Racking question for new 300DR

Big Brown assures me that my new NAP 300DR will be delivered within 48 hours, which is great news.  I will, however, then have to make a decision on how to rack the two new units, as space is very tight.

I have a bespoke custom made rack built from heavy duty solid cherry, as well as a 4-bin (2 over 2) cherry LP storage unit which holds approximately 200 LPs next to that.

I have neither the interest nor the funds to change the current racking situation in the near term, although long term plans do call for upgrading to a twin Fraim rack down the road.

My choices for locating the 300DR are:

1.  Both units on the bottom shelf of the main rack in place of the NAP 200, one box on top of the other.

2.  Move my nDAC to the top of the LP storage, where my Magnum Dynalab FM tuner will have to live on top of it, and place the amp in the nDAC's spot, with the 300 power supply where my current NAP 200 is.

3.  Site the 300 amp unit on top of the LP storage, leaving the nDAC where it is in the main rack, and again site the power supply where the current 200 is.  Again my Magnum Dynalab FM tuner will have to live on top of the 300 amp.

The question is which solution is likely to result in the best sound quality?  Swapping the units around to experiment is not really in the cards (extremely bad back).

About 80% of my listening is digital going thru the nDAC (UnitiServe, NAS, and Tidal via ND5XS, and a little via a CD5 XS), 15% is analog via my turntable, and 5% FM radio.  The FM tuner is usually turned off via the power switch although I could unplug it easily from the mains when not in use for a truly "dead stick."

By the end of the summer I will have a secondary two-shelf rack for the top of the LP storage unit, which will make things much easier.  But what to do in the meantime?

Original Post

Just make sure you don't put one on top of the other. Think of them as brawn and brain, like a preamp and its power supply, and keep them apart. Don't place anything powered on the 300 head unit. Don't underestimate the potential for improvement that a good rack will bring, if you want to get the best from your equipment. 

Probably, yes, and they are both powered items. The reason for mentioning a good rack is that Naim boxes tend to sound best on light but rigid racks, which are designed to transmit vibration. Heavy solid wood racks don't do this. You mention Fraim, so I'm sure this isn't news to you. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

Probably, yes, and they are both powered items. The reason for mentioning a good rack is that Naim boxes tend to sound best on light but rigid racks, which are designed to transmit vibration. Heavy solid wood racks don't do this. You mention Fraim, so I'm sure this isn't news to you. 

No doubt.  But surely you'll agree, HH, that there's more than one way to skin a cat.

As I understand it the goals for an audio rack are to provide a secure and convenient environment for your gear: good ventilation, easy access, and of course most would say it has to look good as well.  What isn't welcome are microphonic or resonant surfaces which can transfer unwanted vibration to the audio components.  The rack exists in a noisy, often loud - but hopefully musical - environment, after all.

As with turntables there are at least two ways of tackling the problem: dissipate the vibrations or resist them.  From what I can tell Fraim racks (like the high end Rega turntables) are designed to channel unwanted vibrations away from the sensitive areas where they are dissipated in a controlled manner that doesn't audibly impact the equipment.  

Thus the Rega RP 8 and 10 are very light weight and rigid, designed to channel vibration away from the tonearm and platter surface.  More popular at the higher end of the turntable market, however, and employed almost uniformly at the extreme high end, is the use of mass to damp out the effects of vibration.  The six figure Continuum Caliburn, for example, weighs in at 160 pounds, without it's accessory stand.

My point is that without a side by side comparison it's hard to say for sure which is the sonically better rack, what I have now which is based on damping mass but also features shelves which are isolated from the outer frame, or the rigid, lightweight, dissipating Fraim.

Because I believe in the synergy Naim brings to the table, as well as the efforts they make in research, I'm well convinced that for their equipment the Fraim solution will sound best, but at the same time I don't believe any other design or product has to be a failure or a dud by comparison.

Hopefully I haven't just hijacked my own thread!

WAY too many boxes, which is one reason new racks are a back-burner item.  My plan is to trade the whole digital side of my system (UnitiServe + PS, nDAC + PS, ND5 XS + PS - six freaking boxes!) for an NDS + 555PS as soon as I can afford it.

In my own defense when I started building out my main Naim system I was an analog and CD guy, and only over the past 2 or 3 years has my listening source morphed from that to being mostly hi rez digital, which is itself not inexpensive to acquire.

Looks like you're at an awkward stage where you really need to add something but you can't because you have already spent the money on an upgrade. A lot of us here can understand the problem. Obviously you need a rack but the best advice I can give you is to not consider new NDS/555ps but go second hand and use the money saved for a rack. I saved over 5k with mine. 

If you put the 300ps on the LP rack and the head unit where the 200 was does the Burndy(s?) clear the floor and where is the pre in relation to the 300ps.

My 500ps next to and half a shelf above the 552 with a 555ps below the 500ps robbed the system of its boogie, Raising the 552 a shelf restored it. 

Burndys shouldn't touch the floor.

 

Ghettoyout posted:

Many people are of the opinion that you should keep your cables off of the floor (speaker cables an exception here I suppose). Putting the 300 at the bottom may mean the cables touch the floor so consider a position higher up.

I use Auditorium 23 speaker cables, which have a woven cotton outer layer protecting the dielectrics which seems to negate the influence of touching the floor.  I've noticed John DeVore often uses the same cables when he's demoing at hifi shows and never uses cable lifts or blocks.

yeti42 posted:

If you put the 300ps on the LP rack and the head unit where the 200 was does the Burndy(s?) clear the floor and where is the pre in relation to the 300ps.

My 500ps next to and half a shelf above the 552 with a 555ps below the 500ps robbed the system of its boogie, Raising the 552 a shelf restored it. 

Burndys shouldn't touch the floor.

 

 Awaiting delivery as I type, will need to check cable length but Burndys should be well off the floor as long as I can make everything else work.  The amp and power supply will be about 3 feet apart vertically and a foot horizontally.  Fingers crossed as to what I'll find in the boxes.

I recently took delivery of my very own 300DR and racking was a bit perplexing so I am glad of this thread and any advice that can be extended

I have Fraim Lite with 2 base levels and the 300 and 300 PS are side by side and inevitably the burndys are laying on the floor along with many other cables........the current stacking order is:

........................282

TT....................ND5XS

SL.....................SC with HC & NAPSC on top (temporary)

300PS..............300

3 standard shelves on left and 3 standard + 1 tall shelf on the right.

The SC with 282 and the HC with SL - I preferred this to the other way around.

Having read this thread I should probably look at swapping the 300 and 300PS. However, with the SC and 300 on different stacks the supplied left and right channel cables only reach if the SC is to the right of the 300.....so I might try 

............................282

TT........................ND5XS

SL........................300PS

300......................SC with HC & NAPSC on top (temporary)

Does that make sense?

Having said all that I am extremely happy with the 300 (in any orientation) but tinkering is kinda part of the joy right.....

Worth bearing in mind that the nDAC radiates its 'noise' upwards.  Ideally it should be at the top of the 'brain' stack but that's not always possible, as it wasn't in my system, so the next best was to site it at the bottom of the 'brain' rack which means its as far away from the pre-amp as the rack allows. 

Also about to take possession of a pre-loved 300DR this week and have a racking/space issue. Currently using a 3 shelf Isoblue but will soon have 4 boxes (272, XPS-DR and the 300DR to replace the 250DR). Not really in a position at this time to purchase another audio stand, so was thinking of the either stacking two components on the top shelf of the Isoblue or possibly move the 272 or other components onto the top of a sideboard/credenza unit. I might also be able to get a Target Audio type stand to place the power supplies. Will also be using longer lengths of NAC A5 which will now allow my to move the kit off to one side.  The sideboard can likely accommodate 3 components side by side by side. 

If I used the Isoblue 3 shelf solution, what about the XPS + 300 PS on the top shelf, 272 middle and 300 bottom? 

Suggestions ?

Why not purchase an extra shelf of Isoblue?  Relative to the cost of moving from a 250 to a 300, even pre-loved, the cost of one shelf is surely small enough.  You might even consider a set of shelf extenders to add a little more separation between the power supplies and the 272 & 300 head unit.

Enjoy your new boxes.

Roger

Peakman posted:

Why not purchase an extra shelf of Isoblue?  Relative to the cost of moving from a 250 to a 300, even pre-loved, the cost of one shelf is surely small enough.  You might even consider a set of shelf extenders to add a little more separation between the power supplies and the 272 & 300 head unit.

Enjoy your new boxes.

Roger

Hi Roger

Isoblue is not available on this side of the pond and rarely come up for sale. I have the older non "branch" type and seems its no longer available. So, best case would be a mismatched shelf.  Great idea about the extensions.  Will reach out to Isoblue directly and ask.

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