If I might summarize the new digital experience with the Vivaldi stack through the outstanding system that we heard at Goodwin's it would be mainly the following two items on a much higher level than I ever heard before from digital:
1) tonal density
2) timbral micro-resolution
These two together deliver a rather realistic timbral richness, close to what I have thus far only heard from top analog. And all that was just from CD, either Redbook CD or HDCD. No 'hi-res'.
Solo violin in the Reference Recordings HDCD of Sait Saens' Danse Macabre was very convincing, but so was orchestral string sound, french horns etc.
Interestingly, the high frequency resolution from CD was just outstanding, even though also HDCD is bound by the 44.1 kHz sampling limit. At one point Peter A. who sat behind me tapped on my shoulder and said "I have never heard such triangles from digital". He also found a cymbal crash that I had not paid attention to very convincing in its sound and decay through the recorded hall (decay of sound overall was on a top level too). The transparency of sound came close to the best analog I have heard. There was also no high-frequency fatigue as Peter pointed out. It almost appears that the application of the Nyquist theorem to audio was correct all along, we just have never before heard an audible result that would do its theoretical outcome justice.
In that large room at Goodwin's the soundstage was just huge. It was fully 3-D, with palpable, layered and precise imaging, great decay and emergence of instrumental sound out of silence as you would hear in a concert hall. It was the best soundstage that I have ever heard. It seemed as good from Redbook CD as it was from HDCD.
If the Rossini Player with clock would get 3/4 of the way where the sound of the Vivaldi stack was I'd be very happy.
Excellent report. Your proper use of a conjunction of subjective concepts manages to describe in a very good way what is the difference between my experiences with the Vivaldi and other top CD playing systems. The tonal density is really unique, coupled with lots of "local energy" in a well layered in space. This sound then spreads in the correct way in space.
I am also addressing mainly classical music.