How to get more bass from my large fronts? - AVS Forum
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Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat > How to get more bass from my large fronts?
Decept's Avatar Decept 02:09 AM 10-20-2012
Hi, everybody.
I've been searching and reading for days now without finding an answer to my problem. I have a pair of fairly large fronts (Dynavoice Dynamite 12), each with two 12 inch elements. http://www.dynavoice.se/dynavoice-dynamite-12-v-2/67.
They do sound great, but I feel that they should be able to produce more bass. I'm mostly concerned with 2-channel music, my setup is 5.1 and my sub is really great in movies, but way to slow to handle music. That's why I bought these fronts so that I can run them without my sub.

My question is, is it possible to somehow increase the bass from the fronts?

My AVR is a Marantz SR6004. For fun I tried to bi-amp the fronts, but as a lot of people say on this forum, it didn't change much. I was thinking, is it possible to runt the front's LF cable through an external amp to get more bass? I'm not that skilled when it comes to the technical sides of audio, so that maybe is a crazy idea.

Of course I tried to up the bass control on the AVR and it helped a good deal, but I want more smile.gif

The fronts are set as LARGE in the AVR, setting them to SMALL results in almost no bass.

By the way, my source is an HTPC with Win7 connected with HDMI. In Windows speaker setup, all the speakers are set to full range or whatever they call it.

Thanks in advance guys!

William's Avatar William 06:03 AM 10-20-2012
Just a couple of notes:

More bass does not always equal more accurate.

Driver location is very important in getting bass accuracy. Most often the location for the mid/tweeters is not an ideal location for the woofers and if in a null then....

Subwoofer terms slow and fast are overused and often confused. What exactly do you mean by "...way to slow to handle music..."?

Here is a good description.
Quote:
Subwoofers are fast / slow....

Often times people make the mistake that sound quality is in fact related to the woofers quickness, but in fact the woofer’s quickness is exactly related to SPL. The faster the driver, the higher the SPL. There are two ways to change a woofer’s speed. 1. Lower the frequency of the input its reproducing or 2. increase the volume. Sounds silly, but its true. There are many other factors that go into making a subwoofer sound fast or slow (boomy or tight) but that divulges into system design. What’s important about this myth is that speed is an inappropriate concept of sound quality.

Theresa's Avatar Theresa 06:24 AM 10-20-2012
Very good point. I am irritated when I see sub/woofers labeled as "fast" or "slow."
Secret Squirrel's Avatar Secret Squirrel 08:15 AM 10-20-2012
I think this is probably another case of poor calibration along with poor speaker and sub placement. His sub is probably slow or muddy in sound due to poor placement plus the crossover and gain setting he is using. He should be able to set a crossover for his mains in the range of 50hz to 80hz and get good results if he has his mains placed properly in the room. I wasn't able to see from the specs how low his mains can play. Even if they can play down to 30hz I would still cross them over between 50hz to 80hz to have them covering mid bass in music. This will usually provide a good blend with the sub for music and movies. I have mains larger than the OPs. I worked at this in my own system for a very long time to get it right. After a lot of calibrating and trying different speaker placements and crossovers my system sounds great. It's very dynamic with great bass response. I fought the slow muddy bass that the OP is talking about. Bass traps and exhausting calibration combinations fixed this. Now drums in music are very impressive and the dynamics in movies are great. I think one mistake people make is thinking that because they have larger mains they should just throw out their sub for music. This is not true. Using a sub with large mains should make the mains more dynamic in the mid bass which is very important. You just need to find the sweet spot in the calibration and speaker placement. Moving a speaker just a couple of inches can make a huge difference.
Decept's Avatar Decept 09:23 AM 10-20-2012
Ok, fast and slow might not be the correct terms. Is boomy and tight the correct terms?

My sub does earthquake-like rumble very good, my whole house is shaking. But when I use it for music it can never keep up, sounds muddy as you say. I never get the tight hard beat that I want. My fronts on the other hand plays a pretty tight bass, but I want it louder, more toward the bass you get at clubs. Currently the crossover in the AVR is set to 80Hz. Though it probably doesn't matter when I turn off the sub and run the fronts as LARGE (I couldn't hear any difference).

My sub is set really well right now, when it comes to movies. I would rather not do a compromise to get it to work better with music. But if it can be better with music without sacrificing too much when playing movies, then alright.

As I understand it you recommend setting the fronts to SMALL and reducing the crossover somewhere under 80Hz?
Secret Squirrel's Avatar Secret Squirrel 09:39 AM 10-20-2012
If during movies your sub will shake the house you're running it to hot. This will also hinder it's performance and blending with music. I think you're also used to a bit of a bloated bass sound. Try using a crossover of 50hz then 60hz, then 70hz and 80hz. You will probably need to turn the sub gain down. You really won't be subtracting any bass. If you get this balance right your mains will produce more tight bass and blend with the sub perfectly while getting rid of the boomy muddy bass. Mid bass is what hits you in the chest. Sit and listen to one song you know well and listen for the differences in those crossovers. In my case 60hz is best for my mains with music in stereo mode. I use 80hz on all my other speakers in the system. Give your ears some time to adjust to these new bass adjustments. I also had a problem with muddy boomy bass. Once you understand and hear tight dynamic quality bass you will never go back.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 10:16 AM 10-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

Hi, everybody.
I've been searching and reading for days now without finding an answer to my problem. I have a pair of fairly large fronts (Dynavoice Dynamite 12), each with two 12 inch elements. http://www.dynavoice.se/dynavoice-dynamite-12-v-2/67.
They do sound great, but I feel that they should be able to produce more bass. I'm mostly concerned with 2-channel music, my setup is 5.1 and my sub is really great in movies, but way to slow to handle music. That's why I bought these fronts so that I can run them without my sub.
My question is, is it possible to somehow increase the bass from the fronts?
My AVR is a Marantz SR6004. For fun I tried to bi-amp the fronts, but as a lot of people say on this forum, it didn't change much. I was thinking, is it possible to runt the front's LF cable through an external amp to get more bass? I'm not that skilled when it comes to the technical sides of audio, so that maybe is a crazy idea.
Of course I tried to up the bass control on the AVR and it helped a good deal, but I want more smile.gif
The fronts are set as LARGE in the AVR, setting them to SMALL results in almost no bass.
By the way, my source is an HTPC with Win7 connected with HDMI. In Windows speaker setup, all the speakers are set to full range or whatever they call it.

One word: Audessey. Have you tried it?

If you have mislaid the manual for your receiver, it is here: http://us.marantz.com/us/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?Catid=AVReceivers&SubCatId=0&ProductId=SR6004
Decept's Avatar Decept 10:31 AM 10-20-2012
Should I turn the sub gain down on the AVR or on the sub? I can also set the frequency on the sub, how do I set that control when I also set the crossover on the AVR?

Yes, I've tried Audessey, but I usually end up turning it off. The sound doesn't seem as detailed when I listen to music and Audessey is on.

I also have another annoying problem that I should have mentioned in the first post, but forgot. My right wall has a big wide window and under it an equally long radiator.
Secret Squirrel's Avatar Secret Squirrel 10:45 AM 10-20-2012
In the avr you usually want the sub channel trim to be as close to zero as possible and adjust the gain on the back of the sub for calibration. You need to turn the crossover on the sub to max to bypass it. This allows you to use the crossover in the avr.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 10:47 AM 10-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

Should I turn the sub gain down on the AVR or on the sub? I can also set the frequency on the sub, how do I set that control when I also set the crossover on the AVR?
Yes, I've tried Audessey, but I usually end up turning it off. The sound doesn't seem as detailed when I listen to music and Audessey is on.
I also have another annoying problem that I should have mentioned in the first post, but forgot. My right wall has a big wide window and under it an equally long radiator.

What have you tried in the realm of room acoustics treatments or other speaker posistions?
Ethan Winer's Avatar Ethan Winer 11:10 AM 10-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

Is boomy and tight the correct terms?

That's better than fast versus slow, but understand that bass problems are due much more to the room your speakers are in than the speakers themselves. A boomy quality comes mostly from the room. This might help:

Acoustic Basics

--Ethan
specd_out's Avatar specd_out 11:16 AM 10-20-2012
In my experience it was my avr that was hurting me. I run Polk RTIa5 fronts and was powering them with Pioneer Elite VSX32. The Polks are fairly easy to drive and sounded decent with the Pioneer. When I got a separate power amp it changed everything. It was like my speakers where covered with a heavy blanket before. Bass was punchier, everything was more responsive and musical overall. Before I would have to have my sub on for all kinds of music (my speakers set to large), now I prefer to have the sub off.
My point being is that while the marantz is a decent AVR its just not gonna have the power to properly move those 12's. I would use your preouts and get a decent power amp.
Decept's Avatar Decept 12:58 PM 10-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

That's better than fast versus slow, but understand that bass problems are due much more to the room your speakers are in than the speakers themselves. A boomy quality comes mostly from the room. This might help:
Acoustic Basics
--Ethan

Thanks for the link!
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

What have you tried in the realm of room acoustics treatments or other speaker posistions?

I haven't actually done any acoustics treatment yet, due to changes in the room layout (I added a wall to create an extra room). But now I will get to it. My budget is modest, but I will try to place absorbers where possible.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that the room height is only 2m 15cm.

I have tried to move the fronts and sub around, but I don't have much space to play with. I can move the fronts about 30cm sideways and 20cm in distance. The sub is currently placed exactly in between the fronts, under the center, which is probably not ideal. I can move it 60cm in each direction and 40cm in distance.
You see, I have a projector screen about 105" which doesn't leave much room to the sides, for the fronts. An alternative position for the sub would be next to the couch, but I don't know if that's a good idea.
When I increased the distance between the fronts I heard a slightly bigger sound stage, but other than that I couldn't hear any difference. Moving the fronts or sub, forward or back, didn't result in any perceived change.
anwaypasible's Avatar anwaypasible 03:53 PM 10-20-2012
these are ways to get more bass from the speakers..
1. use an equalizer to boost the amount of power going to the speaker for the missing frequency (this can sometimes wear out a speaker, and sometimes it makes the other tones sound distorted)
2. try a harmonic equalizer, these work by adding two frequencies together to create the illusion of the target frequency (works really good with ported box when the tune is higher than needed)
3. use my digital room correction instructions to 'loosen up' the air and let the soundwaves move with less pressure and|or interference from other soundwaves. (this game me a bass boost, as well as a base boost)
4. get or build a variable phase adjuster to adjust the transfer function of the speaker phase in the room. (this one is an old trick rarely talked about, and it shouldnt be confused with flipping the polarity of the speaker.. the room rings with a degree of phase, and the speakers put out their own degree of phase.. and when those two are far apart (or identical) the room will either sound empty waiting for pressure, or it will fill up with lots of decibels without any pressure.)

number 4 is always a favorite, because there are listening rooms with a very large amount of decibels without any pressure.
and when i say loud, it is loud like a car stereo pumping 1,000 watts to two large speakers .. the only thing missing is the pressure.
it's soft and sweet, but it can make a person jump.
it's loud and clear, but without the pressure.. you wont be getting any of the LFE effects that can make the room feel like it is falling.


you said you are using a home theater computer to transfer audio.. why havent you tried an equalizer yet?
it is easy to set up, but a bit harder to choose what plugins to use.
the easiest way to make it work the first time is to go get virtual audio cable, because you can use that with any media player when you tell the operating system to use it as the default soundcard .. i use it and send youtube audio or pandora to the audio plugins before it gets sent to the soundcard.
the audio plugins are .dll files called VST plugins that you load into a VST host.
foobar is an audio player that can do stereo VST
there are a number of standalone VST host's .. but none of them advertise the simplicity of multi-channel like the software 'liveprofessor'


i seen those speakers because of the link you posted, and my first thought was 'wow.. are those the type of speakers that really hate moving in and out? .. will they break or distort if they get too much power or too much cone movement?'

voxengo makes a harmonic equalizer .. i havent tried it yet to note if it is quality or if it distorts early.
but as i said, harmonics is one way to get more bass from smaller cones .. i'd say one simple way to look at it is see the cone size and the tune of the box, and then expect the harmonic boost to bring the bass down one full octave from the previous results (but with more complex 'tones', the number of octaves also goes up).


i dont know about the clubs you've heard, but the one's i've heard have subwoofers that dont know if they want to do decibels or sound pressure.
it is sounds silly with one 18 inch subwoofer trying to add sound pressure to the large room as it rolls on like a deflated tire rolling down the road making noises as the chunks of tire are slapping the pavement.
primetimeguy's Avatar primetimeguy 04:08 PM 10-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by specd_out View Post

In my experience it was my avr that was hurting me. I run Polk RTIa5 fronts and was powering them with Pioneer Elite VSX32. The Polks are fairly easy to drive and sounded decent with the Pioneer. When I got a separate power amp it changed everything. It was like my speakers where covered with a heavy blanket before. Bass was punchier, everything was more responsive and musical overall. Before I would have to have my sub on for all kinds of music (my speakers set to large), now I prefer to have the sub off.
My point being is that while the marantz is a decent AVR its just not gonna have the power to properly move those 12's. I would use your preouts and get a decent power amp.

 

More like your brain was helping you justify the added cost of your amp.  wink.gif  If you were running sub and speakers large you were creating more issues than solving.

 

To the OP, your speakers have a 93db sensitivity which is VERY high and your receiver will work just fine with them.  Granted up to a point but I'd bet that point is way louder than you will listen.  And with a subwoofer in play your receiver will hardly be doing any work.


Decept's Avatar Decept 05:50 AM 10-21-2012
I tried setting the fronts to small and play around with the crossover. The AVR let's me choose 40, 60, 80 and above up to 180. When setting it to 40Hz it sounds almost the same as running them as large. Maybe a tiny bit less bass. Setting it to 60Hz results in noticeable less bass, not a lot, but noticeable.
My sub was running with its own frequency setting set to 40Hz which is the minimum. I know changed it to 180Hz which is max.
But still everything is almost identical to before. If I listen to music, I can turn the sub on and off and not hear any difference. The fronts completely drown it. But if I play a movie the difference is quite big. When the sub is on you can really feel the explosions hitting your body.
If I set the crossover in the AVR higher, like 80Hz, I get a lot less bass from the fronts, but the sub just can't fill the gap.

regarding the power:
If I understand correctly, if my AVR can handle the fronts without problem, adding a poweramp will not result in louder bass? I'm not saying I will go this route, but I want to understand how the technology works.

Anyway I think acoustics treatment will be my next step.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 06:14 AM 10-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by specd_out View Post

In my experience it was my avr that was hurting me. I run Polk RTIa5 fronts and was powering them with Pioneer Elite VSX32. The Polks are fairly easy to drive and sounded decent with the Pioneer. When I got a separate power amp it changed everything.

Rule number one is that a modern amplifier in good condition is hard to beat with another modern amp in good condition. This is true at most listening levels even when there are big differences in maximum power output. This is similar to my other rule which is that passive biamping and biwiring at their best should only make subtle differences.

So what does it mean then people do some kind of comparison and obtain what they think are different results?

Well, there is always the possibility that one or both amps or the wiring have some kind of serious fault. With a modern AVR there are as many as 11 speaker cables connected to the AVR and the possibility of one or more of them being reversed and/or shorted is pretty good. I only say this because while I've been hooking up speakers for 55 years (back in the beginning there was only just one speaker cable!) I still triple-check my work because I still find faults on the third check. How many times have I found a cable with an attaching screw or nail shorting it out? How many cables got pinched and one of the conductors got broken? Stuff happens.

Moving on, there is the fact that actually doing good comparisons of audio gear is not as simple as audio dealers, most audiophiles and most ragazine writers make it out to be. You have to remember that they are in the business of selling equipment that "Sounds better", not doing Real Science. Real Science is the only way to obtain reliable, unbiased information. It requires that levels be matched within 0.1 dB from 20 to 20 KHz as measured at the speaker termainals, that the identical same music be listened to (edited within 0.01 second) and other bias controls be rigidly in place.
Quote:
It was like my speakers where covered with a heavy blanket before. Bass was punchier, everything was more responsive and musical overall.

I believe that is what you perceived. Why, I can't say but the probability is extreme that I covered the reason why in the two paragraphs above.
Quote:
Before I would have to have my sub on for all kinds of music (my speakers set to large), now I prefer to have the sub off.

If you do a good job of adding a good sub to a system, the results should be positive. Hooking up a pair of speakers is part of Audiophile 101. Getting a sub to work right is part of Audiophile 201, and not everybody who passes 101, passes 201. Trouble shooting a sub from thousands of miles is not a job I want to step up to, but as long as you are having big audible differences with an actually trivial amp upgrade and can't get a subwoofer to help the sound of your system, you're struggling whether you know it or not!
Quote:
My point being is that while the marantz is a decent AVR its just not gonna have the power to properly move those 12's.

And where is that written in stone?

A technical analysis based on the available documentation (http://www.dynavoice.se/dynavoice-dynamite-12-v-2/67/) of those speakers says that any AVR that can't make them blow you out of the room is incompetent or broken. They have 93 dB/W sensitivity! Unless their impedance curve is truly screwed up there should be no problem using them with any competent receiver, They are large enough and seem to have the right stuff in them so the manufacturer claims might even be a true specification. There are Sound Reinforcement speakers that are both smaller and less efficient!

This is what one reviewer said about some smaller models from the same manufacturer:

http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/dynavoice_dm5_e.html


"The claimed sensitivity datum (91 dB), together with the low nominal impedance (6 Ohm) would suggest even low powered amplifiers can be successfully used."

This video shows what happens when a slightly smaller model Dynavoice is driven by a 10 wpc amp about the size of a cookie box:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgnO-LDpvxw&list=PL973CC4F61FD1ACE7&index=8&feature=plpp_video

Trust me, I know what 10 watt T-amps can do and while it is impressive with a big efficient speaker, it ain't nothing compared to a good AVR.

Quote:
I would use your preouts and get a decent power amp.

This from someone who can't make a subwoofer work right? ;-)
primetimeguy's Avatar primetimeguy 07:17 AM 10-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

I tried setting the fronts to small and play around with the crossover. The AVR let's me choose 40, 60, 80 and above up to 180. When setting it to 40Hz it sounds almost the same as running them as large. Maybe a tiny bit less bass. Setting it to 60Hz results in noticeable less bass, not a lot, but noticeable.
My sub was running with its own frequency setting set to 40Hz which is the minimum. I know changed it to 180Hz which is max.
But still everything is almost identical to before. If I listen to music, I can turn the sub on and off and not hear any difference. The fronts completely drown it. But if I play a movie the difference is quite big. When the sub is on you can really feel the explosions hitting your body.
If I set the crossover in the AVR higher, like 80Hz, I get a lot less bass from the fronts, but the sub just can't fill the gap.

regarding the power:
If I understand correctly, if my AVR can handle the fronts without problem, adding a poweramp will not result in louder bass? I'm not saying I will go this route, but I want to understand how the technology works.

Anyway I think acoustics treatment will be my next step.
Are you sure your subwoofer is even on? Almost sounds like whatever listening mode you have it in your sub is no engaged. Or you have a very bad phase alignment issue and your sub is cancelling out your fronts.

For music there is almost no content below 40hz, that is why you don't notice much difference with 40hz crossover.


Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2


Decept's Avatar Decept 09:45 AM 10-21-2012
I'm sure it's on, now I set the sub to 180Hz and I can see it move while playing music, but I can't hear it. Only the fronts.
primetimeguy's Avatar primetimeguy 10:54 AM 10-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

I'm sure it's on, now I set the sub to 180Hz and I can see it move while playing music, but I can't hear it. Only the fronts.
Have you properly level matched your sub with the main speakers?

Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2


primetimeguy's Avatar primetimeguy 10:56 AM 10-21-2012
Also, set your crossover of the sub itself to max. On your receiver set it to 80hz.

Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2


arnyk's Avatar arnyk 11:12 AM 10-21-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

I'm sure it's on, now I set the sub to 180Hz and I can see it move while playing music, but I can't hear it. Only the fronts.

When you say "set the sub" are you referring to a control that is on the subwoofer itself?

If you are, there is also a relevant setting on the receiver.

If you aren't, you usually need to make sure that the frequency setting on the subwoofer itself is set as high as possible.
Decept's Avatar Decept 03:06 PM 10-21-2012
Yes, I meant on the sub. My sub is now set to its maximum frequency, 180Hz. There is also a volume knob on the sub, is there any particular setting I should set it to?
primetimeguy's Avatar primetimeguy 03:29 PM 10-21-2012
Typically you set it around midpoint and then fine tune the adjustment in your receiver. Does your receiver have autosetup to set the level? Or do you have an spl meter or measurement gear? If not then you have to guess and adjust it by ear. Play some music and adjust it to what sounds good to you.

Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2


Bigsky HiFi's Avatar Bigsky HiFi 03:34 PM 10-21-2012
What subwoofer are you using?
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 08:32 AM 10-22-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

Yes, I meant on the sub. My sub is now set to its maximum frequency, 180Hz.

That is a good idea - it basically puts bass management in the hands of the AVR. So how are the speakers and sub configured in the AVR - large/small and crossover frequency?
Quote:
There is also a volume knob on the sub, is there any particular setting I should set it to?

The subwoofer gain knob can be like a "warmth" setting for the whole system. For openers, set it so that the bass is strong enough for you. If this makes things sound too boomy, the usual cause is an AVR crossover setting that is too high.
Decept's Avatar Decept 03:20 PM 10-22-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigsky HiFi View Post

What subwoofer are you using?
It's a custom build by a friend of mine. It has two 10" elements and one port, all pointing forward.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to do some more experiments with the crossover and gain.
Decept's Avatar Decept 11:59 AM 10-25-2012
I tried various settings with large/small 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz and bassmix on/off (don't know what that is though). When I did get more bass from my sub it behaved as always, "slow". I say slow, because it feels like it can't keep up with the music. You hear the beat and then sound come from the sub, all muddy. It sounds confused, like it doesn't know what to play.

I couldn't find any setting that got me more bass from the fronts than what I had before. Maybe accustics treatment will help. I will try and run the automatic setup this weekend and see what happens, but I doubt the bass will improve.

Another thing I'm wondering about. The speaker levels setting in the AVR. I know you should balance them, but at what level. Right know the fronts are around -8. And also how do I know what level to set the bass, it's not like I can really compare it to the other speakers.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 01:26 PM 10-25-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decept View Post

I tried various settings with large/small 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz and bassmix on/off (don't know what that is though). When I did get more bass from my sub it behaved as always, "slow". I say slow, because it feels like it can't keep up with the music. You hear the beat and then sound come from the sub, all muddy. It sounds confused, like it doesn't know what to play.

Signs of poor integration of the subwoofer with the mains. If I'm misunderstanding things right, this is a home brew sub built by a friend, right?

Set the mains for small so that the crossover point setting means something for them.
Quote:
I couldn't find any setting that got me more bass from the fronts than what I had before. Maybe accustics treatment will help. I will try and run the automatic setup this weekend and see what happens, but I doubt the bass will improve.

I would hope that the autoamatic setup would help quite a bit.

However, if the room has serious bass issues due to its acoustics, adding a sub is like throwing water on a grease fire.
Quote:
Another thing I'm wondering about. The speaker levels setting in the AVR. I know you should balance them, but at what level. Right know the fronts are around -8. And also how do I know what level to set the bass, it's not like I can really compare it to the other speakers.

Turn up the sub until you just start to hear it adding something to the room sound.
sworth's Avatar sworth 12:43 PM 10-26-2012
Decept, that sounds like a phase problem between your mains and sub. Could you have reversed the wires on something? Perhaps your sub has a phase dial that's set wrong.
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