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Oh, and...
Author: Posted by dan.dan
Date: 04/15/2004

It actually doesn't matter how sensitive the human ear is to differences in sound, if they cannot be captured by microphones and represented by analog and digital signals, they are meaningless to the current recording process.
You will never, in the result (a recording), hear differences that are too slight for the recording medium to represent. If the differences are smaller than that, they don't matter to the process of making recordings.
Since the resolution of state-of-the-art measurement equipment is far higher than the resolution of consumer recordings, even in hi-fidelity formats, we have all of the resolution we need. What is wanted are simply new ways of interpreting the data.
On the other hand, if it were really true that human hearing is more sensitive than recording equipment, we would never be in this predicament in the first place.
The real problem is that recording equipment is much more sensitive than human hearing, though it is never perfect. That leads to equipment designers having to decide how far to pursue fixing the imperfections before concluding that they are inaudible. Where audio science has missed the mark in the past was in making that judgment.
What we would benefit most from better understanding is the hearing process, not the mechanics of signal transducing and processing. Hearing is a phenomenon of the mind, so it cannot be studied as easily as plain old acoustic physics.
Regards, --Dan  
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