We focus our energies on setting up speakers within our rooms for best sound, maximizing the near field direct response.
But often, it is the secondary reflections that make or break the system's greatness.
Like it or not, it is our rooms and how they interact with speakers that determine sound quality. The furniture, the walls, the coverings, the drapes, the shapes. A significant percentage of sound reaching our ears is secondary, reflecting off the floor, ceiling, walls and surfaces.
Designers of concert halls know this and shape the rooms like horns to amplify reflections for best acoustics.
The architect that designed your living room probably didn't have a pair of speakers in mind when she put pen to paper.
Over the years I have developed a good sense of what works and what doesn't. It's not hard for me to walk into a space and tell if it's going to be good or bad for stereo based solely on the sound of my footfalls and voice.
The trick with rooms is maximizing what works and what doesn't.
The two basic questions you start with are absorb or reflect. We'll start with absorb tomorrow.