Unlike their acoustic counterparts, most electric guitars and bass guitars struggle to propagate sound waves to listeners' ears, even at close distances. The need for electrical amplification and loudspeakers, then, is necessary for getting adequate volume from our electric guitars and basses.
Of course, we need a way to get the audio signals from the pickups to the amplifiers, which is where guitar/bass patch cables come into play.
Though the cable brand is far from the most critical factor in any given guitar/bass patch cord, it's relevant to know the top players regarding guitar and bass instrument cables to help with our selection.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I’ve done my best to list the top 11 brands that manufacture guitar/bass patch cables. My decision is based on personal experience along with the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Variety of cables
- Performance of the cables
- Accessibility of the cables (how easy they are to find/buy)
- The company must currently be in operation
With all that being said, let’s list out the brands.
The Top 11 Best Guitar/Bass Patch Cable Brands Are:
- Pro Co
- Lava Cable
- George L’s
- Ernie Ball
- Evidence Audio
- GLS Audio
Let’s get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best guitar/bass cable brands. I’ll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a patch cable, and a link to their official website.
Related My New Microphone articles:
• Top 13 Best Electric Guitar Brands In The World
• Top 13 Best Electric Bass Guitar Brands In The World
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Saburo Egawa was one of the most respected audio critics in Japan. In stating that there were differences among audio cables, a man by the name of Koichi Hirabayashi wanted to prove him wrong.
Koichi tried everything he could but failed; there were audible differences. Upon this realization, he elected to produce the best-sounding cables in the world: Mogami Cables.
Although the company dates back to 1957, it didn’t make it to the mainstream of audio until 20 years later, in 1977. Mogami cables were Japan’s best-kept secret in terms of Hi-Fi audio. By 1987, the company was distributing worldwide, turning skeptical people mistrusting the steep price tag into die-hard fanatics.
Today, Mogami cables are considered by music lovers and musicians (such as Slash, for example) the best cables money can buy. All production still comes from Japan, and all Mogami cables carry a ten-year warranty.
Notable guitar patch cable: MCP GT 20 CorePlus Straight to Straight Instrument Cable – 20 foot
Mogami employs Neutrik connections on their products, and the MCP GT 20 CorePlus, in particular, features a 26-gauge copper center, ensuring top-notch signal transfer from tip to tip. If you’re playing a stage or a studio, this may very well be the best cable to do it.
Furthermore, the ultra-high density found in the spiral shielding of these cables makes them RF-interference proof, and the PVC sub-shield protects the signal of your instrument from handling and electrostatic noises as well.
Finally, the extra-durable outer jacket makes this your perfect companion for non-stop touring and sounding great every night.
The history of this family-owned brand goes all the way back to the Seventeenth Century in Italy. The entire family moved to the United States to pursue a better life and established themselves in New York City. D’Addario, the company we know today, was founded on US soil in 1974.
Although they are best known for their strings, the accessories catalogue grew to include many other products, including, of course, superb path cables. The leverage gained over the centuries allowed D’Addario to create some of the most innovative, sturdy, and great-sounding cables in the market.
Seeing the D’Addario logo is a synonym for performance, endurance, great craftsmanship, and reliability. Get a D’Addario cable today and step into the big leagues of audio with your instrument.
Notable guitar patch cable: PW-AMSG-20 American Stage Instrument Cable, 20 feet
These guaranteed-for-life cables employ made-in-USA audiophile-quality wire, a low capacitance (28pF/ft.), and an oxygen-free 22AWG copper conductor to provide excellence in sound and signal transfer.
Moreover, the company utilizes exclusively 95% tinned copper braiding to minimize or eliminate unwanted noises.
Finally, the slightly larger GEO-tip improves connection with the receiving end, whether it is an instrument, an amplifier, or a pedal.
D’Addario’s American Stage line represents the finest cables the company has manufactured so far.
Pro Co is a brand that most people associate with their best-known invention called “RAT”, a distortion pedal that has seen countless sessions and stages. In addition to this legendary stompbox, the company has been making top-notch cables and accessories since 1974.
Partly, their reputation comes from being restless innovators trying to push sonic boundaries forward at all times. Through that path, they earned the reputation of being the best of the affordable cable brands.
Although Mogami represents a different league entirely, to buy Pro Co is to ensure a sturdy, reliable solution that will perform night after night even in the most challenging scenarios.
Notable guitar patch cable: EVLGCSN-20 Evolution Silent Straight to Straight Instrument Cable – 20 foot
Part of Pro Co’s Silent family, these cables employ Neutrik connectors at the end of premium OFC, low-capacitance cables. This combination ensures musicians that no unwanted noises can penetrate their signal while carrying the full frequency spectrum at all times.
The chuck-style strain relief, the maximum-density spiral shield, and the soft PVC make this a sturdy, reliable cable that delivers top-notch quality at an affordable price. If you want the best sound and maximum reliability, go for a Pro Co Evolution Silent.
LiveWire has been offering cables and accessories for many years and has earned a reputation as being reliable, affordable, and sounding exceptional.
Originally from Thousand Oaks, California, this company offers the Essential line of cables for beginners and enthusiasts, the Advantage for serious players, and the Elite for seasoned pros. All of them offer a limited lifetime warranty.
By buying LiveWire products, you can assure years of performance and great sound in every scenario, including the most demanding situations you can think of.
And the best about LiveWire cables? They will perform time after time and won’t break the bank.
Notable guitar patch cable: GG20BW Signature 20′
Looking good on stage doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing audio quality, at least not using this line of LiveWire cables. They feature Amphenol gold-plated connectors at the tip of a 22-gauge core conductor covered with soft but sturdy PVC and a beautiful motif to dress it.
Signature cables are voiced for guitar and bass, excelling at the bottom-end and mid-range, thus achieving an articulate, precise result. Finally, connectors carry a lifetime warranty.
Guitar player and tone freak Mark L. Stoddard was about to get deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the US Army when he decided to take all the elements to create cables along with him.
Indeed, he founded the company before leaving and producing Lava cables kept him grounded throughout his stay in combat.
Today, he is a retired Major and has turned his passion and commitment into excellence in matters of connections. Lava Cables are made entirely in the US under specific directions by Mr. Stoddard and represent a lifelong dedication to music, tone, and a commitment to things done the right way.
The outcome? Some of the best-sounding patch cables in the market today.
This video by Mark himself will let you know a little more about his extraordinary story.
Notable guitar patch cable: LCUFLX20 Ultramafic Flex Straight to Straight Instrument Cable – 20 foot
This is the newest addition to the Ultramatic high-end cable family. This line of Lava cables represents one of the best-sounding cable technologies in the world.
To begin with, the low-capacitance construction, along with the 20-gauge silver-plated copper conductors, 98% braided shield, and triple shielding, make it highly conductive yet dead silent.
These cables reject most RF interference, while the Neutrik X-Series connectors provide maximum clarity and endurance.
It is safe to say that this cable by Lava Cables is one of the best in the market and will bring you years of non-stop, noise-free musical joy.
Asterope Cables was born as an accident. Dariush Rad was working on a hi-fi system in Austin, TX, and found out that it was the cable that prevented the sound from reaching its maximum purity. Thus, he set up a new company in 2010 to try and fix that with a holistic approach.
Much of what is revolutionary about Asterope has to do with the relationship between the cable and the connector being radically different. The same copper wire runs through the connector all the way to the tip connecting with the instrument.
The company sent the prototype to top-tier players and producers, asking for a video opinion in return. That was the advertising that got the company on the map.
Today, this growing company is already spreading the word about new technology to replace the archaic connectors we have been using for half a century.
If you are a demanding musician, you owe it to yourself to try one of Asterope's excellent patch cables for connecting your instrument.
Notable guitar patch cable: AST-B20-SSN Pro Stage Series Straight to Straight Instrument Cable – 20 foot
The solid-core, ultra-clarity nickel connectors at both ends of these cables are revolutionary, to say the least. But quality only starts there since it is made completely of oxygen-free, 99% ultra-pure copper. You never heard your instrument clearer, regardless of the signal chain.
On top of that, the 95% cross-braided tin copper shielding keeps all unwanted noises out of the equation, and the unique barbed-collar bracket reliefs will keep it rocking for years.
If you want to experience a true sonic revolution in the shape of a cable, get this US-designed and made wonder and never look back.
George L proudly stewards the quote, “Someone took a blanket off my amp!” In other words, George L’s cables offer uncanny connectivity, leading to a hotter, clearer sound coming out of the speakers.
Perhaps their most remarkable item is the solderless kit for pedalboards, which was once praised by Eddie Van Halen himself and sold hundreds of thousands around the world.
This company is still family-owned and family-operated, building all of its patch cables in Nashville, Tennessee, and shipping them around the globe.
If you want to know what made tone-fanatics turn to them over the last decade, give them a try; if they were good enough for a tone freak the size of EVH, they are good for you, too.
Notable guitar patch cable: GL225Gtr20 Straight to Straight Guitar Cable – 20 foot Black
The passion for sound beats wildly inside every George L cable leaving the factory. When buying this model, you are tapping into decades of perfecting a simple design. Plus, they come in two separate colours with different plug construction.
- Black: Nickel-plated plugs are known for being warmer-sounding while expressing an explosive mid-range.
- Red: Unplated brass plugs are great for achieving a huge low end while keeping the sound tight and focused.
Either choice will enhance the sound coming out of the speakers and add life to the instrument you’re playing. Try either one of them and hear the difference for yourself.
From opening the first guitar-only shop in the US in 1958 in California to selling strings to Keith Richards, Sir Paul McCartney, and Jimi Hendrix, company owner and founder Ernie Ball has seen it all, including his name displayed and sold in 120 countries around the world.
Ernie’s relentless approach to innovation and passion for great sound expanded the company’s horizons to include a wide variety of player accessories, including some of the best cables around.
Through decades of being at the receiving end of musicians’ input, the company used constructive criticism to help create superior cables that would improve sound just as much as their strings do.
Decades of hard work, dedication, and passion go into each Ernie Ball product, and patch cables are no exception.
Notable guitar patch cable: P06046 Classic Straight to Straight Instrument Cable – 20 foot Black
Although this line of cables by Ernie Ball can’t compete with Mogami's, Asteropes', and Lava Cables', the multiplicity of shielding material, great-quality conductors, and durable PVC jacket make this a great all-purpose, reliable cable to take with you everywhere.
For those in search of a great-sounding option that won’t break the bank, this cable represents one of the best options in the market.
Tony Farinella founded Evidence Audio in 1997 following the motto: “Less is more”. After years of relentless research, he concluded that adding to the signal path was not helping tone clarity, but the opposite; it was standing in the way.
Thus, he set out to create the most minimalist, purest connections possible that would preserve audio quality and tone throughout the signal chain, whichever it was.
As a result, the company gained worldwide acclaim and continues to manufacture some of the best patch cables in the market, competing directly with heavyweight champions like Mogami, Lava, and Monster, among others.
If you haven’t tested one of these yet, give them a chance to change your perspective on cables. Yes, they are that good.
Notable guitar patch cable: The Melody
The Melody is so well-built and exceptionally sounding that it can be used to plug instruments, hi-fi equipment, and studio gear, excelling at each scenario. One of the secrets to this outstanding performance is its solid core IGL copper conductor.
Also, its parallel-run conductors on the ground path provide shielding, and the minimal crosstalk makes the outcome pristine, full, and rich-sounding.
Finally, the company suggests it should be used indoors at a studio because of the solid core and recommends the “Reveal” line for live performances.
Fender was founded in 1946 in Fullerton, CA, by now-legendary drummer and engineer Leo Fender. This company has given humankind some of the finest musical instruments that, in the right hands, shaped much of the music we hear today.
Fender’s disembarkment into cable territory is not a surprise, and it follows the same excellence line that the company is known for.
Furthermore, Fender included a cable inside the case of every guitar shipped from the factory and continues to do it on high-tier models to this day.
Fender cables represent the legacy of one of music history’s most emblematic brands, and they make that legacy justice in every inch.
Notable guitar patch cable: 0990820081 Deluxe Series Straight to Straight Instrument Cable – 18.6 foot Tweed
There's hardly a more iconic colour to define Fender than tweed. Yet, this cable, wrapped up in an appealing tweed jacket, packs some surprises under the hood.
To begin with, it is a 95% oxygen-free copper cable sporting 20AWG wire leading to 24K gold connectors on both sides. Furthermore, the thick PVC coating under the jacket helps repel noises of all kinds and makes this a stage-ready cable.
Looking good doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing tone, and this cable is proof of that.
GLS Audio had its beginnings in the mid-1960s when it was established as a good-sounding, affordable option to other brands making pickups and other guitar accessories.
That philosophy of delivering musicians great products at affordable prices became the backbone of the company. In 2002, amid a market flooded with overpriced, big-name products, they decided to remove the middle person and deliver straight to customers around the world.
They not only provide high-quality products that solve real, everyday musician problems, but they also do it affordably. If you want quality patch cables that won’t break the bank, GLS audio is a sure bet.
Notable guitar patch cable: 37-461 Instrument Guitar Cable 1/4″ Straight to Straight – 20ft Tweed
Costing less than $15 but delivering quality worth several times that amount, GLS Audio managed to put together one of the best options for players on a budget in the market today.
The OFC insulator and PVC conductive shields keep all noises away from your amp or recording. Secondly, the very low capacitance (38 picofarads per foot) allows for maximum strength in the connectivity.
Finally, the flexibility and braided tweed cloth jacket make it appealing and durable for life on the road.
This much quality at this price point is a big part of GLS's inclusion on this list.