The 7 Best 1×12 Guitar Cabinets 2022 (All Budgets)

The 7 Best 1x12 Guitar Cabinets Available (Any Budget) | integraudio.com

This article will discuss the seven best 1×12 guitar cabinets you can get in the market today. 1×12 cabinets are a good choice for many applications as they offer benefits, whether recording at home, taking an amp to a gig, or recording guitars for a new song or album. 

One of the main selling points of 1×12 speaker cabinets is that they are compact and lighter than a half-stack. You can easily fit this into a car’s back and take it to a gig in your local bar or a recording session. 

1×12 cabinets are also not as loud; hence they become a practical choice for practicing at home. And because they’re not that loud, they yield very promising results, such as cranking the amp without getting too loud. 

What are closed-back and open-back speaker cabinets?

Closed-back and open-back speaker cabinets indicate whether the speaker cabinet’s back has a covering. Choosing which one you should buy will depend on the sound you’re after and the versatility you want in micing your guitar amp. 

Closed-back and open-back speaker cabinets have their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll find that neither one is superior to the other, as both have respective applications. 

Open-back Speaker Cabinets

Open-back speaker cabinets usually have a section with a partial opening. With an opening at the back, parts of the sound get dispersed towards the back and a little on the sides, while pushing the sound forward through the main speaker. 

When it comes to sound characteristics, open-back speaker cabinets tend to sound more open and organic, capturing how your guitar rig sounds naturally. These speaker cabinets also tend to have more treble and presence, while the bass side will feel more open.

An open-back speaker cabinet is a good option if there are no speaker monitors for the band during a gig. Also, an open-back speaker cabinet provides more microphone placement options in a recording setting. Using it with an isolation box or booth can open up more tonal possibilities, especially if you don’t have that many microphones to use.

Closed-back Speaker Cabinets

Closed-back speaker cabinets have a more focused sound that pushes the speakers’ sound toward the front. Because of this focused sound, a closed-back speaker cabinet tends to have more mid and low frequencies, which is ideal for guitar players looking to cut through the mix or have a less chimey sound.

Because of the more focused sound dispersal, closed-back speaker cabinets are easier to mix for front-of-house engineers, who won’t have to deal with ambience. In addition, they’re easy to use in a recording situation, as they are rather straightforward. 

Which is better, Alnico or Ceramic Magnet Speakers?

You’re likely to encounter different speaker materials when you buy a speaker cabinet, namely, Alnico and Ceramic. Alnico magnets are a good option for a vintage sound, while ceramic magnets are best for modern guitar tones. Not one is better than the other, as they have applications where one can easily cop a tone. 

To give you an idea of their tonal properties, Alnico speakers are known for their powerful mid and treble frequencies at the expense of less bass frequency. On the other hand, ceramic speakers are known for their modern sound, with more bass and a little mid frequencies.

Partnered with the magnet types used for speakers are the diaphragm or the cone that forms the speakers. Due to the low power capacity, thin diaphragms offer less headroom and will clip at lower volume settings. Conversely, thicker diaphragms will allow higher headroom, especially driving high-gain pedals or preamps. 

What does RMS mean in speaker cabinets? 

RMS, or Root Mean Square, refers to the average wattage a speaker can handle without distorting. When a speaker lists a wattage, that value is the recommended load it can receive from the amplifier. If the speaker lists 80 watts, then it’s recommended to use at most an 80-watt amplifier. 

RMS should not be confused with peak wattage, which refers to the maximum load a speaker can take before overloading. As a safety precaution, speaker manufacturers don’t publish the peak wattage to ensure that speakers deliver optimal performance. When choosing a speaker cabinet, you should look at the speaker wattage published on your amplifier.

Note that this speaker wattage different from the power wattage, which refers to how much electricity is needed to power the amplifier. 

What does the impedance rating mean in speaker cabinets? 

Impedance refers to the load that speakers place in an amplifier to provide maximum power. You can think of it as the amount of resistance to the current delivering the signal from the amplifier to the speakers. With the variety of speakers in the market, many amps today feature an impedance selector. 

But if your amp doesn’t have an impedance selector, the optimal performance can be achieved with a matched speaker impedance. But what if a speaker cabinet doesn’t have the same impedance? 

While you can plug an amp into a speaker cabinet with a different impedance, there will be some effects on your sound, depending on how mismatched the impedance of the amp and cabinet is. In some cases, you can expect a drop in volume but with an increase in certain frequencies, which act like a booster. 

The 7 Best 1×12 Guitar Cabinets 2022 (Any Budget)

1. Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 Encl LT

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The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 LT is a closed-back 1×12 speaker cabinet that Fender designed as an extension to its Fender Hot Rod Deluxe tube amps. This speaker cabinet comes with two color swatches: tweed and black and silver, also known as silver face to Fender aficionados.

As proof of its compatibility with the Hot Rod Deluxe combo amp, this speaker cabinet stacks well with its combo amp counterpart, as its glide cups may be removed when you put your amp above the cabinet.

Key Features:

This speaker cabinet is rather straightforward with its features. Yet, when you see what it comes loaded with, you know that this speaker cabinet means business when delivering tones.

  • Celestion G12P-80 Speaker
    Each Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 1×12 speaker cabinet uses this Celestion Speaker. With an RMS of 80 watts, this speaker cabinet is loud enough to use in small gig venues.
  • Closed-back design
    This speaker cabinet features a closed-back design that gives it more definition in the bass and mid frequencies.
  • Two colors
    This speaker cabinet comes in tweed or black and silver, which gives you options to match your Hot Rod head or combo amplifier. 
  • 80 watts of Power  The Hot Rod Deluxe Cabinet features 80 watts of power for its speakers, which is more than enough for small bar gigs. It also features an impedance rating of 8 ohms. 

Character & Sound: 

Since this speaker cabinet is a closed-back, you can expect the sound of the Hot Rod Deluxe cabinet to lean towards bass and mid frequencies. This design can help compensate for the common mid-scooping that many Fender amplifiers are known for.

At 80 watts, you can easily use this in any bar gig, although your mileage may vary when it comes to home use. You may want to use an attenuator, such as the Bugera Power Soak, which can reduce output wattage of up to 100 watts.

Pros: 

The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe speaker cabinet has a good emphasis on the mid frequencies. With its closed-back design, it’s easy to put the guitar in the mix in front of the house. Since the Hot Rod Deluxe amp is a good choice for blues and country genres, this speaker cabinet will also fit the bill for these kinds of music. 

Cons: 

The speaker cabinet needs modifications to convert into an open-back design, as the speaker input jack is mounted directly on the back cover. The lack of a parallel output for the speaker also limits the number of speaker cabinets you can chain with your amp. It would be best to have the combo amp to make a 2×12 speaker setup.

2. Vox BC 112 Cabinet

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The Vox BC 112 is part of Vox’s black speaker cabinet line. Designed to work with most of Vox’s amplifier line, the BC 112 emphasizes lower frequencies and enhances the mids that Vox is known for. 

This slick black speaker cabinet leans towards the more compact size of speaker cabinets, which makes it handier to take to gigs or to the recording studio. 

Key Features: 

The BC 112 is quite compact for a speaker cabinet of its caliber. And despite its semi-open-back design, this speaker cabinet is still easy to tame when it comes to sound dispersal.

  • Oval semi-open-back design
    The BC 112 features an oval opening towards the lower half of the speakers, which provides a partial opening to let sound disperse. Due to the design of the opening, this speaker cabinet is considered a semi-open-back speaker cabinet.
  • Celestion V-Type Speakers
    The Celestion V-Type Speakers are a mix of modern and vintage tones. The low and mid frequencies remain close to neutral while providing the chimey tones for which Vox amps are known.
  • Parallel Input Jack
    You can connect another speaker cabinet to create a 2×12 setup with the BC 112. Note that for equal power outputs, you must use another speaker cabinet with the same wattage and impedance. 
  • 70 watts of power
    The BC 112 has a speaker wattage of 70 watts, making it the ideal speaker cabinet for medium-wattage amps. It also features an impedance rating of 8 Ohms. 

Character & Sound: 

The BC 112 is a good and almost all-around guitar cabinet you can use to play different genres of music. It might not be the best to play metal, but it can work with hard rock and country-style tunes.

If you’re an all-around session player and need a good 1×12 guitar cabinet, you can’t go wrong with the BC 112.

Pros: 

The recessed handle on the BC 112 makes it easy to stack another speaker, combo amplifier, or amp head on top of the cabinet, along with other accessories you may need, such as an attenuator or always-on pedals.

The semi-open back design is also a strong point, as it’s still fairly easy to mix.

Cons: 

While a relatively versatile speaker cabinet, it’s not ideal for use with genres such as metal, including its subgenres, such as djent or sludge. It does, however, sound okay for doom and drone metal.

The speaker input and parallel jack are also mounted directly on the back panel, which will entail modifications if you want to convert the amp to a fully open back cabinet.

3. Orange PPC112

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The Orange PPC112 speaker cabinet is a popular choice for many low-wattage tube amp heads in the market today. Designed slightly bigger than most 1×12 cabinets, the PPC112 can provide a louder sound projection without raising the volume.

Orange recommends pairing this speaker cabinet with their popular amp heads, such as the OR15 and the Terror series. However, you will find the PPC112 to work well with other low-wattage amplifiers in the market.

Key Features: 

The Orange PPC112 is a rather straightforward speaker cabinet that offers versatility in application. You can wire it as a primary or secondary guitar cabinet with the help of the parallel output. Other things to note about this cabinet are: 

  • Closed-back design
    The closed-back on the PPC112 allows the amp to sound louder than usual, even without raising the gain or volume on your amp, which results in wider headroom.
  • Celestion Vintage 30 Speaker
    The PPC112 comes loaded with a Celestion Vintage 30 Speaker designed to deliver more modern tones. These speakers offer a good mix of treble and mids while warming the bass frequencies. 
  • 60 watts of power 
    The PPC 112 has a speaker wattage of 60 watts, making it ideal for many of Orange’s low to mid-wattage amp heads. It also features an impedance rating of 16 Ohms. 
  • Comes in two colors
    Aside from the iconic orange Tolex, this speaker cabinet also comes in black Tolex, which works best for those looking to make their speaker cabinets match their amp heads or combo amplifiers.

Character & Sound: 

The closed-back design on the PPC112 gives it more punch in the low and mid frequencies. In addition, combining it with the Celestion Vintage 30 gives it some compensation in the treble frequencies.

As the Celestion Vintage 30 also focuses on the mid frequencies, combining it with the PPC112 enclosure lets it cut through the mix with more mid-definition.

Pros: 

One of the strongest points of the PPC112 is the price. It’s one of the cheapest 112 speaker cabinets in the market today, which makes it a smart choice. In addition, the thicker material used on the speaker cabinet makes it more durable and withstand frequent gigging.

Another plus for the PPC112 is how it can handle gain pedals quite well. But, again, it is no surprise, as many of Orange’s amplifiers lean towards hard rock and even stoner bands.

Cons: 

The extra emphasis on the mid-frequency might be a turn-off for some, especially for those who put a lot of mids into their guitar rigs. You may want to back off, as your tone may get a little honky with the emphasized mid-boost.

4. Hughes&Kettner Tubemeister TM 112 

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Hughes & Kettner are known for their amplifiers delivering metal tones. To supplement their TubeMeister amplifier heads, they released the TubeMeister 112 Cabinet. These speaker cabinets were designed to work with modern high-gain tones sought after in the metal and hard rock genre.

The TubeMeister 112 Cabinet is light but built like a tank and ready to take you to your next bar gig.

Key Features: 

The TubeMeister 112 Cabinet gives your amplifier more punch than it needs. 

  • Celestion Vintage 30 Speakers
    Loaded with Vintage 30 speakers by Celestion, the TubeMeister 112 cabinet delivers more mids and treble definition to your guitar.
  • Closed-back design
    You get an extra punch in the low end with the closed-back design of the TubeMeister 112 speaker cabinet. 
  • 60 watts of power 
    The TubeMeister 112 has an RMS of 60 watts, or almost double the speaker wattage requirements of the TubeMeister amp head. It also has an impedance rating of 16 Ohms. 
  • Parallel Speaker Connection
    If one speaker cabinet is not enough, the TubeMeister 112 cabinet provides a parallel connection that lets you connect another speaker cabinet. You can chain a different speaker cabinet to give you a different take on tone, or you can add another TubeMeister 112 to create a 2×12 setup for your amp. 

Character & Sound: 

The closed-back design gives your amp more low and mid frequencies, similar to the Orange PPC112. But what’s nice about the TubeMeister 112 speaker cabinet is how this speaker cabinet works well with other genres, despite how the TubeMeister series is advertised for more modern gain tones.

A 12-inch speaker for this speaker cabinet delivers beefy low ends without being overpowering. If you’re looking at modern metal and djent, consider this speaker cabinet setup.

Pros: 

The TubeMeister 112 works best for modern rock and metal tones, given its design. However, you can’t go wrong with this speaker cabinet if you want to cop that djent and even thrash metal tones.

Like many speaker cabinets in this round-up, the parallel connection is also very useful for anyone looking to add another speaker or create variations in recording tones. This comes useful when layering guitars in many modern rock and metal recordings.

Cons: 

While this speaker cabinet plays quite well in metal and modern tones, some may find the high concentration or punch of the low end too much for more vintage sounds. If this is your preference, a better option would be to lean toward Marshall or Fender-made speaker cabinets. 

5. Engl E112VB

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Engl is known for making amplifiers and other guitar gear often used for hard rock and metal tones, and the E112VB speaker cabinet is no exception, despite its compact size. Designed to work with its 25-watt amp heads, this speaker cabinet still packs a punch, even with low-wattage amplifiers.

The Engl E112VB was designed to be compact enough to fit inside the trunk of your car. Now, despite the compact size, you’ll be surprised at how powerful this speaker cabinet can sound in small gigging venues or even in a studio.

Key Features: 

The main selling point of the E112VB is its compact size. While not necessarily the smallest in the pack, it does weigh more than other 1×12 speaker cabinets in this round-up to pack a punch.

  • Celestion Vintage 30 Speakers 
    The Celestion Vintage 30 Speakers are popular with many guitar speaker cabinet makers. They have a good punch in the mid-frequency while keeping the low-end warmer. 
  • 60 watts of power 
    The E112VB can take up to 60-watt amp heads, which is more than enough for small bar gigs. It also has an impedance rating of 8 Ohms. 
  • Parallel Connection 
    You can shift to a 2×12 speaker setup with a parallel connection at the back of the E112VB. In a recording studio, this feature lets you record two different speaker cabinets to audition which sounds better or combine them to get interesting results. 
  • Closed-back
    The closed-back design of the E112VB gives it the punch it needs to create heavy guitar tones.

Character & Sound: 

Because of its closed-back design, the E112VB allows for louder sound projection and better headroom. You don’t need to crank your tube amps to be heard and get a tighter bass response. The mids also cut through the mix, which is perfect for putting out that guitar solo.

The Celestion speakers balance the treble frequency. It might not be that rich, but it still provides brilliance to your guitar tone.

Pros: 

Despite how Engl amplifiers cater to the metal and hard rock genres, the E112VB is versatile and can work for blues and even country bands. In addition, it has enough mid-frequencies to help guitar players cut through the mix.

The parallel output is another plus in this speaker cabinet. You can use it to route your speakers on-stage and even route the parallel output to devices such as the Torpedo Captor X for recording or front-of-house mixing in larger venues.

Cons: 

The Engl112VB is heavier than its counterparts from other brands. While it may easily fit inside your car trunk, you should consider having a cart, such as those made by GruvGear, to lug this speaker cabinet around. 

6. Marshall MX112R

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Mention Marshall, and you’re likely to find one in a guitar rig used for different kinds of music, and the MX112R speaker cabinet is no exception. Featuring a speaker wattage of 80 watts, this speaker cabinet can get loud enough for small to medium-sized bars and will do wonders in a studio.

You won’t have a problem with this speaker cabinet, especially if you rotate various hired gun duties. Using this speaker cabinet, you can take it to a metal recording, use it in a blues gig, or even jam to your favorite alternative rock tracks.

Key Features: 

The MX112R is a straightforward speaker cabinet without fancy bells and whistles to create the iconic Marshall sound.

  • Celestion Seventy 80
    Behind the British tones of this speaker cabinet are the Celestion Seventy-80 speakers. These speakers deliver balanced bass, mid, and treble frequencies. 
  • 80 watts of power 
    The Marshall MX112 can handle up to 80 watts of power from an amplifier. It also has a 16 ohm impedance
  • Closed Back Design
    Literally behind the driving force of this speaker cabinet is a closed-back design that allows for a better concentration of sound dispersal.

Character & Sound: 

The MX112R is pretty versatile when it comes to sound. As Marshall is known for being versatile in music applications, the MX112R does exactly that when you take it to blues, jazz, or even punk gigs. 

While the bulk of the tone will come from the guitar and the amplifier connected to the speaker cabinet, you can’t go wrong with the balanced frequencies the MX112R offers. Bass, mids, and trebles are boosted, yet don’t overpower each other unless you crank your amp equalization. 

Pros: 

The main advantage of the MX112R is how it works best for different genres. You can use this as your main speaker cabinet, then rotate different amp heads to work on different types of music.

Cons: 

The only flaw with this speaker cabinet is the lack of a parallel connection jack. You won’t be able to add another speaker cabinet with the MX112R. 

7. Mesa Boogie 1×12 Boogie 19 Thiele FP Cab

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Perhaps the loudest speaker cabinet in this list, the Mesa Boogie 1×12 19 Thiele FP Cabinet, has enough power to go beyond small gigging venues, such as bars, and may be used for bigger gigs.

Designed to provide better emphasis on the low to mid frequencies, the Thiele 19 cabinet is a good choice for anyone looking to add mids to cut through a mix.

Key Features: 

The Thiele 19 speaker cabinet is rather straightforward to use. It doesn’t have any fancy features, but when you start plugging things in, that’s when the magic happens.

  • Celestion Speakers
    The Thiele 19 speaker cabinet uses Celestion speakers made specifically for Mesa Engineering. That means these speakers are tuned toward Mesa’s signature tone and can only be found in Mesa speaker cabinets. 
  • 90 watts of power 
    The Thiele 19 speaker cabinet has a speaker wattage of 90 watts, making it almost capable of handling bigger venue gigs. It also has a speaker impedance of 8 ohms. 
  • Parallel connection
    You can go from 1×12 to 2×12 with the help of the Thiele 19 speaker cabinet. You can use the parallel out to audition different speaker cabinets against the Thiele 19 and see which works best for you. 
  • Closed-back design
    Delivering all that mid and low frequencies is the closed-back design that concentrates the frequencies. 

Character & Sound: 

As Mesa amplification leans towards the low-mid frequency punch, the Thiele 19 cabinet does that without overemphasizing. As a result, you can cop tones from blues to djent with this speaker cabinet.

Ripping a solo is rather easy with the mid-voicing of this speaker cabinet. But be careful, though, as your tones can get too honky with too many mids in your sound. Try more transparent overdrives instead when boosting your guitar signal.

Pros: 

This speaker cabinet can make your amp sound more massive. With its closed-back design, you get better headroom and can project louder without cranking the volume or gain of your amp. Also, thanks to its higher wattage, you can take this speaker from your house to your next gig and not worry about not cutting through the mix.

Cons: 

The low-mid frequencies might be too much for some guitar players and producers. You may want to adjust the equalization on your amp to compensate for the prominent mids that can turn your tone honky. This speaker cabinet is also loud, so you may want an attenuator between your amp and speaker cabinet. 

Bonus:

Harley Benton G112 Celestion V30

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Last in this round-up is the Harley Benton G112 with Celestion V30. There are two variants of this speaker cabinet, but this model, in particular, has a Celestion V30 speaker.

Among all the speakers in this article, the G112 is the only one you can easily turn into an open-back speaker cabinet due to the separate panels installed at the back. 

Key Features: 

As mentioned, the G112 can easily become a more open-back design due to the split panels. 

  • Celestion V30
    For a budget-friendly speaker cabinet, the addition of a Celestion V30 speaker makes this product more premium, given its price. But, this speaker provides an equal balance of low, mid, and high frequencies, making this speaker cabinet versatile for different genres.
  • Semi-open back.
    The semi-open back design of the G112 gives it enough mids and bass while maintaining sound dispersion. In addition, you can remove the lower panel to increase the frequencies if you need more bass and mids. 
  • 60 watts of power 
    This variant of the G112 speaker cabinet has a speaker wattage of 60 watts, making it a bang for the buck add-on to your rig. It also has an impedance rating of 8 ohms 

Character & Sound: 

The G112 has some sound dispersals on the rear due to its semi-open back design. Combined with the Celestion V30 speaker, you get more prominent mids and bass frequencies without sacrificing too much treble in your sound.

You can always remove the lower panel if you want to add more openness to your tone.

Pros: 

The main selling point of the G112 is its price. At less than half of what you’d normally spend for a 1×12 speaker cabinet, you can cop some pretty good tones using this speaker cabinet.

Another plus point for this speaker cabinet is its weight and volume. It is lighter than other speaker cabinets and takes up less space in the trunk or back of your car.

Cons:  

The only weak point of this speaker cabinet is the lack of a parallel connection. Considering the price you pay for this speaker cabinet, it’s not surprising it would lack this feature. But with the cost of parts, an extra few dollars for this feature will make a big difference in performance.

Conclusion

One deciding factor in deciding which 1×12 speaker cabinet works for you is to check what kind of speakers are loaded. If you audition one amp head towards different speaker cabinets, chances are you will sound the same if they use the same speaker models. 

That said, you should consider the speaker type in your choice. While you can opt to change speakers later, that will entail extra costs, as you will likely spend more. So to avoid this, it’s best to choose which speaker cabinet has your preferred speakers. You get to save more in the long run. 

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