Gibson guitar
Studio Logo

Record Grading Standards

blue spacer imageVinyl Grading Guideblue spacer image

Today is Sunday 25th August 2019. 07:13:24 PM

This is the grading system I use.

gold dividing line

The Disc (Vinyl) and the Album or Single Cover are graded separately.

DISC (VINYL) GRADES
SS
(STILL SEALED)
Sealed at factory and never opened. Disc is assumed to be undamaged and mint, but this cannot be proven until the album is actually opened and the disc examined.
M
(MINT)
Perfection, no flaws, defects, marks or otherwise indications of being handled or played. Any scuffs, hairline scratches or other marks disqualify discs from this category. I do not use this grade, as even the act of inserting the disc or removing it from the paper sleeve may cause scuff marks on the vinyl.
NM or M-
(NEAR MINT or MINT MINUS)
This is highest grade that I will assign to opened, handled records. The vinyl is virtually flawless, bright and shiny. A very minor, barely visible scuff or two may be permitted, but no scratches. The disc should play with no audible noise. The label is bright, clean and unmarked.
E or VG++
(EXCELLENT or VERY GOOD ++)
Disc plays near perfectly, but may have minor paper scuffs that do not interfere with the sound quality. There can possibly be a hairline scratch or two but nothing that is obvious or affects play. Vinyl is bright and shiny; label is clean and unmarked.
VG+
(VERY GOOD PLUS)
Some visible surface wear, very minor scratches and scuffs, but minimal impact on the sound quality. Vinyl will still have good luster; labels may have minor imperfections (small labels or initials, etc.) but otherwise clean.
VG
(VERY GOOD)
Vinyl will have noticeable scratches or scuffs that cause minor surface noise, but do not overpower the music. There will be no skips. Vinyl may appear somewhat dull and grayish. Labels may have small tears, tape marks, larger writing, etc. but still easily legible. There may be wear or deformation of the spindle hole.
G
(GOOD)
Well-played, dull, grayish vinyl with deeper scratches and wear causing distracting surface noise (hisses, pops, cracks and other nasties). The record will still play through without any skips. Labels may be significantly defaced or damaged.
F
(FAIR)
P
(POOR)
Unless the record is particularly rare, I would not try to sell a record in this condition. There will be major noise, surface damage, deep scratches, and skips. Attempting to listen to these discs will be painful. These discs are basically trash unless a collector desires one to fill a space in a collection until a better one comes along.

 

ALBUM COVER GRADES
SS
(STILL SEALED)
Album is still in the factory-applied shrink-wrapping.
M
(MINT)
Absolutely perfect; no corner dings, marks, tears, dents, impressions from the disc, or other flaws. Cover should appear as if a record has never been inside.
NM or M-
(NEAR MINT or MINT MINUS)
Very minor signs of wear or cover impressions. Artwork is as close to perfection as possible.
E or VG++
(EXCELLENT or VERY GOOD ++)
Minor disc impression or slight corner creases, no wrinkles, puckers, seam splits or writing on the cover. Artwork is clean and unworn and there is no ink wear.
VG+
(VERY GOOD PLUS)
Cover is clean but may have minor writing or marks and may show slight wear. There may be just the start of ring wear, where the disc has created a raised area on the cover that resulted in the ink wearing off the paper. There may be slight discoloration or staining, minor seam wear, but no splits or tears. Corners may have small creases or fraying.
VG
(VERY GOOD)
Covers are worn and used. Seams may be starting to split or may have been unobtrusively repaired with clear tape. (I use special archival-quality, non-yellowing, clear tape for all repairs.) There is moderate ringwear, but the artwork is still attractive. There may be yellowing or discoloration and there may be larger writing, labels, or marks. Corners may have damage or creases and there may be scratches or gouges that otherwise damage the artwork.
G
(GOOD)
Several (but not all of the following flaws will apply: Seam splits, large marker writing, major seam splits, significant ring wear, damaged corners, tears, cuts, gouges, masking or duct tape seam repairs, or other flaws and damage. Again, probably only useful to fill a collection niche until something better can be found.
F
(FAIR)
P
(POOR)
Trash, useable only to keep the record off the floor.

gold dividing line

Tony Hart Music, Belle Vue, Holsworthy, Devon. EX22 6EF. Tel 01409 253799

Back to top of list