Anybody know what he's been using at different phases of his career?

i'm especially interested in knowing his gear selection from '90 - present.

i know he's used a goldtop Gibson Les Paul Deluxe with mini-humbuckers, a sunburst Fender Strat and various Gretsch guitars. i never did sort out what acoustics he uses. any additional detail would be great.

any links to photos of his pedalboards and effects selections/signal chain from various eras?
there are tantalizing *moments* in the Seven Worlds Collide DVD and the Sessions DVD where you can see his pedalboard.

there seems to be a DEARTH of information regarding this area!

Cheers!
Original Post
Other people seem to know the specifics far better than I do but here's what springs to mind:

Amp - he uses a Vox AC30. He also has a Roland Jazz Chorus - I guess he hasn't really used it since the Enz days but he is seen using it on the Rock Arena New Year's concert filmed at the end of '86. He said that he found the JC to have a hollow sound that bugged him. I think it sounds great. I have no idea but I always assume that the lovely sound of the guitar on Recurring Dream is, in part, courtesy of the JC. I think he used to use the distortion switch on at almost its lowest. That way the guitar wasn't always ridiculously clean (E.g. that open A-ish chord at the end of the middle-8s on One Step Ahead). Again, I'm not as technically wise as others here are so maybe they'll correct me on that.

Accoustics - he uses Maton. I think he uses a junior sized one. Not sure of the exact model. He probably has a couple.

Pedals/Effects - in the Enz days I think his sole pedals were a MXR Flanger and a Paul Crowther Hot Cakes distortion pedal. The Hot Cakes is awesome - you can get one from Paul Crowther direct if you like. Can't remember now where I got the address and details from but they must be out there somewhere. Great pedal.

He used to use a Roland Tape Echo unit but that got the chop at the end of the Enz days. You can hear it in all its glory on the guitar echos on One Mouth. I have one somewhere - kind of funky but such a big piece of equipment. As many people say, the warmth of it IS nicer than digital but I don't think its size is practical for the road. I grew to really resent lugging that thing around! God knows if you can still get tapes for it too.

In the mid/late 80's he bought a Yamaha SPX unit I think. I'd doubt he's still using that though. No real idea what his effects setup is right now but I'd be willing to bet that the Hot Cakes is still in it.
this would make a GREAT subject for the forum , maybe Neil's, Tim's , whoevers - gear - as a seperate subject..

btw - he also uses a custom Maton 12 stringer , used it last night at the Grove, as well on the KCRW webcast..

his Les Paul took a massive dive last night, had some probs keeping it in tune..

He aalso uses Larrivee Guitars as well..
In Los Angeles last week.
Vox AC 30 ( old model... probably studio rental) 1958 Fender Deluxe run in tandem ( both on all the time). FOH mixer blends as appropriate
Pedal board... a couple boss tuners ( signal spliters?) A boss delay of some sort... and what piqued my interest OD/Boost = Crowther Hot Cake. My ears heard a lot of Vox EL84 OD/Chime.
but then, bam, next song... no more vox tone. So I waited around and asked Neils guitar tech what was up... ( thanks mate!) so he gave me the scoop.
Great thread...I've always been interested in hearing about Neil's music gear too. I work in a musical instrument shop in Australia and due to the fact that I helped someone design a custom model Maton to look like the one Neil was using around the time of One Nil I remember a little about the model. It's a Maton EBG808 - it is a smaller sized body - I think Maton call it their Bluegrass model. Neils had a few modifications though to the standard issue. (I own the EBG808 artist model which is close but not the same) His had a gloss finish with a honey stained top and an abalone (or pearl) inlay around the soundhole and for the binding. No cutaway. Maton also released some other models for the rest of Neils band on that tour - they had ebony fretboards with pearl inlay blocks and a satin finish.(I think Neil was using one of these models too)

A good friend of mine has a Vox AC30, A Gretsch Duo Jet and a Hot Cake pedal - put them together and you immediately have the classic Neil sound. I've been getting a sound that's pretty close with my Fender DeVille, Gretsch Nashville and a Tube Screamer. Love to see some shots of Neils pedal set up.

I haven't posted here much although I'm always checking in - hope you don't mind the intrusion!
cheers
YES! this is the sort of stuff i was hoping to learn about! keep it coming!

i'll contribute what i can as i stumble upon it.

i can point out that on the Sessions at West 54th DVD has a few decent shots of his pedalboard.
I was just looking at the pictures from the Detroit show and see a dripedge '68 Fender Deluxe Reverb or Vibrolux Reverb. That wasn't there when I saw the band in SF but i did see an older blackface Deluxe.

Are some or all of these amps being rented along the way for each venue?
Thanks Tracy! SIR, my old Alumni. Didn't see the rather large numbers that are usually stenciled onto the sides of the amps though.
I believe the les paul is a 68, thats a great piece of gear. Has anyone laid eyes on the ferrington that was made special for him? The inlays are worth getting a gander at.
quote:
Originally posted by allone:
[qb] Thanks Tracy! SIR, my old Alumni. Didn't see the rather large numbers that are usually stenciled onto the sides of the amps though. [/qb]
Yeah, they were very noticeable in Chicago, that's how I knew...
quote:
Originally posted by jester japes:
[qb] I believe the les paul is a 68, thats a great piece of gear. Has anyone laid eyes on the ferrington that was made special for him? The inlays are worth getting a gander at. [/qb]
The LP is a '68, isn't the ferrington you referred to the one he's used during the CH days?
This is a great thread, since I'm a VERY amateur guitarist myself. Neil's Les Paul Deluxe is to me the second most iconic musical instrument in existence--only Paul McC.'s Hofners beat it in my eyes.

It's really great that Neil's become such a bloody good guitarist in the last ten years. I'm not saying he was ever less than good at any point, but he's really been going for it lately. Is there anything the man can't do?
skin a horse at full gallop?
(not that he'd do something so cruel or stupid!)

i'm really looking forward to the new Finn Bros CD!

somewhere i saw a pic of Neil playing a 335 thru a ROland JC-120 and standing nexst to Mick Ronson. when the heck would that have been?
i assume it was back in the Enz days and not early CH.
Well, he can't lip-synch.

I'm enjoying this thread even though I'm not very guitar-savvy. I'm curious to know more about Maton guitars. What are their hallmarks in appearance, playability, and sound?

Evvie
quote:
Originally posted by Reformed Dreamer:
[qb]
somewhere i saw a pic of Neil playing a 335 thru a ROland JC-120 and standing nexst to Mick Ronson. when the heck would that have been?
i assume it was back in the Enz days and not early CH. [/qb]
US/Canada tour 1982!!
On Neils pedalboard and amps...

so, we seem to have nailed down that he uses:

- an old tweed Fender Deluxe paired with a Vox AC-30 (possibly with an ABY switch of some kind?)

- a Crowther Audio Hotcakes distortion (3 knob)

- a Boss Digital Delay pedal (i assume it's the DD-3 cos you can't make the newer ones like the DD-5 and DD-6 do swirly stuff when you twiddle the knobs, they just jump to the new value).

- i think i saw a Hughes and Kettner Tube Rotosphere on his pedalboard in the "Sessions" DVD, tho it seemed to have gone by 7 Worlds.

i KNOW there's more to it than those, but i can't identify them from the DVD stills.

anyone else? Bueller?
Hey Evvie
A little bit of Maton info -
They've been around since the 1940's - there's a photo floating around of George Harrison playing one when he was in Australia in the 60's. Almost every well known Australian guitarist plays one these days - along with a lot of overseas players too (members of Queens of the stone age, Ben Harper, Foo Fighters, Jeff Buckley was playing one for a while - Australian players are too numerous to mention!). They use a lot of timbers that come from Australia - Victorian Blackwood, Queensland Maple, Queensland Walnut. The tops are generally spruce - although there are some models with cedar tops or Bunya Pine. They also offer all kinds of custom options. The prices range from $899AU - to around the $5000AU. Soundwise they are warm and "woody" sounding - they don't have the bright sound of a Taylor - nor the "Bottom end" that a Martin has - they probably sit nicely in between. Most of the range come in a satin finish - although there are quite a few gloss models available too. You can order custom colours as well. They offer 3 different types of pick ups AP4, AP5 and the APMic - which has a Mic in the soundhole as well as the usual piezo pick up under the bridge saddle - the pick up controls allow you to blend the two sounds. Playability on them is excellent and the guitars that arrive on a regular basis at our store are always are well set up. Check out www.maton.com.au and you'll be able to have a look at the models - there's plenty of photos. They also make a range of electric guitars.

I just found this piece of news on the Maton site:

"Neil & Tim Finn, two of the worlds finest Songwriters, were regretfully forced to retire there trusty old Maton's. When Neil told us the news we were so sad to see them go, that we got Neil's old EBG808 into the hands of our finest craftsmen and they set to task building replacements. When Neil and Tim received the guitars they were blown away with the sound, feel, and look of their new Matons."

Anyhow, hope that all helps a bit....
I'm interested to know more about the pedals used too - hopefully some one will come along with some more info.
cheers
Hello everyone!

I was wondering what guitar Neil is using in the "I See Red" video... I'm sure it's a Rickenbacker as Nigel is using a Rickenbacker bass, and they look very similar... Can someone help?

Also, the acoustic Tim plays in "Six Months in a Leaky Boat", "I Got You" and Neil plays it in the "Things" videos... is that the Maton everyone's talking about?

Thanks! Smiler
Hmm, no it seems that the acoustic Tim and Neil are playing is a Gibson of some description, how could they have afforded something like that so early in their career? Anyone know more about it?

Still unsure about the I See Red Rickenbacker, I can't find anything like it on the Rickenbacker website...

Please help someone! I love these guitars!

Thanks Smiler
Yep, Neil is using a Rickenbacker in the I See Red clip. I'm pretty sure it was burnt in the fire before the Nambassa concert in '79 in NZ.

I can't remember what the other guitar was but I believe it was auctioned just a few years ago. This could be disinformation but I think it was a Gretsch. ????
from what i remember of the new orleans show at the house of blues in august, his gear appeared to be the same gear that i saw on the sessions from west 54 dvd; the acoustic guitars could have been different, but the electric guitars were the same ones.
A late 50s Fender Deluxe, i think.
i'm still wondering what Neil's signal chain is... what kind of effects in what order?

does he run the amps parallel or use an A/B switch between the amps so he can use them for different things. or perhaps an ABY switch that allows all the above?

according to Beatles Gear, John Lennon used a tweed Deluxe in the pre-EMI days of the Beatles.
it's wild guess that this was an inspiration for this amp combination.
Hey thanks for the info John and Mr. Dreamer, Checking through the DVD I noticed that that acoustic reads Gibson on headstock, how on earth could they have afforded something like that so early in their careers? :|

Neil also plays an "Ovation" acoustic in the Bold as Brass video, the same guitar Phil Judd is playing in Sweet Dreams and the like... I like that guitar.

Have any of you more detailed info on the make of his I See Red Rickenbacker, I can't find anything even remotely resembling it on the Rickenbacker website... any help?

Thanks!
quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wilson is God.:
Have any of you more detailed info on the make of his I See Red Rickenbacker, I can't find anything even remotely resembling it on the Rickenbacker website... any help?

Thanks! [/QB]
if you can post a capture from the video showing the guitar, i might be able to ID it.

is there a region 1 NTSC version of the Enz video compilation DVD available?
Oh dear, I've not the ability to capture DVD screens... Could any other kind soul take some good captures of the I See Red guitar from a few angles... Please? Smiler
I noticed on the recent tour that Neil appeared to be playing a Burns 12 string.
Is that correct ?
Great guitars. Superagrass use one or two.

Nice
I had a look on the Burns website, and their "Double-Six" looks nothing like Neil's 12-er that he played on the current tour. So that is probably a Maton.

Also - someone mentioned a LP Goldtop, and a LP '68... are we talking about the same guitar? 'Cos the LP he used on 7WC (as the picture currently adorning my desktop will show) was definitely black. But the LP he used at the Fleadh in 1994 with CH was a Goldtop (as was Mark Hart's, incidentally).

Has he stopped using the Goldtop and replaced it. Has anyone seen the Goldtop since June 1994? Did the black LP make an appearance before May 2001? Should I stop asking questions now?

Chris.
quote:
Originally posted by CJ:
[qb] Also - someone mentioned a LP Goldtop, and a LP '68... are we talking about the same guitar? 'Cos the LP he used on 7WC (as the picture currently adorning my desktop will show) was definitely black. But the LP he used at the Fleadh in 1994 with CH was a Goldtop (as was Mark Hart's, incidentally).

Has he stopped using the Goldtop and replaced it. Has anyone seen the Goldtop since June 1994? Did the black LP make an appearance before May 2001? Should I stop asking questions now?

Chris. [/qb]
The black guitar on 7WC was a Gretsch, not a Gibson Les Paul.
He played his gold-top Les Paul Deluxe ALOT on the tours supporting TWT.
The Rickenbacker in the I See Red clip is the six string model of the 12 string that George Harrison played in the Beatles isn't it? Certainly that's what it looks like. I can't seen an extra row of machine heads, so it looks like a 6 string. From memory it's a Rickenbacker 330... though I could have the # wrong Smiler
I used to have Neil's guitar tech's contact info... Here is what his main setup is:

Guitars:
70's Gibson les Paul Deluxe (gold top)
Gretsch Firebird/Duo Jet (50's)
Maton EBG808 (I actually have an identical one, custom!)

Amps:
Vox AC30 (sometimes vintage, mostly reissue)
Fender Blues Junior

Pedals:
Crowther Hotcake
Boss VB-2 Vibrato
Dunlop Hendrix Fuzz/Wah
Boomerang (introduced for Finn Bros tour)
Boss DM-2

That's all I remember...
HAHAHA! After months of searching, I've found the guitar Neil was using in the "I See Red" clip, certainly a Rickenbacker, but it was a thin full body Rick 360-75,

http://www.rickbeat.com/modelslibrary/360f/360f.htm

"Deluxe models 360f to 375f discontinued 1973."

How on earth could Neil have afforded one of those back then? They had no money! And if they were discontinued in 73, how the hell did he get one... Big Grin

Please, someone that knows Neil please ask! Smiler
quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wilson is God.:
[qb] HAHAHA! After months of searching, I've found the guitar Neil was using in the "I See Red" clip, certainly a Rickenbacker, but it was a thin full body Rick 360-75,

http://www.rickbeat.com/modelslibrary/360f/360f.htm

"Deluxe models 360f to 375f discontinued 1973."

How on earth could Neil have afforded one of those back then? They had no money! And if they were discontinued in 73, how the hell did he get one... Big Grin

Please, someone that knows Neil please ask! Smiler [/qb]
Perhaps he bought it used?
Probably the most likely Dreamer, I think he may have lost this guitar in the Nambassa fire... Shame really, I haven't seen him use it before or since...

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