Guitar cabinets are the devices that project the electronic signals generated by your electric guitar into the air, as sound waves. Depending on the design and quality of a guitar cabinet, its sound signature can vary greatly.
In this article, we shall discuss the realm of 1×12 guitar cabinets. The “1” indicates that this is a single speaker cabinet, and the “12” denotes the size of the speaker that went into the cabinet, which in this case is a 12” speaker.
This particular configuration is loved by guitar enthusiasts, studio artists, and professionals for one simple reason- the perfectly tuned frequency response of a 12” speaker. The 12” speakers excel at reproducing sound between 40 Hz to 5000 Hz, and that is where is where most of the magic lies in case of an average electronic guitar.
If you want slightly higher treble and more well-defined high notes, then go for 10” speakers as they provide a brighter sound which is more suited for jazz and blues, or classical/folk songs.
Below, we have listed some of the best 1×12 guitar cabinets for the price. Pick wisely and get the cabinet that fits your needs as well as budget.
Monoprice 611815 15 Watt, 1 x 12 Guitar CabinetPro: Celestion speaker, combo tube amplifier, and triple ECC83/12AX7 pre-amplification tubes
Con: Reverb is lacking
This 1×12 guitar cabinet is perfectly suited for those who are on a budget and want the absolute best that they can get for less than 300 bucks. The entire cabinet features cream-colored synthetic leather exterior, and there is even a leather carry handle on the top. It features a 12” Celestion speaker that is capable of accurately reproducing frequencies between 80 Hz and 10 KHz, and the THD is a mere 0.5% which means that your guitar will sound just the way it should, without any annoying noises or distorted notes in the mix. There is a 15 W tube amp inside the cabinet to power the Celestion Red Truvox 1215, and the rear of this cabinet is ported.
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 112Pro: Celestion Vintage 60 W speaker, small footprint
Con: Bass lacks definition while playing a seven string
With its black leather covered exteriors and premium metal grill, this cabinet looks and feel really premium despite its sub-300 dollar price tag. The Celestion Vintage 30 speaker inside this cabinet is one of the best sounding 12” speakers that you can get for a 1×12 guitar cabinet, and it produces really powerful low-end bass, along with super clear low-mid range notes. There is a unique warmth to the sound, and the size is also pretty compact at just 18.9” x 17.7” x 11.2”. The weight of this speaker is just 27.5 pounds, and the leather handle on the top makes it super easy to carry around- a definite boon for gigging artists who are constantly on the move.
Peavey 03611000 1 x 12 Extension Guitar CabinetPro: 40 W RMS, 16-ohm speakers, extremely durable construction, and a really fine enclosure
Con: Stock speakers are not that good
Despite packing a somewhat sub-par 12” stock speaker inside, the overall sound quality and bass response of this cabinet is decent enough for it to be passed off as a budget 1×12 guitar-cabinet. However, we were really taken by surprise upon inspecting the rest of the parts. There is a really sturdy black metal grill on the front which seems like it can take a bullet and still work, while the rest of the cabinet is encased in premium leather, which has been wrapped around an audiophile-grade MDF body. The entire enclosure is designed like that of a cabinet which should cost twice as much, and the internal circuitry is all well isolated from the rest of the components along with ample shielding to prevent signal distortion. Just stick a better 12” speaker in there, and this is going to rival cabinets which cost more than twice as much.
Blackstar HT-5R 5-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Combo Amp with ReverbPro: 5 W all tube combo amp, independent IFS control, 12” Blackbird 50 speaker
Con: Control knobs may feel too sensitive, making the speaker hard to tune
The internal 5 Watt, all-tube combo amp delivers clean uncolored audio output that feels natural and reminiscent of the 60’s era. The sound is completely analog and there are 2 channels- clean (volume, tone), overdrive (gain, volume). The Blackbird 50 12” speaker inside this beast delivers amazing sound, while the series effect loop and footswitch come in super handy. There is an option for emulated 4×12 speaker output, along with a headphone out and stereo mp3/line input. The controls feel a little too sensitive at times, and the exclusive ISF control gives you even more control over the tone.
Yamaha THRC112 150W 1×12″ CabinetPro: Eminence Legend 1218 speaker, enclosure is lightweight and ultra-portable, 150 W at 8 ohms
Con: Bass sounds slightly distorted at higher volumes
The Yamaha THRC 1X12 guitar cabinet is a fine offering priced at nearly the same amount as a Blackstar HT5R. Does this cabinet live up to the Yamaha name though? Well, thanks to the Eminence Legend 1218 12” speaker and a fine built-in amp, it does more than just live up to its name. In fact, this particular cabinet has the most low-midrange treble and clarity of any speaker on this list and its bass is deceptively good. At lower volumes the 150 W speakers don’t really show their true colors, despite sounding extremely clear, along with bright highs and warm mids. However, as soon as you bump up the volume, you begin to notice the window-crackling amount of bass that this cabinet can deliver, making it really good for rock and metal.
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 Enclosure 80-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Amp CabinetPro: Celestion G12P-80 12” speaker, premium construction, wide soundstage
Con: Doesn’t offer much in terms of tuning or controls
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 1×12 guitar amp cabinet features sturdy construction, a powerful built-in amp, a Celestion G12P-80 speaker, and some really nice noise-isolated internal circuitry. Now, there are compromises to be made with every product, no matter how good it may be. In this case however, the only compromise that you’re making is with the number of controls that you get on the front panel. When you have a mixer or EQ system attached to the guitar pipeline, then the audio adjustment options in your speaker probably don’t matter that much. In terms of audio quality, this has to be one of the best bass-heavy 1×12 guitar cabinets in this price range. The bass is not at all overpowered, but it is clear and well defined at all volume levels.
Orange 1×12 Speaker Cabinet – PPC112CPro: Celestion Vintage 30 speaker, 60 W output with 16-ohm impedance, beefy sound with lots of bass
Con: Sound might seem slightly off-balance on upper midrange frequencies, but is resolved with slight tuning
The Celestion G12p-80 12” speaker inside this cabinet is known to be one of the best sounding guitar cabinet speakers in terms of audio clarity, bass reproduction, and treble management. Any frequency between 40 Hz to 8000 Hz is accurately reproduced by this speaker, and the lows are much deeper than you’ll find on any other medium-range guitar cabinet. Even some 15” cabinets are incapable of outputting as much bass as this Orange, and its mid-range response exceeds that of most 10” cabinets. This is definitely a sweet deal for the price and is suitable for all styles of music including pop, jazz, blues, country, rock, and punk.