Lack of space - NAIT XS 3 on top of ND5 XS 2 = bad idea?

And that’s really the important bit.

I’ve done the same previously with a Nait 3/CD5 and still enjoyed the music. Often hifi has to live harmoniously with the wife/kids/home decor so compromises have to be made. No-one is wrong. It’s like buying a performance car and not using 99RON. You can still love the drive, even though you might be missing out on X%.

My local dealer has a great philosophy. He sells kit in the £100k+ range but always advises not to bother if/when you can’t hear the difference.

Keep it stacked and enjoy!

Or look at it another way, if you can’t use the kit as intended, buy a unit designed from the outset to be ‘stacked’ and get a Uniti product.

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Yeah I just sold it :slight_smile: and isn’t stacked nait/nd better with certain parts in separate boxes than all components in one box? I hope it is! And by the sound of it all I assume it is!
Today I will try to move my turntable and put nd next to nait. Who knows…

It may well be, but chances are you are paying far more and not getting all there is to come. Really, i don’t mind what you do, but you asked…

IsoBlue has the additional advantage that you can slide the upper levels in and out which can make cabling easier in a restricted space. It works well with XS series components in my experience.



I had to do this for years and although it went against everything that was preached, it still sounded better than not having the kit! In the end I went for the solution shown which as you can see sits on other furniture. The compromise in this case is height. Is there an improvement? Yes, but more from the change of speaker cables and adding independent power supplies. I totally respect your dilemma though.


Isoblue is the only system I’ve seriously considered to replace the SO table…

I really don’t want a hifi altar in the living room.


I found the impact of a dedicated stand great. For a long time I made do with a modified walnut TV stand. This separated the boxes to an acceptable degree, but wasn’t ideal as the cables couldn’t be dressed properly. Still, it was a virtually free (had the stand) and aesthetically nice way. I recently bought a Fraimlite and this has improved the sound in all areas.

I’m with @hungryhalibut as I really don’t see much point in spending a good deal of money on finely tuned hifi equipment to then stack them contrary to the advice of the factory that made them. It doesn’t have to be an expensive rack or even a dedicated one, but surely most situations allow for separation - and it really does make a difference, to my ears anyway.

The tired car analogy falls down for so many reasons, mainly because using a Ferrari to it’s ‘full potential’ means breaking the law. There’s a difference between the ‘ideal’ situation and one that is specifically pursued by the manufacturer.


What is this rack? Looks much better than the roundish Naim Fraim. I really don’t like looks of Fraim. One segment could be a nice solution for me since I only have two elements.

solid sounds rack

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The rack is from Solid-sounds in Leeds. Search on line with the hyphen and they’ll come up. Really good service and Paul will build to measure.

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If you can go side by side, that would be fine.


I think you’ve highlighted why there’s such diversity of opinions and that it really is a case of each to their own.

For me, I don’t buy performance cars for speed necessarily but for the sort of road holding that you cannot get with a regular car. Aspects that can be properly enjoyed within the legal limit. Similarly I don’t need to use all 70W to enjoy my hifi.

The beauty of hifi is that it’s enjoyable at many levels. Clearly you don’t see much point in a non optimised setup and I understand that but conversely most purists don’t think twice about deviating from a manufacturer’s intended design by adding layer upon layer of isolation equipment on top of racks/speakers etc etc. in an effort to make components sound better and better. It’s like buying non OEM performance parts for cars. Personally I don’t see an issue with either.

IMHO the biggest difference comes from buying decent hifi over a Bluetooth speaker. The rest comes down to just how deep you want to get into it.


I don’t know ‘most purists’ so I can’t comment. I’m not a purist in that sense, I just believe what Naim have to say. It’s really quite simple - regardless of other metrics, if you can be fagged to separate your equipment as recommended then you will reap the rewards. Its not complicated or expensive. I don’t know why I needs to be so divisive.

Each to their own indeed.

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I thought a purist was someone insistent on precision and correctness. I guess we all are to some extent if we’ve bought into hifi :joy:

IMHO hifi is all about compromises and I agree that it may not be best to stack components but sometimes there aren’t many other options.

My Martin Logans, for instance, require a fair amount of rear space and an optimal listening position that’s relative to the distance between them (L&R) and space behind the listener. The optimal setup also involves sound absorption panels behind and on side walls. For my living room it’s just not feasible so I live with something sub optimal. Yet they still sound great to me despite this. I’m sure they could be improved but I’m not going to worry about it when I can still enjoy the music.

The other aspect of course is what to do if you cannot accommodate a rack. I’ve searched purely out of interest but there’s no formula for how far or what to place between components. Neither is there information on what it is exactly that you’re trying to achieve through separation.

If you can’t place components side by side then what do you place in-between? Glass/MDF/wood/marble and do you use rubber/spikes/bearings? I’m a dynamicist so managing vibration is what I do. However when it comes to hifi I’ll admit that it’s not clear cut so would forgive anyone for just stacking components.

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Isoblue are the widest of the racks I’ve looked at, but they are less deep than others, which works for me. To me they look a bit more like furniture and help to blend the hifi into the room if that’s what you want. If you have limited width I would look at Hutter if you can find it.

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I agree that most hobbies require compromise. Otherwise I’d gut the bottom floor of my house and buy a Statement. But you seem to be suggesting that the separation of boxes is some complex procedure and faff. IMO it doesn’t need to be; as I said, if you don’t have space for a dedicated rack there surely are many ways to avoid stacking.

Your Martin Logan example only really works if they came before your house. If you had the house then bought those speakers, it seems to me you could’ve made a more informed choice? I could understand trying to make the room work with the speakers you like, though.

I did try and Google what a ‘dynamicist’ is but I’m none the wiser!

I agree. It’s quite easy really - if the hifi won’t fit comfortably in your house just get a bigger house or a smaller hifi. Stacking stuff and compromising its performance seems somehow wasteful. You see lots of pictures of people’s systems with a plethora of boxes all piled in a higgledy-piggledy heap and it would very likely sound a lot better with fewer, well chosen components, installed carefully and optimally. Still, some people just like collecting equipment.

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Perhaps a photo of the setup might help for providing advice on?

What I’m suggesting is that I’ve not read a Naim manual or other technical source that can can properly explain what you need to do if you cannot accommodate a rack and need to place components vertically. A lot of Naim manuals clearly show stacked components though :joy:. Perhaps their art department should start putting all their diagram of components on stands!

Jokes aside, are you able to suggest what one should do if your only viable option is to stack but your cabinet doesn’t have shelves? What is it you’re trying to achieve? Isolation, shielding, coupling or tuning? That isn’t a faff. That’s trying to understand the problem so you know exactly how to solve it.

Regards to my speaker choice there really isn’t an issue, not to me anyway. I was merely highlighting the many compromises that people have. I’d wager most people don’t give their speakers the correct amount of rear space or have them equidistant from side walls, away from hard/glass surfaces etc. In fact, looking at the system thread it’s possible to see the myriad compromises people make accommodating their hifi.

Should they worry? I don’t think so as that’s really not the point imho as it’s all about enjoyment of music.

For info as a dynamicist I deal with vibration, be it sinusoidal, random, shock or acoustic. My job is to understand the source and how to manage it.