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Have reprints been getting worse?

Posted: 12 Jan 2018, 18:52
by Schonbergian
I've been using scores from my university's library lately. Many of them are photographic reproductions, yet perfectly clear and detailed, so much that you'd never tell they weren't originals.

Then I look at the reprints of the same scores, sold today in music stores, grainy and blurry and blobby to a ridiculous level.

I am not an expert on camera technology, but I don't think it's decreased in the last fifty years. And I can get better results with my home scanner most of the time.

So what gives? Why this appalling decrease in quality?

Re: Have reprints been getting worse?

Posted: 12 Jan 2018, 18:58
by RMK
Part of the problem is that (Kalmus, at least) has digitized their entire collection and now most titles are print-on-demand. At first, they were printed at a very low resolution until many orchestra librarians complained. It's a bit better now, but still not as sharp as the older prints.

Re: Have reprints been getting worse?

Posted: 13 Jan 2018, 19:45
by Schonbergian
It's not even consistent among publishers. I bought one Breitkopf score of an early 20th-century plate and it was as crystal clear as any computer score nowadays. But some pages of my Brahms Complete Works look like some intern spilt an ink bottle all over the page.

Re: Have reprints been getting worse?

Posted: 14 Jan 2018, 15:29
I think in some decades ago the only way was the offset printing or even litho. Nowadays the digital print on demand has definitely decreased quality. I use a POD service and sometimes my scores look terrible sometimes excellent. I believe they forget to change ink cartridge adequately.