Kurt Cobain’s Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp

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This was Kurt main pre-amp, used for live performances ever since May 2, 1990. According to several sources, Kurt trashed his Sunn amps the day earlier, on May 1st at the Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC, and bought the Mesa Boogie on May 2nd before playing at Milestone in Charlotte.

I was at this show and bought one of Kurt’s Beta Leads.

Nirvana – 5/1/90 – Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC – comments, S.Williams

Nirvana plays two shows in North Carolina: May 1 is in Chapel Hill an May 2 is at Milestone in Charlotte, where Kurt buys a new guitar amp. […] His guitar amp crapped out and we had enough money to go to a music store and buy him another Mesa Boogie, a fairly nice setup…that he used the whole rest of the time.

Craig Montgomery – Nirvana: The Day by Day Eyewitness Chronicle, Thunder’s Mouth Press 2000, p. 57 by Carrie Borzillo
Kurt Cobain’s amp setup during Live at Paramount gig. Photo source: YouTube Screencap

From that point on, the Mesa Boogie was used for the entirety of Nevermind and In Utero tours. During most of the Nevermind tour, the preamp was paired with a Crown Power Base 2 power amp. This setup was used until around January 1992, when Kurt kept the Mesa Boogie but switched to a duo of Crest 4801 power amps.

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Sebastian
Sebastian
1 year ago

05/01/90 – Nirvana @ Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC
“The band trashed an amplifier during their set.” http://www.nirvanaguide.com/1990.php

“I was at this show and bought one of Kurt´s Beta Leads.” – S Williams, youtube, 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRuQ8UHQcHM

“Nirvana plays two shows in North Carolina: May 1 is in Chapel Hill an May 2 is at Milestone in Charlotte, where Kurt buys a new guitar amp.”

“…His guitar amp crapped out and we had enough money to go to a music store and buy him another Mesa Boogie, a fairly nice setup…that he used the whole rest of the time.” – Craig Montgomery
Nirvana: The Day by Day Eyewitness Chronicle, Thunder’s Mouth Press 2000, p. 57 by Carrie Borzillo

Coiso
Coiso
9 months ago

Kurt had a 112 combo of the same boogie 22 seen in beehive records store gig.

Leandro
Leandro
7 months ago

For a lot of time there were speculations regarding a Mesa Boogie Studio .22 combo amp that Kurt allegedly used for recording Nevermind…here you have a video where the amp is clearly visible behind him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BOS2mC5Amw

anon
anon
1 month ago

Just for clarification, there’s no .22 in the product name. Just Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp. The Studio .22 was a complete amp running EL84 power tubes. Same series, different product.