Our Grading System

To keep the grading process objective, we’ve developed a standardized system for grading our drums – a “grading key”. This lets you know what our grading criteria are so that the grade we see and the grade you get, are one and the same. To keep the process objective we put ourselves in your shoes and grade each item as if we were the customer.

Every drum we purchase is carefully inspected and evaluated for cosmetic, acoustical and structural/functional quality as well as for originality (see “How to Inspect a Vintage Drum“). We then file this information and use it to give you a comprehensive report on the condition of the drum(s) you’re purchasing.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can provide any additional information on anything you see listed in our catalog.

  • Mint — Looks like brand new, no evidence of any wear.
  • Exc/Mint — Excellent to Mint. Looks almost new, shows only slight evidence of use.
  • Exc — Excellent. Shows light wear but taken very good care of.
  • VG/Exc — Very Good to Excellent. Shows less than normal wear.
  • VG — Very Good. Shows normal amount of wear for its age.
  • Gd/VG — Good to Very Good. Shows a little more wear than usual.
  • Good — Still in decent condition but shows more than normal wear.
  • Fair — Rough condition, but useable.