Equipment Support..... or....Equipment Supported

I thought about writing this post after recently reading the ‘Naim Fraim - is it worth it?’ thread.
Some of the comments set my mind thinking about equipment supports and then the equipment itself. In essence, there is the school of thought that says that our black boxes are best sat on a Fraim (or equivalent) for best performance. Then there are those who place (or plonk) their equipment on more simple supports such as a tv media unit, sideboard or the like, and maybe take the view that should very high quality solid state electronics really be THAT affected by not being on a Fraim or other dedicated support?
This made me think… if you take the Fraim side of the fence then in effect your black box costs you the equivalent of black box + Fraim to perform at it’s best, meaning a considerable extra outlay.
My small mind then made me think, if we are paying several (or more) thousands of pounds for whichever black box, why is there not more attention paid to what it sits on? Instead of some generic(ish) rubber feet which presumably cost very little, why can’t the equipment itself not have some form of spike or cup & ball type design to allow it to perform well on any form of reasonable and stable support… is that an unreasonable expectation?
I post this purely as food for thought. I wish to state I have nothing against the Fraim and what it does, and understand both sides of the arguments for and against. To me, the choice of to Fraim or not to Fraim is a choice for each individuals ears, eyes and wallet or purse, but it did make me think that maybe the equipment itself could be better supported.
As I said, food for thought and will be interested in others views…

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Any electronic equipment is potentially vulnerable to microphony and vibration. With lesser quality kit this relatively subtle effect is swamped by the ‘noise’ of other factors associated with the limitations of the equipment.

With Naim these other factors have been engineered out leaving the subtle effect less masked. This is why Naim responds to well designed supports.

I imagine that fancy feet with inbuilt isolation could be engineered but this would introduce complexity and cost to each component…

I fully understand the vibration and microphony argument as @svetty describes, hence my thoughts as to why more isolation to this could not be built in to components of not inconsiderable cost, hence making said components easier to site whilst maintaining performance.
As I said I have nothing against Fraim but it is a significant outlay on top of any component to potentially realise best performance. It would also give much more flexibility to placing equipment in our rooms…

While I’m personally not convinced the effect of something like a fraim over a quality, stable piece of regular furniture is audible enough to survive a double blind test, isn’t what you suggest done with the Statement?

I don’t think that was designed to be anywhere bit directly on the floor. Certainly not a Fraim.

The cost of Fraim is relative to the component you are sitting on it. At the higher end of the Naim range the source components use metal feet and are engineered and tested to be perfectly flat against the test aluminium bench platform. This adds time and cost for sure. A single level of Fraim costs about the same as a PowerLine cable. When you actually handle one and see the machining quality of the components you realise that if you set out to make one yourself the cost would be extremely high. Naim also offer higher margins to dealers on items such as this and I have found that a decent price is always offered. At 500 level the cost is about 5% of the items purchased to sit on them. Thats pretty decent to me.

I bought Fraim at 282/300/CDS3 level with a mind on the acoustic benefits but mainly for the looks tbh. It still surprises me that different positions on the Fraim within their relative brains/brawn stack can make a difference and also adding blank levels.

Engineering in an isolation solution is something that Naim do at the higjer levels of their ranges anyway. The 552 Pre Amp and ND555/CD555 for instance have a suspended chassis inside the units. This makes placing them even more critical though! The Fraim as I understand it channels vibrations rather than eradicates them.

I agree because if something as simple and small as stillpoints products (which I agree are wildly expensive) for instance have such a marked effect then surely expensive audio equipment and not just Naim could come with something similar either included as an extra.

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I completely get the OPs thoughts on this. I owned a medium sized manufacturing company for 20 years, and I was able to buy all kinds of different items, some high-tech, some lo-tech, at a fraction of the cost to consumers.
Part of it was just being able to purchase from certain wholesale suppliers, and the other part was buying in bulk. It was even possible for me to custom design an item, and have it manufactured and delivered to me, for less than a consumer could buy a standard item of the same sort.

The hard plastic feet that came attached to my NDS were ridiculous, and I’m trying to find something that’s available from standard bins that will support it evenly, absorb some vibration, and yet not just crush the feet that I install on the heavy side of the unit.

Believe me, they could easily look after this issue, and apply a simple design (it’s not rocket surgery, y’know), to every unit that leaves their factory.

Hopefully they’ll read these posts and have a go at it.
I must admit though, that I have so few complaints about Naim gear in general, I do forgive them this oversight. Could be worse.


I think it is an unreasonable expectation. You cannot design feet which will behave optimally on different supports because they will all have different resonant frequencies and damping properties.

I have tried different support and isolation devices under the Nds and couldn’t heard noticeable improvements.
The Nds is well decoupled inside, on a brass bouncing platform.

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Yes, that’s right. The NDS and other units like it, probably don’t require special feet.

The NDS has metal feet, just like all the other boxes with sprung isolation inside, such as the CDS models, the ND555, NAC552 and the floaty Snaxo. It’s part of the design, so adding extra isolation underneath with counteract the sprung system. They are not ‘ridiculous’ at all.

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Some said it should be placed on top, with an empty shelf under it. Can’t do that personally however…

As soon as French rooster pointed oak the internally sprung units, I did realize that I was in error when I included my NDS in my original post, as per my short post immediately after his. I was really referring to the hard rubber feet on all the many other products.

And I would think that most of us have our units sitting on either glass, marble, or wood. I don’t believe it would be that difficult to construct a simple isolation foot that would work well on those three surfaces.

Interesting. I wonder why.
If that info came from the factory, originally, maybe I should put mine on top.

Don’t know if it’s also a Naim advise. But some have that set up for their Nd555. And probably Nds .
Dark Bear has commented on that.

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Hi Jim,
I work in Arnside still but now live in a nearby village. Arnside and Silverdale take some beating for a beautiful walk :+1:

Mrs. JimDog is there at this moment, dragging a couple of our children through the rain…

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