Kurt Cobain’s Crown Power Base 2 Amplifier

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This was Kurt’s main guitar amp prior to Nevermind studio sessions and during the album tour. For most of the tour, the amp was seen sitting in a rackmount case, underneath a Mesa Boogie Studio .22 Preamp. This same exact setup was allegedly used during the studio sessions, plus some other amps provided by Butch Vig.

Kurt had a Mesa/Boogie, but we also used a Fender Bassman a lot and a Vox AC30 on Nevermind.

The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide

On Tour

Crown Power Base 2 was used from around late 1990, to around January 1991. At that point, and for a brief period of time, Kurt’s rackmount case held the Mesa Boogie Studio .22 Preamp, a Carver PM-1200 dual-channel Magnetic Field power amplifier, and one more unit that is unknown at this time. If you happen to recognize it (see photo below, it’s the unit at the very bottom), make sure to leave a comment.

Kurt’s amp setup during the Saturday Night Live gig, January 1992.

By the start of the Oceanic tour in late January 1992, Kurt began using two Crest 4801 power amps. Most source online seem to indicate that the Crest directly replaced the old Crown, but based on photos, there seemed to have been a brief period of time in January when he used neither of those two.

For photos of the amp, see Crown Power Base 2 Pinterest board.


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9 months ago

underneath the mesa boogie pre-amp he has a Carver PM-1200 power amp… not sure what’s underneath the carver.