See, now this is interesting! I was all ready to post my 'I don't think summing makes it sound better, just different' response. But after listening to both of those tracks in a proper listening mode, I think it's nothing short of magical.
Mind you, I'm not as much focused on the 'soaking up transients' aspect of it as you are, but the 'pushed back the overall sound field' and the rounding out of the low-end is definitely there, and something I would be interested in...
Ever since I started mixing digitally, I wondered where, in the chain, that certain polish/sheen was going to come from that I heard on some of my favorite albums..
Like I said, very interesting. Give me a few days playing around with my assorted plugins, and let's see if I can make it sound as sweet as that analog file..
Stay Tuned... Also, I'd be interested in Jared's...or anyone else's response.
EDIT: Hey tblizz... Do you happen to think that the sound of this summing is diametrically opposed to an "exiting" digital mix? (very interested in your response)