@ xnor and bigshot:
I can understand your reaction - because you have never heard an audio system capable of reproducing such differences clearly. I spent most my listening with good earspeakers with response good to frequencies you both consider are irelevant to music to reproduction off vynil - and therefore have pretty good idea just how does sound a
1.) phono cartridge that is relatively (or next to totally, say less than + - 0,5 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz) flat and rolls off rather sharply above say 22-23 kHz ( like a well designed MM will do )
2.) phono cartridge that is the same 20-20k but extends response to say 35 kHz with a more gentle rolloff ( like a medium good MC will do )
3.) phono cartridge that is even more flat 20-20k but extends its frequency response past 67 or so kHz ( test record with signals to 50 kHz recorded at 33 1/3 RPM but reproduced at 45 RPM ) ( like a really good MC or low impedance MM cartridge will do )
There was even a cartridge that is capable of 120 kHz response ( Technics EPC P100CMK4 ) - which I regrettably have not heard yet.
The sound differences in phono cartridges are directly analogous to sound differences in microphones - the better the extension in high frequency range, the better the reproduction of ambient or acoustic where music was recorded. The entire chain should ideally be very wide band, so that even that 120 kHz cartridge is the slowest component in the system. Technics could provide for such a system in early 80s, with its ribbon tweeters that went to 150 kHz - amplification was of course even faster. About five seconds of audio through such a system is all that it takes to convience people
with reasonably normal hearing for their age - no need to be able to hear pure sine tone at 20 kHz needed, not to mention outbating bats by about two times their hearing capabilities. As I mentioned, a vynil record mastered at half speed is capable of flat frequency response to 50 kHz - which does not mean it filters above that like brick wall filtering of CD, but rolls off at about 6 dB per octave, which means that on records can be recorded signals, not noise/distortion, in excess of 100 kHz - not linear, but around -6 to - 15 or so dB, depending on the HF behaviour of the cartridge.
Earthworks's CDs of course could not provide for the full benefit of response extended to various points above the 20k, all the way to 50k. But relative differences still hold true. Wish they could ( should ! for their own benefit ) make their recordings available also on SACDs
Since this is a thread about the piano - DPA, the famous Danish microphone manufacturer, issued a couple of years ago a disc featuring piano showcasing their microphones. http://www.dpamicrophones.com/en/Download/~/media/PDF/Download/grandpiano.pdf
Although I do not agree with for my taste too close microphone positions, I certainly do agree with their choice of digital resolution of the disc - it is double layer SACD/CD playable on any CD player, but obviously playing back DSD recording as SACD on SACD players only. You can turn the 7 microphone test listened to either SACD or CD layers into 7 microphones on SACD vs CD layers/resolutions/FREQUENCY RESPONSES.
This also takes about 5 minutes to convience anybody with reasonably preserved hearing in the supremacy of SACD over CD - since this is head-fi,
I would recommend electrostatic headphones, say Stax Lambda series, driven preferably by amplifiers and not transformers that may limit the 41 kHz response of Lambda ( Pro, to be exact of the model, but others are close enough in the frequency response extension not to influence the outcome ).
But any reasonably good HPs should clearly differentiate between SACD and CD versions.
Needless to say, DPA strongly recommends listening to SACD layer, if possible; if it was you who put al the research and development in the mics and associated preamps, you would too try to make certain to present the sound quality of your product best you possibly can - and that is by no means CD with frequency response limited to just above 20k..
No idea if this DPA piano SACD/CD is still available; it may not hurt to ask.
Disclaimer: No affiliation with mic manufacturers - satisfied DPA customer (wish I could afford matched pair of Earthworks QTC50); would only like to present the effort that is being made in order to bring us closer to the real thing.
@ bigshot: the speaker system described listing only the multiple drivers covering various portions of the audible spectrum without specifiying properly designed passive, but preferably active crossovers, is not likely to offer coherent reproduction. It is certainly a far cry from probably the best conceived, designed and executed audio system in the world today: