I have the same reaction I'm like "where did that sound come from".
Just finished playing, (pet torture) for about 2.5 hours. I was pretty firm with the D string, all of a sudden it started to sound 100 percent better. I am thinking the sound post "seated" itself. The fingered A sounds and feels like open A!
I appreciate the ongoing list of great online string merchants. I bought a set from my local music shop a few weeks ago, but it seems he is charging roughly 2xs what the online stores are selling the same strings for. Ouch. Too bad, really. It's nice to support the local businesses when you can.