Yesterday, I finally hooked up enough equipment in the studio to give it a listen. My first impression was that the imaging was very 3D and life like. Individual instruments seemed to occupy specific places within the stereo spectrum, instead of being generally panned to the right or left. This added to a sense that the size of the sound stage had increased beyond the physical placement of the speakers.
The dynamics of the music were also more apparent, which either meant the song sounded extremely musical or completely lifeless. The difference depended on how it was mix/mastered and probably the intended target market. Unfortunately, for a few "radio friendly" albums that were compressed to sound as loud as possible, this translated into a flat and lifeless presentation. Sorry Coldplay. My mid-90's Able Cain CD, recorded in full 16-bit ADAT glory, sounded much more dynamic.
Did I mention that I haven't even installed the acoustic panels yet? Wow. The room is going to sound incredible.