Buying Hi Res files... is it a scam?

Hi folks
I’ve been buying several Hi Res albums from various sites including HD Tracks and Highresaudio.com.
Lately, I made a couple of tests by measuring some of these albums though Spek. This W will show you the spectrogram of each song, and the value you see on the Y axis should be multiplied by 2. So when you see a Y axis which reach 48khz, that’s a 96Khz capable file.
That said, I found out that some of the 24/96 FLAC I bought are showing a value of 48khz max on the Y axis, which is correct, but the content does not go beyond 22-24khz, meaning that the file resolution is 44-48khz max.
The perfect example is the album “Live in Gothenburg” from Esbjorn Svensson Trio, where all the tracks stays below 24Khz.
Spek can see that the “container” is capable of 96Khz, but the content is 48khz max.
I think this is not honest from the seller, have you guys had any experience like this?
11 Dodge the Dodo (Live) 10 The Second Page (Live) 09 Bowling (Live) 08 The Chapel (Live) 07 Good Morning Susie Soho (Live) 06 Providence (Live) 05 The Wraith (Live) 01 Dating (Live) 04 From Gagarin's Point of You (Live). 03 The Rube Thing (Live) 02 Somewhere Else Before (Live)

I have had the same experience with some albums at Qobuz.
For me it is clear that Qobuz (.and other streaming/reselling companies) are in fact not veryfing if the file resolution they receive corresponds with the said specifications.

I have reported the albums I had issues with to Qobuz, and they have giving me the opportunity to select other albums for the money I paid; I also got 3 months (I believe) in order to do so.
For me that was very acceptable and good customer service.

Dirk

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Thanks Dirk,
Unfortunately my experience with HRA is different, they fence behind the fact that this is a good recording (???) and being a compilation (???) it is normal to see different formats…
Not buying this explanation, I have sent them the spectrograms for all the tracks of the album and waiting for their feedback.
I also sent a note to the record label to know if a 24/96 was ever published…

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It is almost as if some sort of provenance and authentication would be useful in ensuring you knew what you were getting!

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I totally agree, If I knew this album was not a Hi Res one, I would have bought a standard FLAC version, saving money and space on my HD…

Well it saves you the bother of upsampling it in Roon… :wink:

I’ve read about this somewhere… :slight_smile:

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Would something like Quality Assured do and perhaps a little light on the DAC confirming the authenticity?

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I am afraid the DAC would only confirm the container, not the content. Same thing that Roon does.

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I was having a little Joke, we have authentication with MQA files. That’s one of the major advantages.
The DAC unwraps the file (Renders) and it’s authenticity is confirmed. High digital res isn’t the be all and end all either. There are amazing sounding 44/24 MQA files being released today.

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Which means nothing in the context of the OP’s issue. There is nothing to prevent the studios “upconverting” a 44.1/48 to something higher before running it through the MQA encoder. Your little purple light just means all those zeros haven’t been tampered with…

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It was a joke… let it go…

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That’s clearly not how MQA works and it would defeat the object. Anyway, I was just joining the conversation with what I consider a pertinent point and a little humour.

There is no way to authenticate high res files, is the answer for the OP and MQA is an attempt to allow authentication, that’s what the A stands for.
If MQA were in the business of fraudulently upsampling files they wouldn’t release so much in 44/24. Hardly upsampled is it?

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There is a misunderstanding here.
A 96k file has a 96k sampling rate, which means the highest audio frequency It can accommodate is half that, 48k.
So that is correct.
If you see content above 48k Hz when playing a 96k file, it is spurious noise introduced by the DAC.

(I’m not discussing MQA.)

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That said, I don’t see any content above about 20 kHz in those spectrograms so it looks as though the files may be effectively standard CD quality. Am I missing something?

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Have you looked at any of the screenshots in the opening post?

I have not. Why?

There is a misunderstanding here.

Because it looks like the signal has a brickwall around 22kHz, suggesting a Redbook recording upsampled to 96k. Not the first time I saw this from digital downloads. I don’t trust hires reissues unless they come specifically from a SACD remaster or from a new tape transfer.

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Sure, that happens.
But that’s separate from the OP question about…