Does the first reflection point actually matter??

Hello my friends,

So please read the whole post before commenting. The question is nuanced.

First, as you probably know I’m a huge fan of the well treated room, and a fan boy of GIK acoustics as a result, so what I am _not_ arguing is against proper room treatment. I remember many years ago, perhaps in Audio magazine (dating myself?) the concept of treating the first reflection points came up, and it seems really logical, and quickly adopted. Mirrors, flashlights and lasers and paying the neighbor’s kid (because we don’t have real friends) to come and hold them while marking the wall became common.

However!! In my experience, I have not actually been able to tell the difference between panels on and off that first reflection point. Of course, I can hear the difference between panels and not, but after all these years, I want to ask if any of you personally know that the first reflection point really matters more than other similar locations. Were we scammed? By knowing I mean, did you experiment? Did you find it the night and day difference that was uttered, or was it a subtle thing, and if those panels were moved 6" off, would you hear it?



The 40.2's are so far away from the side walls that I can't believe that they are much of a problem.  Vu of Deja Vu in Wash DC, a major Harbeth dealer, stated to me that they needed a *minimum* of 2 feet from outer edge to side wall, and yours have much, much more.

Frankly, it's the amount of glass in the vicinity that to me would be the major concern.

I see you have some kind of adjustable blind on most if not all of them.  So simple experiment: play the same track with all blinds completely up, and then all completely down.  I'd be curiously to know if you hear a difference.
For what it is worth:

The wife and I bought a distressed 3.5 story townhouse in the city of Newburgh NY for super cheap and did a top down restoration.

Except for the top attic floor.

It is there that I have my home office, studio and listening room. The room is insulated with rock wool: 6 inches in the walls and 17 inches in the ceiling. There are two dormers and a gable to break up parallel wall and ceiling reflections. Not that I have much.

My architect, who I know from college days, has designed some recording studios. He told me not to seal the rock wool behind dry wall, but instead to simply cover it with burlap. This would give me a semi-anechoic room. No panels to position etc.

The difference in the sound quality from my old New York City loft - with its tin ceiling, brick walls and huge glass windows - is night and day.

For the amount of money that I was spending anyway to insulate my home to get it to perform to near net zero performance levels, I got the equivalent of a room that is recording studio quality.
I think "the first reflection point" to some people might actually mean the equidistant point between where your speakers are and where your ears are.