RBH vs Kef Bookshelf Speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-03-2014, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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RBH vs Kef Bookshelf Speakers

I am building a new 5.2 system from scratch for my living room (15 wide, 18 long, 10 tall).

Option 1 - 5 RBH SX-61R and 2 RBH SX-12R subs (used for both options)

Option 2 - 3 KEF Reference One for LCR and 2 LS-50 or R300 for surrounds and 2 RBH SX-12R subs (used for both options)

The speakers will be used for 60% HT and 40% music.

My assumption is that the SX-61 R are comparable to the KEF R series. RBH uses a soft dome tweeter and KEF uses aluminum in both R series and Reference series.

Does anyone know if the KEF Reference speakers will provide much better quality sound than the RBH. The KEF option will be much more costly.

If no one has heard the new KEF Reference line, then has anyone compared the previous KEF 201/2 to the RBH speakers.

Note that a new receiver or pre pro will be purchased as well. A dedicated amp like Halo A51 or ATI 2000 amp may be used.
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 06:24 AM
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The Kef Reference 5s just arrived at Kef US late last week. Feedback I got was they sounded better then the R series right out of the box so not yet broke in. Expect to get better feedback by the middle of August as a dealer in the UK, Frank Harvey, should have the whole series by now.

ADTG had a five 201/2 system but has now converted to a RBH system (SX-T2P/R with five of the subs). The 201/2s are phenomenal speakers that are great for music and very good for HT but speakers built for HT (RBH, Triad, M&K, KK) will obviously be better for HT than 86 dB efficiency speakers.

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post #3 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post
The Kef Reference 5s just arrived at Kef US late last week. Feedback I got was they sounded better then the R series right out of the box so not yet broke in. Expect to get better feedback by the middle of August as a dealer in the UK, Frank Harvey, should have the whole series by now.

ADTG had a five 201/2 system but has now converted to a RBH system (SX-T2P/R with five of the subs). The 201/2s are phenomenal speakers that are great for music and very good for HT but speakers built for HT (RBH, Triad, M&K, KK) will obviously be better for HT than 86 dB efficiency speakers.
Both KEF & RBH make great accurate speakers. But I just don't know much about the new KEF Reference besides the fact that are now very BOXY and the price of the new bookshelf is $7,500 vs $6,000 MSRP of the superb KEF 201/2. Will the new Reference One measure as superbly as the 201/2, 203/2, 205/2, 207/2? We will only know when Stereophile & Soundstage measure it. I don't have great expectations based on the very boxy cabinet.

Since the OP will have dual RBH SX-12/R subs, I would definitely get the RBH SX-61/R bookshelf.

Here is the measurement of the RBH SA Voce Fina bookshelf, which has the same superb Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter as the SX-61/R. On-axis is extremely linear @ about +/-1dB and polar response is linear to 30 degrees. The Voce Fina is basically the same as the SX-61/R, except the Voce Fina has fancy granite cabinet. The midrange is also Reference Ti/Al, instead of the Reference Al of the SX-61/R. But both share the same Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter.

http://www.audioholics.com/bookshelf...w/measurements

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post #4 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Conner66 View Post
I am building a new 5.2 system from scratch for my living room (15 wide, 18 long, 10 tall).

Option 1 - 5 RBH SX-61R and 2 RBH SX-12R subs (used for both options)

Option 2 - 3 KEF Reference One for LCR and 2 LS-50 or R300 for surrounds and 2 RBH SX-12R subs (used for both options)

The speakers will be used for 60% HT and 40% music.

My assumption is that the SX-61 R are comparable to the KEF R series. RBH uses a soft dome tweeter and KEF uses aluminum in both R series and Reference series.

Does anyone know if the KEF Reference speakers will provide much better quality sound than the RBH. The KEF option will be much more costly.

If no one has heard the new KEF Reference line, then has anyone compared the previous KEF 201/2 to the RBH speakers.

Note that a new receiver or pre pro will be purchased as well. A dedicated amp like Halo A51 or ATI 2000 amp may be used.
Both Halo & ATI are awesome amps. I have 4 ATI amps.

The 201/2 is a superb speaker that has almost textbook perfect measurement (pretty much same with all the previous 203/2, 205/2, 207/2). The RBH $7,500 SX-T1/R would be more "comparable" to the $6,000 KEF 201/2 (& I assume the new $7,500 KEF Reference One).

And yes, I recently sold my Revel Salon2, B&W 802D2, KEF 201/2 (3 pairs), & Philharmonic 3 to get five RBH SX-T2/R towers. Each SX-T2/R tower has the equivalent of one SX-12/R subwoofer.

Although the SX-61/R is only $1900/pair, it has the same exact Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter as the $12,000 Voce Fina and $7,500 SX-T1/R monitor. The SX-61/R also has the same exact Reference Aluminum midrange as the $7,500 SX-T1/R monitor.

So the $1900/pair SX-61/R is quite a bargain IMO.

You should be able to find good discounts for both KEF and RBH speakers.

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post #5 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 08:00 AM
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In that price range, I would also consider some Funk 6.1P speakers. The specs suggest a very good dynamic range, and reviews from a recent GTG gave very high praise for their musical reproduction.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 08:23 AM
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For subs, both the SX-12/R & SX-1010/R are very punchy and musical. You might also consider the $2400 SX-1212N/R (less with discounts).

Data-Bass Subwoofer Performance (CEA @ 2 Meters) SPL @ 20/32/40/50/63 Hz:

RBH SX-12: 88/108/111/114/113 (98dB @ 25Hz, 112dB @80Hz)
Funk 18.0: 104/115/120/121/122(95dB @ 13Hz, 99dB @ 16Hz)
Paradigm Sig Sub2:106/110/113/117/120 (98dB @ 13Hz, 103dB @ 16Hz)
Rythmik FV15HP:108/117/120/119/119 (90dB @13Hz, 102dB @16Hz, 113dB @25Hz)
SVS PB13 Ultra: 111/116/118/118/117 (not pass @13Hz, 97dB @16Hz)
RBH SX-1212/R: 113/117/121/120/121(100dB @13Hz, 108dB @16Hz, 115dB @25Hz)



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post #7 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post
Both Halo & ATI are awesome amps. I have 4 ATI amps.

The 201/2 is a superb speaker that has almost textbook perfect measurement (pretty much same with all the previous 203/2, 205/2, 207/2). The RBH $7,500 SX-T1/R would be more "comparable" to the $6,000 KEF 201/2 (& I assume the new $7,500 KEF Reference One).

And yes, I recently sold my Revel Salon2, B&W 802D2, KEF 201/2 (3 pairs), & Philharmonic 3 to get five RBH SX-T2/R towers. Each SX-T2/R tower has the equivalent of one SX-12/R subwoofer.

Although the SX-61/R is only $1900/pair, it has the same exact Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter as the $12,000 Voce Fina and $7,500 SX-T1/R monitor. The SX-61/R also has the same exact Reference Aluminum midrange as the $7,500 SX-T1/R monitor.

So the $1900/pair SX-61/R is quite a bargain IMO.

You should be able to find good discounts for both KEF and RBH speakers.



I see that you (AcuDefGuy) have had some highly regarded speakers in your collection. I am interested to know how the SX-61/R may compare in the highs and mids. The Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter is in the middle of Scanspeak's portfolio of offerings. I assume that your Revel, KEF and B&W speakers had excellent tweeters as well.

Also, how do you think the soft dome tweeter (Scanspeak 9500) compares with some of the perceived higher end tweeters made out of Beryllium, diamonds, etc?
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Conner66 View Post
I see that you (AcuDefGuy) have had some highly regarded speakers in your collection. I am interested to know how the SX-61/R may compare in the highs and mids. The Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter is in the middle of Scanspeak's portfolio of offerings. I assume that your Revel, KEF and B&W speakers had excellent tweeters as well.

Also, how do you think the soft dome tweeter (Scanspeak 9500) compares with some of the perceived higher end tweeters made out of Beryllium, diamonds, etc?
I have owned speakers with tweeter of RAAL, Beryllium, Diamond, and Titanium. And I think the Scan-Speak 9500 sounds as good as any of them. If it did not, I wouldn't have sold them all for the RBH.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post
I have owned speakers with tweeter of RAAL, Beryllium, Diamond, and Titanium. And I think the Scan-Speak 9500 sounds as good as any of them. If it did not, I wouldn't have sold them all for the RBH.
I have heard many of those same tweeters, as good as they all are, they do not sound the same.

The better question is which ones/implementations did you prefer? Can you rank them in terms of your preference?

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post #10 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 03:20 PM
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I have heard many of those same tweeters, as good as they all are, they do not sound the same.

The better question is which ones/implementations did you prefer? Can you rank them in terms of your preference?
I auditioned Studio2s and 205/2 in my room and while I chose the 205/2s, I thought the Revels had the better highs. Granted, the 205/2s are pretty good also. The 205/2s and 202/2c worked better in my room than the Studio2 and Voice2.

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I auditioned Studio2s and 205/2 in my room and while I choose the 205/2s, I thought the Revels had the better highs. Granted, the 205/2s are pretty good also. The 205/2s and 202/2c worked better in my room than the Studio2 and Voice2.
I would imagine the concentric driver(s) might have had something to do with that.

I had the 201/2 in my room for a week....great speaker.

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post #12 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 05:16 PM
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I have heard many of those same tweeters, as good as they all are, they do not sound the same.

The better question is which ones/implementations did you prefer? Can you rank them in terms of your preference?
I liked the RBH SX-T2/R the best.

I can't rank them like that because that is just superficial to me. They all sound great. I would leave it at that.
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I liked the RBH SX-T2/R the best.

I can't rank them like that because that is just superficial to me. They all sound great. I would leave it at that.
Isn't liking the RBH the best pretty much ranking it #1 ? Or is that the speaker in general and not the tweeter?

Or are you saying you have no preferences?

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post #14 of 23 Old 08-04-2014, 07:39 PM
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Isn't liking the RBH the best pretty much ranking it #1 ? Or is that the speaker in general and not the tweeter?

Or are you saying you have no preferences?
I would say the speaker as a whole, not one particular driver.

I liked the treble on the RBH the best. It seems to have the best detail and clarity. But is it solely because of the Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter or the whole design and implementation ? I think it is the later.

I liked the bass on the SX-T2 the best. Is it because of the proprietary RBH cast aluminum woofers or the whole design? I think it is the later.

I don't think I have a preference on the midrange drivers. I may also prefer the midrange on the SX-T2. But is it because of the proprietary RBH midrange or the whole design and implementation ? I think the later.

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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post
I have owned speakers with tweeter of RAAL, Beryllium, Diamond, and Titanium. And I think the Scan-Speak 9500 sounds as good as any of them. If it did not, I wouldn't have sold them all for the RBH.
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post
I would say the speaker as a whole, not one particular driver.

I liked the treble on the RBH the best. It seems to have the best detail and clarity. But is it solely because of the Scan-Speak 9500 tweeter or the whole design and implementation ? I think it is the later.

I liked the bass on the SX-T2 the best. Is it because of the proprietary RBH cast aluminum woofers or the whole design? I think it is the later.

I don't think I have a preference on the midrange drivers. I may also prefer the midrange on the SX-T2. But is it because of the proprietary RBH midrange or the whole design and implementation ? I think the later.
ADTG...Sorry if I was confused. In one post you compared the tweeters and didn't suggest implementation.

What differences did you hear in the implementation of the different types of tweeters?

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post #16 of 23 Old 08-05-2014, 06:47 AM
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ADTG...Sorry if I was confused. In one post you compared the tweeters and didn't suggest implementation.

What differences did you hear in the implementation of the different types of tweeters?
The apparent difference for me was in their sound clarity and detail. Perhaps also in their tonal character like between 2 great grand pianos.
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post #17 of 23 Old 08-05-2014, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Both Halo & ATI are awesome amps. I have 4 ATI amps.

The 201/2 is a superb speaker that has almost textbook perfect measurement (pretty much same with all the previous 203/2, 205/2, 207/2). The RBH $7,500 SX-T1/R would be more "comparable" to the $6,000 KEF 201/2 (& I assume the new $7,500 KEF Reference One).

From your statement should I infer that the KEF 201/2 would be better than the RBH SX-61/R. I am basing this on the fact that the SX-T1/R would be comparable to the KEF 201/2. Or should I infer that the highs and mids of the SX-61/R would be comparable to that of the SX-T1/R?

I am looking for a bookshelf speaker that is about the size of the KEF 201/2 or RBH SX-61/R with a high level of quality at a reasonably good price. When I mean high level of sound quality I would put the KEF 201/2 and B&W 805D in that category for bookshelf speakers.

A related question relates to the amp. Could I run the RBH SX-61/R off of a Marantz SR 7008/9 receiver or would I need to step up to ATI or Halo.

Thanks
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-05-2014, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I am struggling with a general question. I have heard that if you are going to have one or more subs and cross at 80hz, then having tower speakers is somewhat of a waste when subs are used.

The SX-61/R with one tweeter and one woofer might be sufficient. However, I could go up a notch and go with the SX-661/R which has one tweeter and two woofers. The SX-T1/R is at the other end of the extreme with three tweeters and four woofers. Again, if you cross at 80hz, what is happening with the sound coming from the 6 1/2 inch woofers? Is most of the signal getting sent to the subwoofer.

My preference is a smaller speaker, but intuitively I am guessing that a speaker with several drivers will move air more and then be louder. So perhaps the answer lies in the room size with larger speakers needed for larger room sizes.

Your help is appreciated.
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-05-2014, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner66 View Post
From your statement should I infer that the KEF 201/2 would be better than the RBH SX-61/R. I am basing this on the fact that the SX-T1/R would be comparable to the KEF 201/2. Or should I infer that the highs and mids of the SX-61/R would be comparable to that of the SX-T1/R?

I am looking for a bookshelf speaker that is about the size of the KEF 201/2 or RBH SX-61/R with a high level of quality at a reasonably good price. When I mean high level of sound quality I would put the KEF 201/2 and B&W 805D in that category for bookshelf speakers.

A related question relates to the amp. Could I run the RBH SX-61/R off of a Marantz SR 7008/9 receiver or would I need to step up to ATI or Halo.

Thanks
I would personally take the RBH SX-61/R any day over the B&W Diamond.

And when I say "comparable", I mean price class, not perceived sound quality.

The 201/2 would have better cabinet build and probably better overall measurement. The SX-61/R would come very close in measurement IMO. But I think the 61/R is very comparable to the 201/2 in overall sound quality.

The question is, is the 201/2 worth the extra money. No one can answer that for you.

But I will say this. I sold the 201/2. Even if I got the SX-61/R, instead of T2/R, I could live with that.

Yes, only the Marantz (without external amp) could power the SX-61/R just fine.
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post #20 of 23 Old 08-05-2014, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Conner66 View Post
I am struggling with a general question. I have heard that if you are going to have one or more subs and cross at 80hz, then having tower speakers is somewhat of a waste when subs are used.

The SX-61/R with one tweeter and one woofer might be sufficient. However, I could go up a notch and go with the SX-661/R which has one tweeter and two woofers. The SX-T1/R is at the other end of the extreme with three tweeters and four woofers. Again, if you cross at 80hz, what is happening with the sound coming from the 6 1/2 inch woofers? Is most of the signal getting sent to the subwoofer.

My preference is a smaller speaker, but intuitively I am guessing that a speaker with several drivers will move air more and then be louder. So perhaps the answer lies in the room size with larger speakers needed for larger room sizes.

Your help is appreciated.
More drivers and cabinet get you more sensitivity and dynamics. Most people would not need such dynamics. I could live very happily with SX-61/R + SX-1010 or SX-1212.

The main reason I am getting SX-T2/R x 5 is because I just love the aesthetic of having five big towers. They also serve as 5 SX-1010 subs around the room, which would greatly smooth bass response in addition to increasing SPL by up to 14dB or more depending on rooms.

So I think (SX-61/R x 5) + (SX-1212N x 2) would be awesome. You could power the 5 SX-61/R with the Marantz AVR and power the dual SX-1212N subs with just one Dayton SA1000 sub.

MSRP on SX-1212N is $1450, again less with discounts.
Dayton SA1000 is about $400.

Last edited by AcuDefTechGuy; 08-05-2014 at 07:51 PM.
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post #21 of 23 Old 09-13-2014, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post
More drivers and cabinet get you more sensitivity and dynamics. Most people would not need such dynamics. I could live very happily with SX-61/R + SX-1010 or SX-1212.

The main reason I am getting SX-T2/R x 5 is because I just love the aesthetic of having five big towers. They also serve as 5 SX-1010 subs around the room, which would greatly smooth bass response in addition to increasing SPL by up to 14dB or more depending on rooms.

So I think (SX-61/R x 5) + (SX-1212N x 2) would be awesome. You could power the 5 SX-61/R with the Marantz AVR and power the dual SX-1212N subs with just one Dayton SA1000 sub.

MSRP on SX-1212N is $1450, again less with discounts.
Dayton SA1000 is about $400.
Do you have a dealer to contact I don't know of any RBH dealers around me.
Thanks
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post #22 of 23 Old 09-14-2014, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by anlebodys View Post
The SX-T1/R is at the other end of the extreme with three tweeters and four woofers. Again, if you cross at 80hz, what is happening with the sound coming from the 6 1/2 inch woofers? Is most of the signal getting sent to the subwoofer.
The 6 1/2" woofer are playing from 2500 hz and down to 80 hz if that is where you cross them.


Model Name: ... T-1/R
Series: ... Signature Reference T Systems
System Type: ... LCR/Center Modular Speaker
Frequency Response: ... 45Hz-20kHz (±3dB)
Sensitivity: ... 91dB (2.83V @ 1 Meter)
Recommended Power: ... 100-500 Watts
Drive Units: ... (4) 6-1/2" (165mm) Reference Aluminum
Cone Woofers
(3) 1.1" (28mm) Reference Silk
Dome Tweeters
Tweeter Protection: ... No
Swivel Tweeter(s): ... No
Crossover Frequency: ... 2,500 Hz
Crossover Slope: ... 24dB/Octave
Impedance: ... 4 Ohms
Cabinet Material: ... Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
Cabinet Finish: ... 30 Different Custom Veneer Finishes
Grille: ... Black Fabric
Dimensions: ... 13-1/4" W x 30" H x 18" D
(337mm W x 762mm H x 457mm D)
Weight: ... 75 lbs. (34.02 kg)
Warranty: ... 5 Years
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post #23 of 23 Old 09-14-2014, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner66 View Post
I am building a new 5.2 system from scratch for my living room (15 wide, 18 long, 10 tall).

Option 1 - 5 RBH SX-61R and 2 RBH SX-12R subs (used for both options)

Option 2 - 3 KEF Reference One for LCR and 2 LS-50 or R300 for surrounds and 2 RBH SX-12R subs (used for both options)
The KEF Reference is likely to be the technically superior speaker, if it follows in the footsteps of the 201/2. Even from AH's measurements (highly suspect when it comes to this brand, because there's some relationship between AH and RBH; a different source may not have measurements that look as good as theirs for this brand) it's clear that the RBH speakers suffer from a directivity mismatch between midrange and treble.

Preference is a different issue. People prefer all kinds of stuff that's objectively not very good, especially in sighted listening. Nothing wrong with that, mind. Just stating a fact.

That said, I probably wouldn't use the R300 for surround. I'd either use the R100 or the R800ds.
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