Originally Posted by GRO
can anybody actually say they hear a difference between when dithering is applied and when its turned off?
Yes, especially with boutique dithers. I'm not at all sure dithering to 24 bit counts, though it is technically correct to do. Dithering to 16 bit, hell yes if you have good monitoring.
I've done mastering. I'm using a Lavry Black and Channel Islands monoblocks, very radical speakers and room treatment. I'm sure there are systems where you can't hear dithering vs. truncation no matter what you do, but I don't want systems like that.
Almost any EQ move or fader move will be a bigger difference MUSICALLY- if you're into the textures of things, you do get to a place where you have to pay attention to dithering because EQ and fader moves will no longer help you.
As a musician, you shouldn't have to care unless you're a massive tone snob, and then you should indeed care about dithering.