My short review -Sony HT-CT150 vs Samsung HW-C450 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 12-05-2010, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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***EDIT, I guess the review isnt so short afterall... haha.

I feel obligated to do this since there isnt really any comparisions of these 2 soundbars, let alone any samsung bars. Im gonna try and keep this fairly short, but to start out, i wanted a soundbar that would improve the tv sound as well as add some sound to make the movie experience better.

I went and bought the CT150 due to the hype and alot of good reviews for it. Got it home, unboxed, set up, adjusted the settings and popped in a blu-ray. First thing I noticed were that the highs were really nice but found there to be an almost non existant midrange, with no depth to the voices and dialogue whatsoever which left a big gap in the frequency range.

Second thing that was very annoying to me was the subwoofer I found it to be very boomy and too overpowering especially for my room(about 15x15 in a apartment) and could never get it set at a happy medium; was either too loud, or barely audible and didnt seem to be paired well with the sounbar. And BTW im 26 and have subs in my car, so im not just bein a wuss here haha.

Size, the subwoofer ended up being just too big physically for what I wanted to do, so thats another thing to consider.

Another annoying thing was the jump in volume/volume difference from device to device or program to program; i found myself constantly adjusting the volume. Playing PS3 i could hardly hear the music and sound on the main menu, but when the game started it was way too loud which was annoying as well.

Other things I hated were the remote which had like 3 buttons that you actually used and about 40 other ones that serve no purpose unless you have a sony tv to pair it with; basically a cluttered mess of a remote. I also disliked the settings menu which made you scroll through menu after menu and submenu's untill you found what you were looking for; not as simple as i hoped for. Bottom line I was not happy with the sound or function even after messing with it for hours on multiple devices so I returned it for the HW C450.

Samsung HW C450...

Right out of the box, turned the tv on and the voices/dialogue were a night and day difference; natural sounding with great depth and midrange. The frequency range is covered very well between the sub and soundbar.

Subwoofer... I love it.. just like the soundbar it is nice and smooth, natural, not boomy, not overpowering or annoying. Also right out of the box there was still a little bit of volume change between commercials, but not nearly as bad as the sony was. Good thing is, to fix this the samsung has the smart volume feature which gets rid of any unwanted volume differences between devices, tv channels and is also a overall sound leveling which works very well.

The remote is very simple, like it should be. It has basic functions on it to adjust sub level, sound mode etc.. and the soundbar remote can control your samsung tv as well (and maybe other brands) and vice versa you can also use your samsung tv remote to control the sound bar if you want which is awesome.

I am much much happier with the samsung and the overall sound and ease of use and am by no means biased to samsung. Also worth mentioning is the samsung seemed to create a better(yet still very mild) surround effect, compared to the sony, although it still wasnt a consistent effect, i noticed it on a few parts of some material i watched.

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post #2 of 41 Old 12-05-2010, 11:14 PM
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thanx for the info!!! that is a good review! the thing is that the samsung soundbar had a very very bad review at a french trustworthy site saying overall sound sucks. And cnet claim the sound is good not great....

i guess our ears are different!
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post #3 of 41 Old 12-05-2010, 11:36 PM
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Well I heard the H451 at BB today and thought for the money it sounded pretty good. I will pair one with the 50" 450 I bought today for an economical and decent setup for my bedroom.
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post #4 of 41 Old 12-06-2010, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenito2k View Post

thanx for the info!!! that is a good review! the thing is that the samsung soundbar had a very very bad review at a french trustworthy site saying overall sound sucks. And cnet claim the sound is good not great....

i guess our ears are different!

Yeah I dunno, I just dont see how anyone can miss or look past that huge midrange gap in frequency that the sony had and then say that the sound is great when half of it is missing.

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post #5 of 41 Old 12-06-2010, 11:29 AM
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For a different opinion (than the French review), take a look at Home Theater Review. Fairly decent praise for an inexpensive soundbar.

http://hometheaterreview.com/samsung...dbar-reviewed/

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post #6 of 41 Old 12-06-2010, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Random question...well kinda related to the article, how would you define "shallow" sound, from an audio point of view?

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post #7 of 41 Old 12-07-2010, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for the review, abajetta2
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post #8 of 41 Old 12-07-2010, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abajetta2 View Post

Random question...well kinda related to the article, how would you define "shallow" sound, from an audio point of view?

Most reviewers when using the term "shallow" are referring to lack of depth. Of course, to give a good review of the shallowness of an item you first must be familiar with the original recording. Many studio recordings are almost flat depending on the settings used by the recording engineer. To enhance the sound, many engineers will adjust frequency or gain, or add some type of sound enhancement (reverb?) to give the sound more depth. Many good two channel recordings are able to picke up the various reflected sounds from the room where the recording was done. In many cases, with good two channel playback, you have a wonderful front to back depth that can make your ears believe that they are in the room where the recording was done. This type of recording is rare as it requires a great deal of time, energy, preparation and knowledge to be done correctly.

However, even with multi-channel recordings a good engineer can make instruments and voices seem as if they were coming from specific locations in a room and not simply stretched across a straight line in front of you.

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post #9 of 41 Old 12-08-2010, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnido45 View Post

Thanks for the review, abajetta2

Hey no problem man.. Its an amateur review and probably the first I have done, but I figured it would be good since there isnt much review for the sammys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

Most reviewers when using the term "shallow" are referring to lack of depth. Of course, to give a good review of the shallowness of an item you first must be familiar with the original recording. Many studio recordings are almost flat depending on the settings used by the recording engineer. To enhance the sound, many engineers will adjust frequency or gain, or add some type of sound enhancement (reverb?) to give the sound more depth. Many good two channel recordings are able to picke up the various reflected sounds from the room where the recording was done. In many cases, with good two channel playback, you have a wonderful front to back depth that can make your ears believe that they are in the room where the recording was done. This type of recording is rare as it requires a great deal of time, energy, preparation and knowledge to be done correctly.

However, even with multi-channel recordings a good engineer can make instruments and voices seem as if they were coming from specific locations in a room and not simply stretched across a straight line in front of you.

Cool, I kinda figured that thin, shallow and depth were pretty much the same, which their meanings basically are; different people, different words. Although I think "depth" is more understandable for everyone

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post #10 of 41 Old 12-09-2010, 05:08 PM
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Also a new member and just purchased a Samsung PN58C6400 plasma (same as 6500). Picture is great! better than the 240hz LED I had for couple months. (problem had to take back) Wanting a little better sound as I am 85 % deaf unless I have both hearing aides in - they help but still I have problems with TV sound. My wife listens easily on volume below 10 while I have to be at least mid 20"s with my hearing aides and still a little garbled for me at times. I have nothing else to hook up at this time. With the HW-C450 do I just hook up the bar itelf to TV optical and plug the sound bar into power as well as the subwoofer into power. Assume that is the only way but I am not sure. Thanks for any help..................
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post #11 of 41 Old 12-09-2010, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bobsquatch View Post

Also a new member and just purchased a Samsung PN58C6400 plasma (same as 6500). Picture is great! better than the 240hz LED I had for couple months. (problem had to take back) Wanting a little better sound as I am 85 % deaf unless I have both hearing aides in - they help but still I have problems with TV sound. My wife listens easily on volume below 10 while I have to be at least mid 20"s with my hearing aides and still a little garbled for me at times. I have nothing else to hook up at this time. With the HW-C450 do I just hook up the bar itelf to TV optical and plug the sound bar into power as well as the subwoofer into power. Assume that is the only way but I am not sure. Thanks for any help..................

Correct on the connections. You will probably have to go to the audio settings on the TV to tell it to send the output to Home Theater, external or something similar. Also, there is probably a synch procedure included with the soundbar to synchronize with the wireless sub-woofer. Typically this is pretty straight forward.

Check the settings on the soundbar to see if there is something like a dialog enhancer. If not, see if you might boost the center channel sound to help you with the disparities in your and your wife's hearing. My mother in law had similar problems which we solved using an inexpensive set of PC speakers with a little tweaking. This was before anyone thought to make money selling soundbars.

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post #12 of 41 Old 12-09-2010, 06:03 PM
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If you can not find suitable settings with the Samsung bar, you might try the JVC TH-BA1. And I am not pushing this because I own one. The Samsung is good in its own right. However, the JVC has proven better for voices than any of the many soundbars I have tried over the years. My wife agrees. She hears much better than I do. I am not deaf yet. Just can't hear anything. Huh?

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post #13 of 41 Old 12-09-2010, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep, like he said, you are right on connections. Also I feel the dialog is a strong point on this model soundbar anyways in my opinion. The subwoofer does have a sync procedure, but i just plugged everything in and it recogized it without even doing anything.

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post #14 of 41 Old 12-09-2010, 06:24 PM
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I am not concerned with surround sound aspects at all as I realize just the soundbar and SW not going to do that. Just looking for sound bar set up that will work well with my Samsung and slightly nervous about going away from a matching product as don't think they are always designed to work as well with all other brand names? Maybe just my thinking on that as not sure how accurate that is? Hard on my wife as she is the TV nut, watch's a lot, and though I don't watch a lot my having to have turned so high is not the best for her.
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post #15 of 41 Old 12-10-2010, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I personally liked the samsung a ton better just because i can control it with my tv remote and bluray remote(both samsung), and i can control the tv with the sound bar remote as well... Each sound bar has its ups and downs when it comes to the sound it produces, especially from ear to ear.. just pick which one will work best for you and i gaurantee you will be happy either way.

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post #16 of 41 Old 12-10-2010, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsquatch View Post

I am not concerned with surround sound aspects at all as I realize just the soundbar and SW not going to do that. Just looking for sound bar set up that will work well with my Samsung and slightly nervous about going away from a matching product as don't think they are always designed to work as well with all other brand names? Maybe just my thinking on that as not sure how accurate that is? Hard on my wife as she is the TV nut, watch's a lot, and though I don't watch a lot my having to have turned so high is not the best for her.

The Samsung sound bar appears to be a good product. However, don't let components from different suppliers keep you away from what will work best with your setup. Just because two units have the same name is zero insurance that they will work properly together. The Sony CT-150/350 is an excellent piece of equipment, but there are posters in that forum who are running into problems getting things to work properly with their Sony television. Even though I own a Panasonic TV, neither of their soundbars matched my needs and I am currently using the JVC. I would not even think about buying a JVC television as I have not seen anything of theirs worth taking home in years.

David Freeman
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post #17 of 41 Old 12-12-2010, 01:47 AM
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@abajetta2

What settings and adjustments did you use with the CT150 and HW-C450? I feel the same way you do towards the CT150 about the lack of mids but question is what to pick up next!? I am starting to get the feeling that that's just the price we have to pay to have a such a small and minimilist soundbar.
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post #18 of 41 Old 12-12-2010, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I used a variety of sound modes and messed with it quite a bit, but for bass i think it was on like 2 or something treble was all the way up, center volume was somewhere in the middle. Overall I just wasnt happy with it, it sounded decent but the voices just sounded really thin. But yeah you are right, for sub $300 soundbar system, each one is gonna have their ups and downs to an extent.

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post #19 of 41 Old 12-14-2010, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abajetta2 View Post

I used a variety of sound modes and messed with it quite a bit, but for bass i think it was on like 2 or something treble was all the way up, center volume was somewhere in the middle. Overall I just wasnt happy with it, it sounded decent but the voices just sounded really thin. But yeah you are right, for sub $300 soundbar system, each one is gonna have their ups and downs to an extent.

Thanks! What adjustments if any did you change on the HW-450? Do you use any of the surround modes with movies and games? Are you still satisfied with your purchase of the samsung soundbar? By any chance did you have an opportunity to compare it with the JVC unit?

@Doc

Doc, in another post you mentioned that the samsung HW-450 did not sound as good as the JVC or Sony units. Is there anything specific that made you feel that way?
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post #20 of 41 Old 12-14-2010, 12:13 PM
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When I heard the Samsung (w Samsung TV in the home of one of my son's brother-in-laws) it really did not make much of an impression one way or the other. I considered it competent, but nothing stood out either positive or negative. In retrospect, that is not a bad thing. At the time, I did not feel that I would trade my last year's Vizio for it as the Vizio seemed to do better with voices. My current JVC does better still with most thing than the Vizio.

I do know the wireless sub was tucked far away in a corner. Since the sub does handle most of the mid and part of the upper bass, there is a possibility this would have sounded much better had the sub been closer to the primary unit presenting a more cohesive overall sound. However, I try to keep my mouth shut (actually did in this instance) when in other peoples homes when it comes to their personal preferences for audio and vidio equipment. I would have loved to offer to adjust their TV to some more realistic settings, but they were quite happy with a picture that while not retina seering, was bright enough to give a headache in a semi-dark room.

I know of nothing negative concerning the Samsung. Do not count at all hearing it in a big box store as I can not tell anything from their setups. Based on the review in Home Theater Review, I would recommend this unit to anyone who feels this would work well within their system.

When it comes to inexpensive audio equipment, sometimes nothing negative might be high praise.

David Freeman
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post #21 of 41 Old 12-14-2010, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson777 View Post

Thanks! What adjustments if any did you change on the HW-450? Do you use any of the surround modes with movies and games? Are you still satisfied with your purchase of the samsung soundbar? By any chance did you have an opportunity to compare it with the JVC unit?

@Doc

Doc, in another post you mentioned that the samsung HW-450 did not sound as good as the JVC or Sony units. Is there anything specific that made you feel that way?

Theres not alot to adjust on the samsung, just different sound modes(mine is set on cinema because i like how it sounds and really brings out the best of all programing IMO.) and subwoofer level adjustment. While having bass and treble adjustments would have been nice to have, I am still content and happy with my purchase of the samsung over the sony. The samsung had much more that worked in my favor compared to the sony. And no I didnt get to listen to the JVC which was my other option after I returned the sony. No place around sells that soundbar because I believe its discontinued(or being) and i didnt wanna order online and not like it and have to deal with returning it; im a simple person.

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post #22 of 41 Old 12-14-2010, 02:48 PM
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Abajetta makes couple of good points. Simple bass and treble controls do little to remedy sonic imbalances. Typically they just lead people to make adjustments to muddy the sound with trebles too bright or bass too heavy. Cinema is usually a safe bet as on most devices with settings similar to this, it is usually the most neutral with the best frequency and dynamic response.

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post #23 of 41 Old 12-14-2010, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

Abajetta makes couple of good points. Simple bass and treble controls do little to remedy sonic imbalances. Typically they just lead people to make adjustments to muddy the sound with trebles too bright or bass too heavy. Cinema is usually a safe bet as on most devices with settings similar to this, it is usually the most neutral with the best frequency and dynamic response.

Yeah overall I think the samsung could use a tiny bit more treble, but overall I love it. Cinema works very well and sounds really good with almost everything especially movies, while the other modes just didnt do much for me at all.

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post #24 of 41 Old 12-14-2010, 07:27 PM
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I look forward to the Sammy 451 from the big guy soon .... lol

I enjoyed the Cinema as well and cranked it up in the store , for the money sounded good , I thought.
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post #25 of 41 Old 12-15-2010, 11:33 AM
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Does nobody have the issue that if connected by digital cable from tv out to soundbar in, and if the tv is a 'Samsung' and internal speakers are off when adjusting the volume using the 'TV' remote you get a Not Available message?

I have it, an friend who has a samsung tv with the samsung soundbar has it.
I've googled it and many people have it. Samsung says there's no fix for it

It's a huge message in the middle of the screen.
The soundbar volume changes, but it seems as if the tv volume is still giving the error message.
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post #26 of 41 Old 12-15-2010, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Mine does that too, doesnt bug me though since it goes away after like 2 seconds..common thing.

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post #27 of 41 Old 12-15-2010, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

Abajetta makes couple of good points. Simple bass and treble controls do little to remedy sonic imbalances. Typically they just lead people to make adjustments to muddy the sound with trebles too bright or bass too heavy. Cinema is usually a safe bet as on most devices with settings similar to this, it is usually the most neutral with the best frequency and dynamic response.

Thanks Abjetta for your contributions!

And of course Doc, your ever infintesmial insights and wisdom are useful as always! I agree about the bass/treble control. In my primitive experimenation with the CT150 I found dialogue to be most intelligible on default settings. Even just increasing the center channel +1 would leave me asking,"what did he just say?" one too many times for it just to be co-incidence which surprised me. Of course this is on Movie mode which I have on by default for all viewing material.

I came home today and to my surprise I found a UPS notice about the attempted delivery of my VSB200 which I am very very excited to listen to!! I am a very impulse buyer and was close to ordering the JVC but practiced some modicum of restraint as I owe it to myself to listen to the Vizio unit first. The problem is that I do a lot of listening at night when use of a subwoofer is sub-optimal.

I admit that the bass gives me goosebumps and makes my heart race when the action picks up in movies but alas keeping my relationship with my downstairs neighbors in good standing order is just as important. I will report back here with my impressions on friday which is my next day off when I will also be able to determine whether or not I need to order the JVC soundbar or if the VSB200 will be satisfactory for my needs. By the way, the HW-450 also has a very competent DRC which along with it's apparent rich and natural sounding soundbar, led me to consider it.

cheers!
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post #28 of 41 Old 12-16-2010, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey no problem! I almost went with the Vizio Vht210, but i have seen they are prone to many problems and seemed to lack some QC during the production of those which steered me in the other direction since I am paranoid.. Ive heard the vsb200 are great sounding units, minus the subwoofer of course.

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post #29 of 41 Old 12-16-2010, 02:20 PM
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Two things, one not asked for but here you have it anyway:

1) My Boston Acoustics TVee soundbar sits in a room with carpet - right now I have the sub sitting on the (spare) TV stand (hard plastic surface) to get the "most" out of my mighty 4" sub. No point in all that bass being immediately absorbed into the carpet...

2) I wonder, with downstairs neighbors and a wireless sub (that is small, in most cases), if putting it on a bookshelf or some other place other than the floor might not give you just as good of sound, but be less annoying to the neighbors below. Wouldn't be too difficult to try, would it?
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post #30 of 41 Old 12-17-2010, 04:08 PM
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Depends on the design of the enclosure. If the unit has a port or passive sub or even the driver facing down, it is designed to use the reinforment from the floor to augment and even out the bass frequencies. If not, the only way to tell, as you suggest, is to try it out. Should not be too difficult.

David Freeman
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