How I Rate Hardware

Hardware is rated on a 1-5 scale for 3 categories (This may display as stars on the product page). Higher is Better. These ratings help you select machines to look at in the store based on your cost/condition preferences but it is VERY IMPORTANT that you make your final decision based on the description and images of the machine you are getting.


Appearance rates the external appearance based on my subjective opinion I generally rate on the following guidelines.

  1. This is one UGLY machine. It probably has multiple broken or damaged parts, excessive yellowing, missing keys or other major issues. Lets face it, this is either for your worst enemy or you plan to use it for parts.
  2. Nobody thinks their baby is ugly
  3. Not great but not terrible either
  4. Pretty good, there may be some light yellowing and minor scratches on the front or keys. The bottom or back may still be engraved or be otherwise marked.
  5. This is in really nice shape! Any yellowing is minor and there are no major marks or scratches.


Operation rates the functionality of the machine when it leaves my shop. As always, higher is better, the bottom 3 levels will not operate at all.

  1. Stick a fork in it! This is basically an incomplete pile of broken parts. It won't run and, if you want it to then its going to need a lot more than you get here. I don't actually expect to sell something like this
  2. She's dead Jim! This looks like a machine but it does not run and is missing at least one important part (See description for what's missing)
  3. This machine has been restored but is missing some parts. See the description for what is missing. Usually this is a machine I have restored and tested but lack enough parts, such as SIDs, to sell it working.
  4. Runs but with some kind of minor issue. The most common issues would be things like a SID that does not sound great or a VIC-II with pronounced jailbars. See the description.
  5. Runs great and has been tested in continuous operation on my bench for at least one hour.


This is just a rough judge of how complete or original the machine is. This is a hard one to judge sometimes so, as always, READ THE DESCRIPTION on the listing.

  1. Missing in Action. This machine is missing a lot of stuff including parts needed for operation.
  2. Missing the point. Usually this is a machine only and it may be repaired with old or modern parts. Few, if any accessories are with it.
  3. Not missing much. Machine is complete and any repairs were done with original parts and/or modern replacements. Some accessories may be missing. 
  4. In box. May be missing some accessories. Repairs have been done with original parts but date codes may not match. Box may not be serial matching. Warranty seal is broken.
  5. Unicorn. I may never see one of these. This is either in a sealed original box or is open box but I found no evidence that it has ever been worked on. Contents of the box are complete. Warranty seals, if any, are intact.