[ LOGIN/REGISTER ]   [ MY ACCOUNT ] Items in the shopping cart: 0    Current total: $0.00
Left space
<h3>Sonic Grades<br>and Vinyl Playgrades</h3><font color=white>

Sonic Grades
and Vinyl Playgrades

  • We put all records put through our cleaning process and then evaluate them against other pressings and our Reference Copies.
  • We rate each side's sound quality on a Three Plus scale.
  • Plus ratings are only awarded to sides that sound unusually good.
  • The average record will not receive a Plus Rating for sound.

    Read below to learn about our Plus Rating system for Hot Stampers, as well as info on our vinyl playgrades.

  • Sku # : grading

    We also suggest

    Click to Detail

    All About Better Records
    An Introductory Guide


    Tell Us More About "Hot Stampers"

    Straight Answers to Your Questions

    Our Record Grading System

    Triple Plus: Our Top Grade, awarded only to sides that sound just right in our experience. The ultimate in sound for that album, often Demo Disc Quality. These are very special records, the best we can find.

    Double Plus to Triple Plus: An exceptional side that is just a small step below our best Triple Plus copies but clearly better than a Double Plus. You'll have an incredibly tough time finding a better sounding side.

    Double Plus: A side that should be dramatically better than the average copy or any audiophile reissue. An extremely impressive side that will be very hard to beat.

    Single Plus to Double Plus: A wonderful sounding side with many impressive qualities, notably better than a Single Plus copy. A big step up from the typical pressing.

    Single Plus: A side that is significantly better than the average copy that should handily beat most pressings and audiophile reissues in a shootout.

    Vinyl Playgrades for Hot Stampers

    Notes on the grades we use, with each vinyl playgrade ranked on a scale of 1 to 10 -- 10 being the quietest.

    Mint Minus (M-)

    9 - 10 on a scale of 1 to 10

    An exceptionally clean record. An exceptionally well-cared-for, properly pressed modern record (say from the '70s up to today) should play this quiet when cleaned. Records from the '50s and '60s will have a much harder time making this Mint Minus grade, regardless of what kind of music they contain: rock, jazz or classical. Classical records, with so many quiet passages in the music, will have an especially hard time.

    Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus (M--)

    8 - 9 on a scale of 1 to 10

    Between Mint Minus and Mint Minus Minus. This is a very typical grade for a record from the '70s or '80s. There will be some surface noise, likely in the quietest passages, but overall the surface noise should not be objectionable to most. Customers often remark how quiet they consider our records at this grade, because we are very conservative graders.

    Mint Minus Minus (M--)

    Around a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10

    Typical vinyl for ’50s & ’60s recordings and very common for classic rock records from the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and so on. Will probably have constant light surface noise behind the music but it should not be of a terribly objectionable nature. Might have a click or pop here and there but nothing that repeats for very long. We make every effort to comment upon marks that make more than three ticks or pops. For many vintage records, even after a good cleaning this is as quiet as they will play.

    Excellent Plus Plus (EX++)

    Surface noise will be more objectionable but still tolerable. This grade is rarely used, if for no other reason than the fact that most audiophiles will not put up with vinyl that plays this poorly. At this grade and below this grade we rarely will bother to list such a record. M-- to EX++ records are a bit quieter and may be listed in the case of excellent, hard-to-find recordings.

    It's rare for us to have a record returned for sound or condition, most customers consider us very conservative in our sonic grades and vinyl playgrades. This is because we play a ton of records every day and make every effort to grade accurately. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed on all counts.

    Check our our 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, good for every Hot Stamper on the site.

    Right right-line
      | NEW TO THE SITE? |  CONTACT US   |