I know there has been discussions about this before so I want to angle this perhaps a bit differently. I’m looking at buying a new rack and I appreciate that the choice of wood or glass shelves will make a difference to the sound. What I want to try and understand is from people’s experience, what will be the difference? I’m just about to upgrade to an NDX2 and adding a NAPSC to my NAC202. I’m looking at having the rack made because I need it to sit on top of another piece of very robust wooden furniture. Thoughts all welcome…
Having played around, in the past, with a lot of different materials I would steer clear of glass. I know Naim use it for their Fraim but they’ve managed to get it to sound very neutral - this is not as easyas it sounds. Mana tables achieved the same trick.
Glass in general tends to sound bright, brash and just too damn harsh. I’d rather stick with something like oak or MDF or chipboard between 9mm and 12mm. You can use wooden or Sorbethane feet depending on surface and how you like your sound. You should be able to make these support boards for just a few quid, so lots of options. Remember, you are trying to get something that is light and doesn’t retain energy to decouple your equipment from any big heavy mass that it’s normally sitting on.
I have a metal tripod rack (80’s) with bamboo shelves. On top of those I have oak isolation plinths with spiked feet onto metal discs. I tried a 10mm glass plinth with Naim ball bearings and their supports, but didn’t get on with it, under initially my CD player and later my streamer.
I don’t doubt a Naim Fraim sounds fantastic, but for my budget, my rack sounds great.
I guess I’m saying try wood and maybe experiment with glass later. Spiked isolation is probably a must. Of course others may have other/better ideas.
Is it really not possible to have the equipment on a proper rack directly on the floor? If it must go on your heavy furniture then Fraim glass and the metal balls and cups can work really well. Quadraspire make some isolation boards that are supposed to be pretty good too. Making your own rack is a real lottery and it’s a big risk to the performance of over £10,000’s worth of equipment. You could of course swap the 202 and 200 fir a SN3 so there would be fewer boxes to grapple with.
Thanks! That’s good stuff and kind of the way I’m thinking. I’m looking the idea of the sorbothane feet. Nice one…
Cool! Useful reply … Thanks.
Unfortunately room space doesn’t allow so yes, it’s going on top of some very sturdy wooden furniture. I won’t be making it myself but found someone who does custom builds that look awesome, can’t name them here. And no, I listened to an SN3 and I prefer the 200/202 combo. Makes for easier upgrading in the future as well. Thanks for the input on the stand. Definitely going for isolation…
The isolation thing is interesting. Vibrations have to go somewhere. Certainly with the Fraim the idea is to channel vibrations to the ground in such a way that it causes as little damage to the sound as possible. I don’t doubt that the custom build looks awesome but that’s no guarantee whatsoever that it won’t bugger up the system’s performance. It may of course, on the other hand, be the absolute dog’s bollocks.
Interest topic. I have no space for a Fraim as my equipment is all in my living room and in my opinion hifi racks are ugly (and take up space that I don’t have) within my living room. So my equipment needs needs to fit within the cabinet under the TV. Might not be perfect but some things are just not possible unless you have a dedicated room for your hifi or if you have plenty of space in the living. I unfortunately have neither haha
There’s a thread on Vibration Isolation: https://community.naimaudio.com/t/vibration-isolation-support-for-glass/5955/255?u=jimdog
The method presented and tested there worked wonders on my racks.
10mm glass on silicon nitride spheres on brass cups on bamboo and wooden rack shelves.
If you show a photo of the ‘very robust wooden furniture’ it may be easier to imagine what you could have made that would make a better platform to support your Naim boxes.
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