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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Rory
Rory
1 year ago

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

p.o.'d
p.o.'d
1 year ago

Wotta jerk.

Bleach Stain
Bleach Stain
11 months ago

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

Bleach Stain
Bleach Stain
11 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

also, the first photo was in 2 th of may

Mexican Seafood
Mexican Seafood
5 months 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/