Improvements and customs for electronic

Hi, I can’t understand technically why in your country it is fashionable to put glass under every electronics, this glass, even in the household furniture, simulated the fraim Naim, in Italy, no one or almost these specific furniture for hifi and with metal points, only a 5% of users have them in their systems, and even retailers are too opposed to the use of glass plates! I don’t understand why here in so many ways and you have to do so in this way! Surely some advantage will be there…

Back in the day when I was studying acoustics and noise control I did some real time analysis of the sound a pair of speakers emitted when changing the furniture they sat on. Audible differences were reflected in the frequency spectrum of the sound. Therefore, it is not surprising that glass shelves sound different from mdf, solid wood, plastic or metal.

From Naim’s point of view, the use of glass in the Naim Fraim was not something decided upon as a response to any “fashion”, rather it was because this material just happened to be the most practical type for optimum performance when used in the design. Indeed, initially thanks to the experience of other racks that used glass (usually with steel frames of one sort or another) it was felt that glass might not be ideal. In the end though, the best material - ultra flat aluminium plate, as used for the SL2 interface plates, was just far difficult to make in reasonable quantity and also much too expensive. Very nearly as good turned out to be a type of glass from Pilkington, so that was what was used as it was available in good quantities and was not nearly as expensive. But that just means it works well in the overall design of the Naim Fraim, where energy is carefully channelled, perhaps due to the way that glass transfers energy with little absorption (interestingly I read in the recent Rega book that glass has a fairly similar coefficient of restitution to certain types of aluminium), but doesn’t necessarily mean it will work well on it’s own or in another design.

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It’s not so much a fashion thing, more to do with extracting maximum sonic performance. Glass is very rigid and very flat. This ensures that the pressure, weight and mass from the equipment is very evenly distributed. This works particularly well with hi-end Naim that use suspension systems as it ensures the suspension operates whilst everything else is stable. Any rocking will massively reduce performance -hence the 3 point ball and cup approach. In my personal experience there are only a couple of manufactures that have truly manged to get glass to sound very neutral, that’s Naim and Mana. Before I had my Fraim I experimented with some glass, nuts and balls on top of a Quadraspire stand and it sounded awful, all harsh and zingy. Equipment stands may appear simple but are actually very complex mechanical devices in operation.

Agree with all the sound principles but many users have it done by the glassmaker and insert it in their furniture at home … Is it the same glass that uses naim? I don’t think so, it’s probably normal glass …

Yes its glass, but it’s not ‘normal’ as in the type that you buy to install in windows.
Its treated glass & in UK called hardened glass, this is used for safety reasons, first it becomes (as the name implies) harder & does not break easily as will ‘normal’ glass. If it does break it will shatter into many small pieces, normally aprx the same size as the glass thickness. Most people also have the glass coloured, mostly black or brown so called smoked & the edges bevelled & polished to be slightly rounded.

Even in Italy I would have taken it tempered! ( hardened) the one in the windows!

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