Calling Naim Box Stacking Gurus

Just replaced my NAC 102 with NAC 82, and its about time my 20 year old layout gets addressed again, especially as it goes back to CRT TV’s. Currently in my “Stands Unique” AV Rack I have:

        LED TV

ND5 XS2 DVD/HDD Recorder

(Sorry it’s not Fraim, but thats never going to happen)
The Credo left speaker is to the Right of the rack, and the right speaker is the other side of the fireplace. Can you Gurus give advice on how best to start from scratch. I also have Isolation feet on the top row and bottom row, so advice if that makes sense would be of help. Also the CDX doesn’t get used much, so doesn’t need top billing. Having read some articles on this forum, I was thinking of:


ND5 XS2 DVD/HDD Recorder

This will also help a little with the bit of Hum I get from the NAP/HiCap, plus keeps all the power low to floor, along with the Mains Block behind.

Advice most welcome - Thank You

1 Like

Think your order would work, would try this though:

ND5XS2 DVD/HDD recorder
NAP 140 HiCap Napsc

Effectively Brain on left, Brawn on right. Keeping the Hicap and Napsc further away from 82 and ND5XS2.


So “it’s just the brains to the left, and then the brawn to the riiiight”! I wont ask where the hands go. Many thanks Dan

1 Like

The idea is that all the sources go to the left and all the power supplies to the right.

So with the power amp you want that to the left at the bottom and all the more sensitive sources above it. The preamp goes at the top.

The right stack you have the power supplies, so in your case the hicap and napsc. You can have sources above it for practicality.

In my case I have:

Turntable on shelf to left

Phono stage CDS3 head unit
NAC 82 555PS
NAP 135 XPS2
NAP 135 Supercap2

So on the left I have all the brains: preamp, phonostage and sources. The power amps at the bottom.

And then the brawn stack: power supplies but the CDS3 has to go somewhere so goes on the top, away from the power supplies.

The idea is so keep the sensitive signal paths away from the noisy power supplies, hence separation.

There can be some variation within this but these are the basic principles.

1 Like

Very helpful Dan, thanks indeed

This includes the power supplies in the power amps, which is why you should move the power amps to the brawn stack as well, not the brain one.

Basically, it’s 82, CDX and ND5XS-2 on the left hand side, all the others on the right. If you want to be super cautious push the 140 and Hicap over to the far right of the right hand side.

The speakers are to the right of the cabinet, so would it be better to put the NAP 140 to the very right so that the speaker cables are not passing any other cables?

The 140 and Hicap would each get their own ‘half shelf’ and can both go over to the far rhs. This keeps the noisy transformers way from the more delicate stuff in the pre-amp, cd and streamer. (Might look a bit inbalanced but have a play around.)

Thanks @GavinB, so what you are saying is something like:

DVD/HDD recorder (half gap) HiCap Napsc
ND5XS2 (half gap) NAP 140

Dan suggestion was to keep the Hicap and Amp on bottom. As that means there is also a 10mm glass separation between the upper components, would that not give better isolation. Also I can make the top two shelves narrow, giving an effective lower bottom shelf for further separation, so something like:

ND5XS2 DVD/HDD recorder

(empty) HiCap Napsc NAP 140

Left side:

Right side
(NAPSC underneath the rack out of sight)

Or put together…
82 HiCap
ND5 140

Hope that’s clearer!

1 Like

I think it’s a case of a mixture of what looks right and isolating the sensitive signal paths from power supplies.

The 140 on the brain stack and the hicap on the right brawn stack will also work.

If you had one stack the preamp would be on top, followed by sources, the power amp then the power supplies.

So sometimes, depending on the equipment and how it looks you can follow this principle.

The power supplies in hicaps, supercaps, XPS, 555PS are noisier than the poweramps.

Poweramps are often in the bottom of the brain stack depending on the system you have. There is nothing wrong with doing this.

I have 4 power supplies, 2 power amps. Would end up with a very high brawn stack.

So practicality means sometimes having the poweramps at the bottom of the brain stack.

Really appreciate this, sorry if I am being slow.

So rather than brains left, brawn right, which would probably work well when there are two separate racks with a bigger gap, as my left and right units are just an inch apart to each other, can I therefore put Brains on top and Brawn below, keeping power supplies and amp furthest?
I’d quite like to put the 140 to the bottom right, so taking in what you said (I hope), and considering the DVD player is not important, and the CDX gets little play, the brains would be NAC 82 and ND5 XS2, so would the following be OK

ND5XS2                        NAC 82
DVD/HDD recorder     CDX
HiCap Napsc                       NAP 140

Also by moving the first two shelves higher, I can increase that gap further to the last shelf.

Thank you for your patience.

There isn’t anything wrong with any setup; the point is one of optimization.

If you can, you would move the power supplies to the brawn stack, and that includes the power amp. If there are practical considerations to that, then you don’t, naturally; my point was just to clarify that the ideal state had them over on the brawn stack.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.