Originally Posted by Sir Chris
The finish is actually secondary in my book. If it looks ugly but makes up for it in sound, that's where I want to go. I feel people could be more forgiving if that's the case. I'm not too worried about absorbers or diffusers for the time being. I'd like to first focus on the wood. Once its all in place and a few of us can go in and hear it in action, we can determine how much (if any) sound treatment is needed. Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
If you are concerned about sound more than visuals, then look back to how I started my earlier post:
"The sound will be very dependent on design and construction, so you could get good results with either."
By that, I mean that the design (shape, openings to absorption behind the wood, diffusive elements) are far more important to the sonics than the difference between SPF and birch. So I wouldn't just substitute plywood for a drywall-style cladding (or hang it over drywall) in a shoe-box shape and expect it to have awesome acoustics. Since you said it was a concrete room, the acoustics of the concrete room will dominate unless you tackle it as a live-venue or studio designer would.