LP & 45 Grading | LP & 45 Grade Abbreviations | 78 Grading | General & Book Grading
Your LP purchases are guaranteed. If you do not agree with our grading on an LP you are assured we will promptly refund the cost of the item upon return (buyer is responsible for shipping).
We take great care to grade all LPs fairly, and closely align our standards with the Billboard Price Guides grading system. We add interim grading categories NM+, NM-, VG+++, VG++, and TF to better describe the LPs and their relative strengths or weaknesses. This combined with abbreviated notations, comments and photos should provide a clear description. Ultimately, your satisfaction is our pleasure and pride.
All of our LPs are visually graded unless otherwise noted. It cannot be stressed enough how important wet cleaning by machine is to the sound of the LP. Usually, a significant amount of noise can be alleviated and the overall sound opens up a bit...more dynamic. We offer LP cleaning on a VPI machine for an additional $2 per LP. This includes an anti-static poly sleeve in addition to the standard sleeve and poly cover that are included with all LPs.
LPs are divided into ten categories of visual grading with one amending notation (TF). LP Grading is Cover/Side1/Side2, etc.
NM+ is an LP that has basically been opened but is like new. Either it has not been played at all or has been played no more than once w/ no apparent flaws. No record is graded Mint and even sealed LPs can be flawed (although they are rather exhilarating to open!). Covers are also perfect with only the slightest signs of any handling they might have received as new in a record store;
NM and NM- are basically like new, but may have been played carefully a couple of times. NM- may have one or two light visual flaws that should not affect play at all. Basically a very collectible record. Covers are also beautiful, possibly a very, very slight corner ding or other handling sign but nothing to speak of;
VG+++ is an almost flawless record that has seen some careful handling and play. It may have just a few very light scuffs or scratches that should not affect performance. Basically still highly collectible and very close to MN-. Cover shows only the lightest handling, dings etc and very clean litho;
VG++ is a step down with perhaps a few more flaws and a little more handling visible. Still should play great with no significant problems. Perhaps a very little bit of occasion surface noise could develop, but would be inaudible with anything but the most quiet music. Certainly a piece that even ardent collectors would be pleased to own and not feel the need to replace. Cover still is very nice with very minor age, dings or handling showing. Litho is still very clean;
VG+ starts to show more flaws resulting in occasional audible clicks, tics, or crackles that would not overwhelm the music, but would be present at times. This is still a pretty nice listen and may have little effect on a good pressing or moderate volume music. Still on the lower threshold of what you would want in your collection. Cover show some handling, dings, wear or perhaps some light ring wear;
VG is where we start to degrade significantly. There will be many flaws, but this LP should still not skip. Surface noise and its intrusion will depend on the type of music, but there is definitely noise here that will be noticable. A temporary addition perhaps and with the right pressing/music could still be an enjoyable listen w/ some forebearing and tolerance or if you are inclined to wave your body wildly while listening (it'll be just fine then!). Cover shows significant handling wear and tear. Litho shows wear but it may or may not be ring wear, it could be general wear and tear which is definitely noticeable;
G/G+ is a record in bad shape just a hair (or two) short of unplayable. This is the type of LP you'll buy for the cover or to needle drop out of curiosity or rarity. Cover is worn badly;
P is trashed completely and no longer recognizable for its intended purpose. Cover only buy! ...unless cover is P, then the record better be great!
TF/tragic flaw, is an amending grade we give in addition to the regular grade in some cases where an otherwise nice and perhaps perfect LP has one or more severe audible OR visual only flaws for part of the record. These can be quite a nice deal sometimes if you can live with the flaw which is always specified and often not too bad.
78s are very fragile and we highly recommend insurance. We pack these well but they can break. You are responsible for returning any items claimed damaged.
All 78s have noise and your choice of styli cut can make a big difference. We do not offer cleaning for 78s, but most of the 78s we offer are in descent shape and have no flaws that would be worse than the average noise flaw. Of course, there are always exceptions based on rarity. Grading is as follows:
Excellent is in very clean shape w/ no noticeable scratches and lots of sheen;
Very Good may have a few more scratches or other flaws but still has sheen and is a fine addition in any but the most serious collections;
Good shows scratches and wear but should still be playable. This grade will have more noise than the other two;
Poor is in bad shape and must be a rare record to be on offer here in this condition.
All other category descriptions are general. We seek to be accurate, but these other categories do not require the same standards as records. PLEASE NOTE: the exception to this is books where we are simply are not qualified to offer more than a general description with note of any flaws that seem significant.
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