I saw a comment earlier today that placing boxes at the front of the shelves not only looked but sounded better. Looks I can understand but how is the sound affected by such positioning?
I’ve searched and found a post I remember reading about this topic:
Naim set-up their demos with their boxes carefully aligned to the front of glass on Fraim.
I asked if there was more reason than aesthetics and was told it sounded better too.
Experimented and found that there are good positions on Fraim glass.
- center the glass shelf first to be level with front wood support and have the same gap each side to support pillard (centre it).
- Place box about 1mm back about level with the bevelled-edge of the glass shelf.
Do that on every box - and listen after doing it.
Some boxes like a tiny bit more and some like to be a very tiny bit skewed and sound better - my 552 did.
Main thing is try things and listen and if it is better = free upgrade!
One more thing to check on any of the kit with metal feet (CDS units, CD555, NDS, ND555, 552s, Superline etc…) is that all four feet are perfectly square with no rocking at all. Glass is pretty flat, but not perfectly so, so there may be some barely perceptible rocking that can be fixed with the wafer thin aluminium shims that Naim provide. The shims go between the feet and the outer case - indeed, you may already find some shims in place from when the unit was levelled up at the factory. This is critical to getting the best from the kit.
I’d love to understand the science of this, but there are other forums for that. I do wonder though whether components with internal damping (NDS etc.) are less sensitive to where they are placed on the Fraim than other items?
They in fact seem more sensitive.
They are also more prone to the effct Richard speaks of and I needed to perfectly level my suspended sub-chassis boxes with the thin ‘Naim-washers’ to get them perfectly flat.
The other boxes use rubber feet and that takes-out the tolerance to be perfectly level.
The sub-chassis stuff prefers near the front of glass and the other rubber feet items can be very slightly back a bit more.
Tap the glass before you fit it and it has a set of notes and when you place it atop the fraim bearings it has different modes of vibration - then the equipment atop it changes to another set.
It is a structure that has modes of vibration and seem sto work best when you position it as designed to be used with Naim’s boxes.
The smaller boxes, like Snaxo, do not like being in middle but are better slightly over to one side.
All empirical - meaning just try these things and do not wait to be told by an expert if what you hear is real or not.
What does those washers/shims look like that naim provide for such fine tuning? Never seen those anywhere.
The Dealer will have a stock of them. In top-end systems such things crop-up and you can hear what are otherwise small imperfections as not so small anymore - Naim seem to equip their Dealers with these wafer-thin washers - you add as many as needed to get things level.
I suppose the best arrangement is the one that transfers the least amount of mechanical energy from the speakers to the electronics whether by direct airborne energy or through intermediate structures such as floors/racks/cases?
I pushed all corners on my 552 just now and cannot feel the slightest wobble. Guess It’s fine then
More important is Linearity and Renance Modes and their damping.
If you just try to reduce energy by extra mass or extra damping - it sounds truely awful and better put the box on the floor.
Everything moves in whatever way it is able and if you begin with that concept and apply engineering to this and select the modes you want to allow and critically-damp these (not over-damp) then you have a structure that is linear and distributes the energy away from the equipment via its own designed (hopefully) modes of vibration and into the structure via its feet.
It is more a work of Art to design and get this right - Fraim does a reasonable job at setting the needed compromises and criteria to meet this for Naim equipment to a given price.
When people try to reduce vibration otherwise they add mass and store it and it smears into poor timing - and over-damping does a similar bad thing.
A carefully engineered artistic solution will work better - just what I found.
You may be fine - mine only happened when one 552 foot at rear of box has slightly less pressure on it and that allowed the fraim glass to ‘zing’ when playing music so it effectively sat on three feet with one pounding the 552 box.
You can hear that as a brightness if it happens. Position to front of glass and the flexing of the glass is reduces and the feet worked better - then I added a washer and it sound better too.
They look like aluminium Polo mints that have been run through a 10 ton press (wafer thin!).
I wonder whether over time the glass moves relative to the ball bearing to self optimise it’s position. I have given up rebuilding my racks to avoid disturbing a system that now sounds really good.
I do find turning the power off from time to time has a refreshing effect.
My system is mainly in that state thesedays - it sounds excellent and seems to be continually incrementally improving over the last year - a music monster I don’t want to be changing.
Very occasionally I re-boot items of the whole system, usually after several months.
Sometimes some of the cables over-settle and get a little stiff and free them a little and everything is singing again.
I try not to touch it otherwise and it just does music superbly.