Hiding Naim kit

Not sure if this has been discussed before but can/should Naim kit be hidden away in a contemporary units in the lounge?. Appreciate rack isolation, ventilation and remote control considerations

Can… yes.
Should…no.

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If a ready made cupboard doesn’t meet preferred support/isolation/coupling/decoupling requirements you could always build or adapt a cupboard to take whatever is the perfect rack, to enclose for greater aesthetic appeal, taking care to ensure adequate ventilation.

N.B same applies whatever brand you have!

I read an interview with Julian the other day which talked about having the power supplies and amps in a cupboard outside his main listening room. So maybe?

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You will need enormously long SNAICs or interconnects, if the power supplies and power amps are hidden in a cupboard outside the room where the source components and control amps are located.

For that reason, if for no other, I rather doubt whether this proposed arrangement/siting of components is viable.

A cupboard in listening room obviously need not involve extra long cables. Outside the room could have short cables passing directly through the wall, if some suitable location there. An added advantage is that there may be lesser support demands outside the room as already quite isolated from air and structure borne vibrations from the music.

Also, with streaming (whether from own store or online), tablet or whatever other control device, if connected by wifi, can cantrol without direct access to the kit, subject to whatever remote volume control one uses.

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You see, to me, that makes perfect sense, except that I think the entire rack(s) of kit should be in another room, and that way you just need a good, possibly longer, set of speaker cables. I have said this in quite a few posts here, especially now that the Naim App can control everything from afar. Another good reason for sticking with all Naim kit.
Perhaps the interview with Julian was pre Naim App development, so he would have needed the control bits in the room with him.

There’s myriad of reasons for doing this; like dealing with awkward, noticeable cables, the speaker vibrations interferring with a TT or even the circuit boards, a space issue in the living room or wherever, and for me just having to look at the kit all the time. Its an unnecessary distraction and frankly, I bought it to listen to and I don’t find it particularly pleasant to look at. Kind of like having a large TV between your speakers, same issue.
Just my (sometimes weird) opinion. Not the norm tho, I believe …

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This is a bit like asking someone else, “Do I like bananas?

The core of this issue is, do you or others in the household think it’s unsightly and would rather not look at it?

It can certainly be done meeting all the requirements for proper racking and airflow. Some have done so. The most common solution being to stick the boxes on a proper rack in an adjecent room and just have the speakers in the listening room.

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I have a “proper” modular hi-fi rack with a custom glass and walnut unit built around it and not touching it at any point. I always listen with the doors open, and I don’t believe there’s any significant restriction of airflow.

I sometimes wonder about resonances - does the cabinet behave like a speaker enclosure, even in a small way? - which I’ve addressed with layers of Dedshete. Other than that, and difficulties accessing the backs of the boxes and getting the nth degree of cable dressing, I think it’s a reasonable solution.

I would be less happy considering a regular shelved cabinet. I would worry about proper isolation - my main concern - as well as access and airflow.

IIRC Julian and Paul had holes through the adjacent walls for the cabling between the kit in different rooms, so standard cable length was all that was required.

Anyway, back to the original question. It should be fine, but ventilation is something to be aware of and also IR reception.

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I ran my system hidden inside a cabinet for many years.
It was a backless cabinet with the source & pre on wall shelves.
Ventilation was fine due to having no back, and it sounded fine to me.
I am now using Fraim but in a different room, so I really can’t comment on how different it sounds now.
I did have to use an infra-red extender so that the old IR remote would work with the doors closed.

I may be a bit weird, but I actually like looking at all the Naim Olive boxes on the wall shelves - I don’t want to stash them away in another room.

(I suppose that this is a manifestation of the mantra that “boys will have their toys”!)

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Thanks all. I only asked the question because I may in the future have opportunity of a new build done to my spec. Clearly when plaster boarding is being done power, Cat 6 etc. are run and this could be an opportunity to make some sort of partition for the kit. I agree keeping kit on normal racking (Atacama Equinox in my case) seems to be best bet and having the speaker cables run out into the room. Can I just clarify the remote requirements. I only use the app to control tracks so is there a line of sight issue or how does IR work.

With a new build comes other options for hiding gear you may not have considered. I had a new home built with dedicated provisions for hifi in the living room by way of sockets and so forth. But hiding the gear was done with lighting. Went for spotlights with tight focus so when the sun goes down the lights come on and the rack is in a black hole. If the walls are dark it is very effective. You can create areas of light in the room like a stage and have things as bright or hidden in darkness as you like. I put two AC rails across the ceiling and just mount whatever spotlights I like.

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I did likewise to deaden panels, doors and surface above, when I put a rack with my entire kit, including TT, in a cupboard , but instead of opening doors when on I removed the cupboard’s rear panel, and had it sitting slightly out from wall to enable ventilation. Currently I just have amp in a cupboard: it has louvre doors, and I’ve fitted large (so quiet) thermostatically controlled fans in the rear panel to assist with ventilation if needed.

That only applies if you need to use the preamp remote. With system automation enabled you would be using the streamer remote which uses Zigbee, or the Naim app which uses your network and therefore doesn’t need a direct connection to the streamer at all.

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I recall visiting one dealer who had placed the boxes in an adjacent lobby with just speaker cables punched through the intervening wall. I took this idea and placed my boxes in the staircase lobby with the speaker cables being channeled under the floor and through the wall into the listening room.

I like the arrangement, except when changing source and volume. That’s an inconvenience I can live with. Even routing the cables for the REL over the doorway is only a minor irritation that I had not envisaged when I rewired the cottage.

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Back in the late 90’d I purchased a “Sounds Unique” cabinet, mainly because they were the only ones which seemed to have glass at the sides, doors on the front (which helps to keep out dust and children) with an open back for ventilation. The shelves sit on spikes, it’s just about 2 units wide, and holds the telly. How SQ compares to others, I really dont know, but I have never seen anything similar to take its place, and fit into the space I have.

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Hi Chris. Could you clarify. So lets say as an example the kit is in a cupboard. I only use the Naim app (Qobuz or iRadio) and therefore stream. Do you therefore need a line of sight say to change the volume which is also controlled through the Naim app. Generally I never use a remote

The Naim app just needs a connection to your home network over WiFi. It doesn’t communicate directly with the streamer, so they don’t have to be in the same room or have line of sight.