Fraim lite upgrade

Hello fellow Naim lovers,this is my first post.Just a little background on me first,I was Born in Lancashire England and lived there until I was nine years old,my family immigrated to Canada,where I now reside.I started my Naim journey with a unitiqute 2,with Neat Iota's for speakers,this was about three years ago now.I demoed a nap 100 with the Unitiqute,which I liked a lot,but did not buy it,I upgraded to a Supernait 2 a couple of months later,and used the Qute as a digital source,which worked good.Then I added a High-cap dr to the Sn2,another improvement.Next came the Hugo in between the Qute 2 and Sn2,better again.At this point I felt I was getting too redundant,so I traded everything in,and now have an N 272/250dr combo,with Naca5 speaker cables,and 2 power lines...the speakers are Canadian made Taksim Reference 3a's.I also have an Xps-dr on layaway,waiting at my dealer,needless to say,I am very happy with the sound.My question is about adding glass,balls and cups to the Fraimlite that I just bought.I have bought the ball bearings locally,and plan on doing the same for the glass(to Naim specs)... for now I was going to use nuts under the bearings,just to get me started.I am a machinist for a career,so I am pretty sure I can make the cups myself,but it will take a bit of time,or I could purchase them too,I am just trying to save some cost.How much "better" is it using the proper cups,compared to nuts? Has anyone gone this route,and have any advice for me?Also,is there a big jump in sound quality by adding the glass,balls and cups to the Fraimlite?Thanks for any replies in advance.

Original Post

If you have just bought the Fraimlite and are now thinking of adding the glass, it raises the question in my mind of why you didn't just but the proper Fraim in the first place. The full Fraim gas the double base, which is a significant factor, and if you add glass to the Lite it's really hard to dust. The other issue with the Lite is that it doesn't have the circular cutouts for the cups. 

You can of course get glass made up to the same size, and buy steel balls. If you use nuts rather than the Naim cups you will not get as much isolation, as the Naim cups touch the balls at only three points. I'd be inclined to do it right, or not at all. 

Hi No Quarter. Great to have another Reference 3a owner on board !

I'd suggest - judging by your steep upgrade curve and your name - that whatever you do to upgrade the Fraimlite there will always be a niggling doubt that it's not quite right. Get the full fat Fraim and use the Fraimlite for av duties or sell them on.

cheers.

Caption

Welcome to the Forum.

A fine bunch here, can get a bit testy at time, but pay it no attention. 

We're headed towards the same path also, I couldn't afford the Fraim, but I'm delighted with the Fraimlite.

One thing I love about the Fraimlite, it can be interchanged with the Fraim. 

My plan of attack is to implement the Fraim on the Top levels, and nut and bolt the rest. 

It was difficult, but I did manage to obtain Fraim nuts and bolts. You must be persistent with the dealer to contact Naim Headquarters in your Region, and they will order the parts. I had to contact Headquarters myself, but it was well worth it! 

The Fraim nuts and bolts look so much nicer than Hardware kits. I haven't obtained the Shelves yet, but I do have a line on some Corian shelves, that were done at AV options in US. 

You can search and come up with all types of goodies like the following:

""RON TOOLSIEMEMBER

10/15/1511:53 PM

I have used the Fraim with standard glass, Corian, Sonority regular shelves and Sonority roller Shelves. 

The Corian seems to benefit over the glass when there is any component with some compliant suspension within (552, CDS etc) but not so much when there isn't (Supercap etc). The Sonority better both in all ways, with the double-layer Rollershelves c/w ceramic cups/balls being significantly better to just the 'regular' Sonority shelf (which is better than the Corian).""

As far as the Sound benefits go, I did notice an appreciable difference, Black Box upgrade, who knows.

It's all relevant. 

Good Luck! 

In the meantime enjoy your Music.

Allante93! 

 

Hi No Quarter,

I bought Fraimlite when it first came out and have been very happy with it. However, I have now reached the position of having a full active 500 system, and a lot of black boxes! I didn't want to go the whole route of selling the Lite and buying Fraim all over again, so I bought Fraim glass and then Analogue Audio support cones. There was a definite upgrade in performance with the increased isolation, and it works well for me.

Hungryhalibut posted:

If you have just bought the Fraimlite and are now thinking of adding the glass, it raises the question in my mind of why you didn't just but the proper Fraim in the first place. The full Fraim gas the double base, which is a significant factor, and if you add glass to the Lite it's really hard to dust. The other issue with the Lite is that it doesn't have the circular cutouts for the cups. 

You can of course get glass made up to the same size, and buy steel balls. If you use nuts rather than the Naim cups you will not get as much isolation, as the Naim cups touch the balls at only three points. I'd be inclined to do it right, or not at all. 

Thanks for the reply Hungryhalibut,and to everyone else who replied.Let me add a few more things to my original post,my local Naim dealer has closed his store (after 30 years) so I got 4 Fraimlite shelves for 300 Canadian dollars,which I could not pass up.My intentions were to get a full fat Fraim,but the cost is WAY more money,and like I mentioned,I have an Xps-dr on layaway,that I must pay for first.This was a one time only deal that I could not pass up,I thought that I could add the full Fraim base at a later date,can I not? I have been following this forum for years,so I am well aware of the "proper" way to do things,and I always follow your advice Hungryhalibut,you have been very influential to me and my upgrade path,so I thank you for that,always sound advice.As far as tha cups go,I realize that the 3 points of contact on the balls,is much better than sitting in a nut,which contacts all the way around the ball,and I do plan on making the cups myself,is there anywhere that I can get the dimensions of the cutout triangle shape on the interior of the cups?I have purchased (20) half inch diameter balls for 13 Canadian dollars,and I can make the cups for free,only my time is needed,and enjoy little projects like this at work.Is the half inch diameter correct,to begin with I guess?Can I not use two sided tape to secure the cup to the shelf?One more thing,can anyone tell me the dimensions of where the cups and balls sit under the glass,the proper spacing,if you will?

Tobyjub,thanks for the welcome,the Reference 3a's are very good aren't they.A little more info about my past and present speakers...I used Dynaudio focus 160's with my Supernait 2,and that combo was really good,I used to have Dynaudio c1 mk 11's in my home theatre,in which I use Cary audio gear,they are a fabulous speaker,but were not the greatest for home theatre,where high SPL's are needed,I ended up trading those in on Dynaudio xd600's,which I love.I tried the c1's in my 2 channel set up(Sn2) but I felt they needed more power,so I went with xd600's.Initially I was using the xd 600's with the N 272 in my 2 channel room,and OMG,that was awesome,my first true experience of having the Band in the room with me,no other way to really describe it.The xd600's were eventually moved to the home theatre,that is when I picked up the Taksim's and the 250dr...the band is still "in the room".Anyway,just a bit more about the path I have taken,thanks for the picks of the cups,but what I really need are the sizes of the cutout,and the dimensions of the spacing of the cup and balls,under the glass.

TOBYJUG posted:

I believe they are available to order from quite a few Naim dealers.

Thanks Toby: 

"It was difficult, but I did manage to obtain Fraim nuts and bolts. You must be persistent with the dealer to contact Naim Headquarters in your Region, and they will order the parts. I had to contact Headquarters myself, but it was well worth it! "

The same ones on the Fraim, I purchased my 4 Tier Fraimlite from the Netherlands, I purchased my 3 Tier Fraimlite from Canada, all at a substantial savings.

I would imagine the difference between Fraim, and Fraimlite, would be the double base support, neater ball & cup configuration, and Price.

Your Call!

Again Welcome to the Forum!

Hope that information on Corian shelves was helpful.

Enjoy your Music.

 Allante93!

I don't believe the cups in the pictures are the proper ones. Certainly when I had them they were not like that. The real ones are hollowed out so that only a thin ring touches the wood shelf. I'd have thought that if one could afford the Naim boxes one could afford the proper support components. 

I will get a price from my dealer before I start messing around building my own,for now balls and nuts will do,I will also compare prices for the glass shelves built locally,vs shipping the real ones from Naim to Canada, but I am sure they will be at least double the price from Naim I would think...glass is glass is it not?,as long as you have the right sizes and specify tempered,or hardened glass.

 

Hi and welcome !

I started with Fraimlite when I had a 252 pre & 300 main amp.   Then I bought two glass+balls+cups from Naim through my dealer - quite an expensive outlay (about GBP300).  Next I bought four more balls & cups from Naim and added locally sourced Naim-spec glass to a couple more lite shelves - local glass was about GBP50 each.  And later, when I got hold of my 552 asnd 500, I splashed out on a couple of full fat brand new fraim shelves.  And since then, I've added a pre-loved, previously cherished, second hand full fat fraim shelf or two as my box count has increased.

So, in summary, keep doing what you're doing... upgrade the lite shelves as you need to or can, with a view to eventually adding or replacing many of the lites with full fat Fraim when you can.

As for the difference in sound quality... quite frankly, I hear little or none between the 'foreigner' upgrade and the genuine full fat version... it's just reassuring to know that you've done all you can with regard to support technology.   Mine sits on a 6 inch solid concrete slab, by the way.  Other floor structures would affect the effect of Fraim upgrades differently.

I love the 272 + 250 combination, btw.  One day when old age and a move into an old fogies residence forces me to downsize, this would be my destination configuration (whether my 802 diamonds would also fit into the room would have to be seen when the time comes   )

Enjoy !

Roger

Thanks for the nice welcome Roger,it is nice to be re-assured that I am not wasting my time,and heading in the right direction.I am going to back Hungry halibut with his praise of the 272/250 dr combo,it is very engaging,just beautiful music in my room,I can listen for hours on end with no fatigue...I can't imagine what the xpsdr will improve on,but I can't wait to find out! I will also add the full Fraim base too,but no rush for that.

 

I just ordered 5 glass shelves for my Fraimlite 350 mm x 450 mm x10 mm tempered glass for 68 Canadian dollars each,which works out to 41. 71 British pounds per shelf,does that seem like a decent price? Also,my plan is to use 1 inch diameter X quarter inch thick carbide inserts for my cups,and use a wire edm to cut the triangle shape in them(where I work).For people that may not know,carbide is an extremely hard material that is used in cutters to machine steel.Does anyone have a reason why carbide material for the cups would not be a good idea?My plan was to use two sided tape to secure it to each shelf,on location.So adding up all my costs,five Fraim shelves with homemade cups and locally bought balls and glass will have cost me a total of 660 Canadian dollars,which is 407 British pounds,of course I will still need to buy the full Fraim double base on top of that.I think I did pretty good at that price,what do you guys think?I will try and post pictures after I get it all finished,what do I use to post photos here,Dropbox ?

Tonight I am at work,and have been working on my homemade cups to convert my Fraimlite into full Fraim,the first couple of pieces are done,and turned out fabulous.It is taking about 20 minutes a piece to cut out the inner triangle shape,but for me it is nothing,just put the next piece in and hit start on the machine...20 minutes later I switch to the next one.I will try to figure out how to post some photos this weekend.

That is a possibility,but I am still waiting for one of you nice gentleman to give me the dimensions(locations) of where the balls and cups have to sit under the glass.

i think I am still doing something wrong posting pictures,I found Richard Dane's instructions on how to do it,but he talks about a tree house symbol,which I do not see,it looks more like a paper clip to me,and it posted my entire photo bucket?

No quarter,

Your photos showed for me. Nice pics and impressive machining work. I'd forgo the double sided tape notion. A forstner bit and drill press to secure the cups would be best. Getting exact dimensions for the placement of the three holes might be tough. Ideally someone would measure a triangle taken at the center of each hole. Difficult without removing the gear from the shelf. I don't have Fraim but hopefully you'll get some general measures good enough to go with.

One tip - before you place your glass on the shelf pay heed to how the glass 'rings'. Follow this link for a description of that: https://forums.naimaudio.com/to...build-the-naim-fraim

Cheers!

Thanks joe,that link you gave me will help.All the other photos you see are of my home theatre set up in my basement,I used to have the white c1's down there but replaced them with xd 600's.The white excite 12's are used for rear surrounds,and the Neat Iota's are used as side surrounds.The Naim gear is all in the 2 channel room with the Fraimlite and Taksim 3a speakers.

A little update on this,i received my 5 shelves on the weekend and installed them yesterday with low expectations (sound wise) and after the first night of listening,i am now a believer that "Full Fraim" does make a positive difference.They not only look fantastic,the sound is improved...a lot.

Gday No Quarter.

I was in a similar predicament with fraim lite , with no cups, balls and shelves. I purchased some balls off a WA bearing supplier, found some similar size glass to naim size, and sat it all on some stainless nuts for a while. I ended up buying the cups & balls from Uk Naim dealer and it was in fact reasonable but you have to shop around. I made up a wooden template  G clamped to shelf, and used a hand router at set depth locked, and machined recesses for locating your cups and balls. The effects of the glass shelf were very impressive, to the point I bought a single fraim level just for my CDX2. 

Enjoy your Fraim, 

Crusty

CrustyCottage

My homemade cups,balls and shelves have been in place for a couple of weeks now,i am very happy with the finished product.I do not really see a reason to bother cutting in the recesses at this time,since everything is in place and i can't see any reason it might move on me.I might consider doing it,if i decide to strip it all down one day,i am curious as to where you got your dimensions for the recesses?Do you have any photos of what you have done?I would post photos of mine,if i had a clue how to do it,any thread i read about posting photos,talks about a Christmas tree symbol,which i can't seem to find...i assume they mean the symbols at the top of this box i am now posting in.

Cheers

I demoed a fraim many moons ago and checked the relevant measurements, so I have the recess dimensions & positions. Basically the machined clearance recesses helps locate the cup squarely in the right position relative to the glass. The fraim cup has a lip on the bottom outer edge that ensures a full contact in the hole with no rocking. Sorry I can't publish the dimensions as probably against the forum rules. 

Cheers Crusty

No Quarter,

Do not use tape to secure the cup to the shelves, it will completely defeat the purpose of all that...

The veneer cut-out of the Fraim makes a big difference sound-wise, it is not only to secure the cup to the shelf. It is quite easy to do an A\B on a Fraim... MDF to Stainless is much better than MDF, Glue, Veneer, Stainless.

It looks to me a lot of job to upgrade the Fraimlite to what will never be a Fraim... (wooden shelf geometry matters, veneer cut-out)

BTW we do stock all the bits and spare parts of Fraim.

BUT you have to start with a real Fraim base, without it all you will do in upper levels will not matter much.

I would call dealers and ask them if they are interested to trade-in your Fraimlite. I can also tell you that we have many demo Fraim shelves (used in shows, ...). You can ask your dealer to contact me, there are many options for you...

Manu

I did not end up using any glue or tape,my cups sit directly on the wooden shelf,although i have no recess there,i don't see how a recess will affect the sound,can you explain the reason for this.I was intending on buying the full Fraim base at a later date.I was under the impression that Naim themselves state that Fraimlite can be upgraded to Full Fraim,and several members have replied that they too went this route.

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