Fraim rebuild very worthwhile

My 3 level Fraim with its 272/555ps/250 has sat untouched for over 3 years. I recently replaced the top level with a medium sized one to increase the space between the 272 and the 555 transformer. When listening the system sounded worse than before when the top level was a standard narrow Fraim. It sounded congested and uninvolving. I massaged the bunds and fiddled with the cables to no avail.
It was time to call the super Fraim rebuilder man from Real Music , Wellington.
First Jonathan determined I had misassembled the new Fraim. He swapped 2 of the columns that were upside down and back to front. He then noticed one of my nuts was upside down. He also pulled apart the whole structure to the base and relevelled it. He rotated all the balls and secksed the glass shelves by tapping them. All the glass was aligned and boxes placed along the front edge. He grabbed my burndy and massaged it, while shaking it and hanging upside down.
The improvement on playing our test track of Lido Shuffle was astounding. It sounded much louder and clearer at the same volume of 49 on the dial.
So in summary, do a rebuild every year or so, rotate your balls and check your nuts and in doing so stay a happy camper.


Fraim rebuild … I’ve shied away from doing this. Is it a one man job or is best left to the experts?

Within reason, anybody should be able to do it, although it’s certainly easier when it’s done by someone with some experience. For anyone who wants to DIY, I wrote a build guide that you can find in the forum FAQ.

Unfortunately, this thread is a nagging reminder to myself that it has been more than 18 months since the last time I rebuilt my own three stack Fraim…

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Thanks Richard I’ll look at the FAQ

It’s quite simple although do be careful of load handlings with amps etc,. - just follow the directions in the FAQ here:

There is a fair bit of detail and you will need the spanner and tommy bar (or equivalents) plus a spirit level. Once done, the next time it’s far easier. IIRC, the guidance is to rebuild/check tightness every c.6/12m - I try and do mine every 6m, which marries up with removing the Naim pixie dust.

Obviously, you can stack the kit as you rebuild and also cable-up some elements to save having to reach around/over the stack(s) - especially if you have a vinyl spinner on the top shelf. This also helps to add weight, so you can adjust the feet as required i.e. rather than levelling up a laden stack which, as Richard has pointed out on another thread, can disfigure the base spikes.

Of course it’s daunting… is there a guide for a take down and rebuild? Or am I being dense …?

I had occasion to move my Fraim after 2 months. I found many loose points. I think its from the lower humidity (I have AC and heat) shrinking the wood pieces. These conditions also affect other wood things in my house. I had an antique drawer that would hardly open when I got it, and after a couple of months its just fine. So it might be to check after 2 months and then every 6-12 months thereafter.


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This is what I do:
1- Power-down the kit (turn off at sockets also) in Mute mode and leave for min 10 mins. I have dedicated power supplies so I switch these off at the mains Consumer Unit for safety.
2- Prepare your room, as there will be a lot of kit to lay-out and Fraim (unless re-stacked) - I ensure I have a table which can hold my heavy amp and CDP, as these can be challenging to lift from the floor. And some kit cannot be tilted without installing the transit screws (NDS?).

Forward planning is essential.

3- I then remove the interconnects and power cables I can reach OK (ensuring the power cables are ‘off’ at the socket or CU). I always lay the interconnects down/mark them with a label so I know which end goes where. Other cables can be disconnected/removed as you can better access them.
4- I then remove the kit piece by piece along with the Fraim pieces (shelves/ball-bearings/cups) being very careful with burndies (these can be hard to unscrew IME). Also, be very careful with lifting off and handling the Fraim wooden shelves with uprights attached, as the metal spike cones are just that - and don’t forget to allow for any kit below when lifting the shelves. I think some people manage to slide out some of the lighter-weight kit (pre-amps?) while the Fraim shelves remain in situ but this can be awkward IME.

Once deconstructed and post a good dusting and shelving/kit clean-up (glass cleaner), the rebuilding process can start i.e. this will largely be a check on the tightness of the uprights and base elements (I check the tightness of each shelf as I rebuild) - ensuring the base level is located in the optimum position for rear access etc,. e.g. don’t be tempted to push back against a wall, as this means interconnects and burndies may not be able to hang freely and rear access to the kit may be problematic.

It’s not a short job and patience is a virtue. If you have a bad back, it may also be challenging given some of the kit is heavy, with a lot of bending over involved.

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Excellent description Happy Listener. Also very good advice about bringing the Fraim forwards to enable easy cable dressing. Some cables espiecially burndies are very temperamental about what they touch. I. This recent rebuild we made a point of moving everything forwards a few inches to great effect . A well built Fraim compared to my futzing around like a klutz is as good as a upgrade eg xpsdr to 555dr.

Using Richard’s playbook I thought building my two Fraim stack was easy-peasy. No fear!

Does it matter whether which side the ball cup holders are utmost? Recessed or proud?

I positioned them lipped-side down. That seemed obvious to me.

Indeed … its what i have done

I spent much of today doing a complete strip-down and rebuild of my twin stack Fraim, and it does seem to sound sharper, and with more gravitas than before, though, after several hours moving heavy black boxes, loosening, tightening, cleaning, and generally fettling things, I would say that, wouldn’t I? :wink:

Still, I’ll be able to put several bags of that magic Naim pixie dust on Fleabay tomorrow! :sweat_smile:

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Taking it down doesn’t worry me at all, it’s the putting it back together again that concerns me. Far too many cable to remember where they all go :scream:


A low tech sheet of A4 and a pencil works for me, as my ageing memory is most certainly not up to the job.

Still, the only confuddlement was right at the end … where does this “system automation” RCA cable go on the ND 555? :thinking:

Finally sorted, which is just as well, since, as above, my ageing back isn’t up to getting up every five minutes either! :rofl:

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I did the first fraim assembly…thought i had it spot on…Andy from Signals gave the complete
make over to improve my effort, with the proper cable dressing…so much better😁

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My rule of thumb is that nuffink’ should be touching nuffink’ else.

I do have the two base levels empty, so that the Burndies between the 300 DR and it’s power supply in the “brawn” stack are kept clear of the floor.

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Just one spare under the 252 preamp, but a Cisco switch sits there…i know i feel i need another level

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