Kurt Cobain’s Dean Markley 2504 (Light Top/Heavy Bottom) Guitar Strings
Kurt most likely used Dean Markley 2504 (10-52) strings for the most part throughout his career. He did use a different set at one point, a Dean Markley 2502 which is the lighter, 9-42 set. But, this was likely either very early on, or it was just something he was experimenting with.
On the subject of strings – there has been a rumor regarding the strings that he used that originated from an interview from the Musician magazine, in 1992. In the said interview Kurt mentioned that he’s using actual piano strings for low E and A.
I use piano wire for guitar strings, ’cause it’s a lot thicker. I buy it in bulk, in these big long tubes, and just cut it to the length of the guitar. They’re thicker than the thickest guitar gauge that’s available. I don’t know what the thickness of ’em is anymore – I can’t remember. I use a really thick E string, and then a smaller size A. A few of the others are guitar strings – I think I use Dean Markley because they’re the cheapest.The Year’s Hottest New Band Can’t Stand Still, Musician, January 1992
But, this was most likely just a joke that over the years developed into a legend. Piano strings would be impossible to fit on most of the guitars that Kurt was using at the time, and if he indeed wanted thicker strings, there were easier ways to achieve that.
One of them would, of course, be to just use a heavier set – which is most likely what he did. Based on the photos, and a statement from Ernie Bailey, Kurt actually used Dean Markley LTHB set (.010, .013, .017, .030, .042, .052).
For strings, he used .010-.052 Dean Markley’s (the red pack).Ernie Bailey = KURT COBAIN/NIRVANA EQUIPMENT TUTORIAL VERSION 1.0 12/24/96, WRITTEN BY CHRIS LAWRENCE
In case you’re looking to buy the same set, unfortunately, it’s no longer being made (more about this in the comments). If you want something similar from Dean Markley, their Blue Steel heavy set (10-52) should do a pretty good job (same principle as the original – Light Top/Heavy Bottom)
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