Should I finish my basement

Moved in to a new of the main selling points was a concrete basement; walls and floor slab.
The dimensions are perfect for my setup and I will finish the ceiling and do sound treatment as necessary but really wonder if I should also put up sheet-rock ?
As of now wall are painted with water-seal paint, and I have a large carpet on the floor.
I can just hang few drapes on the walls, do some sound treatment and leave it as is...
The looks are OK either way for me - no bearing on my decision.

Just want to hear if some of you have experience with such a "dilemma" (finished vs cement walls) and what would be recommended?

PS: I would NOT want to do any sound treatment under the a matter of fact I would only mount aluminium rails to the walls and then attach 1/2inch sheet-rock
Leave it as it is, set up your system and spend the money on proper sound treatment as needed.
I second the 'leave it as it is'. tweaking the room with sound treatment will require a lot of patience. Also, consider leaving the ceiling open, not installing anything for now. Open rafters can be a great ceiling sound treatment. So, wait. Start listening and get a good sound measuring computer program to help the process. Many programs are free and can go a long way to help you understand what you are hearing.
Once you finish it your town will consider it as another room
and raise your taxes when the tax assessor comes a knocking at
your door. Leave it the way it is!
I would finish the basement, BUT would do a lot of research on dimensions, construction etc.

Good sound IMHO always sounds better when played in a nice looking room. You want your enviroment to be comfortable and inviting.
Yogiboy brings up a valid point. Most towns have codes in place for turning a basement into habitable space. There might be more work involved than you care to do in order to make it conform.
Brf brings up another valid point. Years ago I had my system in a semi-finished basement. The sound was never my issue. But the ugly walls and ceiling drove me nuts.

If you're sure that won't bother you, then just get the sound right and enjoy.
I don't know about where everybody else lives, but the
county assessor has never toured my home to see what
improvements I've made. If you're not planning on moving
ever again I say finish it as you see fit.
Yogiboy, why town should look inside the house? Whatever's inside the house isn't the town's business. Finish basement and than shushh. It's common and works.
Czarivey, I've lived in New York and Connecticut and the two towns I lived in they did have the right to come in and inspect for assessment. Sad but true!
In high tax areas neighbors will often rat you out.
People vary of course, but I'm with Timrhu , ugly room and speakers drag my enjoyment way down.
Also, spikes in concrete has never sounded right to me.
...and you have a right not to let unwelcomed to your dwelling anywhere you live in US. I used to live in NY,NJ as well and dealt with those who have right to come in by simply not letting them in. Entering the dwelling without permission of owner is called trespassing weather one has or doesn't have a right to walk in. Technically I have a right to use weapon to protect my dwelling (2nd ammendment) and if it's not firearm, than 2" adjustable wrench or cro-bar may also work.
Untechnically ,in most states you try any of that with assesors you will end up in jail.
Some will pull eminent domain on you which the current Supreme Court has ruled they can do for ANY reason whatsoever.
Schubert, if that is to say, I can impersonate assessor, enter the property and at gun point take every valuable item, money jewelry (maybe wome precious amps turntables whateverwhatever) and drive away. How should I technically know that I'm dealing with assessor, Social Services and not burglar??
I didn't let in Social Services not because the reason of visit didn't make sense, but simply because I didn't expect them and I didn't have any written note about scheduled visit!
When I shop for property I'd always look for lower value property in order to modify it and improve the way I like to live and it doesn't mean that I will let anyone enter without prior authorization and introduction. Scheduled visits with me is REAL PAIN in anus! I'm either on vacation, or out of town, giggin', DJ-in', working, running late, sick or simply not in the mood to see anyone...
In most of State laws they would state that an assessor HAS RIGHT to enter private property, BUT
The assessor or an employee of the assessor shall not enter the interior of any structure on any real property as part of the inspection to assess such property without permission
. My permission they usually wait FOREVER if not longer. When conversation at door turns in to 2nd ammendment business, weather or not one has or hasn't right to enter, cognitive individual would make quick U-turn and get back to other activities or look for easier prey.
If you finish it you will turn it into an echo chamber. It probably sounds better the way it is with exposed framing. The worst sounding rooms I've ever had were sounds rooms I purpose built and they turn into an echo box and giant bass collection bin which is expensive and hard to figure out how to treat. The best sounding room I have is my workshop which has tons of stuff in it which gives lots of natural diffusion which is a more pleasing sound if you ask me
YES! I would finish it & ENJOY!
I think as long as you do not add a bedroom, kitchen or bathroom - the tax man has no say.
I live in NY (mid state) & finished my walk out basement 6 years ago & have not heard a knock on my door.
The difference between a finished basement & a unfinished basement is like night & day.
Sheet rock, suspended ceilings & floor coverings are just the beginning.
You will need outlets, switches, lighting, heating & will probably want dedicated lines for your rig.
You may want to re-think your flooring - I opted for cork flooring & could not be happier as it is soft, warm & will last for 20+ years.
Sounds like you live in the south where you may not need insulated walls. Even so I would not want to spend much time in a basement with concrete walls. Throw some wood studs on the walls and insulate and sheet rock texture and paint. Live a little.
Don't forget about dust issues associated with unfinished basements.
I have speakers (old OHM Ls) set up in my unfinished area of my house where ping pong table, etc. is. Walls are mostly interior insulated cinder block, some exposed wood wall frames and drywall. Open concrete floor. The insulation helps make for better acoustics. All in all not bad at all for listening. There are many ways to pretty up a room short of traditional drywall finishing, most of which are also easier to change and adapt as needed with a little creativity. Lots of ways to adapt the acoustics as well. As long as it is a comfortable environment in the listeners mind, that's all that matters.

Myself, on a nice day, I like to see the sun shine. YMMV.
I totally agree with Ejlif. Try it, you may like it.
Reflected sounds can be both good and bad. The good part is that they make music and movie dialogue sound much natural, fuller and louder than they would otherwise. If you've ever played your speakers outdoors where there are no walls to add reflections, you've probably noticed that they don't sound as good — thin, boring and dull. With little Reflected sound can add a pleasant spaciousness to your sound.
Setting aside visits from assessors or whom ever, more importantly is the issue of not pulling a building permit, the work not being up to code, and someone gets hurt........ or worse. You will have a much bigger problem than you ever imagined.
If you manage to escape any issues over the years, at some point you may want to sell your place. I've heard of cases where the building department made owners gut there illegal finished basements before they could sell it.
I'm speaking of NY and not sure about other cities & states.
Ejlif is correct. I left my ceiling opened. In order to keep it cleaner and sounding better, I sprayed the entire ceiling with primer/paint. It looks acceptable now.

I did do one other thing: I put in a floating floor over the concrete and then a huge carpet. This really decoupled the speakers from the concrete, warmed up the room and protects everything from the moisture concrete will leech over time. Floating 2x2 squares can be bought at HD or Lowes. Simple wooden squares with plastic backing that interlock.
Ejlif, how right you are.
For decades I have lined the wall in back of my listening spot with tall bookcases filed with hardback books, the one directly behind my head is 7 ft tall with all leather bound top to bottom.
As the cable guys says it "gets 'er done."
As everyone else also realizes, Ejlif is totally and insanely correct. Don't set yourself up for a (steep) uphill acoustic battle by installing drywall, of all things! That's one of the best things about my current setup -- minimal drywall. In fact, that trumps the poor L/R symmetry. And slab floor is a big plus as well (though rugs/carpets on top are good). The old all-drywall, suspended-floor apartment I used to live in sounded like garbage.
My father, an engineer (PE), warned me about finishing a basement. As every good son does, he didn't listen to his beloved dad. We spent $25K and finished the basement. A month after we finished the space, we experienced one of the biggest storms the NE had ever experienced. We had almost 2 feet of water in our basement which destroyed my dream-room. Proceed with great caution.
Lindisfarne brings up a great point. This risk can be remediated with the proper drainage system, power backup, and overhead sewer. All if this needs to be in place...unless Katrina hits you should then be OK then ...if not don't put the good stuff down there...
It would probably be a good idea to try your system in the room as it is. It may sound good, and if not, you'll at least have a reference to compare any changes you make.
Just make your colors comfortable and spend your money-only- on drapes and sound treatment. Painted concrete is finished. With the right sound treatment your room will be fantastic. Best wishes.
Rello is correct to mention Lindisfarne's concern. That combined with Ejlif's concern can be easily resolved by painting the sheetrock pink.
Lindisfarne, is it about Sandy? Yes or no, it's always better to be positive in most cases, because as I've heard even those who lost much more than $25k were still positive and happy...
I did a partial finished basement. Ceiling was sheet rock, painted the walls and carpeted the floor. Plus put in dedicated AC. No looking back everything worked well.
You folks with basements are lucky! We don't have that luxury out here in Cali!
Be sure it will be nearly guaranteed to never get wet. Skimp on the construction and the sound quality will suffer accordingly. Most people do not really want a custom, high end listening room; they want a custom, high end listening room on the cheap. But it doesn't work that way.
Schubert, if that is to say, I can impersonate assessor, enter the property and at gun point take every valuable item, money jewelry (maybe wome precious amps turntables whateverwhatever) and drive away. How should I technically know that I'm dealing with assessor, Social Services and not burglar??

Well I'd think the drawn weapon would clue you into the fact you're dealing with a robber and not the assessor. But with your mindset, maybe not. Too funny.
I used to have a pretty damn good hi end room at the RMAF in a hotel room. No reason why you can't do it in your basement.
I would carpet the floors and finish the walls with drywall. I used some 5' X 9' throw rugs and put them on a couple of walls to reduce reflections. I nailed some carpet tack strip on the wall at 16" OC and hung the rugs from the tack strip. Added to the decor big time and served purpose as well.

Good idea to make sure you have a sump pump down there. Make sure it works. If you are located on a sloped location you might not need one, you would want to have some French Drain around the house or under the perimeter of the basement slab that would drain down hill to the outside of the basement.