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Top 10 Best Guitar Speaker Cabinets 2019 Reviews

When we discuss the tone of an electric guitar, there’s an important aspect we cannot miss out. This aspect is the interaction between the guitar speaker and the speaker cabinet that houses it. Choosing the right guitar speaker cabinet is vital to the tonal quality of your guitar.

It’s crazy out there in the market and if the guitarist isn’t careful, they could end up paying a premium for trash. As such, you must have a basic understanding of guitar speaker cabinets to make the right choice.

Material, size, whether or not a cabinet has a closed or open back, all these affect the performance of a guitar speaker cabinet. But not to worry, this article will show you all you need to know about making the right choice based on these factors.

So, without further ado, we launch into the reviews of our top ten favorite guitar speaker cabinets right now. Come with us!

guita speaker cabinet

Top 10 Best Guitar Speaker Cabinets To Buy In 2019 Reviews

NameSizePowerImpedanceDesignDimensionsWeight
Size
2 x 12
Power
150 + 150 (300W)
Impedance
8 Ohms/16 Ohms
Design
Closed back
Dimensions
33 x 17.3 x 24.9 inches
Weight
1.96 pounds
Size
1 x 12
Power
80 Watts
Impedance
8 Ohms
Design
Closed back
Dimensions
26 x 12.5 x 22 inches
Weight
43.02 pounds
Size
2 x 12
Power
120 Watts
Impedance
16 Ohms
Design
Closed back
Dimensions
15.75 x 21.65 x 31.5 inches
Weight
61.75 pounds
Size
2 x 12
Power
120 Watts
Impedance
16 Ohms
Design
Closed back
Dimensions
29.5 x 17.7 x 11.2 inches
Weight
43 pounds
Size
2 x 12
Power
Not specified
Impedance
8 Ohms
Design
Open back
Dimensions
9.25 x 26.97 x 18.43 inches
Weight
33.1 pounds
Size
2 x 12
Power
50 Watts
Impedance
8 Ohms
Design
Not specified
Dimensions
36 x 18 x 20 inches
Weight
60 pounds
Size
1 x 12
Power
60 Watts
Impedance
16 Ohms
Design
Closed back
Dimensions
12 x 22 x 14 inches
Weight
40 pounds
Size
1 x 12
Power
Not specified
Impedance
16 Ohms
Design
Convertible Open/Closed back
Dimensions
12 x 12 x 12 inches
Weight
37.7 pounds
Size
2 x 12
Power
160 Watts
Impedance
16 Ohms
Design
Closed back
Dimensions
10.83 x 27.17 x 20.87 inches
Weight
46.61 pounds
Size
1 x 12
Power
80 Watts
Impedance
Not specified
Design
Closed back
Dimensions
26 x 18 x 20 inches
Weight
35 pounds

1 Yamaha THRC212 Cabinet

We all know Yamaha. The brand is one of the largest producers of musical instruments in the world currently. And for years, loads of musicians and sound engineers have depended on Yamaha for quality musical instruments.

Its Yamaha THRC212 is one of such quality instruments, and we’re excited to be reviewing it. Check it out.

The THRC212 is a truly outstanding speaker in all ramifications including looks. Although you might not notice it at once, this speaker actually sports a smooth black exterior in leather. This superior finish puts this speaker in the world-class category. It looks and feels like a speaker in the executive class.

In fact, this speaker is so compact, it almost looks like it is a briefcase. “Almost” we said, we all know briefcases are never that large. Anyway, this cabinet comes compact with a carrying handle at the top which makes it a little easier to move around if need be.

In size, this is a 2 x 12 cabinet. So, it takes two speakers. Thanks to the switchable input system, you should be able to switch easily between stereo and mono modes. So, yeah, this is quite easy to use.

It’s a closed back cabinet which means that it projects quite loudly. It gives a soundstage that’s unbelievably balanced and full too. Plus, the bass comes really deep. All these are actually as a result of the asymmetrical speaker setup Yamaha employed here.

Yamaha calls it “mismatched”. That is, there are two different speakers in this cabinet – one Eminence Legend 1218, and a Tonker 12 inch speaker.

Total RMS output power is 300Watts which gives this sufficient power. Bass is great, the trebles are balanced and in total, we love this cabinet!


Yamaha THRC212 Cabinet

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros
  • Sound is super balanced.
  • Powerful bass, sufficient treble, and warmth in the lower midranges.
  • Can switch between stereo and mono modes.
Cons
  • Soundstage is a little bit lacking.

2 Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 Enclosure

After their guitars, Fender are also well known for their amps. These guys are good. Its Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 Enclosure has enjoyed positive reviews across several platforms. Today, we check out all the reasons this cab rocks.

This beautiful enclosure as Fender calls it features a 12 inch Celestion G12P-80 speaker. This speaker is a powerful and highly versatile unit that works excellently with all kinds of combo amps.

Especially with the Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Deluxe combo amps, this enclosure works really neatly. It gives that added thump and bass response which makes your sound come out powerfully. Also, with its loud volume and stage coverage, this cab is definitely going to leave you impressed.

We love the simple and sleek outlook of this speaker. The design here is clean and well thought out. Plus, it’s also pretty compact, even more compact than our first cab on review, even though both are 2 x 12 cabinets. Moving this should be somewhat easier.

The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 Enclosure is definitely going to witness many years of use as many customers have testified. Its audio quality is also quite impressive and the cabinet is quite easy to use.

The versatility, compactness, and great audio this cab delivers drew us to this cabinet. We totally recommend.


Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 Enclosure

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros
  • Quite durable.
  • Easy to use.
  • A versatile cab.
  • Audio quality is quite good.
  • Compact size.
Cons
  • Features only limited functions.

3 Orange PPC212 Cabinet

The Orange PPC212 Cabinet is every bit as it name sounds. But besides being a looker, this is a speaker that works.

It boasts 120 Watts per speaker which means that even more the most bass-intensive metal music, this cabinet would serve. There’s room enough for speakers to thrive even if the external tube goes on full overdrive.

Another reason we love this cabinet is its intense capability. This cab features copper windings of premium quality. Plus the voice coils are extra wide and let’s not forget the neodymium magnets too.

As a result, this cab gives a snappier cone response and a much wider soundstage. In fact, if we’re being totally honest, this cabinet gives a much wider soundstage than most 2 x 12’s we’ve seen.

Made from high quality MDF, this cabinet also comes wrapped in premium grade leather. This enhances the looks and feel of this cabinet. Plus, with the leather carrying handle, it’s a bit easier to move this unit.

From the looks of this cabinet, this is a somewhat large unit, especially for a 2×12. Nonetheless, it’s beautiful and highly functional in its performance.


Orange PPC212 Cabinet

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros
  • 120 Watts RMS handling for each speaker.
  • Comes with dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Low ends are powerful and beefy.
  • Pretty wide soundstage.
Cons
  • Speaker could have been a little more compact.

4 Hughes and Kettner TubeMeister Extension Cabinet

Another high quality cabinet we found during our research is the Hughes and Kettner TubeMeister Extension Cabinet. It comes in the mid-range price category, and we think it’s a speaker cabinet worth considering.

The Hughes and Kettner TubeMeister Extension Cabinet comes with two 12 inch vintage Celestion Vintage 30 speakers. So, the sound from this cabinet is quite impressive. More specifically, we were particularly impressed by its balance. We found the bass to be strong and the mids were quite dark too.

If your preferred style is metal or rock, you’ll find that there are only few other 2 x 12 speaker cabinets that can deliver like the Hughes and Kettner TubeMeister. The price/performance balance is awesome which is why this delivers incredible value.

Hughes and Kettner calls this the TubeMeister because of the circuitry in the box that’s completely tube. As a result of this tube circuitry, you find that this cabinet gives a more natural, and much warmer sound. You won’t detect any trace of artificial enhancement or coloration at all from this speaker.

Lastly, we love how compact this speaker comes in. It doesn’t take up much space and is a little easy to move around.

Pretty neat product!


Hughes and Kettner TubeMeister Extension Cabinet

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros
  • Features dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Quite compact.
  • Natural and warm sound without any hint of coloration.
Cons
  • Sound tends to come out a little too bright especially near the highest frequency.

5 Laney Amps CUB All Tube Series CUB-CAB Guitar Amplifier Cabinet

With the Laney Amps CUB All Tube Series, we introduce our first open back cabinet on review. This is a really versatile unit that’s also quite compact as well. The cabinet is usable in both portrait and landscape mode. So, you no longer have to worry about space constraints.

This cabinet comes with dual Celestion HH 12 inch speakers come with plenty of growl especially when you pair them with a good amp. As you know, Celestion speakers are high quality speakers and will definitely deliver.

However, we did hear that some customers ended up getting Laney speakers instead of the Celestion speakers as advertised. This makes us a little wary as the Laney speakers included were inferior quality. You might want to make sure of the speakers in this once the package arrives just to be sure.

But away from that and back to the performance of this cabinet… We found the mids to be pretty warm and the lows are also quite dark as well. The volume is also quite solid. Both at low and high levels, the sound still remains quite clean.

The Laney Amps CUB All Tube Series comes in an open back design. So, your guitar sound is sure to come out more natural and organic. Plus, you can count on this cabinet to help you produce sound with a lot of presence.


Laney Amps CUB All Tube Series CUB-CAB Guitar Amplifier Cabinet

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros
  • Comes with dual carrying handles on the top for convenient transport.
  • Also features powerful Celestion 12 inch HH drivers.
  • Compact and somewhat lightweight.
Cons
  • Some cabinets come with Laney speakers rather than Celestion speakers.

6 EVH 5150III 2x 12 Inch Cabinet

The EVH 5150III is another quality product from the elite Fender brand. Following its launch into the market, loads of musicians were psyched about the product. Today, we find out what all that noise was about.

In the first place, this cabinet looks good in its ivory finish. So, carbon finish lovers, this isn’t your gig. Also, at 35 pounds, this weighs significantly less than some cabinets we’ve seen on our reviews so far. It’s also rather compact from its dimensions. However, there’s a lot inside that compact housing.

It delivers 50 Watts of output power. And with 9 valves and a V8 engine, you can see that this cabinet is quite a beast.

Fender made sure to use quality tubes only as well. The JJ Tesla tubes it uses here will ensure that your sound comes out warm with a smooth saturation. Plus, JJ Tesla tubes are well known for their durability as well.

There are enough functions on this cabinet. So, you can do a lot with this. There’s the full EQ section, ¼ inch jack input, 1 ad 2 channels selector, MIDI connector, impedance selector, resonance control and lots more.

In all, this cabinet lets your sound shine by giving it warmth and depth which, in turn, enhances your tone.


EVH 5150III 2x 12 Inch Cabinet

Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros
  • With the crunch channel, this cabinet delivers excellent sound and tone easily.
  • Sufficient gain to support really heavy tones.
  • Projects really loudly.
Cons
  • Sometimes, the clean tones might come out weak.

7 VHT Special 6 1×12 Speaker Cabinet

We have our first birch ply speaker cabinet on review which is the VHT Special 6 1×12 Speaker Cabinet. Immediately you touch this, you can feel the solidness of the cabinet. This already gives this cabinet some advantage as birch’s acoustic properties are better.

Also on construction, we found that the makers finger joined the corners. Plus, the handle comes attached to a recessed part on the top panel of the cabinet. So, when you’ve moved this into position, you just push the handle to fit flush with the top panel. This is actually quite cool.

The VHT Special 6 comes with the Chromeback 1260 speaker which is really good especially for those into rock and metal. If you’re more of a vintage lover though, you might not really enjoy the texture of this speaker.

Now, being closed back speaker cabinet, this model will definitely accentuate your bass and projection. It’s definitely not the best model in the market. Also, you can expect that this lower end model might not come with the best speaker parts.

But at a sub-$200 price tag, we’ve got to say this guy is doing pretty well.


VHT Special 6 1x12 Speaker Cabinet

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros
  • Made from birch plywood.
  • Solid and clean construction.
  • Comes with a recessing handle which is a nice touch.
  • Decently priced.
Cons
  • Speaker is not the best quality.

8 Peavey 112C Guitar Speaker Cabinet

Next, check out this awesome speaker cabinet from peavey. The Peavey 112C Guitar Speaker Cabinet is a pretty sweet cabinet. It’s compact, measuring at 12 x 12 x 12 inches, making it our most compact speaker cabinet so far.

The major reason we love this speaker cabinet is because it gives us the best of both worlds. Yep. This is a genuine convertible speaker cabinet. You can decide to go for the more natural and organic feel of an open back design. Or you can decide to go for the louder and punchier projection of a closed back design. The choice is really yours.

Thankfully, the cabinet boasts a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker. This is one of the best speakers in the business. So, rest assured, your tone and sound quality are safe here. They will definitely come out great.

To give this a beautiful appearance, this comes with a white piping with a black grill and black tolex. And then the metal corners and rubber feet also enhance the beauty even more. Plus, a plywood construction also makes this cabinet quite high quality.

Altogether, the Peavey 112C is a great quality speaker that delivers a beautiful tone and awesome value at a sub-$300 price tag.


Peavey 112C Guitar Speaker Cabinet

Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros
  • Great audio quality.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Convertible open and closed back design.
Cons
  • A customer complained about this being more of a tweed pattern than actual tweed fabric.

9 Bugera 212TS Guitar Amplifier Cabinet

The Bugera 212TS is a high quality speaker cabinet which also features two powerful 12-inch Turbo Sound speaker drivers. In case you didn’t know, TurboSound is an excellent sound engineering company based in Britain. And they make fantastic speakers.

Now, each of speakers comes with an RMS output of 160 Watts. So, you can see this cabinet packs a lot of power. Plus, it’s also quite versatile too thanks to the mono (4/16 ohm) or stereo (2 x 8 ohm) modes. You can decide on whichever mode works best for you.

Furthermore, we particularly like the construction of this cabinet. It is wooden which gives the best performance in terms of resonation. But despite the two speakers and wooden construction, this is still pretty light.

The Bugera 212TS boasts a low-vibration build as well as ultra-low resistance. And in addition to these great qualities, it also does not skimp on the other tiny details that make the difference.

For instance, this comes with raise-feet which ensures that your speakers remain in a raised position. The corners are also protected. Plus, there’s a handle for carrying this on the top. All in all, this is great speaker.


Bugera 212TS Guitar Amplifier Cabinet

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros
  • Produced from a low-vibration wooden soundboard.
  • Lightweight.
  • Features two high quality 160Watt TurboSound speakers.
  • Ohm setup is versatile enough for your unique needs per time.
Cons
  • TurboSound speakers are great but not as good as the Celestion Vintage 30.

10 Laney Amps IRT112 Guitar Amplifier Cabinet

The Laney Amps Guitar Amplifier Cabinet is our last speaker cabinet on review. We’ve seen a speaker cabinet from the same brand before and we were quite impressed by it. This time around, we check out its 1×12 speaker cabinet and we have high expectations.

This comes with a solid construction. All indications tell us that this is a cabinet that will last prolonged years of use. Plus, it also looks good and clean in its design and layout. This time around, this speaker cabinet comes with two grab handles which are featured by the sides rather than the top.

For the money, we found this to be an excellent speaker. The speaker quality is also quite decent which in turns impacts on sound and tone. Sound is quite balanced and the tone is also really nice. Being close backed, of course, you can expect that projection would be quite full and loud too.

Now, we did find that the speaker here is great although it’s not to everybody’s individual taste. It seems to be better suited for rock and metal. So, if that’s your gig, you’d love the Laney Amps IRT112. Others who prefer vintage might want to change this out. But besides that, the speaker is really nice.

Altogether, great build, beautiful tolex, great speaker, great sound and tone. This is an excellent buy!


Laney Amps IRT112 Guitar Amplifier Cabinet

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros
  • Solid construction.
  • Features ergonomic side handles.
  • Tonal quality and sound quality are great.
Cons
  • Parts are made in China.
  • Speaker is better suited to rock and metal, so some folks might not fancy it much.

Best Guitar Speaker Cabinets Buying Guide

Check out the following consideration factors that could help you pick the best guitar speaker cabinet.

Material

Most times, the guitar speaker cabinets you’d find would be made from solid softwoods. A good example is pine which is also the most popular. Cedar is also another good example, although you only find it on occasion.

Nonetheless, being more rigid, the birch plywood gives a punchier response, sharper clarity and great projection. In fact the real elite speakers come in Baltic birch ply. This material is fantastic for the modern sound it gives.

guitar speaker cabinet reviews

But that’s not to say that the pine is a totally bad idea. It’s actually quite good. Pine cabinets tend to give a more vintage, harmonious output with a woody, reedy resonance. Well, this is as long as the manufacturers know what they’re doing.

Besides pine and ply though, there are other engineered materials that speaker cabinets could come in. for instance, there’s MDF, some inferior plywood types, and chipboard.

Open Or Closed Back?

It’s not exactly cut and dried what the difference between open back cabinets and closed cabinets is. This is because of the several other factors that lie in between.

Generally though, an open back speaker cabinet will come with a panel covering only about two-thirds or sometimes half of its opening behind. This will allow the escape of some sound, as well as in-cab resonations, from behind the speaker.

For a closed back cabinet, well, the opposite is the case.

Most people see an open back cabinet as more organic than a closed back because it does not compress the voice of the speaker. Open back cabinets also tend to carry a lot of presence which shows in the fullness of high frequencies, and looseness of the lower ends.

guitar speaker cabinet reviews

Open back cabs are great for recording. They are also great for performance, especially if the stage is small and there are no monitors.

For closed back cabs, it’s mostly about projecting your sound forward since there’s no leakage from behind or the sides. It’s great for accentuating the bass and midrange frequencies thanks to the greater amount of punch they tend to pack.

However, since they mostly project forward, it might be a bit difficult to hear them without monitors except you’re directly in front of them. Nonetheless, they are great for engineers when miking up a band. Dealing with the wash from an open back cab when doing this could be somewhat stressful.

Ported Cabinets

These cabinets offer the best of both worlds when it comes to open and closed back speakers. It involves making a sound hole (port) on the front or sides of the cabinet. This helps to project some of the sounds from the back of the speaker to the listener in front.

What the engineer here is trying to achieve is to blend a little of every capacity of your speaker in a careful and calculated method. This enhances your tone better than open back cabs which tend to be more semi-random with their blending.

Ported cabs offer full lows, chunky mids, good warmth, as well as the shine and shimmer of an open back cab.

Size And Number

Size matters a lot when you think of speaker cabinets. Of course, the larger the cab, the fuller you get the lower end registers. However, be careful, because if the cabinet is too big, the sound might move from “full” to “boomy”. So, the lows would drown out the mids and make the cab less effective.

On the other hand, small cabinets might be a little lacking when it comes to the lows which could make it come out a little boxy. So, it could sound like there isn’t enough space in the cabinet for the speaker to breathe.

Most times, manufacturers opt for increasing the depth when making compact speaker cabinets. This helps with the low ends so that smaller cabs can sound fuller.

best guitar speaker cabinet

Furthermore, the number of speakers in your cab impacts greatly on sound. For the purest tone, you should go for a 1×12. This gives you the closest to the original sound the design engineer had in mind when creating the speaker.

4×12 speakers shift tonal balance significantly. And at the lowest frequencies, the 4 speakers perform as one super large speaker. Naturally, 4×12 cabs deliver a much greater output around the midrange and low ends from about 500Hz below.

2×12 speakers fall in between these two sizes in sound level and response. You’ll get the boost below 500Hz. However, it would only be half as much as a 4×12 speaker cabinet would produce, which is to be expected.

Now, keep in mind that multi-speaker coupling affects the “throw” of sound as it exits the cabinet. This is why 4×12 cabs tend to sound bassy when you use them in a small room. However, on a big stage, they come into their own.  1×12 cabs, on the other hand, perform better in a more intimate gig.

Conclusion

Our best speaker cabinet for today goes to the EVH 5150III 2x 12 Inch Cabinet. This speaker cabinet is renowned for its quality construction and excellent performance.

Coming from Fender, a top brand, we were not surprised to find the level of sophistication involved in the manufacturing of this speaker cabinet. Parts are topnotch and performance is superb. We couldn’t ask for more!

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