Your gear can barely render 20-bit recordings well, and 24-bits is already enough 'safety' room and overkill for your ears and your gear. Hell, most of these modern recordings (after mastering) would playback fine with an 8-bit system. I'm serious.
24-bit is 144dB of dynamic range. That means that if you had your speakers calibrated (I know that i'm going to use the wrong symbols on part of this..) so that 0dBfs is at 144dB at your listening location (a few meters), then a full strength signal would be the equavilant of a jet engine taking off. -144dBfs would be dead silence.
Your gear can't even make this happen. Even "24 bit" convertors are at best getting a -120dB noise floor (or 120dB dynamic range). Most preamps have around 100dB of dynamic range. Microphones are even worse.
Then you have to factor in as well for "zero" sound or -144dBfs to mean anything, then -144 needs to be at the noise floor of your room to be heard any difference between a signal at -140dBfs and -144dBfs. That's the NC on your room? I'm really guessing that most of the rooms are barely even meeting NC-30, let alone something really low like NC-10. That means that even moreso, your ROOM can't accomidate the dynamic range of a true 24-bit recording and replication, unless you want to turn up those speakers even louder.
Of course you can probably find speakers and amps that will go louder, but again there's that damn noise floor. With 144dB of gain you're seriously starting to push out random sounds and noise from just random interference and analogue noise in general. It's like pushing your camera to a 3200ISO speed. There will always be noise at that point. It's just physics.
And I can't remember who pointed this out in Tape Op, but someone did. For your console to be able to deal with that dynamic range of 32-bit recordings, you'd have to have MASSIVE (and by massive I mean making an SSL 9000 power supply stack look like a AA battery) set of power rails on the console. Trying to remember, but something about "20 log voltage difference" expressing that dynamic range. I think you'd get around 192dB dynamic range. Remember, this is on a Log NOT linear scale. That's giant.
I did find one link: http://blogs.msdn.com/audiofool/arch...22/713498.aspx
Basically a 32-bit system playing at full scale will be literally pushing the atmosphere back and forth nonstop. It will make you blow up. This seems like a poor idea to me.