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post #1 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently ordered a pair of LS6's for dedicated 2-channel listening and have yet to choose an amp for them. My budget is $2000. Two amps in this range have caught my attention. First, the Wyred4Sound ST-1000 and second, dual Emotiva XPA-1 monoblocks. These both have been reviewed very well and seem to be high value amps. For preamp, I am going to stick with my home theater Pre/Pro (Onkyo PR-SC885) for now.

I'm looking for an amp that is completely transparent and neutral, capable of resolving the tiniest nuances while also having effortless uncompressed dynamics at louder volumes. Also, a huge soundstage and with precise imaging is very important to me. So whatever qualities of an amp (channel separation, low noise and distortion???) that lead to this result are also a must. Reviews that I've read seem to indicate that both of these amps excel in all these areas while having very different overall sonic characters. I am new to all these subtle differences between high quality amps, but want to learn. Most importantly though, I want to find an amp that will combine well with the LS6's and wow me no matter what I play and at what volume level.

One other question. If I don't choose an amp right away, I may end up driving the LS6's with dual bridged Behringer EP2500 amps, which I have two of sitting in boxes. These have respectable noise and distortion measurements, as well as good specs on damping factor and slew rate. Besides fan noise, what other ways sonically do these pro-amps fail in a hifi application?

All thoughts and opinions are welcome. Also, are there any other amps that should be on my short list in my price range?

Thanks,
Matt
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post #2 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 10:37 AM
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Hook them up and listen. Right now I am powering my speakers with Mcintosh and today I will be trying out the Behringers just out of curiosity. Maybe I can save a ton of money. The Behringers amps are loud while the Mac's are dead quiet. I am using a Mac processor which also is dead quiet. We will see. Those emotiva monoblocks are very tempting but qsc PLX 3602's can be found for the same money and they have much more power(if that is needed) and both the Behringers and the QSC can drive 2 ohm loads easily in case your speakers dip in that area.

One more thing, I would not bridge the ep-2500 and just try it in stereo first. That should be plenty.
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post #3 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Hook them up and listen. Right now I am powering my speakers with Mcintosh and today I will be trying out the Behringers just out of curiosity. Maybe I can save a ton of money. The Behringers amps are loud while the Mac's are dead quiet. I am using a Mac processor which also is dead quiet. We will see. Those emotiva monoblocks are very tempting but qsc PLX 3602's can be found for the same money and they have much more power(if that is needed) and both the Behringers and the QSC can drive 2 ohm loads easily in case your speakers dip in that area.

One more thing, I would not bridge the ep-2500 and just try it in stereo first. That should be plenty.

Thanks for the suggestions. I was thinking that bridging does increase distortion and lower damping factor, so I understand why you say hook up in stereo. But at the same time, it gives more headroom and doubles the capacitance and isolates the channels better. But I agree, I will try stereo first.
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post #4 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 11:21 AM
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FWIW, you do realize that you would need to go to 1,000 watts to get just a 3db increase in volume over the 500 wpc the emotiva deliver?

For some perspective, your speakers have an efficiency of 91db @ 1 watt. So you are going to hit 119 db (just shy of the threshold of short term hearing loss 120db) with roughly 500 wpc...

Though the Behringers can probably deliver something close to 1kw bridged.

The only real drawback I am familiar with to the pro amps, is the fan noise.
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post #5 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TPnBobcats View Post

FWIW, you do realize that you would need to go to 1,000 watts to get just a 3db increase in volume over the 500 wpc the emotiva deliver?

For some perspective, your speakers have an efficiency of 91db @ 1 watt. So you are going to hit 119 db (just shy of the threshold of short term hearing loss 120db) with roughly 500 wpc...

Though the Behringers can probably deliver something close to 1kw bridged.

The only real drawback I am familiar with to the pro amps, is the fan noise.

Thanks for your input and yes, I do realize that doubling power gives 3 dB increase. While I do enjoy it loud, it's all about headroom and having the amp ALWAYS operate in its comfort zone. That was my reason for thinking to bridge the amps. Plus, I have two of them sitting in boxes...
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post #6 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 12:37 PM
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Though the Behringers can probably deliver something close to 1kw bridged.

Try 2kw! but they won't last long if its continuous!

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post #7 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 12:40 PM
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One other question. If I don't choose an amp right away, I may end up driving the LS6's with dual bridged Behringer EP2500 amps, which I have two of sitting in boxes. These have respectable noise and distortion measurements, as well as good specs on damping factor and slew rate. Besides fan noise, what other ways sonically do these pro-amps fail in a hifi application?

All thoughts and opinions are welcome. Also, are there any other amps that should be on my short list in my price range?

YOu have to decide that for yourself. I have many pro amps and many comercial amps and the only reason I do not stack my pro amps and use them is because they look like crap and they are HEAVY!! I have all the modded fans already so that is not an issue. I have a nice FACE F1200TS amp I have been trying to move for awhile....900W into 4 ohms per channel

SQ wise, I never found them lacking vs XPA-5 vs Sunfire vs B&K vs Outlaw....etc

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post #8 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Try 2kw! but they won't last long if its continuous!

Not into 8 ohms.

1200W RMS (1kHz) @ 2Ohm 0.1% THD - Per Channel
750W RMS (1kHz) @ 4Ohm 0.1% THD - Per Channel
500W RMS (1kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Per Channel
2400W RMS (1kHz) @ 4Ohm 1% THD - Bridged Mono
1500W RMS (1kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Bridged Mono
1300W RMS (20Hz to 20kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Bridged Mono
650W RMS (20Hz to 20kHz) @ 4Ohm 0.1% THD - Both channels driven
450W RMS (20Hz to 20kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Both channels driven

I get suspicious when the claimed output jumps by 50% over the individual channels combined. It's not impossible and I don't have any experience with them, but it just seems fishy to me.
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post #9 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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I am using a Mac processor which also is dead quiet.

What did you buy?

Quote:
For some perspective, your speakers have an efficiency of 91db @ 1 watt. So you are going to hit 119 db (just shy of the threshold of short term hearing loss 120db) with roughly 500 wpc...

Exactly.

Quote:
Thanks for your input and yes, I do realize that doubling power gives 3 dB increase. While I do enjoy it loud, it's all about headroom and having the amp ALWAYS operate in its comfort zone. That was my reason for thinking to bridge the amps. Plus, I have two of them sitting in boxes...

Don't worry about any of that since it is just high end mumbo jumbo, the amp will either perform or not.
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post #10 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I just scheduled an audition for this Sunday with EJ at Wyred4Sound, who just happens to have a pair of LS6's driven by the ST-1000!!....and he lives just an hour away from me. My LS6's are scheduled to ship sometime in the next week, so my plan is to initially use the Behringer(s) with the sound of the Wyred amps as my reference point. Not exactly controlled conditions, but I think I'll know if the difference is huge, small or barely noticeable. Although different rooms and stages of break-in might make even that difficult.
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post #11 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 10:18 PM
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As a B & K dealer, I know B & K have two nice amps that may be of interest to you:

Reference 200.1 Mono Block Amplifier <<< Click Here >>>
Reference 200.2 Stereo Amplifier <<< Click Here >>>

Very nice gear and very close to your budget from the right dealer.
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post #12 of 46 Old 02-19-2009, 11:10 PM
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I have just hooked up ep-2500's to my front stage and subs and I must say holy crap. These are by far the best amp for the money. I don't care what anyone says, I heard a difference, it was dynamics with no harshness at reference levels. I am buying 4 more for a total of 7 to power everything. These sound fantastic. I am impressed. They are hooked up to a McIntosh MX-132 and there is no hum, hiss, or anything coming out of the speakers with it at reference levels and a quiet scene. Did I say I was impressed. I will never buy anything else again(maybe QSC plx). For $300 you get serious power and awesome sound quality for 2 channels. The only downside is the fan noise, it is loud. I racked mine so it is not a problem. Hook that behringer up and test it out.
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post #13 of 46 Old 02-20-2009, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

I have just hooked up ep-2500's to my front stage and subs and I must say holy crap. These are by far the best amp for the money. I don't care what anyone says, I heard a difference, it was dynamics with no harshness at reference levels. I am buying 4 more for a total of 7 to power everything. These sound fantastic. I am impressed. They are hooked up to a McIntosh MX-132 and there is no hum, hiss, or anything coming out of the speakers with it at reference levels and a quiet scene. Did I say I was impressed. I will never buy anything else again(maybe QSC plx). For $300 you get serious power and awesome sound quality for 2 channels. The only downside is the fan noise, it is loud. I racked mine so it is not a problem. Hook that behringer up and test it out.

Very nice to hear! You've got me very interested now to hear these amps on the LS6's. Just to to clear, you say you will be using 7 of them total - does that mean 2 for subs and one bridged for each channel? Also, how is the low level detail with these amps, in your opinion?
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post #14 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Although different rooms and stages of break-in might make even that difficult.

Break in of what?
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post #15 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by TPnBobcats View Post

Not into 8 ohms.

1200W RMS (1kHz) @ 2Ohm 0.1% THD - Per Channel
750W RMS (1kHz) @ 4Ohm 0.1% THD - Per Channel
500W RMS (1kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Per Channel
2400W RMS (1kHz) @ 4Ohm 1% THD - Bridged Mono
1500W RMS (1kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Bridged Mono
1300W RMS (20Hz to 20kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Bridged Mono
650W RMS (20Hz to 20kHz) @ 4Ohm 0.1% THD - Both channels driven
450W RMS (20Hz to 20kHz) @ 8Ohm 0.1% THD - Both channels driven

I get suspicious when the claimed output jumps by 50% over the individual channels combined. It's not impossible and I don't have any experience with them, but it just seems fishy to me.

The Behringer is well known in the DIY community (I own 2 of them). There is a big list of amps measured in the DIY forum. Chuck, did a great job with HARD CORE testing. The Behringer did very, very well vs documented specs. Its the most popular amp choice for DIYers.

Here is the measurement for bridged 8 and 4 ohms

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...5&postcount=65

4 ohms is almost 2K and 8 ohms is 1300Watts....pretty good actually!

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post #16 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 12:54 PM
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I am using 7 ep-2500's in stereo each. I have 8 sealed 18 inch subs so 4 ep-2500's just for them. I have used many different amps and processors including some other pro amps. Nothing has sound better with my speakers. To put it this way, I am replacing 2 Mcintosh MC-7106(bridged) amps with 3 Behringers. My samson S-2000 amp was also great but not quite as smooth as the Behringers at reference levels. With low levels the fans might come into play. There is a fan mod to make these quiet. During quiet scenes in movies I can hear fan noise but I have 4 of them right now. They are loud and might be a problem for some but I just can not deny the savings and the dynamic power of these things. You can hear the dynamic swings come alive with this much power on tap. My mac amps say I use 10 watts for my fronts(peak) and my surrounds use 30 watts peak). My front speakers are 101 db's effecient and my surrounds 96 db's. At low levels I still hear all the detail in my room. I have not compared them in 2 channel mode, just movie mode. My group will test the 2 on tuesday for comparisons but one of them already commented saying They are so similar but if there was a difference the behringers were better. He said he heard more detail(not new information just could hear somethings better than before.
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post #17 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 01:00 PM
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sounds like cashing out, sell the Macs
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post #18 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 01:00 PM
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Yes, the test done by Chuck were very impressive and the Behringer would do even better with program material as constant sine waves are the hardest thing to run for amps.
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post #19 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 01:11 PM
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Hope you are only planning to use the Onk 885 with a digital source, as this seems to be its weak link (analog inputs). I have the 9.8, but use a Parasound 2100 in a 2 ch system for analog, only use the 9.8 for HiRez MC music via HDMI.

I'd say try the EMO first, if it disappoints you, send it back.
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post #20 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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Hope you are only planning to use the Onk 885 with a digital source, as this seems to be its weak link (analog inputs). I have the 9.8, but use a Parasound 2100 in a 2 ch system for analog, only use the 9.8 for HiRez MC music.

Why would anyone use analog inputs?
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post #21 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rmassey View Post

Hope you are only planning to use the Onk 885 with a digital source, as this seems to be its weak link (analog inputs). I have the 9.8, but use a Parasound 2100 in a 2 ch system for analog, only use the 9.8 for HiRez MC music via HDMI.

I'd say try the EMO first, if it disappoints you, send it back.

No, I don't use the analog inputs on the Onkyo except for the HDMI from my PS3 since it can't output HD audio digitally. I also realize that the preamp may well be the weak link in my system after incorporating the LS6's, but one thing at a time...
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post #22 of 46 Old 02-22-2009, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DougWinsor View Post

Break in of what?

Break-in of the speakers. The LS6's are said to take quite a while to break-in (around 500 hours).
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post #23 of 46 Old 02-23-2009, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mjbuoni View Post

I just scheduled an audition for this Sunday with EJ at Wyred4Sound, who just happens to have a pair of LS6's driven by the ST-1000!!....and he lives just an hour away from me. My LS6's are scheduled to ship sometime in the next week, so my plan is to initially use the Behringer(s) with the sound of the Wyred amps as my reference point. Not exactly controlled conditions, but I think I'll know if the difference is huge, small or barely noticeable. Although different rooms and stages of break-in might make even that difficult.

I posted my impressions of the Wyred4Sound + LS6 combo on the "Official Wyred 4 Sound Amp Thread":

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post15889741
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post #24 of 46 Old 02-23-2009, 05:03 AM
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Break-in of the speakers. The LS6's are said to take quite a while to break-in (around 500 hours).


That would be a 100 percent myth and 500 hours is beyond stupidty for anyone to remotely believe ...it could be 500 hours for you to get use to it

The drivers have been tested for more time then you think even before the speaker is built. There is no change in the mechanics of the speaker after 500 hours either so no change in sound.

Its pretty simple, measure the speakers in your room when you buy them, do not tweak anything, play them for many, many hours then measure again.

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post #25 of 46 Old 02-23-2009, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

That would be a 100 percent myth and 500 hours is beyond stupidty for anyone to remotely believe ...it could be 500 hours for you to get use to it

The drivers have been tested for more time then you think even before the speaker is built. There is no change in the mechanics of the speaker after 500 hours either so no change in sound.

Its pretty simple, measure the speakers in your room when you buy them, do not tweak anything, play them for many, many hours then measure again.

I think it is fair to say that the concept "break-in" is controversial. While I would agree with you that more of it is psychological than is often attributed, there is a physical basis for the effect. With a line source, there are many drivers that barely stretch their suspensions, which would extend this time.

I know I've heard break-in by direct A/B comparison. I own 5 Mackie HR824 monitors for surround sound. I bought the first 3 a month before purchasing the surrounds. I had remembered initially thinking that the sound was quite harsh and lacking good mid-bass, but obviously my perception changed or else I wouldn't have bought the surrounds. So when I got surrounds, I initially hooked them up right next to the l/r channels and directly compared. The difference wasn't as big as I had remembered (the psychological effect), but it was there. The broken-in ones sounded smoother and had more punch down low...
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post #26 of 46 Old 02-23-2009, 07:40 AM
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I think it is fair to say that the concept "break-in" is controversial. While I would agree with you that more of it is psychological than is often attributed, there is a physical basis for the effect. With a line source, there are many drivers that barely stretch their suspensions, which would extend this time.

Drivers usually and should have a manufactured testing period so "stretching" does not happen in home but if they remotely do I can still garuntee 500 hours is a complete BS statement. Heck, they need to valid measurements before the speakers are sold..meaning frequency isnt going to change in your house!!

BTW, Did MLS or the speaker designer say a break-in period was needed or some quack on a forum? Anyhow....I believe "break-in" actually means owners getting use to speakers If people can post the measurements before and after then they have a case but I doubt people that believe in this stuff actually measure anything!


In the end, ENJOY them!!! Line Arrays are the best designs out there and these should be really really sweet.

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post #27 of 46 Old 02-23-2009, 08:49 AM
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My speakers needed break in but it took 4 WOTW pod emerging scenes at reference levels and then the midrange opened up. My speakers have stiff dual 15's though.
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post #28 of 46 Old 02-24-2009, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Drivers usually and should have a manufactured testing period so "stretching" does not happen in home but if they remotely do I can still garuntee 500 hours is a complete BS statement. Heck, they need to valid measurements before the speakers are sold..meaning frequency isnt going to change in your house!!

BTW, Did MLS or the speaker designer say a break-in period was needed or some quack on a forum? Anyhow....I believe "break-in" actually means owners getting use to speakers If people can post the measurements before and after then they have a case but I doubt people that believe in this stuff actually measure anything!


In the end, ENJOY them!!! Line Arrays are the best designs out there and these should be really really sweet.

Some quick reading on the topic.

http://www.gr-research.com/burnin.htm

I perceive changes over the break in period AND measured numbers change. Seems conclusive to me.
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post #29 of 46 Old 02-24-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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http://www.gr-research.com/index.asp...ROD&ProdID=110

If something changes that much I think that the driver would be suspect to failure in a ver short period of time. At $23 and if these numbers hold up that driver would fail withing a years time or less, depending on how much you use it.
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post #30 of 46 Old 02-24-2009, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

My speakers needed break in but it took 4 WOTW pod emerging scenes at reference levels and then the midrange opened up. My speakers have stiff dual 15's though.

I agree.... The TC drivers have some thick rubber surround, it didn't take a long time to loosen up, but the did change over a period of time. So did the Mal-X's... thick stiff surrounds....

Now small drivers like the 6.5" drivers in the LS 6's I doubt would need much time to loosen up... the ribbons not at all...
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