SS (still sealed) is the top grade,
and LP's should be Mint, any defects in covers will
M (mint) as new "unplayed". Mint
doesn't really exist (perfect 10) but is a range of
quality from M- to perfection. There is a real need
to separate the really nice from the near perfect,
since everything seems to be M- these days
(especially on ebay). Mint means NO signs of spindle
trails. NO "sleeve scuffs". NO marks
whatsoever. Will look and play like a brand new
record. Generally these come from old store stock,
distributors, radio stations. and seldom from
collectors (who always play them at least a couple of
M- (mint minus) Shows only the
faintest sign of use, like one spindle trail on one
side or a tiny mark that doesn't affect play. Could
also be a mint record with a tiny mark or scuff. NO
SCRATCHES. Will play like a Mint record. This is a
very abused grade, and many sellers use M- for
most anything. A record MUST be cleaned and inspected
under at least a 100 watt bulb before it is graded.
VG++ (very good ++) Has seen some
plays by a careful enthusiast. You may see a very
light scuff or or very light scratches that may
affect play, especially in the quiet parts and
between tracks. At the most you may hear an
occasional light tick or pop, but nothing more than a
bit of dust or dirt would make.
VG+ (very good +) This is your
average used record in decent condition. Not of much
interest to an audiophile, but will still be
enjoyable despite some possible snap, crackle and
pop. Will have a few light scratches, but nothing
offensive like repeated clicks.
VG (very good) Average used record
with scratches. You see lots of these at flea markets
for $1 and that's all they're worth, so we seldom
bother with them.
G (good) Good for ashtrays,
weathervanes, clocks, and the landfill.