Rivendell Home Theater Build. Basement finishing with a 7.2 theater. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-06-2014, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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"And so at last they all came to the Last Homely House, and found its doors flung wide.

His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley."

"The Hobbit" J.R.R. Tolkien


As a first time home-buyer (new construction, completed in October 2012) I finally get the three things I have always wanted: a 'garage mahal' (on a smaller scale but a great car community up here), a Library/Computer/TV room, and a dedicated Home Theater.

This is a 'tract-plus' builder's neighborhood, so not custom but not a shack. A "pick-a-floor-plan' and 'minor modifications accepted off the approved list' kind of deal. I did a few things during design to make life easier including 9 foot ceilings, excavating crawl space for "full' basement, rough plumb for full bath, Bilco door, egress window.

I have a full and unfinished basement that I'm currently framing out. First time ever for this sort of work. As for the whole project, and specifically the theater, I feel like I know just enough to be dangerous. I plan on doing the framing/bar/HT AV wiring & install and contract out for electrical/plumbing/drywall as well as some HVAC questions.

An overview. Please pardon the tremendously slapdash drawing skills.





Three rooms down and work is progressing. The lists... the drawings... it's all a bit overwhelming but I started with one room to prove to myself I could do it and so far each room has been getting easier and more efficient, moving on one room at a time. Started with the hobby/train room and it is framed and ready for electrical (contractor work). Utility room done (mostly unfinished). Bathroom framed and tub/shower combo in place as well as toilet, vanity/sink on the way. Getting ready for quotes on piping and hook up.

First day of framing... was feeling pretty chuffed.


Inside the hobby/train room (120mm scale figures, wooden ships, and Marklin trains for anyone interested).




On to the theater.

This is it in its current incarnation.


So, the theater. Dedicated, seating for 10, new equipment, up-gradable, room for additions. I've visualized this for years, but reading AVSForum has totally opened my eyes to the possibilities and help me crystallize a vision as well as learn a lot.

I have some blindingly amateur mock ups here, but they are very short on details... I'm working on that learning curve.

Room is about 12'6" wide and 25'6" long. I couldn't get the colors right on Floorplanner at all. I'll work on a mock up of colors. Green area is outline for stage.






I have 'picked' equipment, but have questions and am very open to suggestions. I find once you've closed in on an idea it comes to splitting hairs and personal opinion on certain brands or feature at a given price point.
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-06-2014, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Potential equipment list:

Projector: Panasonic PTAE8000. Want Lens memory for CIH, not planning on anamorphic for now.
Screen: Falcon Screens 2.35:1 120 (Image: 120" by 51" with diag of 130").
AVR: Denon AVR-X3000. I want a 7.2 system.
Speakers: Left and Right - Polk RTiA7 or 9.
Center - Polk CSiA6
Subs - undecided
Surround - Polk 265-RT
Amp: Emotiva XPA-5. Either L,C,R, SurL, SurR OR biamp L and R, then single center leaving all surround to AVR.
BD Player: undecided, have had Sony wireless for the last two, Folks on here seem gaga for Oppo.
Cable: Comcast HD much to my overwhelming ambivalence.
Gaming: None
Network: None for now but wired for Cat6.
Alternate Monitors: Monoprice HDBaseT Extender to LCDs in Game/Billiard room and Bar area.
Remote: Logitech Harmony (maybe do the iPad thing).
Power: APC H10 Power Conditioner


The room itself:

Seating: Front row 3 powered recliners about 10' from screen. Second row of 3 on 12" riser (need to do a riser calc for this)with depth to recline, about 15' from screen. Third row bar seating with 4 stools. Power and USB outlet, under-lighting for seats and small 'sound-board' lights for bar top.

Walls: DD with GG. Decoupled from ceiling with IB-3 Brackets. No whisper clips.
Lower Half- MDF lower wall with picture frame, black or very dark grey.
Upper Half- GOM FR701 in Claret Accent.
Columns - every 6 feet along walls and two on rear wall, MDF (black or very dark grey) with GOM FR701 (black) over 'in-wall' surrounds.
((This is very much inspired by the Merrimont Trace Theater build. A beautiful room.))

Ceiling: Insulation between joists. DD and GG.

Conduit: Carlon smurf tubes to each of the 7.x speakers along with 2 more for future 9.x as well as 2 front and 2 rear sub spots.
Two inch tube for projector HDMI.
Cat6 to front wall and projector both feeding to cabinet.

Screen wall: I envision mounting the screen goal-post style 24" out from insulated or acoustical-foamed (covered in black) wall. Bass traps (OC703 or acoustic foam wedges) in front corners covered in black Linocoustic/GOM. Either both subs in front or one front one rear. Sand filled free-floating front stage.

Columns: every 6 feet on side walls for symmetry, need to do a speaker placement calculation for the surrounds. Columns matching black or dark grey of the lower walls.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-06-2014, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Reserved for 'updates'.
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post #4 of 33 Old 02-06-2014, 10:27 PM
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I'm definitely subscribing to this as I am in the perpetual (money constrained) design process and haven't done anything like this myself either. Hoping I can learn a few things from you as you go through this journey! Initial room looks good so far to me! Good luck!

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post #5 of 33 Old 02-07-2014, 05:56 AM
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Pretty close to my room dimensions.

Have you thought about a lighting plan yet? Backer boxes, in soffits, etc.? Do you have any beams or other ceiling obstructions in the theater space?
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post #6 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ongoing Progress.

Inside Hobby/rain room. Always liked the idea of a hidden door so I made a bookshelf of MDF and set it up. Proud to say it swings perfectly.
I got some rare-earth magnets to help it stay closed.

Open:


On the right is a built in bookcase for displaying models. Shelves are 1/2" and I'm going to put some 1" molding fronting the shelves and hide some lights behind that.

Closed:


On the backside of the door/shelving I'm going to put a 1/4" beaded backing.

From the Hallway:



Bathroom framing, not quite done yet, waiting for a couple of quotes to hook up the plumbing. Have a 48inch vanity coming and planning on a quartz or marble top with a vessel bowel and a 'pump' style handle.



Ejector pit is just behind tub. Going to put a small linen closet where plywood is standing up.



Above is the space that is going to be the theater. Screen to the right.
Other than the drainage pipe along the far wall and rear wall, which I'll just frame 'in front of' so to speak and then fireblock appropriately, the only ''ceiling issue'' is the air supply conduit that pops down for 2 joists worth and then back up.
I think that I can easily hide that in my soffit, but I'm going to ask the HVAC guys about making it an oval pipe or anything else that can be done to decrease its profile.
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-08-2014, 01:20 PM
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Hey Good luck with the build. I'm up in NEPA. Nice to see someone relatively local! I ran conduit too. I originally was going to run 1 inch but was advices by Big that it would be kinda tight. He recommended 1.5 inch so I just went with 2 inch am I'm kinda glad I did. Will give me plenty of room for future proofing additional wires if need be without the hangups.

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post #8 of 33 Old 03-06-2014, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, after time off for a funeral, a conference, and some skiing out west, I'm back.
Making more headway on the framing, and just getting to the first wall of the HT.

Wanna see something sexy?
Of course you do: the Polk RTiA7. I've dreamed of speakers like this since junior high. In an age of music from iPhones and iPods, an honest to god 'Speaker' is a thing to behold.


Started to buy some of the electronics for the HT now to spread out the cost. Ain't it beautiful.
I WON"T fall prey to the " I'll just hook it up and see how it works" or I know I would never get done.

Wanna see something NOT so sexy?

My Liberty 1/2 hp sewage pump.

Ok, so a couple of soundproofing questions:

My plan is to decouple walls with IB-3 brackets, do a staggered stud 6in wall between the HT and the game room, all walls will be DD with GG, and then do insulation between the joists with DD and GG (no whisper clips/hat rail).
I went to The Soundproofing Company's website and filled out their 'contact form'. Didn't hear anything back so called today to order the IB-3's so I could finish my walls. During the conversation, the guy (John I think) said that doing the ceiling with insulation and DD with GG was not worth it, and I might as well not do that. Also, he said that if I'm not doing the ceiling properly, it is a waste to put the effort into decoupling the walls and what not. A bit of a ball-buster. My question to you is: do you agree?
(He also did a good job of talking me out of patronizing their business. If I do clips/rail on the ceiling, it will be from isostore.com or another).

My goal is to reduce sound transmission through the wall into the game room primarily, and then attempt (less aggressively) to reduce transmission through the ceiling into the room above (kitchen). Do you agree that if one isn't going to go whole hog on the ceiling that it isn't worth it to do the walls to? I appreciate the feedback on this.

Second sound question is this: with decoupling walls, what is the advice on decouple soffits? I have searched a bit on the forums and haven't found a clear answer on this.


I have some more questions, but will save them for another day.

Thanks again (and here's to warmer weekend weather.. maybe get out and drive a bit!)
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-06-2014, 02:20 PM
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Subscribed...I'm working on my basement to as pure DIY.

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post #10 of 33 Old 03-07-2014, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtmd11 View Post

During the conversation, the guy (John I think) said that doing the ceiling with insulation and DD with GG was not worth it, and I might as well not do that. Also, he said that if I'm not doing the ceiling properly, it is a waste to put the effort into decoupling the walls and what not.

What we have here is a lack of communication.

What John meant was if you aren't going to decouple your ceiling with a clips and channel system it is a waste of money to buy Green Glue for the ceiling and therefore don't waste your money on the walls either since you sound containment if the ceiling will be crap. It is like saying if you plan on leaving the windows open don't waste your money on my air conditioners Pretty honest approach. Some guys would take your money and care less if you get the desired result.

As for your sketch of the walls and soffit, Where is the drywall? drywall the walls and ceiling first, then build your soffits inside the drywall bunker If the walls/ceiling are decoupled then when you attach the soffit it is decoupled.

Bottom Line, clips and channel for the ceiling, DDW with GG. frame your walls one inch short and attach the top plate with IB3 clips or equiv. Add DDW and GG. drywall is one layer ceiling, then wall, final layer ceiling then final wall, caulk corner seams on both layers. All penetrations must be addressed otherwise you are making swiss cheese.
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post #11 of 33 Old 03-07-2014, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

I'm surprised to hear that there is "no use" in doing the wall decoupling and the 'poor mans' ceiling treatment (DD or TD with GG). I'm the acoustical noob, but you don't see 'either do 100% or 0%" very often. If you run the AC with the window open the room will still get 'cooler' just not 'as cool' and your 'efficiency of energy usage' goes out the window so to speak.

As for building the soffits in the dry walled bunker, doesn't that still somewhat short circuit the wall and ceiling being decoupled by using the IB-3 brackets? It isn't putting 'wall collected' energy into the joists per se, but it still feeds more energy into the ceiling than if the soffits didn't connect to the ceiling, decoupled though the ceiling may be.

I think I see an order for clips and hat rail in my future.

Appreciate the input. Not trying to be argumentative, but I want to really understand the pros and cons of what I'm doing.
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-07-2014, 11:38 AM
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Just a piece of encouragement. I was going to just go DD+GG with some pink fluffy for my ceiling, but I was building staggered walls with the same DD+GG and pink fluffy for the walls. I called up and talked to John for a bit (he was SUPER helpful) and sure, you could argue that he "upsold me" to clips and channel for the ceiling, but before he did that he helped me to better understand the problems with my plan for the sake of trying to get me to a point that I could be happy for the money invested. It really ended up being not a whole lot more money to get clips and channel for the ceiling. I mean, if I factor in the extra layer of drywall plus GreenGlue costs, adding clips to my order and getting the hat channel locally was a very small percentage for the improvement that I was able to obtain.

Long story short, the clips and channel aren't expensive and they make a MAJOR improvement to the ability to keep sound in (and out) from up above.

My situation I had a low ceiling (7'10" BEFORE drywall) and John helped me with that too so that I only was losing another half inch after adding clips and hat channel my making short "stringers" that ran between the ceiling joists that I could recess upward to allow for the additional depth of the clip/channel and only lose that half inch. A tiny bit more work to measure and cut the stringers, but easy nonetheless.
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-10-2014, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtmd11 View Post

If you run the AC with the window open the room will still get 'cooler' just not 'as cool' and your 'efficiency of energy usage' goes out the window so to speak.
That analogy doesn't hold up in Southeast Texas from May to October. But it's good to see that you are going to go 100% on soundproofing. I didn't do any of it. I don't regret it by any means but the reason I didn't was because I wouldn't have been able to do it 100% due to budget concerns and only going half way would have been money down the drain.
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post #14 of 33 Old 03-23-2014, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Ongoing arrivals:



The bar area laid out: L shaped bar 8ft front and 4ft sides (white tape) (lots of great ideas from "Brian's Bar Build") and then an 8 ft back bar.
Parallel blue lines are framing and then front cabinets under the counter.



Rough framing of bar area:



Framing of the HT mostly done:






Another box of goodies:



Framing slot for equipement rack, access to the back of the rack will be from under stairs:
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post #15 of 33 Old 03-23-2014, 11:26 PM
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What are the black and silver widgets in the box of goodies?

- Jeff
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post #16 of 33 Old 03-24-2014, 01:19 PM
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The equivalent of whisper clips. They are for isolating drywall or OSB from the framing. At least that's what they look like to me.
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post #17 of 33 Old 03-24-2014, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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What are the black and silver widgets in the box of goodies?

They are Genie Clips from isostore.com and they are the equivalent of whisper clips used with hat channel to decouple the drywall ceiling from the joists above.
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post #18 of 33 Old 03-29-2014, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, making some more headway all around. Ordinarily I hate to multi-task, preferring to just do one job until done and then move on to the next... but this is reality.

Bathroom plumbing done for now. Shower drain pit filled and leveled off. Hardiebacker down for tile floor. Background is the mechanical room with the head white) and a front bumper (silver) among other things.


Cabinets for the bar, plumbing done for bar sink. Background is the bathroom vanity and a selection of 6x6 slate tile I'm thinking of for the floor. Way background is some Resi Guard for the HT wiring.


Assembling the rack out of 3/4 MDF. Pretty solid (needs to be for that Emotiva amp!)


Finally on to the HT. Test fitting some hat channel.
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post #19 of 33 Old 03-30-2014, 10:18 AM
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just a suggestion: you will do yourself a disservice by not doing a height layer of speakers... they really do sound awesome. At least wire for them now.

Blazar!
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post #20 of 33 Old 03-30-2014, 03:47 PM
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I like the pics, thanks. I have a similar dimension space on the horizon, will be following along...
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post #21 of 33 Old 04-01-2014, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

... you will do yourself a disservice by not doing a height layer of speakers...

I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean pre-wiring for additional surrounds for a 9.x or 11.x ? Or doing multiple heights of speakers at the same location?

EDIT: I see the websites you mentioned and the speaker placement mentioned.
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post #22 of 33 Old 04-04-2014, 09:42 AM
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Hi, what kind of hinges are you using for your hidden door ? .

Thanks,.
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post #23 of 33 Old 04-10-2014, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, what kind of hinges are you using for your hidden door ? .

Thanks,.

I snapped some pics last night and will put one up. I used four 4-inch door hinges, each with 4 screws. They aren't 'heavy duty' per se, but being 4 inch, they are pretty durable.

On a side note, I have a question about hanging ceiling drywall on the hat channel. I presume that, as with installation over bare studs or joists, the butt joints of the drywall need to land on the hat channel itself, so that the 2 adjacent pieces of drywall get screwed to the same hat channel? Anyone have pics of this?
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post #24 of 33 Old 04-10-2014, 12:25 PM
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What are you using for those bar cabinets? Are you going to stain them? What about the side you will see? Are you going to make your own end panel?
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post #25 of 33 Old 04-11-2014, 02:11 PM
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Nice set-up.

I am about to get the whisper clips and hat channel for my ceiling. Question...what thickness for the sheetrock on the ceiling? and a double or single layer? I will have 5/8's on the walls, decoupled, etc.
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post #26 of 33 Old 04-11-2014, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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What are you using for those bar cabinets? Are you going to stain them? What about the side you will see? Are you going to make your own end panel?

I got unfinished 'oak' cabinets at Lowes, and my plan is to stain them. Thinking a moderate to dark brown.

The ends are botr going to be 'tight' up against the bar wall, so they won't need to be covered, although they do make pre-cut 1/8th inch stain-able covers for the ends.

I got a few 3 inch 'filler' pieces so that I can get the spacing between the cabinets even and then use them on the ends.
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post #27 of 33 Old 04-11-2014, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice set-up.

I am about to get the whisper clips and hat channel for my ceiling. Question...what thickness for the sheetrock on the ceiling? and a double or single layer? I will have 5/8's on the walls, decoupled, etc.

I'm going to use a double layer of half inch drywall for the ceiling with a layer of Green Glue between.

On the walls I'm going to do a 1/2 inch layer of OSB then a half inch drywall. My reason for the OSB is so that I have something a bit sturdier to nail/screw my columns, 'wainscoting' (1/2 inch MDF with some trim in a ''picture frame" style), chair rail, and base board into. Don't have to worry about hitting studs.
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post #28 of 33 Old 04-11-2014, 08:46 PM
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OSB, as in particle board? Interesting. I will do the double layer on the walls with 5/8" inside and a single layer of 5/8" on the outside. Sounds like I will do the 1/2" double on ceiling. I had to drop the ceiling with 2x3's to cover get below pipes that ran beneath the beams. I am a bit leary about anything really heavy hanging from those.
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post #29 of 33 Old 04-11-2014, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallus2000 View Post

OSB, as in particle board? Interesting. I will do the double layer on the walls with 5/8" inside and a single layer of 5/8" on the outside. Sounds like I will do the 1/2" double on ceiling. I had to drop the ceiling with 2x3's to cover get below pipes that ran beneath the beams. I am a bit leary about anything really heavy hanging from those.

 

OSB is very different from particle board.  Particle board has little strength and will easily fall apart with a load on it.  Fine for shelves and cabinets, bad for structural use.

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post #30 of 33 Old 04-11-2014, 09:58 PM
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A decent amount of people do OSB for the first layer. I didn't, but next time around I would certainly consider it.
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