Choosing the greatest guitar speaker cabinet is never an easy task, especially if you have to do so online. Guitarists sometimes underestimate the power of a great guitar cabinet in shaping their tone. It’s an important part of the jigsaw puzzle (read: guitar rig) that artists must solve.
There’s a lot going on under the hood of a high-quality extended cab, from airy open-back taxis to thumpy closed-back cabs. A 2×12 cabinet is an excellent alternative for matching your amp head with a speaker cabinet. For starters, it is not as costly or as large as the 4×12 speaker cabinets. Second, compared to the 1×12 cab, it has more projection and power.
EVH 5150III 50-Watt Amplifier with 6L6 212 Power Tube and 2x 12″ Speakers
- All-tube 2x12" Guitar Combo Amplifier with Selectable Impedance
- Footswitch - Ivory
- Power Scaling
The 5150 tube head, first created with Eddie Van Halen in 1992, has long been one of the most famous and respected modern metal amps. Machine Head, Trivium, Arch Enemy, and Bullet for My Valentine are just a few of the metal guitarists who have employed it since then. The 212ST is the official 212 guitar cabinet for this amp, and it’s an absolute beast when it comes to metal, as you’d expect.
It boasts a fantastic blend of mid range punch and clarity, which wonderfully complements the dry, precise tone of modern metal amps like the 5150, thanks to its sturdy construction and Celestion G12 speakers. It’s a terrific choice for touring bands because it includes readily removable wheels for convenient transport and a flat top handle that comfortably fits all full-size heads. It’s constructed to last, making it an excellent choice for touring. While it lacks the warmth and richness of the Orange PPC212, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for more technical metal genres like djent and thrash, which demand sharp, clear sound.
With lots of fury and mid-range punch, as well as exceptional clarity for nuanced riffing, the 5150 III 212ST is the finest choice for current metal. It is meant to resist the rigors of the road and is designed with live use in mind. It is readily transportable thanks to the wheels and is built to survive the rigors of the road.
Orange Amplifiers PPC212-C Speaker Cabinet
- Output: 120W RMS handling, 16ohms
- Speaker: 2x12" Celestion Vintage 30
- Dimensions: 30-3/4"W x 21"H x 15"D
Orange cabinets have become increasingly fashionable over the last decade, and it’s easy to see why. No other cabinet gives as much heaviness and snarl for high-gain tones, despite weighing what feels like a ton when loaded into a venue, which has seen them embraced by a great number of metal bands all around the world. The PPC212-C is a more inexpensive 212 guitar cabinet from Orange, but it still has all of the features that metal players have come to expect from Orange cabs.
This cabinet, made of high-density birch wood, is as weighty to transport as the tones it creates. The thicker cab walls and denser wood provide significantly better sound projection, as well as more weight and body to the tone. They employ Celestion Vintage 30s, which offer a well-balanced sound and good upper frequency articulation, both of which are important for distorted tones.
The “skid” feet pair the cabinet better with the stage floor, not only creating a more resonant sound in smaller venues but also allowing you to feel the sound more onstage. These cabs are widely used in the studio but have some great design features for live use, including the “skid” feet, which pair the cabinet better with the stage floor, not only creating a more resonant sound in smaller venues but also allowing you to feel the sound more onstage. All rock and metal players should definitely consider the Orange PPC212-C, one of the best sounding and most durable 2x12s on the market, and see for themselves why so many guitarists adore them.
Vox V212C Guitar Extension Cabinet 2×12
- The V212C is also a great addition to the AC30 Custom combo when you need more volume and stage presence.
- 2 x 12" Celestion G12M Greenback Speakers; 16 Ohms
- Open back construction; Classic VOX styling
The Vox AC30 is a legendary combination amplifier that has been utilized by everyone from Queen’s Brian May to The Beatles and The Killers. It has the ultimate British rock tone.
The Vox V212C 212 cabinet is designed to work with the AC30 and AC15 heads, and it has a traditional British tone. However, it sounds just as good when connected with different amplifiers, adding mid-range punch to American style clean amps and a lot of warmth and snarl to modern rock and metal amps. It has a lot more warmth and low-mid punch than cabs that employ V30 speakers, making it perfect for all kinds of rock songs as well as giving country and blues tones a little more character. It’s tough enough for live use and has a traditional Vox tweed look. It has a power rating of 50W at 16ohms, but not enough to handle high wattage amps. It is secure for all full-size heads and easy to load in and out of venues because it has two flat handles.
The Vox V212C is one of the best 212 cabinets ever produced, and is a crucial part of the iconic British rock sound. Its high build quality and use of Greenback speakers give it a distinct sound that works well with all types of rock and also adds a great tonal character to clean amps.
Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister Tm212 Guitar Speaker Cabinet Black
- 16-0hm Closed-back Guitar Speaker Cabinet with two Celestion Vintage 30 Speakers
- 2 x 12"
Hughes & Kettner is regarded for producing some of the best-sounding rock amplifiers, and their cabinets are no exception. It boasts a classic and varied voicing thanks to two Celestion Vintage 30s. Vintage 30s, sometimes known as “V30s,” are one of the most popular guitar speakers ever produced, with cabinets belonging to some of the world’s most famous guitarists.
The cabinet’s construction quality is also excellent. The sound of a cabinet is as much dependent on the construction and resonance of the housing as it is on the speakers, and the Hughes & Kettner 212 sounds great. It’s fantastic as a rock and metal cab, with plenty of heaviness and power. It produces amazing, glassy tones when paired with a Fender Bassman or equivalent amp, making it a very adaptable cab across many genres.
With a 16 ohm impedence and the ability to handle 120W of power, it can be used with most tube heads and current amplifiers. It only weighs 43 pounds and has a flat top handle that allows full-size heads to fit safely on top of it. The Hughes & Kettner 212 cab is a superb sounding and adaptable cab that is ideal for gigging guitarists as well as studios. The traditional V30 speakers will help you get fantastic mic captures in any setting, and it’s sturdy and resilient enough to survive being pummeled in the back of a tour van.
Peavey 212-6 2×12 Guitar Cabinet
Peavey offers a strong foray into the rock speaker cabinet market with the 212-6 212. Peavey may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think of amazing guitar gear, but with everything the 212-6 has to offer, we think you’ll reconsider.
The Peavey 212-6 guitar cabinet was designed to be used with the Peavey 6505 Mini amplifier head. It has a back that may be closed, semi-open, or completely open. The guitar cabinets are made of 18mm plywood. As a result, it is highly durable. The speakers are two 12-year-olds “Celestion Greenback 25W has a 50 watt mono and 25 watt stereo power handling capabilities. The mono impedance is 16 ohms, and the stereo impedance is 8 ohms. The stereo and mono modes can be switched between. The cabinet’s measurements are 17m8″ x 28″ x 11.5” “..
Peavey was the first company to produce the EVH 5150 series, so they know a thing or two about getting a beautiful high gain tone. Greenback 25 speakers have been the speakers of choice for a number of rock musicians over the years, and the 212-6 is no exception. The flexibility to utilize it in an open or closed back configuration is a really valuable feature, as it provides you a completely distinct tonal option in your toolbox.
Friedman Runt 2×12 EXT 120W 2×12 Ported Closed Back Guitar Cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30s
- "Power handling: 12W Speakers: 2x12 Celestion Vintage 3 Impedance: 8 ohms Closed-back, rear-ported cab design Dimensions: 3 in. x 2.75 in. x 12 in. ...
Friedman, a relatively new player in the metal scene, is quickly building a reputation for itself with amp heads that just…sound…amazing. They come with a wide variety of speaker cabinets, and the Friedman Runt 212 is a fantastic way to obtain that enormous tone in a more compact design.
The rear-ported cabinet design of the Runt 212 emphasizes low frequencies and increases bass response through a hole at the back. You get the greatest features of both an open and a closed-back cab thanks to the Celestion Vintage 30 speakers’ mid-to-upper response being tuned for these.
The Friedman has a “air” about it that just announces to the world that it is a high-end item of extraordinary quality. The Runt 212 has a higher price than some of the more affordable versions we have looked at, but in our opinion, it is a device that is worth every penny of its price.
Marshall MX212 2×12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet
- Two 12" Celestion Seventy 80 speakers
- MDF construction
- Black covering and fret
It would be absurd for us to discuss rock and metal tones in any way without bringing up Marshall at least once. Without Jim Marshall’s iconic vision, the traditional full amp stack would not exist. With the MX212, Marshall has taken their 412 mojo and packed it into a fantastic 212 cabinet.
The MX212 (horizontal configuration) and the MX212A are the two different 212 Marshall cabinets that will be examined here. (with a vertical setup). Both cabinets work well with your preferred Marshall head (or, really, any powerful amp of your choosing), but we must admit that we have a slight preference for the MX212A.
It addresses a long-standing issue with using a 212 cabinet on stage by elevating one of the speakers higher off the ground and increasing projection in all the appropriate spots thanks to its angled design.
Guitar Cabinet Buyer Guide
A guitar cabinet serves as the “speaker” for an amplifier head. (or amp). An extension cabinet, however, can be utilized for stacking or with a combo amplifier. It provides you the freedom to mix and match different amps and cabinets in your guitar rig depending on the situation.
The extended cab design is straightforward in theory. It features one or more speakers in an open, closed, or semi-open wood, ply, or MDF enclosure. The speaker’s primary function is to output the audio signal coming from the combo or head amp.
Because of this, a lot of guitarists overemphasize the amplifier head while underestimating the role the cabinet plays in tone. Yes, the amp handles the bulk of your fundamental tone, but that doesn’t mean the cabinet has no bearing on the sound’s quality.
Guitar Cabinet Types
There are 4×12, 2×12, and 1×12 guitar cabinet combinations available. The numbers 4 and 12 stand for the number of speakers and a 12-inch speaker, respectively. A guitar cabinet with a 12-inch speaker is therefore designated as 1×12.
A true stage monster are 4x12s. Do you recall the recognizable Marshall stacks from music videos and concerts? The 2×12 is another popular option for stacking for live performance and recording. The smallest tone pusher among guitar cabinets is the 1 x 12 cab.
Because they are more potent than 1×12 and more transportable than 4×12, 2×12 cabs are well-liked. They are neither heavyweight fighters nor hulking animals. Small venues are ideal for 1x12s, but anything larger than that is really useless, especially if you want to use them to monitor your sound.
On the other hand, nobody wants to carry a 90-pound, 4-by-12-inch cabinet every time they perform at a nearby bar. Additionally, it would be absurdly loud given the surroundings. A 2×12 can fill that role since it provides the best of both worlds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does ‘2×12’ mean?
‘2×12’ is a simple designation to show the number of speakers in a cabinet along with how big those speakers are (meaning the diameter of the speaker cone in terms of inches). So a ‘2×12’ cabinet has two 12” speakers loaded into it. Keeping the same mindset, a ‘4×12’ cabinet has four 12” speakers.
Is a 2×12 cabinet loud enough to compete with a 4×12?
Using a 212 rather than a 412 should give you the same relative volume if all of your amp’s knob settings are relative (i.e., the same volume and tone stack settings). What comes out of the head is what matters most; more speakers do not equal more power.
The sensation could be where there is a significant difference. A 412 cabinet will unquestionably be blowing more air with two additional speakers, and the sound may sound fuller as a result. You’ll often have superior sound dispersion in addition to the fact that there are more speakers distributed across a specific region. Where a 212 guitar cabinet is situated onstage is one thing to take into account. The speakers will be further away from your ears than a 412 if it is pointing directly out. If you use it as a monitor or mount it on a stand, you may discover that the variations between the two cabs are relatively small.
Are 2×12 guitar cabinets expensive?
We really can’t argue with the fact that a high-quality 212 speaker cabinet may be almost as expensive as a tube combination amp. They can cost approximately half as much as a 412 from the same brand at the same time.
Price can be at the top of the list of factors for most players, so it’s difficult to state that it shouldn’t be an issue. However, the fact remains that quality and performance cost money, and this is true for almost any product.