A great philosopher on the Analogue Heaven mailing list once shared his views on
judging the condition of a piece of gear.
Personally, I think it's one of the better things to of been posted to a
mailing list in a long time...
All text is Copyright 1998, DAC Crowell
Mint / Excellent: No scratches, all display graphics perfect, no rust or discolorations on mechanical parts, all knobs/sliders present, all wood (if present) well-kept and in good finish, no dust/dirt/foreign substances
Very Good: A few 'normal use' scratches, no rust/discolorations, all knobs/sliders present, minor wood dings due to normal use, minor dust
Good: Normal use scratches/wood dings, minor marks on mechanical parts, some dust/dirt, no more than 1 knob/slider cap missing
Fair: Serious scratches/dings, wood missing/removed, marks and minor discoloration/rust on mechanical parts, dust/dirt/foreign substances present, more than 1 knob/slider cap missing
Poor: Serious scratches/dings, dents present on housing, damaged wood present, rust/discoloration on mechanical parts, display graphics obscured by dust/dirt/foreign substances, many control knobs/caps missing
Pass: Poor criteria, or severe dents, breaches in housing, missing controls, severe rust on housing, missing keys.
Mint / Excellent: Operating to what appears to be factory spec. No evident miscalibrations, all controls functional and smooth.
Very Good: Factory spec, but minor 'gritchy' controls or other things which can be dealt with by simple maintenance
Good: Minor miscalibrations, such as slight oscillator/filter mistracks, mis-scaling, etc. Minor control 'gritch'.
Fair: Obvious control 'gritch', possibly one minor control inoperative. Evident miscalibration, such as mis-scaling, mistracking, obvious instabilities after warmup, improper triggering behavior, severe crosstalk, etc. Noise evident in unit output.
Poor: Several controls inoperative or entire minor subsystems inoperative, obvious control damage, obvious out-of-spec operation. Severe noise output.
Pass: Poor criteria, also single major subsystems (VCOs, VCFs, VCAs) inoperative, inability to pass signal, loud line buzzes, etc.
Pluses: Professionally-done and useful modifications, recent respeccing/recalibration by qualified techs, service history availability, manual availability by seller, case availability.
Minuses: No docs available, unit has been user-'hacked', unit has been in evident adverse conditions or abused by previous owner, no tech support available.
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