Fraim experiment

Hi, just wanted to see if anyone else had done the same experiment as me and wanted to share their experiences. I simply moved the isolation shelf from my frame base up two levels so it now sits below my 252. (LP12/252/300/Radikal, std shelfs).
I might be imagening but I believe there is more definition and authority to the presentation...

 

Original Post

You are not imagining it. Fraim acts as levels of isolation and although I have not tried exactly what you have done I have tried many other permutations - enough to realise that when I tried to reduce my source Fraim stack number of levels as I did not need it that high - I thought - it sounded worse. It only sounded right with all the detail and swing back when I had the empty base level and another empty medium level under the medium level my source sits on.

There is an assumption you only need the number of fraim levels that will house your boxes - and physically and financially this is correct, but in both musical and HiFi terms you need more levels I found. And the cost-benefit is more than spending the money on the next box up in the hierarchy, but that will need to be demonstrated before most will believe it.

People seem ready to accept that HiFi furniture, if they actually listen to the results, makes the equipment sound better - but the reason why and can there be more available is usually not asked or explored.

So you are correct IMO and experience, but do not expect many to agree and expect a lot of negative stuff from people who never actually try these things.

DB.

Recently got a 500, and don't have a medium/tall shelf for it yet.

My system sounds awesome - even though I would not have chosen the current setup ever.

TOP to bottom,

left

Nap500, NDS, 552, empty, nap 300 (unpowered).

Right: (PSUs)

500, 555, 552, 300 (unpowered).

I hope this doesn't become the new thing - having to have a 20Kg weight on the bottom shelf to stabilize things. :-)

Lack of isolation doesn't seem to be hurting. 

Maybe doing the recommended setup  will make things worse  - right now, the 500 is high in enough that cables are hanging, and not touching wall or floor...

The recommended being - NDS/552/500 with isolation between 552 and 500, which will push the 500 all the way down. 

Is isolation more important? Or being high up so cables don't touch?

If it sounds good as it is now don't be surprised if when you get it all 'correct' it actually sound worse - it can happen!

I once found that having a non-powered NDS sitting on the shelf under my 555 Head unit sounded great, but removing the NDS (was home-demo) and placing anything else on the shelf or having it empty or removing it was not as good. I was not going to buy the NDS just to occupy the shelf to make my 555 sound better but it showed me that Fraim is designed for the Naim large box footprint boxes to sit on it for it all to sing right. In the end I found getting a very slightly heavier bit of custom glass shelf achieved what I wanted for the empty shelf.

The 500 Head unit does sound better not on the lowest shelf - faster and less heavy - so try to have it at least a shelf up and definitely get the Burndy cables off the floor, as that makes a large difference in bass quality and music-making.

You do not need the isolation between the 552 and 500 head units, but I'd definitely have the 500PS on the lowest shelf with a space or larger shelf between it and the next box. Presently you have the 500PS away from the 552PS which is most sensitive, but you should find getting the 555PS away from the 500PS to be also worthwhile.

It is sometimes trial and error and trust what you hear in the end. I learned all this from once having to un-do a fraim rearrangement that made me think I'd broken something in the system - it was that my Supercap for the Snaxo really hated being next to a 500PS.

DB.

Geko posted:

Rumour has it that two isolation shelves are also better than one!

After a casual mention from R.G. I tried it for a while. I liked it but later 'repurposed' the shelves with additional legs for a NAP 300 and other bits.

Shabby photo of system shortly after my French pad was flooded.

I've just realised - I used two base levels with the spikey spikes, rather than the stumpies. Also - SuperChips under SL2s.

All mildly Skunk Works.

 

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Darke Bear posted:

If it sounds good as it is now don't be surprised if when you get it all 'correct' it actually sound worse - it can happen!

I once found that having a non-powered NDS sitting on the shelf under my 555 Head unit sounded great, but removing the NDS (was home-demo) and placing anything else on the shelf or having it empty or removing it was not as good. I was not going to buy the NDS just to occupy the shelf to make my 555 sound better but it showed me that Fraim is designed for the Naim large box footprint boxes to sit on it for it all to sing right. In the end I found getting a very slightly heavier bit of custom glass shelf achieved what I wanted for the empty shelf.

The 500 Head unit does sound better not on the lowest shelf - faster and less heavy - so try to have it at least a shelf up and definitely get the Burndy cables off the floor, as that makes a large difference in bass quality and music-making.

You do not need the isolation between the 552 and 500 head units, but I'd definitely have the 500PS on the lowest shelf with a space or larger shelf between it and the next box. Presently you have the 500PS away from the 552PS which is most sensitive, but you should find getting the 555PS away from the 500PS to be also worthwhile.

It is sometimes trial and error and trust what you hear in the end. I learned all this from once having to un-do a fraim rearrangement that made me think I'd broken something in the system - it was that my Supercap for the Snaxo really hated being next to a 500PS.

DB.

You're right! Got the medium shelf, rearranged stuff - and the smile is gone. Music sounds confusing and muddled. Problem is - two things have changed - shelving and the cable between 552, and 500...

Tried a bunch of different combinations, but maguc hasn't returned.

Waiting for the cables now 

@Darke Bear

I tried a bunch of stuff - I've got two medium shelves, plenty of fraim, and a bunch of extra fraimlites I can use. What do you recommend for stacking? I was thinking:

Left:

Nds on medium, 552 on medium, 500 on standard + extra isolation shelf, spacer on 1/2 base.

Right:

552, 555, space, 500 all on standard.

Which should be 'optimal once my cables returns.

I have a meter that I used this morning to look at the magnetic fields caused by the PSUs. These extend half way into the head units horizontally and more than 3 standard shelves vertically!

So spreading the units as much apart as possible is also key - they only escape so much magnetic fields by being on the brain shelf. 

You could also ask someone to completely remove the component (lift it off the shelf) whilst you are blindfolded. There is the possibly that there is no difference in the perceived sound quality. You could also ask someone to vigorously shake an interconnect cable whilst you are blindfolded. There is the possibility that there is no difference in the perceived sound quality. 

After powering down a system and making a 'change' there is the possibility that one imagined that there was a difference in sound quality because there was a delay in listening to the original sound that one remembered. It's a possibility in my humble opinion. 

Remember that it is the alternating field and not the static field that causes induction into frequencies that matter, so the meter may say fine but it is not. I had a long discussion with the Statement Designer at a show who discussed how they designed to reduce the field induction from the transformer into the rest of the circuits. With non-Statement Reference stuff you use Fraim arrangement to do the same.

Your left stack looks ok.
So does the right - try it and see and trust your own ears and how the music flows and feels to you.
Some space between 555PS and 552PS can also work wonders if you have a spare empty shelf to insert. For the empty shelves always have the glass on them as they otherwise introduce a 'woody' resonance. Also sit a heavy weight briefly atop the empty shelf once when initially reassembling it all to bed-in the cups into the wood then remove the weight and have the glass completely empty - nothing on it.

When powered-off for a few hours things do change their sonic signature musically for the worse is how I hear it and it will take a few hours to get back into swing again and several days to really hit the spot.

But if it is wrong it will be immediately obvious that it is not happy and it won't get any better until you find the problem. Get the Fraim tight but not super-tight, get Burndies off touching the floor or wall - they should move gently a few times back and forth when poked and not feel stiff or unyielding. The same with the interconnects - try not to have them touch the metal parts of the Fraim uprights, but the wood part is ok if it has to.

DB.

... also take a break from it if you get frustrated and go do something else for the evening and take a fresh look and listen after that, as sometimes things just need to settle in the new Fraim and in yourself.

A good Fraim rebuild really seems to 'bloom' over about a month as all the stresses equalize over time and exposure to use. Can't prove it but always hear it happen.

DB.

You're right. Probably best to leave it alone. Stacking order is currently:

Left: NDS/552/space/500
Right:500 PSU/552PSU/555PSU.

500PSU is in the worst position - at the same level as the 552/NDS - so impacting them both negatively.

However, this allows cables to be off the floor - since these are essentially criss crossing and making a X behind the rack.

I'll wait for my cables to arrive before making any further changes. It does sound fine the way it is.

 

Electronics are inanimate compared to the human body which uses neurotransmitters such as serotonin (the happy molecule) and dopamine (the reward molecule) to send signals to our brain. Let's imagine that we have the most sensitive microphone that ever existed. This microphone should be able to detect the most subtle deviations. However, due to it's inanimate construction, it is limited to only detecting quantitative (or objective) changes in comparison to the human body which has the capacity to detect qualitative (or subjective) changes. In the event that the microphone registers a quantitative change, we could probably rest assured that a quantative change actually occurred. However, if the neurotransmitters in the human body change during the time of the event, it is possible that one experienced a qualitative experience based on one's desire for a change.

MangoMonkey posted:

You're right. Probably best to leave it alone. Stacking order is currently:

Left: NDS/552/space/500
Right:500 PSU/552PSU/555PSU.

500PSU is in the worst position - at the same level as the 552/NDS - so impacting them both negatively.

However, this allows cables to be off the floor - since these are essentially criss-crossing and making a X behind the rack.

I'll wait for my cables to arrive before making any further changes. It does sound fine the way it is.

The 500PS is a beast that should not be near the 552PS IMO - at least put a space in there and listen.
I never got the crossing-cable config to work well as it sounded a bit congested in my system, but I had a lot of them Active and it was harder to do.

Trust what you hear and if after a few days you are not happy then it is the system set-up and not your imagination.

The view that all differences are down to personal mood is flat wrong IMO. It has an impact certainly, so you sometimes need a few days to be certain. Eventually you can get good a separating such things from the sonic facts you experience. I've done the set-up reconfigure Fraim with several systems to the pleasant surprise of the owners and I don't think it is my suggestive powers. One forum member's wife who was not present in the room while we rebuilt and was not at all interested was later very surprised at the results, saying 'where has all that bass come from - what have you done?'

But there are world views that do not permit such things possible, but the ultimate logic of those views is that Fraim makes no difference sonically either - how can it if wide-band vibration does not impact the boxes? I used to believe that too until it was shown me many years ago and I was rather shocked as my world seemed to explode and I had the choice of maintaining an open mind or running for cover - I took the former, but do still question everything.

Trust your own ears and your musical experience. The 500PS is not in a good place IMO.

DB.

nestor burma posted:

What about the powerlines...any specific guidance here? Is there a way to “dress” them? What should we keep in mind, or it doesn’t matter? Off the floor? Looped neatly with duck tape? Or just the “jungle”?

They are designed to be able to be on the floor - but try to lay them so that they are separate as far as possible from the other leads. Nothing too critical, just don't lay them all in a tight loom or bind them. They 'work' by being loose as they are meant to be lossy and lose vibration by free movement. In real life mine do touch and cross but just where they need to and keep them apart for best results - especially when they are off the floor and entering the boxes.

DB.

@Darke Bear - oh made some changes on the brawn side.

Stacking order now:

Left: NDS/standard space/552/500 (552 on medium shelf). I read somewhere that the nap500 head unit is fairly inert, so lack of extra space shouldn't matter. Just looks esthetically better than having a space.

Right: 555/space/552/space/500.

At some point, I'll remove the space between the 555 and 552. It's probably better, but stuff looks too high.

I've got another medium shelf on order. I want to end up with:

Left: NDS (on medium)/552 (on  medium)/500 (on base).

Right: 555/552/standard space/500.

This should be  a good balance of looking esthetically pleasing and sounding good. Putting a base shelf under the Nap 500 is probably better - for burndies, but I'll let that be - just want the system to bed for a few weeks before making further changes.

Thanks to @Richard Dane for a post from 2011

 

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