The answer is that while all bass cabs are going to be on the heavier side, you can definitely find some that are lighter than the rest without sacrificing tone quality or power. Like we said, though, “lightweight” is a relative term. The cabinets below all come in at less than 50 pounds and are worth checking out if you want a bass cabinet that’s not such a heavy burden.
These are our recommendations for the 4 best lightweight bass cabinets on the market:
Gallien-Krueger Neo 115-III Bass Guitar Cabinet
- Gallien-Krueger Neo 115-III Bass Guitar Cabinet (400 Watt)
- Price: $599.00
- Price as of 10/31/2020 15:10 PDT(more info about ad)
This is a name you probably known if you’ve spent any time shopping for bass equipment. Gallien-Krueger is a German company known for their precision engineering of audio equipment. With the Neo 115-III Bass Guitar Cabinet, they bring you a cabinet loaded with a 15” cast frame neodymium woofer and a horn-driven tweeter at a weight of only 40 pounds.
This is a powerful cabinet (see full specs), capable of handling up to 400 watts RMS at 8 ohms. Because of this, the output on this cabinet is bigger and deeper than you might expect from a 1X15” cabinet. The fact that it uses a high-quality driver for both the woofer and the tweeter means you’ll get a nicely balanced sound out of this cab, too, no matter what dynamic level you have it set to.
It’s solidly build and sounds a lot better than it looks (some folks like the looks of the cabinet, others don’t). Hands down, this is one of the best lightweight bass cabinets around.
Ampeg Portaflex Series PF-115HE Bass Amplifier Cabinet
- Ampeg Portaflex Series PF-115HE 1x15 "Flip-top" Bass Amplifier Cabinet
- Price: $449.99
- Price as of 10/31/2020 15:10 PDT(more info about ad)
Ampeg’s Portaflex series is designed to give players powerful bass amplification in a more convenient and portable package than the bulky cabs you might be used to. They offer a full range of options, from a comparatively tiny 1X12” model to a fully-loaded 4X10” cabinet. We’ve picked the PF-115HE for this list because we feel it’s the most versatile option for the widest range of players, although there are also two other cabs in the Portaflex line (a 1X12” and a 2X10”) that weigh in under 50 pounds.
The PF-115HE (see full specs) is rated for 450 watts RMS at 8 ohms, comparable with cabinets at twice the price. The sound is driven by a 15” ceramic Eminence speaker, and you can use the Ampeg L-Pad attenuator to dial in your ideal tone. The design of the cabinet itself is what really impressed us, though. The black grille cloth and tolex sides not only look great, they’re also built to withstand the abuse of the road. The flip-top casing lets you mount an Ampeg head inside, turning this portable cab into an equally portable amp.
Fender Rumble 115 Cabinet V3 Bass Cabinet
You can count on Fender cabinets to deliver clarity and power, across instruments and price point. The Fender Rumble 115 V3 is a moderately priced and versatile option that gives you a lot of tone adjustment options, letting it work equally well in a range of styles and genres.
This cab comes loaded with a 15” Eminence speaker, and it can handle up to 500 watts RMS. It gives you the option of either a ¼” input jack or a parallel wiring for connecting the amp head or other speakers. The internal wiring gives you a lot of versatility, too. The internal crossover is voiced for bass and has a three-way compression switch for further tone customization.
The cabinet itself is pretty impressive, too. It’s only 39 pounds, the lightest bass cab you’re like to find with a 15” speaker. You’ll also get the option of either rubber feet or wheels on the base, which along with the lightweight build makes it a lot easier to move around than your average bass cab. It’s an excellent choice for the gigging pro who needs both power and portability out of their cabinet—and among the best lightweight bass cabinets for the money.
Eden EX110-4-U Bass Cabinet
If you’re looking for an option on the super-compact end of the spectrum, you might want to consider something like this 1X10” cabinet from Eden. It can work with equipment at an impedance of either 4 or 8 ohms, with a power handling of up to 300 watts RMS—sufficient stats for most players’ needs, and you’ll get them in a package that weighs just 25 pounds and is very affordable to boot.
The casing of this little Eden amp is rugged and road-ready, with a built-in handle for easy portability. As you might expect, the bass response isn’t as powerful as what you’ll get with the larger models above. The full-range speaker will get down to around 48 Hz, but it won’t have the oomph at those frequencies you’ll get from a 15” speaker. Where it’s ideal are those situations where you need to travel light and set up quickly. If you’re busking or going to a jam session, for example, you’ll love this little cabinet from Eden.
Light Bass Cabinets – Other Considerations
Size matters when you’re shopping for a lightweight cab. The more speakers there are (and the larger they are), the heavier the entire cabinet will be to accommodate them. We’ve picked mostly the 1X15” version of the cabs above to give you the best side-by-side comparison (with the exception of the Eden, which only comes in a 1X10” version). You’ll generally get more bass and punch per pound with a 1X15” than a 2X10”, for example, so while you can find cabs with other speaker configurations under 50 pounds, you’ll most often want to look for a 1X15” model if weight is a concern.
Keep in mind what you’re using the cabinet for, as well. If it’s going to be your main amp cabinet, you’ll also need to include the weight of the amp head when you’re doing your calculations—usually an added weight of 10-20 pounds, depending on the make and model. Whether it’s a main amp cabinet or an extension cabinet will also influence how many and what size of speakers you need. If you already have a main amp, the extension cab is more about filling in the weak frequencies or adding more output.
Whatever you’re looking for, all four of the cabinets above can produce sound much bigger than the package they come in. Depending on the thickness of your wallet, each can qualify as the best lightweight bass cabinet. 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