Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Mills Acoustics Afterburner 4x12 Cab

It’s a daring thing to stake your name on cabinets alone, and the folks at Mills gladly take on the challenge – talk to them for five minutes and


Mills Acoustics Afterburner 4x12 Cab It’s a daring thing to stake your name on cabinets alone, and the folks at Mills gladly take on the challenge – talk to them for five minutes and it becomes obvious that they are skilled at the art of self-promotion, shamelessly telling you that they produce the best 4x12 on the planet. Big words to be sure, but how on Earth do you back that up? Aren’t all high-end 4x12 cabs pretty much the same, with the exception of speaker choice and minor aesthetics?

However, it quickly becomes apparent that people at Mills Acoustics aren’t deluded – even the cabinet’s entrance is big. It showed up on my doorstep not by UPS or FedEx, but by freight. The box was gargantuan and the cab’s oversized build means that it cannot be shipped by standard methods. It quickly dawned on me that Dave Mills has no intent of sacrificing sonic purity to reduce shipping costs, and the use of a musiccentric frieghting company means that your cab will get there in one piece. Nice.

The Afterburner – a name that conjures up badass images of fighter jets and rockets – comes ready to rock and is not for the faint of heart. Weighing in at a portly 116 pounds, a bit heavier than your standard 4x12, and loaded with Celestion V30s, this cabinet seems poised to single-handedly prove the laws of physics – mainly, more mass means bigger tone.

So just what is different about the Afterburner’s construction that makes it sonically exceptional? It’s oversized, sure, but it’s the sum of the improvements that creates the whole. The first noticeable innovation is the 3/4” thick, 13-ply Russian birch plywood baffle that locks the rear panel to the front soundboard (high quality, virtually voidless plywood is used through out the entire cab). The baffle is ported and acts as a diffuser to move standing sound waves in the proper direction for better projection – even better, the baffle, combined with the cab’s height and depth, helps eliminate phasing issues. No detail has been left out; the connections have been upgraded with 14 gauge copper stranded wire, instead of the thinner 20-22 gauge wiring used by many cab manufacturers, and even the recessed handles feel beefier than normal.

So it’s all pro, but what does that mean for you? Plugging in with both Diezel Herbert and EVH 5150 III heads, the Afterburner delivered huge bottom-end, clear and articulate mids and highs and a larger-than-usual soundscape. There’s a complexity, a three dimensional quality present that all guitarists crave. Even when cranking up the volume, all of the frequencies held together, instead of falling off at different rates.

The Final Mojo
With the caveat that sound is always subjective, I’ll go on record saying that not all hype is bullshit – this thing is a monstrous 4x12, and that’s not just a reference to its size. If you can deal with a little extra weight, the Afterburner will excel in any live or recording setting. Added bonus: if you accidentally drop it off a small building, you’ll more than likely have to repair the sidewalk, not the cab.
Buy if...
you want an industrial strength 4x12 with huge sound, clarity and focus.
Skip if...
you drive a Ford Fiesta and are looking for portability.
Rating...
5.0

MSRP $1299 - Mills Acoustics - millsacoustics.com

Our expert has stated his case, now we want to hear yours. Share your comments and ratings below.

While Annie Clark was named the 26th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023, she couldn’t care less about impressing an athletic stamp on either her sound or her image.


Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

“Did you grow up Unitarian?” Annie Clark asks me. We’re sitting in a control room at Electric Lady Studios in New York’s West Village, and I’ve just explained my personal belief system to her, to see if Clark, aka St. Vincent, might relate and return the favor. After all, does she not possess a kind of sainthood worth inquiring about?

Read MoreShow less

The GibsonES Supreme Collection (L-R) in Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst.

The new Gibson ES Supreme offers AAA-grade figured maple tops, Super Split Block inlays, push/pull volume controls, and Burstbucker pickups.

Read MoreShow less

Mdou Moctar has led his Tuareg crew around the world, but their hometown performances in Agadez, Niger, last year were their most treasured.

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

On the Tuareg band’s Funeral for Justice, they light a fiery, mournful pyre of razor-sharp desert-blues riffs and political calls to arms.

Mdou Moctar, the performing moniker of Tuareg guitar icon Mahamadou “Mdou” Souleymane, has played some pretty big gigs. Alongside guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and bassist Mikey Coltun, Moctar has led his band’s kinetic blend of rock, psych, and Tuareg cultural traditions like assouf and takamba to Newport Folk Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, and, just this past April, to the luxe fields of Indio, California, for Coachella. Off-kilter indie-rock darlings Parquet Courts brought them across the United States in 2022, after which they hit Europe for a run of headline dates.

Read MoreShow less

How do you capture what is so special about Bill Frisell’s guitar playing in one episode? Is it his melodies, his unique chord voicings, his rhythmic concept, his revolutionary approach to pedals and sounds…? It’s all of that and much more.

Read MoreShow less