I need a Fraim whisperer . .

I got a speaker cable loaner and they are terminated with Naim plugs. A little tricky to connect just right to the back of the NAP 500 and WHAM it slid off the rear ball bearing. The glass is still on the front two balls.

Any ideas for getting it back up short of re-doing that entire “brain” stack? I think it’s just too heavy to deal with in this state, and access being limited by the ‘brawn’ stack immediately to its right.

What a pain!

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I have done this enough to be practiced at it. I remove the two front balls from under each front corner of the affected glass shelf; slide that glass shelf (complete with component still sitting on glass, cables still attached) forward a couple inches to expose the rear cup (which is missing its ball); place the errant ball (or a spare) onto the exposed rear cup; carefully lift the glass shelf (including its heavy component) up and rearward, setting it down in proper position over the rear ball (tighten your core to avoid back injury!); then lift each forward corner up, carefully replacing the front corner balls, in turn. Extra points if you can do this the first try without balls rolling everywhere, and without swearing.

Good luck!


If weight is a contributing issue here you might get round that by using a simple lever - maybe a long enough screwdriver or similar - and something to act as a fulcrum so that you’re not levering on the back edge of the Fraim. I’ve done this before using a Pound coin on a bit of folded-up kitchen roll paper to cushion the force on the wood, and on the glass. It’s fiddly but it does mean that you’re pushing down with a bit of leverage rather than lifting the whole weight with one hand whilst trying to locate the cup with the ball, blind.

If you know of a child or someone with smaller hands who could drop the ball in while you do the lifting etc that frees up another hand.

Oof I don’t know about using a screwdriver as a leaver for a glass pane with a tonne of weight on it.

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Sounds like a technique well worth trying! I shall report back!! Thanks Charlie :slight_smile:

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I have not done it with hifi gear but one thing I do in this sort of instance in the garage is run a ratchet strap under the item, so load is spread out, stand up and have each end of the ratchet strap over each shoulder and lift slightly. No pressure on back then. Have a helper put the ball back and “push” the fraim and 500 back a bit then let you lower both back on.

But appreciate with a fraim stack you might not be able to stand up straight and over the item to be lifted.

Fair point. I did it under a 300DR not a 500 and also had a tea mug coaster there with the folded kitchen roll to spread the load. The screwdriver was very wide too, not a small ‘normal’ screwdriver.

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– No way, Dad! I really don’t want to help you with your hi-fi again…

– Come on Tommy, stop whining. You’ve still got 7 good fingers.


I’ve managed to lift it with fingers in the case of a power supply, but never a NAP500, which weighs a ton (I’m surprised it slipped off to be honest). I reckon you’re best off doing a Fraim rebuild. At least you can satisfy yourself that you’ve cleaned all the connections by unplugging/reinserting and you can dust the units and shelves.

I built the system up after moving into our new home only ~2 weeks ago. It’s not REALLY ready for a rebuild :wink:

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I don’t have a Fraim, but my rack, a customised Sound Factory Tripod, is broadly similar - modular levels, boards, glass, “ball nutter” separators, etc. - and I’ve had the same problem many times in the past. Compounding it is my severe space constraints, and tiny size (~1/8”) of the balls. So once I lose one down the back, it’s likely lost until my next rebuild, at which point I usually retrieve three or four lost balls from the floor.

What I do is leave the front two balls in place, then slide one or two thin pieces of wood into the now-tapered space below the glass. I then slide the front two balls out and press down on the front of the glass, which levers the back edge upwards. This creates a space into which I can slide one or two straight edge screwdrivers – anything that will force the back of the glass upwards without chipping it. Once I have enough space, I install a fresh ball nutter at the back, then reinstate the two at the front.

It’s a pain no matter what way you do it, but this method spares you the rebuild, and spares you having to lift a heavy box straight up while bent over.

Do you have any soft (soft wood/rubber) door wedges that you can reach around the back with and tease between the shelf and glass – I know there’s not much of the shelf to work with.

With a bit of teasing, this should hold the shelf up a tad so you re-ball the cup? i.e. the wedge should be wide enough to spread the load on the shelf.

Of course, better 2 wedges.

Bart, the key thing is to put your knee against the front of the units when pushing from the back, or at the very least hold it with your other hand. A bit more space behind the Fraim is very useful, so you can see what you are doing.

Fiddling about with spatulas, wedges and assorted bits of wood will very likely end in tears, so I’d bite the bullet and just rebuild it. You’ll remember to hold the front next time!!


Having two 500s and lots of cable changes recently, here is my method: lift the glass plate in the front a little and slide a thin book or a couple of journals under it. The book should sit in the middle, safely balancing the 500 and lifting the glass a few mm over the balls. Then, you can slowly move the glass with the 500 forward and backward without it sliding out of control. Also, you avoid chafing the glass by the balls and especially the cups (when the balls fell out).
Good luck,

I agree. I’ve had similar things happen in the past and trying shortcuts can easily make things worse. I now know, it’s better in the long run just to bite the bullet and remove the upper Fraim shelves and kit and do it properly. It’ll probably be quicker too!


Indeed I will! I agree; I’m not inclined to be sticking sharp items between the glass and the Fraim base.

Hey just a follow-up; @Jorg 's suggestion worked! I slid a combination of this month’s copies of Vogue and The New Yorker under the front of the glass. That supported it enough, and deterred sliding enough that I could lift the rear and get the ball back in the cup and the glass on the ball without everything else going askew.



Hey @Bart, in the future just send me your 500 and I’ll send you my 300. I assure you when a 300 HU or PS slides off the back ball it’s easy peasy to recover. And in case you worry about me I already have medium stanchions for my Fraim.

There, I solved your problem. You can thank me later.

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Good news - necessity is the mother of invention time.

Of course, it may be advisable to attach a sticky plastic ring (retainer) to the 500 shelf to try and avoid a repeat. I’ve found some of these stick well/others fall off almost straight away. And they’re easy to locate - just put shelf in position upside down and attach, and then turn over.

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No, don’t do that, you’ll only end up damaging the shelf veneer.