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post #61 of 88 Old 12-27-2007, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maxxarcade View Post


I have to say I was really surprised how good these old things sound, even in rough shape. I'm so used to tape sounding muffled, wrinkled, dull, and generally crappy.
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Funny, change a few words around in your above sentence, and it's what a lot of customers used to say about the CRTs I showed them..


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post #62 of 88 Old 12-29-2007, 02:28 AM
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I recently saw the info for the Tape Project and my jaw dropped. I quickly began fantasizing about getting a used R2R Tape and sending it the Tape project folks and having them do a basic overhall, new heads and the outboard head amp.

But I dont have alot of space - the R2R would have to go in the next room and feed cables through the wall. I figured who knows what other complications and costs I might end up with. This seems like the ultimate source though.

Once I started to add costs - it seems like I'd spend about the same amount on a R2R and 20 tapes, as I would upgrading my phono cartridge to the current state of the art - the Soundsmith Strain gage, which would bring about 4000 of my LP's to new heights of realism. If I already had a nice open real deck I wouldn't hesitate, but investing in limited formats makes me feel like I'm buying into SACD or DVD-A after the format has been killed.

The Tape Project and a tweeked out R2R will always be on the back of my mind.
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post #63 of 88 Old 12-29-2007, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't know that you need to spend the megabucks on new heads or what Tape Project would charge (but then I always forget that this is the super high end forum..)

THere's a number of techs on eBay that sell refurb quality decks at higher than normal prices. One of these companies is 'Reel Pro Sound Guys'. They have a decent website, and while I haven't bought a deck from them, I have bought parts, and they shipped promptly and were well packed. If I weren't a tech myself, that's one of the people I'd buy a deck from.


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post #64 of 88 Old 12-29-2007, 01:05 PM
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Curt- thanks for the info - I'll check it out. I do think that the outboard head amp is probably a big part of getting the most out of any of these decks - analog outputs have probably come along way since these decks were built and the original parts I'm sure were not of the best quality.
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post #65 of 88 Old 12-29-2007, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I disagree, I'd put some of the 70's circuits right up there with anything newer.

I don't really understand why you'd want to mod the heck out of the playback circuit when the media itself has limited s/n, and the recording and erase circuits would remain stock.

The trick to refurbing any deck (IMHO) is to do a complete bias and frequency response alignment, head alignment, and make sure things like the braking circuits are functioning so you don't get tape breakage/spillage.

I personally prefer decks like the Revox B77, Technics 1500 series and any of the Akai 10 1/2" decks. Sonys and Teacs aren't stacking up very well, and unless you know the deck history of something like a commercial grade Ampex or Otari, you could be looking at serious $$ to replace heads, that sometimes are worn down so that you can visibly see the head gap!


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post #66 of 88 Old 12-30-2007, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

I personally prefer decks like the Revox B77, Technics 1500 series and any of the Akai 10 1/2" decks.

I agree. I have owned both the B77 and the 1500. Awesome machines!



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post #67 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 12:15 AM
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are there great sites for finding content? ebay seems to have lots of stuff and i recognize that it is a bit of a crap shoot, but there have to be some good collector sites/forums as well.

Any ideas?

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post #68 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzman View Post

are there great sites for finding content? ebay seems to have lots of stuff and i recognize that it is a bit of a crap shoot, but there have to be some good collector sites/forums as well.

Any ideas?

here are a few;

'The Tape Project'.....if you want to get the 'reel' thing......fully licensed, guranteed 2nd Generation 1/4" 15ips master dubs......i have the first 7 so far.

http://www.tapeproject.com/

The Tape Project Forum.....the best overall site i have found for all around information on reel to reel. friendly and helpful. they have a forum there about different types of pre-recorded tapes.

http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php

the Tape forum on audioasylum.

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/tape/bbs.html

Quinton Records......european RTR site where you can purchase new recordings on 15ips 1/4" master tape.

http://www.quintonrecords.com/main/mainset.htm

all the talk on this forum about how digital can be as good as it gets.....one listen to what a 15ips master tape actually sounds like compared to any digital source would end that discussion immediately.

my RTR collection.....from left to right....the Tim DeParavincini modified Technics RS-1700, the Studer A-820 and the Ampex ATR-102.


the most recent edition....the Studer A-82O, the ultimate RTR transport.
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post #69 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 06:12 AM
 
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Hi Mike

All good info

I just bought a perfectly restored Studer A 810 and take delivery today. As Dizzman says there is an abundance of RTR tapes on Ebay and I guess it is just a crap shoot. Many of the tapes for sale seem to be dubs made off vinyl
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post #70 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

I disagree, I'd put some of the 70's circuits right up there with anything newer.

well.....those 70's solid state circuts sound just fine.....right up to the point where you compare them to a decent current circut or vintage tubed circut.....then you realize that they suck......actually they really suck.

i have a stock Technics RS-1500 and a Tim DeParavincini modified Technics RS-1700. the unmodified 1500, which has been gone thru and is in top working condition sounds pretty good; but when compared to the modified 1700 the 1500 sounds broken.....closed-in, flat, etchy, and lacking flow. it has no bass or top end air.

this is not to say that some of the 70's era solid state electronics is not better than others.....but none are really very good.

it is not that difficult to buy or build a 'repro' output stage. you just take the output off the head amp directly and then run it thru a modern circut......like a phono stage for a phono cartridge. it will make a $500 RTR deck sound better than a $20k turntable.

'The Tape Project' forum i referenced above has quite a bit of info on stuff like that.
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post #71 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneobgyn View Post

Hi Mike

All good info

I just bought a perfectly restored Studer A 810 and take delivery today. As Dizzman says there is an abundance of RTR tapes on Ebay and I guess it is just a crap shoot. Many of the tapes for sale seem to be dubs made off vinyl

congrats......you now have analog!

i would suggest going slow with purchasing any tapes off ebay......buy a few and listen to them. then if they are something you really like then buy some more. i purchased 75+ tapes on ebay a year ago.....many sound pretty good.....but not so good that i want to play them again. i will likely sell most of them simply because my attraction is to the 15ips performance.

stay away from 3 and 3/4 ips tapes completely.....not worth the trouble. many sellers on ebay don't even know what they have. 7 and 1/2ips are pretty good.....mostly they are 4-track (called quarter track). a very good tt will equal or better the quarter track tapes.

the best ones are the 7 and 1/2ips 2-track (called half track). you will pay a premium for these half track tapes and some of the Jazz titles will bring 'crazy' money. 7 and 1/2 ips half track is where tape leaves almost all tt's behind in performance......

i have never seen 15ips tapes on ebay......mostly because they are illegal......either bootleg master tapes.....or copies of some sort and no license fees have been paid.
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post #72 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

well.....those 70's solid state circuts sound just fine.....right up to the point where you compare them to a decent current circut or vintage tubed circut.....then you realize that they suck......actually they really suck.

i have a stock Technics RS-1500 and a Tim DeParavincini modified Technics RS-1700. the unmodified 1500, which has been gone thru and is in top working condition sounds pretty good; but when compared to the modified 1700 the 1500 sounds broken.....closed-in, flat, etchy, and lacking flow. it has no bass or top end air.

Do you have the ability to a/b the internal stock preamp to a modded one? I'll be in Seattle a number of times before Xmas, and would love to hear the difference.


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post #73 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 06:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

congrats......you now have analog!

i would suggest going slow with purchasing any tapes off ebay......buy a few and listen to them. then if they are something you really like then buy some more. i purchased 75+ tapes on ebay a year ago.....many sound pretty good.....but not so good that i want to play them again. i will likely sell most of them simply because my attraction is to the 15ips performance.

stay away from 3 and 3/4 ips tapes completely.....not worth the trouble. many sellers on ebay don't even know what they have. 7 and 1/2ips are pretty good.....mostly they are 4-track (called quarter track). a very good tt will equal or better the quarter track tapes.

the best ones are the 7 and 1/2ips 2-track (called half track). you will pay a premium for these half track tapes and some of the Jazz titles will bring 'crazy' money. 7 and 1/2 ips half track is where tape leaves almost all tt's behind in performance......

i have never seen 15ips tapes on ebay......mostly because they are illegal......either bootleg master tapes.....or copies of some sort and no license fees have been paid.

Thanks Mike

I did find that on eBay most are 3 3/4 ips although if you take the time there are 7.5 ips

This one is perfectly restored in every way and I got a heck of a deal so stay tuned
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post #74 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 07:02 AM
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regarding ebay tapes an additional quaifier on my comments;

if i did not own a top level turntable like the Rockport and close to 10,000 lps i would likely feel differently about the 7 and 1/2 ips quarter track (4-track) tapes. it's just that mostly i prefer the Lp to the tape or they are very close and it's easier to play the Lp.

if someone did not have a large Lp collection or even no tt then these tapes will be wonderful and significant. you would need a very good turntable to equal or better these.

and then there is the issue of a certain 'magical' quality to reel to reel tape involving the lack of coloration and a sense of continuousness.....which even the 7 and 1/2 ips quarter track tapes have.

i don't want to discourage pursuit of these tapes.
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post #75 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 07:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

regarding ebay tapes an additional quaifier on my comments;

if i did not own a top level turntable like the Rockport and close to 10,000 lps i would likely feel differently about the 7 and 1/2 ips quarter track (4-track) tapes. it's just that mostly i prefer the Lp to the tape or they are very close and it's easier to play the Lp.

if someone did not have a large Lp collection or even no tt then these tapes will be wonderful and significant. you would need a very good turntable to equal or better these.

and then there is the issue of a certain 'magical' quality to reel to reel tape involving the lack of coloration and a sense of continuousness.....which even the 7 and 1/2 ips quarter track tapes have.

i don't want to discourage pursuit of these tapes.

good advice...again thanks
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post #76 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by oneobgyn View Post

Thanks Mike

I did find that on eBay most are 3 3/4 ips although if you take the time there are 7.5 ips

This one is perfectly restored in every way and I got a heck of a deal so stay tuned

the Studer 807 is a wonderful RTR deck. there is a gentleman in Socal who modifies them.....maybe you already know him. he is a friend of Philip O'Hanlon's. i know you know Philip so it won't surprise me if that is where you got it.
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post #77 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 07:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

the Studer 807 is a wonderful RTR deck. there is a gentleman in Socal who modifies them.....maybe you already know him. he is a friend of Philip O'Hanlon's. i know you know Philip so it won't surprise me if that is where you got it.

actually I got the A810 (not an A807) at the advice of Phillip O'Hanlon. He said it is a smaller version of yours and according to Phillip "takes up less real estate in the room"
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post #78 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

regarding ebay tapes an additional quaifier on my comments;

if i did not own a top level turntable like the Rockport and close to 10,000 lps i would likely feel differently about the 7 and 1/2 ips quarter track (4-track) tapes. it's just that mostly i prefer the Lp to the tape or they are very close and it's easier to play the Lp.

if someone did not have a large Lp collection or even no tt then these tapes will be wonderful and significant. you would need a very good turntable to equal or better these.

and then there is the issue of a certain 'magical' quality to reel to reel tape involving the lack of coloration and a sense of continuousness.....which even the 7 and 1/2 ips quarter track tapes have.

i don't want to discourage pursuit of these tapes.

You will never feel that good about 1/4 track 7 1/2. Your opinion would be different however about 1/2 track 15 ips.
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post #79 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

Do you have the ability to a/b the internal stock preamp to a modded one? I'll be in Seattle a number of times before Xmas, and would love to hear the difference.

hi Curt,

no. i have both Technics RTR decks and they have the same type head stack installed. but i do not have any way to switch the output electronics in and out of the custom output stage.

you would be most welcome to stop by. maybe bring one of your Technics so you have a known quantity to compare to the Tim DeParavinici modified one. that might answer your question.

Mike
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post #80 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneobgyn View Post

actually I got the A801 (not an A807) at the advice of Phillip O'Hanlon. He said it is a smaller version of yours and according to Phillip "takes up less real estate in the room"


OB, sorry, i got my model numbers confused. i think that i heard the A801 at RMAF. very very nice....particularly on 15ips.
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post #81 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Harrypt View Post

You will never feel that good about 1/4 track 7 1/2. Your opinion would be different however about 1/2 track 15 ips.

if you read my prior post #71 you will get a context for the post your commented on....we likely agree for the most part.
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post #82 of 88 Old 11-24-2008, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike lavigne View Post

hi Curt,

no. i have both Technics RTR decks and they have the same type head stack installed. but i do not have any way to switch the output electronics in and out of the custom output stage.

you would be most welcome to stop by. maybe bring one of your Technics so you have a known quantity to compare to the Tim DeParavinici modified one. that might answer your question.

Mike

Getting it across the border both ways would be a hassle.

Did you say one deck is modded, and the other is not? If so, swapping the same tape between decks might be the easiest way to do it?

However, it got me to thinking about a few things:

1) AS stated above, most prerecorded RTR tapes are indeed 1/4 track and most that I've seen for the consumer market are 3 3/4IPS. That obviously was to save tape when marketing to the masses.

2) What would of course be desirable is 1/2 track 15 IPS tapes dubbed right from the original masters, or from new live recordings, going straight from mic to master recorder with no digital interfaces. Analog rules, baby!

3) I am wondering though, how much a beefed up preamp/playback section is going to benefit a 30-40 year old recording? After all, the recording was made (usually in high speed dubbing methinks in the case of commercially sold prerecorded tapes) with 40 year old preamps and recording amps. Therefore the s/n ratio and THD, etc is limited to what those old preamps could do. I don't see how a 'new millenium' hotrodded playback amp is going to benefit these old recordings?

And no, I'm not trying to start a sh*testorm here again.

I would however agree that if the recording amp AND preamp were completely rebuilt, along with the bias circuit, you probably would hear a difference on a recording made on that deck.


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post #83 of 88 Old 11-27-2008, 11:09 AM
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Curt-for all the same reasons a "beefed up" crt benefits a 40 year old movie.

Low res playback degrades performance regardless of the source.

And many believe 30-40 year old gear (tube) is better than 20 year old gear (70's/80's ss)
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post #84 of 88 Old 11-27-2008, 12:51 PM
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Hi

The way I look at it is that the cleaner the path, the better the reproduction. I do however believe that as in many things there come a point where there is not much improvements brought by these modifications... except those in the bank account of the person carrying the mods...
A nice aside is the sanity that this resurgence if R2R tape may force on the analog side of High End. Audio.. I insist i\\on the "may". TTs have come to be like jewelry: very good looking , not necessarily much in term of sonic improvement.. So there has been a plethora of >$30K TT, even TTs that retailed around $20K, admittedly a serious some of money have been replaced by "new" , "improved" and of course more expensive.. One of these is the Walker Proscenium now closer to 50 than 20... and of course there will always be several over $100K items … I am not sure the “improvements” are that serious... On the R2R side 10K and You can get yourself a R2R that tramps any of these contraptions... I would say that a stock machine like a Studer/Revox A77 at 15 ips could easily blow ( both in audiophile and in real ways) most of these TTs ( I am trying to be nice and not say will and any and ALL )...

Yet, like Tzucc in the other thread, I think the future is not analog tape, it is Digital, something with the potential to be much better. I do not want to rain on anybody's parade. We can cling as much as we want to these machines (I own one myself) but better reproduction platforms may already exist.. I , for one, would like to listen to an HRX system. Right now it does not seem very user friendly..yet… People with good computer skills will find it evident most not necessarily plus there are not that that many DAC that supports the format
To me the purpose is MUSIC and Man!! There is aton of NEW music out there so much music to explore and enjoy… Granted there were some great music back then (Proof of that are the Mercury Living Presence and the RCA Shaded Dogs and the Lyritas and the EMI and the Decca London or ...) but Man!! what is going out these days coming from places are diverse as Brazil or Senegal or Israel or India , etc. Today’s reproduced music is digital.. 99.9999% of anything one hears these days comes from a HDD… I believe that we are approaching the days when cues of the acoustic venues in which the music was recorded can be added to the metadata and have some DSP treat as to really transport (no wild imagination prowess needed) the listener in the recording venue… The future is digital and I have decided to fully embrace it… NO!! I am not getting rid of my TT and yes, I will try to find an old Studer, Otari, Teac, Pioneer, Ampex, Technics or one of these rare but superlative Open Reel Nagra but I am looking forward to better digital and the HRX seems to be an interesting entry into the best digital has to offer…

Frantz
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post #85 of 88 Old 10-02-2009, 12:01 PM
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ok... i was searching for something else on craigslist and found this...

:O

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/ele/1399775878.html

:O

Wow... that would be insane. and look cooler than just about all other geat combined.

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post #86 of 88 Old 10-02-2009, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice! I just picked up two Tascam TSR-8 from San Diego University for $120 each. Took delivery today. One needs a pinch roller and some plastic button caps, but otherwise the deck is in good shape.


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post #87 of 88 Old 02-10-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Bumping up a very old thread... I haven't done much with R2R since my last post, but always troll eBay and CL for goodies, and I finally found one. A near mint Akai GX400!

This is the first foray of Akai's into the semi pro realm of decks. It's one of only a select few that are 2 and 4 track selectable, and has 15 IPS on top of the more standard 3 3/4 and 7 1/2 IPS. I just got it in, and did a quick test on the bench. Controls need cleaning, it's got those gorgeous glass heads that never wear out, and frequency response is completely flat to 20Khz at 7 1/2 IPS, and well beyond (my Nak tape deck tester only goes to to Khz) at 15 IPS. It has one broken spring on a tape tensioner, needs a couple of switches cleaned, but the wood case is in nice shape.

I'm going to use this to dub a bunch of old R2R tapes to CD, then I'm unsure whether I'll keep this or sell it. I already have my original Akai GX630D that I bought new in Grade 11, plus three Technics 1500 series (assorted models), 2 Crowns, a Scully, etc that are all gathering dust. Still, this latest acquisition is cool (to me!)
LL
LL
LL


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post #88 of 88 Old 02-10-2012, 03:12 PM
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very nice!

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