Kurt Cobain’s Crest 4801 Power Amp

Kurt used this amp from around January 1992 (as confirmed in the comments, it was first used on January 24) for the majority of Nirvana’s live performances. The amp was used together with a Mesa/Boogie Studio .22 Preamp – both of which were mounted on a rack shelf often seen sitting behind Kurt on stage.

Kurt Cobain's Amp setup during Reading Festival gig.
Crest 4801 Power Amp seen used during the Reading Festival.

Prior to January 1992, Kurt used a Crown Power Base 2 power amp instead of this amp.


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Daniel Leeds
Daniel Leeds
1 year ago

Kurt also used at least 2 Hiwatt 70s 4x12s live and on In Utero

Daniel Leeds
Daniel Leeds
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Leeds

More photos

Daniel Leeds
Daniel Leeds
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Leeds

Last photo I could find

3 years ago

The Reason the Crown Power Base 2 Power Amp was replaced was because The output on the Boogie Studio preamp was so hot, the Crown power amp would blow up a lot and have to be repaired. Which was a particular source of frustration for “Nevermind” tour tech, Nick Close. The Crown was replaced with:
Two Crest 4801 power amps.

But before the Crest Audio 4801 Power Amps were used on January 11, 1992 SNL Kurt used his Mesa Boogie Studio Pre-Amp with a Carver PM-1200 Power Amp which are made in the Northwest and are quite unique, Earnie says, but when Nirvana started their Pacific Rim Tour of Australia/Japan on January 24, 1992 Kurt is seen using the Crest 4801 Power Amps.

And the Carver PM-1200 Power Amp was given to Krist as it was seen inside his Rack during the Pacific Rim Tour..

The Crown Power Base 2 Power Amp did make a return for one show (as a back up I suppose) on January 16, 1993 Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo (Hollywood Rock Festival), São Paulo, Brazil.

You can see on Kurts Rack he has the Mesa Boogie Studio Preamp, Crest Audio 4801 Power-Amp, and at the bottom was the Crown Power Base 2 Power Amp.

4 years ago

Last time Crown Power Amp 2 used:
01/11/92 – NBC Studios (Saturday Night Live), New York, NY
comment image

Next show:

01/24/92 – Phoenician Club, Sydney, Australia
First time Crest 4801 used

Kurt used it since the Australian Tour at the beginning of 1992 – Appearing of Earnie Bailey