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Originally posted by robbie:
I have a very good pic of Neils pedal board

oh yeh its from Thekla Bristol
left to right Boss DD-3,Boss VB-2,Crowther Hotcake(Vintage switch),Crybaby Wahwah,Boss Tuner, Boss Acoustic Tuner

Acoustic DI
Pedal Power

Anyone know exactly which models of the Crybaby Wahwah, Boss Tuner, and Boss Acoustic Tuner appear in the photo? It's also difficult to tell how the various equipment is connected. robbie, if you have a larger and/or more resolute copy of the picture, can you better tell?

Thanks for the additional info.

As you implied, there are a fair number of Dunlop Crybaby models on the market. From just the photo, it's certainly unclear which one Neil uses. Does anyone know (or has anyone asked)? Is it just the Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah (GCB95) or another model with additional features?

Shame also that the Boss VB-2 is so rare (meaning quite expensive).
To confound the issue even further, Neil's comments in the winter 2001 version of "Australian Musician" reveal:

"He's been using the same guitars for a while now, either a Gretsch Duo Jet or a Gibson Goldtop which he records through a Fender Champ mostly, or sometimes a Vox, Matchless, or Fender Twin Reverb. 'I've also had a bit of luck with just using a POD on some songs' said Finn."

Of course, by "records", the writer may be referring to Neil's studio vs. live setup. Within this thread, reference to several Fender amp models have been made, but I'm wondering if it's primarily the Fender Deluxe -- and Vox AC30 -- amps that he may be favoring out on the road these days.

I think it's also been the consensus that his recent choice of guitars has actually primarily been a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Deluxe (rather than simply a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop), as well as a red Gretsch Firebird (and occasionally black Gretsch Duo Jet single and double cutaways).

Tough to keep all this straight! Eeker
I've kinda skimmed through the thread and didn't see THIS Les Paul mentioned at all. It's a honey sunburst guitar that he used a lot on the Finn Bros. tour of a couple of years back:

Here's a closeup of the Red Gretsch:

And a couple of not-so-closeups of the mini-humbucker Goldtop he used on the previous CH tour:

Sorry, couldn't resist:

And from the Wax Museum:

Originally posted by theworldwhereyoulive:
Sorry to reserect this topic but i have a question.

I'm ripping the P90 pick ups out of my Gold Top Les Paul and I was wondering what I should replace them with to get that classic Finn sound? I'm thinking the Mini humbuckers or some 57 classics.

Anyone got some advice?

It's funny, but I think the P-90s can get that springy sort of Finn sound pretty well. I think that a lot of it is in the amp and amp settings. I use a Vox AD30VT, which has a lot of different amp models to choose from. I've got a Gibson clone Gold Top with P-90 cream colored soapbar pickups. Finn does use Vox amps, so that might be more of a key than humbuckers.

Obviously, Finn gets a decent Finn sound out of the mini-humbuckers. :g: But let's not forget that he gets that "Finn sound" out of a Strat and a Gretsch as well. Well, at least he's used the Strat in the past.

I love the sound of P-90s personally.

Check out the Vox if you get a chance. It's cheap and it has a single 12AX7 (ECC83 for Euro types) tube in the circuitry (everything else is solid state). I got mine virtually new in the States for $150 at a pawn shop. I think that the normal US street price is around $250. The 30 is plenty loud, but if you need more power, you can spend more money for a 50w or 100w model (the 100w model is a head unit only). If I remember correctly, Neil uses an AC30 and just mikes it through th PA. You can see it here at a Finn Bros. show:

You can also see the corner of a little Fender Champ right behind Neil's butt. Not sure if that was Tim's amp or whether it was part of a stereo setup for Neil. IIRC, the Vox was also part of the Crowded House stage setup.

Here's the Champ (I think it's a Champ):

Oh yeah, if you are just a home player, you can get the little Vox 15w Valtronix amp. It sounds the same as the bigger brothers but it just won't play as loud. I had that one for a month or two before i sold it to a friend to get the 30w model.

Probably the best amps under $300 out there. Certainly there are very few amps at that price point that have a tube anywhere in the mix. It has a really nice AC30 position on the amp modeling switch, plus it models the old classic Fenders (Bassman and Blackface twin). It also models several Marshalls (for copyright reasons they call them UK 70s, UK 80s, UK Modern) a Soldano (US HiGain), a 2 Dumble boutique amp (Boutique OD and Boutique CL) and there's a "NuMetal" position that might be a modern Marshall.

There's also a parallel Valvetronix line that is pricier. It's got the same looks as the classic AC30s. They have even more amp model positions and I think they also have full tube preamps and amps. I think that they are 60w and 120w respectively and I'm sure that they're quite expensive.

You should check out the cheaper series with your current guitar to see if that might turn the trick instead of ripping out your P90s. Considering how popular Vox amps are down under, you shouldn't have a problem finding one to take a spin with.
I was wondering if anyone has any more info on Neil's Les Pauls?

I took these photos at the Sherwood Forest gig last year and he clearly played two different Gold Tops (both with mini humbuckers so I assume Deluxe models). One had black plastic around the pick-up selector and one white.


Also, I have heard that Neil owns an actual 1959 Les Paul and has maybe used it on the Finn Bros tour. Anyone knwo if this is true - this would have cost him an absolute fortune!

Cheers Smiler
Originally posted by Renishaw:

Also, I have heard that Neil owns an actual 1959 Les Paul and has maybe used it on the Finn Bros tour. Anyone knwo if this is true - this would have cost him an absolute fortune!

Cheers Smiler

If he does, it would be easy to tell the difference between what he usually plays in that the '59 used full-sized humbuckers (assuming that it hadn't been modified, which I would doubt that it would be). It would look like the one in my photo (more about this later).

Here is a gallery of some '59s (some with covers off):

Here are two YouTube videos of two different orignal '59s. The first is owned by Larry DiMarzio.

I can't find my Gibson Electrics book to verify, but I think that by '59, all '59s were sunburst. Some of them had flame tops but most didn't. The tops would have had more red than the sunburst in my closeup picture, but many of them would had had the red faded out after a few years to end up looking like the one in the picture. I think this had something to do with the UV protection of the dyes breaking down in sunlight.

Here's a thread in a les Paul forum that you will find interesting:

There's a picture of a well-worn Goldtop that I've never seen before (or don't remember seeing). Plus, they have reposted my photo there (which is just fine with me) and they've identified it as a '59 "Historic" model with an "iced tea" finish. Historic is different than Reissue, as the Reissue tries to be as close to the original as possible, with a higher price to boot, unless it's a Historic that's gone through Gibson's version of the Fender Custom Shop. The Historic series is a more "generic" and slightly cheaper repro of the original. There are a few different finishes you can choose from.

Also this, from a NZ guitar forum:

"NF does have a '59 burst - I've seen it. Held tantalisingly at arms length from me by his guitar tech. Which reminds me I was going to ask him (the guitar tech) for some photos of it, but at the time he was in the UK rehearsing for the Crowded House tour. I was quite impressed Neill bought the 59 with him as a backup guitar on the Finn Bros tour".

I suspect that what John Walsh was dangling was the guitar that I took a picture of. If you leave off the "Historic" designation, it's a '59, right? Either John was having a bit of fun, or the poster might have misunderstood. Of course, the guitar itself isn't a cheap one. The flame sunburst runs close to $6k (a plain Jane simple maple top runs about $3500). In guitar parlance, this is called a AA top. Demands quite a premium.
Thanks for the info Dave. Maybe we will have to get Neil himself to confirm if he does indeed own a 59 Burst. If he does, he was very brave taking it on tour with him! But, if so, it was great to know one was being played rather than stuck in a bank vault.
Just bought a 59 Reissue myself the other week and it is amazing.
If Neil wants to buy an actual '59 LP, all he has to do is come here to Nashville with a suitcase full of money, because George Gruhn has three of them right now. He'll need at least $300,000 (cause he might just want to pick up the one that was reduced from $350,000 to $299,000!). If you want to see them, go to and click on Inventory and then Gibson solidbodies and scroll down about halfway down the page.

For the rest of us, we can save some money and get a '60 LP for only $185,000 or go all Peter Frampton and get a nice '55 Black Beauty Custom (the one with three humbuckers) for a paltry $55,000...
Originally posted by HiString:
Hi, this is my first post here and I'm hoping some knowledgeable people may be able to solve a mystery for me............I'm trying to find out what the guitar is that NF is playing in the video clip for Split Enz song "Straight Old Line" ( ), also the bass is the twin of the guitar.

Cheers Cool

I don't have an answer to your question but did want to thank you for posting the youtube link - I don't think I've ever seen that clip before, and it's fabulous. Big Grin
I dunno what ever happened to the strat. It just sort of disappeared post TOLM- a few of his early CH guitars did (no sign of the accoustic guitar Neil had in the Sister Madly film clip is an example). I'm kinda glad the strat is gone - I'm not a fan (no I'm not looking to pick a fight with Fender fans just not my cup of tea). I guess Neil just has his favourites or they got worn out.

I've seen a couple of telecasters at some of the CH 07/08 shows in Sydney, but Mark and guest guitarist Davy Lane played them.
This isn't a question regarding Neil's gear, but I figure this is the most likely place to get an answer. Does anyone know what effects Jay Joyce used on his guitar parts for Tim's Say It Is So? There are some amazing ambient guitar wash like sounds on that album. He uses them on the Finn Bros track Way Back Down too.

Sorry Joe, not I.

On a separate note, was just listening to the '87 Trocadero gig in Philly on Wolfgang's Vault...loved hearing Neil on the Strat. I miss that sound. I wonder/hope if he'll ever use it again. Such a big part of his sound from about 1981 to 1988. Nice shimmery sound and Neil used the tremolo arm to nice effect.

For me, classic Neil = Strat + Roland JC (w/ Chorus on and hint of gain) + Hot Cake + RE201 Tape Echo. Sometimes add the MXR Flanger (Giant Heartbeat in Canada, for instance). Beautiful, definitive sound. Admittedly, would sound a little dated today, but not in a jarring way.
Interesting setup - thanks large for posting it. Notice the redundancy (aside from the tuners of course).

Distortion/Overdrive: (1) Neil's classic Crowther Audio Hot Cake (2) T-Rex MudHoney II

Delay: (1) Boss DD-3 (2) Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man (3) T-Rex Reptile

Vibrato: (1) Boss VB-2 (2) Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man

I notice the Radial ToneBone is gone. I would love to know what he uses when and if he's simply test driving these pedals or if they are a permanent fixture.

Any shots of the settings on his Vox AC30?
looking at earlier pictures from the 2010 tour he replaced the tonebone and his holy grail with the two new trex pedals. btw he was using the tonebone in the "upstairs at home" videosSmiler

yes would also love to see some settings on the ampSmiler

im trying to get as much of neils stuff that i can!
Boss tu 2
crybaby gcb95 f
boss dd3
behringer uv300(really good boss vb2 copy, but its a plastic chassis)
holy grail reverb
thats wat i have so far

getting the microkorg soonSmiler and buying my self his two gretsch stage guitars latert in the year!Smiler
Sorry If I'm taking this slightly off topic but need some help. I'm pretty sure there must some accomplished guitar players on this thread,so I need help and advice ! I'm in the process of picking an accoustic to learn on ,can anybody recommend a decent guitar that won't break the bank.

Also and maybe more importantly ,any advice on practice techniques etc to keep it interesting and fun ! Smiler Any advice welcome cheers David

Thebest advice that i could give you is to go to some local stores, and take some time to play some guitars or get a feel of them. You might find that you will get a really good feeling about one.Smiler im sure the owners of the stores would be more than happy to let you play some guitars!Smiler But There are no guitars like Maton!

Hope This HelpsSmiler
I remember a tommy emmanuel quote from a few years ago saying that when your learning a song, just play that song, nothing else just play that song. I find tha helps because you really get into what your learning. And also, i would say play what you like. Theres no point in learning something thats of no interest to youSmiler When i started playing guitar, i used to watch neil play, ad over the years ive picked up the little things that he does, finger positions etc. but thats what i would say, just try play what you want to playSmiler
To say what is a good acoustic is like saying how long is a piece of string! I have had a go on a couple of Matons and they are nice however I picked up a Martin HD-18 that was 20yrs old with crappy strings and it sounded superb! and felt right, however the £1700 price tag reflects this!
I feel that Matons are just a little thin sounding for me but thats a very personal thing,however when plugged into PA thats a whole different matter they have fab electrics on-board and sound Beautiful, I do now own a Martin HD-35 and its just perfect! but to your question I would indeed go to a shop try all kind of models out, Yamaha have some very good affordable guitars and pick one that feels right for you, also depending on how serious you are about this I would defo get the guitar 'setup' properly (intonation string height ect)the shop should be able to put you in touch with someone who does this and it would feel like a real dream to play..just my two cents
Originally posted by Sam Robinson:
I remember a tommy emmanuel quote from a few years ago saying that when your learning a song, just play that song, nothing else just play that song. I find tha helps because you really get into what your learning. And also, i would say play what you like. Theres no point in learning something thats of no interest to youSmiler When i started playing guitar, i used to watch neil play, ad over the years ive picked up the little things that he does, finger positions etc. but thats what i would say, just try play what you want to playSmiler

Trying on Saturday a Freshman,Tanglewood and an Epiphone will report back which one I buy ,really looking forward to this ! Smiler

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