Finding the best 2×12 guitar cabinet is important for optimizing your sound, especially when it comes to playing metal music. This buyer’s guide aims to provide you with the best guitar cabinets for your particular needs and I’ll also share lots of information that will help to inform your purchase!

What is the Best 2x12 Guitar Cabinet?

IMAGERECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCTFEATURES
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Simple, closed back design.
  • Removable swivel caster wheels.
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Distinctive color and closed back design.
  • Heavy duty construction.
  • Celestion G12H Anniversary speakers.
  • Tilt back legs and caster wheels.
  • Available in three color options.
  • Dual Celestion Seventy 80 speakers.
  • Vintage, closed back design.
  • Lightweight and affordable.
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Lightweight, yet robust.
  • Parallel output connects to another cabinet.
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Closed back, rear-loaded design.
  • Switches between mono and stereo.

2x12 Guitar Cabinets Reviewed

Mesa/Boogie Rectifier Horizontal 2x12 Cabinet

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FEATURES
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Simple, closed back design.
  • Removable swivel caster wheels.
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Mesa/Boogie Rectifier Horizontal 2x12 Cabinet Review

When searching for the best 2×12 guitar cab for metal guitar, the Mesa/Boogie Rectifier 2×12 Cabinet is one of the top choices, offering great build quality and some excellent design features. Crafted from birch, it weighs 61 lbs, ensuring it is also relatively easy to carry and transport from one location to another.

The cabinet features Celestion Vintage 30 speakers, capable of delivering 120-watt performance and the kind of power necessary for metal and hard rock music. Meanwhile, four Track-Loc swivel caster wheels allow the cabinet to be easily moved along flat surfaces, and these casters are also removable, for maximum convenience.

Benefiting from a classy, simple aesthetic, the cabinet is available in both horizontal and vertical setups, and either option will pair well with one of the many Mesa/Boogie Tube Head options available. While it is not the most affordable option on this list, it ticks a lot of boxes and has the power to cope with the demands of metal guitarists.

Orange PPC212 120-Watt 2x12 Cabinet

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FEATURES
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Distinctive color and closed back design.
  • Heavy duty construction.
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Orange PPC212 120-Watt 2x12 Cabinet Review

By far the most visually striking item on this list is the legendary Orange PPC212 120-Watt 2×12 Cabinet, especially if you opt for the trademark orange-colored option, which can really enhance the visual appeal of any stage setup.

The cabinet features two Celestion Vintage 30 speakers and is able to cope with 120-watts of power. It pairs nicely with either an Orange amplifier or an Orange amplifier head and its closed back design ensures it is able to produce the kind of sound needed for use when playing metal, hard rock and other heavy music styles.

Orange cabinets prioritize heavy duty construction and this cabinet is made from birch, which offers excellent durability. Although it is the heaviest option on this list, weighing in at 69 lbs, the robust construction ensures it is perfectly well-suited for moving from location to location, which is important if you are playing gigs.

EVH 5150III 2x12 60-Watt Extension Cabinet

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FEATURES
  • Celestion G12H Anniversary speakers.
  • Tilt back legs and caster wheels.
  • Available in three color options.
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EVH 5150III 2x12 60-Watt Extension Cabinet Review

If you are hoping to find something a little more affordable, the best 2×12 cab for metal could just be the EVH 5150III 2×12 60-Watt Extension Cabinet. Available in three color options – ivory, black with a light colored logo, or black with a dark logo – it benefits from excellent build quality and packs a real punch.

The cabinet is fitted with two Celestion G12H 30-Watt Anniversary speakers, ensuring it delivers powerful sound, which is essential for metal music. Four casters make it quick and easy to move the cabinet around, while tilt back legs make it simple to adjust the angle of the cabinet, so that it projects sound in the direction you want.

The cabinet’s birch plywood construction offers durability, while keeping the weight down to just 60 lbs, and the cabinet has a closed back, which is ideal for most metal players. All in all, this is a great option for those who want to be able to achieve excellent sound quality, without having to splash too much cash.

Marshall ORI212 Origin 160-Watt 2x12 Cabinet

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FEATURES
  • Dual Celestion Seventy 80 speakers.
  • Vintage, closed back design.
  • Lightweight and affordable.
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Marshall ORI212 Origin 160-Watt 2x12 Cabinet Review

When it comes to seeking out the best cheap 2×12 guitar cabinet for metal music, it is difficult to look past the ORI212 cabinet from Marshall. Aside from its affordability, Marshall is also one of the most recognizable and respected names in the industry and this 2×12 cabinet pairs perfectly with a Marshall Origin amplifier.

The cabinet benefits from a closed back design and features dual Celestion Seventy 80 speakers, which are able to pack a real punch, making them perfect for metal, heavy rock and other similar styles.

Visually, the Marshall ORI212 2×12 Cabinet has clear vintage appeal, and the cabinet is crafted from MDF, providing durability while ensuring the weight remains low at just 52 lbs. Overall, this makes the cabinet an ideal purchase for anyone looking for a solid option, from a reputable manufacturer, at an affordable price point.

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 212 Cabinet

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FEATURES
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Lightweight, yet robust.
  • Parallel output connects to another cabinet.
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Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 212 Cabinet Review

For those looking for the best 2×12 cab for carrying from place to place, the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 212 Cabinet could be the ideal choice. Weighing just 43 lbs, it is the lightest cabinet on this list by some distance.

The cabinet is fitted with two 12″ Celestion Vintage 30 speakers, which are more than capable of producing the kind of aggressive sound associated with metal music. It is able to handle 120-watts of power and includes a parallel output, which enables you to connect it to another cabinet for a more intricate setup.

A closed back design helps to deliver big sound, and the cabinet is a solid all-rounder when you factor in all of the key elements, like price, durability, sound quality, weight and the reputation of the manufacturer.

Diezel 212 RV 120-Watt Rear-loaded 2x12 Cabinet

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FEATURES
  • Dual Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • Closed back, rear-loaded design.
  • Switches between mono and stereo.
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Diezel 212 RV 120-Watt Rear-loaded 2x12 Cabinet Review

Finally, the most expensive option on the list comes in the form of the Diezel 212 RV 120-Watt Rear-loaded 2×12 Cabinet, which is a great option if you are simply interested in the best 2×12 cab, regardless of cost.

A closed back cabinet, the Diezel 212 RV features a pair of Celestion Vintage 30 guitar speakers, providing excellent sound quality, while its rear-loaded design helps to deliver a rounder sound, ideal not only for metal, but also for blues, rock and jazz. The speakers can also be manually switched between mono and stereo operation at will.

The cabinet itself is constructed from birch plywood and weighs 64 lbs. Meanwhile, its simplistic visual design features ensure it will look at home in any setting, from studios to complex stage setups.

Overall, if you have the available budget, the 212 RV from Diezel may just be the very best 2×12 cab for metal and all similar genres.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best 2×12 Cab

Why Use a 2×12 Guitar Cab?

A 2×12 guitar cabinet is a valuable addition to your guitar setup, pairing with a separate amp head to give you complete control over your sound. Guitar cabs come in various different forms, but the 2×12 configuration is popular because it manages to offer a combination of power and portability.

Although a 4×12 cabinet is sometimes considered the ideal choice, 2×12 cabinets like the Diezel 212 and Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister have the advantage of being significantly smaller and lighter, without sacrificing too much in terms of sound quality, especially when used in small venues or studio settings. Additionally, they are able to deliver a superior tone when compared to most 1×12 cabinets.

Do Guitar Cabinets Make a Difference?

Guitar cabinets can make a significant difference to the sound your guitar produces and this is especially true when it comes to the quality of the speakers in your cabinet. However, even beyond this, the construction of the cabinet can have a major bearing on how your guitar sounds, so you need to choose carefully.

In particular, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the differences in sound between open back and closed back cabinets. You also need to make sure you are investing in a cabinet that is constructed properly. Furthermore, different materials can make a difference too, as we will cover in the next section.

What is the Best Wood for Guitar Speaker Cabinets?

When exploring the different options available, it is important to look into the kind of wood used too. Birch plywood  is often considered one of the best 2×12 guitar cab materials, primarily because it does not have air trapped between the plies. This helps to guarantee the integrity of the cabinet walls, preserving the sound in the process.

Another popular option is MDF, and this offers the necessary rigidity, although it does weigh more than some other wood types. Meanwhile, for open back cabs, pine is also a popular choice. It is light, which is useful, but it is not well-suited to closed back cabinets, because pine is prone to flexing, adversely affecting sound in the process.

What Features Do You Want?

Overall, you need to take a close look at the features on offer from the various guitar cabinets, in order to pick the best option for your needs. Some of your decisions here will also depend purely on personal preference.

For example, you need to make a decision between an open back and closed back cabinet and this will depend on the type of sound you want. Generally, closed back cabs like Orange  PPC212 and EVH 5150III tend to be the recommended pick for metal guitarists, because of the additional bass on offer, but you may wish to experiment with both setups and see which you like best.

You will also need to look into the quality of the speakers in your cabinet, as well as the number of speakers. Finally, you should also consider the weight of each cabinet, along with other features, such as wheels for easy transportation to gigs and rehearsals. 

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