Well I have been following up on this debate again. Let me get what I have been reading. I have no idea about some of it and don't make any claims as to the accuracy. As I said I get 24/96 to rest easy, and even 24/192 sometimes because really I don't care about space. I got the Grateful Dead is pure 24/192. Why some may ask? Because it is there and I have to worry about zero problems with mixing and mastering. It's definitive. Meaning never will be topped as far as I am concerned. One sec.....
There's still no guarantee that the effort given to a hi-res release is superior, in terms of mixing/mastering, to Redbook releases of the same material. It's still too far much of a crap-shoot to believe that sound quality is the overriding concern in the hi-res movement.
Here was this debate I was reading which was pretty entertaining: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/digital-music-16-bit-44-khz-explained
One thing that should always be taken into account is that a high-res version of anything is almost ALWAYS going to better than its late 80s/early 90s counterpart at 44.1 if they even half-tried to make it decent. We didn't have technology back then to do the downscaling like we do now imo. I'm not saying it is 100% but I have heard some pretty resounding samples. STP's Core album to me sounds a lot better overall in high-res than it does with the old CD for whatever reasons. I'm sure the downscaling there had some issues.
I have plenty of classical albums from that period that sound superb compared with the standards of today. Heck, even some of my *early* 80s releases sound great. It's not a technological issue, it's a matter again of care being put into the actual production process.