When the (Fraim) Chips are down

So decided my current Attacama floor protectors are no upto the task (slightest wobble) and maybe just a case of OCD wanting them to match the Fraim chips.

I have ordered 8, but recall some on the forum have mentioned they sound better flat side up :thinking:

If so why and should the Fraim rack chips be upside down so to speak.

What will you be sitting on top of the chips?

Focal 1008be on Focal stands.

What type of floor is it, carpet/rug/wood/laminate?
Did you look at Linn Skeets or something like IsoAcoustics Gaia as well?

I used to use Skeets and now use Gaias on my floor stand PMC’s for reference.

I can’t say I’ve ever used the chips upside down and only ever under a Fraim rack where the base spikes sit in the dip in the middle of them.

Wood flooring.

IsoAcoustics GIA I looked at, they are not for Stan mounts.

Skeets I considered alloy cheaper, but preferred to stick with Naim :sheep:

The recess in the chips is quite large wheras the skeets are snug against the spike.
Chord Silent Mounts are another exotic option.

Just use them as intended. Works for me on a wooden floor. If you get bored in six months you can always experiment.

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I read this too on the old Forum, maybe a couple of years ago. If memory serves, the idea came from either @Tonym or @Darkebear (apologies if I’m wrong about that).

The reasoning is that, upside down, there’s less metal in contact with the floor, while the spike/Chip interface is unchanged, therefore the overall isolation is better. I started using Chips around this time, and have always installed them this way, though I’ve never done the “right way” / “wrong way” comparison.

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Thanks good to hear some logic around it also.

You should try both ways though before making a decision, as I’ve found preference can vary depending on surface.

Thanks Richard I will try the as intended first, maybe later if the itch starts I will try the other way, but I think once installed I will leave them alone.

Actually, it was Darke Bear’s idea & when he was round at mine he gave me a hand to wrestle my DBLs up onto the upside-down chips. My floor’s oak boarding resting on compressed flints and clay (it’s an old cottage). I was very surprised what a positive difference they made, and alerted me to the fact that the speaker-floor interface is very important if you wish to achieve the best sound quality.

I’ve since made up a pair of “Mana” copy sound bases, which sound even better, but in our holiday home, which has a suspended floor and carpeting, the upside-down trick with chips worked on my Neat Motive 2s as well.

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It was me that tried the idea - which I got from a chap at Naim that helped me install my then S600 speakers - they sounded better ‘reversed’ so I used them like that and with Tony’s DBL at that time it was also preferred.

But later - with different speaker, the S800 I preferred them the normal side-up. There is an effect into the midband and low bass - an emphasis - that suits some systems one way or the other it seemed. The S800 has a lower bass range and even though it a much larger speaker it was happier in my room and what worked really well with the S600 was not needed with the S800 and the ‘normal’ way for the Chips sounded more natural.

Try both ways is my advice. If the low-bass is not tight the reverse-chips may tighten it up nicely, but otherwise it may be preferred normal side up with a more natural midband.

DB.

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Thanks @Richard.Dane @Darkebear @Tonym I was somewhat OCD measuring the exact position, marking reference points, then a slight tilt forward then backwards to install the Fraim Chips, it highlighted the LHS rear on both speakers was off, I could not detect this with the Attacama floor protectors.

I played a number of reference tracks before, upon replay an immediate and noticeable improvement to the midrange and bass.

On many Travis Scott and JuiceWrld tracks (bass heavy) a notable change in pace, midrange clarity and less overhang to the bass.

Tempted to flip the chips, but for now time to enjoy, a thumbs up for the Fraim chips, versus the prior Attacama and 1p coins prior to that.

Also worth checking that the spikes are dead centre of the chips rather than off-set. This sweetens up the sound very nicely.

Will do, I wanted minimal disruption to the speaker position and did not consider the centre position.

Will definitely revisit ad sure they are all off centre if not touching the side wall.

Very interesting, this morning i checked each chip (speakers and Fraim), most where touching the side wall, recentered all but one (to close to the Fraim to eyeball with a torch).

It felt on each occasion there was a slight resistance to get the spike centred in the chip, also had to readjust two speaker screws very slightly.

The result deeper bass but bloated, more dynamic, nice micro detail.

I think i need another go to ensure everything is level and centred, but as @Darkebear mentioned if the low bass is off maybe flip them over.

Do make sure things are level - it makes a big difference to tunefulness I find.

The Fraim items should all be level - use a spirit-level - tweak and then listen and you may hear what is happening; lots of coloration goes and things time better.
Do not be over-concerned about dead-center of Fraim Chip - just miss the spike touching the raised flange so it does just land on the flat part. I also found that sometimes slightly offsetting one spike a couple off mm sounded better.

Speakers even more critical they are not leaning slightly as that can make the bass go boomy - also if like most speakers there are 4 spikes try by hand to rotate the front ones and if either one moves a bit easier than the other then the tension is wrong and you need to lover the spike a tiny bit on the looser one …iterate and listen until you have it, as it is usually obvious when it is right and it all sounds clean and fast. :bear:

DB.

Thanks i bit more checking, tightening levelling, still not 100% with two spikes, so will try tomorrow.

That said it is back on song that bass bloom has nearly gone.

I am tempted to do a full strip down, but think as you say adjust, listen, it is scary to realise how these minute adjustments can bring the whole system on or off song.

Amazing how very subtle adjustments can be heard, so far the Fraim chips have brought a SQ improvement, easier to identify levelling and also no more scratches on the floor (even when using pennies or the Atacama floor protectors)

Indeed - one you hear it for yourself there is no going back to not believing it makes any difference.
These sorts of optimization tweaks are everywhere - usually the ‘stay’ once you do it.

On occasion that is very worthwhile. If you never did it since first install then just do it as it always goes way-off on the first year as wood shrinks and torques slacken.

After that, then every few years is worthwhile - I try to put it off as long as possible until it is just not sounding how I think it should, usually after a few years - then do the rebuild and tighten not too tight (too tight and you lose detail and it ‘shouts’ at you) or too loose (too loose and it sounds dull and lifeless) and it is then much better again.

DB.

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