Cabinets with a 4×12-inch shape deliver excellent sound. They’re built with enough power to handle a live event while giving you a nice punch.
Depending on the manufacturer and brand, you can find everything from a modern look to vintage appeal when using this cabinet size.
When you look at Marshall’s offerings in the 4×12-inch category, you’ll find that the 1960A and 1960B cabinets provide lots of versatility.
They both have an authentic design, pack 300W of power, and are available as straight or angled to create an audacious stack.
1960A and 1960B
The 1960A and 1960B from Marshall deliver excellent tone and control as all-around cabinets. Each complements a variety of effects that maximize the electric guitar’s range. With the 1960A, musicians get a brighter sound, while the 1960B is better situated to the lower frequencies with its thickness.
What stands out the most about the 1960A and 1960B from Marshall is the versatility of both designs. You can switch between stereo and mono, with the latter having two options for matching amps.
Here are the technical specifications to review for these two Marshall models.
|Speakers:||4×12 configuration; Celestion G12T-75 at 16 ohms and 75W; Power handling is 2x150W in stereo or 1x300W in mono; Unit impedance of 8 ohms in stereo mode or 16/4 ohms in mono.|
|Accessories:||1960A comes with an M-COVR-00050 dust cover, although casters and cover are sold separately or the 00022 model. 1960B uses the 00051 or 00023.|
|1960A Dimensions:||Weight: 80.5 pounds (36.5 kg); Width: 30.3 inches (770 mm); Depth: 14.4 inches (365 mm); Height: 29.7 inches (755 mm).|
|1960B Dimensions:||Weight: 80.2 pounds (36.4 kg); Width: 30.3 inches (770 mm); Depth: 14.4 inches (365 mm); Height: 29.7 inches (755 mm).|
Safety Instructions for the Marshall 1960A and 1960B
When reading the quick start manual for the 1960A and 1960B 4x12s, the speaker cabinet has 20 specific instructions to consider. The first one offers a good laugh because it says, “Read these instructions.”
The second instruction is to “follow all instructions and heed all warnings.”
Once you get past the common-sense statements, here are some of the other words of advice Marshall offers if you decide to purchase these cabinets.
- Don’t use the speaker cabinets near any water source.
- Trying to remove or rewire the internal components of the 1960A or 1960B could lead to issues that aren’t covered under any guarantee or warranty.
- Avoid having containers filled with liquids placed on or around the cabinets.
- When cleaning the 1960A or 1960B, use only a dry cloth.
- The cabinets have ventilation openings that you don’t want to have blocked. Marshall has specific instructions for you to follow after making a purchase.
- Heat sources can cause the 1960A or 1960B to malfunction. You shouldn’t place or store the cabinets near any naked flame source, fireplace, heat register, or a similar source.
- Keep the equipment and any peripherals switched off and unplugged from the mains if a thunderstorm comes through the area.
- Don’t stack the cabinets with those from other brands.
- Try to protect the speaker lead from having pressure applied to it, especially when it is within a walking area. It shouldn’t be punched or have heavy objects rolled on top of it. It should be used to connect the cab to associated equipment, and always plug it into the 1960A or 1960B before the amplifier.
- Transport the cabinets individually instead of trying to move them as a stack to stay safe and protect the equipment.
If you want the most flexibility with the 1960A and 1960B, you’ll want to ensure that the selected impedance matches your mono or stereo preference. Never try to use both inputs at the same time when you’re in mono mode.
■ How to Maximize Your Guitar Sound from a Speaker Cabinet
Your speaker cabinet influences the instrument’s tone more than you might imagine. That’s why selecting an appropriate product made with materials that enhance your sound is worth almost anything.
When you need to maximize your instrument’s output, here are the various available options.
|Open vs. Closed:||The same speaker sounds significantly different when you have an open-back cabinet compared to one that’s closed. An open-back cab typically fills a room with natural audio, while closed-back designs project it forward.|
|Front vs. Rear Baffle:||The cabinet baffle mounting makes a big difference in how your guitar sounds when playing. Having the mount on the front typically delivers more clarity and audio projection while sounding a touch more natural. On the rear, you’ll get more of a horn sound that boosts the lower mids.|
|Speaker Size:||Many audio enthusiasts say that the 1x12s deliver the purest tone, offering the best chance to hear the guitar in the way it was intended. When you get a 4×12 like the 1960A and 1960B, you’ll get shifts in the tonal balance with better output toward the lower end.|
My Review of the 1960A and 1960B
I’ve been playing with my 1960A since 1997, when my friends in high school decided to form a band. We called ourselves Splintered Cross, did covers for the community, and made a terrible music video that was basically the three of us yelling lyrics and pretending we were in a mosh pit.
I grabbed my 1960B in 1999. That was the year I had to sit out almost 12 months because of a knee injury from playing football, so I turned to getting better with my music.
For the most part, I believe a cabinet from any brand accomplishes its job. You’ll get good sound, a helpful setup, and moments to explore creativity.
Whether you opt for something cheap or at the other end of the scale, the investment should deliver fun results.
That’s what I found after playing the 1960A and 1960B 4x12s for the first time. These cabinets deliver more clarity and punch, especially when you grab the angled design and stack them.
They’re rugged and well-constructed, especially with the Celestion cabs.
The cab is an excellent resource for power players that want more diversity in their chords or note tone without giving up volume, accuracy, and shape.
Its visual aesthetics are excellent, providing the classic stereo cabinet look with the Marshall branding centered on the front.
If you prefer a single volume option with a tone knob, you’ll appreciate how the slight differences and nuances come through when playing. Marshall respected how soundwaves form and travel with their design, making it a fantastic listening experience for everyone.
Even if you play jazz, the cabinet delivers a bit of a buzz with a mellow overtone that makes it feel like you’re sitting in a smoky 1920s club with the stage right in front. I love the construction because Marshall uses 15-millimeter birch plywood to create the harmonic brilliance noted in the 1960A and 1960B, which is something you’ll find in the high-end speaker cabs for any category.
They’re also built in England instead of China or southeast Asia, which means you can avoid some of the quality control issues found in the cheaper products.
Marshall means quality all the way. The only difference is that you don’t need to shell out $10k to get something you love.
An Alternative to the 1960A and 1960B to Consider
If you don’t like the age of the 1960A or 1960B from Marshall, the Silver Jubilee Reissue is almost as good when you want to play with 4x12s.
It has 240W speakers instead of 300W, but you can barely tell the difference when you’re playing the guitar.
The Celestion vintage speakers offer a significant presence, providing a 100W output FX loop with bass, midrange, and treble controls.
You can opt for a straight or angled design, just like you can with the 1960A and 1960B. It’s made in England, uses a similar construction methodology, and updates the sounds produced from the late 1980s.
The 2555X is one of the legendary cabs out there, especially with its distinctive sound, looks, and features.
When you get the 2551AV reissue, you’ll get all the original panel features while enjoying an accurate reproduction of the signature tone.
A Final Thought on the 1960A and 1960B
The 1960A and 1960B speaker cabinets from Marshall come with vintage 30s, which makes them heavier than most cabs. That design gives your audio some extra beef while allowing all musicians to develop a signature tone.
I use the 1960A and 1960B whenever I can because of how well the sounds complement one another. The A is tight and bright, while the B is deep and super thick.
My friends sometimes make fun of me because they’ve moved onto other cabs, but I stick to what I love.
If you don’t like the idea of paying over $1,000 for used cabs, the Silver Jubilee Reissue is a great opportunity to consider.
It’s been the only thing that’s tempted me to walk away from the 1960A and 1960B. And truthfully, it still does.