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?


I will add that owning a small room can be a very good thing because it is more easy to use secondary reflections with a usable time synchronisation to work with...

Near listening dont eliminate the problem of the room at all contrary to a common misunderstanding...

Near listening is affected by the room presence or absence of controls almost at the same extent that regular listening position, only a bit less, then the false idea that near listening free the listener of the acoustical impact of the room comes from that erroneous impression...I speak here about small room where device like resonators can be very useful to controls sound....Big musical hall are another problem completely...

« Refracted waves all the way down are good and reverberations delicious»- Bat proverb

«My body hear better when i make love»-Groucho Marx

« Planets also hear better in that case, it is because of others body proximity brother»-Harpo Marx
I own gradient 1.3 speakers  the speaker is all about the first reflective point , they don’t look like any other speaker . The inner ear site explains them. I have them in my system for 25 years , 

Reflections within listening rooms are real and numerous. Some would argue that they all are problems to be eliminated. Others take a more philosophical view that they just provide information about the room, and the brain can figure it out. I’m somewhere in the middle, but leaning towards the latter. The science that has been done so far seems to be on my side.

article: Room Reflections & Human Adaptation for Small Room Acoustics by Floyd Toole

Dr. Floyd Toole says that in 2019 article has impressive business and academic credentials, having held the postion of Corporate Vice President – Acoustical Engineering at Harman International from 1991 until he retired in 2007 and Senior Research Officer in the Acoustics and Signal Processing Group at the National Research Council of Canada.

He knows perhaps what he is speaking about...

My own experiments with my room acoustic, using reflections instead of killing them, make me think that he is right....I just stumble on this article few days ago, searching for a confirmation of my experiments that contradict many advices given on most audio thread....

It is not new, on many thread people advise to upgrade gear even without having ever embed it rightfully before... 

I have diffusers at first reflection points on side walls and ceilings. Definitely helps !!!