Guitar cabinets are an essential part of your tone. Using head and cabinet combinations is the professional approach to amplifying guitars and achieves a much louder, more flexible tone than combo (all-in-one) amp situations.
The cabinet contains only speakers and not the actual amplification circuit which is located in the head. The head is responsible for adding energy to the guitar signal to make it loud enough to move the speaker cones in the cabinet.
The cabinet you use has a massive effect on the resulting tone. There are many cabinet styles and configurations to choose from, so in this article, I’m looking at the best 2×12” guitar cabinets.
I tested 8 products and found the Orange PPC212 to be the best 2×12 guitar cabinet.
Price tag aside, this is an unbeatable cabinet. Orange guitar cabs are known to be some of the best around, and the Orange PPC212 certainly lives up to that reputation.
These have insanely high build quality and a winning tone!
I’m obsessed with exploring guitar tones. There is something that fascinates me about the combination of different components resulting in a roaring tone. Swapping out different parts of your guitar setup can massively change the sound of your playing. I think cabinets are an exciting thing to experiment with, particularly from a recording standpoint. I’ve used many of the cabinets on this list and can assure you they are all capable of producing a killer guitar tone.
There are a huge number of 2×12 guitar cabinets available. Each style is more suited to certain genres and playing styles. Some are designed for heavy, distorted music like metal and punk. Others have a cleaner, more natural tone that’s better suited for traditional genres like jazz, blues, and pop music.
I’ve tried to include a mix of cabinets in here, to cover tastes at all ends of the musical spectrum. Hopefully, you will find a few models of interest! I discuss more tips on how to choose a guitar cabinet at the end of this guide.
Keep reading for my full lineup of the best 2×12 guitar cabinets!
Alternatively, check out our guide on the best 10-inch guitar speakers, for some modification options!
Best in our tests
- Marshall Origin 160-Watt 2×12 Vertical (ORI212A)
- Hughes & Kettner 2×12
- Boss Katana 150-Watt 2×12
- Seismic Audio – 12″ 2×12
- EVH 5150III EL34 212ST 50W 2×12
- Orange PPC212 V 120-Watt 2×12
- Marshall SC212 Studio Classic 2×12
- Peavey 212-6 2×12
8 Best 2×12 Guitar Cab Reviewed in Detail
1. Marshall Origin 160-Watt 2x12 Vertical (ORI212A)
The Marshall Origin 2×12 delivers the venerable and powerful Marshall sound and performance! This is a speaker that taps into the passion, soul, and attitude of the original Marshall amps while offering all the benefits of modern technology. It’s an amp everyone can afford with a design that endures while still looking cool. See why the sound of these amps will set your tone forever.
The Marshall Origin 2×12 cab is a rugged 16-ohm cabinet with a great vintage look, 150 watts of power handling, and Celestion seventy-80 speakers for a world-class sound.
These Marshall speaker cabinets are known to be staged with guitar cabs. The overall sound quality is ideal for rock and metal players, packing a heavy low end and a tight mid-range. These are also great for other heavy music styles like death metal and punk, thanks to how well they handle distortion.
These 2 12 guitar cabinets give an electric guitar that beefy marshall tone and come with the excellent build quality. Pair them with a Marshall amp head and you’re ready to rip. These have a fuller sound than some of the other guitar speaker cabinet models on this list thanks to the included Celestion seventy-80 speakers. These work with most standard-sized heads, although make sure the power requirements match up.
- Speakers : 2x Celestion Seventy-80 12”
- Power Handling : 150 watt
- Shape/design : Angled Cabinet
- Weight : 52 lb
Pros & Cons
- Angled cab for increased projection.
- Classic Marshall tone, ideal for hard rock
- Great sound for high gain tones
- Durable, solid construction
- Heavy, hard to transport
- Too large for some setup
Looking for a powerful cabinet with a crisp sparkling tone? Look no further than the Marshall ORI212A! It is a versatile cabinet that does not have to compromise on either power or sparkling tightness. With robust construction, 2-12 guitar cabinets live up to the solid reputation that Marshall is known for. Experienced guitar players and music makers will love their powerful sound and full-range tone.
Also comes in vertical mode: Marshall Origin 160-Watt 2x12 Inches Horizontal Extension (ORI212)
Hughes & Kettner is a family-owned company based in Hamburg, Germany. Quality and tone matter to them. The purpose: not just for show, but to deliver an authentic, uncolored sound that’s perfect for any style of music you play.
Hughes & Kettner 2×12 cab is an extra loud, 120W, closed-back speaker cabinet. It has two Celestion Vintage 30 speakers that are perfect for heavy metal players. It has a reasonable 16-ohm impedance, is closed-back, and has two channels so you can either mix it or use it as an effects loop.
The build quality lives up to the high expectations of the Hughes & Kettner brand. Pair this with a scorching Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister amp head and you’re ready to let the distorted tones rip. This closed-back extension cabinet has fantastic sound projection.
The cabinet dimensions are streamlined, so this high-quality cabinet won’t take up an excessive amount of room, unlike other guitar gear. With a 120-watt power handling capacity, this closed-back cabinet is more than ready to serve some of the hottest amp heads in the music industry.
The 12” Celestion vintage 30 speakers have a sweet, clear tone that saturates beautifully. If you enjoy playing guitar with a full, punchy tone, then this setup is more than capable of your sonic territory.
- Speakers : 2×12” Celestion Vintage 30
- Power Handling : 120 watt
- Shape/design : flat top cabinet
- Weight : 43 lb
Pros & Cons
- Edgy Hughes & Kettner tone
- Smaller, compact profile
- Rubber feet for stability and isolation
- Fantastic Celestion vintage 30 speakers
- Too hard sounding for some players
- It’s not easy to stack this variety
If you’re looking for an uncompromising tone, traditional looks, and power handling capacity that exceeds the needs of most players, then you’ve found your speaker cabinet. With an uncompromising tone, this closed-back extension cabinet is an iron fist in a velvet glove.
The Boss Katana 2×12 speaker cabinet is the perfect complement to your amplifier, projecting the sound of your amp in all its full-bodied glory. This cabinet features custom-designed speakers with a cloth tweeter and high-efficient woofer, to ensure you get the best high and low frequencies. With 150-watts of power handling and 8-ohms impedance, this speaker cabinet is perfect for smaller stages and studios.
The Katana 4-ohm loudspeaker is the product you’ve been looking for. With a high-efficiency design, it delivers loud, articulate sound with an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio. The speaker’s optimized frequency response produces crisp, detailed highs and solid, punchy lows. The 2×12″ loudspeaker enclosure has custom-designed speakers that are mounted at the optimum angle for improved projection.
This guitar speaker is ideal for high-gain situations, and even the stock speakers create a huge, tasty sound. As far as guitar cabinets go, this is one of the better ones out there and comes at a fantastic price. I highly recommend pairing this with a beastly amp head like a mesa boogie rectifier or an EVH 5150 iii.
- Speakers : 2x boss katana 12”
- Power Handling : 150 watt
- Shape/design : Convertible flat top
- Weight : 51lb
Pros & Cons
- Durable Boss construction
- Custom designed speakers
- Excellent power handling capacity
- Performs well at loud volumes
- Too dark for some players
- No parallel output
The Boss Katana 2×12 cabinet is the only speaker cabinet you’ll need to take your sound to the next level. It comes with custom-designed speakers that deliver an unmatched sound, whether you’re playing live or rehearsing. The slick grille cloth coating gives these speaker cabinets a minimalistic, sophisticated aesthetic.
Ready to upgrade your old guitar cab? Forget the headache of having to use a drill to remove your old grille. With its removable grill, you can have the best of both worlds. If you want to use rear speaker loading, simply pop off the rear panels. If you want to use front speaker loading, just pop off the front panel. Freedom of choice is what makes Seismic Audio the best choice for your first upgrade!
If you’re searching for a quality speaker cabinet that can provide you with hours of playing time, then this is the product for you. The Seismic Audio 2×12 cab is a great choice. It has a large space inside to hold your speakers while providing a durable exterior to keep them safe from any potential accidents. This product is available in many different colors and finishes to best suit your personality and playing style.
His guitar speaker cabinet doesn’t include the speakers themselves, so you will need to buy and install them separately. This isn’t ideal for people who want guitar cabs that are ready to go from the box. Although they will be more suitable for those looking to design and build their own unique custom guitar cabinets.
- Speakers : None included, room for 2 x 12”
- Power Handling :
- Shape/design :
- Weight : 36.9lb
Pros & Cons
- Fantastic acoustic engineering
- Unique colors available
- Easy assembly
- No speakers included
It’s the ideal guitar cabinet for live, studio, and rehearsal applications. The Seismic Audio guitar cabinet is lightweight, durable, and easy to transport. It’s also available in a wide range of styles to match any needs. Make sure you buy some speakers and all the gear you need to wire it up.
Named after the rock legend, Eddie Van Halen, the EVH EL34 is a 2×12″ guitar cabinet that gives you that classic EVH sound. The cabinet features rock solid birch construction, signature Celestion G12H 30W Anniversary Series speakers, EVH casters, head-mounting mechanism, and tilt-back legs. Designed to handle everything from volume swells to power chords.
Take your EVH guitar rig to the next level with this finely tuned EL34 guitar cabinet. The perfect addition to your EVH amp and guitar, the EL34 50W 16 ohm cabinet delivers all the classic EVH tones you love with an updated look and features that will let you play for hours on end.
This small profile 2×12 guitar cabinet has a clear and punchy mid-range that rivals even the fanciest orange cabs. Eddie Van Halen is known to use a similar model himself, so what more can you ask for?
- Speakers: signature Celestion G12H
- Power Handling: 50 watt
- Shape/design: Tilt-back legs
- Weight: 66.4 lb
Pros & Cons
- Approved by Eddie Van Halen
- Classic Celestion G12 Anniversary Speakers
- Focused closed-back design
- Ideal for heavy styles of music
- Outperformed for clean tones by other cabinets.
Raw power, endless tone. The EVH EL34 212ST is the ultimate speaker cabinet for the EVH 5150 III EL34 head. Built to deliver stunningly accurate sound and impressively high volume, this 2×12 cab delivers the same combination of power and portability that you get with the 5150 III head. Continuing the legacy of rock ‘n’ roll, EVH is proud to place his name on these.
Giving you the freedom to explore new sonic textures with reliable mobility, Orange’s PPC212V cabinet is more focused on convenience than filling your living room. Add into that the power of Celestion G12 Neo Creamback speakers, and you’ve got everything you need for years of playing.
The Orange PPC212 cabinet is a speaker cabinet that houses two 12-inch speakers. It is designed to work with Orange Terror amp heads. The PPC212 cabinet has a closed-back design and is constructed from 18mm plywood.
The Orange PPC212 cabinet is 2×12″, which is an excellent choice for the guitarist who needs to have a powerful and versatile tone. With 12″ Celestion speakers, this amp will be able to deliver high-quality sound with a wide range of tones.
Any good guitarist knows how tasty orange cabinets are, and this Orange PPC212 is no different. With the punch and versatility, you expect, this closed-back cabinet also has a defined mid-range and clear, sweet highs
- Speakers : Celestion G12 Creamback
- Power Handling : 16 ohms 120w
- Shape/design : Upright
Pros & Cons
- Iconic Orange tone
- Very versatile, super high quality
- Unrivaled performance
- Easy to stack and half stack
- Awkward to transport
This is a high-quality, powerful cabinet to use with Orange amp heads. Capturing the classic orange aesthetic, this cabinet is worthy of any main stage or recording studio.
The Marshall SC212 cabinet is designed to enhance the tone and performance of your instrument with rugged durability. This rugged cabinet is loaded with Celestion G12H 25-watt greenback speakers, which are made in England and have been the industry standard since the 1960s.
The Marshall SC212 is a concert-ready speaker cab that’s perfect for rehearsing with your band or performing at any event. It can also be used as a great home speaker for an apartment, bedroom, or basement. With the best-selling Celestion vintage speakers and enough power to rock even the biggest venues, there’s no need to compromise quality on this portable cabinet!
Looking for a guitar amp that’s authentic, versatile, and won’t break the bank? We have just the thing! Say hello to the Marshall SC212! Based on one of the most successful amps in our history, the JCM800 2203, this amp will give you that great Marshall tone you’ve been searching for. The Studio Classic features a single 12 inch Celestion G12C speaker, 2
- Speakers : 2x 12″ Celestion V-Type
- Power Handling : 140 Watt
- Shape/design :
- Weight : 23.8 kg
Pros & Cons
- Full-bodied, punchy tone.
- Classic Marshal sound and quality
- Fantastic projection
- Clean top-end
- Not ideal for transportation
With robust, heavy-duty construction and a flawless, vintage finish, the Marshall SC212 4×12″ guitar cabinet pairs perfectly with the new SC series amps for a classic combo of unmistakable rock tone. This vintage packing is designed for those who love to crank up the volume and will deliver a full-bodied sound with loads of punch.
The 212 Artist series guitar cabinet from Peavey offers a simple design that is perfect for any beginner or a seasoned pro. The black Tolex fabric finish and metal corners give it a sleek look that compliments any stage or practice room. This compact cabinet is lightweight, easy to carry, and durable. It also features a stereo/mono input cup, rubber feet, and top handles for easy portability.
The Peavey 212-6 cabinet has 2 greenback Celestion speakers that give you an endless range of tones that you can’t get with most other cabinets. The construction never sounds too thin or too bassy and is the perfect blend of woody and crispy.
The Peavey 212-6 brings the best of the British and American speaker technology together to make a powerful cabinet that will sound great in any venue. It features 2 Celestion Greenback speakers and 18mm plywood construction. Convert it to an open back configuration for more blending in smaller venues and parties or in rooms with reflective surfaces (walls).
- Speakers : 12″ Greenback 25 speakers
- Weight : 47.35lb
Pros & Cons
- Easy to use cabinet
- Great, warm sound
- Reliable Greenback speakers
- Not easy to stack
Great for practice, recording, or small gigging. You can’t go wrong with the Peavey 212-6 if you’re looking for a versatile cabinet to use in any situation.
What is better – Open Back or Closed Back Guitar Cabinet?
A closed-back guitar cabinet is a speaker enclosure that has a solid back with no openings, as opposed to an open-back guitar cabinet. The sound from the speaker is reflected off of the back of the cabinet, and does not escape. Closed-back cabinets are more common in bass amps than in guitar amps.
A closed-back guitar cabinet is a type of speaker enclosure that prevents sound from escaping and reflects it off the rear panel and the walls. This produces a more controlled sound which can be beneficial when playing in loud environments such as live stages or clubs.
An open-back guitar cabinet is a speaker enclosure that has a solid back with one or more openings, as opposed to a closed-back guitar cabinet. The sound from the speaker escapes through these openings and can be heard by people standing nearby. Open-back cabinets are most common in electric guitars and acoustic guitars, although they are also used in some bass amps.
An open-back guitar cabinet is a type of speaker enclosure that allows sound to escape from the back of the speaker. The sound waves are not reflected off any surface so they will not be altered in any way.
Which is best?
It really depends on the sound you are going for. Closed backs have a tighter, more focused sound, whereas open backs are wider and washier. Generally, open backs are better for rhythm guitarists, and closed backs are better for lead players.
Best 2×12 Guitar Cabinets Buyers Guide
Choosing a 2×12 guitar cabinet is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right one.
What are the different types of speaker configurations?
The most common configuration for a 2×12 guitar cabinet is one speaker on each side. This configuration is called a stereo speaker and it has two speakers that are wired in parallel and driven by the same signal. The other type of configuration for a 2×12 guitar cabinet is called a quadraphonic system. It has four speakers, two on each side, wired in series and driven by separate signals from the amplifier.
How do you know which size speaker cabinets to get?
The size of the speaker depends on what you plan to use it for and how much power you need it to have. For example:
The 2×12 guitar cabinet is the most common type of speaker cabinet. It is used by guitarists for electric guitars and bass guitars.
A 2×12 cabinet typically has two 12-inch speakers inside, which makes it good for low frequencies. The lower frequencies are usually more difficult to produce than the higher frequencies, so this type of cabinet is very popular with bass guitarists.
The size of a 2×12 cabinet varies depending on the make and model, but they are typically between 0.5 to 1 meter tall and wide, with a depth of about 30 cm or less.
This closed-back cabinet is as good as it gets. Orange cabinets are always a great choice and are known to be used by pro guitarists across the world, from small gigs to sell-out stadium tours. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed!
Check out the Orange PPC212 today!