Area rug-my dilemna

My room is on the small side, 12 by 14 by 8 and I listen along the shorter wall with Devore O/93's. 
This is a dedicated listening room with quite a bit of room treatment in all four corners, behind my main rack along the front wall between the loudspeakers, and even on the ceiling at the first reflection point. I have portable panels behind my listening chair to avoid reflections with French doors behind my listening chair. 
My floor is heavy solid walnut over floor joists over a basement. 
Shortly after having the hardwood installed, my wife thought it best to cover the new flooring with a large area rug. 
So last night I was listening and managed to kick over a can of seltzer water on the area rug near my listening chair. 
Not wanting to risk any damage to my new flooring, I carefully removed the entire area rug (my guess is 6 by 8 feet) to an adjoining room and resumed listening to the same record. 
Now this is where things get interesting (to me). I have two vintage turntables, A TD124 with a Reed 3P and an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze and a 301 with Reed 3P and a VdH Crimson Strad. Both cartridges were expertly dialed in by Brian Walsh of a few months ago. Both feed to the same phono stage, a Manley Steelhead. 
Without the area rug, my 301 went from a tiny bit on the cool sterile analytical side to sounding saturated and rich to the point of excess. Despite that, I much prefer how my 301/Reed/VdH sounds without the area rug. My electronics are all tube but fairly neutral (ARC Ref 6 and ARC Ref 150SE). 
With the area rug in place, my 124 sounded a tiny bit richer and more burnished than the 301, but less detailed. It was not quite as lively as the 301 but close. With the area rug removed, I then put the same record on the 124 and the sound was dull and plodding. I tried other records I know well with the same results. The 301 is awash with rich water color to the point of being extreme and yet I love it anyway, bass is tight but rich at the same time. The 124 is slow, plodding, and dull. 
Any ideas as to why? My thought at the moment is to substitute the old rug with a significantly smaller one to see if I can reach a goldilocks compromise. 
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Reflections off the floor make a difference. Check out my room. The large glass tabletop is removed for listening sessions. Night and day.

My room is truly awful but with the large rug and three squishy sofas to help soak up reflections it is pretty good.

Tbh I have never tried or even thought about using a smaller rug to see if there is some improvement but certainly worth a shot!
Go for it!
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Generally a live room will sound better than a dead room. Without any rugs, carpets, overstuffed chairs, sofas, heavy drapes the sound will be more open and have greater dynamic range. 
Your newly posted system is beautiful. Along your line of thinking and before buying a new rug(s), try moving the rug back away from the system a foot at a time and listen for differences. Stated another way, increasing the amount of exposed floor between you and the speakers may net the effect you're listening for.

If you go the new rug route (as Elizabeth points out and as I'm sure you already know) construction/content will affect the sound in different ways.
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Thanks to all who have responded. Yes, after posting the thread I figured it was about time to post some photos of my system. 
Funny thing-at the same time that I was listening and before kicking over the can of seltzer, I was reading my new issue of S'Phile and Art Dudley's column on a new after market bearing he liked for his 301. He mentioned the flawed methodology of making multiple changes to a system at once. He mentioned loosening his four bolts that fasten his 301 chassis to the plinth with positive results.  I did the same. So who knows for sure, but I have little doubt that removing the large rug made the vast majority of the difference. 
I am still scratching my head as to why a livelier room would seemingly deaden the sound of my TD124 though. And then back to the multiple potential variables, my VdH Crimson is just breaking in with maybe 30 hours on it, whereas the Cadenza Bronze probably has 120 hours on it. When Brian Walsh came over, the VdH was brand new and the Ortofon had maybe 80 hours on it. With the area rug in place, the Ortofon sounded better while Brian was still present to listen to the results of his work and the two decks have been making a slow convergence in SQ  in favor of the 301 ever since. 
Also on the same topic of variables, if you study the two pics of my system closely you will see a slight difference. I moved the Aurender that was on left rack to the middle rack behind my amp where you can no longer see it and moved my AMR DP777 DAC to the left rack, second shelf instead of behind my amp. I got rid of my Uptone Audio Regen and my digital now goes directly from the Aurender to my DAC via WW Starlight Plat 7. So the middle system photo is the more up to date photo. This too made a big difference for the better. 

Everything will make something of a difference.  Not only size of the rug, but its thickness, material it's made of, whether you have a rug pad underneath, and position in the room vis-a-vis speakers, walls and listener.

This opens up a whole new avenue of audio/home decor experimentation, sure to have a high WAF.

fsonicsmith  . ..

Beautiful system. Love that turntable. I'll bet it sounds terrific.

@oregonpapa thank you sir. The plinth on the Garrard was made by Russell Collinson of Layers of Beauty in the UK. I can not express in words how grateful I am for Russ's work. I asked him to go all-out and he did. In fact, he made a video about the special veneering process he adopted specially for my plinth owing to the thickness of the Cocobolo he obtained. It has a solid bass bearing and platter sourced from Peak HiFi in the UK and a matching power supply from Ray of Classic HiFi in the UK. An AudioSilente idler was installed as well. The 301 was reportedly found in true mint almost-unused condition at an estate sale. It is an early rimless ivory grease bearing. I am holding onto the grease bearing because one never knows. The footers are Stillpoint Ultra SS. Russ's attention to detail at the footer threads is incredible-big rock-solid thread inserts were expertly incorporated. 
Sorry for digressing from the original question which truly is a question I don't have an answer for. 

I have two friends who have custom vintage turntables very similar to yours. What is so striking about them, besides the beautiful looks, is the liveliness of the sound. There's just something about those rim-drive tables that makes the music come alive. If I were starting over, I would do exactly the same as you. 

Frank the moniker!  MC5 baby!

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Hi fsonicsmith, what a wonderful system! How are your speakers mounted on the floor. I ask because like you I have a wooden floor, so I made concrete plinths and stood them on that with their rubber paddle mounts.
My O/93's are sitting au natural which means on their stock small wooden "nubbies" that John Devore's cabinet maker glues to the bottom. When a lot of positive press was coming out about IsoAcoustics Gaia footers, I emailed John asking what he thought about footers under the O/93's and he told not to bother-that he is confident his design sounds best as-is. 
Gorgeous system! Sincerely hope you get the sound problem solved soon.