The Vinyl Solution Database



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Explanation of Codes and Categories

Format Codes

Items are divided into their format categories. The code for each format is:

CD Full length CD album
CDS CD Single. Usually up to four tracks, sometimes more. Sometimes containing extra mixes of the same song.
CDEP CD with around 10-15 minutes of music, but no particular song designated as a single.
CDMLP CD with around 20-30 minutes of music, but no particular song designated as a single.
CAS Full length cassette album
CASS Cassette Single
45 45 RPM single. Usually 7" sometimes 12".
EP Like a 45 but usually with 4 songs instead of 2.
LP Full length 12" vinyl album
MLP Half Length 12" vinyl album. Usually 5 to 7 songs
Promo The item is a promotional or demonstration copy
Pic Picture Sleeve. 7" and 12" vinyl singles came in either a company or picture sleeve. If "pic" does not appear in this field but there is a grading for the sleeve, then it is a company sleeve. If "pic" does appear then the 45 is in a picture sleeve


The first Grading is for the record itself, the second is for the sleeve.

New New New (therefore, no sleeve grading is required). Records are usually sealed and have never been played.
M Mint As new, or almost new. Mint records look and sound as if they have either never been played or have, perhaps, been spun once or twice in the shop before being returned to the racks. CDs will look and sound as new.
Ex Excellent Some signs of age and use; may have some marks, especially when viewed under strong light, and has obviously been played but has been handled well and is still in great condition.Plays with no significant surface noise. Sleeves may be slightly worn or creased, but only very slightly. CDs may have small surface scuff marks but will play perfectly.
VG Very Good Noticeable marks but still plays well although there may be some surface noise, particularly near the beginning. Sleeves may have a little ringwear, slight marks or small tears. CDs may have surface scuff marks which are quite noticeable but will still play perfectly.
G Good Signs of significant playing hours, with surface marks and grooves but despite some noise the sound should be intact without skips and jumps. Sleeves may have small tears and ringwear and other signs of age but are fundamentally sound. CDs will have many marks from being left out of their covers but there should be no deep grooves affecting play.
F Fair Notably worn. Will play but will have notable surface noises. Record's surface will show significant signs of use and the vinyl will be dull and lacking in lustre. Despite the noise you should be able to play the record right through and hear the music clearly. Sleeves may be torn, frayed or split along the seam and may have ringwear or be otherwise damaged. CDs will have lots of marks and scratches and may play on some machines but not on others ... buyer beware.
P Poor Records in Poor condition will often be playable but the surface noise may be louder than the music. They are usually of value to completists or people who just want to hear a rare sound or own a rare record. Sleeves will be badly torn and frayed. CDs will have been used as frisbees but if they do play - they'll sound just like new (the beauty of the digital world). Of course, if they don't play, they won't play ...... buyer beware.

Other grading notes you may see

WOL/S Writing on label/sleeve
TOL/S Tear on label/sleeve
SOL/S Sticker on label/sleeve
NC No Centre. (usually American 45s)



Search Tips

When searching the database you can specify an artist name, an album title, a format (CD, LP etc) or you can search for a song. If you leave the defaults as they are (all media, all keywords) you can bring up everything relating to an artist, or a title, or a label - otherwise you can be more specific by defining which fields you want to see


Singles vs EPs

The distinction between vinyl singles is usually pretty clear. Singles generally have one song on each side and EPs usually have two and come in a picture sleeve.

It's not so clearcut with CD singles and CDEPs. Sometimes an EP may have four tracks and a single may have six. How do we differentiate? Well, as a general rule, we call it a CD single if one particular track is identified as the lead, or standout track, usually for radio play. If the CD has a title which is not necessarily one of the songs on the CD, we consider it an EP. Sometimes - particularly with dance CD's there will be a number of different mixes of the same song. If you see the title as "Borderline/(4 Mixes)" this means that the CD contains the track "Borderline" plus 4 additional mixes of the same song - making 5 in total.


Country of Manufacture

In the olden, golden days of vinyl this was pretty straightforward. Countries manufactured their own records - usually - and said so.

Not so with CDs. We have tried to correctly identify the country of manufacture in each case. If the CD is manufactured in a different country to the booklet - a very common occurence - we take the name on the CD itself as the country of manufacture. If we're not sure we've left it blank. Please note that the code 'Ind' usually refers to Indonesia, not India. 'Aus' is for Australia. Please contact us if you are unsure and want clarification.



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