Starglas 60 or Firehawk cinecurve for 12' screen, moderate ambient light? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 03-27-2012, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the early phases of a mixed-use media/game room design and trying to decide between front projection or rear projection. I'm currently leaning _away_ from using Starglas despite the cool factor and extreme ambient light resistance and would love to check my reasoning with folks who have experience with both.

The general room layout is similar to the one in this link, with a 'screen pit' area up front that will have one row of theater seating, then two steps up to a standard den arrangement of sofa, coffee table and side chairs, with a pool table and bar area behind the sofa.

The majority use of the room will be for general TV watching hanging out on the sofa, or playing pool or cards in the game room area behind the sofa. When the lights are on I want to make sure the image is convincingly punchy and bright, with zero sense of being washed out or compromised. I know that Starglas paired with a dual bulb DPI Titan can definitely deliver this, but am leaning away from Starglas for the following reasons:
  • Wall-of-glass reflection issues with lamps, pool table and bar lights, etc. (These annoy me today with the 60" plasma in our den).
  • When I do want to use the front row for a lights out cinema experience I'm worried the glass screen will seem less cinema-like.
  • Not AT. I tend to localize and be distracted by the center channel below screen in our current media room.

I'm thinking a curved Firehawk front projection might actually be better for my application despite the ambient light because:
  • The curved non-glass screen won't pick up background point-source lights nearly as much
  • The ambient light is relatively controlled, not trying to deal with a wall of windows or anything too intense. Even with the game room area lights on full blast, the screen is still in a viewing pit area 12' deep with dark side walls and carpet.

Does this seem like sound reasoning? Any other points in favor of Starglas or against Firehawk that I should keep in mind?

Thanks,
Paul
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post #2 of 43 Old 04-01-2012, 09:47 AM
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My personal position is that rear projection is always better if you have the room. The projection room can double as a storage room.


You might consider using the Stewart Graphite 100 screen, which has a gain of 1, or the Vutec Fusion HD screen. I have heard good things about the Fusion HD, but have never seen it. Vutec claims it has a gain of 2, but I would not trust their numbers. Both those screens are made from plastic, not glass, and may be less reflective.

The other main choice is the Blue Ocean screen, which is another multilayer plastic screen, but made in Japan. It has a gain of .7 and comes with an anti-glare coating. People say it is great for day or night viewing.

Blue Ocean - http://www.usnippura.com/



The Blue Ocean can be used with a projector that has a throw ratio of .65 to 1, or maybe even lower.

Vutec Fusion HD - http://www.vutec.com/products/rear-s...fusion-hd.html

The Fusion HD throw ratio requirement is unknown. I have e-mailed Vutec about this many times and never get an answer. Try calling them and twisting their arms for answers.

Stewart Graphite 100 - http://www.stewartfilmscreen.com/res...sidential.html

The Stewart Graphite 100 needs a throw ratio of 1.1 to 1 or greater.

Stewart Graphite 70 - http://www.stewartfilmscreen.com/res...sidential.html

The Stewart Graphite 70 needs a throw ratio of .8 to 1, but has a gain of only .6, so you would need more lumens if you used that screen.

I like the 133" diagonal size for rear projection. Any bigger and it becomes harder to position the center speaker under the screen, and lumen requirements become more difficult.
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post #3 of 43 Old 04-01-2012, 04:31 PM
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I've never seen a rear projection setup but have always been curious about them. Is it like having a large plasma?

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post #4 of 43 Old 04-01-2012, 09:42 PM
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If done correctly, yes. Rear projection screens can be brighter than a 65" Panasonic plasma as well.
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post #5 of 43 Old 04-02-2012, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

If done correctly, yes. Rear projection screens can be brighter than a 65" Panasonic plasma as well.

And what is the average distance does the projector have to be from the screen for a 120-130" 16x9 image size?


Is there a certain pj type that is recommended for this type of setup? Would a single chip dlp or a lcos be a good candidate?

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post #6 of 43 Old 04-02-2012, 07:52 AM
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There is no "average." You can order special short throw lenses for more expensive 3 chip DLP projectors that have a throw ratio as low as .65 to 1. So you multiply the width of the screen by .65 and then add the length of the projector with lens, and then add 2 to 4 inches to that to give the projector room to breathe.

If you use a Blue Ocean screen in 133" size, it will have a width of 116". With that screen you can use a very short throw projector. If the projector lens has a throw ratio of .75 to 1, you multiply the screen width by .75, then add for the projector length, then add at least 2" to give the projector room to breathe. So you might end up with a requirement for 10.25 feet behind the projector. You can use a mirror to fold the light path and make that shorter.

If you have lots of room behind the screen as I do, then you can use almost any projector. If you had 17 feet behind the screen, you could use a Vutec Fusion HD screen in 133" diagonal size, and then use a relatively inexpensive single chip DLP projector with a lens throw ratio of 1.5 to 1. If the projector is rated at 4,000 lumens, you should get a nice bright picture. For rear projection viewing with lights on, brightness is more important than the contrast ratio of the projector. BenQ, ViewSonic, InFocus, and Knoll Systems make affordable one chip DLP projectors that would work with that screen.

An Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6010 LCD projector would give you enough light and the right throw ratio for a Vutec Fusion HD screen in 133" diagonal size. That would be an excellent combination because it has both high brightness and excellent contrast. With that projector you might be able to get away with just 14' behind the screen.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epso...inema_6010.htm

Vutec sells those screens with nice metal frames, so they look like plasma TVs once installed. You can get them in 110", 123", and 133" size. The smaller the screen, the shorter the distance you need behind the screen and the brighter the image for any given projector.
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post #7 of 43 Old 04-02-2012, 03:46 PM
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What are the msrp on these types of screens?

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post #8 of 43 Old 04-02-2012, 04:40 PM
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As I recall a 133" Vutec Fusion HD is about $8,000, but I am not sure. I got that price at least a year ago and did not write it down. It may be less. I suggest you contact Vutec, Blue Ocean, and Stewart and find out the real, exact price.
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post #9 of 43 Old 04-02-2012, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

As I recall a 133" Vutec Fusion HD is about $8,000, but I am not sure. I got that price at least a year ago and did not write it down. It may be less. I suggest you contact Vutec, Blue Ocean, and Stewart and find out the real, exact price.

I'm guess Stewarts Starglas is much more than that.

This still seems like a cheaper solution than buying a 100" Panasonic Plasma.

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post #10 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 10:01 AM
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just about any projection distance is workable. on RP you want to avoid ultra short throw lenses due to hotspotting.

in RP spaces it is pretty common (the norm really) to "fold" the projection path with a first surface mirror. so (as an example) the proj could sit under the screen at the wall pointing away from the screen and then bouncing off a mirror up top and then to the screen. thereby taking the 12' (or whatever) is needed for projection and then folding it. you can even do a double fold. so distance is likely not an issue.

in any quasi multi-purpose room, if i had my choice, i would ALWAYS opt for an RP setup.

And starglass is CONSIDERABLY more expensive. but not required in many cases.

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post #11 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 10:13 AM
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Here's a "fold" example and a photo of the result.

 

070630.pdf 132.044921875k . file
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File Type: pdf 070630.pdf (132.0 KB, 6 views)

Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
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post #12 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 10:16 AM
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I think anytime you have the space for a rear projection, especially in a multi-purpose space, a rear projection screen is the very best option!

See pics on my theater build thread of my 106" rear projection. It looks like a gigantic plasma or led tv.

It looks incredible day or night. No front projection screen can compare, no matter what specialty fabric.

And with a high-brightness 3 chip DLP you can get a far brighter image than a plasma or led will offer. I get close to 65fl calibrated on my 106" rear pro using a DP Highlite Cine 260HB

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1113302&page=3
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post #13 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Here's a "fold" example and a photo of the result.

Dennis, that is a fantastic room. It looks incredible.
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post #14 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the responses.

inky blacks, thanks for the other screen options. I've been avoiding plastic for fear of scratches, but the anti-glare coating on the Blue Ocean is super appealing.

You touched on one of my main RP concerns, center channel positioning. This screen would be well outside your 133" recommendation at 165" diagonal. I have trouble imagining that a center channel positioned either 1 foot off the floor or at 9' up could integrate well.

Dizzman or Dennis, I'm a bit scared of maintenance with mirror setups. At first I thought I wouldn't need mirrors but now its looking like I could only get 10 or 11 feet depth in the projection room. How often do mirrors have to be cleaned, and is cleaning a risky procedure?

ccool96, extremely cool setup(s) you have there! While this room will be multi-purpose, it is also the main/only screening room and I notice you are FP in your cinema. Have you ever seen a dedicated theater that used RP and also had first-rate sound quality?
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post #15 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 12:45 PM
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cleaning is not needed or reccomended. a first surface mirror is not to be touched as the reflective mylar is the exterior, so it gets damaged quite easily. and in the room, all you can ever run into in theory is dust. so outside of having an air filter in the room, and if it is a really dusty room... an air compressor maybe once a year to get the dust off the mirror.

however since the mirror is usually in a mostly vertical or upside down position, the odds of getting a dust accumulation is pretty darn low. negligible actually. as well, more importantly, the mirror is outside the focal plane, so at worst, all that could happen would be a very SLIGHT reduction in overall light.

as i said before... if you can do RP... it kicks ass in any room other than a fixed theatre cave. even there though, it can look better.

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post #16 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisx510 View Post

I'm guess Stewarts Starglas is much more than that.

This still seems like a cheaper solution than buying a 100" Panasonic Plasma.

Depends, Starglass screen is easily 20-25K plus a bright projector...
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post #17 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 06:44 PM
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Would a LED projector such as the Vango work good for a RP setup? Or is it recommended to use a bright projector. Does anyone know of any showrooms in the Bay Area that have RP?

The fold option seems the way to go.

ccool96 what material do you use? How are black levels compared to a Plasma/LED TV?

Originally I was thinking of going with a DLP projector and a Black Diamond 16x9 screen for a media room. I haven't seen a BD properly installed before. The couple showrooms I have seen it at had a terrible setup.

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post #18 of 43 Old 04-03-2012, 07:41 PM
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Could somone please describe the picture quality advantages/disadvantages of RP vs FP, if ambient light isn't a concern (dedicated room), and if PJ noise isn't a concern (could put the PJ behind glass behind the far wall)?

Thanks.
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post #19 of 43 Old 04-04-2012, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccool96 View Post


I get close to 75fl calibrated on my 106" rear pro using a DP Highlite Cine 260HB

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1113302&page=3

Most people who choose a simple diffusion screen like the Draper 1.3 gain choose a gain of 1.5 Did you consciously choose the 1.3 gain in order to get a wider viewing area?

The pictures looks great, and it certainly looks like you made a wise choice.
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post #20 of 43 Old 04-05-2012, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmrogers View Post

Thanks all for the responses.


ccool96, extremely cool setup(s) you have there! While this room will be multi-purpose, it is also the main/only screening room and I notice you are FP in your cinema. Have you ever seen a dedicated theater that used RP and also had first-rate sound quality?

I have seen rear-projection setups in dedicated home theater spaces, but not many. I couldn't honestly say how the screen effects the sound. Someone like Dennis E. could better asker that question.
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post #21 of 43 Old 04-05-2012, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

Most people who choose a simple diffusion screen like the Draper 1.3 gain choose a gain of 1.5 Did you consciously choose the 1.3 gain in order to get a wider viewing area?

The pictures looks great, and it certainly looks like you made a wise choice.

I definitely wanted the widest viewing cone possible, and I really didn't need a high gain because of using higher lumen projectors.

That was just what Draper recommended. And for the inexpensive price of that screen, the results are astonishing.
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post #22 of 43 Old 04-05-2012, 02:24 PM
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Suggestion for new rear projection fans

For a larger screen for a dedicated theater, a good combination might be the Draper Cineglass 3/8" Glass Cine 15 (1.5 gain) with High Contrast Tint and ArmorKote with Cineframe System 400 in matte black finish. You should be able to get that for a relatively low price, as the cost of the basic screen glass is listed as just $3,774. The frame system, the extra optional ArmorKote, and the shipping would add to that cost.

Get a Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6010 and use a rear projection distance of 1.5 times screen width, and you would have a terrific system with great contrast and no hot-spotting. Then when the new laser projectors come out next year, you can get one of those and keep the Epson as a back-up projector. The Epson is only 4K. If the screen comes to 6 to 8 k, that means the system is only 10 to 12 k total.

The people at AV Science could probably get both for you as a package deal.
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post #23 of 43 Old 04-05-2012, 06:58 PM
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When looking at doing a RP Setup, besides the throw ratio, are there other things you need to look at in terms of the projector? Do you need a higher rated lumen PJ then you would for the same size screen in a FP setup?

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post #24 of 43 Old 04-05-2012, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

Suggestion for new rear projection fans

For a larger screen for a dedicated theater, a good combination might be the Draper Cineglass 3/8" Glass Cine 15 (1.5 gain) with High Contrast Tint and ArmorKote with Cineframe System 400 in matte black finish. You should be able to get that for a relatively low price, as the cost of the basic screen glass is listed as just $3,774. The frame system, the extra optional ArmorKote, and the shipping would add to that cost.

Get a Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6010 and use a rear projection distance of 1.5 times screen width, and you would have a terrific system with great contrast and no hot-spotting. Then when the new laser projectors come out next year, you can get one of those and keep the Epson as a back-up projector. The Epson is only 4K. If the screen comes to 6 to 8 k, that means the system is only 10 to 12 k total.

The people at AV Science could probably get both for you as a package deal.

RP is all new to me so I'm still trying to understand how the material works. How is it the a RP screen with a gain of 1.5 will give you an awesome Plasma like picture with a decent projector. But a 1.5 gain FP screen the image would be totally washed out?

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post #25 of 43 Old 04-05-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisx510 View Post

RP is all new to me so I'm still trying to understand how the material works. How is it the a RP screen with a gain of 1.5 will give you an awesome Plasma like picture with a decent projector. But a 1.5 gain FP screen the image would be totally washed out?

Have you seen a commercially available rear projection TV? Most, if not all, have high gain screens.

A full scientific explanation would be very long and require a major expert to answer. The bottom line is just find someone who has a rear projection set-up and see if you like it. You can manipulate the brightness and detail by choosing different projectors. At a higher price point, you could use a Sanyo PLC-HP7000L ( http://www.projectorcentral.com/Sanyo-PLC-HP7000L.htm ) which is a very bright 4 chip LCD projector. With that machine you could use a 1.3 gain screen in 133" size.
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post #26 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisx510 View Post

RP is all new to me so I'm still trying to understand how the material works. How is it the a RP screen with a gain of 1.5 will give you an awesome Plasma like picture with a decent projector. But a 1.5 gain FP screen the image would be totally washed out?

Because the screen itself is black, not white. A FP screen looks great in a totally light controlled room, because the screen is black when there is no light. The advantage of the RP screen is that the screen material itself is black. So it preforms just as a FP screen does in total darkness, expect the RP can be in a fully lit room.
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post #27 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

Suggestion for new rear projection fans

For a larger screen for a dedicated theater, a good combination might be the Draper Cineglass 3/8" Glass Cine 15 (1.5 gain) with High Contrast Tint and ArmorKote with Cineframe System 400 in matte black finish. You should be able to get that for a relatively low price, as the cost of the basic screen glass is listed as just $3,774. The frame system, the extra optional ArmorKote, and the shipping would add to that cost.

Get a Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6010 and use a rear projection distance of 1.5 times screen width, and you would have a terrific system with great contrast and no hot-spotting. Then when the new laser projectors come out next year, you can get one of those and keep the Epson as a back-up projector. The Epson is only 4K. If the screen comes to 6 to 8 k, that means the system is only 10 to 12 k total.

The people at AV Science could probably get both for you as a package deal.

I agree completely. The first projector I used on my RP screen was about 1000 lumens, and it still preformed very well during the day. I eventually upgraded to a higher lumen projector only to further enhance its daytime viewing because my room has a ton of windows. My 106" diagonal with 3500 lumens is definitely brighter than most plasma and LED tis

I agree with the Armorkote being a good idea for a lot of situations, but since I wasn't worried about mine getting handled, I didn't do it.

One other thing I would do different, I would use glass, not acrylic. The main reason is the acrylic doesn't lay perfectly flat. It actually bows a little bit under its own weight. The glass is cheaper than the acrylic, but the glass weights a lot more.
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post #28 of 43 Old 04-07-2012, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
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Because the screen itself is black, not white. A FP screen looks great in a totally light controlled room, because the screen is black when there is no light. The advantage of the RP screen is that the screen material itself is black. So it preforms just as a FP screen does in total darkness, expect the RP can be in a fully lit room.

Thanks for the explanation.

I think when I'm ready to do this I might try a couple different PJ's and see which I prefer. Besides basic TV viewing I would want this for special events like Super Bowl, Award Shows etc.. So maybe a Sony projector and a single chip DLP projector would be good since they both handle motion very well I've been told.

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post #29 of 43 Old 04-08-2012, 11:16 AM
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The specs on the Knoll Systems HDO2200 Projector are the best I have seen for a one chip, one bulb DLP projector. It is supposedly optimized for home theater. I have not seen one in action and do not know the price or availability.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Knol...ms-HDO2200.htm

If the specs are anything close to accurate, this is one bright as hell projector, perfect for large rear projection screens.
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post #30 of 43 Old 04-08-2012, 02:22 PM
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Really since when are RP screens black? Not the Acryllic (clouded) screens, not the Fresnell acryllic screens, not the Lenticular acryllic screens, not the many film screens. FP screens have the Black Diamond and the older Sony filtering screen that are 'black'.
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Reply Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)

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