A Note About Our Grading System We get a lot of questions about how we determine the condition of instruments we have for sale. Unless sold "As Is," all of our guitars, mandolins and banjos are in good playing condition. Our system is abbreviated like this:
M = Mint
NM = Near Mint
EXF = Exceptionally Fine
EXC = Excellent
VG+, VG = Very Good+, Very Good
G = Good
New instruments are listed as such, and the term "with tags" means the instrument still has some of its original paperwork. We do not normally deal with instruments in less than "good" condition.
In grading instruments we take into consideration originality, rarity, age, playability, cosmetic appearance and structural integrity. Our ratings are highly subjective and there are no standard criteria for judging a musical instrument. For this reason, we always encourage buyers to call us for an in-hand description of any instrument.
In addition to our own knowledge, acquired in the course of doing business since 1970, we have vintage guitar experts and archives at our disposal; but ultimately, each guitar must be evaluated on its own merits, and the final judgment rests in the hands of the individual player.