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 ttsetup.com 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. 
Ca345ea6 6d98 46ab a9fe db0c7a572262fsonicsmith
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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