**Official Ascend Acoustics Tower Thread** - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:39 AM
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I like that the photo of the center gives an accurate idea of how well the grain shows through the satin finish. Personally, I think the satin is far superior to the gloss finishes. Not only does the natural beauty of the bamboo show better, finger prints and dust show far less.

Jay

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Old 03-02-2012, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend View Post

You are comparing pictures taken with an iPhone under flourescent lighting to pictures taken with a Canon 30d with an "L" series lens under controlled lighting. In the iPhone pic of the center, there is a very sharp yellow tinge to the picture which is washing out the actual color of the center.

See the pic in this post: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post21721892

Exact same speaker, same iPhone, but this time it got the white balance correct

Also, I should mention that no veneers are used.

Hope this helps!

I have a Canon 30D as well, gotta get me a great lens though, L series, sound like I'll be researching those. Two things that have been climbing out of mediocrity in the last 5 to 10 years, lack luster pictures from cell phones, and horrid cell phone signal. We can get it all in one package.

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

There were three others that were able to stay and hear a 5.1 setup with Towers w/RAALs, STC with RAAL, with CBM-170SE's as surrounds. They are not Ascend owners, or visit this sub-forum much, but are on the Los Angeles Home Theater Group Meet sub-forum...sdurani, ivanpino, and fookoo_2010.

As I mentioned in the Local Area Meets subforum, the ribbons were simultaneously more detailed AND less bright than the domes. Knowing we were going to listen to ribbons, I deliberately brought along various female vocal recordings to see if any of them could cause the tweeter to misbehave (as had happened when we got our first listen to the tower prototypes). Didn't happen this time, even at high volume levels (around 105dB).

The difference between the two types of tweeters was most noticeable when we did an inadvertant A-B comparison. After a bit of 2-speaker playback, we did some listening with an extracted centre. Upon switching back to 2 speakers, we suddenly heard female vocals go from the dome tweeter in the centre speaker to the ribbon tweeter in the towers. Same recording, but everyone could immediatly hear more detail, more air, more subtleties. It was one of those revelatory moments when you're thinking that everything sounds really great until you hear something better.

Of course the differences went away when the ribbon tweeter was installed into the centre speaker, but it was still evident with the surrounds. At one point I sat Dave down in the sweet spot, made him close his eyes and played 'Us and Them' from Alan Parsons' DSotM quad mix. Since the vocals go around the room, it was a good way to highlight the difference between the ribbon tweeters up front and the dome tweeters in the surrounds. Despite the timber difference, imaging remained excellent: Dave was pointing to sounds along the side walls, way outside the soundstage.

The thing that most surprised me yesterday was how smooooooth the ribbons were. I really was expecting them to sound bright, but that was never the case; no matter what I threw at it and no matter how loudly we cranked it up. The upgrade isn't cheap, but I think the cost is worth the eargasm.

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:54 AM
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Im pretty sure the raal are very detail tweeter, but it seems detail from midrange is not much talked. I honestly wonder how the dedicated midrange made with polypropyle cone is compared to other higher end midrange thats uses metal or even paper.
Not saying that polypropylene is bad, but my two current speakers, one of them uses polypropyle cone fall short over the one that uses paper cone.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:36 AM
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Man, that really bums me out. I think the center is too big for my set up and my lady wouldn't go for it either. It's almost as big as my bigfoot speaker which I can't use because it's too big.
What would be a good alternative to the STC center?
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volta View Post

Man, that really bums me out. I think the center is too big for my set up and my lady wouldn't go for it either. It's almost as big as my bigfoot speaker which I can't use because it's too big.
What would be a good alternative to the STC center?

I really want the Horizon center as well, but it won't fit in my setup. I will be using the Sierra-1 Center with the upgraded NrT tweeter for my center. I've heard from many others, including Dave himself, say this is a good match. I can give a mini review of the setup after my towers arrive next week.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by logicology View Post

I really want the Horizon center as well, but it won't fit in my setup. I will be using the Sierra-1 Center with the upgraded NrT tweeter for my center. I've heard from many others, including Dave himself, say this is a good match. I can give a mini review of the setup after my towers arrive next week.

That would be awesome. I think that is the route I would have to go with if I get these towers. Man I really want these speakers!
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicardoJoa View Post

Im pretty sure the raal are very detail tweeter, but it seems detail from midrange is not much talked. I honestly wonder how the dedicated midrange made with polypropyle cone is compared to other higher end midrange thats uses metal or even paper.
Not saying that polypropylene is bad, but my two current speakers, one of them uses polypropyle cone fall short over the one that uses paper cone.

I have not had the opportunity to compare midrange drivers with cones made of different materials, but I can assure you that the midrange on the Tower is excellent. In fact, I'm pretty sure Dave tried different cone materials in the development of this driver.

It wasn't really focused on in this visit to Ascend, because for all of us there, it was the first time hearing a RAAL tweeter. Everyone there had heard the Tower(NrT) before during development, and the midrange driver. The midrange, in itself, adds more detail.

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Old 03-02-2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logicology View Post

I really want the Horizon center as well, but it won't fit in my setup. I will be using the Sierra-1 Center with the upgraded NrT tweeter for my center. I've heard from many others, including Dave himself, say this is a good match. I can give a mini review of the setup after my towers arrive next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volta View Post

That would be awesome. I think that is the route I would have to go with if I get these towers. Man I really want these speakers!

The way my setup is now, the STC would not work. I would look at ways to make it work because the center is so important in HT, and the added dynamics it brings with special effects, along with the added clarity in vocals, is wonderful...and it just brings a whole lot more to the table.

That said, if I could not make it work, the Sierra-1 will do the job between it's younger and bigger brother.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

oops...forgot this pic:


Hey Curtis,

awesome man!! Tell me more about this center speaker performance, as I'm seriously considering my front array with 3 of these, for the next upgrade

Regards, Chuck
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

The way my setup is now, the STC would not work. I would look at ways to make it work because the center is so important in HT, and the added dynamics it brings with special effects, along with the added clarity in vocals, is wonderful...and it just brings a whole lot more to the table.

That said, if I could not make it work, the Sierra-1 will do the job between it's younger and bigger brother.

Mind if my wife calls you so you can explain this to her? She won't believe me if I told her.

Seriously though, I would love the STC for my center. I woudl have to adjust some things to make sure it fits and convince the wife its in her best interest as well.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volta View Post

Mind if my wife calls you so you can explain this to her? She won't believe me if I told her.

Seriously though, I would love the STC for my center. I woudl have to adjust some things to make sure it fits and convince the wife its in her best interest as well.

LOL! If a person is unfamiliar with it, it is one of those things that is better experienced first hand, rather than having someone explain it to you. Pretty much the same reason I wanted to hear the RAAL.

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avliner View Post

Hey Curtis,

awesome man!! Tell me more about this center speaker performance, as I'm seriously considering my front array with 3 of these, for the next upgrade

I was only able to hear them with the NrT tweeter....

That said, it is pretty much as Dave described them over on the Ascend forum. Very dynamic..we were sitting 10-12' from the speakers, playing some Black Eye Peas track, no subwoofer....and hitting around 105dB peaks, those things did not break a sweat, and all the time providing a thump in the chest. I couldn't detect any distorting. Turn the volume down, and they still sound great.

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Old 03-02-2012, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

I gotta say something that might shock a few people that might know me.
Ah I think that center is just too big for me


Djoel

Quote:
Originally Posted by logicology View Post

Me too. I have towers on their way, but the Horizon looks GIGANTIC. My wife would certainly not go for it.

By customer request, I am actually working on a "custom" version of the center that will be a WMTW configuration (all drivers in a horizontal array) This will shrink the height to be around 8.5" to 9" total, while increasing the cabinet length. This configuration will not have as wide and symmetrical horizontal dispersion but -- the amazing dynamics will be the same and it will still be a major upgade from the Sierra-1 center.

Only drawback is that it will be several hundred dollars more since it will be in limited quantity production runs. Ribbon upgrade will be an option as well

If anyone is interested in this option, please contact us ASAP. Thanks!!

David Fabrikant

audio professional and soft spoken representative of www.AscendAcoustics.com

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicardoJoa View Post

Im pretty sure the raal are very detail tweeter, but it seems detail from midrange is not much talked. I honestly wonder how the dedicated midrange made with polypropyle cone is compared to other higher end midrange thats uses metal or even paper.
Not saying that polypropylene is bad, but my two current speakers, one of them uses polypropyle cone fall short over the one that uses paper cone.

Hi Ricardo,

Believe it or not, woofer cone material is probably the least critical factor with regard to how well a driver performs. The motor and magnet system, suspension, the shape of the cone and mass all have far greater influence over performance than the actual driver material.

That said, PP is a fantastic material for a midrange woofer cone as it has an excellent stiffness to weight ratio (low mass is critical to detail) while also having excellent internal damping properties. In my professional experience, I much prefer PP over an alum metal cone. Treated paper and PP are basically equivalent in performance but since our goal was extremely low mass for the woofer cone, PP is necessary as treated paper in a cone as large as 5 1/4" would have added too much mass to get the same stiffness and efficiency would decrease while stored energy would have increased. Keep in mind that these RAAL ribbons have the lowest levels of stored energy and best transient response of any tweeter I have personally ever measured - and that is due to the extremely low mass of the ribbon itself. An extremely low mass woofer cone was critical to the design of this speaker

A metal cone could have worked too, however -- as mentioned, I am not a fan as all metal cone woofers ring and while this can be dealt with in the crossover, it complicates crossover design and there are additional performance drawbacks to using notch filters in a crossover design. Kevlar and other similar materials would have been even worse. Best choice would have been Beryllium, but that would have increased the retail cost of the towers by several thousands - assuming we could even source a Be woofer cone For this particular design, the excellent self-damping, low mass and good stiffness - and ultimately, the purity of PP was the best choice

David Fabrikant

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ascend View Post


By customer request, I am actually working on a "custom" version of the center that will be a WMTW configuration (all drivers in a horizontal array) This will shrink the height to be around 8.5" to 9" total, while increasing the cabinet length. This configuration will not have as wide and symmetrical horizontal dispersion but -- the amazing dynamics will be the same and it will still be a major upgade from the Sierra-1 center.

Only drawback is that it will be several hundred dollars more since it will be in limited quantity production runs. Ribbon upgrade will be an option as well

If anyone is interested in this option, please contact us ASAP. Thanks!!

Hmmm... This sounds like a viable option for me. How long does it make the speaker?
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend View Post


By customer request, I am actually working on a "custom" version of the center that will be a WMTW configuration (all drivers in a horizontal array) This will shrink the height to be around 8.5" to 9" total, while increasing the cabinet length. This configuration will not have as wide and symmetrical horizontal dispersion but -- the amazing dynamics will be the same and it will still be a major upgade from the Sierra-1 center.

Only drawback is that it will be several hundred dollars more since it will be in limited quantity production runs. Ribbon upgrade will be an option as well

If anyone is interested in this option, please contact us ASAP. Thanks!!

Great, just in case I can't sneak the mini monster by the wife, I could replace with this version.

In search of video bliss...
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascend View Post

By customer request, I am actually working on a "custom" version of the center that will be a WMTW configuration (all drivers in a horizontal array) This will shrink the height to be around 8.5" to 9" total, while increasing the cabinet length. This configuration will not have as wide and symmetrical horizontal dispersion but -- the amazing dynamics will be the same and it will still be a major upgade from the Sierra-1 center.

Only drawback is that it will be several hundred dollars more since it will be in limited quantity production runs. Ribbon upgrade will be an option as well

If anyone is interested in this option, please contact us ASAP. Thanks!!


Alright, that would be something.. There wouldn't be a need for standing while watching a flick with the leaner center.

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Old 03-03-2012, 01:40 AM
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Alright, that would be something.. There wouldn't be a need for standing while watching a flick with the leaner center.

DJoel

I am a little confused: why did you say "standing" when Dave said wide horizontal dispersion?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:12 AM
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I am a little confused: why did you say "standing" when Dave said wide horizontal dispersion?

guessing he means to see over the larger STC? Just a guess.

In search of video bliss...
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:29 AM
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I listen mostly to indie and classic rock music. Which tweeter would be more suitable raal vs nrt? My listening space is pretty small, 17x13 feet and due to the furniture arrangement of the room I can't sit more than 5-7 feet away from the speakers. How does Sierra Tower perform in a nearfield setting?
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makutaku View Post

I am a little confused: why did you say "standing" when Dave said wide horizontal dispersion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariob33 View Post

guessing he means to see over the larger STC? Just a guess.


^^^ Correctomondo

Yes I meant standing up watching TV, because of the center blocking the telly.

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Old 03-06-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Ascend View Post


Yep -- Shipping by either the end of this week or Monday at the latest!

Hey Dave,

Are you close to fulfilling all the RAAL towers? I was anxiously refreshing my email last week and yesterday looking for a tracking number.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by logicology View Post

Hey Dave,

Are you close to fulfilling all the RAAL towers? I was anxiously refreshing my email last week and yesterday looking for a tracking number.

Sorry logic, my estimate was a bit too optimistic

Your ribbon towers were completed a few hours ago and are scheduled to ship tomorrow afternoon. Thanks so much for your patience and I hope you absolutey LOVE them (I am quite confident that you will )

Enjoy!!

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Old 03-06-2012, 06:50 PM
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Hello all,

I had the man in Brown deliver a little (ok big) package to me today.





Please look past the lovely speaker stand.

Ok, I have been following along regarding how impressed Dave is with the center and how the center is not really a center but basically could be a stand alone speaker like the towers? Well in the back of my mind I kept thinking that there was just a little hype thrown in there for good measure. I guess it was because I was so impressed with the sound of the towers my thought was how much better could it be? Well the sad thing is I have only had about an hour and a half to listen to the center, but with that I was able to listen to a wide variety of music, and some movie samples at wide ranging volume levels. I can tell you one thing, this center can rock boys, big time. It really does hold its own and then some. I dare say that it might actually out rock the towers, it definitely does not give up anything to the towers for sure. It is a seamless transition from the towers to the center and back. I sounds just like the towers, but I do think it does hit harder in the lower frequencies. This is a fantastic addition to the towers and the Sierra Tower's and Center (Horizon) are fantastic speakers.

Thanks Dave and Ascend, you have a fantastic product and you can certainly tell you put a lot into these speakers, well done.

Regards,

RTROSE

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Old 03-06-2012, 08:23 PM
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Sorry logic, my estimate was a bit too optimistic

Your ribbon towers were completed a few hours ago and are scheduled to ship tomorrow afternoon. Thanks so much for your patience and I hope you absolutey LOVE them (I am quite confident that you will )

Enjoy!!

Awesome! I know the wait will be worth it!
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:28 PM
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Awesome! I know the wait will be worth it!

I have a tracking number for my RAAL equipped espresso Horizon now in transit. The big gun movie sound tracks will be coming out to play next week!

It's been a long wait for this speaker, but there just isn't anything else out there that I thought met my needs/wants as well. I know after having spent a lot of quality time with the Sierra Towers, the Horizon will be well worth the wait.

I was playing a multi channel SACD today "Mister E" by Pete Escovido that did a fine job of showcasing all the strengths of these amazing speakers. Everything from the intricate high frequency details the RAALS excel at, to the massive dynamic punch of a full size latin rythm section hittin' it, to the smooth mastery of a brass section done properly. The Towers just seem to do everything I've thrown at them extremely well. With the Horizon filling the center, it should be a formidable front stage.

Agreed with the RTROSE post, Ascend did a very fine job with these beauties.

Heavily addicted SACDBA member, starting the twelve steps tomorrow!
Jay
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Pet Motel View Post

I have a tracking number for my RAAL equipped espresso Horizon now in transit. The big gun movie sound tracks will be coming out to play next week!

It's been a long wait for this speaker, but there just isn't anything else out there that I thought met my needs/wants as well. I know after having spent a lot of quality time with the Sierra Towers, the Horizon will be well worth the wait.

I was playing a multi channel SACD today "Mister E" by Pete Escovido that did a fine job of showcasing all the strengths of these amazing speakers. Everything from the intricate high frequency details the RAALS excel at, to the massive dynamic punch of a full size latin rythm section hittin' it, to the smooth mastery of a brass section done properly. The Towers just seem to do everything I've thrown at them extremely well. With the Horizon filling the center, it should be a formidable front stage.

Agreed with the RTROSE post, Ascend did a very fine job with these beauties.


Hey Jay.
I see an influx of hi rez disc purchases right after the big Raal center lands.

Gotta show us the photos as soon as it does

Dan
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:02 PM
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Well,

I certainly expected more of you guys to chime in. Have the RAAL centers not shipped yet? Not trying to start anything, I am just excited for all of you to get your speakers. I have really been enjoying my center (and the towers) since it's arrival, I almost have a permanent grin on my face now. Very happy camper.

Looking forward to hearing all of you RAAL owner chiming in with your impressions.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Well,

I certainly expected more of you guys to chime in. Have the RAAL centers not shipped yet? Not trying to start anything, I am just excited for all of you to get your speakers. I have really been enjoying my center (and the towers) since it's arrival, I almost have a permanent grin on my face now. Very happy camper.

Looking forward to hearing all of you RAAL owner chiming in with your impressions.

Regards,

RTROSE

I'm hoping to get a shipping confirmation this week!
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