Brains and Brawn

Hi there,

Not withstanding my little unexpected powering off 300DR issue at the moment, I’ve been following the great threads on having two Fraim bases and level set up side by side in a Brains and Brawn configuration.

In my case I don’t unfortunately have space side by side so I have to stack. In the Naim connection guide it shows a specific order to the layering of the system with the 300 PSU on the base, then the 300DR Amp, then the Supercap DR, then the 252. I’ve built the system in this order, with the source on the top (NDX2). However in this order the Burndys are looping and touching the ground for the PSU to 300DR part of the chain.

Is there consensus that I should also adopt a Brains and Brawn order whereby I locate the 300 PSU on the base, then Supercap DR, then 300DR amp and then 252 so that there is more height for the Burndys to span and thus less chance for them to loop and more of a gap between the 252 and the PSUs?

I found a small improvement from putting the preamp on top, with streamer next, using NDX and 282. Quite a few others have reported similar findings here.


So after searching more (sorry) I saw a lot of stacking questions and answers. Rather than re-hash that here, please moderator just close this one.

I’ve come to the conclusion when reading that the PSUs should go at the bottom (I.e. the 300 PSU on the base, then the Supercap DR, then the 300 amp, then the 252 or NDX2 or vice versa). So I’ve done that. (Can’t say I’ve noticed much of a difference in sound there). Also noticed I’d connected the 300 PSU Burndys into the 300 amp the wrong way round with the marking the wrong way up. Corrected that.

I just ordered a 300DR to replace my 250DR. I think my plan for the brawn side is to stack from the bottom up: 300, XPS-DR, SuperCapDR, 300PS
With the 300 on the bottom and the 300PS on the top I shouldn’t have any problems with cables touching the floor.

I have an extra set of Fraim stanchions & bolts (i.e. med + std), so I can either use a medium Fraim above the 300 to add some space above for the three PSUs, or I might leave all the brawn boxes on standard Fraim levels.

Consider putting your 300DR Head Unit (i.e. not the power supply box) on the bottom of your brain stack rather than on the brawn stack.


There isn’t room for the 300 on the brain side. My brain stack has (from bottom up): phonostage on a med level, NDX2, 282 (and soon 252).

Just above that is the turntable wall shelf. There is no room for another box under it. The 300 has to go on the brawn side. I also don’t have enough extra slack for the right speaker cable to reach any farther.

This is a photo of how it looks now with the 282/250DR.

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In my case, I tried 300 head on bottom of the brain side but found better SQ by this arrangement:

Brain (from bottom):

Brawn (from bottom):
300 head

I suggest moving your album rack off the top of the brawn and put the 300 head on top. In this setup, none of the cables are touching and the 300 burndies and DIN-XLRs are off the floor. Also, aside from the PSU burndies (555 & 552) nothing crosses over to interfere with the interconnect between source and pre.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll need to try it my way first, and see how that works out. I don’t have enough R speaker cable to reach a head unit on the top where the record rack is, or on brain side. The record rack has to stay too. I don’t have another place for it and I really like it where it is. Some balance of form and function matters too, in the end, even if I don’t get things 100% optimal sonically.

With that said, there are plans to move this whole thing to the living room, and I can revisit how everything is sited then, maybe even bringing the 300 head unit to the brain side.

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