Question on Fraim Shelf vs Fraim Lite Shelf

I’ve just bought a full fat Fraim Base on the auction site and am now looking to add the shelves for it. I already have 3 sets of Fraim glass, cups and balls, so I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just buy Fraim Lite shelves and then put my glass on top of each one. My question is whether there is a difference in the quality of the construction of the Lite shelves vs the full fat versions. Anyone know about this?

As you will know, the Lite shelves are a different shape to full Fraim, so won’t match the base visually. They also don’t have the three cutouts for the cups or the hole for the pin.

As you already have the cups and glass I’d ask your dealer to get a price from Naim to supply just the standard Fraim wooden shelves, legs and the three metal bits. This should not be a problem. That way you get something that looks good and you don’t end up with stuff you don’t need.


Thanks HH. I’m also considering that option and will keep it in my back-pocket, but ideally I’d like to try to buy used for the shelves too and my chances of finding full Fraim shelves without glass I’m thinking might be pretty limited, hence wondering about Lite as an option. I know they are a different shape and don’t have the recesses, but I can live with that as long as the basic shelf construction itself is not a compromise.

You have the double layer base so you already have 2 of the shelves ready to take the glass so you are in a position to experiment between a lite shelf, lite with glass and a full Fraim shelf.
I started with all lite, bought a full shelf to try under a CDX2, which I found a nice benefit but than I put the superline on it to try, it wasn’t going back so then I needed another for the CDX2, and so on, these things breed if you’re not careful.

In case anyone is interested, Naim customer support reply is:
“Thanks for your email. The Naim Fraim Lite is made of a slightly different wood, but the differences are mostly aesthetic, both Fraim, and Fraim Lite will enhance your systems sound. “

Think of it like this.

  • FraimLite looks much better
  • Fraim performs much better

That’s an interesting view. To me the Fraim looks miles better. The bottom of the glass aligns with the bottom of the leg and there is a symmetrical gap around the equipment. With the Lite, on the other hand, the bottom of the equipment is lower than the bottom of the leg and the gap at the top is much bigger. I find the glass and balls visually appealing and a nice contrast to the black boxes. So, for me, the Fraim both looks and sounds better.

For sure it is highly subjective. I really dislike glass unless it is in a window frame.

I realise I may be in the minority here. I’d live in a log cabin if I could.

I can’t imagine anyone can make the difference in sound between a system sitting on a Fraim and a system residing on a Fraim Lite. Cables and all I get, having a good rack cut some vibrations and perhaps electromagnetic interference maybe, but to have any audible difference between the full Fraim and lite is hard to fathom.


The Fraim lacks the elegant simplicity of the Lite. It’s aesthetically too fussy. The problem is, it’s supposed to sound better - which is why, not being able to make up my mind, I have another rack, why, I’m sure, doesn’t sound half as good as the Lite even.

Funny how different people perceive things. For me it’s hard not to expect a markedly different performance. The Fraim is functionally nearly twice as much (six layers instead of three). If the Lite does work at all, the Fraim should do just more.
Not having made a comparison myself you could simply be right, though :grinning:

I agree, it should make marginal improvements, just not sure how much impact they have on the audio signature… Would love to do an A/B test but that is a long shot to arrange…

Adam, any views on the original question would be extremely welcome. Is a Fraim Lite shelf with Fraim Glass, balls and cups on it a sonically lesser thing than a Fraim shelf ?

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Just carry on buying used fraim shelves …and advertise the glass and cups you already have on that well known auction site…it will sell quickly…

Thanks for these wise words Adam. Expensive as they may prove to be!

i improved the fraimlite base with finite elemente cerapucks. It works very well.

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I converted Fraimlite to full Fraim myself.I started with four shelves of lite,bought a Full Fraim base to copy the design off.Then i took the lite shelves to work,and machined them on a CNC machine i run.This included changing the outer shape,adding the hole to stop the glass,and adding the recesses for the cups.The cups were made by me at work too,on a wire EDM machine,i bought the glass and balls locally,and had the shelves painted black locally.The end result looks and works really well,it cost me about 1500 Canadian dollars for everything.


great job! nice looking too! a lot of people will copy you now…

“It retains the cup-and-cone interface system used by its bigger brother too, but omits the dual layer base and ball-bearing decoupled glass shelf. Reference Fraim levels can be incorporated into the same system as FraimLite so that you can upgrade to our top of the range equipment support on a level-by-level basis.”

I agree, but in any event I tracked down a set of six Naim cups & bolts and recently purchased a corian shelf!

Next, cross da border where No Quarter refered me to purchase some glass shelves.

BTW, nice pictures No Quarter, I see U R still active and helpful to those individuals who are looking towards functional low cost upgrades!

With that being said, I will still take Naim’s advice and integrate Reference Fraim to the top portion of my 7 tier Fraimlite!

Glad to hear you finally got your Fraim glass, cups and balls Allante93. From those photos I posted, it looks like I do not use the double base level, but that was just a temporary assembley while I waited for the proper hardware to come from Naim…to build the proper FULL base with the two shelves.