Oh well - it begins! Noob takes the plunge - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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So after years of yearning, I went ahead and did it. Made the first purchase toward my home theater. A little background, and a description of where I am and where I would like to go.

My great room is where I do most of the viewing/listening. It's about 20x14 with hard wood floors. I've got a 50" LCD 1080 HD with really ****** TV speakers. I mostly view streaming Netflix and Hulu, and watch movies in MP4 format. I also listen to Spotify and Pandora through a WDTV streaming box. My home NAS is storage for my music collection and downloaded content, which also streams through the WDTV.

Today I purchased a factory refurb Denon 1613 through accessories4less for $239. My next purchase is going to be Klipsch RB-51 II speakers. Does anyone want to talk me into different speakers for the type of listening / watching I will do?

My first question is, should my next addition be a subwoofer or a center channel? I hear the RB-51's have decent bass. The answer is likely just to set up and listen, and then determine my needs.

Eventually I will add two surrounds in ceiling, which I pre-wired when I built my house 5 years ago. My second question is, does anyone have any experience with in ceiling surrounds when the rest of the speakers are lower on bookshelves? Probably will have to play with the settings a bit.

Bluray player will be added eventually. Is Bluray viewing much better than streaming HD? Any other advantages?

Anyway, I guess I'm in the game now. Look forward to reading more about this crazy-expensive hobby. I love watching movies and listening to music and entertainment in general, so I suppose there are worse things I could spend my disposable income on.

Thanks to all you experts out there who make this forum so fun and informative. Your knowledge and experience really inspire a neophyte like me!

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post #2 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 04:18 PM
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Next addition should be a subwoofer, than center, than surrounds. Maybe if you were looking at towers the order would be different but Bookshelves while better than TV speakers subwoofers really can bring a huge improvement to viewing experience if you can spend enough money for something halfway decent

Have you listened to the Klipsch RB-51's? If you like the sound of them I am not going to try and talk you out of them. (Personally I find they alittle to harsh for my ears during extended listening, but for others they are just fine). I always recommend people buy what sounds good to them as they are the person that has to live with their speaker choice.

Blurays are better IMHO than streaming HD as its next to impossible to stream 5.1 audio I have found. With Netflix for the most part it streams audio in stereo and when it for stream in 5.1 its regular Dolby Digital 5.1 not the new Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD you get with blu-rays. Its pretty subjective if you hear a difference or not in the audio versus HD audio versus regular 5.1. However there are some movies I go out of my way to purchase the Blu-ray some that I buy in DVD form and others I just leave to stream from netflix.
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post #3 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on Netflix and 5.1, that's interesting. I see the 5.1 logo on the movies as you scroll through them on Netflix, so I just assumed they would play fine. Good to know.

As for the speakers, they were actually recommended to me by a dude who installs stereo equipment. He's going to bring his over so I can listen in my space.
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post #4 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapster View Post

As for the speakers, they were actually recommended to me by a dude who installs stereo equipment. He's going to bring his over so I can listen in my space.

That's great. Listen to them and see what you think. Demoing in your own home with your setup is the best way to tell.

And I agree with crazyrob about the sub first, then center next. When you get ready to buy your sub, research here on the AVS subwoofer forum. The best deals usually come from buying subs off the Internet, and AVS members are good at knowing where to get the best performance for your dollar smile.gif
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post #5 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Lots of folks seem to be recommending that Dayton subwoofer for price/performance ratio. Something tells me it won't be too long before I add that puppy. Thanks for all your advice! I'm psyched to start hearing real sound coming out of my system.
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 06:19 PM
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Make sure you give the Klipsch a pretty good listen! Not everyone likes the sound from cheaper horm speakers!
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Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #7 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Make sure you give the Klipsch a pretty good listen! Not everyone likes the sound from cheaper horm speakers!

What's your recommendation for a bookshelf speaker in the $300 - $500 range? Keep in mind this will be my only speakers until I add a sub, in a few months. My buddy can bring a few different brands that I could demo, so let me know what else I should include.
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post #8 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 06:44 PM
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You may love the klipsch, so...horn tweeters are very dynamic HT!
500-600/pr Ascend acoustic cmt 340s! Excellent bookshelf speaker... Hits low pretty well. Excellent midrange and clear and crisp highs. Haven't heard the cmt170, but I would assume they are excellent as well.300/pr
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Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #9 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

You may love the klipsch, so...horn tweeters are very dynamic HT!
500-600/pr Ascend acoustic cmt 340s! Excellent bookshelf speaker... Hits low pretty well. Excellent midrange and clear and crisp highs. Haven't heard the cmt170, but I would assume they are excellent as well.300/pr

Thanks! That's why I freaking love this place - so many informed opinions. Really helps a noob like me. Thanks again.
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post #10 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 06:58 PM
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$300-$500 for a Pair of Bookshelfs I would recommend looking at the
-Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 350's/450's
-Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE
-Polk RTi A3's
-HSU HB-1 MK2
-Cambridge S30's

Personally I am a fan of the Polk sound and I already have the smaller version of the RTi A3's so I know where I would go, but all the other speakers listed are worth a listen.
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post #11 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 08:17 PM
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I'm going to honest here. I'm not a fan of Polk. At their MSRP's there are much better speakers out there. BUT, Polk currently has a refurbished speakers on eBay. $399 shipped for a pair of LSi7 speakers. They are refurbished and shipped out by Polk themselves and come with a 2 year manufacturer warranty. I have heard the LSi series, and for $400 I think that pair would be really hard to beat unless you go to the secondary market.
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-09-2013, 08:46 PM
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I second the recommend of the def tech sm450! I own that speaker and can vouch for the sound quality for the buck!
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Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #13 of 31 Old 02-10-2013, 05:03 AM
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That egg site has been selling the 450 for $279 regularly lately with the 350 for $199. That's a no-brainer.
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post #14 of 31 Old 02-10-2013, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannybenz View Post

I'm going to honest here. I'm not a fan of Polk. At their MSRP's there are much better speakers out there. BUT, Polk currently has a refurbished speakers on eBay. $399 shipped for a pair of LSi7 speakers. They are refurbished and shipped out by Polk themselves and come with a 2 year manufacturer warranty. I have heard the LSi series, and for $400 I think that pair would be really hard to beat unless you go to the secondary market.

Lsi7 speakers are very good but you would need a receiver a bit more robust than the entry level Denon 1613. I don't think it is recommended for 4 ohm loads like the LSi7.
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post #15 of 31 Old 02-10-2013, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Lsi7 speakers are very good but you would need a receiver a bit more robust than the entry level Denon 1613. I don't think it is recommended for 4 ohm loads like the LSi7.

So if I beef it up with a 2 channel amplifier, something 200w per channel or so, I could drive those speakers? They look nice and get great reviews, the Lsi7.
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post #16 of 31 Old 02-10-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by slapster View Post

So if I beef it up with a 2 channel amplifier, something 200w per channel or so, I could drive those speakers? They look nice and get great reviews, the Lsi7.

That would be an awesome amount of power to drive the LSi's with, does your AVR have pre-outs? If so, rock on.

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post #17 of 31 Old 02-10-2013, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by slapster View Post

So if I beef it up with a 2 channel amplifier, something 200w per channel or so, I could drive those speakers? They look nice and get great reviews, the Lsi7.

Your Denon doesnt have the pre-outs for an external amp. If you are sticking with Denon, you will need to at minimum get the 3313. Or you could look at a refurb 3312.
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post #18 of 31 Old 02-10-2013, 07:21 PM
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Deftech Studio Monitor
Hsu bookshelves
Home Theater Direct: http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers
Ascends
Cambridge S30's

All of them should be easy to drive with your receiver. I would just take the Polk's off the list, even though those are a good deal. You are looking at spending considerably more to drive them and, IMHO, there are better speakers out there if you need to spend that much on amplification.
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post #19 of 31 Old 02-10-2013, 09:24 PM
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post #20 of 31 Old 02-11-2013, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannybenz View Post

I'm going to honest here. I'm not a fan of Polk. At their MSRP's there are much better speakers out there. BUT, Polk currently has a refurbished speakers on eBay. $399 shipped for a pair of LSi7 speakers. They are refurbished and shipped out by Polk themselves and come with a 2 year manufacturer warranty. I have heard the LSi series, and for $400 I think that pair would be really hard to beat unless you go to the secondary market.

Lsi7 speakers are very good but you would need a receiver a bit more robust than the entry level Denon 1613. I don't think it is recommended for 4 ohm loads like the LSi7.

Here we see yet another rendition of the usual scare story about AVRs.

Here is the impedance curve of the LSI7:



Over most of the audio spectrum it has an impedance that is > 6 ohms.

But this is not the strongest argument. The strongest argument is the fact that the AVR's 6 ohm rating is based on legal requirements and bench testing that involves steady pure sine waves and resistive loads. Real world music contains at the very least about 1/3 the energy, and thus operation into speakers with lower impedance does not strain them. I have produced detailed evidence to support this claim, but I tire of posting it over and over again. I will do so if you ask me to.
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post #21 of 31 Old 02-11-2013, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff4RFC View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by slapster View Post

So if I beef it up with a 2 channel amplifier, something 200w per channel or so, I could drive those speakers? They look nice and get great reviews, the Lsi7.

That would be an awesome amount of power to drive the LSi's with, does your AVR have pre-outs? If so, rock on.

Actually, 200 watts is only 3 dB more power than most AVR's 100 wpc abilities. In post 20 I explain why AVRs are generally able to deliver on their 100 wpc ratings even though bench testing reports lower power output with more or all channels operating on the test bench.

In fact virtually every mainstream AVR's power output as well as that of most power amplifiers that are sold for the purpose of enhancing AVRs fit into a +/- 3 dB range which is only marginally audible with music. To create the impression of twice as loud you need 10 times the power which usually using one of those dreaded PA system power amps which are actually very clean sounding. However, the impact of using home audio system speakers with power amps that are capable of 3-5 times their ratings should raise some concerns.

Yes there are many who brag about exceptionally good results with their actually underpowered add-on power amps, but these are the results of sighted evaluations which strongly tend to affirm the beliefs of the people who do them, no matter how illogical those beliefs are. IOW, sighted evaluations can be counted on to affirm the beliefs of people who believe in magic power cords, speaker cables and interconnects as well as power cleansers, magic wood blocks, green CD markers, etc.

In a recent post I brought in the results of about 200 audiophiles who performed a simple technical test to evaluate their actual need for more power. About 80% did not need any more power, 10% did but bought underpowered (e.g 150-200wpc) add-on amps, and only 10% needed more power and obtained amps powerful enough to actually make a difference.

To summarize, the odds are 4:1 or more than you don't actually need an add-on amp, but if you do, figure on obtaining a power amp rated at about 1,000 wpc and then consider what speaker upgrades you may shortly need when the inevitable consequences of overpowering speakers take place.
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post #22 of 31 Old 02-11-2013, 03:45 PM
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Over most of the audio spectrum it has an impedance that is > 6 ohms.
Interesting point of view. I would have looked at the close-to 4 ohms dips and used that as the cautionary approach worst case scenario.

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post #23 of 31 Old 02-11-2013, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, well Mr. Krueger you certainly seem to present some sound arguments. Unfortunately, it's all over my head! I promise to read your responses again and do my best to educate myself. I sure appreciate you taking the time to share your insight and knowledge with a newcomer.
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post #24 of 31 Old 02-11-2013, 11:01 PM
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Wow, well Mr. Krueger you certainly seem to present some sound arguments. Unfortunately, it's all over my head! I promise to read your responses again and do my best to educate myself. I sure appreciate you taking the time to share your insight and knowledge with a newcomer.

What hes saying is that many people suggest needing more power than an AVR can provide however even going to a power amp that offers 200W of pure power wont make much of a difference in volume. Doubling the watts going into your speakers does not mean that the volume doubles. I would be more concerned with how loud you actually play your speakers and how much the amp will distort at that power draw. While that isnt to say that you wont benefit from a power amp, it just states that you can benefit more from other purchases at this point.
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post #25 of 31 Old 02-11-2013, 11:52 PM
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Get the best of both worlds and get a PS3, arguably one of the best blu-ray players on the market, works with NAS, DLNA and media servers (thats what i run) watch your netflix, hulu, amazon ect. and game a little if you like (but you dont necessarily have too) I recommended it for clients and friends, and all that have taken my advice loved ther PS3's for HT/streaming/gaming/music.

I have a media sever with 6 TB and stream HD (720p/1080p) with dolby (AAC) and it sounds and looks amazing. But i also download in high quality so that is an important variable. (use an N-type router to handle the immense load on the network- 100Mb wont cut it- i like netgear brand)

I always recommend the BIC Acoustech line for there performance versus value. and their PL-200 sub which is well regarded as an excellent sub. There PL-89 towers have 8" woofers so nice mid bass, they are beautiful to look at, loud, and sound great; many compare them to klipsch, ive talked to many who prefer the BIC over klipsch in just sound alone.

I would suggest going with a 2.1 first (In stereo only), then center (in 3.1 if offered), then surrounds (running dolby HD or DTS HD ect)

If your going with ceiling speakers, i like bi-pole so i dont hear them right ABOVE MY HEAD when they fire. Drawback is they do not mount in the ceiling, but i wouldn't buy those anyways.

My $.02

KO
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post #26 of 31 Old 02-12-2013, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. Receiver arrives tomorrow, bought the Dayton 12" subwoofer yesterday and it arrives tomorrow. My buddy is showing up tomorrow with all the speakers, so I'll see what's up tomorrow. Will be posting after I make a decision.
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post #27 of 31 Old 02-13-2013, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got the sub - this thing is a beast! Can't wait to hear it. A development at Best Buy has me re-thinking my front mains. I have $150 in rewards dollars there, and the Klipsch KB-15's just went on sale for $174. So if I go with those, the fronts would cost me about $30 bucks. Hard to pass up! They are the Icon series rather than the reference that I was looking at. But, I think the cost savings is going to make that decision for me. I listened to them at BB - not the best listening experience, I know, but they definitely sounded best out of the other speakers there - Pioneer, Polk (the polks were small 4 1/2 in woofers) and two sets of Bose, the 301 and 201. The Bose sounded weird - sort of tinny in the highs and like they were muffled. They weren't really an option anyway.

So when my receiver shows up today I'll hook up the Klipsch mains and the Dayton sub and give her a test ride with Netflix and Hulu, then try some of my downloaded content. I'll give a report when I'm done. Thanks again to everyone for the expert advice.
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post #28 of 31 Old 02-13-2013, 02:34 PM
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Looks like you are trying to get great bang for your buck, but have an ear for discerning good sound based on what you've said. I highly recommend you consider the Arx A1b, $299 at theaudioinsider.com ( I own these along with the Arx A5s and A2) I'm sure you can find other stuff you'll need anyways to spend the $150 rewards dollars on..

Jim Wilson just put up a very nice review that really gets across what a lot of owners think of them: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-reviews/65546-arx-a1b-a2b-speaker-review.html#post590376

"I pine for speakers that have detail, clarity and a wide soundstage. Dynamics must be spot on, there can't be any harshness or audible compression until the volume gets painfully loud, and every nuance has to be clear and precise. Oh yea, they also must be dirt cheap. That, in a nutshell, describes the Arx speakers. Another way to describe them would be Value, with a capital V. I'm not sure how (or more accurately, why) TAI is selling them this cheap, but if you're in the market for a home theater or stereo system comprised of speakers with exceptional qualities make sure you don't plunk your money down on anything until you give the Arx a try. If you are the type of person who loves to hear others say in total disbelief "you only paid how much for those?!" then Arx needs to be on your short list.

Read more: Arx A1b/A2b Speaker Review Discussion Thread - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com "
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post #29 of 31 Old 02-15-2013, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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All done! I went with a full 5.1 setup with some in ceiling g speakers. Went with the Klipsch for front mains. Got surround now! Thanks everyone for the info and advice
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post #30 of 31 Old 07-04-2013, 03:56 PM
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While Arny knows much more than I do, I still prefer to have a power amp, not a mass market entry level receiver. Just yesterday I tried to drive a SINGLE GR N2X from an Onkyo rated 100Wx6 and it shut itself off at 75dB@1m (measured with cross spectrum mic)! The N2X are 8 ohm nominal and dip to 6.2 ohms but have a low sensitivity of 85dB/1m/2.83v. But I only got it to 75dB before the receiver shut down. Again this was not 6, not 2 but ONE speaker. That's supposedly less than one watt! What gives? This same receiver drives usually drive my other pair of speakers that are 8ohm and 90db effecient and it works perfectly fine with those speakers. I had a similar experience with a higher end Pioneer in which the receiver shut down while driving 3x 6 ohm speakers high passed at 80hz.
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