Speakers to wall plate? Hurt quality? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-17-2020, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Speakers to wall plate? Hurt quality?

Hi everyone. I will be wiring all of my speaker wire through my walls here soon. I will be putting wall plate connectors at where the speakers will be positioned.

Does it make sense to do the same where the receiver is with something like this?

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...RoC3agQAvD_BwE

If so, does it hurt the quality. I know it will on a very micro level, but would it be noticeable?

Currently, 5.1 setup
AVR - Denon AVR-X4400H
Sub - SVS PB-4000
Mains - Klipsch RP-600M
Surrounds - Klipsch satellite speakers
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-17-2020, 05:36 AM
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That's precisely what I did: I put a quartet of wall plates by my equipment stack in the back of the room - one for the ear-level speakers, one for the ceiling speakers, and one each for ethernet and coax for CATV. Then I put a wall plate near each speaker location.

I used a pair of banana plugs for each of the speakers except the subs, which were connected via RCA plugs, with their jacks connected by coax cable behind the walls.

All the wall plates have the same kind of connector front and back, which meant putting a coax-to-RCA adapter on each end of the in-wall coax cables for the subwoofer wiring.

For all the speaker wiring (other than the subs) I used 12 gauge wire both behind the wall and from the amps and the speakers to the wall jacks. I made sure to buy cable certified for in-wall use - which turned out to be the right move when the City's electrical wiring inspector decided to make me get a permit for the wiring I'd already done!

As long as you've properly installed all of the banana plugs on the ends of the wires - and I recommend using plastic-handled plugs to avoid any danger of shorts - there shouldn't be any signal degradation.

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post #3 of 25 Old 05-17-2020, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfar54 View Post
Hi everyone. I will be wiring all of my speaker wire through my walls here soon. I will be putting wall plate connectors at where the speakers will be positioned.

Does it make sense to do the same where the receiver is with something like this?

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...RoC3agQAvD_BwE

If so, does it hurt the quality. I know it will on a very micro level, but would it be noticeable?
You don't need to run a wall plate, you can just pass the wires into the wall, they are fixtures for this as well. Some like the direct connection in this way to avoid potential failure points, but if you build carefully, you should be good. I did wall plates, just so I could disconnect the speakers and eliminate wires for cleaning and whatnot. Doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's nice to be able to disconnect.

I've listened to one set of my speakers connected directly to the amp, and then through all of the in-wall wiring, passing through two wall plate connections, and I can't tell any difference. Granted, I wasn't doing tons of critical listening, but sounded all good to me. There might be some measureable loss, but not to my ears anyway.

If you do plan on disconnects not infrequently, consider Neutrik speakON - type. A bit more of an investment, and the wall plates take up more real estate, but the connectors are extremely robust, way more than bananas, and the connectors lock into the sockets, very positive connection. If you are not worries about disconnects, accidental or otherwise, then bananas will be fine.
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-17-2020, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pfar54 View Post
Does it make sense to do the same where the receiver is with something like this?
If that makes you happy... sure!




Quote:
If so, does it hurt the quality. I know it will on a very micro level, but would it be noticeable?
No and no.
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-17-2020, 12:54 PM
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I doubt you will notice anything different using these wall plates.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-17-2020, 01:17 PM
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By the way, to use these wall plates you don't need to install the kinds of boxes behind the wall that are needed for AC outlets. Those boxes are only needed for high-voltage circuits.

For speaker, coax, RCA, and ethernet wall plates you can use plastic mounting frames that clamp directly to the drywall (as explained below) - so you're not limited to where you can mount a box to a stud behind the wall.

Doing it this way is not only more flexible but a lot cheaper - to mount the multichannel plate I used a double-width mounting frame that cost $6.49.

To mount the others - and there were a lot of them! - I used these single-width mounting frames that cost $13.94 for a batch of ten of them - so they cost less than $1.40 each.

Their photos show a pair of swingable bars behind the wall - you swing them out beyond the borders of the frame and tighten them against the wall with the screw they pivot around. That's all you have to do to secure them to the wall, since there's a flange around the frame in front that presses against the wall from the outside.

The only tricky part is figuring out which mounting holes in the frame are for the the jack panel and which are for the wall plates that go around the jack panel and over the mounting frame.
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-18-2020, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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By the way, to use these wall plates you don't need to install the kinds of boxes behind the wall that are needed for AC outlets. Those boxes are only needed for high-voltage circuits.

For speaker, coax, RCA, and ethernet wall plates you can use plastic mounting frames that clamp directly to the drywall (as explained below) - so you're not limited to where you can mount a box to a stud behind the wall.

Doing it this way is not only more flexible but a lot cheaper - to mount the multichannel plate I used a double-width mounting frame that cost $6.49.

To mount the others - and there were a lot of them! - I used these single-width mounting frames that cost $13.94 for a batch of ten of them - so they cost less than $1.40 each.

Their photos show a pair of swingable bars behind the wall - you swing them out beyond the borders of the frame and tighten them against the wall with the screw they pivot around. That's all you have to do to secure them to the wall, since there's a flange around the frame in front that presses against the wall from the outside.

The only tricky part is figuring out which mounting holes in the frame are for the the jack panel and which are for the wall plates that go around the jack panel and over the mounting frame.

Thanks everyone!! Much appreciated

And thanks for showing the wall mounts. Very helpful. I just ordered some of the single mount ones.

Any recommendations on the wall plate to use for the receiver main receiver connections?

Currently, 5.1 setup
AVR - Denon AVR-X4400H
Sub - SVS PB-4000
Mains - Klipsch RP-600M
Surrounds - Klipsch satellite speakers
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post #8 of 25 Old 05-19-2020, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfar54 View Post
Thanks everyone!! Much appreciated

And thanks for showing the wall mounts. Very helpful. I just ordered some of the single mount ones.

Any recommendations on the wall plate to use for the receiver main receiver connections?
If the plate you have is wider than double-gang - its picture suggests that it's triple-gang, here's a 3-gang mounting bracket for it.

Phil
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Last edited by Philnick; 05-19-2020 at 03:42 AM.
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-19-2020, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philnick View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfar54 View Post
Thanks everyone!! Much appreciated

And thanks for showing the wall mounts. Very helpful. I just ordered some of the single mount ones.

Any recommendations on the wall plate to use for the receiver main receiver connections?
If the plate you have is wider than double-gang - its picture suggests that it's triple-gang, here's a 3-gang mounting bracket for it.
Sorry I am referring to the terminal plate. What is every one using? What are some good ones to use?

Currently, 5.1 setup
AVR - Denon AVR-X4400H
Sub - SVS PB-4000
Mains - Klipsch RP-600M
Surrounds - Klipsch satellite speakers
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-19-2020, 05:44 AM
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Depends on how many channels you have. I used one with seven pairs of banana jacks and two RCA jacks for the 7.2 part of the setup and a second with four pairs of banana jacks for the ceiling speakers. My 7.2 plate was a 2-gang unit that's not on offer at Amazon right now. The one you linked to would serve the same purpose.

Use a second plate for the ceiling speakers.

Phil
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-19-2020, 05:44 AM
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Nothing wrong with one in your opening post IMO.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-19-2020, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Nothing wrong with one in your opening post IMO.
Here is another one. Has anyone seen one that included the height channels?

https://www.amazon.com/Subwoofer-Com...9918573&sr=8-1

Currently, 5.1 setup
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-19-2020, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pfar54 View Post
Here is another one. Has anyone seen one that included the height channels?

https://www.amazon.com/Subwoofer-Com...9918573&sr=8-1
Get a 4-way box and plates?



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post #14 of 25 Old 05-20-2020, 04:03 PM
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-20-2020, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfar54 View Post
Hi everyone. I will be wiring all of my speaker wire through my walls here soon. I will be putting wall plate connectors at where the speakers will be positioned.

Does it make sense to do the same where the receiver is with something like this?

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...RoC3agQAvD_BwE

If so, does it hurt the quality. I know it will on a very micro level, but would it be noticeable?
Absolutely.
And use CL2 CL3 approved in wall spkr wire.
Some geeky people run it straight thinking it should sound better but can’t distinguish between the two.

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post #16 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 10:51 AM
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Here's a link to a two-gang 7.2 plate similar to what I used.

That plus a single-gang plate for the four height channels should do the job, except for connecting Ethernet and CATV coax cables.

The two-gang 7.2 plate I used didn't pre-label the channels, so I used a label-maker.

The reason the Ethernet wall plate in the photo isn't white plastic to match the others is that I wasn't sure whether I needed to ground the 50 foot long Ethernet cable (I ultimately didn't). To keep that option open, I used a metal plate that I could connect to the shield of the Ethernet jack (by wrapping the clip-in jack in tinfoil) so I could connect a ground wire to one of the mounting screws if necessary.

PS I couldn't figure out why the 8.2 triple-gangers had eight pairs of banana plugs until I read the terminal labels a second time and focused on the pair for "Rear Center." How many AVRs even have such an output? That's a hold-over from the days of 6.1 soundtracks, which presaged 7.1 by using one rear channel. I've never seen an 8.1 channel soundtrack or AVR.
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 11:33 AM
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If I may use this existing thread to ask a similar question:

1. 6 pair 16 AWG speaker wire in a sleeve x 25 ft

or

1. 1 pair 16 AWG speaker wire spliced x 10 ft

After re-doing my entire system now left with the clean up. What would be better, combine all the rear speaker wires, 6 pairs 16 AWG, pack them into Monoprice Self-Closing Braided Wrap, 16mm Diameter and effectively double the distance around an area rug, 25 ft or splice just one pair to a flat speaker wire and run it under the area rug for a distance of 12 ft.

I ask about the bundling of 6 pairs if there can be any interference / bleeding etc. at all vs any loss from splicing. I had thought to perhaps splice 4 pair (2 surrounds + 2 atmos) to even it out should there be any loss from a splice.

Thought I better check before cutting lengths either way.

Thanks!
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post #18 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 11:46 AM
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And if you want to design your own plate, try this site;
https://www.datapro.net/products/cus...ll-plates.html

I did and am very happy with the plate I received.
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 11:56 AM
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16 gauge wire is the thickness of standard appliance "zip cord" for power cords. Unless you have a really high-powered amplifier, you may not be able to get enough power to your speakers through cords that are that thin. Why spend amplifier power on heating up your speaker cables?

If you're running 25 feet I'd recommend 14 gauge at least. I went with 12 gauge. Remember that - counterintuitively - the higher the number, the thinner the wire.

I certainly would not recommend using a cable that's spliced in the middle unless you solder the splices - there's too much risk of signal loss from a bad connection.

Also, bundling a bunch of high current cables together means the magnetic fields around the bundled cables could interact, causing loss of separation - a/k/a "crosstalk."

Finally, don't ever run cables under a rug - unless you're willing to risk damage to the cables from people walking or dragging furniture across them! And in that case, the best outcome is that you get no sound but nothing else happens. If they actually short out, they could blow out your amplifier. (Not to mention damage to the people who trip on the bulge in the rug!)

Stapled on top of the baseboard at the bottom of a wall, zip-tied to piping on the walls or ceiling - - or embedded in the walls like we're discussing here - is far better.

Phil
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Last edited by Philnick; 05-22-2020 at 12:02 PM.
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
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16 gauge wire is the thickness of standard appliance "zip cord" for power cords. Unless you have a really high-powered amplifier, you may not be able to get enough power to your speakers through cords that are that thin. Why spend amplifier power on heating up your speaker cables?

If you're running 25 feet I'd recommend 14 gauge at least. I went with 12 gauge. Remember that - counterintuitively - the higher the number, the thinner the wire.

I certainly would not recommend using a cable that's spliced in the middle unless you solder the splices - there's too much risk of signal loss from a bad connection.

Also, bundling a bunch of high current cables together means the magnetic fields around the bundled cables could interact, causing loss of separation - a/k/a "crosstalk."

Finally, don't ever run cables under a rug - unless you're willing to risk damage to the cables from people walking or dragging furniture across them! And in that case, the best outcome is that you get no sound but nothing else happens. If they actually short out, they could blow out your amplifier. (Not to mention damage to the people who trip on the bulge in the rug!)

Stapled on top of the baseboard at the bottom of a wall, zip-tied to piping on the walls or ceiling - - or embedded in the walls like we're discussing here - is far better.

Thank you. I thought bundling them might pose a problem. For splicing I have on hand an assortment of heat shrink butt connectors with solder inside of them. Was thinking to use that. Under the carpet is that flat speaker wire, wouldn't be any traffic over it. Despite an under pad and fairly thick area rug, normal wire can be seen and felt, the flat one is nicely hidden. The situation is rather strange, one pair of speakers the backside is exposed to the main entry way in the dwelling. I got it into my head that I had to have black speaker wire exposed like that for all to see. Took ages to find black speaker wire that is not dotted with white print all over it. This I found in 16 gauge. That's where the splice would come in, out the back of the speakers, under the couch spliced to the flat speaker wire that under the rug to the avr or now as you say, just that pair of wire in 14 gauge in the 25 ft run. Could there still be interference with just two pair (surround + atmos)?

edit: just to be clear its flat speaker wire for this purpose:

Monoprice Planate Series 16 Gauge AWG Pure Copper Flat Speaker Wire/Cable

Last edited by tbook; 05-22-2020 at 12:52 PM.
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post #21 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
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16 gauge wire is the thickness of standard appliance "zip cord" for power cords. Unless you have a really high-powered amplifier, you may not be able to get enough power to your speakers through cords that are that thin. Why spend amplifier power on heating up your speaker cables?

If you're running 25 feet I'd recommend 14 gauge at least. I went with 12 gauge. Remember that - counterintuitively - the higher the number, the thinner the wire.
Please show me the math showing how much heating will come from using 16 gauge wire.


Oddly enough, Roger Russell disagrees with you.
http://roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable


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Also, bundling a bunch of high current cables together means the magnetic fields around the bundled cables could interact, causing loss of separation - a/k/a "crosstalk."
With a low impedance source? Bollocks. This is audiophile mythology.
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post #22 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 09:13 PM
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The "heating" line was hyperbole, but unlike RF-level Coaxial cable and line-level RCA cable, both of which are enclosed inside grounded shields, or "twisted-pair" telephone cabling that twists the wires to null-out the effects of magnetic fields, speaker wires are not shielded, run parallel, and since they have a high enough power level to drive speakers - they can also generate magnetic fields around the speaker wires.

I'm not recommending that anyone buy crazy high-priced cables (sometimes even with batteries attached!) but simply that they take care in routing standard speaker wires not to run them squeezed together in a bundle for many feet.

I make fun of the guys recommending thousand dollar power cords and five thousand dollar demagnetizers for plastic LPs- don't lump standard advice about cable routing in with the lies told by folks trying to rip people off by selling them high-priced snake oil.

Phil
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post #23 of 25 Old 05-22-2020, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Please show me the math showing how much heating will come from using 16 gauge wire.
Interestingly, there’s a website that gives advice on this: http://roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

4 ohm speakers, 16 gauge suggested max of 24 feet. At 25 it’s time to size up. Lines up to the foot with the quoted advice! Now one could say they have 8 ohm speakers, but if you’re running wire why not run for the lowest common denominator? Who knows what speaker you’ll have next year.

I wouldn’t be worried about heating, in any case, but you may be wasting some power if the cable is using up >10 watts whenever your amp pushes 200 watts (table tries to keep cable resistance to 5%). In either case it’s going to work fine and you likely would never notice, but it never hurts to size up a bit.

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Oddly enough, Roger Russell disagrees with you.
http://roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable


With a low impedance source? Bollocks. This is audiophile mythology.
I think it’s just standard advice not to bundle cables closely together for long runs, and also to cross other wires at 90° where possible. The odds of inducing noise are going to be very low to none, especially as you mention the low impedance would short any low current signal induced, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these “rules of thumb”, especially where it doesn’t cost anything to not bundle the cables up like they’re in a girdle. For a non-pro it’s easier than remembering whether it’s ok with network cables and taboo with speaker cables or vice versa, just run them all the same.

As far as the plates go - I wouldn’t be worried about any degradation. I always thought people ran wire straight through just because it avoids a termination mess to deal with in the wall and again on the surface.

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post #24 of 25 Old 05-24-2020, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sor View Post
Interestingly, there’s a website that gives advice on this: http://roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

I wouldn’t be worried about heating, in any case, but you may be wasting some power if the cable is using up >10 watts whenever your amp pushes 200 watts (table tries to keep cable resistance to 5%). In either case it’s going to work fine and you likely would never notice, but it never hurts to size up a bit.
I'm, pretty sure it says nothing about cable heating, it is merely as you later correctly state in the post a ROT about 5% loss of signal under various conditions.

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Originally Posted by sor View Post
I think it’s just standard advice not to bundle cables closely together for long runs, and also to cross other wires at 90° where possible.
It may be "standard advice" but I've yet to see with speaker cables a measured example where it shows an actual audible effect. I've run snakes over long distances with all sorts of components mixed in them; small signal single ended and differential, speaker level and mains. No issues in practice.
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-25-2020, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
I'm, pretty sure it says nothing about cable heating, it is merely as you later correctly state in the post a ROT about 5% loss of signal under various conditions.

It may be "standard advice" but I've yet to see with speaker cables a measured example where it shows an actual audible effect. I've run snakes over long distances with all sorts of components mixed in them; small signal single ended and differential, speaker level and mains. No issues in practice.
To be pedantic, though that "lost" 5% has to go somewhere, and heat is, in fact, where it goes. Now, it's worth noting that in an extreme example we're talking about maybe 5 watts of waste power spread out over 20+ linear feet, so it's not like it's going to scorch your floor or even be perceptible.

There are literally thousands of posts on AVS discussing speaker wire gauge that probably don't bear rehashing here.
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