Isolating boxes inside a cabinet

So I’m not in love with Fraim, and my hifi already has a home in a very nice custom made cabinet in solid blackwood that I had commissioned by a furniture maker to perfectly fit the room. I’m definitely not replacing it.

Just taken delivery of NSC 222, NPX300, NAP250. All sounding delicious.
What’s a decent compromise here?

I know the boxes are best not stacked. The shelf holding the streamer is on shelf pins, which is not ideal. I’ve seen the ‘disc and spike’ type of thing (like simrak, Simrak rack). I’m thinking to build a mini rack to fit inside the cabinet I have, using the disc and spike thingies to support some shelves to separate the boxes. I imagine this wouldn’t be as good as a proper frame, but no doubt it’s an improvement.

Anybody seen anything like that, or have a similar solution in your own setup?

I haven’t looked into isolation much, but I’m guess heavy/solid is good. The cabinet I have is deceptively heavy. Very dense Australian hardwood, and the other two thirds are full of vinyl. I can barely lift the end up. All of that probably working in my favour.

Could you get your furniture maker to make some new shelves for it to suit the new kit.

DG…

2 Likes

Hello,
welcome to the forum.
I am aware that mine is not going to be a shared and satisfying reply, but my gear is placed on an Ikea light and rigid table costing €29, the Nait5 sits directly on the FlatCap2 and they sit on the lower shelf. I’ve tried everything under the sun except perhaps the Fraim and I can’t say I hear a difference. My system sounds ok to my ears - which are honestly not unexperienced - so my suggestion is to keep things as they are and do not give it too much thought.
But I know that when one posts here, they won’t be happy until they receive the most costly, inconvenient suggestion.
Best
M

7 Likes

Solid (rigid) is good, but heavy is not. You should generally aim for low mass.
You could consider adding Naim style glass shelves on steel ballbearing supports as used in Fraim for additional isolation.

I spent a lot of time experimenting when I was designing my own cabinet/rack.
I found ridgidity designed to suppress the whole cabinet most important. (too much detail)
But to be honest since I’ve moved on from a Rega TT and CDX2, I’ve found the ‘solid state’ boxes are not improved by anything re isolation. I tried the NDX on the cabinet top with glass & balls and iso feet of various sorts but all did nothing that I could detect.

If I were you I would concentrate on the Rega (assuming you’re planning to keep it) and a wall shelf is the best by far.
Have an experiment with the 222 mount and look at ways to separate the 300 and 250.

2 Likes

Likewise, that’s how I feel too :+1:

Some thoughts for your.

  1. Add a shelf
    Maybe ask a cabinet maker to add more holes down the inside of that space. Add another shelf, so three items can be used, each in its own level.

  2. Isolation
    For further isolation, maybe use a local glass merchant and make three separate glass shelves ( same size as the Naim pieces ). Using 10mm Pilkington toughened safety glass. Then place into wooden shelves using Naim Fraim cup and ball arrangements ( for isolation).

By the way, love your cabinet.
Please share a wider photo, to show more of the whole furniture piece. Thanks in advice.

Best wishes
R

1 Like

I use glass shelves, 10mm I think on Naim ball and cup supports under my NDX/2xHicap/250 with a Base 01 platform under the 82. The wood shelves are adjustable, it’s a compromise but it all sounds very nice. The LP12 is on a Quadraspire stand spiked through to the concrete floor in the central section.

5 Likes

When I used a cabinet with side pins to support the shelf, I applied cut felt pads on the underside of the shelf.
Between the pin and shelf. This gave a bit more compliance without any rocking.

3 Likes

I guess some of the answer depends on DIY or not.
To start with, a long read, Vibration Isolation / Support for Glass
Then @MaxBertola refers to Ikea, I guess the Lack table, historically the support of choice for an LP12. If you have ever played with any of the Lack hacks from the internet, the light rigid top is a cardboard honeycomb between two sheets of fibreboard. But, this is probably too thick for the space in your cabinet? There are lots of honeycomb boards available if you search, except getting domestic quatities is not easy.
I ended up buying 10mm boards from Great Arts, 2mm ply from Lathams, bonding a five layer sandwich with spray contact adhesive.
Making a frame to mount them on, I will leave to someone else.

There was a thread a while back on this subject. This links to the thread and my post:

Some years ago, we compared boxes on my ultra-heavy granite rack to the same boxes (sensibly spaced out) on the wooden floor (or an old Apollo rack or some old telephone books) and compared some rubbery feet from HRS to the standard Naim feet.

With the HRS things, the sound was best and equally good in both places - no difference that any of us could hear consistently, either immediately or over a few hours. Standard Naim feet on my rack was fractionally less good, and standard Naim feet on the wooden floor (or anything else tried) was less good again.

Much more important, all these gaps were really marginal. We don’t think we imagined anything, but whether any of it is worth having something that looks noticeably less good to you is at best debatable.

FWIW, on another occasion we tried putting Naim balls and glass under my LP12 to try emulating some features of a Fraim. It was not good, whatever we tried under that.

By contrast, putting almost any turntable on a proper wall shelf makes a huge difference to SQ (even compared to the top of a good rack in at least some cases) and avoids bouncing needles.

1 Like

That’s roughly what I was thinking.
Good to know it’s a solution that can work. Thanks for the pic!

Yes, that’s basically what I’m thinking.
It’s actually harder than you might think to add more adjustable shelves. They need to be bang-on accurate, and it’s quite hard to do that properly after the furniture is assembled. Especially this one, because the pins have a brass bushing as well.

Here’s a wider pic.

3 Likes

Thanks for the helpful replies everybody.

I have the equipment to make custom shelving to go inside. I make fine furniture as a hobby. I designed this one, but had someone else make it.

Instead of simply adding another shelf, There’s enough space to build a small frame, with tempered glass with ball and cup supports. If there’s an advantage, I’ll put the whole frame on brass spikes on top of a disc/plate to receive the spike.

Good advice on the TT as well. Right now, I’m most interested in getting a good system for the the digital stuff. TT has a Dynavector 10x5 (high output MC) to a Trichord Dino II phono. It sounds fantastic already. Upgrades there would be better power supply for the phono stage and TT, and a wall bracket. I used to have a wall bracket for it.

I’m not certain I’m going to keep it the TT. I may upgrade to something better, like a vintage Linn LP12 (or a new one for that matter). If I go down that road, I would probably make my own wall bracket, and treat it as a piece of furniture. :slight_smile:

That’s a whole different thread though!

I see there’s a huge rabbit hole about types of balls… I’m determined not to go down that hole. If I’m gonna anywhere near that direction, I might as well design something custom, probably in brass, and have my machine shop fabricate the parts… Looking at the depths of the rabbit hole, there’s probably a market for such parts!

2 Likes

+1 for the suggestions to (1) have your furniture maker add one more shelf to give every box its own shelf and (2) get a trio of Naim cups and balls and a sheet of 10mm toughened glass for each level.

If the Naim cups and balls are unobtainable or too expensive, you can get very good results by combining appropriately sized ball bearings and machine nuts. Search this and other fora for ball nutters (a very popular tweak 10–15 years ago).

For what it’s worth, I’ve found that seemingly minor tweaks to your support system will bring very worthwhile benefits in sound quality. Not so much “extra octave of bass” audio fireworks, more the sense that you’re listening to music rather than a system reproducing music, along with a reduction in listening fatigue.

1 Like