About this site's record grading assessment

As 'Good' (G) is a very low grade pertaining to records and printed matter, and the fact that it is irrespective how old something is, the terminology "good condition for it's age" is not recognised on this site. This quotation should be reserved for selective human beings, to include yours truly!


Appearance: NM / EX  = COVER / VINYL


M-     No indication of being handled outside of a new store
NM    Near Mint:  is (or virtually) as brand new
EX     Excellent:  slight rub or similar that is evident on close inspection
VG+   Very Good plus:  quite acceptable if NM is not essential
VG    Very Good:  general wear, with contour creasing, etc
 G    Good: not for the collector. Any detrimental faults will be stated.

  'as' = as described within the Title, etc box
           (not to be confused with Antique Dealers jargon 'as is' or 'as found' !)

 Additional to the above, any defacing, tears, severe creasing, deletion cuts, etc, are declared.
                     e.g. wobc = writing on back cover  *  tobc = tear on back cover  *  

Note that the opening edge will not have been trimmed / guillotined. 


M-     Vinyl appears to be a virgin! - that's right.. of not very old appearance despite date!
NM    Near Mint: is (or virtually) as brand new. 
EX     Excellent : very few light marks that are evident on close inspection
VG+   Very Good plus: light marks and/ or light scuffing, but no digs or in-your-face scratches
VG     Very Good:  general light scuffing and/ or a few more obvious marks/ scratches. 
                 No deep gouges or 'problems'.
G+     Good plus: what I have received several times, having been described as EX!

* (star) following vinyl grade = ex-shop stock or ex-reviewer's supply, that is unused or played only once or twice. -->Even if as new, it has been play-graded by yours truly. Therefore, a disc graded as EX* equates to the vinyl being near/  is perfect condition, but plays Excellent. 

Note that the disc is inspected under a spotlight with the surrounding light being dimpsy. General* daylight, standard light bulbs, and fluorescent tubes do not reveal the true state of the vinyl. 
         * = direct sunlight being the exception 

Note that the vinyl will not have been skimmed or similar. 


g/f = gatefold cover  *  tex. = textured (course) surface of cover
nol = name on label  *  nos = name on sleeve (back)  *  tol = (small) tear on label
(s) tos = (small) tear on sleeve: on the back *  (s) woc = (small) writing on cover (name or number)
noc = not original centre (affixed middle removed) * Tri = original affixed triangular centre
             Extra info.... usually pertaining to sold-off  USA issue LP's:
                    dr = drilled  *  cl = clipped  *  cc = corner cut 

Also stated for 7" singles, where deemed of interest for completeist:
- 3 = 3 spoke middle  *  - 4 = 4 spoke middle  *  - p = original plastic middle  * - s = solid centre

Records that were distributed to Radio Stations, DJ's, Football Grounds, etc: 
FS = "FACTORY SAMPLE" sticker /or  Sample Sticker = equivalent to a Promotional hand-out
'A' Demo / Promo = a large 'A' on the label   *   + Letter = record company publicity letter included

Therefore, unless o/w stated, labels, picture sleeves, album covers are not torn or defaced.
7" Singles:  95% that are priced 5 and above are in their original appropriate record company generic slip-sleeves.  In most cases, these being in VG+ to EX+ on an EX to NM condition record, whilst expect a "VG" sleeve on a  VG or VG+ disc.  Where there are 2 grades =  Picture Sleeve/ Record....if no country code stated following label, then it is a UK issue Picture sleeve.

Please note that no 7" repro sleeves are employed, except on Sue + Blue Beat issues.
If you wish to purchase a quantity of 1960's 7" reproduction slip-sleeves, contact Doug Price.


as new ~ self explanatory
NM    sounds as (or virtually as) a brand new (perfect) disc
EX.    a hint that the record has been handled/ played a few times
VG+   some intermittent light crackle or light background noise
VG     more continuous light crackle or background noise. No 'clicking', jumping, etc.

Sound is judged using REGA speakers, with the Treble on full, the Volume set well above average, 
and personally sat adjacent to the speakers (i.e. not being in another room). Currently using a 
JVC L-F66 deck - found this easier to use when playing a considerable amount of records.
Tracking, alignment, and stylus is checked meticulously every month.

               Any additional + (plus) and - (minus) employed have been used cautiously.


It is unusual for an American LP listed on this site to be graded as better than EX. This is because most pressings appear to be of low grade/ recycled material. Even if  the sound quality seems to be okay (but very rarely Near Mint!), the visual grading is usually difficult to evaluate because of manufacturer's flaws. Therefore, It is no wonder that British pressed vinyl is wanted by collectors worldwide -  especially in America and Japan!


If considering purchasing a 'still sealed' album from this site, please read the information
on the Sale Policy page prior to ordering.


Photographs, including the JPEG images, are of the actual items for sale. When something has been sold,
the information and any applicable images are deleted. If and when a similar becomes available again, a new photograph is taken. Any old, previous images are not reused.

Due to light deflection and reflections, It is very difficult to depict with a photograph the exact (true) condition of a record cover's face. However, be assured that images depicted on this site have not been enhanced, cropped (edges trimmed or 'tidied up'), etc.


Humourous quips?.. possibly...

It has been observed, that in recent times one or two sellers of records have adopted colloquial terminology for the describing / appraisal of records that, in my opinion, is quite ludicrous, and if it was not for the fact that it can make a mockery of the industry, would be laughable. 

1) Paper inner sleeves are not abrasive to records and do not cause damage, therefore they should not be the reason (blame) for obvious marks.

2) Some of the 1950's record covers were housed in very thin card sleeves, thus when the LP was slid in out of a shelf of tight fitting records the lamination could tend to start peeling at the opening edge, and in some cases the card would get torn.. Apart from this, it is very unlikely that an LP cover of fresh appearance has fraying or wear on the opening edge. Likewise, a tired, well handled cover would not have an immaculate opening edge.  If you have acquired an LP with the jacket having a  very sharp edge, or the border line appears to be missing, ensure that the cover has to been guillotined or similar. If so, the value is decreased by at least 25%.

3) As seen elsewhere: single graded as Mint, but does have noc (middle knocked out) and tol (tear on label). What??

4) Statements as 'only 50 with this label were pressed' and the suchlike is interesting, if only for the fact that  even the record companies themselves do not have a record of any such production output. Amazing how a 30 year old 'expert' knows more, than say, EMI themselves!


  To sum up on the subject of Grading: 
All of us have our own opinion as to what is, and what is not. However, there cannot be any justification
if an item is described as Excellent or better, and on receipt it is found to be of low or bad quality. 

If you decide to purchase something from this site that has been described as Excellent, be it
a magazine, vinyl, toy, whatever, it can be 98,6%  certain that the minimum it will be is EX-,
but more likely to be Excellent, or, as many clientele have found, to be of a higher grade.
Testimonies can be emailed to this effect. This will not divulge client's personal information.

 Likelihood is that up to 50%  will be top grade. THIS INCLUDES THE COVERS.

No false claims here that
--> the record has been in my possession since new if it has not
--> it has been played once or twice only if unknown
no 'hidden' truths, by omitting the actual condition by use of diversion
(reams of describing the recordings - this is already plentiful on the Internet).

Note a disclaimer:
Please note that deliberate misrepresentation is stating false facts. 
A personal opinion of a record's visual appearance and sound-check
does not fall under this category unless it is seriously blatant.

Further details on grading of vinyl and other merchandise, identifications, abbreviations, etc,
 can be found on the Sales Policy page.

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1985 ~ 2008 Peter Rice  Destiny One