical eye and ear of the prof.
Anyhow, many people still call such a record/cover "quite
good", and some auction site sellers even go so far
as to describe it as "Mint
minus". When you complain, they say "I told you it
was not mint, but mint minus".
A VG record, as we grade it, have slight to moderate noise throughout or for the most part of the music, and distortions as well as some pops and crackles may occur. This is the quality most vinyl records have that nowadays you will find (50s records: approx. 99 percent, 60s records approx. 80 percent, 70s approx. 60 percent, 80s approx 40 percent, 90s records approx. 30 percent). The newer the records the better their average quality, yet most people look for older titles, and there it is difficult (and getting more difficult every year) to find top quality (and if so, then at the corresponding high and ever higher prices).
A cover or picture sleeve with a grading of "2 / VG" may show split-seam repairs using Scoth tape, or a name written on it, or a sticker, a rubber stamp mark, tears, (or a combination of these), and it will generally show more wear of course than a condition 1minus / VG+ cover. But still quite good!
|3 / G||
WORN. Actually "G" stands for "GOOD". Again, I personally hate this word, because it's pure hype. So we just say "G". That is a bad record, not a good one, mind you! At least if you're an honest record grader and seller. Noise will be clearly audible throughout or in large portions. May be disturbing especially in more quiet parts. Scratches may be heard.
A "G" LP will usually play from start to finish - without stops or jumps (unless mentioned specifically). No warps, unless specifically mentioned.
Looks: clear signs of wear and tear on record and cover, e.g. unsightly, old, yellowish Scotch tape, major cover tears, large writings on the cover, ugly stains, etc. Cover makes a shoddy impression.
|4 / FAIR||HEAVILY
WORN. Noisy. Loud scratches may be heard. There may be
sticks and/or stops. Miserable
Looks: lots of wear and tear on record and cover. Major tears and large writings may occur. Parts of the cover may be torn off. Major seam splits may occur. Miserable appearance.
A 7" single in condition 4 can still be used for the juke-box (we offer condition "4" records only in the case of rarities from the 50s and 60s) and please remember, condition "4" too has been tested by us and will play from start to finish. This is not a piece of trash!
|5 / W||TRASH. "W" stand for "Worn". Again, this is hype. In reality it's a piece of trash. A damaged record, e.g. warped so that part or all of it cannot be played without needle jump. Deep scratch(es), trashy cover.|
You may have noticed that almost all our records show condition AAA / NM or 1 / EX. This is because we do not like to deal in mediocre stuff. We sell off mediocre and bad records at rummage prices to cheapo dealers / buyers, not in our shop here.
WHY DON'T WE USE THE MINT/VERY GOOD/etc GRADING SYSTEM?
We have actually started some time ago to convert all of our pages to the M / EX / VG grading system.
POSTERS, LYRICS SHEETS, INSERTS
We mention such inserts in our weblist in most cases (if available). If there is no mention of an insert or a bonus record contained in the LP, there is none!
IN OUR WEB CATALOG YOU FIND AN ABBREVIATED VERSION OF THESE EXPLANATION.
THIS ENGLISH VERSION IS A TRANSLATION OF THE GERMAN ORIGINAL. IT MAY NOT BE AN EXACT TRANSLATION IN ALL POINTS AND NOT ALWAYS UP-TO-DATE. THE GERMAN VERSION IS ALWAYS OVERRIDING.