The study you mention, and I know which one because it inevitably gets brought up in these discussions, has about as many holes in it as the study that purported to link vaccines to autism. A more-or-less neutral take on it is available @ [Wikipedia link].
Thanks, I actually am grateful when anything I say that's inaccurate is corrected. I'll stop "bringing it up in these discussions." :-)
Gregorio, it does no good simply to say "I stand by what I said." Read about Keith O. Johnson and/or Spectral and you'll see: (1) They're not on any "bandwagon." They've been making state-of-the-art audio equipment for three decades or more, they bring out new products very slowly, and their dealers tend to despair of the fact that they do so little marketing. Ask any audio dealer you like or audio industry person about them. (2) "Ill informed"? Keith O. Johnson has several important patents concerning the A/D and D/A processes used in modern recording studios.
Really - even aside from any discussion about digital audio, I feel it would be a good thing if you knew more about Mr. Johnson before throwing out general statements about what sort of person he must be.
You asked about myths. To me it's a myth to take a single idea (Shannon/Nyquist), even given the fact that the idea is provably correct as a mathematical theorem (though with certain ideal assumptions that do not in fact obtain in reality) and say this is absolutely everything one needs to know. I don't know if you're old enough, but for me this is the second time around with this sort of stuff. People were waving the Shannon/Nyquist "flag" when CDs first came out. No one knew anything about jitter. And they told everyone who was unsatisfied with CD sound that they weren't hearing what they said they were, because Shannon/Nyquist proved them wrong. Then people began to be able to measure jitter and relate it to audible distortion and lo! Shannon/Nyquist no longer proved CDs were perfect.
I realize you are specifically referring to sampling rate, and not saying we should ignore other issues like jitter. But even specifically referring to sampling rate, here is what I see as a non-expert, and therefore someone who needs to look to others who know more:
(1) The Lavry paper says 88.2 or 96 is all we'll ever need, on the basis of Shannon/Nyquist (though according to Shannon/Nyquist it is really 44.1, so 88.2 and 96 are straying from the "true religion" somewhat already).
(2) Numerous other people in the industry who've been deeply respected for a long time (several of whom have designed products I own, so I know from personal experience they're very good - Keith O. Johnson of Spectral, Mike Moffat who was with Theta, now with Schiit) think 176.2 and 192 resolutions sound better.
(3) To explain the difference, you can go with conspiracy theories - only Lavry is brave enough to stand against the tide! But I no more credit this than I would say Lavry takes his position because his DAC won't accept higher-res inputs. I believe he designed his DAC that way because he sincerely thinks higher resolutions don't add anything. And I think by the same token if you do some research, you will find that not all the people supporting higher res are ignorant or scam artists.
(4) To really make up my mind on this, I will have to listen for myself. I haven't had an opportunity to do that yet, because my old Theta DAC only accepts up to 16/48, and the one time I did have an extended listening session with high-res at a friend's store, it was to listen for other things (which audiophile player I preferred on the Mac), so I paid no attention to what the resolution was on the pieces we listened to. But the Bifrost is coming, so I'll at last have the opportunity to see if I personally feel there's any audible difference.
(An explanation for this last sentence: I certainly feel scientific inquiry is the best tool to find out the answers to questions like this. Now for all I know there are academic papers talking about why 176.4 and 192 are better than 88.2 and 96. I haven't done the research to be able to say yes or no, and if Lavry is what you're citing I'm going to assume you haven't done the academic research either. Also, I have experienced science and engineering having to catch up to what people's ears are telling them before (see reference to when CDs first came out above). So if good careful listening on my own, and putting my wife through some blind testing, indicate higher or lower res is better, I'll treat it as a data point in search of an explanation rather than dismissing it out of hand on the basis of Lavry's take on Shannon/Nyquist.)