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Old 10-29-2015, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Newbie Budget Home Theatre

Hi guys. Finally getting around to purchasing a real home theater system that doesnt come out of a box. Im looking at attempting to keep it under $1500. My room is about 16x11 and its my living room. We like action movies and I like to listen loud and the bass to move me. The space is small so I think I can do it with my budget and I think Im going to get the Denon AVR-S510BT and start there.

Im looking to do this next week, so I'll be reading and resarching all weekend but any suggestions on speakers? Im no audiophile but I can hear distortion and when a speaker is underpowered. Any guidance is much appreciated guys.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:50 PM
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svs prime satellites, you can pick them up in the SVS outlet for 119 shipped, free 45 day trial...sub outlaw X12 Ultra at its current sale price.

For Sale- Two NEW IN BOX SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/209-au...l#post36036586
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:57 AM
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I would spend the bulk of your budget on a pair of subs. The JBL Loft series of speakers are very good entry level speakers and priced very reasonably right now. Newegg and Frys has the Loft center, bookshelf and towers on sale regularly. I have these speakers and they would work very well in your small room. Here's what I would do, with you already stating the Denon AVR-S510BT is your receiver you want to get.

Denon AVR-S510BT = $230
Main speakers- JBL Loft 50 towers (Pair) = $180 currently at newegg.com
Surrounds- JBL Loft 30 bookshelf (pair) = $30 currently at newegg.com
Center - JBL Loft 20 = $35 at frys.com (not currently on sale, but Frys runs this on sale 3-4 times a month. Newegg.com also runs it on sale fairly often.)

That's $475 in receiver and a full set of 5 speakers. Now you have over 1K left of your $1500 budget.

Add pair of Outlaw Ultra X12 subwoofers on sale for $999, shipping included from outlawaudio.com. Sale will be over very soon, so don't hesitate. If your small room isn't open to other large areas, two of the Outlaw subs would really put a LFE hurtin' on your small space. Then take the remaining $26 and buy your wife/girlfriend some flowers.
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Old 10-30-2015, 05:11 AM
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I do not see the JBL loft series being able to keep up with a pair of Outlaw X12's. However you can always upgrade speakers down the road.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:00 AM
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I do not see the JBL loft series being able to keep up with a pair of Outlaw X12's. However you can always upgrade speakers down the road.
Well you don't own them, so you are guessing on something you have no experience with. The Loft speakers are fairly easy to drive are currently very affordable for somebody looking to put together a "budget home theater" in a smaller sized room. Maybe you could offer a suggestion to help the OP instead of just tearing down an honest attempt at helping them? After all, that's what the OP is looking for.

I'm currently using this setup of speakers with a pair of RBH I-12's and they "keep up" just fine. Getting a couple of solid subs now would be far more important to me and would future proof the most expensive part of a home theater for the future. Two Ultra X12's would be good for a lot of different scenarios.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:09 AM
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... Then take the remaining $26 and buy your wife/girlfriend some flowers.
You're a true gentleman!
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:19 AM
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Sometimes you have to be a gentleman.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:22 AM
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My approach would be a little different. While I love a serious subwoofer system (I am building eighteen 18s for my new theater) I think spending more money of the 5 speakers make more sense. The vast majority of the sound in music or movies come from the L/C/R and surrounds and all the dialog. With subs you can always add another sub at any point, with speakers it is harder to upgrade without replacing all of them or at least the front three.

I would say get the receiver and spend 5 speakers like the SVS Prime surround that are in the SVS outlet and the rest on the best sub you can find for the money. If you decide you want more bass then you can add a sub later and not have to lose any of your investment. The normal course for an HT is upgrading the AVR as new features come out and adding more subs. Properly chosen the speakers can stay for a very long time.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:36 AM
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My approach would be a little different. While I love a serious subwoofer system (I am building eighteen 18s for my new theater) I think spending more money of the 5 speakers make more sense. The vast majority of the sound in music or movies come from the L/C/R and surrounds and all the dialog. With subs you can always add another sub at any point, with speakers it is harder to upgrade without replacing all of them or at least the front three.

I would say get the receiver and spend 5 speakers like the SVS Prime surround that are in the SVS outlet and the rest on the best sub you can find for the money. If you decide you want more bass then you can add a sub later and not have to lose any of your investment. The normal course for an HT is upgrading the AVR as new features come out and adding more subs. Properly chosen the speakers can stay for a very long time.
I have to agree in this scenario. Get yourself a decent well-rounded system, and then in the future you will know what areas you want to address.

I think a great way to get started is with the HSU Research speaker packages. I would start with a 3.1 system, and this will let you step up to a nicer sub woofer, which makes a bigger difference than surrounds. Your surrounds also don't need to match, so something inexpensive will work well here.

The Hybrid 2 3.1 package would fit into your budget nicely, and let you get that receiver and some cables. The sub is very capable, and the speakers offer clear dynamic sound. You can find a lot of great reviews on these, and I think it would be a nice start for you.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:47 AM
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I would start with a 3.1 system,
I am a big fan of this approach but within my family and friends it never seems to get much traction. I think they want surrounds from the start and honestly a lot of them never upgrade or at least not for years and years. If one plans to add money to their HT over time it makes far more sense to start with some building blocks that won't get "thrown" out as time goes on. While I find it "odd" many people I know are perfectly happy with a single small sub so a single decent ID sub may be more than enough for a big portion of the population.

My personal journey has seen constant upgrades in AVRs (and pre/pros) and constant upgrades to more capable sub systems (to the point of being laughable) but the excellent speakers I bought years ago just keep being upgraded around and remain the foundation of my system.


Hsu is also an excellent recommendation and he could probably make the 5.1 work in his budget. While not quite as capable the SVS Prime 5.1 is only $999. That leave money in the pocket to start saving for a second subwoofer.

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Old 10-30-2015, 12:53 PM
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I am a big fan of this approach but within my family and friends it never seems to get much traction. I think they want surrounds from the start and honestly a lot of them never upgrade or at least not for years and years. If one plans to add money to their HT over time it makes far more sense to start with some building blocks that won't get "thrown" out as time goes on. While I find it "odd" many people I know are perfectly happy with a single small sub so a single decent ID sub may be more than enough for a big portion of the population.

My personal journey has seen constant upgrades in AVRs (and pre/pros) and constant upgrades to more capable sub systems (to the point of being laughable) but the excellent speakers I bought years ago just keep being upgraded around and remain the foundation of my system.


Hsu is also an excellent recommendation and he could probably make the 5.1 work in his budget. While not quite as capable the SVS Prime 5.1 is only $999. That leave money in the pocket to start saving for a second subwoofer.
Yeah it's a good approach to starting this hobby. You can start out with a better product, and if you end up liking it, your end product is much nicer.

SVS is a great recommendation as well, OP you couldn't make a bad choice between SVS and HSU. Both make excellent subs and speakers, and offer a lot of value. I would however ask SVS to swap that SB-1000 for a PB-1000, it will have higher output and be more ideal for movies.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:52 PM
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Problem with the SVS satellite speakers, which are currently $120-$160 each, is they aren't very efficient to pair with a entry level receiver. You also run into the choice of what to do with the center channel. Do you buy the SVS Prime center channel for well over $300? Or buy another satellite for the center, provided you the set up can accommodate one. I personally wouldn't want small satellite speakers as my mains. Then there's also the extra expense of buying stands for them if they aren't already on hand.

My suggestion was playing to the OP's desire for very powerful bass on a complete "budget" system he wants to set up soon and under 1500 bones. Nothing was mentioned by the OP of spending more money later or getting an incomplete set up now, then spending more money later. That's not what the OP is asking.

One other choice, although you would have to wait it out for a sale on each speaker, would be the Infinity Primus speakers. The P363's often go on sale for $100 each. The center channel is the problem with a budget system, since it alone is usually around $200. If the set up can accommodate it, the P163 bookshelf can be used as a center channel. The P143's would be good for surrounds. This option would throw the budget over $1500 w/the dual Outlaw subs, but those speakers are a step above the Loft speakers. I also have these infinity speakers and they are a great bang for the buck.
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:39 PM
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Well I think most people don't often think about buying a system in pieces. If they came to this forum asking for advice, then it's something they likely have a good deal of interest in and want to make the best decision. There's nothing wrong with buying an entry level 5.1 system, but if you can start small with some higher quality pieces, you can build up a better system. It's simply an option, and that's basically what this forum is for, giving people some choices and letting them decide what's best for their needs.

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Old 10-30-2015, 03:58 PM
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If you have the resources, the DIY route will give you the best bang for the buck on speakers.

Consider five Fusion-6 Vibe speakers ($560):
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/wavegui.../fusion-6.html

Along with a Dayton 18" sub kit ($355):

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...ryd00s3dy0005c


along with an I-Nuke 3000 DSP amp to drive the sub ($230)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta...DCQaAsgS8P8HAQ

To drive them, I'd seriously consider the Onkyo Tx-NR545 5.1.2 Atmos AVR. All the latest tech is supported. Normally $500, but I spotted an open box @ Newegg for $370. That will give you the option of adding a couple more overhead speakers later without having to upgrade the AVR for years.

That comes to $1,515, plus shipping for the AVR from Newegg.

I don't think there is any other combination of audio components that will hit the level of performance you will see from the above for that price. Nothing even close.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:52 PM
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OP- Buy good speakers first. Best you can within your budget.

Here is another option 4 Emptek bookshelves for $450 add a center channel for $200 that is $650 for a 5.0 system. Add the x12 ultra for 550$ shipped

For Sale- Two NEW IN BOX SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/209-au...l#post36036586
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Lots of great feedback here guys. I'm reading up on all the suggestions now. I was in the Magnolia store in Best Buy and those prices were a bit out of range. I was thinking I was going to have spend more to get started. I'll post up that setup when I get the qoute from home.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:58 AM
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Lots of great feedback here guys. I'm reading up on all the suggestions now. I was in the Magnolia store in Best Buy and those prices were a bit out of range. I was thinking I was going to have spend more to get started. I'll post up that setup when I get the qoute from home.
If you want to make your money go the farthest, then stay out of Best Buy.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:58 AM
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Lots of great feedback here guys. I'm reading up on all the suggestions now. I was in the Magnolia store in Best Buy and those prices were a bit out of range. I was thinking I was going to have spend more to get started. I'll post up that setup when I get the qoute from home.
If you want to make your money go the farthest, then stay out of Best Buy.
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I would spend the bulk of your budget on a pair of subs. The JBL Loft series of speakers are very good entry level speakers and priced very reasonably right now. Newegg and Frys has the Loft center, bookshelf and towers on sale regularly. I have these speakers and they would work very well in your small room. Here's what I would do, with you already stating the Denon AVR-S510BT is your receiver you want to get.

Denon AVR-S510BT = $230
Main speakers- JBL Loft 50 towers (Pair) = $180 currently at newegg.com
Surrounds- JBL Loft 30 bookshelf (pair) = $30 currently at newegg.com
Center - JBL Loft 20 = $35 at frys.com (not currently on sale, but Frys runs this on sale 3-4 times a month. Newegg.com also runs it on sale fairly often.)

That's $475 in receiver and a full set of 5 speakers. Now you have over 1K left of your $1500 budget.

Add pair of Outlaw Ultra X12 subwoofers on sale for $999, shipping included from outlawaudio.com. Sale will be over very soon, so don't hesitate. If your small room isn't open to other large areas, two of the Outlaw subs would really put a LFE hurtin' on your small space. Then take the remaining $26 and buy your wife/girlfriend some flowers.
Definitely staying out Best Buy after talking to you guys. I think the above setup makes sense. Correct me if I'm wrong here but I'm going to be shuffling through speakers no matter what I do until I find the ones that fit my taste in my space and there's no way to know, what I like until I get "something" in my space that I can tune and play with. The only thing I know is I do like heavy bass so this sounds like it's going to have that and the other 5 speakers as long as they put out crisp sound I should be happy with them while I hunt for my next upgrade. Make sense??? Or no?

Last edited by robrains; 10-31-2015 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:22 AM
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Definitely staying out Best Buy after talking to you guys. I think the above setup makes sense. Correct me if I'm wrong here but I'm going to be shuffling through speakers no matter what I do until I find the ones that fit my taste in my space and there's no way to know, what I like until I get "something" in my space that I can tune and play with. The only thing I know is I do like heavy bass so this sounds like it's going to have that and the other 5 speakers as long as they put out crisp sound I should be happy with them while I hunt for my next upgrade. Make sense??? Or no?
Well different people have different views on how to approach home theater, and as long as you choose what path is best for you, then that's all that really matters. One thing I would do today, provided this is the route you want to go or close to it, is order the Outlaw subs. I believe today is the last day of the sale and they usually only run a sale a couple of times a year.

As for speakers, I wouldn't go buy fairly expensive speakers and power them with an entry level receiver. Are the JBL Loft speakers some of the best? Of course not, but they actually sound better than I ever expected, especially considering the prices when these are on sale. The "bang for the buck" is very high with the JBL loft speakers. I've heard several expensive speakers over the years and a high quality speaker, being powered by a quality, powerful amp, can sound in a different league than the Loft speakers and an entry level receiver. It all comes at a much higher cost, however, which the same scenario can be said about subwoofers.

Anyway, good luck and keep us posted on how your system shakes out over the next week or two.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:14 AM
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When I started building my system, I managed to get into a mindset that was difficult to shake; that is, discount pricing. I figured that the full retail price was what people normally pay, and the sizeable discounts I was getting were a reflection of my powerful bargaining ability. Yeah, right.

I ended up with a set of Polk Audio Monitors, and was well pleased with myself. The "saving" on the Monitor 65 towers alone was $500. Didn't take me long to realize that EVERYONE pays around $300 for speakers that are priced at $800 or more. These things are designed to be discounted; the ones that drag you into the store so that the salesman can work his art on you.

My approach now is a bit different. I scour stores for "Open Box", used, discontinued models etc. (Yes, including BestBuy, I've had some serious bargains from there.)

Bargains DO exist, and tracking them down is a lot of fun. The thrill of the chase is very satisfying, and sometimes you get a little bit better than you were shooting for. My LG TV was a current model when I bought it. Normal price was around $2600. A few minutes work found a retailer putting it out for $1500. Every other retailer had it for around $1900. So, armed with the relevant web page, I paid a visit to the local BestBuy. They were prepared to beat the price by 10% of the difference, but the only one they had in stock was a floor model, which had been on display for about 2 weeks. Hadn't even had time to collect fingerprints. They offered me that with a further $100 discount. Ended up paying $1350.

My rule of thumb (which may or not mean a thing) is that if a salesman has to call a manager for a price override, I've probably done all right. It also helps to know what the employee discount is.

My Equipment:
Spoiler!
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:40 AM
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I was in the Magnolia store in Best Buy and those prices were a bit out of range.
My advice: don't buy audio here. I can't think of any audio component I would purchase through Magnolia. Call JDSmoothie (the OP in the Denon threads his number is in his profile) for the receiver and look elsewhere for speakers and especially look elsewhere for the sub.

Edit: Also, check out Assessories 4 Less for a factory refurb on the receiver.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:52 AM
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Archaea runs 11 Mackie C200s he picked up on sale for $129 each in a fairly high end system. He sold his higher end speakers when he couldn't blind ABX a difference in his room.

Archaea's multi-purpose Home Theater room

An efficient horn/pro style speaker/monitor from JBL or Mackie makes sense to me when on a budget. And get then get best sub you can get.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:48 AM
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Archaea runs 11 Mackie C200s he picked up on sale for $129 each in a fairly high end system. He sold his higher end speakers when he couldn't blind ABX a difference in his room.

Archaea's multi-purpose Home Theater room

An efficient horn/pro style speaker/monitor from JBL or Mackie makes sense to me when on a budget. And get then get best sub you can get.
Also in the pro audio genre the Behringer B212XL and B215XL get a lot of love for not a lot of money. And they are all going to be very efficient, in terms of volume they will blow all the other speakers mentioned in the thread out of the water.

A $250 receiver, a $500 sub and 5 B212XL would do a great job in that room. He said he like to listen loud and this "system" will destroy the JBLs, HSU and SVS in that regard, and they sound really go too.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:52 AM
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Also in the pro audio genre the Behringer B212XL and B215XL get a lot of love for not a lot of money. And they are all going to be very efficient, in terms of volume they will blow all the other speakers mentioned in the thread out of the water.

A $250 receiver, a $500 sub and 5 B212XL would do a great job in that room. He said he like to listen loud and this "system" will destroy the JBLs, HSU and SVS in that regard, and they sound really go too.
I'm going to check out those myself. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:59 AM
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I ordered the Subs as those things didnt seem to get bad reviews anywhere and that sale ends midnight tonight. I like Outlaws 30 day policy. Made pulling the trigger easy, thats mainly why I usually shop Best Buy vs online is the return and warranty polices. If I have an issue with my product I can walk in the store and walk out with a new one and have no down time, but after asking a few questions I think they are changing that and know send your electronics out for repair.

Have you seen the size of those Behringers? My wife would have a fit if I set those up in our room, no matter how good they sounded. LOL
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by robrains View Post
Have you seen the size of those Behringers? My wife would have a fit if I set those up in our room, no matter how good they sounded. LOL
They are indeed large, many here have dedicated theaters with all speakers being hidden from view, so until we know different we offer what we think it is the best quality for the budget and go from there.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not so fortunate with our new home, I have always liked Home Theatre and gave always had some form of a setup besides the televisions loud speakers. But, I'm just getting the chance to try to step it up a notch.

I see a lot of acronyms being used and a lot of rms power and dbl being compared etc. etc. Anyone have a link that has like a starter guide for learning how all this works together. I want to be able to read a spec sheet and know if a receiver can power a certain/sub or if they will pair properly.
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:28 AM
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...know if a receiver can power a certain/sub or if they will pair properly.
Most subs, and all of the ones you will be interested in at this level, have their own amplifier built in, so they don't need to be powered by the receiver.

What you will be looking for is the provision of pre-outs on the receiver marked "subwoofer". You will connect a dedicated cable to that, and the other end to the relevant input on the subwoofer.

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