The 4 Best Cheap 4×12 Guitar Cabinets – Reviews 2023

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A 4X12 cabinet has the massive output you need to feel like a true rock star when you’re performing on-stage. These big cabs don’t come cheap, though. If you’re a gigging guitarist on a budget, you might wonder whether you can afford that kind of power.

Finding affordable 4X12 cabs isn’t easy, but they’re out there if you do some searching! Admittedly, “cheap” is a relatively term for a cabinet of this size. While you’ll often have to sacrifice some power as the price goes lower, all of these cabs have a massive sound and a great build quality at an excellent value.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best cheap 4×12 guitar cabinets on the market:

Line 6 Spider V412 MKII 4×12 Guitar Cabinet

Line 6 makes a range of affordable extension cabinets. The first we’ll look at is their Spider V412, an angled closed-back cabinet with an RMS of 320 watts. It’s definitely the best value on our list, especially once you consider the four Celestion speakers that come installed.

The Line 6 Spider V412 is ideal for classic rock players, especially in mono mode, but it’s honestly versatile enough to work for guitarists in almost every genre. You’ll love the boost in power to your low-end, and it has a chunky mid-range that gives your sound a nice depth and presence. The clean sound is a bit better than the distortion, to our ears, but it can do both competently, and plays nice with effect pedals.

This cabinet’s designed to pair with the Spider V MKII head, but it pairs well with any head that can give it enough power to unlock its full potential. This is an amp that will serve you well through years of gigs, able to adapt to any playing style or effect pedal without losing its sonic depth.

Line 6 Spider V MkII Features Overview

New Line 6 DT50 412 4×12 Speaker Cabinet

Another affordable choice from Line 6 is their DT50 412 speaker cabinet. The DT50 uses two styles of Celestion speakers, pairing two G12H90s with two Vintage 30s. This combination yields a remarkable depth and complexity of tone. For the perfect match, you can pair it with a Line 6 DT50 head. It’s the best cabinet if you use modeling amps, giving them an impressive realism.

Like the Spider, the Line 6 DT50 is a closed-back cab. The cabinet itself is built to maximize volume without losing any precision on the note attacks, and it accomplishes this task beautifully. We especially love the low-end depth when it’s played clean.

The Line 6 DT50 is one of the more visually-appealing 4X12” cabinets in this price range, too. A lot of them look very utilitarian, but the cloth grille cover softens the look of this amp, giving it more elegance. Sound is most important obviously, but a big amp like this is going to get noticed, so a good visual aesthetic can’t hurt. This should be on anyone’s list of the best cheap 4×12 guitar cabinets.

Line 6 DT50 Amp Head Demo

EVH 5150IIIS EL34 412ST 100W 4X12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet

The EVH 5150IIIS is admittedly not the most powerful 4X12” cabinet out there. Seeing it’s rated to handle only 100 watts, we were concerned whether it could deliver the full sonic depth we wanted out of a 4X12” cab. We’re pleased to report we were surprised by how loud this amp can get. The Celestion G12EVH speakers inside perform some kind of musical magic, making the most of those 100 watts and putting out a sound you can feel as well as hear.

The EVH 5150IIIS line (see full specs) is designed to capture Eddie Van Halen’s touring sound. Knowing that, it’s no surprise it can give you the perfect classic rock tone. Paired with the right head, the resonance produced inside this cabinet makes for killer distortion that still maintains your guitar’s tone.

You’ll also be impressed by the build quality of the EVH5150IIIS. It’s built with musicians in mind, with convenient carrying handles and rounded corners. It’s no lighter than other 4X12” cabs but it feels like less of a burden to lug around.

Eddie Van Halen Demonstrates the EVH 5150 III Stealth

Marshall 1960 300W 4X12 Guitar Extension Cabinet

Wavering off the edge of “cheap” is the Marshall 1960 4X12 Extension Cabinet. If power is what you’re looking for, Marshall delivers to the tune of 300 watts RMS. It delivers that iconic Marshall sound in a massive way, with a closed-back and angled design that maximizes the volume and power.

The Celestion Vintage (see full specs) speakers that come with this Marshall cab are the best-sounding of the four, in our opinion. The tone shimmers in the high end and sings through the mid-range. It’s also simple to pair with any head or equipment thanks to the impedance switch. Easily switch between 4-ohm mono mode or 16-ohm stereo mode.

The Marshall 1960 is a legendary cab, so to find a 4X12 version for just over a grand feels like a steal. It’s also the best choice for metal guitarists, pairing beautifully with heads made by Blackstar and other brands popular in the genre. For heavy overdrive, you want to be backed by a Marshall cab like the 1960. Again, “cheap” is relative, but for what you get, this remains one of the best cheap 4×12 guitar cabinets around.

Marshall 1960A DIY acoustic foam add-on comparison

Do I Really Need a 4×12 Guitar Cabinet?

An extension cabinet of this size is a pretty big investment, as you can see from the reviews above. Cost isn’t the only thing you have to think about, either. A 4X12” cabinet is likely to weigh somewhere around 80-100 pounds, and some are too big to fit easily into a car trunk, making transportation a bigger hassle.

Remember that a 4X12” cabinet doesn’t just boost your volume. You can do that just as easily (and often more affordably) by using two 2X12” cabinets, which ultimately gives you an equal speaker surface area. The main advantage of a 4X12” cab is the depth of the tone, especially in the lower frequency range. Especially in a closed-back design, the increased soundwave resonance is noticeable, and can’t be replicated by using other equipment.

Not every guitarist will like the sound of a 4X12” cabinet, and it’s not a purchase you want to make on a whim. If you’re still torn after listening to the four amps above, your best bet is a field trip to your local music shop. Play through a few to get a sense for how they feel. Only you know which one is the best cheap 4×12 guitar cabinet for you and the key to unlocking your perfect on-stage sound! Good luck!

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

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