Fraim Stacking Order - Spacing Boxes

Hello all,

I am considering options for my Fraim layout for when the CD555 and Power Supplies arrive. To add into the mix I have just bought the NAT01/XPS-T combo so that will need a home also! I have listed the unit that is sat on top of the shelf rather than below it. I hope this makes sense.

Brain (Base with an empty Standard Shelf, NAP500 Head with a Tall Shelf above it, NAT01 on the top of the tall shelf with a Medium Shelf above it with the NAC552 on it, Medium Shelf above the NAC with the CD555 on it)

Medium Shelf (CD555)
Medium Shelf (NAC 552)
Tall Shelf (NAT01)
Standard Shelf (NAP500 Head)
Base (Empty)


Medium Shelf (CD 555PS)
Medium Shelf (CD 555PS)
Medium Shelf (NAC 552PS)
Medium Shelf (NAP 500PS)
Base (XPS-T)

Questions I am posing…

1.) At 500 level do the power supplies work better with a Medium shelf spacing? Would Standard shelves work almost as well?
2.) Do the Power Supplies benefit from not being on the base shelf? I have cited the base space for the XPS-T rather than any of the 500 level PS’s
3.) Will the CD555 be ok with the adjacent 555PSDR power supply on the Brawn rack? Giving it clear space would mean the rack getting very tall.
4.) Would there be any stability issues in the layout I have suggested?

Sadly there is no way I can fit a 3rd stack as the HiFi is in the living room! Having experimented with an empty shelf before I am happy they can make a positive difference so would like to give all units (that need it) some more space, even though I have made no provision for empty shelves this time to keep the stacks from getting too high!

@Darkebear @FangfossFlyer I have read several times your discussion on FFF’s addition of empty shelves and tried to absorb as much knowledge as I could from that thread (and others) and have based the above layout on what I have ‘hopefully’ learned. I would really appreciate both of you talking a glance over my thoughts if you have time.

The proposed layout is probably what I would use - effectively I used that but in Active form when I ran all 500 series.

In the end I find that you have to apply some compromise to fit-in what you have to where it has to all fit, but that said then Medium works better at spacing items, but you can insert standard levels to lift from any empty shelves - or if you must include standard in the mix and have to ration-out the medium shelves use these to create space between items that have the large Transformers - top item to space away is 500PS, then the 555PS, but also you will find the 552PS likes to not be nested too close between other big transformers.

I tries all these - listened to what it did and chose what got best results with what I had in the space I had. I ruv four Fraim stacks Active and it still has one or two little compromises - but it sounds great as it is so - success!

I actually find they are fine on the Base shelf and prefer them there. The base shelf sounds a bit dead and dull but seems to suit the requirements for the supplies, whereas the other boxes like to have more shelves under them, with the 552 and CD555 liking a few more shelves for extra isolation - they open-out the sound situated higher-up. Again - experiment and see if you agree or not.

Should be ok. The main thing is to ensure you get good cable-dressing to the CD555 head unit - all leads free and not touching anything between the boxes.

The only one to check is the stack with the tall shelf. I like Tall shelves only when they have one item atop - I use one in preference to a Medium for my Snaxo box. But the tall shelves are not as rigid as the others when the weight piles atop them.

I’d seriously consider moving the Tall shelf up so that it has fewer heavy items above it - but stack it and verify - if the fraim does not sway in a twisting torsional mode much then you are ok, but if it does then the boxes above it that have internal suspended sub-chassis will jive with that mode and you may hear it as a queasy sea-sick effect - how I decided to re-order my stack sequence.

Have fun! :slightly_smiling_face:


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@Darkebear as always thank you for your considered and detailed responses. Seems I learned a little from what I read which is good!

Maybe I can use a Medium Shelf in place of the Tall above the 500 Head Unit then. Will the 500 be compromised by being directly (no space) below the NAT? The space the Tall gives was to give the 500 more room rather than the NAT!

Thanks again.

Try it and see - remove (temporarily) the NAT, play music - re-insert - and is there any difference, better-worse?

If worse then consider even trying the NAT on the brawn stack atop the tall level, as that may get it away from any trouble.

But always a compromise on getting it all to fit, perform and look reasonable.



I concur with DB in that the proposed set up seems good although I have to say that I have no experience of digital components such as the CD nor the analogue NAT01.

I would also stress that interconnect and cable dressing is also extremely important and especially to keep burndies off the floor and not touching really can make a difference.

So I suggest you go with your proposed set up and if need be try alternatives to optimise cable and interconnect dressing.

Have fun and remember to relax and enjoy the music as you try various options.

All the best



This is very important!

You will end-up with a great system - learn as you go as making the occasional mistake is very useful to your later success in maintaining a great set-up.


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Thanks for taking the time to reply and also thanks for the thread you started which really started me thinking about options!

The cable dressing will be something I really focus on as I can audibly tell now when something is touching. My NAP300 Burndies do touch the floor (lifted with foam but still touching) and everything else is a little tight for my liking. The extra height will certainly help.

I love a tinker and trying to get my set up to perform in its optimum way. I am certainly not as knowledgable as you guys, so all your help is providing me a great base level to work from. I would rather do a good set up now with the benefit of this communities knowledge so as you rightly say I can just have fun and enjoy the music. The ‘fun’ tinkering will be when everything has settled down, in maybe 6 months. Right now its about getting a good base line. Thank you for helping me with that.

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