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Grading the condition of used speakers

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(Note: this article is not yet completed or fully organized, but it is getting there as of August 2015.)

First, you might want to read what I have to say about what your speakers are worth.

The condition of used speakers for sale is an area in which there are virtually no standards. There also seems to be very little understanding of what some words actually mean.

One hundred percent functionality is assumed for all conditions except "mint".

For all non-mint conditions, the following may or may not be included, and should be noted, with their condition described:

Serious collector issues:

Here is a quick range of conditions, with descriptions of what they mean:

Mint - Excellent - Very Good - Good - Fair - Poor
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Mint

Mint condition means the way an item left the production line, or the place it was manufactured. For a speaker, this means in a factory sealed carton. Period. End of story.

Mint opened: The only permissible exception, this means a speaker that is no longer in its original sealed carton. The only signs of use permitted are fingerprints from taking it out of its packaging for inspection, and even this is sloppy handling. Wear clean white gloves!

Mint incomplete: The speaker itself is brand new and never played, but is missing any of the items normally included, like instructions or accessories; or some or all of such items are not in new condition.

Mint considerations to note clearly:

Mint reminder: A speaker is not mint if it has been used. There is no such thing as "near mint".

Mint ironies: A genuinely "mint" speaker may be literally falling apart. A single speaker intended for stereo or multi-channel use may still be "mint"

Even worse mint irony: Speakers marked as "factory seconds" are still techincally mint, although of course their value is lower.

Final comment: mint condition items are potentially collectible, and potentially antiques. In our era, most speakers worth listening to are neither of these yet. Do not be afraid to actually open and use mint speakers - all you are doing is reducing their condition to "excellent".

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Mint - Excellent - Very Good - Good - Fair - Poor

Excellent

Excellent: Indistinguishable from mint, but used. Flawless. A "mint" speaker with no packaging is "excellent".

This is what people should say when they call used speakers "mint".

Excellent considerations to be noted clearly:

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Mint - Excellent - Very Good - Good - Fair - Poor

Very Good

Very good: Perfect appearance from three feet (one meter) away.

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Mint - Excellent - Very Good - Good - Fair - Poor

Good

Good: Perfect appearance from ten feet (three meters) away.

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Mint - Excellent - Very Good - Good - Fair - Poor

Fair

Fair:The speaker is banged up, has multiple scrapes or water damage on the top or sides, grills may be damaged but should be repairable. Badges may be missing.

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Mint - Excellent - Very Good - Good - Fair - Poor

Poor

Poor: The speaker functions but has no cosmetic redeeming values. Grills may be missing or trashed.

Other Factors

Repairs, modifications, and restorations:

These can technically apply to any condition below "mint".

Note regarding any alterations or repairs: they must be done in the same way for all identical parts or features in the system.

Additionals: These are items that would not have been included with the speaker when it left the factory. Their condition should be described.

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