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AVR or Pre-Pro for Stereo based A/V System

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zydeco   
 
i run a shared multi purpose room and still get away with a 7.1.5 system  but yes understand if there are specifics with your room that makes surround not a possibility

I've been thinking about this and do have an option of adding left / right surrounds but, due to room layout, these would be about 1.5m from the main listening position and a bit closer to adjacent seats. I guess that I could manage the gain and delays but wonder if it'll ever really work?

The thing I've been considering is bass management. My initial thought was to use the AVR / Pre-pro for bass management for both stereo as well as multichannel sources. This more or less excludes the option of a AVR & integrated amp for stereo. One option might be to use one sub specifically for LFE and others as

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:) al   
12 minutes ago, zydeco said:

I've been thinking about this and do have an option of adding left / right surrounds but, due to room layout, these would be about 1.5m from the main listening position and a bit closer to adjacent seats. I guess that I could manage the gain and delays but wonder if it'll ever really work?

yes can be done, use bi-pole surrounds for sides if possible they are les sensitive for placement as direct firing but yet work really well in wiht current formats and sound steering. things like distances and corresponding delays needed, the eq system will manage.

 

13 minutes ago, zydeco said:

The thing I've been considering is bass management. My initial thought was to use the AVR / Pre-pro for bass management for both stereo as well as multichannel sources. This more or less excludes the option of a AVR & integrated amp for stereo. One option might be to use one sub specifically for LFE and others as

one sub for LFE ... other to extend your mains to full range ? its config I run as found dual sub for av really not adding anything to mix. even just one of my subs is more than gutsy enough 2nd just adds 3db headroom. whereas using the 2nd to extend the mains is really useful and I use eq system in the sub for integration for pretty smooth 200-15hz response back to main listening position. as a bonus because mains is extended as fun range. in equing for AV eq system just sees the sub-main combo as one full range speaker. and the other sub is hooked up and dialled in for LFE. so in effect both subs are utilised for AV.

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cwt   

looks like its out of your comfort zone zydeco but its something to consider down the track ; the LyngdorTDA1-2170 . If you can sell your power amps [what brand  ?] and you run your subs and satellites as full range without the lfe it is perfect and completely digital input to output . It also has room perfect eq which is recognised as being top draw .http://www.audioconnection.com.au/lyngdorf-tdai-2170-integrated-amplifier/

 

It also has optional modules that handle future hdmi versions [ if you really want 8k switchthrough Ide ask about hdmi 2.1 capability  in another module ] but really that is possibly decades away and the current module handles 4k just fine :)

 

Maybe I would look at the XMC1as been mentioned if 2ch is really important ; it has a completely balanced 2ch xlr input to output including dacs and volume controls ; the other channels are like most single ended circuitry. It also has modular design for its hdmi pcb and in fact has already gone through 2 iterations of hdmi boards ie hdmi 1.4b; 2.0 and soon full hdmi 2.0b 18gbps on all inputs . And it has dirac ;either standard le or full with adjustable curtains etc.

 

Or just bide your time with a 8801 or similar until things like HDR become more standardised and we see what will happen..

 

 

 

Edited by cwt

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Satanica   
On 7/22/2017 at 9:12 AM, zydeco said:

I'm running a set-up that comprises three A/V sources set-up for stereo down-mix that are connected to a TV via HDMI. Audio comprises of stereo speakers plus 2 subwoofers with the TV optical output used to feed a mini-DSP that manages sub and overall EQ (as well as D/A conversion). All this works well but I'm re-considering purchasing an AVR or Pre-Pro so that I don't have to route audio via the TV so that a) TV doesn't have to be on to listen to music, :cool: additional sources can be added and c) sound quality is improved. My assumption has been that a pre-pro is a better solution given the focus on music but I'm open to an AVR (using pre-outs to my stereo power amp) if audio isn't impacted as this would allow me to use the speaker outputs to drive a set of patio speakers. Our room set-up means that we'll stick with stereo + sub (or at best add a centre channel) and, no doubt, over time we'll add new A/V sources and replace our current 1080p TV with whatever is the latest at that point in time. I'm guessing that this means that support for 4K + HDMI 2 + HDR etc. is important (but I'm not sure) and that ATMOS etc. isn't important. Access to streaming services and airplay would be a nice addition. So my questions are: a) Is it correct to assume that a move to AVR / pre-pro will have a major improvement in sound quality given that it allows audio to by pass the TV? :cool: Is it best to focus on a second-tier modern AVR / pre-pro (e.g., AV7703 or AVM60) or an older statement pre-pro; e.g., AV8801? c) Do any specific AVR / pre-pro come to mind?

 

Hey, just thinking about this, could you use something like an SPDIF switcher like this:

 

http://www.cablechick.com.au/cables/avencore-usb-powered-3-port-toslink-switch-with-remote-3x1-optical-switch.html

or

http://www.inday.com/da4x.html

 

... that has a remote control to switch between your audio sources? At least in the interim until you finally work this all out? You'd at least be able to switch your TV off when playing music.

Edited by Satanica

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zydeco   
1 hour ago, cwt said:

looks like its out of your comfort zone zydeco but its something to consider down the track ; the LyngdorTDA1-2170 . If you can sell your power amps [what brand  ?] and you run your subs and satellites as full range without the lfe it is perfect and completely digital input to output . It also has room perfect eq which is recognised as being top draw .http://www.audioconnection.com.au/lyngdorf-tdai-2170-integrated-amplifier/

 

It also has optional modules that handle future hdmi versions [ if you really want 8k switchthrough Ide ask about hdmi 2.1 capability  in another module ] but really that is possibly decades away and the current module handles 4k just fine :)

 

Maybe I would look at the XMC1as been mentioned if 2ch is really important ; it has a completely balanced 2ch xlr input to output including dacs and volume controls ; the other channels are like most single ended circuitry. It also has modular design for its hdmi pcb and in fact has already gone through 2 iterations of hdmi boards ie hdmi 1.4b; 2.0 and soon full hdmi 2.0b 18gbps on all inputs . And it has dirac ;either standard le or full with adjustable curtains etc.

 

Or just bide your time with a 8801 or similar until things like HDR become more standardised and we see what will happen..

 

 

 

Thanks - that's one interesting option. Any idea if it down-mixes the LFE channel to the main speakers? The one downside (other than price) is that I really want to have the ability to manage bass well. Current thought - and I am a bit all over the place on this - is to use Pre-Pro or AVR to high-pass mains at 80Hz and then send LFE + <80Hz from mains to my mini-DSP which would be used to time align / manage the various subwoofers. All this would work the same for both stereo and A/V. Re; XMC-1: These units have always looked like a good answer given my focus but I'm wary given reports of issues with support etc. but that might have changed now that XMC-1 is more mature and a new distributer is on the scene. If not, then it's a toss up between a second hand 8801 or cheaper AVR with good pre-outs plus up to date HDMI / HDCP such as the Anthem MRX520/720 (which by all accounts are identical to the AVM-60 except for lack of toroidal power supply and balanced outputs).

 

5 minutes ago, Satanica said:

Hey, just thinking about this, could you use something like an SPDIF switcher like this:

 

http://www.cablechick.com.au/cables/avencore-usb-powered-3-port-toslink-switch-with-remote-3x1-optical-switch.html

or

http://www.inday.com/da4x.html

 

... that has a remote control to switch between your audio sources? At least in the interim until you finally work this all out? You'd at least be able to switch your TV off when playing music.

I'd pondered on such a solution but decided against it on the basis that I'd need to add a unit to strip optical out of the HDMI for Apple TV and, more importantly, it might see a situation in which the family have to deal with a situation in which TV video and audio are on sources (and I don't want any more of being the A/V support tech.)

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cwt   
1 hour ago, zydeco said:

Thanks - that's one interesting option. Any idea if it down-mixes the LFE channel to the main speakers? The one downside (other than price) is that I really want to have the ability to manage bass well. Current thought - and I am a bit all over the place on this - is to use Pre-Pro or AVR to high-pass mains at 80Hz and then send LFE + <80Hz from mains to my mini-DSP which would be used to time align / manage the various subwoofers. All this would work the same for both stereo and A/V. Re; XMC-1: These units have always looked like a good answer given my focus but I'm wary given reports of issues with support etc. but that might have changed now that XMC-1 is more mature and a new distributer is on the scene. If not, then it's a toss up between a second hand 8801 or cheaper AVR with good pre-outs plus up to date HDMI / HDCP such as the Anthem MRX520/720 (which by all accounts are identical to the AVM-60 e xcept for lack of toroidal power supply and balanced outputs).

Cant say if it does but it wouldn't need any adc dac conversions if it did like a normal pre amp. It does have comprehensive B/M with filter types and rolloff slopes if you want to leave the lfe intact . http://www.connectedhome.com.au/review-lyngdorf-tdai-2170-stereo-amplifier/

Quote

Most of the setup is straightforward. Just plug your stuff in. But there are a few things you might want to pay attention to. First, if you’re using a subwoofer with your speakers, the unit is extremely flexible. You can set up a low pass filter to the subwoofer, complete with your choice of filter crossover and style (Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley, digitally implemented, along with the filter order or steepness). And a matching high pass filter to the main speakers, so that they aren’t wasting their capacity on deep bass with which they can do little.

You would still need the mini dsp for the XMC1 if needing to sum the 2 lfe after dirac as it doesn't combine the 2 as one for measurement like audyssey afaik .There is a new version of dirac software coming too 

Quote

We are currently working on a number of improvements for the Dirac Live software, in addition to a few algorithm refinements. In fact, there will be a completely new Dirac Live calibration software coming out in a few months.

Read more at https://www.soundandvision.com/content/ridding-world-bad-sound-page-2#s9gIrwUR8qThzhma.99

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zydeco   
On 11/09/2017 at 8:13 PM, :) al said:

yes can be done, use bi-pole surrounds for sides if possible they are les sensitive for placement as direct firing but yet work really well in wiht current formats and sound steering. things like distances and corresponding delays needed, the eq system will manage.

I've always discounted the notion of surround speakers in open plan kitchen / living room on the basis that it's hard to make these fit in practise but your prompting has got me thinking re options. 

  • Adding a centre speaker has some issues. I'm using some Gale 401 speakers for front left / right and adding a third such speaker won't work due to both a lack of space. A horizontal centre might work but I don't know how to find a good match. I could, though, go back to the Gallo Strada 2 for front speakers the Gale speakers replaced and add a matching centre for not a lot and have a small format matching LCR set. The other consideration re centre is that we  do tend to sit on axis, or better put, I do and the others don't care so seat to seat variation isn't important
  • One option for surround speaker locations are either close to the lounge chair (~1.5m from listen position) at appropriate angle to be a "surround" speaker in a 5.1 set-up. The other option is for the speakers to be near the rear wall but, in this location, the set-up entails them being more or less in line with the front speakers; i.e., more of a "rear" speaker in 7.1 set-up. [No way that I'll get away with both sets so advice as to where to invest brownie points would be appreciated.]
  • Height / ATMOS speakers are, paradoxically, quite simple to add as long as these match the white ceiling which I don't see as an issue. That said, I've got no idea as to decent options / budget or the relative importance vis-a-vie the other additional speakers.
  • Regards amplification. I've got a stereo power amp for front / left right but I'd prefer to use an AVR to power the additional channels so as to minimise box count / rack space and avoid complication. Another medium term option is to  add a multi-channel amp down the track but that will be down the track.

Appreciate that all this has varied from the original intention of the thread but, with a large proportion of listening being to TV / Netflix / Movies, it's worth considering. 

 

 

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:) al   
5 hours ago, zydeco said:

I've always discounted the notion of surround speakers in open plan kitchen / living room on the basis that it's hard to make these fit in practise but your prompting has got me thinking re options. 

  • Adding a centre speaker has some issues. I'm using some Gale 401 speakers for front left / right and adding a third such speaker won't work due to both a lack of space. A horizontal centre might work but I don't know how to find a good match. I could, though, go back to the Gallo Strada 2 for front speakers the Gale speakers replaced and add a matching centre for not a lot and have a small format matching LCR set. The other consideration re centre is that we  do tend to sit on axis, or better put, I do and the others don't care so seat to seat variation isn't important
  • One option for surround speaker locations are either close to the lounge chair (~1.5m from listen position) at appropriate angle to be a "surround" speaker in a 5.1 set-up. The other option is for the speakers to be near the rear wall but, in this location, the set-up entails them being more or less in line with the front speakers; i.e., more of a "rear" speaker in 7.1 set-up. [No way that I'll get away with both sets so advice as to where to invest brownie points would be appreciated.]
  • Height / ATMOS speakers are, paradoxically, quite simple to add as long as these match the white ceiling which I don't see as an issue. That said, I've got no idea as to decent options / budget or the relative importance vis-a-vie the other additional speakers.
  • Regards amplification. I've got a stereo power amp for front / left right but I'd prefer to use an AVR to power the additional channels so as to minimise box count / rack space and avoid complication. Another medium term option is to  add a multi-channel amp down the track but that will be down the track.

Appreciate that all this has varied from the original intention of the thread but, with a large proportion of listening being to TV / Netflix / Movies, it's worth considering. 

 

 

 

zydeco will have to post some pics or sketches so people can make some suggestions, otherwise we are all really going blind.

 

if just planning to sit in the one spot dead central could get away without a centre. however depends how critical you are, i for one really value the centre due to the discrete mixes we get these days and how all discrete speakers work in to create the sound field. something thats a bit amiss when you go phantom speakers and what you have has to literally fill in the gaps. e.g. you can run a 5.1 setup but it isn't like having a 7.1 setup with real rear speakers :) . but that said answering your speaker location situation without seeing pics or sketch, i would rather go the side surrounds as bi-poles than just some rears trying to work as side surrounds :)

 

height speakers if not matching in with existing, something like the krix in ceilings is personally what i would go for. also come with back boxes so one thing less to worry about. they are also decent speakers not costing the earth.

 

certainly your approach of 2ch amp plus avr and add amp later down the track is something many of us as a path have followed :)

 

 

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Satanica   
8 hours ago, zydeco said:

I've always discounted the notion of surround speakers in open plan kitchen / living room on the basis that it's hard to make these fit in practise but your prompting has got me thinking re options. 

  • Adding a centre speaker has some issues. I'm using some Gale 401 speakers for front left / right and adding a third such speaker won't work due to both a lack of space. A horizontal centre might work but I don't know how to find a good match. I could, though, go back to the Gallo Strada 2 for front speakers the Gale speakers replaced and add a matching centre for not a lot and have a small format matching LCR set. The other consideration re centre is that we  do tend to sit on axis, or better put, I do and the others don't care so seat to seat variation isn't important
  • One option for surround speaker locations are either close to the lounge chair (~1.5m from listen position) at appropriate angle to be a "surround" speaker in a 5.1 set-up. The other option is for the speakers to be near the rear wall but, in this location, the set-up entails them being more or less in line with the front speakers; i.e., more of a "rear" speaker in 7.1 set-up. [No way that I'll get away with both sets so advice as to where to invest brownie points would be appreciated.]
  • Height / ATMOS speakers are, paradoxically, quite simple to add as long as these match the white ceiling which I don't see as an issue. That said, I've got no idea as to decent options / budget or the relative importance vis-a-vie the other additional speakers.
  • Regards amplification. I've got a stereo power amp for front / left right but I'd prefer to use an AVR to power the additional channels so as to minimise box count / rack space and avoid complication. Another medium term option is to  add a multi-channel amp down the track but that will be down the track.

Appreciate that all this has varied from the original intention of the thread but, with a large proportion of listening being to TV / Netflix / Movies, it's worth considering. 

 

 

I can't be bothered with surround speakers in my living room but if I were these would be at the top of my list.

https://www.svsound.com/pages/prime-elevation

I love the way they can angle down so can be placed higher than usual.

They come in black and white.

Edited by Satanica

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zydeco   
7 hours ago, :) al said:

 

zydeco will have to post some pics or sketches so people can make some suggestions, otherwise we are all really going blind.

 

if just planning to sit in the one spot dead central could get away without a centre. however depends how critical you are, i for one really value the centre due to the discrete mixes we get these days and how all discrete speakers work in to create the sound field. something thats a bit amiss when you go phantom speakers and what you have has to literally fill in the gaps. e.g. you can run a 5.1 setup but it isn't like having a 7.1 setup with real rear speakers :) . but that said answering your speaker location situation without seeing pics or sketch, i would rather go the side surrounds as bi-poles than just some rears trying to work as side surrounds :)

 

height speakers if not matching in with existing, something like the krix in ceilings is personally what i would go for. also come with back boxes so one thing less to worry about. they are also decent speakers not costing the earth.

 

certainly your approach of 2ch amp plus avr and add amp later down the track is something many of us as a path have followed :)

 

 

See attached drawing of the room. The position of potential surround speakers are shown in red with no. whilst existing speakers and subs are in green. My take on drawing it all out, which involved measuring the room, is that a centre speaker might be a good idea given the off axis listeners (although the more discerning listener always is in the sweet spot). Locations 1 & 2 are quite close but might just be able to be made to work but locations 3 & 4 (for "rear" speakers don't have enough width). Also, as input, we're not prepared to turn the room into a dedicated home theatre inside a normal shared lounge / kitchen / living room. (All the subs are small and tucked away in discrete locations). 

Room Layout.gif

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:) al   

zydeco id definitely go the centre speaker if can. if tv in the way, can wall mount. then av cabinet could be used to hold the centre. 

 

re the surrounds ... if this was my setup, am not so sure I would be  that comfortable with the surrounds right near the couch like that. can be quite distracting almost right in the ear. can you try some surrounds there ... see how comfortable are with them. even if some stand mounts can borrow ?

 

the rears too are quite a bit further away will still work but instead if bi-poles i would use direct firing. here too i would try out. but i think you have a better chance of things.

 

quite usually in these types of setups you see people just go some in ceiling surrounds can even have them to the sides and then behind but on ceiling. and pointing down. or in ceiling and with angles tweeters, it will work. but will mean atmos in ceilings you will have to forgo :) 

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Rob181   

My suggestions...

Sorry...I am going to cannibalise your desk top system...replace with Strada 2's or Kef LS 50's...

Positions 1 & 2 - Hang your existing Gallo Stradas off the ceiling using their wall mounts...make sure 2 of the 3 screws go into timber joist...

Place them about 1 mte behind the lounge & angle them down to the seats...I have done exactly this...it works a treat...

You can then use a Gallo centre & leave the Gales as your primary 2 channel speakers doubling as L&R mains...

Won't need positions 3 & 4...

I used Ambience ribbons as my front 3...2 x Salk Sound built Rythmik subs & the Gallo rears...it was sensational...

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cwt   

Agree with the rear surrounds mounted on the ceiling zydeco . Since you prefer music over movies Ide go with the ITU speaker placement recommendations rather than the dolby ones [ if only to give you more leeway due to angles ]
http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/surround-sound-speaker-placement/#

 

As to atmos this would be a 5.1.2 setup at the most ; good quality speakers is what I would place initially for the bed speakers and worry about object audio when you change rooms - or reutilise your l/r surrounds as ceiling speakers in another configuration ie atmos sometime in the future [ get the impression its a step in the water so to speak :cool: ]

 

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zydeco   
8 hours ago, :) al said:

zydeco id definitely go the centre speaker if can. if tv in the way, can wall mount. then av cabinet could be used to hold the centre. 

 

re the surrounds ... if this was my setup, am not so sure I would be  that comfortable with the surrounds right near the couch like that. can be quite distracting almost right in the ear. can you try some surrounds there ... see how comfortable are with them. even if some stand mounts can borrow ?

 

the rears too are quite a bit further away will still work but instead if bi-poles i would use direct firing. here too i would try out. but i think you have a better chance of things.

 

quite usually in these types of setups you see people just go some in ceiling surrounds can even have them to the sides and then behind but on ceiling. and pointing down. or in ceiling and with angles tweeters, it will work. but will mean atmos in ceilings you will have to forgo :) 

 

8 hours ago, Rob181 said:

My suggestions...

Sorry...I am going to cannibalise your desk top system...replace with Strada 2's or Kef LS 50's...

Positions 1 & 2 - Hang your existing Gallo Stradas off the ceiling using their wall mounts...make sure 2 of the 3 screws go into timber joist...

Place them about 1 mte behind the lounge & angle them down to the seats...I have done exactly this...it works a treat...

You can then use a Gallo centre & leave the Gales as your primary 2 channel speakers doubling as L&R mains...

Won't need positions 3 & 4...

I used Ambience ribbons as my front 3...2 x Salk Sound built Rythmik subs & the Gallo rears...it was sensational...

 

7 hours ago, cwt said:

Agree with the rear surrounds mounted on the ceiling zydeco . Since you prefer music over movies Ide go with the ITU speaker placement recommendations rather than the dolby ones [ if only to give you more leeway due to angles ]
http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/surround-sound-speaker-placement/#

 

As to atmos this would be a 5.1.2 setup at the most ; good quality speakers is what I would place initially for the bed speakers and worry about object audio when you change rooms - or reutilise your l/r surrounds as ceiling speakers in another configuration ie atmos sometime in the future [ get the impression its a step in the water so to speak :cool: ]

 

Thanks for all the great input. My reading is that the consensus is something like 1) a centre speaker is a good idea and 2) try the surround speakers with a good option being to mount on the ceiling / joists. And I'm happy to cannibalise the desktop set-up for surrounds for a trial and, if that goes well, the full set-up. I can do this once I settle on a pre-pro or AVR (with current thinking being it'll be the latter to drive the other channels)

 

Re: option of using Gale speakers as left / right and Gallo Strada Centre as a centre: I'd understood that the LCR speakers should be near identical? The idea of getting a third Gale 401 is never going to fly with the family so going for a centre would mean either 1) finding good centre channel that matches the Gales, 2) using Gallo's as the LCR or c) finding a whole new LCR set. [Option 2 makes a lot of sense re footprint in the shared room and the speakers are quite beguiling but lack a bit in the mid-bass which is one reason for the preference of the Gales for music.]

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Satanica   
3 hours ago, zydeco said:

 

 

Thanks for all the great input. My reading is that the consensus is something like 1) a centre speaker is a good idea and 2) try the surround speakers with a good option being to mount on the ceiling / joists. And I'm happy to cannibalise the desktop set-up for surrounds for a trial and, if that goes well, the full set-up. I can do this once I settle on a pre-pro or AVR (with current thinking being it'll be the latter to drive the other channels)

 

Re: option of using Gale speakers as left / right and Gallo Strada Centre as a centre: I'd understood that the LCR speakers should be near identical? The idea of getting a third Gale 401 is never going to fly with the family so going for a centre would mean either 1) finding good centre channel that matches the Gales, 2) using Gallo's as the LCR or c) finding a whole new LCR set. [Option 2 makes a lot of sense re footprint in the shared room and the speakers are quite beguiling but lack a bit in the mid-bass which is one reason for the preference of the Gales for music.]

Do you really need a centre, especially in your somewhat compromised living room setup?

IMO it might be a benefit to listeners off axis but those people (your family and friends) generally don't care.

And it might actually be worse for the person sitting in the sweet spot (I presume that's usually you).

Centre speakers rarely match mains and are usually below the screen so speech sounds like it's coming out below the screen.

If you use your mains and the mid and high drivers line up with your screen then speech will sound like it's actually coming out of the screen.

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