I had some spare time yesterday at my band's rehearsal space/studio, and decided to compare some cabs that were laying around.
The amps used in the test were a Marshall 2553 head and a Mesa Studio preamp with a 20/20 power amp, the guitar was a custom strat, h-s-s.
The cabs compared with each other were:
1) Marshall 4x12, 100w, 16 ohms. Limited edition w/white tolex, the speakers are most likely Celestion Greenbacks.
2) VHT 1x12 ported closed-back with a Celestion GT12T-75, 16 ohms, 75 w.
3) Marshall JCM800 1936 2x12, Celestion G12-80 & a 100w Eminence, 4 ohms.
As already stated in other threads, the cab makes a HUGE difference.
The 4x12 Marshall sounded quite brittle and clunky. It was not very well defined, lacking thump and articulation. No good for power chord riffing. On the other hand, it had a spiky upper midrange that brought some Hendrix vibe, and might sound "vintage" with a totally cranked amp, which may please some ears. Clean sounds lacked dimension and were not very musical.
My favourite of the batch was the tiny VHT. It was tight, defined, very well balanced, but not very loud. The lead sounds were fluid but articulate, rhythm sounds crunchy. The Marshall had a nice, thick sound perfect for playing distorted riffs; the Mesa was wailing. Bottom end was surprisingly good for such a small cab, actually I had to roll off some bass! Clean sounds lacked some spaciness, but were full, round, and musical. No doubt I will use this cab extensively for recording.
The loudest one of the bunch was the Marshall 2x12. The cab had a wide, quite loose sound that brought out some nice neck pickup sounds. It was ok for hi-gain sounds, but was no match for the VHT in tightness and definition. The sound was more "classic rock". There was something in the midrange of this cab that I didn't entirely like, some "hollowness". Clean sounds were ok, with nice musical bottom end.
I hope you find my tiny exploration entertaining.