Blue Jeans 5T00UP Locking Terminations & Cable Design
Finding a banana plug to snugly mate with female banana receptacles on my home theater wall plates is a challenge to say the least. This is why I am such a big fan of locking style banana terminations. Their locking banana plug can accommodate pretty much any binding post out there. All you have to do is keep twisting the terminal until the banana plug firmly connects to your amp or speaker's binding posts. Once tightened, I was unable to pull the cables off of my speakers or wall plate connectors. Having a solid termination is critical to minimizing contact resistance and also reducing potential bad connections caused by moving equipment back in place after hooking it all up. I have seen far too many poorly designed spade/banana plug terminations used by exotic cable vendors that either fall off the connectors, or simply add excessive series resistance which they are allegedly trying to minimize in their cable design. I consider this counterproductive and it appears Blue Jeans Cable is in agreement as evidenced by their locking banana plug termination which is now popularized by many of the better cable manufacturers out there. These terminations aren't cheap at $5.25/pair, but in this case you get what you pay for. I highly recommend the added expenditure if your setup is susceptible to loose connections. However, for those on a tight budget, you can still opt for traditional banana or spade terminations for a fraction of the cost.
The Cable Design
There is no rocket science to this cable design. Its good old fashioned Belden 10AWG twin feeder cable used worldwide in many of the top notch recording studios and pro installations more concerned with performance and durability over market appeal and aesthetics.
Though Blue Jeans doesn't specify their cable metrics, they are easy to figure out by simple inspection. You can learn more about this by reading up on the following Audioholics articles regarding cable inductance and capacitance:
...inductance and capacitance values are interrelated and based on the dielectric and conductor spacing between the (+) and (-) conductors.
Without a caliper on hand to measure conductor to conductor spacing, I eye balled around .17uH/ft inductance and 25pF/ft capacitance. Given its 10AWG specification, this cable should measure around 2mohm/ft (loop resistance).
Belden's standard version of these cables is available only in a gray jacket, with white and black inner conductors; however, Blue Jeans had Belden build a slightly modified version of each, with a white outer jacket (less conspicuous in many installations) and red and black inner conductors. Both the 10-gauge and 12-gauge versions consist of two separately insulated conductors, twisted together and wrapped in an outer PVC sleeve. Whether in white or gray, or 10 or 12 AWG, all of these cables are UL-listed and NEC-rated for in-wall use (the NEC rating for 5000UE and Twelve White is CL3R; for 5T00UP and Ten White, it's CL2). This is a critical metric for installers wanting to run cables behind drywall for new construction.
Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!