The best known way to address this problem is to employ controlled directivity principles, which are well known and highly developed in professional audio, such as in studio monitors and live sound applications. As applied to the home listening environment, this means that the dispersion angle is narrower and more consistent with frequency, with less energy hitting the side walls and floor/ceiling boundaries. We aim to produce an 80 degree pattern that drops off quickly beyond that point and has a frequency response shape close to the on-axis response. We can’t eliminate energy bouncing off boundaries, but we can reduce the level, which increases the ratio of direct to reflected field energy. Then, the summed response at the listener position is similar to the quality one would expect in a near-field listening arrangement. This, in effect allows the listener to hear the speaker itself, instead of such a strong mix of the speaker and room.
The cables arrived today. My wife and I settled in for some listening and the first thing she said was "It's amazing that power cables an make such a difference!" From there, she went on to further rhapsodize about your cables with an enthusiasm I hadn't recalled her ever expressing when it came to audio. She pointed out enhanced qualities in various instruments and compared them to how the system used to sound. I was rather surprised by her vehemence and animation, to be honest. Usually, I'm the one that gets excited by audio gear!
It took me a few minutes to realize that power1se's had rendered our system more revealing. Once I'd gotten over a bump in the learning curve, I quickly began to note the improvements, and as suggested by Kate's comment, above, they were not subtle! In fact, the majority of cd's sounded [much] better. Instruments and vocals had much more realism, weight and dimensionality. The soundstage deepened and there was no over accentuation of any part of the frequency range, which resulted in a very "natural" presentation-- it sounded like music and not like Hi-Fi, if that makes sense. The bass was tighter than we'd ever heard from the system and considering the tendency for EL34's to be somewhat "sloppy" in the lower register, this was a very nice surprise, indeed. Finally, there was no trace of the overly euphonic midrange we'd noticed [previously].
Needless to say, I'm really glad that, in the end, I ordered the se's. Just as important to me is the fact that you've been unfailingly patient and helpful throughout our interactions. I sincerely appreciate your generosity in doing all you [did]. Overall, I really don't know what more any customer could possibly ask for, whether in terms of product, price, or service.
With best wishes for your continued success,