Please ask me if you want more information about a sleeve.
I am aiming to provide reliably graded records, & I examine records very carefully, & try out any visible marks on my office turntable (a Garrard 401) to see if they sound. When a mark sounds quite softly, I describe this as 'ticks'. Loud sounds are described as 'clicks'. I realise that different equipment may produce different results. I aim to provide enough guidance on condition for you to choose the condition you find acceptable. As a rule of thumb, I expect records graded 'E' or 'V/E' to sound perfect, unless I mention a problem in the text. I suggest you try out my 'G' grade to see if this grading is acceptable to you. 'F' grade records are still playable, & can be good value if you are not irritated by some noise on records. Established collectors will know already that early pressings often have more surface noise than later issues. My practice is to adjust my gradings to take account of this.
Each listing follows this approximate layout:
Stock number, COMPOSER, Title of record (if any), Title of piece, soloists, orchestra or ensemble, conductor, date recorded/issued, [mono etc], record company (not always listed), record code, description of label/pressing, condition, price.
Date recorded, This is only approximate. Where the record label or sleeve gives the date there is no problem. Otherwise I use my reference books.
All records, however well cared for, gradually acumulate dust in the grooves, resulting in "ticky" noises even on LPs that look perfect. I have a Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machine, which gently brushes each side of the LP with a mixture of alcohol & distilled water, and then vacuums off the fluid and dirt giving a very much quieter surface. Unless you have access to a similar machine yourself I do recommend you to tick the box on the order form requesting that I clean your records before despatching them. The charge of £2.50 per LP includes a new inner sleeve.
LABELS & PRESSINGS
I include a brief description of the label where it may be helpful. For Decca SXL 2000s and SXL 6000s up to about SXL 6400, I describe the original label as 'wide band'.
ED2 is the second wide band label, with "Made in England" between 9 & 12 o'clock, and a groove pressing. It is the original label for many SXLs.
ED3 is the third wide band label, with "Made in England" between 9 & 12 o'clock, and no groove. It is the original label for the later SXL wide bands.
I describe the next label as 'narrow band'. This is the later label for SXLs up to 6400, and the original label for SXL 6449 onwards. Some LPs between SXL 6400 & 6449 have no wide band label. If I say that the label is "wide band" or "narrow band" the pressing is always an English pressing. The earliest wide band pressings have a groove in the vinyl about 1 cm in from the outer edge of the label. These are described as "groove pressings". For other Decca labels, such as SOL, DSLO, ZRG, SPA, I generally describe the pressing – English or Dutch. But please note, that ECS & SDD labels are almost always English pressings, so I don’t decribe the pressing unless it is Dutch.
ASD and SAX labels are more complicated, so I describe the label, & say "original" if it is the first label for that record code. For mono issues such as LXT, ALP, 33CX, I describe the label. If you are not certain that a copy has the right pressing or label for you, please ask.
Please send orders to Sophia Singer, Spiral Classics, 52, Herbert Street, Loughborough, England, LE11 1NX. Send me the following details of the records you would like:
Page number, Stock number, Record Code, Brief description
You can EMAIL me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or use the ORDER FORM on my website, www.spiral classics.co.uk . I am happy to take orders over the PHONE, on 01509 557846, between 10 a.m. & 8 p.m. If I am not available please leave me a message on my answer machine. Please phone again later to check that I have received the message. If ordering by post, send no money until you receive a pro-forma invoice. Or to save delay & postage you can send me a cheque with a maximum limit.
Spiral Classics is a Mail Order business only, & not a shop.