@willland @wvu80 @teaman @MetropolisLakeOutfitters @Cor
Thank you so much for the in-depth reply's, thoughts and ideas. You guys really gave me some stuff to think about, which is what I was hoping for! @wvu80 by the way if thats you in the middle of your pic, thank you for your service.
I'm definitely looking at going a 7.1.4 min, but probly a 7.2.4 setup in the end with an external amp. My goal is to have a well balanced, but powerful, audio setup that isn't bass overkill. I've been over to friends houses that setup a HT and it seems like they just put speakers in the correct spots and hooked up an AV unit, but didn't tweak anything. So when we are watching a movie its just like the bass drowns everything out and you get ear fatigue fast. Hopefully that make sense. There are many youtube videos for Denon explaining the setup config process for the different speaker combos so thats how I've been learning about that AV and amp combo because you are right @MetropolisLakeOutfitters, the docs are not that good.
Couch: It seems like the general consensus is that I need to move the couch forward for many reasons, ideally where the coffee table is located. I don't know if the wife will let me move it that far up but I will try I definitely need to move it up though.
Subs: I'm not opposed to dual subs - I just am getting tight on space in the front. Basically I don't have room for one in the front because the R7-III are so big. Are there other alternative spots to place a sub, like off to one side? The volume of my room is 2800 cubic ft - I think using 2 twelves would be ok for that size right? I will look up the new sub that @MetropolisLakeOutfitters mentioned. I didn't think the sub I listed was the ideal model, but its all I had written down at the time.
Rear Speakers: Good call @MetropolisLakeOutfitters - RP-500M added.
Amps: I guess my biggest question for @teaman is about how exactly the Emotive amp works. What does the Emotiva XPA-5 do/offer in terms of features that the A-500 doesn't do or the outlaw for that matter? Does the XPA-5 or 3 just output more power and thats why they are better/more expensive? Seems like a lot of youtube reviewers have a Parasound Halo I think its called as well, but I've had a hard time finding that available online. Emotiva has a better website that I could order from.
Fireplace: It works, but its gas and we don't use it. Its got a smell to it that just isn't natural I think.
TV: Its a 55 inch non-4k. I agree want to upgrade but I don't think I can get the wife on board until we move again, or it "accidentally breaks" lol. We are hoping to move in 3 years, so still a little bit of time to kill.
Saving Money: In terms of my AV or amp - I'm all about looking at refurbs or last years models/discontinued items as long as they at least come with a 1y warranty of some kind. Since this is my first real go around, if I break something or need to upgrade it will be less painful. Have either of you bought anything from Accessories4less.com - how was your experience?
Overall we do listen to music, not as much as movies though. Of course with a nice system I could see that evening out a bit more.
Anyways thanks again everyone for all the help. Once I get everything purchased, rewire the walls / attic and installed later this year (Aug) I'll update with some final images and probly have more questions along the way and when tweaking the installed setup.