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?


My listening  room is 12 x 12 with closet like alcoves on each corner.

I had bare walls and corners for a couple years.

I recently completely peppered the back wall near my listening position with small picture frames and was stunned by the improvement!

The best part: no cost. :-)
Acoustic treatment and acoustical control may and must cost peanuts if you listen to your ears and to nobody else....Make any change you are moved to do and listen....

Discount experts that sells something, the other experts argue against one another anyway ....Then your ears are master of your audio future, listen to them with trust....

I did it.... :)

I succeed....

Any upgrade seems ridiculous and worthless when you succeed....

Piano and symphonic masses dont forgive any room....

In a vast room , hall concert for example, equations do well.... Vast room are created for hundred of ears.....In a small room with diverse complex acoustical content and a peculiar geometry and topology, inhabit only by your 2 ears, you cannot replace the ears with simplistic rules and  general equations....

Listenings experiments are the golden rule here...
I am suspecting the common issue between these two ideas is the speaker dispersion: the wide dispersion having a stronger effect on first reflections, the narrower having less impact on reflection points. It is quite possible we do not know what the mid and/or tweeter dispersion of our speakers really is. If we don't know, we could attribute a lot of audible results to things that may be unrelated. The specs we are given don't come close to revealing this super important info.
Yes I think that to.
One concrete example that come to mind is the Klipsh RP600m (and for that matter any horn speaker.
The tweeter is reassess into a horn and some reviewers says that it is not a horn but instes a wave guide.. (Poteto potato)
Most reviewers has as the most no/little treatment in their listening space. And it gets product of the year reward and so on..
And I have thought of why it could be that higly prized by them.
And here is two reasons why among others. Is that the tweeter is so far in that if you look from the reflection points on the sidewall for example. Then you can't see the tweeter at all..
In comparison to a soft dome tweeter that is on the front baffle. The dome shape is there for making a wider dispersion pattern. 
So in other word the RP600m reduce sidewalls reflections and ceiling/floor depending how far our distances are. With the horn directivity.
The other party trick is that the tweeter plays down to 1500 Hz were the x-over point is before the woofer takes over. And the woofer has of course a wider dispersion.

Those two party tricks is a welcomed addition to its presentation. And something that may help it to win get some love from the reviewers in their space.