Best 2 channel speaker setup for living room, $2,000 new or used...thoughts? recommendations? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-29-2012, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys, we're building a house. The surround sound setup is going to go upstairs in the game/theater room. As a result I'm looking for a good 2 channel setup for the living room/kitchen.

I'd prefer to NOT run a sub but there should be plenty of options that would allow me to not run a sub in this situation. I'm not opposed to internet brands, I currently have SWAN surround setup and SVSound sub and it is pretty fantastic. Used is also ok, I'm pretty open minded to various options.

I generally do not like a bright sound and given the hardwood and travertine tiles, bright is not something we'll want in this part of the house. Neutral or a bit warm is preferred in terms of sound quality.

What is recommended for power? I'm thinking a simple two channel amp? Emotiva perhaps?

They also have to look decent and have respectable cabinets.

Thoughts, recommendations?
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-29-2012, 10:28 PM
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You should be able to find a pair of Vandersteen 3A Signatures in your price range. They'd fit your desire for a neutral, non-bright speaker and they have good bass extension without a subwoofer (26 hz @ -3 dB). A good 100 watt/channel amplifier should be plenty; make certain that it'll handle a 4-ohm load.
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 03:49 AM
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how big is room and what genere of music do you listen to

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post #4 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

how big is room and what genere of music do you listen to
The room is moderately sized but the home is an open floor plan. The living room is around 18x20 and the kitchen with breakfast nook is probably 12x25 or so and they're all open to each other.

As for music, I have a little of everything in my collection. I have some older early 90s to late 90s rap (never really gets listened to anymore, maybe once a year?) I have a few complete collections of Mozart and others in the classical genre. I've got a LOT of classic rock and modern country as well as everything from Mayer, Buble, Coldplay, Maroon5 and a few others. Basically, to me, good music is good music regardless of the genre so I have a varying library of the things I like.
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post #5 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 05:16 AM
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There is a pair available in the AVS Classifieds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skriefal View Post

You should be able to find a pair of Vandersteen 3A Signatures in your price range. They'd fit your desire for a neutral, non-bright speaker and they have good bass extension without a subwoofer (26 hz @ -3 dB). A good 100 watt/channel amplifier should be plenty; make certain that it'll handle a 4-ohm load.
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 05:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post

The room is moderately sized but the home is an open floor plan. The living room is around 18x20 and the kitchen with breakfast nook is probably 12x25 or so and they're all open to each other.
As for music, I have a little of everything in my collection. I have some older early 90s to late 90s rap (never really gets listened to anymore, maybe once a year?) I have a few complete collections of Mozart and others in the classical genre. I've got a LOT of classic rock and modern country as well as everything from Mayer, Buble, Coldplay, Maroon5 and a few others. Basically, to me, good music is good music regardless of the genre so I have a varying library of the things I like.

Be aware, big open rooms swallow up a lot of energy, especially if being listened to from a substantial distance of twenty or more feet. Speaker sensitivity is based on a reading one meter from the speaker and as distances double, output is halved, not to mention what a room will do to the sound waves, cancellation. To compensate for the drop in dB, the volume control must be cranked up at the expense of sound quality; speakers are now shouting at you, sound waves are going all over the room fighting with each other and sound quality goes in the toilet. A terrible thing to experience. The intimacy of the listening experience is gone as the dissatisfaction with the sound quality goes up with you thinking how the music you're hearing sounds like crap. And it sounds bad for good reason.

In my opinion, based on what your posted, it would be hard to answer your question and expect to give you the best musical sound quality possible. All one can do is throw out suggestions as to which speakers should be married with what receiver and wish you the best. In the case of your home and speaker choice, the speakers are not the going be your problem. The open nature of the room is the problem and is guaranteed to fowl you up big time. Those are my thoughts.

As to a recommendation, I'd go with a set of Klipsch, B-stock RF-7's from Acoustic Sound Design (IIRC $1,800.00) as the horns will help with the size of your open lvrm/kit floor plan. Horns throw or project the sound. Talk to Mike and tell him you heard of him on AVS. I bought a delivered B-stock, RC-64 II from Mike for $891.00. And for stereo, pretty much, any reasonably priced, two channel receiver will do what you ask, fill the room with the sound of music.

Hope the above helps in your decision making process.

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post #7 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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How does the RF7 differ from the rf62? I typically do not like the klipsch sound for music and they can become quite harsh as the volume rises.
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 06:04 AM
 
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Quote:
I typically do not like the klipsch sound for music and they can become quite harsh as the volume rises.

Look to the Klipsch web site for spec information but it sounds like the Klipsch speakers are not for you as the Klipsch sound is not for everybody. I'm using Klipsch Epic, CF-3's, an earlier version of the RF-7's and I find them to be engaging and compelling in their sound quality. In between the mains I have a RC-64 II center channel with a pair of 12" subs to compliment the mains. The point, I don't find it a good idea to try to light a room with sound using only a pair of speakers as the room will overwhelm the speaker output and you'll lose both the intimate listening experience and at the same time, lose your sound quality which won't be the fault of the speaker system.

Against my better judgement, many folks here suggest Chase SHO-10's over Klipsh. The SHO-10's may be more to your liking. I don't like them for their studio monitor like appearance as opposed to the furniture grade look of the Klipsch Reference series. As an alternative to Amazon floor standing speakers, check out Monitor Audio, RX8's on Amazon. For the price, folks here are giving them rave reviews.

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post #9 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post

Guys, we're building a house. The surround sound setup is going to go upstairs in the game/theater room. As a result I'm looking for a good 2 channel setup for the living room/kitchen.
I'd prefer to NOT run a sub but there should be plenty of options that would allow me to not run a sub in this situation. I'm not opposed to internet brands, I currently have SWAN surround setup and SVSound sub and it is pretty fantastic. Used is also ok, I'm pretty open minded to various options.
I generally do not like a bright sound and given the hardwood and travertine tiles, bright is not something we'll want in this part of the house. Neutral or a bit warm is preferred in terms of sound quality.
What is recommended for power? I'm thinking a simple two channel amp? Emotiva perhaps?
They also have to look decent and have respectable cabinets.
Thoughts, recommendations?

Take a look at RBH: http://www.rbhsound.com/sx6300.php

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post #10 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 08:14 AM
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How about deftech...smile.gif

http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Floor-Standing_Speakers&productid=BP-8060ST


or these:http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Bookshelf_Speakers&productid=StudioMonitor_65

here is a review of the 65's on audioholics:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DBOuirxeSRWY&ct=ga&cad=CAcQAhgAIAEoBDACOAFAuvzVgAVIAVgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=xna-qMhhuaE&usg=AFQjCNHw8o43vxt8XiD0iNw0ivurkSZW2Q

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post #11 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 08:22 AM
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Look at the PSB GT1 tower speakers - the price is for the pair
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PSB-G-Design-GT1-Tower-Speaker-BRAND-NEW-/290461610642?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3DUCI%252BUA%252BP%252BFICS%252BUFI%252BIIUM%26otn%3D3%26pmod%3D290682247409%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D974900823670118892&_qi=RTM1062689

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post #12 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 10:45 AM
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A receiver to consider is the HK 3490. I have ordered one and it is on the way for a 2 channel setup. It has 120 WPC and is on sale at J&R Music World for $299. Audioholics gave it a pretty good review.

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/receivers/hk-3490

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post #13 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 01:46 PM
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fwiw, a few suggestions
energy v-6.3 ----vanns
kef q900
wharfedale 10.7-music direct

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #14 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Some solid suggestions in here guys. Surprised no one has mentioned the Paradigm Studio 20's...

What are thoughts of online brands? Aperion, Emotiva speakers, etc? I like my Swan's quite a bit...so I'm not opposed to online. I'm going to RMAF this year in Denver so I'll do some listening there as well.

Not familiar with RBH...need to research them...

Def Tech is a consideration, I've heard some stuff I loved by them and other stuff that was meh, so they definitely have some potential.

The KEF Q900's look legit as well, I'll do some reading tonight...

I'm pretty open to most things, I realize I kind of harped on Klipsch earlier that is jsut because their stuff doesn't suit my ear, they do make good speakers but even at moderate volume levels I find them very fatiguing...

I also realize the environment isn't perfect but I have the WAF to think about and since I get my room upstairs for home theater, I want something that will sound good but also look good to pass the WAF test. Also, even though the room isn't necessarily good, at low to moderate volumes I would guess I could get some decent sound for music listening while reading...and if I crank it up as long as the fidelity holds up reasonably well, I can deal with the "echo chamber" type effect. Normally if I"ve got it up loud I'm cleaning or something in multiple rooms so absolute fidelity related to room dynamics are not as important.

But I do have a critical ear and appreciate the feedback regarding the room because it gives me things to consider and think about regarding this upcoming purchase.
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post #15 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 05:53 PM
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the paradigm studio 20's are great bookshelf speakers but your looking to fill aprox. 5200sq.ft. of space and they will get lost in that size area... the studio 100's onthe other hand would but your looking at a larger budget

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post #16 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 07:56 PM
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Also look at the Wharfedale EVO2-40 towers
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15535-wharfedale-evo2-40-tower-speakers-pr.aspx

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post #17 of 38 Old 07-30-2012, 09:33 PM
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If you want good bass without needing a sub, the Dynaudio DM 3/7s are $1995 list price, and they can slam. Dynaudios sound is a little warm but revealing. Get a good receiver that can power 4 ohm speakers tho. Also, if you arent going to ever use more then these 2 speakers, at least for a while, check out a nice Integrated Amp perhaps like the NAD C356BEE which can be found used on audiogon.com for about $600, also the Arcam FMJ A22 IA is about the same price there.


Ill add that there are a lot of great speakers in your price range, and you should do you best to hear as many as you can prior to buying anything. Everyone has what they like, but you should take the time to find what you like.

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post #18 of 38 Old 07-31-2012, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Also look at the Wharfedale EVO2-40 towers
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15535-wharfedale-evo2-40-tower-speakers-pr.aspx

Will check it out
Quote:
Originally Posted by callas01 View Post

If you want good bass without needing a sub, the Dynaudio DM 3/7s are $1995 list price, and they can slam. Dynaudios sound is a little warm but revealing. Get a good receiver that can power 4 ohm speakers tho. Also, if you arent going to ever use more then these 2 speakers, at least for a while, check out a nice Integrated Amp perhaps like the NAD C356BEE which can be found used on audiogon.com for about $600, also the Arcam FMJ A22 IA is about the same price there.
Ill add that there are a lot of great speakers in your price range, and you should do you best to hear as many as you can prior to buying anything. Everyone has what they like, but you should take the time to find what you like.

I agree, I won't buy until we move which is a long way off (house is scheduled for completion between late Dec and late Jan. But I'm going to RMAF this year and there will be 150+ speaker mfg's there ,so I'm trying to get ideas now on what to hear. I also have a VERY limited market for audio equipment in Tulsa. I may have to check stuff out in OKC, KC or Dallas, which I don't go to everyday...so I need to have some ideas on what to listen to so I can plan it effectively. The reviews on the Q900's are pretty fantastic...
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post #19 of 38 Old 07-31-2012, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post

Will check it out
I agree, I won't buy until we move which is a long way off (house is scheduled for completion between late Dec and late Jan. But I'm going to RMAF this year and there will be 150+ speaker mfg's there ,so I'm trying to get ideas now on what to hear. I also have a VERY limited market for audio equipment in Tulsa. I may have to check stuff out in OKC, KC or Dallas, which I don't go to everyday...so I need to have some ideas on what to listen to so I can plan it effectively. The reviews on the Q900's are pretty fantastic...

Im not saying that they are or aren't fantastic, Ive never heard them, however I have read reviews of many speakers claiming they are the best ever at their price range, and I didnt like them. I have heard Kefs in the past, and they do a lot of good, but Im not big on their sound, but thats no indication of how you will feel about them. I could say check out Salk, Ascend, Dynaudio, Focal, Revel and Totem, all great speakers, but you may not like them at all.

I think RMAF is a good idea, but be advised, not all speakers are setup properly in those rooms, and some of the speakers people have posted wont be at the show. Add in that you may not be familiar with the music they are playing, and those Distributors/MFGs/Dealers will show you the speakers strengths, not their weaknesses based on their musical choices. Im sure its tough to audition in Tulsa, and those sound like some drives to make. Thats tough! I live in SoCal, and there are dealers everywhere, however it took me a year to decide on what I wanted to buy by the time I auditioned everything I could and wanted to.

Dynaudio Focus 260s, Focus 210C, DM 2/6, Hsu VTF2 MK4, Oppo BDP-103,
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post #20 of 38 Old 07-31-2012, 10:04 AM
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post #21 of 38 Old 07-31-2012, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post

Will check it out
I agree, I won't buy until we move which is a long way off (house is scheduled for completion between late Dec and late Jan. But I'm going to RMAF this year and there will be 150+ speaker mfg's there ,so I'm trying to get ideas now on what to hear. I also have a VERY limited market for audio equipment in Tulsa. I may have to check stuff out in OKC, KC or Dallas, which I don't go to everyday...so I need to have some ideas on what to listen to so I can plan it effectively. The reviews on the Q900's are pretty fantastic...

I am local in Denver and also plan to attend the RMAF (my first audio show). If you need some advice as to which local stores carry which brands, let me know and I can try to point you in the right direction. I am pretty excited about the RMAF, but it looks like most rooms have very high end stuff that is not too applicable to every day consumers.

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post #22 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 11:04 AM
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See if you can audition the Revel F12 & KEF Q900.

You can get those for about $1200-$1300 delivered from authorized dealers.
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post #23 of 38 Old 08-02-2012, 07:56 AM
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Would a pair of goldenear triton twos off audiogon be enough for that room?

I ask because I'm in the same boat as the 6SpeedTA95. I have a connected living/kitchen room with tons of open space.
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post #24 of 38 Old 08-07-2012, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post

Would a pair of goldenear triton twos off audiogon be enough for that room?
I ask because I'm in the same boat as the 6SpeedTA95. I have a connected living/kitchen room with tons of open space.

No thoughts on the Triton Two's?
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post #25 of 38 Old 08-07-2012, 07:17 AM
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I suggest that you consider the PSB Image T6 speakers.

They will definitely meet your requirements, and it is hard to find a better speaker for under $2000.
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post #26 of 38 Old 08-07-2012, 08:34 AM
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I have a similar large area as yours and am not enjoying my beloved Salk STs very much anymore. They were stellar in a large bedroom.

I have been looking for options to remedy the situation.

I am looking at getting Gallo Classico-4. With a 60 day in home trial, its not a bad proposition with shipping free both ways.

I have tried Aperions in the past, one of their large floor standers, and loved it, but it was too much for my 2-ch bedroom setup and had to return them. I have their center channel in my current setup and it is very good. They also have very reasonable pricing along with free shipping from what I remember and their B-stocks are priced even more aggressively.

Good luck!
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post #27 of 38 Old 08-07-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocrapman View Post

I have a similar large area as yours and am not enjoying my beloved Salk STs very much anymore. They were stellar in a large bedroom.
I have been looking for options to remedy the situation.
I am looking at getting Gallo Classico-4. With a 60 day in home trial, its not a bad proposition with shipping free both ways.
I have tried Aperions in the past, one of their large floor standers, and loved it, but it was too much for my 2-ch bedroom setup and had to return them. I have their center channel in my current setup and it is very good. They also have very reasonable pricing along with free shipping from what I remember and their B-stocks are priced even more aggressively.
Good luck!
What issue do you have with the Salks in a large open room?
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post #28 of 38 Old 08-07-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post

What issue do you have with the Salks in a large open room?

Please see post#6 above.
Bee man nailed it. The Salks disappear in my current LR/kitchen/morning room area... and not in a good way!
I have to turn them up really loud and even then only my ears hurt and wife complains.
I used a large sub and that helped some, but not much... probably need at least 2 or 3 subs for that area. And listening for pure 2-ch doesnt remain a fun option anymore.
They will be moved to my bedroom setup as soon as a replacement arrives.
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post #29 of 38 Old 08-08-2012, 05:19 AM
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There's only so much a non-high efficiency speaker can do in a real large room fellas; that applies to any speaker. Subwoofers will help, as nocrapman stated, but it won't help much if the room is really swallowing up the acoustic energy. Each room is different, but for huge rooms experimentation is extremely important. The Salk SongTower's may or may not work (I've heard them sound great in a room that size, but it was treated and measured very well).

If it was me, for a large room I'd up the budget and go with something like the Salk HT2-TL's or Kef R-series. When crossed to a subwoofer they don't break a sweat in large rooms unless you're under powering them (also applies to all speakers).

Good luck in your search.

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post #30 of 38 Old 08-08-2012, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

There's only so much a non-high efficiency speaker can do in a real large room fellas; that applies to any speaker. Subwoofers will help, as nocrapman stated, but it won't help much if the room is really swallowing up the acoustic energy. Each room is different, but for huge rooms experimentation is extremely important. The Salk SongTower's may or may not work (I've heard them sound great in a room that size, but it was treated and measured very well).
If it was me, for a large room I'd up the budget and go with something like the Salk HT2-TL's or Kef R-series. When crossed to a subwoofer they don't break a sweat in large rooms unless you're under powering them (also applies to all speakers).
Good luck in your search.
A sub probably isn't an option due to WAF. What are the primary differences between the Q and R series? Is it really worth
twice the price?
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