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DIY NAS - Ideas, Pics, Discussion Welcome


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I recently installed 3 eero routers. https://www.eero.com/ After reading some posts extolling the virtues of Ethernet isolation I unplugged the Firewire cable connecting an external HDD to my main system, connected an Ethernet cable from my laptop to a nearby eero, and moved my software players' libraries to a network drive (the HDD connected to my desktop computer upstairs). I was pleasantly surprised by how much better the system sounded to me.

 

Rather than having to keep the desktop computer running in order to play music downstairs, or vice versa, I tried hooking the upstairs drive to the Asus router that the eeros replaced, using the Asus as a bridge. I could never get this to work very well, or at all with some players/OSs. So I'm back to having to run both computers when listening to music. The solution is obviously to use a NAS, a relatively simple low power consumption box that is meant to be on all the time, and will provide a reliable network music library source.

 

Now there are good inexpensive NASs available from manufacturers like Synology, QNAP, etc. But I have always disliked having proprietary stuff running that I don't have a great understanding of and that forces me to do things its way, particularly mission critical stuff like RAID systems. I'd much rather DIY and install just what I want, configured just the way I want. So - DIY NAS. I don't know exactly when this will be in the budget; that depends on cost and what else is going on in my busy Real Life. That means a fairly leisurely time frame to discuss ideas here, and I hope you'll be motivated to contribute some of yours.

 

For a number of reasons, including past enjoyable experience with FreeBSD, I'd personally lean toward using FreeNAS. FreeNAS Storage Operating System | Open Source - FreeNAS - Open Source Storage Operating System A moderator on the FreeNAS forums has posted an excellent discussion of hardware options for a DIY FreeNAS box. https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/hardware-recommendations-read-this-first.23069/ Have a look, see what you think, post here. :)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Mine isn't DIY, but it is freeNAS:

 

Review: iXsystems FreeNAS Mini: A Plug-and-Play ZFS NAS that doesn't suck to set up. - Blogs - Computer Audiophile

 

I can just remotely mount it like a hard drive and play music that way. A memory player like Audirvana will provide all the buffering you need.

 

(I can also do this just with a conventional USB drive mounted from my airport extreme, FWIW.) No need to have a second computer or NAS if you do it that way.

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I recently installed 3 eero routers. https://www.eero.com/ After reading some posts extolling the virtues of Ethernet isolation I unplugged the Firewire cable connecting an external HDD to my main system, connected an Ethernet cable from my laptop to a nearby eero, and moved my software players' libraries to a network drive (the HDD connected to my desktop computer upstairs). I was pleasantly surprised by how much better the system sounded to me.

 

Rather than having to keep the desktop computer running in order to play music downstairs, or vice versa, I tried hooking the upstairs drive to the Asus router that the eeros replaced, using the Asus as a bridge. I could never get this to work very well, or at all with some players/OSs. So I'm back to having to run both computers when listening to music. The solution is obviously to use a NAS, a relatively simple low power consumption box that is meant to be on all the time, and will provide a reliable network music library source.

 

Now there are good inexpensive NASs available from manufacturers like Synology, QNAP, etc. But I have always disliked having proprietary stuff running that I don't have a great understanding of and that forces me to do things its way, particularly mission critical stuff like RAID systems. I'd much rather DIY and install just what I want, configured just the way I want. So - DIY NAS. I don't know exactly when this will be in the budget; that depends on cost and what else is going on in my busy Real Life. That means a fairly leisurely time frame to discuss ideas here, and I hope you'll be motivated to contribute some of yours.

 

For a number of reasons, including past enjoyable experience with FreeBSD, I'd personally lean toward using FreeNAS. FreeNAS Storage Operating System | Open Source - FreeNAS - Open Source Storage Operating System A moderator on the FreeNAS forums has posted an excellent discussion of hardware options for a DIY FreeNAS box. https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/hardware-recommendations-read-this-first.23069/ Have a look, see what you think, post here. :)

The first question is, how much storage do you feel you need, or want?

 

Then moving forward the hardware recommendations in that list are fine, you just have to decide how large a system you intend to build. I run a couple of freeness systems, and I also use Synology. Honestly most people would be better off running a Synology or similar NAS. If you do build your own freenas box at the end of the day it will be more complicated and actually less useful than a comparable Synology.

 

You more than likely only need a two bay unit with mirrored drives. The applications and the OS in general on the commercial products are very user-friendly and you are not really as constricted as you seem to think. Take a look on their webpage and get a feel for what it can do. There are a tremendous amount of premade add-on application which can easily be deployed that you might either now, or down the road find useful. Something as important as cloud backup can be done very easily with the Synology. Also administration and access control will be easier IMO with a Synology.

 

You can add things on freenas but it's a bit more complicated with a higher learning curve and overall not as plentiful, or as flexible IMO. More than likely with the freenas box will just be file storage and possibly nothing more. Also it will probably consume more power because of the additional hard drives Xeon processor and the amount of memory needed to run ZFS. For storage only either way will work, but I think a Synology or similar NAS can ultimately be much more useful.

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I recently installed 3 eero routers. https://www.eero.com/ After reading some posts extolling the virtues of Ethernet isolation I unplugged the Firewire cable connecting an external HDD to my main system, connected an Ethernet cable from my laptop to a nearby eero, and moved my software players' libraries to a network drive (the HDD connected to my desktop computer upstairs). I was pleasantly surprised by how much better the system sounded to me.

 

Rather than having to keep the desktop computer running in order to play music downstairs, or vice versa, I tried hooking the upstairs drive to the Asus router that the eeros replaced, using the Asus as a bridge. I could never get this to work very well, or at all with some players/OSs. So I'm back to having to run both computers when listening to music. The solution is obviously to use a NAS, a relatively simple low power consumption box that is meant to be on all the time, and will provide a reliable network music library source.

 

Now there are good inexpensive NASs available from manufacturers like Synology, QNAP, etc. But I have always disliked having proprietary stuff running that I don't have a great understanding of and that forces me to do things its way, particularly mission critical stuff like RAID systems. I'd much rather DIY and install just what I want, configured just the way I want. So - DIY NAS. I don't know exactly when this will be in the budget; that depends on cost and what else is going on in my busy Real Life. That means a fairly leisurely time frame to discuss ideas here, and I hope you'll be motivated to contribute some of yours.

 

For a number of reasons, including past enjoyable experience with FreeBSD, I'd personally lean toward using FreeNAS. FreeNAS Storage Operating System | Open Source - FreeNAS - Open Source Storage Operating System A moderator on the FreeNAS forums has posted an excellent discussion of hardware options for a DIY FreeNAS box. https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/hardware-recommendations-read-this-first.23069/ Have a look, see what you think, post here. :)

 

I you only want to mount a single HDD over your LAN for just serving music tracks via NFS, then why do you need a general purpose NAS, DIY or otherwise? I use a BeagleBone Black running Debian Wheezy 7.9 with a 2Tb LaCie d2 Quadra NFS mounted that serves my two music systems. That's all it does, and so I don't need anything fancy like a RAID array or ZFS or whatever, just a single disk and a slower less noisy 100 Mb ethernet connection instead of a gigabyte connection needed for stuff like video. If I needed to have a NAS serving video and word processing documents or whatever, I would put it on another LAN segment perhaps to keep my current music file server isolated and simple.

System (i): (Stack Audio Link/MoOde > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/Allo USB Signature/MoOde > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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+1

 

A similar setup for a minimalist audio file server via network shares can be acheived with a Raspberry Pi. For those that require a UPnP/DLNA media server for their network audio player, just install MinimServer.

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I you only want to mount a single HDD over your LAN for just serving music tracks via NFS, then why do you need a general purpose NAS, DIY or otherwise? I use a BeagleBone Black running Debian Wheezy 7.9 with a 2Tb LaCie d2 Quadra NFS mounted that serves my two music systems. That's all it does, and so I don't need anything fancy like a RAID array or ZFS or whatever, just a single disk and a slower less noisy 100 Mb ethernet connection instead of a gigabyte connection needed for stuff like video. If I needed to have a NAS serving video and word processing documents or whatever, I would put it on another LAN segment perhaps to keep my current music file server isolated and simple.

 

Would be a minimum of two (4TB each) HDDs, mirrored. I'd like some network speed, though. Occasionally I get lazy about backing up to SD cards (or the other HDD, but mirroring would take care of that), and want to move several GB over the network as rapidly as possible.

 

I have an old BeagleBone C I was thinking of using for an NAA that could be repurposed; but would this have enough juice for mirroring and the Ethernet speed I occasionally want?

 

Would this all work with my surplus Asus router in bridge config?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I have an old BeagleBone C I was thinking of using for an NAA that could be repurposed; but would this have enough juice for mirroring and the Ethernet speed I occasionally want?

 

Would this all work with my surplus Asus router in bridge config?

 

I think that would be a good config.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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The first question is, how much storage do you feel you need, or want?

 

Then moving forward the hardware recommendations in that list are fine, you just have to decide how large a system you intend to build. I run a couple of freeness systems, and I also use Synology. Honestly most people would be better off running a Synology or similar NAS. If you do build your own freenas box at the end of the day it will be more complicated and actually less useful than a comparable Synology.

 

You more than likely only need a two bay unit with mirrored drives. The applications and the OS in general on the commercial products are very user-friendly and you are not really as constricted as you seem to think. Take a look on their webpage and get a feel for what it can do. There are a tremendous amount of premade add-on application which can easily be deployed that you might either now, or down the road find useful. Something as important as cloud backup can be done very easily with the Synology. Also administration and access control will be easier IMO with a Synology.

 

You can add things on freenas but it's a bit more complicated with a higher learning curve and overall not as plentiful, or as flexible IMO. More than likely with the freenas box will just be file storage and possibly nothing more. Also it will probably consume more power because of the additional hard drives Xeon processor and the amount of memory needed to run ZFS. For storage only either way will work, but I think a Synology or similar NAS can ultimately be much more useful.

 

I really just want a network attached music library that can be used without fuss by various software music players (Audirvana +, HQPlayer on OS X and Linux, XXHighEnd).

 

Can you give me an example of how Synology is easier to configure than FreeNAS, say in setting up a two-HDD mirror?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Would be a minimum of two (4TB each) HDDs, mirrored. I'd like some network speed, though. Occasionally I get lazy about backing up to SD cards (or the other HDD, but mirroring would take care of that), and want to move several GB over the network as rapidly as possible.

 

I have an old BeagleBone C I was thinking of using for an NAA that could be repurposed; but would this have enough juice for mirroring and the Ethernet speed I occasionally want?

 

Would this all work with my surplus Asus router in bridge config?

 

My primary HDD is a 3Tb LaCie d2 Quadra attached to my iMac. I rip new music with XLD/iTunes to that, and then use rdiff-backup to mirror that disk onto the BeagleBone Black file server with another d2 Quadra. So I actually run my two HiFi systems off the backup disk on the BeagleBone, and don't need to mirror on the file server itself. It isn't that fast, but as I'm not usually stuck waiting for more than an hour or so for a backup/new music additions to finish being added and copied over the LAN, then it seems to work fine to me.

System (i): (Stack Audio Link/MoOde > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/Allo USB Signature/MoOde > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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minimalist audio file server via network shares can be acheived with a Raspberry Pi.

 

I'd use a Beaglebone instead as the Raspi has a history of using a combined controller for USB and Ethernet, and at least the initial versions had quite severe bandwidth issues during file transfer.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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I have an old BeagleBone C I was thinking of using for an NAA that could be repurposed; but would this have enough juice for mirroring and the Ethernet speed I occasionally want?

 

 

Actually it's a BeagleBoard-xM rev C, with combined USB/Ethernet. Weird Ethernet, that's all I need. :rolleyes:

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I really just want a network attached music library that can be used without fuss by various software music players (Audirvana +, HQPlayer on OS X and Linux, XXHighEnd).

 

Can you give me an example of how Synology is easier to configure than FreeNAS, say in setting up a two-HDD mirror?

 

Hi Jud,

 

As far as just setting up your mirrored drive set, basic users and shares, probably not that much of a difference. To create the Freenas software you burn it on a small USB stick which is your operating system, Synology you downloaded and install it on a partition which is automatically created by their OS.

 

For you not much of a difference since have a good amount of computer skills. You need a monitor and keyboard connected to get up and running to cofigure the IP, network and login so you could then access the Freenas via the GUI. When this is done you don't have to have them plugged into the box anymore.

With a Synology everything is handled through the browser. Once you get into the browser and set it up either one will do what you want rather easily.

 

A Synology or similar NAS gives you a little bit more of a consumer feel, less techie and cryptic menuing and much more flexibility when it comes to loading other applications. You don't want any now, and maybe you never will but there are lots of things out there available for a NAS. There are also Freenas plugins and they do work, but dealing with open source is just different from a commercially supported product.

 

You also mentioned throughput. If you get an Intel CPU Synology or QNAP you will definitely have the throughput you want, usually over 100 MB/s reading and writing. If you set up your own Freenas you might, or might not.

 

On my servers I have always used Intel-based network adapters, as others can sometimes have throughput issues. Like I mentioned, either way will work, but if you just want something that you can purchase, set up, and pretty much forget about, I would go with a good commercial product. If you want to set it up and have a little fun playing with it, getting it to work, then the freenas will be fine.

 

If you build a proper Frenass box you will also be spending allot more. A 2 bay Synology like the DS216+ is $300 and the QNAP TS251 is a bit less.

 

Regards

Bob

 

 

https://www.synology.com/en-us/dsm/app_packages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a home build NAS that's very robust and probably more than you want: runs Ubuntu 14.04 on a low power Xeon Supermicro board with ECC RAM. ZFS file system. LSI SAS3 with 15 bay SAS3 attached. Intel x520 fiber optic NIC.

 

I service by ssh & command line. It serves audio/video, VirtualBox, iSCSI etc

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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I you only want to mount a single HDD over your LAN for just serving music tracks via NFS, then why do you need a general purpose NAS, DIY or otherwise? I use a BeagleBone Black running Debian Wheezy 7.9 with a 2Tb LaCie d2 Quadra NFS mounted that serves my two music systems. That's all it does, and so I don't need anything fancy like a RAID array or ZFS or whatever, just a single disk and a slower less noisy 100 Mb ethernet connection instead of a gigabyte connection needed for stuff like video. If I needed to have a NAS serving video and word processing documents or whatever, I would put it on another LAN segment perhaps to keep my current music file server isolated and simple.

 

I had a Lacie as well. felt on the ground, dead forever, had to build again my library. Lesson learned.

NAS (or similar) is a must, with raid + backups.

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Jud, a simple solution is to use an embedded processor motherboard like the quad core J1900 or N3700 products from Asrock. These are the same processors used in the mid-price Qnap devices. Just add RAM, disk drives and a case (many of which come with power supplies). I use one of these to feed music to Roon and HQplayer. Network performance is a non issue. You won't have ECC memory protection and Xeon processors, but for the price, less then $150 sans disk drives, this solution can't be beat!

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Dear Jud,

 

I am no expert just a voracious reader. I approach problems such as the one posed thusly:

 

Is the future (in this case of your system) known? The obvious answer is "No."

 

Might it then be best to (the extent possible) 'future-proof' your system? The obvious answer is "Yes."

 

To that end I suggest FreeNAS as your best solution. Overbuild your system since memory and processing power are relative bargains in this day and age. ECC RAM and ZFS afford protection of data integrity (a most worthwhile goal!) and avoidance of bit rot and a DIY system can be more easily customized and expandable for less money ultimately than commercial offerings IMHO. I have every confidence one such as yourself is more than capable of assembling a FreeNAS-based system.

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Jud, a simple solution is to use an embedded processor motherboard like the quad core J1900 or N3700 products from Asrock. These are the same processors used in the mid-price Qnap devices. Just add RAM, disk drives and a case (many of which come with power supplies). I use one of these to feed music to Roon and HQplayer. Network performance is a non issue. You won't have ECC memory protection and Xeon processors, but for the price, less then $150 sans disk drives, this solution can't be beat!

 

Sure, it all comes down to what you want to do. I wanted to add that the common Linux installs have all the software you need to for a basic NAS and you can easily add packages as needed for things like ZFS or BTRFS, iSCSI target etc. What the specifically labelled "NAS" distributions have is a GUI that eases NAS administration for people who aren't familiar with Linux command line. My little pup handles a truly ridiculous amount of storage as well as being a VirtualBox server. For me the base cost is less of an issue than minimizing my time. I also look for an IPMI interface so I can do a power cycle remotely, and this usually means a supermicro board.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Actually it's a BeagleBoard-xM rev C, with combined USB/Ethernet. Weird Ethernet, that's all I need. :rolleyes:

 

Any bandwidth issues during file transfer?

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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Any bandwidth issues during file transfer?

 

I don't know, since I've only tried it as an NAA, so we're not talking about huge bandwidth needs when playing a single music file.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I have a home build NAS that's very robust and probably more than you want: runs Ubuntu 14.04 on a low power Xeon Supermicro board with ECC RAM. ZFS file system. LSI SAS3 with 15 bay SAS3 attached. Intel x520 fiber optic NIC.

 

I service by ssh & command line. It serves audio/video, VirtualBox, iSCSI etc

 

If I wanted to go for it, would think about a board like this: Supermicro | Products | Motherboards | Xeon® Boards | X11SSZ-TLN4F

 

But I can't see ever needing 15 drives. :) 2, maybe 4 max, I would think.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Yep, that board would be a contender as the ultimate solution for a Freenas server build today.

 

Not cheap, but not outrageous either: PROVANTAGE: Supermicro Motherboard-X11SSZ-TLN4F-O Supermicro Motherboard Motherboard-X11SSZ-TLN4F-O Xeon E3-1200 V5 C236 Socket H4 LGA1151 PCI

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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