AntiquiTone Condition / Grading System

AntiquiTone Condition / Grading System

At AntiquiTone Vintage Guitars we’re vintage stringed instrument experts and aficionados. So we only sell instruments that are ready to be played. We're honest and forthright about the condition of each of the instruments we offer. By using our AntiquiTone Condition / Grading System in addition to the supplied pictures in our listings you'll always know what condition to expect.

Using the AntiquiTone’s Condition / Grading System involves the examination, testing, and detailed reporting of the condition of all the instruments we offer. They are each evaluated for originality, cosmetic condition, playability, and tone. In addition to the condition details and specifics reported in their listings, each instrument is assigned a condition grade from this list, as explained below.

Mint - Instruments in this category are free of faults and defects. Mint graded instruments are spotless and look to have just left the manufacturer. A flawless but not new instrument in original condition is an example of Mint.

Excellent - Excellent instruments exhibit little to no wear. They have been lightly played and may have minimal finish wear that is not obvious at first glance. Excellent condition instruments may have minor pick marks, light finish abrasions or checking, or a ding or two. Excellent graded instruments may have original or unnoticeable vintage correct replacement parts. 

Very Good - Very Good graded instruments have been lightly played and may have apparent wear throughout. While there may be minor signs of wear and age that impair the cosmetic appearance, they will have no bearing on performance or functioning. Very Good condition instruments include mild buckle rash, minor scratches, lighter binding deterioration, tight repaired hairline cracks, more obvious cosmetic imperfections, and original or vintage correct replaced parts. 

Good - Good condition instruments will have signs of wear that lessen the cosmetic condition.  But they will have no bearing on performance or functioning. Good condition instruments can include binding issues, visible repaired cracks, more severe belt buckle or finish wear, more obvious visible dents, replacement parts, or road wear.

Fair / Poor - We rarely sell anything in Fair or Poor condition. Most of the instruments in this category have significant wear. Instruments in fair condition may have been poorly refinished, touched up, or altered, and they may have noticeable scratches, dents, or part replacements. In general, these instruments will still perform as expected, but they may have flaws that begin to influence functionality. 

As-Is - Occasionally, we will offer instruments marked in "As-Is" condition. They will also be given a grade from the above list. While still typically set up for maximum playability and tone, As-Is instruments are NOT sold with our standard 2 day approval policy and are NOT eligible for return.

+ / - Grades - Sometimes an instrument borders grades, and we use the + and - symbols to illustrate that in-between condition. So if, for example, an instrument is at the top of the Very Good condition bracket but not quite Excellent, we will assign it the "Very Good +" grade.

"Vintage Correct" Parts - Originality is important in the vintage guitar market! When used in our descriptions, the term "vintage correct" describes parts that are used to bring a given instrument back to its factory original look and feel but are not original to the instrument itself. We regularly source newly created or vintage authentic parts for our restoration efforts. When original parts are worn or used past optimal functionality, we may replace those parts with better functioning but authentic parts. Whenever possible, an instrument's original parts are also included with its sale.

If you have any questions about condition or would like additional information please Contact Us