Wide bandwidth = necessary?

Hi folks, there is one paradigm that bothers me a bit: many experts and audiophiles are stating that Red Book technology is outdated because of it's bandwidth limited function. I've read the human ear is capable of perception of frequencies beyond the normal human hearing, up to 40kHz. But this is only with live music! When listening to recorded music there is a restricted bandwidth because many microphones can only pick up frequencies up to 20kHz. So why the need for more and more bandwidth with regard to digital sound reproduction technology? What is not present in the recording can't be heard either, even with very wide bandwidth music reproduction gear.
What is also laughable is that many vinyl adepts say that phono playback gear can reproduce tones as high as 40kHz and that is one of the reasons phono playback sounds more "natural" than digital playback. This is a bit of a contradictio in terminis because most LP's are very band limited (30Hz to 16kHz is quite common). Your comments please.


Showing 4 responses by stefanl

Here is a link to the main "formal" arguement about why wide bandwidth is necessary.For your health!http://jn.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/83/6/3548
Well Dazzdax,I can refer you to an old Hi-Fi review (1982) of 5 cartridges by Martin Colloms who was in the lab testing those cartrides square wave responses out to 40Khz for his review,this is in the members section articles at The Vinyl Engine.I at one time hooked up my phono stage to my soundcard and using the old Cool Edit program recorded some Led Zepplin at 96/24 and there was ultrasonic content definitely present out to 40Khz.This was actually to duplicate an experiment by John Atkinson of Stereophile who did an article about the high resolution of vinyl (still in the archives).The Sheffield Direct to Disk series used to advertise how their recordings captured sonic information out to 50Khz.
Bandwidth is not limited,which John Atkinson illustrates here, http://stereophile.com/features/282/ He closely looks at the very issue of what is captured on vinyl.Doug Rife postulates a theory of why this is important, http://www.mlssa.com/pdf/Upsampling-theory-rev-2.pdf both of these articles are good reading if you are interested and James Boyk's work at the Caltech Institute http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~boyk/spectra/spectra.htm looked at what ultrasonic content is captured by microphones until the signal starts to break-up at around 50Khz.
The above links work even though they seem to be the same.Don't know why.