Best bass cabinets 2024: achieve your best tone yet with the perfect bass cab

While it might not grab the spotlight like a whacky pedal reissue or a shiny new guitar, the cabinet is a crucial element in your bass rig that shouldn't be underestimated. Truth is, the best bass cabinets have the power to elevate your tone, setting you apart from the crowd. Moreover, owning your own cabinet ensures a totally consistent tone at every gig. It's high time to bid farewell to the worn-out, battered cabinets that lurk in the darkness at every local venue (we've all had our share of those, haven't we?).

Although your amplifier lays the groundwork for your electrified sound, it's the cabinet that channels and delivers all that tonal goodness to your ears. With this power comes a great responsibility – hence, selecting the right cabinet option is crucial. This prompts a few thoughts: What speaker set-up works best for me? What power handling do I need? And do I truly need yet another bass guitar? Well, maybe skip the last one – let's face it, you can never have too many guitars! But when it comes to your bass cabinet, it's no laughing matter.

So today, we’re going to help you out and bring you the best bass cabinets currently on the market. From Aguilar to Fender, and circling back to Ampeg, whether you're seeking an 8 x 10" powerhouse or craving the latest innovations, rest assured there's a bass cabinet here that will truly elevate your bass tone.

Best bass cabinets: Quick list

Best bass cabinets available today 

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Best overall

Best bass cabinets: Ampeg Portaflex PF-115HE

(Image credit: Ampeg)

1. Ampeg Portaflex PF-115HE

A rock-solid bass cabinet that is equipped with all of the necessities

Specifications

Speakers: 1 x 15" custom-designed ceramic Eminence speaker, 1 x 1" HF compression driver
Power handling: 450W
Weight: 44.8lbs / 20.3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Prominent and tight low-end
+
Included casters are ideal for gigs
+
Switchable tweeter for added versatility 

Reasons to avoid

-
No side handles

If you’ve spent just 30 seconds searching for bass amplification online, chances are you’ll already be familiar with Ampeg. With over 75 years of bass amplification history, Ampeg is the real deal. Inspired by the infamous ‘60s Ampeg B-15 amplifier, the Portaflex PF-115HE emerges as our best overall choice for bass cabinets. 

The PF-115HE delivers exactly what you need from a working musician’s bass cabinet; a commanding, tight low-end that gives you plenty of control. The 1” HF compression driver is equipped with 3-way attenuation for when you need to dial in a bit more sizzle or want to cut out particular frequencies. Capable of handling 450 watts of power, this thing will shake a few windows if need be and will manage medium-to-large venues with ease. 

Ampeg’s B-15 is one of music’s most popular bass amplifiers, so it’s no surprise that the iconic silver grille cloth and its ‘flip-top’ design have been pinched for this cabinet. The flip-top is primarily designed to work in collaboration with a Portaflex head, however, it also opens up to reveal ideal storage space for any cables, pedals or other gigging paraphernalia you may need to hide. 

Okay, this cab isn’t exactly dead weight, but it would have been more handy to have the carry handles mounted to the side as opposed to the top. However, this isn’t a dealbreaker as the built-in casters are lifesavers for moving it around. 

Best for portability

Best bass cabinets: Markbass Traveler 102P

(Image credit: Markbass)

2. Markbass Traveler 102P

Although diminutive, the Markbass Traveler 102P packs an impressive punch

Specifications

Speakers: 2 x 10” ultralight neodymium speakers, 1 x piezo tweeter
Power handling: 400W
Weight: 31.97lbs / 14.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Very easy to lug around 
+
Pumps out plenty of volume 
+
Robust build 

Reasons to avoid

-
One-sided handle

Let’s face it, gigging can be an energy drain and the older you get, the less it agrees with your body. So, if you’re looking for a bass cabinet to make gigging easier on your back, check out the Traveler 102P from Markbass. 

This rectangular little wonder may be small in stature, but don’t let that fool you. It’s capable of handling 400 watts of power with two 10-inch neodymium speakers that deliver punchy, articulate bass. The adjustable piezo tweeter allows you to fine-tune it to your liking, preventing the high-end from being overly dominant or too overwhelming in the mix.

Sometimes whilst gigging local venues, space can be a problem, so being able to use the Traveler both horizontally and vertically is a useful feature. Also handy for surviving local venues is this cab’s robustness. The cab's sturdy multi-ply poplar construction is shielded by a durable carpet-like covering, complete with thick plastic corner reinforcements. Trust us, it's built tough.

Weighing just under 15kg, your back will thank you, especially if you're used to lugging around an old 8 x 10" Ampeg. Although pleasingly portable, having only one side handle gives your bandmates an easy get-out-of-carrying card. So be prepared to shoulder this burden alone. 

Best value

Best bass cabinets: TC Electronic BC208

(Image credit: TC Electronic)

3. TC Electronic BC208

A very impressive bass cabinet that offers fantastic value for money

Specifications

Speakers: 2 x 8" custom drivers
Power handling: 200W
Weight: 22.9lbs / 10.3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money 
+
Linkable for extra volume 
+
Lightweight portability 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some might want bigger

TC Electronic is king of budget musical equipment and the BC208 cab has rightfully earned the crown of best value bass cabinet on our list. Firstly, this thing is rugged. The hard plywood construction has been coated in an anti-skid material, keeping it firmly rooted in place while on the stage. Meanwhile, the stylish heavy-duty metal grille protects the two 8-inch custom drivers found underneath. 

As expected with 8-inch speakers, this cab is going to give you a tight, focussed sound. It does a very impressive job of delivering every detail of your sound without distorting too quickly, even at higher volumes. Although there isn’t a tweeter present, mid and high-range frequencies are handled pretty well and the cab punches well above its speaker configuration and small price tag.

Hearing our bassist play through two of these, it's impressive how the BC208 projects sound. Pound for pound, there aren't many that match its performance. While it handles 200 watts, ideal for smaller venues, linking two for mid-size capacity places might be necessary. Robust, lightweight and affordable, there isn’t really much to dislike here.

Best for volume

Best bass cabinets: Ampeg SVT-810E

(Image credit: Ampeg)

4. Ampeg SVT-810E

For head thumping volume, Ampeg has the answer

Specifications

Speakers: 8 x 10” custom Eminence drivers
Power handling: 800W
Weight: 140lbs / 63.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Pushes serious air
+
Incredibly articulate performance
+
Behaves very well at high volumes 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not exactly portable 

There aren’t many bass cabinets as familiar with arena stages as the Ampeg SVT-810E. Used by bassists like Bill Wyman, Cliff Williams and Krist Novoselic, the SVT has had many famous advocates, and as the adage goes, if it’s good enough for them, it’s probably too good for us. 

Ampeg’s SVT amplifier series debuted in '69 with much aplomb. This mammoth cabinet utilizes the same design techniques and speakers as its famous predecessor. You may be thinking that eight ten-inch speakers are overkill, and you possibly have a point, but when you stand in front of them and feel the air pushed into your face, you’ll immediately understand the excess. The low-end is absolutely massive and the volume this cabinet is capable of is insane. 

With such powerful bass, the low and midrange frequencies need to cut through and we’re pleased to report the SVT-810E does this pleasingly well. The headroom and clarity on offer is next to none, even at incredibly high volumes the cabinet behaves impeccably well. Although it takes a bit of pushing, when naturally overdriven, the cabinet truly sings. However, this may only be achievable in larger venues. 

If you sign up for a cabinet that’s affectionately known as ‘the fridge’, you’ll not be surprised to discover that it’s pretty darn heavy, 140lbs to be exact. However, the weight is intrinsic to the cabinet's soul; it's essential for embodying the true SVT tone and the combination of the aforementioned speakers and the birch wood cabinet cannot be substituted. 

Best midrange punch

Best bass cabinets: Darkglass DG212NE

(Image credit: Darkglass)

5. Darkglass DG212NE

Darkglass proving it isn’t a one-trick pony

Specifications

Speakers: 2 x 12” custom design Eminence neodymium speaker, 1 x 1" P Audio HF driver tweeter
Power handling: 1000W
Weight: 43.4lbs / 19.7kg

Reasons to buy

+
More versatile than one may expect
+
Fantastic midrange punch
+
Incredibly attractive 

Reasons to avoid

-
Aesthetic may not be for everyone

When people think of Darkglass, thoughts of heavy music usually follow. However, the DG212NE cabinet is proving that the Finnish company shouldn’t so easily be pigeonholed into one particular category. 

This cabinet is capable of a plethora of very musical tones. This is largely thanks to its two 12-inch custom-designed Eminence neodymium speakers that utilize a bi-amp design with 500 watts per side. It provides a superb clean platform for your preferred head and the midrange punch is very pleasing. Rest assured, with 500 watts per speaker, this thing can blow your head off, so if you’re competing with a particularly rambunctious drummer you’ll have all the power you need. 

Don’t get us wrong, the DG212NE will still provide you with Darkglass’ iconic distorted, chunky bass when you need it, but equally pleasing is the cabinet’s crystalline response and overall versatile performance. The 1” P Audio HF driver tweeter takes care of the high-range frequencies, freeing up the 12” Eminence speakers to do the heavy lifting of the low end. Therefore, the cabinet is very well balanced. 

As well as versatility, this cabinet has been constructed with carbon fiber Tolex which sports the distinctive, sleek Darkglass look. Not only does it turn heads, but it's also pretty lightweight for a cabinet this size, weighing in at 19.7kg. Combine that versatility with its weight, and Darkglass has just aced the gigging cabinet game. 

Best for beginners

Best bass cabinets: Fender Rumble 210

(Image credit: Fender)

6. Fender Rumble 210

Price, portability and punch, Fender delivers an ideal cab for any beginner

Specifications

Speakers: 2 x 10" Eminence ceramic magnet, 1 x compression driver horn
Power handling: 700W
Weight: 37.1lbs / 16.8kg

Reasons to buy

+
Straightforward and easy-to-use 
+
Direct low end
+
Enough juice for gigging

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most exciting option

The Fender Rumble series is the go-to option for fresh-faced bassists who are relatively new to the game. However, the series isn’t just home to 15-watt practice combos. Nowadays, the Californian giants are creating giggable bass cabinets for those after a straightforward and affordable option. Enter the Fender Rumble 210. 

True to its name, you've got a pair of 10-inch Eminence ceramic magnet speakers handling the lows, while the switchable compression driver takes charge of the highs. The result is a powerfully articulate low end with Fender’s infamous transparent mids and pretty clear highs thanks to the compression driver. There is a slight vintage character which is low and thick, so this cab should please old-heads. 

The ported plywood enclosure is as sturdy as it gets and this cab has been designed to stack others on top without flinching. At 16.8kg it’s one of the lightest cabinets on our list, so if you’re looking for a gigging buddy, there’s plenty of appeal here. Capable of handling 700 watts of bass power, this humble cab can shift plenty of air but its biggest appeal is the simple set-up and plug-in and play capabilities. No fuss, zero hassle. 

More options...

Best bass cabinets: Aguilar SL 112

(Image credit: Aguilar)

7. Aguilar SL 112

Aguilar proving they are a force to be reckoned with

Specifications

Power handling: 250W
Speakers: 1 x 12" cast-frame neodymium, 1 x phenolic tweeter with integral phase plug
Weight: 25lbs / 11.3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Very smooth low-end
+
Fantastic efficiency
+
Surprisingly loud 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may need more power 

Aguilar is slightly younger than heritage brands like Ampeg and Fender. However, don’t be deterred by its comparative youth as, since its inception in the mid-’90s, the New York company has risen to international acclaim in the bass community. With a well-earned pedigree, you can expect fantastic quality when it comes to its equipment – and the SL 112 bass cabinet is no exception.

The SL series is Aguilar’s lightweight cab range that packs a punch without compromising on tone. The SL 112 utilizes a 12-inch cast-frame neodymium driver and a phenolic tweeter with an integral phase plug. On offer is a beautiful woody, vintage bass tone with a silky low-end. It’s definitely not a neutral response, but the color it adds to your bass tone is incredibly musical with tasty vintage flavorings dripping all over. 

Although 250 watts of handling power isn’t the juiciest on our list, the volume on offer here is surprising. These custom-designed crossovers work wonders, directing frequencies to the right speakers for a serious boost in sound projection. We’re not recommending this for huge capacity venues, but for those smaller pub gigs, the SL 112 will have you covered. 

Best bass cabinets: Positive Grid Spark Cab

(Image credit: Ampeg)

8. Positive Grid Spark Cab

For the modern player who loves cutting-edge features

Specifications

Power handling: 140W
Speakers: 1 x 10” woofer, 2 x 1” tweeter
Weight: 13.5kg / 29.76lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of connectivity options
+
Ideal of digital multi-effects 
+
Versatile across instruments 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not specifically designed for bass amps

So, we know this is not the choice for purists or vintage tone seekers, but if you've committed to using a digital modeling floor unit live, then this FRFR (full range, flat response) cabinet could be the missing link in your rig. 

Offering a respectable 140 watts of power, this cab will seriously improve the low-end capabilities of any Spark amplifier or multi-effects unit, but it's worth noting that this speaker will not work with a traditional amp head.  

In our glowing 4-star review, we praised this cab's lightweight and sleek design, punchy sound and modest price tag. 

Read our full Positive Grid Spark Cab review

Best bass cabinets: Buying advice

Close up of Ampeg logo

(Image credit: Future)

What do I need to know about bass cabinets? 

Just like a guitar cabinet, a bass cabinet is pivotal in any amplification set-up. Unlike a combination amp which houses both the amplifier and speakers in one contained unit, if you're using a separate amplifier head, you'll need a corresponding cabinet. Essentially, a cabinet is a box, often wooden, that houses the speakers. The amplifier head delivers the power while the cabinet serves as the speaker hub for your booming bass tone. Simple enough, right?

Do bass cabinets affect my amp's tone?

Like any piece of equipment in your signal chain, a bass cabinet can seriously affect your amplifier’s tone. The cabinet is mainly accountable for how you perceive the sound and the way it influences your tone can depend on a few different factors. 

Speaker configuration significantly impacts various aspects of your sound. It affects sound dispersion, volume, durability, and tonality. As a rule of thumb, smaller speakers tend to offer a tighter sound with more emphasis on the midrange. On the other hand, larger speakers have the capability to move more air, resulting in deeper, lower tones and a stronger presence in the low end. If you're seeking that thunderous, chest-rumbling bass, opting for larger speakers is the way to go.

Furthermore, speaker brands tend to have their own unique approaches. Take Eminence and Celestion, for instance – they often utilize different components, designs, and materials, resulting in varying sounds. When choosing a cabinet, the best approach is to listen to several options. By doing so, you'll be able to pinpoint the brand that resonates best with your tastes.

The materials used to construct the cabinet will also play their part. Cabinets made from solid wood – like pine and cedar – will offer much more resonance than one constructed from plywood or carbon fiber. There’s quite a few things to consider and each component will have its own influence on your overall sound, so choose wisely. 

What size of bass cabinet do I need?

When selecting the size of your bass cabinet, it's crucial to consider a few key factors. Firstly, think about your potential gigging scenarios. What size venues do you anticipate performing in? A configuration with two 12-inch speakers offers greater volume, headroom and sound dispersion compared to a cabinet with a single 8-inch speaker. Therefore, contemplating the typical venue sizes you're likely to frequent will help influence your choice. 

Additionally, if your venue sizes are likely to vary, consider cabinets with extension capabilities. Many bass cabs allow stacking multiple cabinets if necessary, providing a versatile solution and future-proofing your purchase.

Also think about your preferred tone. Smaller speakers are a lot more punchy in the midrange but perform a little weaker in the low-end. Alternatively, larger speakers pump out low-frequencies with ease, but can sometimes get a bit murky, especially if there’s no tweeter in the cabinet. There’s no right or wrong answer here, just personal preference. 

Matching the cabinet with your amp's power

Ensuring your cabinet's power matches that of your amplifier is critical. If your amp exceeds your cabinet's capacity, you risk damaging the speakers by overdriving them – an expensive mishap you'll want to avoid. Thankfully, it's a simple process to get it right. Amplifier load is expressed in impedance (ohms), usually 4, 8, or 16 ohms. Just match the amp's ohms to the cabinet's, and you'll be good to go without any worries. Although this sounds pretty straightforward, there is a cabinet graveyard out there with a number of fried speakers, so make sure you pay close attention. 

How we choose products

First look: Positive Grid Spark CAB review

(Image credit: Future/Daryl Robertson)

Here at Guitar World, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything guitar and bass related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides.

When choosing what we believe to be the best bass cabinets available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are guitarists, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best bass cabinets on the market right now.

Read more about our rating system, how we choose the gear we feature, and exactly how we test each product.

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