Kurt Cobain’s Electro-Harmonix Echo Flanger

This pedal was used extensively during the ‘In Utero’ era, including the studio sessions for the album. According to Kurt’s guitar tech Ernie Bailey, depending on the day, Kurt would use either this or a PolyChorus for live performances. [Nirvana: Super Fuzz Big Muff]

An important thing to note here is that the Echo Flanger and (vintage) PolyChorus are actually pretty much identical, as they share the same circuitry. Therefore, whether Kurt used this or the PolyChorus on ‘In Utero’ is a point really not worth debating.

The pedal was also brought to MTV Unplugged rehearsals, but apparently, it created unwanted buzz/hum. You can actually hear Kurt strum his guitar at around 0:34 in the video below with the flanger turned on, and stating – “they hearing some kind of buzz from this.” (thanks Sebastian). This is also confirmed by Kurt guitar tech, Ernie Bailey.

The Echoflanger was also brought to the rehearsal [of MTV Unplugged] but it wasn´t used because they created too much 60-cycle hum.

Ernie Bailey – kurtsequipment.com

Apparently, Kurt owned only one Echo Flanger, and during the rehearsals for ‘In Utero’, the pedal broke. Kurt’s guitar tech, Ernie, managed to fix it, but Kurt was worried for a moment because, without it, he felt the album wouldn’t sound as he wanted it to.

They were practicing the night before and Kurt said that his Echo Flanger was broken. Kurt said, ‘It’s the entire album—it’s got to work!’ He had been using his Echo Flanger to do all of this material, and I think he was worried that it wouldn’t sound the same.

Nirvana’s In Utero by Gillian G. Gaar


GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. In case you notice anything wrong with the information posted on this page, or you have knowledge of something that you would like to share, be sure to leave a comment below.

In case you want to talk to me directly and privately, please use the Contact Form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
fouie lerris
fouie lerris
3 years ago

this pedal broke down a lot so Kurt used a polly chorus or a small clone more. he used the small clone the most. i would recommend the small clone for anyone
from louie

4 years ago

“The Echoflanger was also brought to the rehearsal [of MTV Unplugged] but it wasn´t used because they created too much 60-cycle hum.”
“They hearing some kind of buzz from this.” – Kurt 0:34

4 years ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

Befor this came up on youtube:
The Unplugged rehearsal was my only source to guess if Kurt used the Panasonic MN3007 or Reticon SAD1024a in his Small Clone. The Echoflanger uses two Reticon chips.