Guitar cabinets have benefits over a larger amp beyond your wallet too. They’re a lot more portable, for one thing, and give you more on-stage configuration options. Guitar cabinets also give you the option of taking a modular approach to your sound, letting you more easily customize it for different settings and situations. If you’re in the market for an extension cabinet that’s cheap but doesn’t sound like it, any of the choices below are worth your consideration.
These are our recommendations for the 4 best cheap guitar cabinets on the market:
Orange Amplifiers PPC108 Guitar Cabinet
- Orange Amplifiers PPC Series PPC108 1x8 20W Closed-Back Guitar Speaker Cabinet
- Price: $99.00
- Price as of 08/12/2020 10:46 PDT(more info)
For the top contender in a budget price range, you should take a look at this option from Orange. It’s the smallest option on this list, with a single 8” speaker and a 20-watt power handling, but it sounds a lot bigger than it looks, and it performs beautifully in both stage and recording applications.
The small size of the PPC108 has its benefits. At less than ten pounds, it’s by far the lightest cabinet on this list. Its dimensions are equally compact, so it certainly wins the day for portability. It uses the same basic materials as Orange’s larger cabinets. It has a durable closed-back construction and the iconic natural basketweave grille on the outside.
On the inside, you’ll find a smaller version of the same Voice of the World speaker you’ll find in their more expensive amps. The sound is well-balanced and has more punch than you might expect out of an 8” speaker. It’s hands down the best tone you can get for the price and therefore one of the best cheap guitar cabinets period.
Fender Super Champ SC112 Guitar Cabinet
- Fender Super Champ SC112 80-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Amp Cabinet
- Price: $199.99
- Price as of 08/11/2020 15:13 PDT(more info)
Fender gear is some of the best-loved among guitarists of all genres. Their equipment is well-built and versatile, built with on-stage performance in mind. This rugged 1X12” 80-watt cab is designed to pair with the Fender Super Champ amp head, but can give any amp the boost it needs to expand your sound. While it’s a bit on the heavy side, that’s the only thing not to love about this impressive cabinet.
The closed-back design of the Super Champ cabinet gives it a better bass response and a tighter overall tone. It comes with a Celestion G12P-80 speaker that plays off of the strengths of this cabinet. It’s a perfect choice for rock and punk players, and even metal and country guitarists will like the bright, powerful sound. All-told, the Super Champ is an affordable cabinet that feels and sounds like it costs a lot more than its price range would suggest.
Bugera 112TS Guitar Cabinet
- BUGERA, 1 Guitar Amplifier Cabinet, Black (112TS)
- Price as of 08/11/2020 19:19 PDT(more info)
The 1X12” speaker cabinet is one of the most popular options, especially if value and power are some of your main considerations. The 12” Turbosound driver that comes installed in this cabinet gives you that famous British tone, with a high sensitivity to get the most out of the 80 watt power handling. Dollar for dollar, no other cabinet will offer you the same decibels for the money.
Every aspect of this speaker cabinet has been thoughtfully designed (see full specs). The multiple hardwoods used in the sides are durable and add a nice warmth to the tone. It uses a closed-back construction to add resonance and depth to the sound, which is full from high to low. It also comes with everything you need to expand your set-up further in the future, with dual outputs and the option of switching from mono to stereo, meaning it will serve you well whether it’s your only cab or part of a full stack. This should be on anyone’s list of the best cheap guitar cabinet.
Ibanez TSA112C Tube Screamer Guitar Amplifier Speaker Cabinet
- Ibanez TSA112C Tube Screamer Guitar Amplifier Speaker Cabinet
- Price as of 08/12/2020 10:46 PDT(more info)
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Ibanez Tube Screamer” before, but in a different context. The iconic effects pedal of the same name has been one of the most popular guitar effects since it was first released in the 1970s. The amp version of the Tube Screamer has this circuitry built right in, and the TSA112 speaker is built to complement that effect, making it an ideal cabinet for rock and blues players.
Obviously, this is a great choice if you already use a Tube Screamer effect, but you don’t need to be an Ibanez devotee to use it. It will pair just as well with other amps, heads, and effects. It gives you 80 watts of power and comes installed with a 12” Celestion Seventy speaker with a ceramic magnet—a combination that gives you a massive output. The sound is aggressive and punchy, but without losing control. There’s nice note definition, even with the overdrive cranked, and the low end is smooth.
Cheap is definitely a relative term when it comes to guitar cabinets. The TSA112 might still be outside some players’ budgets, but it’s still a great value for the kind of quality you get. If you want an affordable cabinet that can really scream, this is definitely the choice for you.
Cheap Guitar Cabinets: Factors to Consider
People shopping for guitar equipment are often given the advice to shop with their ears. Everything you add or change in your set-up will have an impact on your tone, so obviously you want to make sure that you’ll like how it sounds. When you’re shopping for an inexpensive guitar cabinet, though, how it sounds should be just one of your considerations.
Pay close attention to the construction of the cabinet itself, both in terms of the quality of the construction and the materials that are used in it. As your sound evolves, you can change the tonal qualities of an extension cabinet by switching out the speakers. If the physical cabinet is ruggedly built, it can serve you well for many years to come.
The size of the cabinet is something you should think about, as well. Generally speaking, 1X12” cabinets are going to be your most versatile options. They are large enough to give you powerful sound with a full low end but still compact enough to transport easily to gigs.
Adding an array of different-sized cabinets to your rig can also help to fill out specific areas of your tone. An 8” cabinet, for example, can help add more depth and presence to your mid-range. Any of the cabinets on the list above can be the right answer for a certain kind of user—they are all among the best cheap guitar cabinets around. Considering all of the factors mentioned here can help you decide which one is right for you. 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. Email him