I chose to hide the equipment simply because I wanted the movie presentation to be the center of attention. I wanted the room to look nice when one walks in and not look like an equipment rack. I likened it to enjoying the beauty of the styling of a car knowing what's under the hood and even having the ability to lift the hood to show if asked but keeping the works out of sight the rest of the time. I did,however, want to be able to get to the works easily and even being able to see the screen at the rack to allow more efficient evaluation, set up and adjustment. I'd seen a couple of rooms where the owner put everything in a completely different room and saw first hand the headaches they went through at times due to the lack of proximity. I think I got what I wanted in that the rack isn't visible in the theater but is conveniently accessable none the less.
Please do not take my bias in how I wanted my room to look as anything more than my preference. There are many great rooms where the equipment is exposed.
No right or wrong obviously, but full show here. I prefer my equipments (plural) in full view; would give me chest pain if I have to hide either the Krell or the beautiful Theta CB, let alone the Linn Sondek turntable. And the Classe amp too, really so gorgeous to look at. I like to touch and caress my equipments sometimes.
But the main reason for "full show" is not the show, but the sound. Love video obviously, but music first. I am an audiophile (in the good, non-snobbish sense of the word so no flame pls) for many years now. The system is set up for SOTA 2 channel music, with transparency and soundstage depth and focus as primary goals, so for me that means the front speakers are way off the front wall. Seating is determined for stereo: single seat in the middle, about 8-9 feet from speakers, then the other seats and movie speakers are added to surround this center seat properly. Center speaker is also off the front wall to develop more spacious and transparent front soundstage for movie sound.
This arrangement works fine only because I rarely have guests so most of the times the only people watching are my family. 4 of us and of the 4 only 1 cares about "transparency." In fact most of the times the request is "could you turn it down please!" :-)
...the main reason for "full show" is not the show, but the sound. Love video obviously, but music first...
Hmmm, I wonder if it all comes down to this. Audiophiles who enjoy HT let it all hang out while cinema-centric peeps focus on the visual experience in its totality. I am also a music-first kinda guy and, fortunately, have a wife who thinks my CBIII "looks cool" but I sure do appreciate the dedicated HT room builds shown here at avsforum.
I wonder whether in this world of budget realities (maybe we are all at different levels but nonetheless we still do all face limits): Are there music-first folks who find a way to do a theater as a theater without compromise? Are there cinemaphiles who are just too sonically demanding to tuck it all inside?
I recently moved all my gear to an upstairs room. Leaving the speakers on show.
I live seeing my Datasat and Ada Amps ( soon to be Datasat amps ) vu meters dancing but is all too distracting for me. I even find my B&W Marlan heads distracting when watching movies so am thinking of going for a large AT screen to hide them also.
Are there music-first folks who find a way to do a theater as a theater without compromise?
I think it can be done, with only some relatively "easy" conditions. The room would look like the typical beautiful movie theaters we see here, except:
1. Main speakers are out from front wall, and in general about 8-9 feet apart (this will limit the width of front screen).
2. Front row of seat is not closer than about 8-9 feet from speakers, with odd number of seat on front row so that the odd seat is in the middle.
Basically, keep the typical "audiophile" relationship between single main listener, main speakers, and front wall, then build the theater around it.