1 brains, 5 brawn - how to rack?

5 boxes in hand, 1 on order.

BUT we’ve a slight concern over how to rack our pending updated system, even having read all the brains/brawn posts we can find. This is due to us having active transformers in 5 boxes, and only 1 truly externally powered. Hence the 1/5 split.

No transformer - 252
“Brains” with active transformers - NDX2, nDAC
Brawn - Supercap DR, XPS DR, 250 DR

SWMBO has been to the dealer’s, seen it in the flesh and approved the purchase of a Quadraspire SV2T, 2 wide 4 shelves - total of 8 slots, with the 2 non hifi slots for Sky Q and switch (yes, we’ve got the telly on top, far from ideal but no approval received to remodel the lounge as it stands. So have to make the best of a bad lot).

My first thought was to split hifi into 2x3 as follows:

LEFT top to bottom

Supercap DR
250 DR

Hopefully this will give us the room needed to dress the snaic/burndy for the 252 and the burdny for the nDAC, whilst ensuring the 252 is at the top and furthest from any mains feeds. But the NDX2 on the bottom is giving cause for concern when many threads even say it should be above pre-amp.

Are we on the right track please? Open to all options/suggestions including pipe insulation :smile:

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There are probably just as many threads saying the preamp should be on top. Just try it and see which you prefer - that is assuming you can actually detect a difference.


I think you have that right, though you could swap the nDAC and NDX2, which might look better?

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You could always swap the XPS and dac for a 555. Then the NDX would be unpowered and affect the 252 less.

I would put the TV on a wall bracket. That keeps is away from the rack, and also allow you to put it at the right height for viewing rather than whatever the height of the top shelf happens to be.

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Unless of course it’s already too high when on the rack. A four shelf SVT is already quite high.

Then I suppose a 3 shelf rack would be enough, with the TV on the wall above.

Looking back at the original post, six Naim boxes plus 2 other items are mentioned. With the TV on top it would in fact need five shelves. I’m confused.

Well there’s a base level plus four shelves. Definitely one 140mm level to give 250DR airflow, perhaps two. Then 100mm we think (fraim gap is 105mm so we don’t envisage any heat issues).

Current assumption is:
Switch, Sky Q

As for adding 555PS to NDX2, would that outperform NDX2 into nDAC/555PS? There are many threads on this but we will wait until we can experiment ourselves before deciding if the nDAC can be removed :smiley: it would leave a spare slot so maybe a 300 could fill it.

Telly might ultimately go on the wall if we decide to relocate our TT. Now we will have a powered DIN a Stageline is definitely an option. Still undecided if we keep vinyl around.

So like this then.

That’s the plan.

It’s a pity Quadraspire don’t do custom leg lengths, since 4x120mm might have been more OCD friendly. However putting 250DR onto a 100mm level isn’t happening as it gets warm at high volume. Hence 140 on bottom then three 100.

Looks good to me. My only suggestion is to put the switch elsewhere, then you could get a gap below the 252. The switch doesn’t need to be near the NDX2. 640mm does seem a little tall to put a TV on, but I don’t like looking up to watch.

We could put the switch beside router, yes.

Working assumption was a 5v device with no transformer pulling few mA might not interfere with 252, perhaps that is not true.

It’s best to keep digital bits away from the 252 if you can, and you don’t want distracting flashing lights. Our switch lives in a different room, along with the router and the NAS.

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I’d put it on the floor, possibly under the rack or behind a loudspeaker. Or even in the next room (as mine is).

Ok this is good advice. We have a 5m Melco ethernet cable available which could run from switch to NDX2, we’d simply need to source another for Sky Q.

So optimum racking might be:

252, Sky Q

Ideally I would keep all non-HiFi equipment away from the rack, although I accept that this is not always domestically acceptable. I certainly wouldn’t put a switch on there.

I’m not convinced you really need a taller shelf for the 250. Mine was quite happy on a standard 100mm Isoblue shelf, which is slightly less open for air circulation than a Quadraspire.

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That looks good. I tend to agree with Chris, a 100mm shelf should be fine, as the SVT has both legs and slotted shelves. I’d be surprised if a 250 got anything more than a little warm, unless you play music at high volumes for long periods. Ideally you’d have a dedicated mains socket behind the rack, so that you can keep the Naim separate from the TV and Sky box.

The choice of 140mm was based on a dealer recommendation and also our own experience that the 250DR can get warm. But yes that’s warm, not hot, in the current rack which has solid shelves (above and below, 120mm gap) and solid sides, so very poor airflow.

Good to hear the experience of others with same black boxes.

Adequacy of a 100mm shelf with enhanced airflow is food for thought.

Power socket provision and dedicated mains are next on the list but no rush as we’re not expecting a rack or 252 to appear instantly (unlike our NDX2 which had a wait time of 1 day order to collection!)

I use a SVT2 rack with eight Naim boxes leg height is 140mm the TV and soundbar are mounted above on a wall bracket. I did make a small four level rack using light oak shelves and Quadraspire uprights to house my Router, Core HDD back up, Apple TV and EE switch this is to theft of the rack in a corner area.

The SVT2 rack has the Bronze upgrade with the additional shelf this give a height of 670mm to the top shelf we went for the 140mm legs to give the additional height to aid with cable dressing.

If height is a problem I wouldn’t worry about the 140mm leg height for the 250 as the slots in the SVT do help with the cooling.

Can send a picture if required.