Kurt Cobain’s 1980s Aria Pro II CS-350

Kurt started using this guitar around mid-1990 during the latter part of the Bleach club tour, and it was first photographed on May 2nd, 1990, at the Milestone, Charlotte, NC (while the tour ended up on 17th). From then on, Nirvana went on a break until August, by which time Kurt seemed to have obtained a Mosrite guitar, which he used as his main, while the Aria popped in only occasionally, and was eventually destroyed on September 22, 1990, at Motor Sports International Garage, Seattle.

Based on the photos, Kurt’s Aria Pro II featured an ash body with a walnut finish, a maple neck with rosewood fretboard, and two Protomatic V humbuckers. Kurt removed most of the control knobs – leaving only bridge pickup volume control, pickup selector, and one of the two-phase reversal switches.

The guitar, or more precisely – what’s left of it, was seen on a few Nirvana-themed exhibits organized by the EMP Musem (now Museum of Pop Culture). It is unknown how exactly the museum acquired the body.

Smashed-up body of Kurt Cobain's Aria Pro II CS-350 guitar.
The smashed-up body of Kurt’s Aria Pro II CS-350. Photo by: OnceAndFutureLaura/Flickr

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Matt
Matt
4 days ago

He played a CS-250 which had 1 phase switch and 1 coil tap switch, not 2 phase switches. I had the same one back in ’81 well prior to that band. Fan of the Aria guitars, not a fan of his.

metasin
metasin
7 months ago

it was a good show

KCguitMIG.jpg
M8_507
M8_507
11 months ago

Did you know he actually changed the lyrics during love buzz? Instead of the normal verse he said “would you believe me that if tell you, I bought a crappy guitar. I bought it for 100 dollars, and trust me it really sucks.” Being for this guitar.

Mexican Seafood
Mexican Seafood
1 year ago

Pretty sure Kurt had a CS-250.

The 350’s did not feature a Matte finish and Kurt’s Aria looks like a Matte type finish. It doesn’t seem to have a glossy surface like the 350 series.

Here’s a site on Aria guitars that I found to be very informative:

http://www.matsumoku.org/cm_models/2021/03/26/aria-pro-ii-cs-cardinal-series-general-specs/

Bleach Stain
Bleach Stain
2 years ago

You know, he accually hated it.
here are the prouves: https://youtu.be/aCyGHF8BdTo?t=794

Bleach Stain
Bleach Stain
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

also, the first photo was in 2 th of may

Teacher
Teacher
4 days ago
Reply to  Bleach Stain

“2nd”

p.o.'d
p.o.'d
2 years ago

Wotta jerk.

Rory
Rory
2 years ago

It looks like after a bit Kurt swapped the bridge pickup for something else.