Position of empty shelves between equipment

I’m purchasing a 500DR to replace my 300DR next weekend!

Good time to rebuild the fraim but not sure the best position to have the empty shelves, currently I keep an empty shelves below the top shelves so would be from top:

552 500PS - standard height shelve
Empty Empty - standard height shelve
NDS 552PS - standard height shelve
500 555PS - Medium height shelve

The alternative would be to keep the bottom shelve free, would this help with cable dressing?

Apologies in advance for another Fraim stacking topic!


I would put an empty standard shelf at the bottom below the 500 head unit (med) and an empty standard shelf above it with the NDS on top, then a med shelf with the 552. This way you will get a space between each of your brain items. Then build the braun stack with whats left and if you have a medium shelf use that on the bottom to help with dressing. It will look a bit worse but the sound will be better!

Thanks Steve, hadn’t thought of that but makes sense, just visually it’s not ideal as the rack is in a prominent position.

I set up the fraim without the kit in and see if I can live with a unsymmetrical fraim setup. Maybe longer term another couple of fraim levels!

The other option for the braun stack is to use all Med levels. If you use 2 Med and 2 standard on the Brain side you will only have a half shelf difference between stacks. Power supplies benefit from Med shelves also. By having the brain slightly higher (half shelf) that will further benefit the Pre.

Hi Steve, That sounds like the preferred option, would you have the empty shelve on the bottom of the brawn and brains?

That last option of using 3 Med shelves on the Braun stack does not change my suggestion for the Brain. I think this is optimum as you will have space between Power Supplies, Pre will be above the level of the Power Supplies by half a level, Power head will be off the bottom (better for sound and cable dressing) you will also have an empty standard level between the Power Head and NDS and also the NDS and Pre.

I think this will give you the best sound.

Hi @AndyJ,

Another forum member was asking a similar question a few days ago, so I’ll re-post my reply, which might help.

"A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say, so here’s my setup.

Brawn stack on the right, and power amp, streamer and pre-amp to the left, on two sets of tall Naim uprights, which are available separately, including the internal threads, if you already have some Fraim.

All the burndies hang free, with nothing touching, helped by the empty base units, which keeps everything clear of the floor.

Hope this helps."



My eyes don’t want to see my 2 stacks being different heights. A little asymmetry within would be ok to me.

And a bunch of empty levels, whilst maybe “better” for SQ, is something I couldn’t live with either. I’m at 2 stacks of a base + 3 levels each, and more than would cross a line for me too.

I used to think I’d never live with 2 bases; the line moved already. Think hard about what sort of “structure” you want in your room. Our hi fi is in a true “living” room; in a dedicated music room I’d give myself more latitude.


Yes, all helps thanks. Steve’s setup is something I could live with. I only have 2 medium levels the rest are standard. I can use 2 medium on the brains side which would leave 1 empty standard level. Is this best below the NAP500? How important is it to have the NAP500 off the bottom level?

Also noticed, some members have their source on top level and some have their Pre?

The received wisdom seems to be that the pre-amp benefits from having some airspace around it.

I’ve tried it lower in the rack, and it does sound best on top, hence my 552 DR being elevated from the adjacent power supplies.

@AndyJ you can replace the standard uprights with Med. I bought mine from Tom Tom Audio and the price was very fair. A big upgrade for the investment. If you have 500 level equipment I suspect the outlay will be well worth it! They may even do a part exchange on yours against used medium uprights… worth a phone call.

I keep agreeing to your posts, but yes I will follow this route as it’s not that much outlay to what I have already spent over the years.

Getting the NAP500 this weekend so will see what happens when I do get the medium uprights!

I just use medium levels for my phonostage (on the left) and 250DR (on the right). No empty shelves and std height levels otherwise. That works well for me, and I like how it looks.

I couldn’t live with a unequal height Fraim so ended up rebuilding with the above. It works with all cables off the floor, just a couple of Burndy’s that cross and touch that I will use some pipe insulation to separate.


Hi Steve, can you remember approx how much the medium fraim spacers cost. I have googled and nothing comes up, even a visit to the tom tom site reveals no part prices?

FWIW: I’m in the U.S. and paid about $225 (plus sales tax) for a set of medium spacers and bolts. I imagine that will be somewhat less in the U.K.

Thankyou…very kind…i will order a set

@Gazza I would give them a buzz as they sometimes have used ones which you may be able to p/ex your standards against. Depends on colour and what they have in stock I think so best to ask if thats an option or not. I bought new ones and the price I paid was very reasonable, I can’t remember exactly but I bought 5 sets and it was not a brutal amount! They don’t always answer straight away as they have customers etc but they always call back.

Thanks Steve