Lets separate some issues here.
1) Control/Mix/Mastering room vs Listening Room.
My experience is with the later (listening room), and not the former(s), so my comments are directed there.
2) Preservation vs Effect
What I mean here is based on what one wants the room to do. Preserve as closely the original recording or intentionally tune the room to augment (color?) the sound in some fashion. Preservation is my main focus.
3) Listening Mode vs Talking Mode
Its one thing to talk about what sounds best when the music is playing. Its another to describe the room when the music is not. The two scenarios are often cross applied in discussion without a distinction being made which one is being described. Especially in listening rooms where the room also serves as ones living room. For my comments, I am interested in the former (music playing).
With the above caveats, I have the following thoughts.
It seems to me strong reflections change the content. This, to me, is obvious given the ambient value intended is already present in the recording. This, taken alone might lead one to believe that I am advocating a anechoic or "dead" listening environment as the one that preserves the original intent best. Yes and no. Let me explain.
For the most part, we listen to music in rooms. Whether that be our home stereo or live music. We are therefore accustomed to this environment when listening. While ones living room and Carnegie Hall are very different room environments, they do share one thing, room cues. We are used to having them, however different they may be which is why many/most do not prefer a anechoic listening environment for in that case, they are removed. Simply said, we prefer a sense of space around us when listening which is what room cues provide.
In relation to the above, we have choices. Room cues can be early (<15ms) or late (>30ms), or somewhere in between. We know strong early reflections cause FR aberrations and comb filtering and strong late reflections result in echo. So in my way of thinking, it is the in between (15-30ms) that gives us the best compromise in terms of time to allow room cues to be present.
To this end, RFZ/LEDE models seem to address this thinking. While I am not saying this design criteria is the only one that can sound good, or that it addresses everyones subjective preference, it does provide an example of a room design/concept that describes and allows for room cues while avoiding the detriments of early and late reflections.
I think ill stop here because I dont want to turn things into a discussion of the merits of a particular room model, or argue the value or detriment of terminators. But I do think much confusion is caused by not being clear about what we are talking about as I outlined in my three caveats. And what may be true or best may vary considerably depending on what those caveats are.
Last edited by jim19611961; 09-10-2015 at 08:50 AM.