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Qobuz - When is a 24-96 "Guaranteed Studio Master" NOT one?


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See:SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar | Compositeurs Divers par Jan-Hendrick Rootering*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

Touted as 24-96 "Studio Master". From the Qobuz site (see attachment):

 

Albums sold by Qobuz as "Qobuz Studio Masters" we are provided directly by the labels. They are not re-encoded from SACD and we guarantee their direct origin.

 

Recorded by BIS; so I went to the eClassical site (BIS owned Web vendor) to see if it was cheaper - the site has has good prices and gives members special offers.

 

eClassical - Shostakovich ? Symphony No.13 ?Babi Yar?

 

At the page on the eClassical site it says "orig sample rate": 44100Hz; their download is 24/44.1

 

I wrote both companies asking what is going on, as one of them is clearly wrong.

 

Qobuz replied asking me how I know that the album was originally in 24/44.1

 

BIS/eClassical replied (reply directly from Robert von Bahr, the CEO), referring to the Qobuz quote above:

 

This is complete hogwash, and I have written to them, asking for a contact with someone responsible. I don't deliver anything whatsoever to them, so how dare they say so? And then sell it under false pretences. They will have to come up with a VERY good explanation...

 

and:

...

How and why Qobuz advertise 24/96 is inexplicable... In 2006 we didn't have those possibilities, and so it was recorded in 24/44,1.

...The files Qobuz have NOT got from us, but presumably from our digital distributor - Naxos of America...

 

and:

 

So the short answers to your questions are

 

- the files are 24/44,1 and nothing else;

- Qobuz are wrongly representing them for being 24/96 and they don't have such files, for the simple reason that they don't exist;

 

The album was also sold as SACD by BIS. So Qobuz may have been given a file resampled to "hi-res" from a DSD version. But clearly their "guarantee" isn't worth much, as they didn't get it from BIS, but apparently from Naxos.

 

I'll update when I get another response form Qobuz. I informed them that BIS had confirmed to me that the master is 24/44.1.

qobuz - Babi Yar.jpg

Main listening (small home office):

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Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I agree that Naxos is probably the culprit here, as Qobuz is not known to cheat on the sampling rate (they sell many 24/44 albums) and neither is BIS.

 

And yes, the Studio Master guarantee just means that Qobuz does not mess with the files. It's not a guarantee against upsampling, if the label did it.

 

Anyway, the price on eclassical is much more interesting.

Claude

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I had the same issue the with Eclassical at some point. When I alerted them they were very helpful and even let me download another album for free:

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f13-audiophile-downloads/new-daily-deal-eclassical-18365/#post277929

 

However, as with Qobuz above, in these cases at least we're not talking about somebody trying to sell upsampled or padded redbook, but only misdeclared sample rates. I'd assume in both cases these were just honest mistakes. And the good news is, with Qobuz' guarantee and eclassical's excellent customer service, if something is wrong they'll correct it.

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I had the same issue the with Eclassical at some point. When I alerted them they were very helpful and even let me download another album for free:

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f13-audiophile-downloads/new-daily-deal-eclassical-18365/#post277929

 

However, as with Qobuz above, in these cases at least we're not talking about somebody trying to sell upsampled or padded redbook, but only misdeclared sample rates. I'd assume in both cases these were just honest mistakes. And the good news is, with Qobuz' guarantee and eclassical's excellent customer service, if something is wrong they'll correct it.

 

Yes, but it still puts in doubt their "guarantee" that they get everything directly from the label, which means their guarantee doesn't build as much confidence in file provenance as it might otherwise.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I agree that Naxos is probably the culprit here, as Qobuz is not known to cheat on the sampling rate (they sell many 24/44 albums) and neither is BIS.

 

And yes, the Studio Master guarantee just means that Qobuz does not mess with the files. It's not a guarantee against upsampling, if the label did it.

 

Anyway, the price on eclassical is much more interesting.

 

eClassical generally has good prices, and with BIS recordings they are essentially selling without the middle man, so it would be a bit of price gouging if their prices weren't lower than Qobuz for BIS files.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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However, as with Qobuz above, in these cases at least we're not talking about somebody trying to sell upsampled or padded redbook, but only misdeclared sample rates. I'd assume in both cases these were just honest mistakes.

 

Are you saying the downloadable files are actually 24/44? I couldn't find that info anywhere. That would be a simple mistake on the website indeed. But if the files are 24/96 while the recording is 24/44, somebody messed with the files, and that is more difficult to justify, as it doesn't simply happen by mistake.

 

For example, if the files were made by Naxos from a SACD rip, why would they do that instead of asking BIS for original files?

Claude

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I'm waiting for another reply from Qobuz to find out what the story is; I didn't want to buy tracks just to find out what they actually are. But their guarantee does say their PCM files aren't derived from SACD. So they are in a bit of a bind on this one in any case. But I agree: If the downloads are really 24/44.1, then it is just a mistake by them. If they are 24/96, then the problem is a bit more serious.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I notice that the "Qualité Studio Master Garantie" label does not show for this particular download. If my memory serves me well, this label was present for this download a couple of hours ago...

 

Not sure what you are looking at. I'm still seeing it, along with 24/96, on the page (and I cleared my web cache).

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I'm not seeing it. It only says "Studio master" but does not indicate the Distinction "Qualit� Studio Masters Garantie" (green logo next to the gold Studio Master logo on the bottom of the album page)

 

Here's the complete list of guaranteed 24bit albums by Naxos:

 

http://www.qobuz.com/label/naxos/telechargement-ecoute-albums?f%5Bawards%5D=Qualit%C3%A9+Studio+Masters+Garantie#results

Claude

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I just saw it on the new Springsteen album. So maybe they are just in the middle of some sort of edit of the website.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I just looked at the Qobuz listing for all Bis albums in 24/96. Apparently there are a not small number that date from before BIS had 24/96 recording capability.

 

I'll leave it up to BIS to deal with this.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Anyway, the bit depth (16 or 24) is more important than the bit rate (44.1 to DXD), since it handles resolution (SNR & DR).

 

Lossy compression (MP3, AAC, Vorbis, etc.) do not have associated bit depths.

 

Bruce Brown of Puget Sound Studios fame says that he prefers a high bit depth than a high bit rate, if he have to choose. For example, 24/44.1 is better than 16/96 (if such format could exist).

 

BTW, some of us upsample with iZotope. V.G.: 16/44.1 to 24/88.2 - I rather will stay with 24/44.1 original recording, that with an upsampled by the player 16/44.1

 

Some other companies record on 24/44.1 (a very common format on this days) and then master on 24/96

 

My point of view, only,

 

Roch

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Don't disagree with anything you wrote, but part of the point is that these download sites should be offering us files that are what they say they are. So don't tell me you are selling a "studio master" 24/96 when it was recorded in 24/44.1.

 

And BTW, don't forget they often charge more for the higher sampling rate, "higher res" files.

 

Anyway, the bit depth (16 or 24) is more important than the bit rate (44.1 to DXD), since it handles resolution (SNR & DR).

 

Lossy compression (MP3, AAC, Vorbis, etc.) do not have associated bit depths.

 

Bruce Brown of Puget Sound Studios fame says that he prefers a high bit depth than a high bit rate, if he have to choose. For example, 24/44.1 is better than 16/96 (if such format could exist).

 

BTW, some of us upsample with iZotope. V.G.: 16/44.1 to 24/88.2 - I rather will stay with 24/44.1 original recording, that with an upsampled by the player 16/44.1

 

Some other companies record on 24/44.1 (a very common format on this days) and then master on 24/96

 

My point of view, only,

 

Roch

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Don't disagree with anything you wrote, but part of the point is that these download sites should be offering us files that are what they say they are. So don't tell me you are selling a "studio master" 24/96 when it was recorded in 24/44.1.

 

And BTW, don't forget they often charge more for the higher sampling rate, "higher res" files.

 

I totally agree with you, since they state 24/96 Studio Master there must be stated as a 24/44.1 recording and not 24/96.

 

BTW, I'm very happy with recordings at 24/44.1 from them and another music sellers and consider the price increase justified because qualify as "higher res" (to my ears/brain taste).

 

Roch

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Anyway, the bit depth (16 or 24) is more important than the bit rate (44.1 to DXD), since it handles resolution (SNR & DR).

 

Lossy compression (MP3, AAC, Vorbis, etc.) do not have associated bit depths.

 

Bruce Brown of Puget Sound Studios fame says that he prefers a high bit depth than a high bit rate, if he have to choose. For example, 24/44.1 is better than 16/96 (if such format could exist).

 

BTW, some of us upsample with iZotope. V.G.: 16/44.1 to 24/88.2 - I rather will stay with 24/44.1 original recording, that with an upsampled by the player 16/44.1

 

Some other companies record on 24/44.1 (a very common format on this days) and then master on 24/96

 

My point of view, only,

 

Roch

 

+1. I fully share your point of view.

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See:SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar | Compositeurs Divers par Jan-Hendrick Rootering*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

Touted as 24-96 "Studio Master". From the Qobuz site (see attachment):

 

 

 

Recorded by BIS; so I went to the eClassical site (BIS owned Web vendor) to see if it was cheaper - the site has has good prices and gives members special offers.

 

eClassical - Shostakovich ? Symphony No.13 ?Babi Yar?

 

At the page on the eClassical site it says "orig sample rate": 44100Hz; their download is 24/44.1

 

I wrote both companies asking what is going on, as one of them is clearly wrong.

 

Qobuz replied asking me how I know that the album was originally in 24/44.1

 

BIS/eClassical replied (reply directly from Robert von Bahr, the CEO), referring to the Qobuz quote above:

 

 

 

and:

 

 

and:

 

 

 

The album was also sold as SACD by BIS. So Qobuz may have been given a file resampled to "hi-res" from a DSD version. But clearly their "guarantee" isn't worth much, as they didn't get it from BIS, but apparently from Naxos.

 

I'll update when I get another response form Qobuz. I informed them that BIS had confirmed to me that the master is 24/44.1.

 

I was pointed to this thread from sa-cd.net. As I said, I have written to Qobuz with my real name and position in order to demand an explanation, as these things could be rather damaging to us, and certainly tricks the buyer into paying for something it isn't, and never was, namely a 24/96 recording.

With the risk of being accused of touting my own goods, I have to say that you should buy BIS stuff from eClassical.com High Resolution FLAC & MP3 Classical Music Download Store. Here you will, at a rather better price, get the real thing, and advertised as such. End advertisement.

 

I am outraged by situations like this: several years ago, I was drawn and quartered on sa-cd.net, because HDTracks wrongly sold our first SACD:s in 24/88,2, when in fact they were 24/44,1. At the time I had no idea that HDTracks even existed. They had got hold of my physical SACD:s and ripped the DSD layer, then advertised them to be 24/88,2. I didn't know anything about this, but I was named a liar and a cheat etc. Very uncomfortable. So what did HDTracks do? They blamed BIS!!!! This is why, since that day, they are under an absolute boycot from BIS - they get nothing to sell.

I hope that this will not get that far with Qobuz, but the fact that they haven't even deigned to answer me in a week speaks badly for them.

I have no problems whatsoever in cutting off anyone from selling our stuff, who doesn't live up to the very basic rules of transparency and honesty. Basta!!

 

BTW, we now exclusively record in 24/96 or 24/192.

 

Robert (von Bahr, CEO, BIS Records and eClassical)

bissie[br]Robert von Bahr, CEO of BIS and Chairperson of the Board, eClassical.com

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Thanks for your post, Robert.

 

The music download business seems to be a jungle. How come HDtracks offered your albums without you knowing? Plain violation of copyright or was there some kind of open licencing scheme where stores just pay to get the right to offer downloads?

Claude

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I was pointed to this thread from sa-cd.net. As I said, I have written to Qobuz with my real name and position in order to demand an explanation, as these things could be rather damaging to us, and certainly tricks the buyer into paying for something it isn't, and never was, namely a 24/96 recording.

With the risk of being accused of touting my own goods, I have to say that you should buy BIS stuff from eClassical.com High Resolution FLAC & MP3 Classical Music Download Store. Here you will, at a rather better price, get the real thing, and advertised as such. End advertisement.

 

I am outraged by situations like this: several years ago, I was drawn and quartered on sa-cd.net, because HDTracks wrongly sold our first SACD:s in 24/88,2, when in fact they were 24/44,1. At the time I had no idea that HDTracks even existed. They had got hold of my physical SACD:s and ripped the DSD layer, then advertised them to be 24/88,2. I didn't know anything about this, but I was named a liar and a cheat etc. Very uncomfortable. So what did HDTracks do? They blamed BIS!!!! This is why, since that day, they are under an absolute boycot from BIS - they get nothing to sell.

I hope that this will not get that far with Qobuz, but the fact that they haven't even deigned to answer me in a week speaks badly for them.

I have no problems whatsoever in cutting off anyone from selling our stuff, who doesn't live up to the very basic rules of transparency and honesty. Basta!!

 

BTW, we now exclusively record in 24/96 or 24/192.

 

Robert (von Bahr, CEO, BIS Records and eClassical)

 

Dear Robert,

 

Thank you for your comments. Just downloaded the Shostakovich Symphony from eClassical. After converting to AIFF, my preferred format, I am enjoying the performance. Appreciate your straight forward and temperate response to what must be a frustrating state if affairs and, in my opinion, unjustified behavior and business practices on the part of other concerned businesses who exceeded their authority which, apparently, they may never have had in the first instance.

 

Not noticed your posts before. Welcome and thank you for your contributions.

 

Enjoy the music,

Richard

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...I am outraged by situations like this: several years ago, I was drawn and quartered on sa-cd.net, because HDTracks wrongly sold our first SACD:s in 24/88,2, when in fact they were 24/44,1. At the time I had no idea that HDTracks even existed. They had got hold of my physical SACD:s and ripped the DSD layer, then advertised them to be 24/88,2. I didn't know anything about this, but I was named a liar and a cheat etc. Very uncomfortable. So what did HDTracks do? They blamed BIS!!!! This is why, since that day, they are under an absolute boycot from BIS - they get nothing to sell. ...

 

BTW, we now exclusively record in 24/96 or 24/192.

 

Robert (von Bahr, CEO, BIS Records and eClassical)

 

Hi Robert;

 

Please note that HDtracks continue to list dozens of BIS 44.1/16 recordings on their website:

 

Label | HDtracks - The World's Greatest-Sounding Music Downloads

 

 

I would also like to add that I have purchased dozens of BIS 24-bit recordings directly from the eClassical website. The quality is consistently top notch, and the customer service has always been second-to-none.

 

 

Trevor

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I had the same issue last week. I bought an album years ago on Qobuz (before the eclassical website). It is from BIS and was originally only available in 16/44 on Qobuz. A couple of weeks ago it became available in 24/96, so I took advantage of the "upgrade to studio master quality" on Qobuz and bought the 24/96 version. After double checking the eclassical website, the album there is only available in 24/44. I left a message to Qobuz a week ago and am still waiting for an answer.

 

Heitor Villa-lobos : Floresta do Amazonas | Compositeurs Divers par John Neschling*– Télécharger et écouter l'album

 

eClassical - Villa-Lobos ? Floresta do Amazonas

 

BTW, it is an excellent album. I am a big supporter of eclassical: best price/quality ratio in the business, especially now that they have more and more content with higher sampling rates (24/96) ;-)

Win7/64 - JRiver 19 - Auralic Vega DAC - Classé CP800 pre-amp - Classé CA2300 amp - Thiel CS3.7 Speakers - Happy Ears :-)

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It seems like HDtracks doesn't want or is not interested in giving information/tech specs about the files they sell. They just released a Yes and Blacksabbath collections but can't — or don't want to — tell us the source. They raved about the Miles Davis So What but the majority of the files don't have precedence info.

 

When i want to buy BIS or Harmonia Mundi i go to eclassical and the rest o the classical tittles usually i buy at qobuz.com .Just go to Hdtracks to buy some selective releases that i know or someone else analyzed in the forums.

 

For Rock/Pop releases i'm buying 1st press cd editions — usually from the 80s or early 90s — from Rush, Led Zep, Yes etc.. in ebay.

-

Mac mini 2.3 Ghz i7 16gb Ram with Mojo Audio Joule III PSU(2T SSD) -> Audioquest Diamond USB -> dCS Vivaldi DAC (Shunyata Alpha Digital) -> Transparent XL Gen5 XLR -> Classé CA-M600 -> Audioquest OAK single biwire -> B&W 802D3. Software: Mac OSX El Captain, Audirvana 2.2, Amarra Symphony IRC, Roon. Storage: Lacie 5big Network 2 5T. Power Conditioner: Shunyata Triton + Typhon.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Qobuz is not known to cheat on the sampling rate ...

And yes, the Studio Master guarantee just means that Qobuz does not mess with the files.

 

lol - that is just such nonsense.

 

The Qobuz "Studio Master Guarantee" is just rubbish ... their claims are sheer fabrication. They are false at best, and fraudulent at worst. The problem is not just with their fake labelling of BIS titles. They list hundreds of recordings from labels such as Channel Classics and Pentatone with a Quality Guarantee Studio Masters tag 'guaranteeing' that they are the actual Studio Masters, when the real Studio Masters are pure DSD, whereas the files that Qobuz are selling are just downsampled PCM.

 

* Pure DSD recordings like this from Philips:

 

Schubert: Piano Sonata D568; 6 Moments musicaux

 

* Pure DSD recordings like this from Channel Classics:

 

Death & Devotion - Weckman, Tunder, Buxtehude & Ritter

 

* Pure DSD recordings like this from Pentatone:

 

MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 5 / MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in D minor

 

There are HUNDREDS of listings like these ... all of which:

 

* the Studio Master is actually a pure DSD recording

* Qobuz is selling a downsampled PCM version of same and then fake claims the PCM downsample IS the Studio Master. Very naughty.

 

Their guarantee isn't worth the paper it isn't written on. I find it funny - but then I'm not buying it.

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