Record Condition Grading System
Most of our records are Near Mint. If there is no
information provided on condition the record is likely to be NM, or at
We have recently introduced a visual grading system, however, as follows:
M = Mint, pretty much as new
NM = Near Mint - this can range from no marks at all on the playing
surface to one or more light surface marks which should not sound.
The cover will be almost perfect down to light ring wear or creasing or
slight laminate lift.
EX = Excellent
- marks more evident on the record, but no obvious gouges or raised
Small tears or split seams to the cover, remains of price labels or sellotape evident.
VG = Very Good
more obvious marks to the record, more obvious cover damage.
The information is provided for the record first, and then for the
cover or box, for example you will find NM/NM in the notes on each
Records are viewed under
both daylight and under a halogen light where practical - this very clearly shows any marks.
*This is a visual grading system. If we are aware of any audio
problems affecting a record, such as a few repeating ticks, we will provide this
information in detail. You should accept that even mint records
can sometimes have an occasional tick. Vinyl is not a perfect
medium! Many of the mono records, in particular, have small
pressing flaws - and had these even when new. Sometimes if records
were played with a heavy or worn cartridge (again quite likely in the
1950s!), they can sound imperfect even when they look good. On the
other hand, records often can and do play perfectly well with quite a
few light scuff marks, and even fine scratches. Playing a record
on different turntables and with different arms and cartridges can make
a big difference to perceived ticks, clicks, pops and surface noise.
One further point is that when playing old mono records it is better to
have a dedicated mono cartridge/turntable with a heavier tracking
We clean our records on a Keith Monks record cleaning machine.
This cleans the record, but it also reduces surface noise and improves
the record's sonic qualities.