If you are looking to produce impactful and satisfying sounds with your electric guitar, you need to have a good guitar cabinet. While all cabinets are capable of amplifying and enhancing the sound of your instrument, not all of them can do so without detrimentally distorting and botching the sound.
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For that reason, it is very important to take your time and choose the right cabinet.
With that in mind, this buyer’s guide will go over five of the best guitar cabinets on the market. As if this wasn’t enough, it will provide useful information about this type of device. With any luck, this information will help you make the perfect choice for your particular needs.
1. Fender Super Champ SC112 80-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Amp Cabinet – Best 1×12 Guitar Cabinet
- Watts: 80
- Impedance: 8 Ohm
- Warranty: No.
What’s Included: Guitar cabinet, one 12-inch Celestion G12P-80 speaker.
Because it’s compact and lightweight, the power of the Fender Super Champ SC112 80-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Amp Cabinet can be startling. Functioning with up to 80 watts of power, this guitar cabinet is capable of producing rich, full sounds with or without distortion. Its classic Fender design with closed-back ensures a fantastic resonance even at high volume and full gain.
Tough and Rugged
Full Tonal Color
The Fender Super Champ SC112 80-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Amp Cabinet boasts great tonal color even when the sound is heavily distorted. Even though it reduces the maximum volume that the cabinet is capable of reaching, its closed-back helps increase the response of bass and other low tones. In fact, the low ends are remarkably tight, making this a great choice for playing rhythmic guitar with lots of bass.
Because it’s expertly constructed using high-quality wood, the Fender Super Champ SC112 is very balanced and stable. It does not vibrate in ways that could affect the frequency or the quality of the sound. This translates itself to a fantastic level of sustain at all times, making this cabinet a great choice for studio recording. What is more, its tones are smooth and vibrant.
2. Orange Amplifiers PPC Series PPC108 1×8 20W Closed-Back Guitar Speaker Cabinet – Best Miniature Guitar Cabinet
- Watts: 20.
- Impedance: 8 Ohm
- Warranty: No.
What’s Included: Miniature guitar cabinet, 8-inch Voice Of The World speaker.
Featuring the unique look of all Orange devices, the is a sight to behold. It’s remarkably tiny, making it a great choice for those who are concerned with portability. Despite its tiny size, however, this guitar cabinet is capable of producing rich, powerful tones.
The Perfect Companion
Small But Competent
Despite its miniature size, the Orange Amplifiers PPC Series PPC108 is capable of delivering up to 20 watts of power at 8 Ohm. With the right amp pairing, this amount of power can produce resounding, vibrating tones either cleanly or distortedly. More than that, it can produce crunchy tones with rich low ends that don’t break up or fizzle out even at high volumes.
Stylish and Functional
The Orange Amplifiers PPC Series PPC108 features an orange vinyl weave covering that makes it very lightweight. However, this material is resistant and protective, making the PPC108 a good option for touring musicians that make the most out of their gear. Apart from being sleek and eye-catching, the cabinet’s design is functional, allowing you to stack several devices at the same time.
3. Seismic Audio 2×12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet – Best Empty 2×12 Guitar Cabinet
- Watts: n/a (speakerless)
- Impedance: n/a (speakerless)
- Warranty: One year.
What’s Included: Empty guitar cabinet.
Those who are looking for a versatile guitar cabinet that can be paired with a variety of amps would be remiss not to check out the . This piece of gear does not include a speaker. Instead, it’s designed to be loaded with different types of speakers. This makes it highly useful as it allows guitarists to choose the right speaker for their particular playing style and desired sound.
The box of the Seismic Audio 2×12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet is made of birch wood of the highest quality. Meanwhile, its removable grill is made of pure vinyl. Despite being very lightweight, this combination of materials results in great sound balance and fantastic stability overall. More than that, it gives the cabinet a surprising level of resistance to impact.
To withstand the demands of intensive touring, the Seismic Audio 2×12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet features hardware of the highest quality. Its metal flush corners ensure cohesion and stability at all times. What is more, they maintain the joints in place, preventing the cabinet from falling apart. The device also features a high-quality strap handle for easy carrying.
4. Marshall 1960 300W 4×12 Guitar Extension Cabinet 1960A – Best Classic Guitar Cabinet
- Watts: 300
- Impedance: 4 or 16 Ohm.
- Warranty: No.
What’s Included: Guitar cabinet, Celestion vintage speakers.
Made in the United Kingdom using birch wood of the highest quality, the Marshall 1960 300W 4×12 Guitar Extension Cabinet 1960A is both powerful and reliable. Capable of producing up to 300 watts of power, the device can generate well-rounded, loud sounds with excellent tonal balance. The quality of the sound it produces is incredibly clean and crisp, making it an excellent option for players who don’t like the idea of mudding up their effects.
Marshall is widely recognized as one of the top manufacturers of guitar amps and cabinets in the world. It comes as no surprise, then, that this Marshall product boasts an incredibly solid construction. The body of the device is made of high-quality birch wood that is resistant to vibration and impact. Also, of a high level of quality, the hardware that is used to keep everything together is practically indestructible. Considering all this, it can be confidently said that the Marshall 1960 300W 4×12 Guitar Extension Cabinet 1960A was built to last.
Mono or Stereo
One of the unique features that the Marshall 1960 300W 4×12 Guitar Extension Cabinet 1960A has to offer is its impedance mono/stereo switching mechanism. Allowing the user to choose between 4 and 16 Ohm results in a higher level of versatility and dynamism while playing. At the same time, being able to choose between mono and stereo outputs can be greatly beneficial during recording sessions and live playing alike.
5. Blackstar HT5R MKII 5-Watt 1×12 Inches Tube Combo Amp – Best Budget Guitar Cabinet
- Watts: 15.
- Impedance: 5 Ohm.
- Warranty: No.
What’s Included: Guitar cabinet, power reduction circuit, two voice switches.
If you are the type of guitar player that believes tube amps are superior, take a look at this one. Compact and unassuming, the Blackstar HT5R MKII 5-Watt 1×12 Inches Tube Combo Amp may not look like much. However, its high-quality design and construction enable it to produce bewildering levels of loudness. Even more than that, this cabinet has sound-sculpting and effect-creating features that make it stand out among other products of the same kind.
A Blaring Sound
Sculpting the Sound
The Blackstar HT5R MKII includes separate bass, middle and treble knobs that help sculpt the sound to your liking. More than that, the guitar cabinet includes an effects loop that can help make your sound more unique. The built-in reverb is smooth and echoey, allowing for soft and gradual transitions between bars. As if that wasn’t enough, this product also has two voice switches that help change the quality of the sound mid-performance.
The Best Guitar Cabinet – Buyer’s Guide
Before deciding on a specific guitar cabinet model, it’s advisable that you learn the basics of guitar cabinets in general. This buyer’s guide will help you with that. Take into account the following concepts:
Important Aspects of a Guitar Cabinet
No matter what type of guitar cabinet you are interested in buying, there are certain essential aspects that you can’t overlook. They are as follows:
Size and Construction
Unlike bass cabinets, guitar cabinets are not too dependant on their size. In fact, even a small cabinet can produce enough volume as long as it has an open back. However, a guitar cabinet’s size does have an impact on the overall sound that it produces. In general, you should look for a cabinet that’s small enough to be portable and big enough to fit appropriately-sized speakers.
Most modern electronic devices are made of advanced materials like plastic. When it comes to guitar cabinets, however, nothing beats the sound of high-quality wood. Typically, the wood that is used to manufacture high-end guitar cabinets is pine. However, there are great guitar cabinets that are made of plywood. The thickness of the wood is important: Make sure that the cabinet’s walls are at least 15 millimeters thick. This is the minimum thickness that will provide enough rigidity and support.
When you buy a guitar cabinet, the last thing you expect is that it falls apart after some use. To prevent that from happening, make sure that the joints of the device are tight and secure. Cabinets that are only glued together should be suspect. The best type of joint is a combination of glue and screws.
If you get a speakerless cabinet, make sure that you will be able to fit the speaker you want inside of it. Of course, the amount of space inside the cab is the main concern. However, you should also check out the mounting hardware inside of the cabinet, making sure that it’s high and quality and compatible. Look for stainless steel mounting bolts and T-nuts.
Even though they don’t affect the sound of the cabinet, hardware elements like corner guards and handles are essential and should be examined before making a purchase. If they are of low quality, these elements can easily break or fall off, potentially causing irreparable damage to other aspects of the guitar cabinet.
How to Choose the Right Guitar Cabinet
To select the perfect guitar cabinet for your particular needs, it’s crucial that you take some aspects into account. They are the following:
Tube vs. Solid-State vs. Digital
One of the first things you will have to decide is whether you want a machine, solid-state, or digital amp. Without a doubt, tube amps offer the most in terms of quality and overall sound. However, they require a lot of maintenance and are very susceptible to damage.
Meanwhile, solid-state amps offer a decent level of sound quality without requiring as much maintenance. If you are looking for the utmost convenience, however, consider getting a digital amp. These modern amps are capable of producing a very pleasant tone and barely need any maintenance at all.
As previously mentioned, the size of a guitar cabinet is not as crucial as it would be for a bass cabinet. However, there are certain aspects you need to take into account. If you need the amp only for practice or home recording, a small cabinet of 10 or 20 watts can do the trick with no problem. However, if you are looking to play live, it’s vital to get a device of at least 30 watts.
Usually, distortion in a guitar amp is produced by three factors: the power amp, the preamp, and the speakers. It’s easy to overlook the distortion of a guitar cabinet when you are trying it out. That is not advisable, however, as distortion is often needed to produce a fuller low-end sound. This is particularly true when playing live. What is more, a natural amp distortion produces a very satisfying kind of texture that enrichens and livens the overall sound of the guitar.
Controls like preamp and gain allow the player to dial in impressive distortions even at very low volumes. However, an excessive preamp distortion can overtly compress the frequency of the sound, resulting in an unpleasant and distracting buzz. To make sure your guitar cabinet does not do this, make sure to try it out at high volumes while gradually increasing the gain control until you reach the desired levels of distortion without hearing a buzz.
When you play heavier styles of music, crunch is very important. This type of distortion is created when you overdrive the speakers of the cabinet. However, low-wattage speakers tend to produce a broken sound rather than a crunch when dialed up to the highest volume settings. When you try out a cabinet, make sure to look for a tonally-rich sound that does not break up at higher volume levels.
Going back to the cabinet’s size, it’s important to take into account that smaller devices tend to have a tighter sound but less bottom end. As a result, their sound is often brighter and clearer, even at low volumes. However, the lack of bottom end may affect the overall roundness and richness of the sound. This can make itself very apparent during live playing.
Guitar players who enjoy using a variety of sounds in a single session can benefit greatly from having a cabinet with differentiated channels. This feature allows them to switch from a clean tone to a distorted one almost immediately. If you like the sound of this, consider looking for a cabinet that includes three or more channels and separate EQ controls for each channel.
Some guitar cabinets include control knobs that help regulate things like the general volume, gain, preamp distortion, and more. Make sure these knobs are strategically placed where you can reach them with ease.
Without a doubt, each of the products featured in this guide is worth looking into. Expertly constructed with materials of the highest quality, these devices can help amplify and enhance the sound of your guitar playing without losing quality, resulting in a full, rich, and powerful sound. At this point, it’s up to you to choose the perfect guitar cabinet for your particular playing style and preferences. Hopefully, the information conveyed in this guide will help you do so.de will help you do so.