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Grading : How We Grade Vinyl

We grade records using visual inspection unless otherwise noted. We note grading as Cover/Media in our listings. See the below details for the standard we use. Our goal is that your expectations are met and our top concern is that you are satisfied with your purchase. If you receive a record from us and the grading is off please reach out ASAP so we can help! The quickest way to get in contact with us by clicking the message chat button on our website in the bottom right corner.

Clean Records Rock!

Other than our amazing ULTRASONIC Clean albums, It's always a good idea to clean "new to you" records before playing them. Some of our stock has also been cleaned using other basic methods but not all. If it's been cleaned in our professional grade ultrasonic machine it will be noted in the listing, otherwise, when in doubt, clean it! Your ears and stylus will thank you!

Vinyl Media Grades

  • ULTRASONIC Clean: These are cleaned using our German manufactured Audio Desk Pro ultrasonic cleaning machine and will usually play a full grade up from their visual grade. This cleaning has miraculous effects on a VG record and makes for super quiet VG+ and above wax.

  • Mint (M): Perfect and never played. Usually sealed. 

  • Near Mint (NM): Only played a few times and there are no marks on the vinyl. Label may have very light spindle marks but nothing in the wax.

  • Excellent (EX): A record that's been very very carefully handled and played a few times. Very light marks are tolerated on the vinyl, usually incurred while going in and out of the sleeve.

  • Very Good Plus (VG+): A few further faults are acceptable but these should play just about as good as EX or NM when clean. These records are still considered close to pristine but may have a very limited number of minor and usually inaudible imperfections. Allowable types of imperfections (but certainly not too many at once) are sleeve scuffs, light or superficial marks, or a rogue inaudible hairline or two. You should never be able to feel any of these marks and overall this media should present very nicely to the eyes and play beautifully.

  • Very Good (VG): These are usually downgraded from VG+ due to a greater number of visual imperfections than is acceptable on the more discriminating VG+. These may have some light surface noise at times or between tracks but it should not overpower the listening experience. There shouldn't be any skips and these records not trashed by any means... they just didn't make the VG+ cutoff. VG albums will usually play as well as VG+ albums after an ultrasonic cleaning. I suspect this is because most of the surface noise from a VG record is actually from deep groove contamination that can usually be removed via ultrasonic cleaning... Did you know that!? 

  • Very Good Minus (VG-): We typically throw most of these in the $5 bargain bin to give someone a deal unless it's something rare. Surface noise can be expected throughout but no skips should be present. May depend on the type of music as to whether or not they can be enjoyable to listen to. Heavy Metal is usually more forgiving...

  • G+: May skip. All bets are off unless audio graded.

Album Cover Grades

  • Mint or SEALED or NM: Visually perfect.
  • EX: Beautifully preserved, corners look awesome, cover looks pristine or virtually pristine. 
  • VG+: Many fall into this grade. This is a clean album cover that may present as vintage with some light corner wear or other light imperfections that don't take away too much from the overall presentation.
  • VG: We typically downgrade to VG when we see some splitting towards the edges, a bad wrinkle, or perhaps some excessive spine wear or someone other than the artist wrote their name extra large on the front.
  • VG-: These may still look OK but they typically have full splits or a chewed up spine.