About bootleg sound Grading:

Grading is a very subjective thing. Because everyone's taste, ears, likes and dislikes vary widely, it would be a rare thing for two different graders to have the exact same reaction to every piece. The star grade system incorporated into this site will assume the listener to be an average and/or casual fan. The star system grades compare only boot to boot recordings. (Royal Albert Hall, for instance, will be spoken of and compared only as a boot. The perfection that Sony Records can attain when it decides to release new material would not be a fair standard to judge any non released material by.) 

What is being judged? The star system grades the quality of the sound of a particular piece only. Not the package. Not the performance. Not the best copy and/or tape in circulation, but the actual sound produced by the record album or CD being graded. What is not taken into account on LPs, is surface noise - which can vary from piece to piece (unless it is known that the entire run of an album suffers a common problem). CDs are graded using the same numeric system, although the flaws revealed by the digital process can sometimes lead to the same analog recording having a slightly higher grade on vinyl.

Star Guide:
8-10 stars Even non Dylan fans will love it. 6-7 stars All Dylan fans will enjoy it. 4-5 stars True Dylan fans can appreciate it. 2-3 stars Only for the die hard collector. 1 star Only for the completeist.

Star Rating Specifics:

10 stars: The absolute best.  As good as it gets.  Could be an official release. 
9   stars: Near perfection, with only a few minor technical difficulties. (This might be a time or two where there's feedback, Bob is too far from the mic, a word or two is heard from the audience, etc., Problems are spontaneous) 
8   stars: Great overall quality, may come and go slightly. Slight tape hiss. (Above Problems are recurrent) 
7   stars: Very good quality. Noise to sound ratio has increased (hiss). (LP 'pops' or white noise on CD or audience slightly, but continuously too loud. Audience conversations are clear, but not continuously so. Or music is a tad thin, or problematic mixing
6   stars: Good quality. May be a little distant and/or muffled and/or audience is too loud. (Audience conversations are clear and continuous. Or music is too thin, or too bottom heavy) 
5   stars: Average quality. A little too distant and/or muffled, though the casual fan should have no trouble listening. (All of Bob's words can be heard. It's questionable whether this quality should be committed to commercial CD) 
4   stars: Slightly below average. Noise level has increased up to 50% of music level. (Audience overbearing at times. Some words can't be heard. 'Hand cupped loosely over your mouth' sounding vocals. Doubtful that this quality should be committed to commercial CD).
3   stars: The casual fan will not be able to accept this. (Music and most words are discernible, but buried and/or overpowered by audience. Or tape is far too high generation with 'hand cupped tightly over your mouth' sounding vocals or tape warp. Not for silver disc). 
2   stars: This is best left to the hard-core collector. (Some vocals are discernible, some are not.  High noise levels. Some parts of performance are obliterated by audience. Continuously loud conversations. 'Wadded up towel pressed into mouth' sounding vocals)
1    star: You can tell that it's Bob (At least part of the time). The recorder was outside the room :) Only for the completeist. 

For the purposes of this rating system, recordings will be judged equally. There will be no consideration given as to whether the original source for the album was tape, CD, or vinyl. Nor will there be separate allocations for field, soundboard, multitrack, or studio recordings. In general practices, a studio recording should have a better overall sound than, say, a field (audience) recording of a concert. In the world of boots, however, this is not always the case. Everything must stand on its own merits. 

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