surf albums

Rare Surf Albums

LP Play Grading

The only way to properly grade the quality of an LP is by first cleaning it, then playing it. Most records are NOT play-graded! The standard grading system was developed by Goldmine Magazine and is reprinted all over the Internet. I will paraphrase here:

STILL SEALED – The plastic shrink-wrap has never been opened. However, if a vintage record is still sealed, then it may be warped or could possibly have been resealed.

MINT – The shrink-wrap has been opened but the record has never been played before.

NEAR MINT – No scratches, no skips, no surface noise at all. Record has been played extremely carefully on a quality turntable. No cut-outs, record companies would mark the covers when discounting bulk amounts of LP’s, or ring-wear on the jacket! Very hard to find a record in this shape, but there are some still out there.

VERY GOOD PLUS – Some surface noise may be audible at the start of each side. No scratches or skips! Cut-outs or faint ring-ware on the jacket OK, if listed in the description!

VERY GOOD – Minor surface noise throughout. Light scratches, no skips. This is the real grade of most records that are sold.

GOOD – Not a “good” thing. Can be unplayable.

The vast majority of records that are sold are “visually” graded. This means the seller has looked at the record but has not played it. Visual grading can be very optimistic, I have found that visually graded records may grade two degrees lower when they are played.