Posts on topic: scratched records


Selling Your Jazz Record Collection (Blue Note)


Like most genres, jazz on vinyl has some records more valuable than others with labels such as Blue Note, Prestige and Tempo often commanding big prices. Although there is quality music produced in all eras of jazz it tends to be the fifties and early sixties which produce the greatest interest in collecting circles. Unquestionably the most collectable label is Blue Note with original US copies selling for sometimes above four figures; artists such as Hank Mobley and Sonny Clarke fetch anything up to £4.000.


How to tell if you have an original Blue Note will depend on the year of issue with factors such as label addresses, deep groove or what is stamped on the run off all giving vital information. Label address is the company adress which runs around the edge of the label for example “47 WEST 63rd St”, from this you can determine what period the record was manufactured.


 Alongside US manufacturing the Blue Note label was released in other countries including Europe and Japan, both Japanese and UK originals of early Blue Note originals were manufactured on alternative labels, Japan on King and the UK on Esquire.  Original US Blue Note copies are still the most sought after, although it is worth pointing out records particularly on the Esquire label are gaining in value.


In this last paragraph I have noted a few general points to help determine whether your jazz record collection might have some monetary value, firstly you need to establish if the records are original issues, originals can sell for many times the value of later reissues. Secondly the most collectable style of jazz tends to be small combos from the 1950s and early 60s; early jazz although equal in quality of music does not tend to generate the same enthusiasm in the vinyl collectors world. Lastly as with all vinyl collecting condition is paramount, a rough condition record will generally fetch only a small percentage of a near perfect copy.



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How to grade vinyl records

How to grade vinyl records

When buying or selling vinyl records, the items condition is one of the major factors which establish its value. A rare Pink Floyd album might be very sort after but if it is in poor condition the price it is worth may drop dramatically. The grading systems used in the UK and the US can be a little confusing for anybody not completely familiar with record grading. Terms such as "Very Good" might at first seem inpressive but to those familiar with record grading it means the item has some specific flaws. Also it is worth pointing out, although we use similar terms in the US and UK there is a marked difference in interpretation. So feel free to use conventional record grading methods, but be aware what gives a buyer real confidence when buying a record is detailed information regarding  sound and visual condition.

What to look for when buying or selling vinyl

When grading a LP, it is equally  important to grade both vinyl and the sleeve. The vinyl should be held up to bright light or in a room with lots of natural light. Very often people make the mistake of checking the record in dim or bad light which may not show all the imperfections. When checking the record you need to move the surface around so as to make sure there is no shadow on the vinyl  hiding any lighter marks on the playing area. Scratches are the most obvious damage but you can also get lighter surface marks or needle damage which sometimes runs in the same direction as the grooves on the record. Excessive finger marks or dirt make the record less presentable and prone to background noise this can be resolved by cleaning, I will talk more in depth on this in further articles. Another issue which sometimes affects surface condition is the stain which some polythene bags can leave on the playing area. This is caused by a reaction between the bag and the vinyl and can be very hard to remove even with cleaning.

Labels are also very important when gauging the over all condition of a single or album. Make sure there is no tears or writing on the label and check out the spindle wear, this is the marks that appear around the spindle hole which tell us how much the item has been played.

Finally make sure the sleeve has no writing on it or sticker marks, if there are stickers on the sleeve - bear in mind they are not always removable and can tear the sleeve when attempting removal. Record sleeves show several common signs of ageing which include creasing, spine damage or discolouration. A tidy record sleeve will have little or no edge wear and appears sharp at the edges. 

If you are about to buy or sell a record it is important to keep all the factors which I have just mentioned in mind as they go a long way in establishing whether the item has been valued correctly.


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