Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails) guitar rig

Robin Finck is best known for his work with Nine Inch Nails, as well as Chinese Democracy era Guns 'n' Roses. He's also best known for his live performances and wacky hair styles. What follows is a collection of information I've found scouring forums and websites. If you have anything to add, please drop me a message in the forum.

While on tour with both NIN and G'n'R's, Finck predominantly uses Gibson Les Paul guitars, a mix of Custom's, Standard's, Studio's and Goldtop's. He has also endorsed Godin Guitar LGX Series and is still listed on the endorsers list on the Godin website.

Since rejoining NIN, following his departure from G'n'R's, Finck has also been spotted playing a Jerry Jones Baritone and a Fender Jazzmaster. During the NIN 'Lights in the Sky' tour, Finck has also been seen playing a lap steel guitar with an effects pedal mounted to the body. There have also been reports of a ukulele and mandolin popping up, although I have not seen any pictures to confirm that.

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In a June 2002 interview with Guitar World, Robin Finck spoke briefly about the gear he used reproducing the sounds from the Fragile live, on the Fragility tour.

"Danny and I will go through the 25 guitar tracks on the record and break it down to the most essential parts," says Finck, who has been using an assortment of Godin guitars on the Fragility tour, employing their piezo pickups to reproduce some of Reznor's Parker ones. For meatier stuff, Finck plays a Les Paul. He's using a Marshall JMP-1 preamp and a Bradshaw switching system with a TC Electronic G-Force and a Voodoo Valve as featured effects.

In terms of amplification, Finck is a long time Marshall user, in particular the Marshall JMP-1 midi pre-amp. In the late 90's during a stint with G'n'R's he was also reportedly using a JCM800 head.

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The following image shows Finck with his rack gear, in 2000, during touring for the NIN Fragile album.

Here's a best guess at what is pictured, from top to bottom.

  • Power conditioner
  • Mesa Boogie Triaxis
  • Marshall JMP-1 midi pre-amp
  • A Rocktron Voodoo Valve (although it's a little unclear)
  • TC Electronics G-Force
  • Unclear (perhaps a tuner?)
  • CAE switcher (used in conjunction with a CAE midi foot controller and expression pedal)
  • Unclear
  • Two Mesa Boogie 2:90 Power Amps
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In terms of effects pedals, Finck also uses a Dunlop Crybaby Wah pedal. During a live show he'll often make use of a speaker cabinet in order to create some feedback and drone type effects.

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Update: 3 August 2009

Here's a picture of Finck posing with his pedal board that has been doing the rounds on the message boards. Apparently it was taken mid-2009 during the NIN tour.

Robin Finck with pedal board 2009

Here's a second, clearer, shot of the same pedal board.

Robin Finck's pedal board

Here's a list of the pedals on the board (as far as I can tell).

Top left to right:

  • Boss TU-2 Tuner
  • Boss GE-7 Equilizer
  • Boss MT-2 Metalzone (modded)
  • Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi (green Russian version)
  • Boss BD-2 Blues Driver (potentially modded?)
  • Devi Ever Legend of Fuzz
  • Crowther Audio Prunes and Custard

Bottom left to right:

  • Ernie Ball Volume Pedal (not sure of specific model)
  • Ernie Ball Volume Pedal (not sure of specific model)
  • Electro Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator
  • Eventide Time Factor
  • Boss LS-2 Line Selector
  • Unknown
  • Dunlop Crybaby Wah

4 Responses to “Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails) guitar rig”

  1. prod says:

    the unknown pedal this is purly an educated guess but since there isnt one mentioned and with big guitars and meaty distortion wont it be a noise filter?

  2. hatt says:

    it is boss cs-2,not bd-2.

  3. Jason says:

    You left out the pedal between the BD-2 and Prunes and Custard. It’s a Devi Ever Legend of Fuzz.

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