How do I verify - or debunk - the claims of The Upgrade Company? - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

Unless plans change we will be having our first GTG at Craig's this coming Monday evening

We're good on this, Rich, though Dennis has had to bow out due to a previous but not remembered commitment.

Jeff
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post #272 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pepar View Post

We're good on this, Rich, though Dennis has had to bow out due to a previous but not remembered commitment.

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

Thanks, I was included in Dennis' e-mail so I knew that he was not going to be able to attend.

Rich

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post #273 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Jeff,

Thanks, I was included in Dennis' e-mail so I knew that he was not going to be able to attend.

Rich

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post #274 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Can you post some details on how the comparison rig will be set up, especially on volume level matching? That way, it can be reviewed and or corrected before you guys go through the rigors of doing it (then possibly find out that it was set up wrong after the fact).
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post #275 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Can you post some details on how the comparison rig will be set up, especially on volume level matching? That way, it can be reviewed and or corrected before you guys go through the rigors of doing it (then possibly find out that it was set up wrong after the fact).

All that is yet to be determined. Non-scientists that we are .. medical services, reclaimed wood flooring purveyor, photographer and USPS internal tech support ... I am of the mind that it is impossible for us to meet the rigorous standards required to remove all doubt about the test methodology. So my vote is for subjective testing while doing what we can to remove the obvious things that could affect our findings.

Jeff
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post #276 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pepar View Post

All that is yet to be determined. Non-scientists that we are .. medical services, reclaimed wood flooring purveyor, photographer and USPS internal tech support ... I am of the mind that it is impossible for us to meet the rigorous standards required to remove all doubt about the test methodology. So my vote is for subjective testing while doing what we can to remove the obvious things that could affect our findings.

Jeff

I will defer to others on this. Though I am a photographer, I am also a trained scientist (geology and zoology/ecology grad degrees) this is outside my area of expertise.

Rich

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post #277 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 01:07 PM
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I've been following this thread from the beginning, it will be nice to hear everyone's thoughts after the GTG. I'm sure many will be interested.
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post #278 of 1596 Old 06-17-2011, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

I will defer to others on this. Though I am a photographer, I am also a trained scientist (geology and zoology/ecology grad degrees) this is outside my area of expertise.

Rich

I'm sure it'll work out.

Jeff
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post #279 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

All that is yet to be determined. Non-scientists that we are .. medical services, reclaimed wood flooring purveyor, photographer and USPS internal tech support ... I am of the mind that it is impossible for us to meet the rigorous standards required to remove all doubt about the test methodology. So my vote is for subjective testing while doing what we can to remove the obvious things that could affect our findings.

Jeff

Lol. Don't forget the police and media.
People that don't want to be satisfied never will be. Including competitors looking to spread doubt. I cant wait for the day we all have a 0-100 honesty rating attached to our blog names that is automatically calculted from historical usage data.

I agree with the concept of having all bloggers weigh-in and agree on the test
up front but it won't stop those waiting in the wings to attack after the fact. And it's easy to become too complex, costly or time consuming for the few good folk here that are willing to come together for this.

Btw, kudos to you nature for being willing. My opinion of you buying an upgraded product and trying it and blogging about it is one respect. If it turns out everyone of you attest they hear no difference, then we've all learned something and I thank you for trying and saving me some money. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If there are differences to be heard, well, I guess the modded lead times will increase
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post #280 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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This endeavor has just been raised a notch or two; someone has offered to supply us with a sophisticated switch that will allow us to set up both components, match levels as close as possible and then swap between the two.

Jeff
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post #281 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 10:15 AM
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Another take:
I spent 3 hours or so with a local audio repair guy one day this week diagnosing the center channel problem on my secondary 5 channel amp. my proceed HPA3 went into protection mode (which is a much more costly and timely repair) so I had to pull out my old MCA 5.

Anyway, a highly knowledgeable tech and a great guy. Way beyond my comprehension save some tracing logic. He knew his stuff and was into the simplicity and quality of the builds. He let me hang and watch as he took the amp apart and explained what he was doing and looking for and how things worked. I tried to follow as best I could.

Pertanent to this thread, while I was there I asked his thoughts on mods. His opinion is that it's absolutely possible to affect the sound with resistor and diodes and shielding and better transformers etc if they're done right. But he also said he'd never do it or own a modded component. His concern is that adding parts (sorry I can't explain this properly with the technical detail that he did) that might improve the sound might not play nice with the other parts from an electrical or current problem perspective. Like short circuiting. In other words he feels it could increase the possibility of making the amp more susceptable to becoming inopperative and in need of repair. And he said once you add parts the manufacturer doesn't cover it.

I doubt it would stop me from buying one. Mainly because of my obsession to achieve great SQ. But I thought I'd share that perspective anyway from a pro
electronics and high end audio repair guy.
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post #282 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 10:21 AM
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Another take:
I spent 3 hours or so with a local audio repair guy one day this week diagnosing the center channel problem on my secondary 5 channel amp. my proceed HPA3 went into protection mode (which is a much more costly and timely repair) so I had to pull out my old MCA 5.

Anyway, a highly knowledgeable tech and a great guy. Way beyond my comprehension save some tracing logic. He knew his stuff and was into the simplicity and quality of the builds. He let me hang and watch as he took the amp apart and explained what he was doing and looking for and how things worked. I tried to follow as best I could.

Pertanent to this thread, while I was there I asked his thoughts on mods. His opinion is that it's absolutely possible to affect the sound with resistor and diodes and shielding and better transformers etc if they're done right. But he also said he'd never do it or own a modded component. His concern is that adding parts (sorry I can't explain this properly with the technical detail that he did) that might improve the sound might not play nice with the other parts from an electrical or current problem perspective. Like short circuiting. In other words he feels it could increase the possibility of making the amp more susceptable to becoming inopperative and in need of repair. And he said once you add parts the manufacturer doesn't cover it.

I doubt it would stop me from buying one. Mainly because of my obsession to achieve great SQ. But I thought I'd share that perspective anyway from a pro
electronics and high end audio repair guy.
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post #283 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

This endeavor has just been raised a notch or two; someone has offered to supply us with a sophisticated switch that will allow us to set up both components, match levels as close as possible and then swap between the two.

Jeff

Awesome fathers day gift
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post #284 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 10:58 AM
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As I stated in a previous post, listening tests are of only partial utility -- they do not typically identify the mechanisms underlying any audible differences between/among similar components. And anyone who is truly interested in high fidelity audio should endeavor to isolate those causes to determine if they represent greater accuracy (good) or increased distortion (bad).

Quote:
Originally Posted by oddiodog View Post

I'm not a computer watching a movie, I'm human and have an emotional experience through sound and vision, not by staring at charts.

Me thinkst you let your "emotional experience" swamp your rational response (bad).

Quote:
Originally Posted by oddiodog View Post

We hear the majority of the sounds in the movie or song on less expensive processors like the 9.8 or 885. It's the subtleties and nuances of crispness, smoothness, tighter base, a thumb gently caressing the guitar string a millisecond before it plucks it, the extra robustness of a female vocal or the sound of swords clanging sounding a little more like steel than tin. It's that little bit above and way beyond what most wives, girlfriends and most normal people would say they couldn't hear the difference that our obsessed ears cry for.

All of the aforementioned "subtleties and nuances," "crispness," "smoothness," "robustness," etc., could result from some combination of lower noise floor (good), non linear frequency response (bad), higher total harmonic distortion (bad), and higher/lower listening level (neutral), for example.

Thus, listening tests largely can tell us what sounds different but not necessarily how/why a difference exists nor if that difference indicates an asymptotic approach toward fidelity (good) or a romanticized deviation from it (bad). But test bench measurements can help us answer those unresolved questions.

AJ
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post #285 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 11:10 AM
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Tighter base? Is that something to do with baseball?

Here's my guide to spelling...

Bass guitar
I was out fishing for bass the other day
Wille Mays Hayes stole first base!

Hope this helps

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #286 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 11:15 AM
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Tighter base? Is that something to do with baseball?

I am not sure. But "better bass" obviously has something to do with fishing.



AJ
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post #287 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddiodog View Post

Pertanent to this thread, while I was there I asked his thoughts on mods. His opinion is that it's absolutely possible to affect the sound with resistor and diodes and shielding and better transformers etc if they're done right. But he also said he'd never do it or own a modded component. His concern is that adding parts (sorry I can't explain this properly with the technical detail that he did) that might improve the sound might not play nice with the other parts from an electrical or current problem perspective. Like short circuiting. In other words he feels it could increase the possibility of making the amp more susceptable to becoming inopperative and in need of repair. And he said once you add parts the manufacturer doesn't cover it.

I suppose that the technician may be correct for a potential problem or being susceptible to becoming inoperative or having a short for modified equipment. These "upgrades" and modifications have been conducted by the manufacturers, DIY, and many others for a long time in this hobby.

Below are the approximate times that equipment that I have or had that has been functioning since they were upgraded by Dave Schulte and have had absolutely no problem or issues including shorts or non operation:

1) 4 Aragon Palladium 1K monoblock amps- more than 3 years- 2 were sold on Audiogon because they were too powerful for my new main speakers.
2) 1 Krell KAV-250a/3 power amp- 3 years
3) 1 Exact Power EP15A Power unit- 3 years
4) 1 Denon 5910 DVD/CD/SACD player- more than 3 years, later sold
5) 1 Audio Research LS10 Line Stage Preamp- more than 1 1/2 years
6) 1 Lavry DA10 DAC- about 2 years plus
7) 1 Onkyo 885 Pre/Pro- almost 3 years
8) 1 Aragon Palldium 1K monoblock amp- 1 1/2 years
9) 1 Exact Power EP15A Power unit- 1 1/2 years
10) 1 NuForce Edition Oppo 83SE- almost 1 1/2 years
11) 1 Denon 5910CI DVD/CD/SACD player - 10 months

Rich

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post #288 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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oddiodog/Rich,

Certainly quality workmanship should be a basic for mods. Absent that, I'd certainly move on. The issue of better parts perhaps not playing nice with other component parts is intriguing though. A/V gear is complex and getting more so. I'd like to know if there is any truth to that. Can you just upgrade caps, for example, and not have a downside? I don't know; I am asking.

Jeff
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post #289 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

oddiodog/Rich,

Certainly quality workmanship should be a basic for mods. Absent that, I'd certainly move on. The issue of better parts perhaps not playing nice with other component parts is intriguing though. A/V gear is complex and getting more so. I'd like to know if there is any truth to that. Can you just upgrade caps, for example, and not have a downside? I don't know; I am asking.

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

I would suspect that replacing caps and resistors with better like parts could potentially sound worse. Not everything necessarily "plays" well together. That is why some knowledge, experience, and listening and voicing by someone with good ears can be paramount and can require experimentation.

Rich

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post #290 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 12:32 PM
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Resistors should not matter much. Engineers should be designing with the tolerances in mind. Nothing wrong with using high precision resistors, but I have seen no evidence that it's that important in amps.

Caps have some potential differences. Some caps are supposedly unsuitable for some applications. Hopefully engineers are doing the right thing.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #291 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post

I suppose that the technician may be correct for a potential problem or being susceptible to becoming inoperative or having a short for modified equipment. These "upgrades" and modifications have been conducted by the manufacturers, DIY, and many others for a long time in this hobby.

Below are the approximate times that equipment that I have or had that has been functioning since they were upgraded by Dave Schulte and have had absolutely no problem or issues including shorts or non operation:

1) 4 Aragon Palladium 1K monoblock amps- more than 3 years- 2 were sold on Audiogon because they were too powerful for my new main speakers.
2) 1 Krell KAV-250a/3 power amp- 3 years
3) 1 Exact Power EP15A Power unit- 3 years
4) 1 Denon 5910 DVD/CD/SACD player- more than 3 years, later sold
5) 1 Audio Research LS10 Line Stage Preamp- more than 1 1/2 years
6) 1 Lavry DA10 DAC- about 2 years plus
7) 1 Onkyo 885 Pre/Pro- almost 3 years
8) 1 Aragon Palldium 1K monoblock amp- 1 1/2 years
9) 1 Exact Power EP15A Power unit- 1 1/2 years
10) 1 NuForce Edition Oppo 83SE- almost 1 1/2 years
11) 1 Denon 5910CI DVD/CD/SACD player - 10 months

Rich

But you don't really know what things Schulte did to this equipment in the name of "upgrades", do you? In fact without opening them up and examining the internals, which would void Schulte's warranty, you don't even know for certain if he did a damned thing to them, do you?

Cheers,
SB
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post #292 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 01:42 PM
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But you don't really know what things Schulte did to this equipment in the name of "upgrades", do you? In fact without opening them up and examining the internals, which would void Schulte's warranty, you don't even know for certain if he did a damned thing to them, do you?

Cheers,
SB

No I do not know everything that was done by Dave Schulte for all of the products. However, I was at TUC facilities when many of the additional upgrades were conducted on many of the components because I traveled to the facilities 4 times. I did see inside many of the components (including the NuForce Edition Oppo 83SE, Lavry DA10 DAC, Onkyo 885, 4 of the 5 Aragon Palladium 1k monoblock amps) and in fact opened many of these pieces of equipment at David's instruction that he did additional work on. So, yes I did see much of the work that had been done, however I do not have the knowledge to identify all of the parts that were replaced and all of the work that had been done. Some of the components including the 2 Exact Power EP15A power units can be seen to have had upgrades to the replacement of the 4 duplex outlets of each unit to Oyaide R1s. In addition, you can also see that RCA connectors as well as IEC inlets were installed in many components and including the NuForce Oppo 83SE and in the case of my upgraded NuForce Edition Oppo 83SE in addition to the installation of the a toggle switch for turning the ground on and off. As to the upgraded Denon 5910CI from the outside of the unit you can see the installation of the IEC inlet, the replaced RCA stereo outputs as well as the installation of the XLR outputs (these are not in a stock unit). From the outside, you can see the installation of the IEC inlet for the Audio Research LS10 (stock these are a fixed installation).

Rich

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post #293 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 03:16 PM
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Caps have some potential differences. Some caps are supposedly unsuitable for some applications. Hopefully engineers are doing the right thing.

\\
The fact that Mr. S. has no formal engineering education certainly doesn't inspire confidence in this regard.
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post #294 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 03:21 PM
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\\
The fact that Mr. S. has no formal engineering education certainly doesn't inspire confidence in this regard.

Hi Ken,

I am pretty sure that when David changes any caps it is for caps of the same overall kind but of higher quality/performance/specs. That is the same thing that Roger DiVito and I are doing for the replacement of the caps in our Ampex 440C/B R2R hybrid machines that we have been discussing on WBF.

Rich

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post #295 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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\\
The fact that Mr. S. has no formal engineering education certainly doesn't inspire confidence in this regard.

Didn't Einstein fail math?
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post #296 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 06:24 PM
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Didn't Einstein fail math?

http://www.misconceptionjunction.com...ics-in-school/
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post #297 of 1596 Old 06-19-2011, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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post #298 of 1596 Old 06-20-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
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As I stated in a previous post, listening tests are of only partial utility -- they do not typically identify the mechanisms underlying any audible differences between/among similar components. And anyone who is truly interested in high fidelity audio should endeavor to isolate those causes to determine if they represent greater accuracy (good) or increased distortion (bad).



Me thinkst you let your "emotional experience" swamp your rational response (bad).



All of the aforementioned "subtleties and nuances," "crispness," "smoothness," "robustness," etc., could result from some combination of lower noise floor (good), non linear frequency response (bad), higher total harmonic distortion (bad), and higher/lower listening level (neutral), for example.

Thus, listening tests largely can tell us what sounds different but not necessarily how/why a difference exists nor if that difference indicates an asymptotic approach toward fidelity (good) or a romanticized deviation from it (bad). But test bench measurements can help us answer those unresolved questions.

AJ

Writing as if you have authority and grandeur (bad).

Usage of adding the words good and bad in parentheses after your statements as self confirming validy (bad).

Suggesting that anybody truly interested in something should do something else (bad).

Although I happen to agree with some of your rational points regarding noise floor etc (good), or anything new that I learn from this forum, it has no bearing on the fact that I appreciate and respect the effort it will take to get these guys together for the listening tests. And that those tests will provide myself and I assume many others valuable information from a group of guys, not one individual performing the same listening tests. The more people who agree = the more likely that scenario. Does that mean unequivocally I would feel the same way, if I listened to it? No. Does it mean unequivocally that it is fact? No. Would I prefer it to be unequivocal? Sure, but unless you have an instrument that they can use that tells them that one component, without doubt, sounds better than the other in all the different ways each individual appreciates from a processor, and they are happy and willing to use it, then I am happy to confirm my appreciation for what information they will provide without being paid for their time.

I doubt there's anyone here who doesn't realize that factual proof on top of listening evaluations with descriptive explanations of each individual and POVs would be better. So maybe since you are truly interested in high fidelity you should use your sound meter with the words "good" and "bad" on either side and buy the two components and test them for us. Please let us know the results. Don't forget to video tape it so that it's proven evidence to us all of your findings.

My sentence structure and spelling when typing quickly on my iphone has serious issue (bad) But it doesn't negate my points (good).

Me using your poor social writing skills to make a point (bad). Nobody and nothing is perfect including listening evaluations and even less so - sound measurements.

The aforementioned was what me thinkest. (good)
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post #299 of 1596 Old 06-20-2011, 10:31 AM
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(yikes).

Mourning the disappearance of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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post #300 of 1596 Old 06-20-2011, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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