when I was in Avery Fisher Hall I very much did not like the sound of the Hall. I am not a huge fun of sound of Boston Symphony Hall, despite what people commonly say. However it it not a macro-word of the total Hall sound is what important but the micro-word of your specific listening location. If the Avery Fisher Hall is your concert Hall where you most frequently go then you need to invest some time into research where you would like to sit in order to have sound properly balanced for your taste. Soon or later you will discover those locations it will be a few sits here and there. Later on you will discover what are the most desirable locations for in your Hall for you listening the different type of music. It is very possible that piano concertos, cello duos, coral pieces, string symphonies and Mahler and symphonies you would like to hear from very different locations. Then there are the guest conductors and guest performers. You might learn/predict how your home conductor/orchestra would mix the sound of the sections in given music but you would never know what guest would do. In some cases it is a good idea to go for rehearsals and to see what they are trying to do. In a musically-civilized society the rehearsals would be live-broadcastable…
Anyhow, do not blame in bad sound only the Hall’s acoustic – it is partially is your inaptness. A better Hall would give more opportunities to sit in multiple locations but even in bad Hall the good sits still might be there. Yes, do exist the VERY bad halls.
One of the worst examples in history I think is one of the concert halls from the city where I was born – the Odessa Philharmonic Hall. It was build in 1899 as Odessa Stock Exchange at that time people traded on floor and the demand was to built so that people could not overhear each other's conversations. He communists after 1917 made in there a … concert hall – how fucking smart! Nowadays Odessa Philharmonic is trying to present it as “myth” but anyone who ever stood in the floor of that hall know how it sound – you will not able to hear a person 10 sits away – those Italians knew how to build! Anyhow, they have a very good site that describes a lot (obviously very polarized) about the Hall acoustic, including the Russell Johnson research results.
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche