Fraim Assembly: How much do I tighten?

I’ve been happily assembling and dissembling my Fraims for a while now, but in the course of other Fraim related threads I’ve noticed a few folk here suggest that setting correct torque on nuts and when using the Tommy bar is important.
my question is: What are the correct tensions and how do I know when I have it right?

I should note that I’ve never bought a Full Fraim Base new and have thus never had the Naim issue spanner or bar. I’ve used a regular 17mm spanner and a screwdriver barrel that happens to be 4mm. My assumption is that these are capable of higher torques than the Naim issued tools.
Do I need an original issue set of spanner and Tommy bar and are these available to be bought separately after market?

It’s in there, but this description might rely on using the Naim issue spanner:

I once asked Jason on how tight things should be when he was assembling a Fraim at a show. His reply was “as tight as you can possibly get them”. I’ve since bent a couple of Tommy bars!


I’ve always believed that for the cones it was finger tight plus 1/8 of a turn with the Tommy bar. For the nuts, pretty tight given the limits due to the small size of the supplied spanner.

For @KJC yes, you can get the spanner and bar via your dealer for a few quid. Ask nicely and Naim should post them direct to your house.

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I’ve noticed over the years that the level of torque applied to the cones does make a difference. There was an excellent 4 page set of instructions posted on the old forum years ago and from what I remember, first make sure you’ve hand tightened the threaded bar into the top piece, then using the Tommy bar between index finger and thumb at the extremities keep turning until it reaches a natural pinched stop without exerting too much pressure, then add a smidgen more, I would say no more than 1/8th of a turn. If it’s too tight, you can lose some of the subtleties in the music. The Tommy bar is important IMO because holding it via index finger and thumb at the extremities naturally regulates the amount of torque you can apply.


The Tommy bar provided with Fraim is quite soft, as is the spanner, perhaps deliberately so(?). It doesn’t take much to bend/deform either, hence the recommendation of pinch-tight + a nadger more (1/8 of a turn), is the right way to go.

I always feed the bar through and then twist both sides - I will own up to having bent a bar but I’ve seen a couple over the years where someone has tightened things up far too tight, using the bar in a lever-position (not fed through) - such that undoing was very testing and the bar had bent by ~60 degrees.

Make a note to re-build the Fraim after a few months, as things can loosen-off - after a while, things settle-in.

Yes, if you start to deform either then it’s a signal to stop. If you look at my instructions for Fraim build you’ll note the observation.

I’ve asked my dealer to source me a set of original issue spanner and Tommy bar. Around £3.50 for the set direct from Naim. Bargain!

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Is this the cheapest product from Naim?

Pretty cheap, but no is the answer. Fraim ball bearings to be had for £1.61 a pop online. Replacement anti-surge fuses (various ratings) are £1 each. :grinning:

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