Home made high end Ethernet cables

Hi all, I thought that with so much interest in high end Ethernet streaming cables I’d show an alternative way to obtain these at a fraction of the cost.

Many manufacturers would have you believe there’s some secret voodoo with cable manufacture but in many cases its really quite simple and requires little specialist skill or tools, hopefully you will find this a useful and simple alternative.

I should say that I do this type of thing for a living but trust me the basics are quite simple. I’m undertaking a full house rewire and am adding a number of dedicated network cables for Naim equipment around the house, here’s how I do it. Making up a short patch cable would be no different.

Firstly I’m using Excel branded Cat6A cable and Telegartner plugs. The black Excel cable is external graded and the cyan the internal version. Internally you can use either but don’t use internal grade outside, it wont last long. There are many alternatives, I cant tell you if these are better or worse than others, just that they are extremely high quality items. I buy cable on 500m drums but you can get shorter lengths online.

Telegartner 2-piece Plug

First, strip back the outer sheaf, I’ve used a Jokari stripper but a knife is fine. You don’t need to cut right through, just partial and it will split when bent. The second image shows the foil shield and the thin drain wire.

If you want to ground the plug, then the drain wire is wrapped around the cable end and will ultimately connect with the plug casing. Note you would want to strip back about 100mm of the outer sheaf when doing this but as I am intending only grounding the source end and not this one, then this drain wire is a bit short (50mm) and following images will show it cut off.

Drain wire cut off and foil shield removed. You always remove the foil, even if you keep the drain wire and earth the plug. I used some precision cutters to tidy as best as possible. There are 4 wire pairs, orange, green, blue and brown each with their corresponding white pair.

Next I’ve added an insulation shield heat shrink. As I don’t want this end to be earthed this will ensure no accidental contact to the plug casing.

Unwind and straighten the wires, keeping them in their pairs. I’ve also arranged these to suit their fitment into the plug in the next step.

The inner connector part of the plug is now fitted, the wires simply push through the holes. Note that the wiring standard is called TIA 568, with 568B being common in Europe and I believe 568A in the US. So long as you do both ends the same it does not matter but I suggest comply to the norm. I am using 568B and this is the standard colour code on these plugs, so you cant really go wrong.

Pull the cables through taking care not to kink them. The most common error here is getting the colours wrong or simply missing the hole.

The contacts now need to be set to the wires. Any pliers are OK but water pump grips are good as they can clamp parallel. Not much force is needed, just ensure an even and straight clamp.

Remove the black plastic guide and snip off the excess cable. Note this is important to do neatly and a good set of mini snips is highly recommended.

You need to insert the connector fully into the plug in the correct orientation, then lightly squeeze the metal plug to snap close.

Finally carefully squeeze the cable clamp shut noting its easy to do this too tight, all done! Shown with the end dust cap removed.

I made up this bundle, each end takes maybe 5 mins once you get going and are used to it.

I don’t normally apply Deoxit or other cleaners but I guess you could if you wish. A small drop to contacts would be all that is needed.

Hope this is of interest!


Interesting read. Thanks!

What do you do with the rest of the 500m drum😬


Hi, I read your post title and thought it was about home making Ethernet cables, which I have done for a bit of fun, I used a slow speed drill to make the twisted pairs… but you are instead talking about terminating ethernet cable which is somewhat different and regular for many (but perhaps not audiophiles). It’s straight forward to do with the right tools so you can get the right lengths. It’s good you raise the profile of doing this.

Yes I would encourage people using Ethernet to self terminate their leads and use pre made patch leads for a metre or less for convenience. These days with modern connectors and tools it’s so much easier than it used to be, and obviously there is a massive choice of cables that you can sometimes buy per meter. It just takes a little practice. Practice terminating 2 short leads… and you should then be fine.

The thing I would add when terminating your own cables is definitely religiously check them with a cable checker… it’s not unusual for me to have a pin connection that does not need re crimping. Ethernet cable checkers for consumers can be cheaply bought off Amazon or eBay. (As well as crimping tools)

I use something like this


A cheap Ethernet cable continuity checker… around a tenner

BTW if you are new to working with Ethernet, you need to note there are two wiring configuration types, pass through and cross over.
For connecting a device to a switch you should use pass through, connecting devices directly you use cross over. For home use you will probably always use pass through. Wiring for a Naim streamer uses 100 BaseT (Fast Ethernet)


For cable testing I use a Fluke Link-IQ and I do test all cables I make. By using plugs like the Telegartner you are very unlikely to ever find a failure though. If it looks right then it will be.


I avoided these types of testers in the original post as very few people have a £2500 test meter and the more advanced ones cost more than double this.

If you choose to use the cheap crimp on plugs like the one below then expect some failures and as a minimum should wire map test with a simple checker. I’ve done hundreds of these and still get loads of problems, horrible things.


Again I avoided cheap plugs as they are not what I would consider to be high end at all, so what’s the point for the readers on here?


Yes I would not use cheap crimp connectors. However quality ‘Easy’ crimp connectors are fine for Cat 5/6. Yes they cost a little more at around 50 pence each if bought in packs of 10 or more, but worth it.
I find over time crimping the most reliable connection method short of soldering… other methods can oxidise or loosen over time… crimping is usually fix and forget. Crimping plugs also more easily allow the maximum length of untwisted cable to be met.

As far as testers… yes a simple Ethernet cable continuity checker is all you need for this sort of use case … they cost around 10 pounds. Good practice is always continuity test even if it looks ok… and that is not just for Ethernet cables.
But with Ethernet many devices will auto negotiate down if the cable is deficient in certain ways… the link will work but not as it should and you may have les than totally reliable streamer operation… like discovery not working well. Most consumers don’t use managed network equipment that identifies this… it’s plug and play… hence the value of testing any new cable before you use it… certainly if self terminated.

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Simon, I’ve considered making my own ethernet cables with some twisted pairs of Teflon-insulated solid silver, twisted into pairs and bonded together with heat shrink, then terminated into Telegartner plugs. Since I only need about .5m to go from my FMC to streamer, it shouldn’t be too time- or resource-consuming. Thanks for the reminder to get around to it.

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What would your suggestion to be to make it (more?) high end?

Increase the price? Add some pseudo blurb?
“The flow of electrons is unimpeded resulting in lower jitter and a much more musical experience”


I wonder what you believe to be inside most custom made cables? Blue Jeans for example openly state they use Belden 10GX32 and I suspect so do many others.

The point here of course is how to do it, not to tell you which product to chose doing so.


I have three Blue Jeans Cat 6a cables here and one of them only works as intended if connected reversed to the other two. This would suggest to me that (even though it’s been certified) it has been poorly built and that their ‘Fluke’ test equipment is utterly meaningless, and if they get it right, it is indeed a bloody fluke. I’ve never had this problem with other makes of Ethernet cables, including cheap ones from the far east.

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Well everyone has an opinion of quality and perceived value. There is no bandwagon here, just trying to be helpful to those who are interested. Total build time, maybe 10 mins and cost £20. I’m OK with that, I don’t need any marketing.


That’s quite interesting. If it only works properly in a single direction it may have a plug that is only just OK and is a poor fit in one device, or maybe the shield is single ended and only connected at one end. If the latter then the source would normally be the shielded side but I would not expect it to affect anything other than a possible mains hum maybe.

If i connect the cable reversed to the other two (ie writing reading the other way) i have only a orange light lit up on my switch, if i reverse it then the light turns green. On top of that, the overall performance from the Blue Jeans Cat 6a is about as exciting as a wet flannel.

That’s definitely a fault then as the lights will indicate 100Mbps (4 wire) or 1Gbps (8 wire) - or worse still 10Mbps (4 wire). Sounds like its poorly made.

As a side note, anyone making their own cables can use this as a basic test. Plug a laptop in and if it connects at 1Gbps you have continuity on all 8 wires and they are in the right place.

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Yep, but it came with it’s ‘all singing and dancing’ Fluke certificate. By the way, i’ve never had this problem with any other cable i’ve tried, certified or not.

I was convinced that this was the hidden meaning of it all :slight_smile:


You could try Viablue EP-7 silver plated Cat7 cable at about £7 a meter. Total cost sub £30 for a finished patch lead. After that maybe take out a big advert and add a zero to the price!

It’s really a matter of trying what you can get hold of but at 1/10th of the cost you can play a lot compared to buying a high end cable and maybe come away a winner.

don’t forget - give the cable some funky colour.

It does make me smile - when 802.11ax (marketed to consumers as Wifi 6/6E) becomes more adopted for hosts and access points then unless you have infrastructure runs or in a data centre/comms room then Wifi will likely give the better performance and therefore if implemented correctly better SQ.

But you read it here first (perhaps) we will then probably have a market in audiophile antennas.


And audiophile APs :wink:

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