All Records are visually inspected and cleaned before being available for sale. We may listen to specific areas to determine the effect of the physical condition. Please remember that all visual grading is an opinion of what a record will sound like based upon its appearance. Our grading is based on or extensive experience in classical records and reflects higher standards than the standard Goldmine grading.
SEALED (abbreviated as "SS") A sealed record is one that has never been opened and is still sealed in its original shrink-wrap or other out protective packaging. A description of any tears in the shrink or wear under the shrik-wrap will be provided.
NEAR MINT (abbreviated as "NM") A Near Mint record will have no visible defects when inspected under direct bright light. It will play as new. A Near Mint cover will look as new.
EXCELLENT (abbreviated as "EX") An Excellent record has been handled and played either infrequently or very carefully. There may be very slight signs of play wear or very light surface marks that may cause brief intermittent background ticks. These are outstanding records that would be Near Mint under many seller's grading. The cover will have all seams and corners intact but may have very light ring or edge wear. A new looking cover with a drill hole would rate an Excellent.
VERY GOOD PLUS (abbreviated as "VG+") A Very Good Plus record will display some signs of handling and playing, a few light surface scratches (none deep or feelable) and spindle trails. A VG+ record may have some very brief surface noise at background levels. VG+ covers may have either partial seam splits or more observable ring or edge wear, inconsequential stamps, names etc that maybe placed on the back of the cover.
50's LPs Customers should appreciate the inherent quality issues of early 50's pressings. Some highly desirable performances were released by labels whose pressing qualities were at best, second rate. We have a number of older LP's that are graded at Excellent, even though they show little or no play wear, but through general aging they are no longer Near Mint. Also, many older LP's were stored in paper sleeves that leached lignin causing an acid reaction from storage in their original paper sleeves. We refer to this effect as paper contact stains - "PCS." Sometimes this reaction has been so severe as to "etch" the vinyl and create noticeable background noise. The nature of the chemical reaction that occurs is such that it can cause wide variations in surface noise, that in turn can vary from system to system. Our visual grading tries to take into account the probable effect of PCS on a record's sound.
Any variations from these standards will be described in the listing. On those occasions when we feel the importance or rarity of the record justifies its consideration we may list a VG record but its defects will be fully explained.
CLEANING All records are cleaned prior to shipment by either Nitty-Gritty or our custom record cleaning