The Shitar 💩🚽🎸


Builder Russ Lorenz did me a solid. Look at this thing! I need to update my collage.

Here’s a poorly played demo, and it sounds glorious:

Here’s a playlist to honor the theme:

Check out the whole playlist!

An Interview With the Mad Mastermind Behind the Indy Custom FlyCaster


The Indy Custom FlyCaster

My Indy Custom FlyCaster

If you’re a regular reader, you know I recently posted all my guitars.  You would then also know that I like weird guitars.  You may have even seen me in a guitar-related Facebook group defending this beauty of an axe.  What is not to love?  The thing is fantastic.  It is a sight to behold.  It probably shouldn’t even exist, but it does an I needed to have it.

Mine is serial number 059.  I have even connected with a few other owners out there via a Facebook Fan Page.  I had expected to swap out pickups and drop in some rails… but, man this thing sounds beautiful.  The neck feels great.  It hangs well when standing.  It is just a great damn guitar.

I would say it is probably in my trifecta of ire along with the Dewey Decibel FlipOut and the Galveston B.B. Stone.  I have had people at shows come up just to tell me that they hate them!  Ha ha.  It amazes me that a music genre predicated on the idea of just pissing off the previous generation has so many purists who must adhere to some sort of imaginary rules of guitar design. and tired traditions.  It would be a fascinating sociological study to see exactly how that can be.  It’s OK to enjoy the classics and get a little wild sometimes.

Of course, many people get the joke and love them too.

In with posting All My Axes (did you see parts 1 & 2?), I really got to wanting to dive deep into the story behind each of these if I could.  The creator of the FLyCaster, Jimmie Bruhn was easy to find online, and seems like a great guy.  I would even say he found me in an “ugly guitars” group or two.  Check out my questions for him and his fantastic answers below my embedded Instagram Post of the FlyCaster.  The interview was conducted via the highly professional Facebook Messenger.

 

🤘

AiXeLsyD13: Who is Indiana Custom Guitars?

Jimmie Bruhn: There was no Indiana Custom Guitars. Indy Custom was that particular brand. Its actually a much bigger thing… SHS International was the parent company. It was an international music wholesale company that distributed products to music stores. Its where music stores nationwide (and globally) got a lot of their stuff. We designed, imported and sold products. Here are some of the following brands of SHS International (this is not the full list but the highlights)

Morgan Monroe Bluegrass Instruments
Eddy Finn Ukulele Company
Indiana Guitar Company
Indy Custom Guitars
ModTone Guitar Effects
Bean Blossom Instruments
Tune Tech Tuners
SHS Audio
Devlin Guitars
College Guitar Company
Sundown Amplifiers

I worked as a media producer for the company for close to 30 years and my fingerprints were on most everything from every brand. I wore many many different hats and guitar design was a tiny part of it. Fun but it wasn’t the bulk of what I did. That’s a whole other story. Suffice to say, anything you saw from any of those brands, I had a major role in bringing to life.

In addition I’ve played professionally for a long long time. I’m a writer, singer and I play a lot of different instruments. Guitar is one part of it but probably the biggest part as I am a lifelong collector and nerd. The collection is out of hand but I simply can’t help myself. I still have my first guitar. I never get rid of anything! You can hear and see my work on YouTube. Oh…one other thing…if you ever see Indy Custom Relic guitars, that was me. A one man side business I started where I produced over 400 hand relic’ed guitars. In that time I still played all the time, traveled and played all over.

Ⓐ⑬: Do they have a website?

JB: Not any more.

Ⓐ⑬: Do you have a website you’d like me to link to?

JB: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC36We-7C4ghOW5tlsG0G-tQ (Jimmie Bruhn’s Jam TV!) This is a place for my various artistic ideas. A little of this, a little of that…you never know what you’re going to get.

Ⓐ⑬: How did you come to be a guitar designer? Have you designed any other guitars?

JB: I’ve been collecting guitars for over 40 years. It was natural that my need to build and tinker with stuff would spill over into my professional day gig.
Yes, I designed many guitars and would then send my renderings to the factory for prototypes and then on to a bigger run of them. When I say “designed” I in no way want to make it seem that I am some schooled luthier or anything of the sort. I just came up with designs and through trial and error, we would arrive at something unique but I wasn’t in a workshop running a saw!

Ⓐ⑬: How was the Indy Custom label to be different?

JB: By trying to get the best things we all liked about particular models into an affordable recreation that was a Big Bang for the buck. There were some really cool models that came out. I can’t say exactly how many but there were lots of designs over the life of that line.

Ⓐ⑬: I know you were in part inspired by the Zakk Wylde guitars with an SG top & a V bottom… did anything else go into it?

JB: Yes, comedy. It just made me laugh. Another thing that REALLY inspired it were people around the company who were genuinely disgusted by it. That made me want to get them produced even more. Yes, it was stupid, yes it was hideous but I knew it could get a lot of attention for the rest of the line. The powers that be couldn’t see the value in that but here we are all these years later still talking about it. ZERO advertising dollars spent. I wasn’t wrong!

Ⓐ⑬: Was it a hard sell getting in into production? (Convincing everyone else at the company/factory to go with it?)

JB: Some understood. Some did not. The ones that didn’t inspired me to push that much harder. The point was, good or bad…it was getting a major reaction. The only bad press is no press.

Ⓐ⑬: Where was it manufactured?

JB: These were all manufactured in China once final prototypes were approved.

Ⓐ⑬: Were there any issues with manufacturing? (Seems like a big body to be on a manufacturing line.)

JB: There are always issues in manufacturing especially trying to do it from thousands of miles away. Visiting the factories can keep quality control in check but ultimately once production starts things can go wrong. Not always, but that potential is there. Overall, there were no problems in the Flycaster. Even my Chinese contact remarked that the guys on the factory floor thought it was “a weird guitar” which meant even a cultural and language barrier cannot deny that The Flycaster is globally offensive!

Ⓐ⑬: Why “FlyCaster?” Everyone who sees it calls it a TV or a Tele-V. Ha ha. Was that by design?

JB: Because it needed a name, an identity. Plus it had some weird fishing connection so…

Ⓐ⑬: Why 100? Why not 200 or 50? Were they all sold?

JB: The idea was that we would only do limited runs of guitars for the Indy Custom line which we did on other models besides The Flycaster. I think they may have even commissioned a second small batch to fill an order. The dealers that understood the value liked them and they helped bring attention to the other models. Limiting them to 100 kept it fresh and helped if a particular model completely tanked. That way you aren’t stuck with so many. If it’s a hit? Make more! Yes, they were all sold.

Ⓐ⑬: I love mine. I love that it just seems to enrage purists, and it just “outs” so many people as not having any sense of humor or whimsy. Was any if this in your original intent?

JB: This was absolutely the intent from the beginning. I love music, I love comedy and this thing was both. It was just so incredibly stupid that one has to laugh or at least, I did! The ones that were truly offended because they had such a death grip on tradition well, as previously stated, that just fueled my fire!

Ⓐ⑬: Why are so many guitarists stuck in traditional designs and setups, when rock n’ roll at its core is about rebellion?

JB: Because they are either afraid or don’t have the slightest concept of being original. They are too worried what other people think.

Double FlyCasters!

Image Provided by Jimmie Bruhn, from his digital book.

Ⓐ⑬: I know one burst prototype exists. Do you ever play it?

JB: I play it occasionally but I see it every day as its hanging on the wall of my studio.

Ⓐ⑬: Did you ever have any other color schemes in mind? I would love one with an antigua finish!

JB: I wanted it to get to that point but those in control saw otherwise.

Ⓐ⑬: Do you have a guitar collection? What are your non-FlyCaster favorites?

JB: Yes. I have a pretty big collection. It’s fairly insane. I have everything from top shelf vintage stuff to weird a wacky. Lots of stuff I built in the shop, some wonderful mutts and some serious collector stuff too. As I said, I never get rid of anything. I come from a musical family.

Ⓐ⑬: Have you seen any other weird guitars out there & thought “I wish I came up with that!”?

JB: All the time! That’s the great thing for me about the world of guitars, its constantly evolving. There are some absolutely great things being produced and it seems people aren’t so brand conscious as they used to be.

Ⓐ⑬: Anything else you would like to add?

JB: Just a thank you for taking the time to even ask me this stuff. It was an honor!

Ⓐ⑬: Thank you for your time and information!

JB: Of course!

 

🎸

 

This is a pretty great article/review too:  Premier Guitar | 2011 Indy Fly-Caster in TV Yellow

 

Check out Jimmie Bruhn’s Jam TV YouTube Channel here.  Here’s a video, too:

 

Here’s my creepy basement demo:

Here’s a random one that I found by Googling:

 

Posting #AllMyAxes. 🎸 (Part 2)


Did you see part one?  I felt like posting all my guitars online simply for something else to look at, and I thought others might enjoy.

I still plan to blog about some of the more interesting ones.  Hopefully you guys enjoy the content.  Thanks for the likes on social media.  I don’t think anyone else started to use the #AllMyAxes hashtag.  Oh well.  Ha ha.

Show me some of yours in the comments, tag me on social media, or use your own hashtag!

 

The Family Ukuleles & Mandolin

The Kids' Guitars

 

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Posting a guitar (or other stringed instrument) per day until I forget, work too long, or run out. Yamaha (@yamahamusicusa) GL1 Guitalele. It's lil' like a uke, but has 6 strings like a guitar! Spotted at @guitarcenter in Monroeville one year right after actual Christmas before a family Christmas celebration while looking for ukulele chord books for @bcarroll_13. I kept going back to it, so it became an early birthday present from the wife! How fun is it? Sounds like a ukulele… but no need to re-learn songs & chords you already know! Ha ha. You should probably tune it to A, but I keep it in E. It would be great to layer on recordings… sounds fun playing along with ukes, guitars, or whatever else. #AiXeLsyD13 #AllMyAxes #Guitar #Yamaha #GL1 #guitalele #uke #ukulele

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Posting a guitar (or other stringed instrument) per day until I forget, work too long, or run out. Kala Waterman KA-SWT Transparent Ice ukulele. @kalabrandmusic Have you noticed I like weird guitars? I like weird ukuleles too. This just looks like fun. If I'm ever in a boat and someone needs serenaded, I hope I'll have this with me so I'm prepared. My standard dad joke/one liner is that it came with Wonder Woman's jet like those First Acts came with VW Bugs a while back, and some lady named Diana was selling it on eBay. I work to a very small specific crowd. @bcarroll_13 took an interest in the ukulele, and I did too. It is fun to work stuff out from guitar to uke, and they sound good together around the campfire. #AiXeLsyD13 #AllMyAxes #Guitar #Kala #Waterman #KalaWaterman #Ukulele #uke #KalaUke

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Posting a guitar (or other stringed instrument) per day until I forget, work too long, or run out. Quest AP-5-PBL – This is hanging in Ian's room. We decorated it with some Star Wars themed stickers and a sweet @fernandesguitar Boba Fett volume knob. I can't find much about this model or Quest online. It's obviously an LP copy & has a pretty neat built-in speaker that sounds like …a guitar with a built-in speaker. I forget where I even found the model number. I think this was bought from ShopGoodwill(dot)com before everyone knew about it and drove the prices up. Ha ha. It's a nice playable axe, but the nut may eventually need some attention. #AiXeLsyD13 #AllMyAxes #Guitar #Quest #QuestGuitar #StarWars #BobaFett #A5PBL May be made by #VantageGuitars?

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Posting a guitar (or other stringed instrument) per day until I forget, work too long, or run out. Carlo Robelli iCarly ¾ Size Acoustic. Molly wanted an acoustic to learn on since she liked the ukulele so much, so we got this one… another score from ShopGoodwill(dot)com. Carlo Robelli is the @samashmusic house brand according to a quick Google search. We haven't ever really watched iCarly, but we have watched a spinoff; Sam & Kat. This is a really cool little axe, looks cute, is fun to play, and is easy for little hands. This does it. I have run out of stringed instruments in this house. (For now!) Thanks for the likes & comments. I hope you enjoyed them a bit. Like I said, I'll be blogging about the more unique ones, so keep an eye out here and on my WordPress! 🤘🎸 #AiXeLsyD13 #AllMyAxes #Guitar #CarloRobelli #iCarly #Acoustic #iCarlyGuitar #SamAsh

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I still have a guitar problem.


I have posted lists before.  Some, I have acquired.  Some I still yearn for.  These three keep popping up lately, and I have no viable reason to purchase another guitar and it saddens me.

🎸

That’s…

All fit my criteria of sub-$500 axes, all well under.  Usually I don’t go over $300.  I like them weird, and I like the cheap.  If I could monetize some weird guitar videos on YouTube, I could maybe buy more.  Watch my videos!  Share the link!

 

 

They would go well with my collection:

Sadly, that collage is not even up to date with all of the stringed instruments in the house. I should do another group photo.  I even need to grab back a project axe off of a friend!

…And Out Comes the Dookie.


...And Out Comes The Dookie

…And Out Comes The Dookie

It’s a new social media game.

Combine two albums you dig into one… just like some record executive or intern did once upon a time with Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, combining the “best” tracks of each to make one pointless album.

I would suggest that you do two albums.  It can be different artists or the same.

If you want to be crazy try to keep the run time to a “real” album length.  I think Records hold 44 minutes of music and CD’s 74 or so?  About an hour would be good.

You can keep the artists separate like a split, or mix it all up.

Hell, you can combine 3 or more albums.  I am a fan of anarchy.  Just play.  Here in the comments, or online.  Use PicsArt or something similar to make an album cover if so inclined.

You can explain why you chose the tracks, or just let the mix speak for itself.

Just play.  Spread it.  Have fun.

We used to do stuff sort of like this on PittsburghBeat.com.

Here’s my fist offering; Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves mashed with Green Day’s Dookie;

01. Rancid “Maxwell Murder”
02. Green Day “Longview”
03. Rancid “Roots Radicals”
04. Green Day “Welcome to Paradise”
05. Rancid “Time Bomb”
06. Green Day “Pulling Teeth”
07. Rancid “Olympia WA.”
08. Green Day “Basket Case”
09. Rancid “Lock, Step & Gone”
10. Green Day “She”
11. Rancid “Ruby Soho”
12. Green Day “When I Come Around”
13. Rancid “Journey to the End of the East Bay”
14. Green Day “Emenius Sleepus”
15. Rancid “She’s Automatic”
16. Green Day “In the End”
17. Rancid “Old Friend”
18. Green Day “F.O.D.”
19. Rancid “As Wicked”
20. Green Day “All by Myself”

I sort of mixed up the tracks because why not? They do appear in album order.  The run time is just over 50 minutes. (Thanks Wikipedia & Google Sheets.)

Now, you do one.  Encourage others.  Show me what ya got.  I feel like I sort of did this once before already.

Easy Guitar Chord Tools?


So, every once in a while, these gadgets pop up on Facebook guitar discussion groups.  You get a lot of people poking fun, you get some support.  I had to break it all down.  It’s easy to hate, but some of these may ignite a spark and only be training wheels.  Some of these may enable people with physical or mental disabilities to play some music.  Who should be denied artistic creativity?

 

Chord Buddy, ChorDelia, E-Z Chord, Ez-Fret, WESOLO

Guitar Chord Assistance / Learning Systems

 

Check out all the stats I could find & compile on the Chord Buddy, E-Z Chord, Ez-Fret, & WESOLO Guitar Learning System.

Check out all the details, embedded below:

 

 

Or, check out the full sheet here.  I have websites, prices, lists of chords, and even videos where I could find them.

There is a wide variety of options.  If you can fill in any of the blanks, that would be killer.  If you know of any other similar systems, I could certainly add them.

This doesn’t even touch the Guitar Barre or Hammer Jammer.

 

♪♫♬ 🎸 ♪♫♬

 

On a personal blogging note or two;  I need to update my guitar wish list (and the older list).  The wife got me a BOHO for my birthday!  I have been drawing more mazes.  I may have more time to blog coming up.  I should post some of the mazes.  Someone named Hope recently posted a solution to an old maze in the comments! That makes me super happy.  I’m glad someone enjoys them!

I know I have been bad at blogging.  Life got crazy busy as it does.  I do hope to blog more, not sure if many people read it… but it is fun.  Hopefully if you feel the need, you can keep up with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

The Metallica Playlist – Part II


So, did you read my last post about making a playlist of Metallica songs so Bethany will be familiar with some of the music at the show?  l grabbed a few tracks from each album, popped them into a list, & mixed ’em up a bit.  It still seems a tad unwieldy.  It’s 47 songs, and I don’t even want to know what the run time would be.  (I still need to dig out all of my CD’s & rip some of these older songs.  I live in the stone age and listen to mp3’s saved to a thumb drive plugged into the car.)

Metallicollage

How would you pare it down?  Could you get it to 30 songs?  10 songs?  60 minutes?  What is the most essential stuff you’d need to grasp their overall sound and/or appreciate a live show?

I had Alexa playing some random Metallica this morning, and it wasn’t a bad mix.  This actually really has me appreciating Death Magnetic & Hardwired… To Self-Destruct more & more.

 

Metallica 101 Playlist…

  1. “Ecstasy of Gold” (We All Love Ennio Morricone) [Ennio Morricone]
  2. “Enter Sandman” (Metallica)
  3. “One” (…And Justice for All)
  4. “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (Ride the Lightning)
  5. “Whiskey in the Jar” (Garage, Inc.) [Thin Lizzy]
  6. “(Anesthesia)—Pulling Teeth” (Kill ‘Em All)
  7. “Whiplash” (Kill ‘Em All)
  8. “Last Caress” (Live Shit: Binge & Purge) [Misfits]
  9. “Master of Puppets” (Master of Puppets)
  10. “Cyanide” (Death Magnetic)
  11. “The Call of Ktulu” (S&M)
  12. “Nothing Else Matters” (Metallica)
  13. “Seek And Destroy”  (Live Shit: Binge & Purge)
  14. “Some Kind of Monster” (St. Anger)
  15. “Fade To Black” (Ride the Lightning)
  16. “Overkill” (Garage, Inc.) [Motörhead]
  17. “Hardwired”  (Hardwired… To Self-Destruct)
  18. “The Memory Remains” (Through The Never)
  19. “Four Horsemen” (Kill ‘Em All)
  20. “Creeping Death”  (Live Shit: Binge & Purge)
  21. “Until It Sleeps” (S&M)
  22. “Altas, Rise!” (Hardwired… To Self-Destruct)
  23. “Battery” (Master of Puppets)
  24. “Die, Die My Darling” (Garage, Inc.) [Misfits]
  25. “Frantic” (St. Anger)
  26. “Fuel” (Re-Load)
  27. “Orion” (Through the Never)
  28. “Unforgiven” (Metallica)
  29. “Unforgiven II” (Re-Load)
  30. “Unforgiven III” (Death Magnetic)
  31. “Sad But True” (Live Shit: Binge & Purge)
  32. “I Disappear” (Mission: Impossible 2 Soundtrack)
  33. “All Nightmare Long” (Death Magnetic)
  34. “Mama Said” (Load)
  35. “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” (Master of Puppets)
  36. “Commando” (St. Anger Single) [Ramones]
  37. “Now That We’re Dead” (Hardwired… To Self-Destruct)
  38. “Stone Cold Crazy” (Garage, Inc.) [Queen]
  39. “Wherever I May Roam” (S&M)
  40. “The Day That Never Comes” (Death Magnetic)
  41. “Tuesday’s Gone” (Garage, Inc.) [Lynyrd Skynyrd]
  42. “Disposable Heroes” (Master of Puppets)
  43. “Blackened” (…And Justice for All)
  44. “St. Anger” (St. Anger)
  45. “Low Man’s Lyric” (Re-Load)
  46. “Harvester of Sorrow” (…And Justice for All)
  47. “One” (S&M)

Would you skip songs & go to videos, live sets or clips, or documentaries?

 

 

Help me make a playlist: Metallica 101


So, Bethany is awesome and got us tickets to go see Metallica when they come to Pittsburgh in October.  We don’t have a whole lot of overlap in musical taste.  We have been to a bunch of concerts together, ranging from Flogging Molly, Rancid, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, & the Dropkick Murphys, to Willie Nelson, The Devil Makes Three, Poison & even (Lord help me) Kenny Chesney.  This doesn’t even count the dozens (hundreds?) of club shows we have attended for the local and national levels back when I was actively gigging… which was mostly punk or metal stuff on a more local-ish level like Omegalord and Peelander-Z.  I think I have successfully sold Bethany on the awesomeness of punk rock.  We haven’t really delved into metal past what I have played in the car.  Even myself, I have gravitated more in the punk direction than metal listening over the years.  Perhaps due to a shrinking attention span?  Metallica stands as one of those influential bands for me as far as it being one of the earlier things I “got.”  A kid in 6th grade lent me his cassette of …And Justice for All, and it was all-in from there.  It led me to stuff like the Misfits, DanzigMegadeth, Motörhead, & Black Sabbath.  I wore out multiple copies of the Master of Puppets cassette.  The black album is a hugely definitive and divisive album, but it hit right when I was headed into high school, metal ruled the airwaves and guitar magazines, and grunge hadn’t yet stomped all over the oft-mocked hair metal’s reign supreme.  A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica and Live Shit: Binge & Purge made me want to be a rock star.  My aunt & uncle took a me and a friend to the Guns N’ Roses & Metallica concert at Three Rivers Stadium.  That was the first and only time I ever saw them live.  It was my two favorite bands at the time.  It was awesome.  I’m anxious to go again.

That brings me to this;  How do I bring the wife up to speed on multiple decades of Metallica fandom, some of which even pre-dated my time as a fan?  Dave Mustaine getting bootedCliff BurtonJason NewstedHaircutsThe Napster thingJames catching on fireGoofy psychologistsLulu?  Lars’ drumming ability vs. his business acumen?  Kirk Hammett’s appearance of total passive and obedient participation?  “Four Horsemen” vs. “Mechanix”?

If you were going to make a mix tape playlist as an introduction to Metallica, what would you include?  Jokes about St. Anger or Load/Re-Load aside, what is the important stuff?  Audio?  Video?  Live performances?  Documentaries?  Metallica covering their influences?  Other bands covering Metallica?  Related bands?  Originals that Metallica has covered?  What videos would you say are essential?  MTV IconBehind the MusicWhen Metallica Ruled the World?  I know “One” is up there in my all-time favorite songs.  Do I start there, or go in chronological order?  Which instrumentals?

So, I set up a living room rig. 🎸


This morning I felt like playing the guitar. I didn’t feel like jamming in the basement by my work bench where all my stuff is set up. I didn’t bring up the Laney 2×12 or the Orange Micro Terror. I brought out the Fender Blues Jr. & a Yamaha MSR100 powered speaker so I could run my new DigiTech Trio into two different outputs.

The Trio was a birthday present from my wife. It was on backorder from Sweetwater for a while & we have been really busy so this was my first chance to try it out.  I set it up like this…

Living Room Rig Setup

It started out as a pile of stuff in the corner.  Then I remembered that I had an old RCA-Victor TV cabinet in the garage purchased from our house’s previous owner that I thought about turning into an amp someday.  The Blues Jr. fit where the TV went, and the Yamaha PA fit underneath where the speaker grille is.

Then I had a cabinet and I pile of pedals.  So, I cut up a milk crate and made a goofy pedal board with a Donner power supply & some zip ties.  The “board” fits inside the cabinet with the blues Jr. too.  It was a morning long project but it felt good to get it done & know I can jam a lot more easily.  It may be tricky if I just want to use the Trio & some headphones.

I do have a Dirt & Ernie pedal & an A/B/Y that I use to run the Jr. & Micro Terror at the same time.  Maybe a board extension will eventually be in order?  How cool would it be if the doors came off & were the pedalboard?

Oh well.  Enough monkeying.  Time to jam.

I will eventually have to give a serious(?) evaluation of the Trio.  I do already know I want a looper now.  Ha ha.  It was pretty intuitive & loads of right out of the box.  My 4 year old told me to turn it down right away, so it had to be cool.  Right?

 

Monkeying with the DigiTech Trio:

I apologize for the “living room while the wife and kids are home” volume, and the Crocs.

 

My little dude seemed to like the idea.  He has all the moves down.  Maybe some day he will want to play too!

Do you have a living room, bedroom, or other small setup rig?  Share some in the comments!  Any thoughts on any of this equipment?  Any tips for the Trio?  You can comment below here at the blog with WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, or a Gravatar login.