To Fraim or not to Fraim

I am going to borrow a fraim from my dealer and try it out. I used to use a cheap piece of mdd furniture and moving to dedicated rack definitely improved the sound. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was different. Then upgraded speaker cables, interconnects etc. They are all small incremental improvements that come together to be greater than the sum of the parts.

Until you’ve tried a like for like test yourself, with your kit in your setting, you will never know for sure…

These topics warrant consideration of your sensitive and expensive electronics as part of a complete system. Naim engineered the Fraim racking system as a logical extension of the electronics, designed to control noise and create the most stable and consistent environment to allow the electronics to perform at the peak of their designed performance.
Over the years I’ve gone the whole gamut of furniture from a basic Ikea cupboard, Hutter Racktime, Isoblue (which does look nice and is very simple, miss it a bit) to a full Fraim setup which I purchased brand new.
I didn’t buy it purely for performance reasons and wasn’t expecting it to really be a big part in the system as a whole but the reality is, when the time is taken to set it up correctly, check as you go and get everything tight and level, that it allows the equipment to do what it’s designed to do and takes it as a whole to another level of enjoyment.
In my case I’ve scaled back on the box count in recent cycles of system and currently have a SN3 + NDX2 + Rega turntable up top.
Once you get to a point where you’ve invested in external power supplies for source and amplification, it’s worth factoring in additional isolation, commonly referred to as Brains and Brawn, and putting the power supplies on their own rack and the source and amplification on it’s own separate rack.
Fraim lite is a good compromise where you anticipate not needing to accommodate additional isolation of the power supplies or you have equipment that is inherently less sensitive, 5 Series, XS and Uniti ranges being good examples.
It is an investment as much as the electronics themselves.
The same applies to getting the AC power coming in as isolated as possible and ensuring the cabling is synergistic to the equipment it connects.
If your listening space can accommodate a Fraim rack I’m sure you’ll appreciate the benefits it brings to a system as a whole.

2 Likes

If all naim boxes then YES fraim all the way.
I have a mix of gear, then you can run into problems.
Fraim tends to energize the naim boxes as the fraim rack rings quite a lot, this must suit naim, but it certainly doesn’t suit all gear and my turntable P10 didn’t really like the glass, also my dCS gear prefers to not be on the glass

See, this kind of comment makes me think. The Fraim rings??. As in, literally vibrates at an audible frequency?? That can’t be right.

It’s a key and valid point, not least the triangular design, the rear leg can in certain cases be right in the way of connectors of non Naim equipment for example, all Naim kit has a space in the middle of the rear to allow connectors to sit either side of the rear leg, if you have a mix of vendors equipment it’s worth checking the rear leg won’t block anything essential in terms of inputs and outputs.

By example, a Melco server!

0008175_melco-n1a2-music-server_625

1 Like

There’s a thread or two on here on Fraim glass shelf “dink” and “donk” probably worth a read :joy:

1 Like

Well even some naim kit has problems
If you get up close to the fraim and talk next to it, you can hear it ring, its the aluminium box sections that do it, i think, i guess its designed to do so? As my naim gear certainly sounds better being on the fraim than it did before.
I have just had to work around the other problems it has given me, with my other gear, basically placed bamboo on top of the glass for my dCS gear, and a heavy lump of solid oak for my turntable

That’s a very good plan, though bear in mind there is something of an art to setting up Fraim to getting it working at its best. I don’t rate the Hifi Racks stuff at all highly but it is certainly very easy to slot into the room without looking too Hifi-like, if that makes sense.

I have a Fraim and it’s a superb rack, so long as you like the looks. Mine is in the long-discontinued maple veneer, which perhaps surprisingly goes well with natural oak. I paid £1,250 secondhand for my base and four levels. In your room I certainly wouldn’t go higher; it would be far too dominating.

I’ve just taken a picture to give an idea of what a base plus four might look like, next to 30.5 cm tall speakers on 60cm stands. It works for us, sitting in the corner out of the way.

2 Likes

Forgive me for going off topic.

I’m just imagining the fancy upcoming Focal Powered by Naim shop’s salesperson getting their head around this!

Thanks - A base plus 4 looks like a very tidy setup. I also like the maple as opposed to cherry offering, but the Ash might suit my room

I will arrange for my dealer to come and install it to ensure we optimise the setup.

There are two colours of uprights - silver and black. I tried black a few months ago and it was much too high contrast. If you do go for Fraim, make sure you make the right choice for your room.

1 Like

As @hungryhalibut highlights, it’s worth taking the time to set it up properly. Build and check each level as you go, build the entire rack empty and check each level as you go and the whole rack for level and get every connection nice and tight, then simply take off all the levels back to the base and build up each level around the equipment as you go.
You have the option to stick plastic cups on the glass shelves above the balls to minimise the risk of the shelf slipping off and causing a swearing outburst.
Once it’s all levelled off and you’ve sited the black boxes it’s all pretty stable, just be aware when you’re connecting or disconnecting anything round the back that it won’t take a lot of force to have the shelf slide around on the balls they sit on, hence the cups being provided! If you do fit them, avoid the cup touching the ball, it should sit around the ball and be there only if required.
If you’re standing it on a solid floor, like wood, then you can add Fraim chips to sit the spikes on, if it’s carpeted, the spikes can happily go through that to the floor below. A suspended floor may require some additional thought in terms of the connection points between Fraim base spikes and floor, others will likely have suggestions here for best options.

1 Like

Looks fab btw sir, every time I see your setup It reminds me of my lack of 555PS, must resist…

1 Like

Sorry folks I cannot stop thinking about this. There are essentially two claims made in this thread that don’t seem very ‘Naim’ to me:

One, that Naim solid-state products are susceptible to microphonic interference.
Two, that Naim produce a dedicated rack that its self is susceptible to audible ‘ringing’

I would imagine that measurements on both of these effects would be available, especially if the rack has been designed specifically to eliminate any microphonic issues supposedly present in Naim. products

1 Like

This may help, or not!

1 Like

It’s the very reason for doing all the suspension stuff in the 500 and Statement products. Naim doing this confirms that they think it is an issue, and if the phenomenon did not exist, there would be no point (beyond marketing at least)

It’s also something that affects all audio devices on principle, at least as I understand it, it’s just that Naim is one of the few who addresses it.

As for Fraim ringing, surely the question is not whether the Fraim rings but what it does for the units (and I understand that you would like to see measurements, but those would need to measure the important things)

1 Like

Thank you. I have read the blurb. But nowhere does it have any stats to back it up.

1 Like

It’s pretty difficult to measure anything in a meaningful way that relates to impact on the listener.

How would you expect the benefits to be described? What sort of stats would be meaningful?

1 Like

Hmmm…well, if the claim is that Naim products are susceptible to microphonic effects, then the frequencies of concern could be named and measured pre- and post- Fraim installation. You’d have something like ‘Reduces microphonic effects in the audible range by X%…’ etc.

Could that work?