The joy of small things

I downsized my system about a year ago. Since then I’ve made a few modest adjustments, getting a Rega Planar 8 to replace the 6, swapping the Fraim for a simpler and smaller Isoblue, and swapping a NAT 05 for an 02, enabling me to get the Neo off the floor and satisfying my desire for tidiness.

It’s been lovely having something that sits in the corner and doesn’t draw attention to itself. I’ve been buying a few LPs too. A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s brilliant debut arrived today - on limited clear vinyl - and last week I bought an Eddi Reader album at Eddi’s concert and she very kindly signed it for me. You can’t sign a download!

So a year on it’s all good. The ‘little’ system has kept me happy through the traumas of the last year, and given pleasure way beyond my expectations. Small really can be beautiful!


It’s been interesting following your system ‘journey’, particularly over the last few years. A very nice setup, that integrates nicely into your lounge and obviously gives you (and Mrs H) a lot of pleasure. The Special Branch version Isoblue looks rather good too.

My wife says different, I’m not sure I could satisfy her with something small because she is more inclined towards the more substantial. Happy wife = happy life (she is also a music lover after all) :relaxed:


I find my wife is somewhat indifferent to it all these days, now that I’m semi-retired. She’ll roll in around 6 after a long day at work and no matter how much I tell her how satisfying it is having the house to myself through the day and able to indulge it to the full esp with all the various sources on the internet, she’s not really that bothered and seems to prefer a cup of tea. Fine with me tbh. Her loss is greater than mine.

Funny you should say that; an opportunity has literally just arisen this week. I’ll pass tbh; I really love the current setup and it’d be a waste to throw it all away just as it’s all falling into place.

1 Like

Why would you need to ‘downgrade’ from Fraim as it occupies almost the same footprint as your current Isoblue? Am I missing something? Have you fallen out of love with Naim taking into consideration that you have expressed a concerted no affinity with Naim merchandise? :relaxed:

Beautiful system HH, so glad to hear you are getting so much enjoyment from it. Long may it continue.


1 Like

Amen, brother!

I (Aust) have not been able to obtain any Eddi Reader could you recommend a starter album
or something that is not out of print i need it on CD.

There is a double CD, the best of Eddi Reader. It’s a great starting point.

I too downsized. Used to have those usual Stereophile / Absolute Sound recommended “American Muscle” pre and power combos, shifting to and from SS and tube stuff. These together with a VPI TNT monster with an army of various MC carts fitted to separate armwands depending on which “house sound” I am in the mood to listen too.

Then came my tinnitus…

Everything was sold and I got a Muso…

Now I’m using my simple 2 box set up, a ND5XS2 + XS3 + NACA5.

Was it a “downgrade”? In terms of cost, YES. In terms of enjoyment, NO! It’s been almost a year since I have had my Naim gear and I still don’t have the itch to change it nor upgrade it. Now that’s something!


To me an Isoblue rack is much easier on the eye than Fraim. It looks more like a piece of furniture which belongs in a domestic setting. Fraim, with all that aluminium, glass and stainless steel, does not.


Pah, big fail. Airforce One, ND555, x2 555PSUs, full Statement, Focal Grande Utopia Evo is the only place to be :wink:

1 Like

And I thought this was going to be a thread on cartridges from the title.


I’ve enjoyed your journey too :sunglasses:

Agree, your system and setup was somewhat loosely an inspiration for mine.

An all black Fraim can also look discrete :relaxed:

More seriously @hungryhalibut nice configuration. I didn’t know you had indulged in a Nat 02, bet R3 sounds brilliant on that. Approx as a % how much of your listening is on vinyl?

The Nat 02 is a delight. I have R3 on now on they are playing Bach’s Suite no 1 for solo cello. The sound is easily as good as the streamer, all from a little thirty year old box. Amazing.

Regarding the records, I don’t have many so don’t play them that much, but when I do I find it most enjoyable.

Fraim is a lot more massive in appearance. At least to my eye. IsoBlue more svelte.