Nd555 at bottom shelf - why not under 552? And 500 at the bottom?
It’s better to avoid digital equipment close to a preamp.
So to summarise the requirements.
- Burndy. Close and parallell without touching is the recommendation.
- No cables touching floor
- Massage is critical
- Pull signal cables out 1mm (not snaics!)
- No power cables touching signal cables
- 500 doesn’t sound good at the bottom rack
- 552 doesn’t sound at its best close to digital source
- 552 on top shelf
- Turntable on top shelf
- 500 on top shelf?
- Brains and brawn is a must
- Boxes flush and in line with fraim and glass shelf front
- Where on the glass shelf the boxes are placed is critical and same for the metal balls
- Which side of the glass shelf is up is critical
- The correct tightning of the fraim is important
- Dedicated power is a must
Anything I forgot to make a naim box sing?
Protocol for unused inputs?
I think it’s good that Naim communicate what you can do to get the most out of your equipment .
500 at the bottom put one Burndy on the floor as well as one of the signal cables. I used to have the empty shelf on the bottom and the 555 between 500 and superline, moving it to the bottom was an experiment to get it further from the phono and pre amp, I’m not sure either way yet on that one. I’d need another full Fraim shelf to make swapping easy and I’ll probably add it next time I rebuild. My focus the last year or so has been on vinyl and having the 555 well away from it seemed like a good idea while I tried out a few things.
The supercap really likes the bottom shelf, whatever it’s powering, no idea why but it always seems to do its best there.
Why is massage critical… helped my neck and my burndys
I seem to recall someone (@Darkebear possibly?) not getting on with 500 on the bottom but did it become a general consensus at some point in time? Moving a power amp up helps with cable dressing, but that can also be achieved with modified spacing/leg lengths.
I tried and found that my 500 sounded better not on the bottom Base-level Fraim shelf, compared to on a shelf higher-up.
Sonically it sounded slower and less detailed compared to when I lifted it via a standard level (empty base-level under) - and even better on a medium level.
Also for cable-dressing it helps to keep the Burndy cables off the floor. If one of these even slightly touches the floor then the sound collapses and the bass is slow with awful timing.
I have three of these NAP500DR running Active and have tried them in a few arrangements and the HF 500 at the very top was best.
Also my ND555 is on its own Fraim stack alone. I tried it on the stack with its supplies and it slowed music pace and lost detail. Also I tried it on just one Medium Fraim level with an empty base-level (this was how I wanted to use it) after I had replaced my 552 Pre for S1 Pre and I thought ‘great I can reclaim the space’ - but it sounded a lot worse without the extra medim level. Experimentation found that I got best results from the ND555 being two Meduim shelves up with two empty shelves below.
I also later had a slightly heavier bit of glass cut for the second empty shelf in that Fraim-stack as I have also previously found that empty shelves are great in a stack, but only one empty shelf in any rack - as they have the same resonance empty and they interact and ‘sing’ and it both unpleasent and loses a lot of information. Singhtly changing one resonance via heavier glass worked wonders that surprised me.
More shelves seem to act like cumulative filters to vibrational noise and also allow the box to have a simple mode of its own vibration and just sounds faster and less slow.
The Power Supplies are fine on the lowest Fraim shelf, but there are some benefits to having them higher but not as important as with the other non-PS boxes.
…just for information on what I did and found but it is all a compromise with how much room you have. In an Active system it is far more sensitive to being wrong or right and if you want to run an Active system it needs to be optimised to really sing.
It is worth experimenting and finding out what works well IMO. Some configurations of the boxes sounded so awful I thought I’d broke something until I put things back and it was just, for example, that the Supercap PS really does not like being near almost anything and wants to be on a top shelf and not nested between other boxes.
Thank you for that resumen, your findings are very interesting. I wonder if your floor transmits a lot of vibration into your Fraim, necessitating additional isolation from the ground up? A wooden and/or suspended floor by any chance?
I have my 500 on the base brains stack and it’s PS on the top of the brawn stack. Both racks consist of 2 medium and one standard height shelves and no cables, Burndys or otherwise touch either the floor or any other cable. I have an empty shelf over the 500 so will swap them round and see if I notice a difference. Moving the 500 up will put it immediately below my ND555 though, whereas there is currently the space of the empty shelf…only one way to find out I suppose.
It is a reinforced suspended floor. Certainly a controlled environment helps with the HiFi - leaving aside the room dimensions then the materials the Speakers and HiFi equipment sit on all has its effect.
In my case I begin with a room that cannot have a solid floor, but otherwise has many great acoustic qualities so I substantially reinforced the floor - Oak-MDF-Oak (running the other way) all glued and close-screwed together. Again I listened to all this as I made it many years ago and in the end it seems to do what I wanted - and a similar reinforced section under the HiFi equipment.
But apart from floor-condicted vibration there is airborne vibration and it is a combo of both that sets the boxes on their Fraim into their vibration modes. One of my old hobbies was vibrational physics and in short it comes down to 'if it can do it - it does!
Meaning that everything vibrates and ‘sings’ and it is then a matter of controlling this with critical-damping or even slightly under-damping, but never over-damping. It is very complex but solvable - with the Fraim the reason for a mix of materials and the use of the wood in parts is to add the correct damping. If it is over-damped it sounds slow and loses detail - if too under-damped then it also loses detail in another way.
Many people try to stop vibration - this is just impossible and you have to let everything move and sing in some optimal way. You begin with good designs where someone has already done all the subjective fine-tuning of the stands and how the boxes are assembled - then you just play with these and it is very easy to hear when it is better or worse, as long as you just experiment and find-out what works and over time you get to know the ‘rules’ of what is not a good idea and what works.
Just how I approach it - energy gets injected and cannot be destroyed but always manifests in vibrational modes.
The 500 head unit has no Transformer and can work well in stacks with ND555 or 552 Pre as some friends seem to get good results that way.
The main thing to avoid anywhere too near your Pre or source is the 500PS which is very electromagnetically noisy. I have had to use Medium levels to space mine from the other PS (I have three 500PS so it is more critical) or I got a horrendous quantity of low and infra-bass noise.
With the 552 Pre it was not so bad but with the S1 Pre - which does the bass far deeper with more energy it could make you feel a bit ill on some music - until I found what caused it in the 500PS being only seperated by Standard levels.
Insert Medium levels into my ‘brawn’ stack of PS/Transformers and the system both became faster in a good way and with more timing info and the Bass problem disappeared.
Always good to try things and not assume you have the best solution. Sometimes you just confirm what you had before was better and you have to put it back but then you know.
Nice informative post - thank you.
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