Design your own Audio Rack?

Hello Everyone,

Presently, I’m not planning to go down the route of Naim Fraim design or similar expensive audio racks for my new Naim 250/272/XPS; OPPO 105; Rega Planar 6 and Aria. Curious, if anyone in the community has built there own audio rack?

Right now, I’m planning on using butcher block shelves and black iron piping. I generally, like doing lots of diy within reason in my small place and also, like the aesthetics of industrial pieces.

I am open to any idea, videos, figures and/or plans, you throw at me or tell me I’m an idiot :slight_smile:

Thanks as always

There is a lot more to a hifi rack than something to simply support the boxes. A lot of the best racks are very light and not 100% rigid, and you’ll find that many avoid magnetic parts. By all means build something from blocks of wood but do consider whether it’s getting the best from nigh on £15,000’s worth of equipment.

You could add the Naim fraim cup and ball with glass for the butchers blocks for better isolation. Others have done this and have commented that its a relatively cheap upgrade.

Considered a DIY rack. In the end, Fraimed, Cherry, Silver. My wife likes the style and I like the sound.

Richard Dane has said in the early design of the Fraim - instead of glass for the shelves, a thick metal sheet was used with good effect.
If I was in something like your situation, I might look into using that instead of a butchers block. Will cost more but probably not much more than an ordered glass shelf or what I used black granite.
I would try that on top of something soft and absorbent maybe.

I built my own rack a couple of years ago. Based on the Hi-Fi racks designs, but using plywood as an alternative for solid wood (for rigidity), and three legs as opposed to four for ease of levelling. I was pleased with there result, but it was (very) time consuming as i’m rather obsessive about paint finish and this took quite an effort!

Spec was 3 x shelves, with each shelf made of 18mm ply sandwiched together. Each leg was 150mm in height and 45mm wide. Isolation courtesy of an M8 bolt spike inserted in each leg via threaded insert and an aluminium cup inset into the shelf for the spike too locate.

Since I bought my Rega RP6, I’ve had to go back to my old Soundstyle 90s rack due to space restrictions as my (chunky) DIY unit took up a lot of space, and was too high to accommodate the Rega TT self and open the RP6 lid. I clearly didn’t think through how to make the rack easy to adjust for height and fit of different components, or how the system would expand. I intended to rethink my original design, but may now resort to a rack update with a secondhand Quadraspire unit as the DIY effort took so much time and effort, that in the end I figured my time would be better spent elsewhere. Satisfying at the time though. Just make sure you consider how the system may expand.

I’ll look for the photos later to see if I still have them.

High rigidity and low mass is the common approach. Butchers block will be thick, heavy timber, especially if you use oak. Solid wood is also less stable than composites, MDF etc. and more prone to movement, including warping with changes in humidity.
I’d look for aluminium rather than iron.

At a glance, Great suggestions and advice. Good reading material for a coffee break later.


Before I was Fraimed, a friend built me a DIY rack using this design (please click). I still use it in my home office for computer kit. I liked it, but prefer the Fraim. I would recommend using corian shelves if possible (same friend made his own rack with corian shelves and I preferred it).

That would be great the see them. Thanks

That is definitely something that is playing in the back of my mind. Thanks

That sounds like an interesting road and worth looking into.

I used to wonder why makers of expensive speakers use MDF. It’s not because it’s “cheaper than solid wood.” It’s because of its desirable physical properties over, eg, plywood.

That’s exactly how I feel when I finish such a project.

You have approximately $25,000 “invested” in that system. Why exactly do you not want to buy a designed-and-built-for-purpose rack?

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If one is competent, wood / steel / glass work can be very nice to do.

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I understand what you are saying. Maybe in my warped way of thinking, 1,000s on a rack doesn’t seem to register with me logically although I have spent a lot on my new system. Also, I’m not a fan of the Fraim straight up and down look.

Look to be honest, I am 6 months or less to all of this so I am here to learn from all of ye and who knows, I can be convinced.


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TJ, the reason this wasn’t used (perfectly flat aluminium plate) was down to the very high cost - the interface plates of the SL2 were a similar material.

See if you can borrow one, and decide whether you think it is worth the cost.

Here we go, found them. First shows the rack as originally designed and assembled. Plus secondary isolation with glass shelves, RDC mini cones and aluminium cups…

Turntable purchased and I made a second shelf to sit on my book shelves for TT duty. This worked well, but as I had to move the office room around a few months later, a rethink needed. Second shelf under the TT solely for levelling as the wall is off square…

And back to my old rack and a Rega shelf (recent purchase)…