Stacking boxes

I am looking to move my olive kit off a fraim into a piece of furniture. This would mean stacking a few items on top of each other - probably the 135s, supercap and 555 PS ( 2 stacks of 2). The 52 and NDS would get their own shelf, and I will probably use the fraim glass and bearings to isolate these from the shelf (the furniture will not accommodate the fraim stack). I could also do this for the double-stacked stuff too.
Does anybody have any advice on how to stack items on top of each other whilst minimising any sonic negativity?
I actually remember when I first bought my olive kit, Grahams in London just stacked stuff on top of each other with no concerns and it still sounded great - but this was before we all discovered the wonder of the fraim, so the bench of what is acceptable has obviously moved in a bit since then :blush:
This move will mean a much more harmonious living area, but I want to minimise the sonic disruption to my system, which is sounding really great, better than ever after the long overdue NDS software upgrade….
Appreciate any advice! :blush:

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I have my 500 series components on a piece of furniture for domestic harmony rather than sound quality reasons. Luckily my piece of furniture is wide so I’ve been able to give each item space to breathe and maintained separation between brain and brawn and give pre and streamer space on top where they like to be. I had the pre inside at one point and the sound was noticeably improved when I moved it to the top of the cabinet. Generally the more separation you can give the better but if you need to stack some kind of footer between items might help, not only isolation but also airflow around the components. I can’t advise on where the amps should go relative to power supplies on a brawn stack, but separating the brain parts from the power parts makes a very worthwhile difference as does being able to optimise the cabling, avoiding Burndies on the floor or against a wall etc. In the end, I think you’ll need to experiment, but hopefully you’ll quickly get a set-up that works for you. Good luck!


Some pictures would help illustrate what you’re working with.

This is a glimpse of the inside (not yet purchased…)
I am planning on putting the power block on the bottom shelf, leaving the top 2 shelves for kit… but maybe I could in fact use half of the bottom shelf for a box also… meaning I would only have to stack 2 boxes. As to whether that would be the 2 135s or the supercap/ND555 I guess I can try out. But question remains as to how to best stack those 2 boxes
I would also have to create some holes in the back panel for wiring and ventilation.

And this is the system on fraim:


As I ponder this I am looking at isolation options - I’ve had good results with the townshend platforms under my 808s, and am wondering now whether these might be something to try for between the components and the shelves.
I am also going to call the furniture manufacturer to see if they can simply provide an extra 2 shelves which will then solve the stacking problem. And that would also provide shelf space to bring a turntable back upstairs…. This project is starting to get exciting. And for once a project that my wife is fully behind :joy:

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The problem you have here is that it’s a large and complex system. While you could have the NDS and 52 on their own shelves, you will have real problems with the Burndies. If you make holes in the back you will then see the Burndies dangling down underneath. Are you really happy to compromise the performance of your Naim system? Are you really happy to take a saw to a £3,400 cupboard? Might you be better just getting a 222 and 250 and putting it on a nice piece of furniture? Does the ethnic look actually suit your house? How will you hide all the cables when the cupboard sits on a spindly frame?


All valid points :slight_smile: The plan is to put the kit on the upper shelves, so no visible dangling burndies. They will probably touch the wall behind, but that I will have to live with. Not too worried about cutting holes in the back - if it cleans up the living room it’ll be worth it. And yes, the easy route would be to go for a simpler system, but I’ve been down that route already once - as I found out, once you’ve lived with 135´s it’s difficult to go back to single box solutions :face_with_spiral_eyes:
As to whether I am willing to compromise the sound of the system… the answer is not really. I need to find a way to make it work without killing the sound (and this system really does sound fantastic as it is :grimacing: )… hence the post :blush:

In that case, have you considered finding a local craftsperson who could make a bespoke cupboard to fit around the Fraim, maybe with a single taller stack if that works better? Don’t forget also that you will need an IR resender if you want to be able to change the volume by remote and keep the doors shut.


Is there anything that I can put between burndy and wall (foam etc?) or is it critical that the burndy touch nothing at all?

Oh, I hadn’t thought about remote. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
In fact we just installed a few items of this style in the living room, which triggered this idea… the cupboard will fit right in aesthetically.
I will find a way to make it work :blush:

Nigel has a good point. You have a great system and it would be a shame to compromise it by unsuitable stacking.

Another slightly off-piste thought. Could you locate the electronics and Fraim to another room, just keeping the speakers in the main room. Control issues shouldn’t be an issue as you can use system automation via an appropriate control point, changing records on the P9 excepted !


That Ethnicraft cupboard looks very nice. I have furniture that’s on legs and there are no wires dangling down, although that all required some thought to arrange. I imagine some damping of the Burndies would be better than nothing, but the strong recommendation from most here seems to be that free hanging, and of course, unstressed, sounds best.
In the end, you’re prepared to make compromises to fit the system into your room, but which ones work best is likely to require a bit of experimentation. Then again, if you just set it up, listen and are happy with the results, you’re all set. It may be that another product from further down the range might be better suited or perform closer to its optimum in your proposed arrangement, but as you already have the kit, some experimentation with what you have is worthwhile.
I have used isolation platforms and Stillpoints to try to provide a decent environment for my boxes to perform near their best, but we only have ourselves to please here, so if it sounds good to you, be happy.

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Unfortunately you can’t use system automation with a 52. Hence the need for an IR resender. As this is a second system I do wonder whether a New Classic 222, 300 and 250 might be more than good enough, or a 333, 332 and 250, which wouldn’t need pesky burndies.

Ah… I saw a 552 in Robbo’s profile but yes, it’s his Olive system and as you say, it’s a 52 and system automation won’t work, but IR extenders are easy to implement.

Unfortunately no shared walls with this room, and the ground floor is essentially open plan.
In reality, this system is really used for more casual listening and often whilst making dinner and after a glass or 2 of wine which seems to make everything sound great anyway. I am willing to give up a little performance, I just want to reduce that to minimum… :roll_eyes:
Although sometimes I listen to this 20yr old kit and wonder why I bothered with the 500 stuff, it really does still more than hold its own against newer kit :blush::heart_eyes:

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Do you have any recommendations re isolation platforms that work well with naim?

Ah ok, if that’s the case, I’d not worry too much given it’s a second system and what you’re using it for. Just try and keep the 52 and NDS away from the mains powered kit. Good luck and listening :+1:

I use some old Audiophile Base platforms and I also have some BFly platforms from Germany. For me Stillpoints are more effective, and use them in combination with the platforms. Many here report good results with the IsoAcoustics platforms and pucks which are a good deal cheaper. HRS isolation platforms reportedly work well with Naim too and they will make custom sizes, but they are pretty expensive. Probably more expensive than Fraim!

You do not want to hear this. BUT, in all honesty, what you are proposing is just not going to come off well in several respects.

First and foremost it will sound crap compared to how it does now. You have it on an expensive purpose-designed rack. Whatever you do it is simply unavoidable that the sound - and the music - will be severely compromised.

Secondly, even if you accept that, putting it into an enclosed space like a cupboard will hinder ventilation. Stacking it will have the same effect. I’m not saying it will blow up, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it leads to premature component failure.

Trust me. It really is a bad idea.

If you don’t like the look of Fraim, and I’d be the first to concede that it’s far from the nicest looking rack on the market, then investigate some of the other racks around, or even look into having a rack custom-made that would be a better match to your room. The possibilities here are endless - so surely you could come up with something that suits.

If none of this is any good then honestly the best advice I can give you is to sell the lot and opt for a one-box solution. It won’t be as good, but it can still be very good and you can place it discreetly.

Not trying to pee on your party here. But I know from experience that these sorts of ideas rarely work out well. It will end up as a hotch-potch and a botch-up and sound terrible.

Don’t do it.

Better to have a well-performing one box system than a high-end multi-box system that is compromised in performance IMO.