Quick Q: ND555 or 552 gets the Fraim top shelf?

Reassembling my Fraim racks right now and need to make a quick decision on whether Streamer or preamp gets the prized top shelf in Brain stack. Experienced views greatly appreciated. My inclination is streamer on top since it seems to have the most sensitive suspension: it makes a tinkling sound if I so much as touch the rack at any point, but love to hear other experiences.

I have streamer on top with 552 lower down. I have an empty shelf between them which also improves sound quality slightly.

I’d put the 552 on top. It has the most sensitive bits and the controls are easier to reach if it’s on top.

Thanks John. I’m putting the spare shelf between 500 and the next item, assuming that’s a more important separation (?). However, I do have the medium spacers between source and pre. Like so:

Thanks HH. My experience so far is the ND555 is even more sensitive than 552. It’s fussiness is the major motivation for the rebuild and bringing the Brawn stack back alongside. It just doesn’t work with my through the wall power supply wheeze it seems. NDS wasn’t nearly so sensitive. I guess it’ll be easy enough to to swap them around later and try both, just needed to make a choice for now I guess. I’ll try Streamer on top first I think.

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If the quick start guide pictures are anything to go by then ND on top.

Have not tried myself though, I have LP12/pre/ND/space/radikal

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I have from top: nd555, empty standard fraim level, 552, 500. The 552 likes some space above but not as much as 555.

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Whatever feels right very likely is right. There are some advantages in having a more modest system - when I had a 552 I was forever fiddling about - what I have now replays painstaking setup but is much less fussy overall. I’d invert the empty shelf though, as it looks a bit funny with unused rebates - unless you plan to add an empty glass, which does seem to sound better.


Hi Kevin,

I’d always understood that the pre-amp, as HH says, is the most sensitive piece of kit, from an electronics point of view, rather than in the physical aspect of the suspension.

I did plonk the ND 555 on the top shelf when it was installed, but subsequently re-arranged thing as above, and, to me, it does sound better, in it’s elevated position, well away from the adjacent power supplies.

Hope this helps.


Thanks Guys, options to try both in due course. Finally sitting down to enjoy it. Good news is twofold. Despite having only just switched on after about 5 hours power down, the transformation in musical capabilities and involvement is startlingly obvious ( though, sadly, I can now clearly hear Alfred Brendel groaning along to his wonderful piano playing once again !). The perhaps even better news is no intrusive transformer hum as we speak. :crossed_fingers:


I grappled with the same question over a year ago and after searching the forum and I believe getting some advice directly from Naim, I placed the 552 on top. Never really compared SQ both ways though, I’m sure I wouldn’t hear a difference.
I noted the discs under the Fraim feet on carpet.Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the spiked feet?
Beautiful system @KJC.
How long have you had those speakers.I seem to remember hearing about them ages ago.

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Confirmed that it definitely does sound better IME with 552 on top shelf. It sounds bloomin’ amazing Right now in fact, way beyond any effect of which unit is on top. I think my ND555 finally (FINALLY!!) burnt itself in. Sounding phenomenal :smiley:


That’s also the way I have it - with the spaces. Glad you’re enjoying the ND555 and love the mixing of Fraim colours!

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Hi JSA, Good Q re discs on carpet. I tried both ways when installing the system. Intrigued by your post, I’ve spent some time today and tried both options again. Still prefer discs on carpet. Could be that because I have a layer of levelling compound on top of the poured concrete floor, the spikes aren’t making perfect contact with the most stable layer below when going directly through the carpet, but whatever the cause, I’m preferring the discs.

On Shahinians, I’ve used nothing else since 1992; Arcs for 8 years, Hawks for 15 years, Obelisk2 since 2015. I’m an addict, BUT, like any speaker (but more so) they are a very personal/marmite choice.

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Hi Dave,
Quick Q if I may. Trying to copy your lay out on my 2 stacks since we have very similar systems and supports. Question is about layout of brawn stack. Looking at your pic, I can see 552PS is top, but not sure after that. 2 sticking points for me are:

  1. how to get the DIN/XLR’s to stretch from top right to bottom left
  2. presuming 500PS is lowest PS, how to keep its Burndies off the floor
    Any other tips very much appreciated.

FWIW I have:

ND555 Analogue
ND555 digital


Hi Kevin,

My brawn stack, from the bottom is:

HDX > 555DR PS > 500DR PS > 555DR PS > 552 DR PS.

I seem to remember that in my pre SL cable days, the DIN/XLR’s, at one metre long, were quite tight between my then 300 and the 552, so when I changed to SL cables, I got hold of the 1.5 metre version, and they’re fine.

I moved the 500 DR PS one place up from it’s original position at the bottom for exactly that reason, and the Burndies are now are now clear of the floor.

I was able to get hold of a second set of tall Fraim supports, which elevates the 552 DR, keeping it well away from the adjacent power supplies, and restores some symmetry to the look of the Fraim.

All this time on our hands, so little to do … I may myself even do a stripdown and rebuild, Chez Dave, later on! :roll_eyes:

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Thanks Dave (and Mike), interesting that you both have the same arrangement. I have only one 555PS to worry about. However, because I have the shorter DIN/XLR’s I think I’ll have to go asymmetrical for now and make the Brain stach higher than brawn and just swallow the visual imbalance. Will post an ugly pic when done!

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I dont understand the need to have the 552PS on the top of the brawn stack; just move it lower.

It’s largely to make cable dressing more straightforward, with them hanging in loops, and not touching anything else, rather than have them crossing other cables.

It’s never easy, I know, but, you’re right, this would help solve Kevin’s problem, since he has the 1m DIN/XLR’s. :+1:

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