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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/01/19 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    *** AN UPDATE to the performance of the phono stage is written by me several postings below here: ie, further on in this particular post, not in a separate one. Hi all, I just wanted to share my latest project, something I've been saving for and wanting to build for some 18 months. It's an Elekit TU 8500 valve preamp, direct from Japan, complete with all assembly instructions in Japanese! Fortunately, the instruction sheets are so beautifully put together from beginning to end, as well as the fact that I've been building kits on and off for decades, that I had no issues with the build as such. It did mean I had to double check some items for orientation, but that was no big challenge at all, really just precautionary. It's certainly not a kit I would recommend to beginners, but if you have good soldering skills and can at least follow picture directions, then you should have little problem with this one. The sheer quality of the boards and casework is truly admirable, as everything aligned to perfection and once I fired it up and checked the 140V and 12V+- test points all was well. This preamp is SILENT(!), thanks to a classy R-Core transformer often found in much more high end gear and a comprehensive DC power supply. Even the phono stage needs full volume through headphones to hear even the slightest of noise at a very very low level, the line stage is for all intents and purposes completely silent. ** This TU 8500 preamp is far quieter than a $3700NZ TRI KT88SE Integrated amplifier that I owned and loved for five years! Board layout is exemplary and I had a great time being a bit OCD in aligning all my components in straight lines and resistor values facing the same direction .. unless they were mirrored I even went to the extent of filing down the board joins, as they all come connected together and require breaking off, sort of like breaking tiles, not as nerve-wracking as you might think, as they snap off easily. The solder flowed effortlessly with every joint and I double checked each one to make sure it was shiny and perfect. Some weeks before receiving the kit in the mail, I had bought up both the upgrade op-amps for the phono stage and from Parts Connexion, the upgrade Amtrans resistor kit and two Mundorf Evo capacitors, supposedly for the phono stage coupling to the line stage .... until after ordering them, found out that I also needed two more for the line stage itself, DOH! I umm'd and ahh'd a bit, before remembering that I had some high grade polypropylene caps (630V) that I had bought for a Trevor Lees preamp some years back, so I used two of these in the phono stage and the Mundorf Evo's in the line stage. You can see them easily in the pictures below. I also replaced the stock 0.1uF caps in the phono stage with two Black Gate 0.1uF NP caps, something I've done with other amps to very good effect, these tiny capacitors are super clean and transparent and are brilliant as power supply bypass caps in the right circuits, as Martin Collums discovered to his great delight when reviewing a series of these brilliant high quality capacitors several years ago. The kit also comes with quite a number of quality low ESR capacitors for use outside of the power supply. Great stuff. The TU 8500 lit up from first switch-on and has functioned perfectly ever since, a week later. I've already put some 30-40 hours on it and the bass has most certainly filled out in the last 10 hours or so, taut, dynamic and organically alive. I'm also very impressed with the phono stage, very clean, quiet and detailed, with excellent dynamics as well, although the Black Gate caps will take quite some further time to run in, as usual, as well as the big polypropylene caps. The upgrade op-amps also seem excellent, OPA2227P x 2. Initially, I used the stock supplied Chinese 12AU7s and had an absolute ball listening through headphones to hours of an iTunes downloads folder! So much fun and even though the preamp was brand new and there was some extra warmth from the stock 12AU7s, I could imagine that many folks would be happy just to leave them in there and listen to music, particularly with Mp3's and AAC tracks. Still, I was keen to hear how my top grade Psvane 12AU7-T's sounded in here, so the next day in they went. Yes, well, this is why we pay extra for top class bottles! Transparency and speed, extension top and bottom, openness and 3D space. Highly recommended! The Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars Live soundtrack album has never sounded this good! I did pop in a couple of Mullard valves that I thought were of the right species (the preamp can accomodate both 12AU7 types and the lower MU 12AT7s), but it turns out I had mislabelled the ECC88s as 12AT7s ... they are not! No wonder they glowed very brightly (see pics below)! They were a bit soft and warm anyway and once I'd realised my mistake, I replaced them with the Psvanes and all was well, no harm done. 12V into a 6V heater may not have gone so well. Last task is to find a cable tie that will stick to the base for the main's cables from the transformer. I bought my TU 8500 from an eBay site, it shipped on Dec 22nd, suggesting it could be late Jan/early Feb before it arrived and instead it sped here in four days (after clearing their store) and took another five or six days to get to my PO, including redirection (we'd moved house). No issues over freight speed! The Parts Connexion also posted free of charge for the resistor kit and caps, well done them, about 10 days arrival time. If you'd prefer to buy in Australia, there is a Gumtree site that will post from WA for $65, bringing the price to around $740AU, minus the upgraded parts which they don't keep in stock; Hammersley, Sterling Area. That would take you up to around the $800/820 mark including the upgrades. The eBay site I bought from was here and included a voucher code for some $40AU off the list price: japanmegamall (4167) All in all, a very highly recommended 'kit' that performs way above it's station and price range. I am extremely happy with my TU 8500 and would now really love to build the TU 8200 headphone/speaker amp this year, with it's upgraded parts. Sorry about the bluish/green light in some of the pics.
  2. 10 points
    This will mostly just be some thoughts on what I've observed and how I've felt these wonderful speakers have performed. I will try and steer away from describing music choices as I listen to most music and I don't feel it will add to this 'review' as so much can change based on the source and amplifier. Although I don't really believe in burn in, I've waited around 300 plus hours to do the review so as to be fair to Nick from Hulgich Audio. The Serenades are a statement piece. Beautiful like a painting, slightly imposing but impressive, they make the room feel like is has a purpose without overpowering the room like a set of floor standers can. They have a high WAF and the finish is top notch; many of our friends (including women) comment on how nice they look. The high gloss white is gorgeous. Nick must be a perfectionist because it has a finish that looks like it would suit a piano. Even the speaker connectors are top notch and look all class. The speakers’ cabinets feel really inert and easily pass the knuckle test. So overall, build quality is what you expect from something made in Australia. The matching stands really do make the speakers and are equally well made. Mine are a gloss black, with an unmistakable style, a beautiful match for these large standmounts. Although you could live without them, I don't think I could, now knowing how well they suit the speakers. Undeniably worth every penny and very stable (child proven). The speakers were delivered packaged better than anything I have seen to date. They would have survived anything including a drop from great heights. Too give you an idea, it took me 45min to unpack the speakers and stands (frustrating but worth it). In terms of sound: The sound seems to be generated from the ether, almost like if you’re were floating in the inky blackness of space and somehow music just started to flow out of nowhere. Another thing of note is the amount of bass generated by the 6 inch driver. This is a speaker that does actually reach below 40Hz. How Nick does this is anyone’s guess. You can hear kick drums and bass guitars and I've found that a sub for music isn't necessary unless you need depth below 35Hz or love chest thumping bass. Although the mid-range is magical on these speakers the treble is detailed without being too bright but won't be polite if the recording is 'hot' or a singer/instrument is hitting powerful high notes (this is how a speaker should sound...'live'). Live music is awesome, well recorded music is equally fantastic and even poorly recorded music is still listenable. You will hear and understand what makes it so. The Serenades really are a window in the music without feeling that something artificial is helping create the sound. The biggest thing I've found though is what people call tone. Does it sound right? Spendors, Harbeths, some higher end speakers and now the Hulgichs are the only speakers that have done Missy Higgins' voice justice. Having heard her live on multiple occasions, I would always feel disappointed hearing a song of hers on a hi-fi system. For information, the worst audition demonstrating her voice was on a KEF LS50W. This is not a knock on the KEFs but unless the room was at play, they did not reproduce female vocals well. Not only are female voices created beautifully with the Serenade but so are their male counterparts, instruments feel equally well developed and honestly just sound 'right'. I have yet to hear something and felt it sounded 'wonky'. I am also a huge fan of drums and the Serenades do really show what great recorded drumming sounds like. An example is how good the recording at Sound City was like for drums. Tool's Undertow, Rage Against the Machine's self-titled album and Nirvana's Nevermind; all excellent examples of this. Hearing every strike of a drum or the rim and how hard it was struck is something new to me and I quite enjoy it with the Serenades. On top of this is the fact that every instrument, voice and nuance has its own space and it is easy to track each separately. With every DAC I've used this remains true, even the NOS based Paradesia 3, Aune X1S, Hifimediy UDA38 and the PDX DAC (level 2). Two of these DACs contain tube outputs if that helps. I found that these speakers are far from coloured and really do give you an insight into what is feeding it. DACs (within this, even tube choices) and amplifiers make huge differences; this was not the case with my previous, rather modest speakers. It was during some testing that I realised that my NOS Paradesia 3 paled in comparison in terms of the 'width and depth' compared to the PDX DAC (this was alleviated somewhat with a tube and op amp change in the Pardesia). On my old speakers (Monitor Audio S6) the DACs sounded quite similar but after changing to the Serenades the gulf widened to the point where, I simply couldn't listen to the Paradesia 3 on my main system. I never really knew what people meant about pressurising a room but now I do. These speakers can easily pressurise my 3.5m x 4m room with ease without losing composure and do this without having to increase the volume to ear splitting levels. One of the best things I've discovered is that like most people my lounge is a shared space so the speakers need to be close to a wall, fortunately these speakers are made to be close to a boundary. Are there negatives? Of course, all speakers have some. For example, these speakers need power, 80W into 8ohms is just enough but I would say that over 100W is more ideal and after getting a 130W amplifier they just opened up another level. They do take a bit of power to come 'on song' as some people might say, which means that in some instances a preamplifier with gain may be needed. They will need the additional compensation circuit to be able to be driven from tube amplifiers. The stands are expensive but after seeing and using them, I believe they are necessary and the cost is justified. They are just as gorgeous as the speakers and I imagine, probably take as much work if not more to produce. When it comes to music reproduction or when watching a movie, I don't hear any shortcomings and this seems like the end goal for many people, including me. The serenade is a very well rounded speaker that I believe would not be embarrassed being driven by high end amplification and sources. If people would like me to give a detailed breakdown of some of the songs I used to test please just ask and I'll add to the end of this review after I've sat down for another critical listen of a few songs. In case it's of merit I am currently running the following gear (Pic attached): Power Regulation: 700W pure sine wave UPS Streamer (USB): ALLO USBridge running DietPi Media player (TOSLINK): PS4 Pro Source: HIFIMEDIY UDA38 PRE: Schiit Saga POWER: Sansui 707i Cheers, Mung
  3. 10 points
    Had a crack at a double plinth setup based on project carbon tonearm and a few other project bits and pieces. I’ve got a CNC router so did all of the machining and polishing myself. First time I’ve attempted something like this and was a pretty good learning curve Working out correct geometry and noise isolation. Was a success all in all and the sound coming from it is pretty darn good. There is absolutely zero motor noise and definitely a lot less feedback into the player. Bass has opened right up and the overall sound is really nice. Just treated myself to a 2m black so se’ll see how detailed it really is.
  4. 8 points
  5. 7 points
    Item: Accuphase C280 preamp, in light champagne gold with gorgeous persimmon cabinet - completely unmarked. Location: Berwick, Melbourne,3806 Price:$3,400 Item Condition:Near Perfect Reason for selling: OAD Pre / Power Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal + / COD / Bank Deposit Extra Info: I Bought this off Gemini 07 as an end game pre, but have now gone with an OAD Pre / Power system Stunning in looks and sound, 240 volt, multivoltage Since I purchased this from Gemini this unit has had a full service and given a clean bill of health at a considerable cost. Happy to demo for anyone seriously interested. Further info: http://www.accuphase.com/cat/c-280en.pdf  Pictures:
  6. 7 points
    It's been a busy arvo in her company
  7. 7 points
    Evening Lads. Many pages to catch up with after a couple of days. Gave this one a spin as soon as I walked in after work, while scrubbing up after a dusty day with the mowers. 'Popular Music of the 1940's - Vol Two' - 1986 EMI, Aust. 5 Records, 100 songs. Settled in for a little glue application with this one freshly peeled and sounding sweet... Jeff Beck 'Blow by Blow' 1975 CBS-Epic, Aust. I never really listened to Jeff Beck until a friend and I saw him in Brisbane, maybe 10 years ago. I picked this up a while back and although the cover is a bit worse for wear, the vinyl is very nice indeed. I enjoy listening to it and it's getting better with each spin, sound's great. David Bowie 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' 1972 RCA International. I'm going through all my records (if I ever get there), with a glue clean. Picking the ones I want to hear most after a fresh peel, although I've done quite a few already, this one came out tonight. An iconic album and another 2nd hander in great nic. Cheers. Ant.
  8. 6 points
    Manfred Mann's Earth Band, ‎ The Roaring Silence. Bronze ‎– 24 385, Australia 1977. Listening to some nostalgia from school daze...
  9. 6 points
    Ry Cooder, ‎ Borderline. Warner Bros. Records ‎ BSK 3489 Australia 1980. Bought this secondhand recently, a rat had chewed the corner off the cover, if it were a Pogues album that would greatly increase its value! Great album otherwise!
  10. 6 points
    Some vintage Bob on a Sunday morning
  11. 6 points
    Loving the new edition. My first tube amp and so happy with it.
  12. 6 points
    Hmmmm what have we here... ....And how did this get here.... Having spent some time with active monitors I decided I had not completed my transducer journey. This meant a return to amplification. I managed to get the B&O IcePower 300asc module-based Emotiva PA-1's for AUD$842 delivered to my door. Probably the cheapest monoblocks available anywhere in the world. Are they gonna compete with Ncore or Devialet - no. BUT they are a considerable improvement on earlier IcePower efforts. The Emotiva packaging is especially impressive given the unit price.... Fully balanced, stable to 2.5 Ohms is the claim. 135 Watts into 8 Ohms / 270 into 4 @ 0.1% THD. 500 damping factor. The ideal basic power source for testing less than efficient speakers without outlaying small fortune for an amp. Not audiophile, no - but a great test bench at a budget price. And yes I'm quite happy living with class D The speaker cable, for those interested - is courtesy of a gent residing in Ivanhoe. He operates a website called Chrome Audio. This is his Silver cable. For less than AUD$100 I believe it is impossible to beat for real-world performance. I regret having sold same cable when I went active. Now the main event... I have chosen to rejoin the Journey of Transducers with Kef, having owned Sonus Faber, Monitor Audio, Lenehan and Dynaudio. I was drawn to the notion of the co-axial Uni-Q driver which allows for a monitor to deliver a 3-way speaker in a small footprint. My concern was a loss of immediacy and resolution, having lived with active ribbons tweeters (behringer in the lounge and adam audio in the HT room). I need not have been so concerned. The R3 are superior to LS50's in almost every respect. Presence, power handling and of course bass response lead one to assume floor-standing speakers are present, when listening with eyes closed. The Emo PA-1's have a firm grip over the drivers and deliver effortless performance without the etched grain and harsh treble associated with older IcePower devices. My trusty NAD C510 (son of M51 - another device which I should never have sold) acts as DAC and pre-amp in perfect unison. The sound is quite similar to that of a true Monitor - relatively flat within the operating frequency range and of neutral tonality with good resolving capability. They do not achieve the level of insight associated with a ribbon or AMT tweeter, based on my experience - however the soundstage depth and width is far superior, creating a true 3-d sound-field at normal listening levels. The seperate mid-driver and associated benefits of point-source signal delivery from the co-axial driver live up to their reputation. I would imagine the floor standing R-series models would be difficult to beat in terms of real-world performance in a home environment. I've owned other MTMs in the past. I regretted selling those. Now older and wiser I am happy with this system for the time being. On the horizon is the NAD C 658 to replace the C510. Dirac room correction would be the final piece of the puzzle. The Journey Continues....
  13. 6 points
    At last the crossover networks are completed! Features: Bi-amplified or bi-wireable input connections 12dB high pass filters with high frequency boost for 24 ohm drivers 12dB low pass filters configurable for 8 or 16 ohm drivers Zobel networks configurable for 8 or 16 ohm drivers Constructed on recycled 640 x 320mm Bakelite panels, 8mm thick Jumper configurations: Jumpers in: 2 x 6.6mH inductors in parallel to get 3.3mH with 0.14 ohm DC resistance for 8 ohm drivers and Zobel network to suit Jumpers out: 1 x 6.6mH inductor to get 6.6mH with 0.28 ohm DC resistance for 16 ohm drivers and Zobel network to suit Flexible for now and no need for major modifications in the future... well that is the plan. The main priority now is to sit back and listen.
  14. 6 points
    Yes, as i said it worked before...it WILL work again. ( DI) Look at the Z1 on launch........utter piece of "SH*T" .......JVC fixed the issues , i now own one...and you could NOT persuade me to part with it for anything...
  15. 5 points
    Now it’s time for an early Pink Floyd album first released in 1969 Consisting of a double album 1 live & 1 studio album This is a beautiful album Artist - Pink Floyd Title - Ummagumma
  16. 5 points
    Hi All, Currently listening to Grace Jones - Nightclubbing JJ
  17. 5 points
    While I dearly wish my TT was a goer, I am quite enjoying the less frequent getting up off my chair to change sides with CD's. Now onto this gem of an Aussie band (or two bands in one!). 'Ghosts: Post-Terminal Reflection' The Best of Spectrum/Indelible Murtceps. A wonderful collection of excellent Australian prog and whimsy.....
  18. 5 points
    Item: Magico S3 Floor-standing Speakers in M-Cast Pewter Location: Melbourne Price: $17,000 Reduced to $16,000 for quick sale. They retailed for around $33K, while the S3 mk2 is currently $43K and in such demand that there is a waiting list. Item Condition: As close to new condition as possible in a used item. Complete with all packaging including inner cartons and crate for safe transport. Reason for selling: Need to sell the Magicos or Dynaudio Confidence C2 Mk II (also listed in Classifieds) to pay debts Payment Method: Cash, Bank Transfer or Paypal Extra Info: Anyone who can afford these will be aware that they come from arguably the most iconic speaker manufacturer in the world today. They have certainly become a reference amongst high end audiophiles. You presumably need no description of the unique virtues of this model, formed from a solid aluminium enclosure, with reviews and reputation all over the net. Subjectively they excel in detail, clarity, control and extension without harshness. In other words, sheer accuracy and neutrality when the rest of the system does them justice. This is as good an example of this rarely available speaker that you will ever find on the used market. They were purchased directly from the Magico importer. Happy to demonstrate for SERIOUS buyers. Pictures:
  19. 5 points
    Definitely not - it does a great job of not transmitting sound, but achieves that by reflecting the sound - as @davewantsmoore said, the more rigid the walls, the more low bass issues you'll have to deal with later inside the room. IMO your block/concrete walls will have sufficient isolation, and on those walls you need to build in some compliance. This can be achieved with your existing plans of an inner wall decoupled from the outer wall and insulation - but you don't need additional isolation (on those walls), and ordinary Gyprock provides compliance (ie will flex and absorb bass energy) - better than Fyrecheck/Soundcheck/double layers with greenglue etc. Absolutely use multiple layers of Gyprock/Fyrecheck/Soundcheck with Green Glue between for any walls/ceiling requiring additional isolation (especially the ceiling with the master bedroom above!!!). I helped a friend build a studio space, and isolation was a key requirement. We used 2 layers of Fyrecheck on each side of offset studs with Green Glue between (4 layers of Fyrecheck) + insulation on internal walls, and offset studs and 2 layers of Fyrecheck with Green Glue and insulation then the external weatherboards on the exterior walls. Ceiling had resilient clips and 2 layers of some sort of Gyprock/Fyrecheck and Green Glue and insulation. The timber floor was the weak point, and we ended up with flanking noise through that path, so isolation is OK, but could have been better... ...the point of this story is twofold: flanking noise is a key factor in every design this room with so many layers of dense Fyrecheck ended up as a reverberation chamber - significant bass trapping was required afterwards to manage the reflected sound. Likely not as much as block/concrete walls would have - Fyrecheck/Greenglue/Fyrecheck still has way more compliance/flex than block and concrete (which basically has no compliance, so all bass is reflected) IMHO if you've managed isolation with the "outer" walls, you want the "inner" walls to be as lossy as possible - without creating "flanking paths". Getting the bass right afterwards in a room with rigid walls is a significant challenge and consumes precious space. "Building in" some compliance/flex with the interior walls (ie "lossy") that have concrete/block as the outer wall will assist a lot when you're trying to get the "in room bass" right with treatment afterwards. I agree with @Peter the Greek that good isolation is a good thing - but as mentioned above - good isolation and good "in room" sound tend to work against each other - especially in the bass end. There's no point in building a room with fabulous isolation, but is so reflective inside that you can't manage the "in room" bass. You'll never bother the neighbours, but you won't be able to crank it either, as the boomy bass will drive you nuts - all of the band practise rooms our band uses being a great example - rigid walls, good sound isolation and terrible "in room" sound. cheers Mike
  20. 5 points
    Onto an iconic three piece Metal/Rock band... Motorhead 'No Sleep 'til Hammersmith' 1981 Bronze Records, Festival Records, Aust. The classic line up of a youthful Motorhead in their raw and 'energetic' live set. A pummelling from the start, with Filthy just 'going off' on the drums and the faster live setting. One more of my oldest and dearest records, sounding fresh again after all these years. Some of you know this... I saw them in 1984 (year 11) at The Central Coast Leagues Club, Gosford. There were about 50 people there. The band played as though the room was full. A chick tried to steal my own custom made, studded, leather wristbands, right of my wrist. I don't know what she was thinking. They were now a four piece, after a couple of line up changes. It was so personal, we were all speaking with the band. Wurzel gave me a beer (though he did shake it first - smartarse). It was the loudest gig I've ever been to, my ears were literally ringing for three days. One of my best memories. RIP Lemmy. Onto another personal favourite live album... KISS 'Alive' 1975 Casablanca Records. Astor Records. Not my original, a replacement 2nd hander in very good nic. Kiss were the band that got me into Heavy Metal. I was young and impressionable, and didn't fully understand that they are entertainers more than musicians. I love the early Kiss albums, the makeup & costumes, the mystery surrounding their identities. Little did I know about marketing, merchandise and the enormous ego of Gene. All credit to them, it was a great idea which paid off. I've heard a lot of early live recordings and Alive I & II sound way better than anything else, adding weight to the 'overdubbing' debate. Rumours of football crowds being used etc. (I never really cared - they sound good) Having written that, I love the first two live albums. The first covers tracks from the first three albums. They are all on fire, Gene is a great bass player, Ace is on fire, and Peter Criss, who was my first love as a drummer, is solid as a rock. Again, another fine example of a band in their youthful, raw & energetic, live setting.
  21. 5 points
    Getting funky, all this old funk stuff makes modern artist like Bruno Mars seem like copy cats.
  22. 5 points
    Item: Primaluna Dialogue Premium Power Amp Location: Melbourne Price: $2695 Item Condition: Immaculate Reason for selling: Regretful sale to fund another purchase Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Bought brand new in April 2017, so it's just over 18 months old, the amp was unpacked onto a HiFi shelf in a dedicated music room and hasn't moved since. It's in as new condition and comes complete with all original supplied accessories including the remote, cotton gloves, spare fuses etc, and also the double box. I am selling it with the original Primaluna KT88 and 12AU7 valves, which have probably had less than 30 hours use, and are excellent valves in their own right. This is a second amp in my system, or spare as my wife says, so it's not had a lot of use. I think this amp is truly a giant killer and, I'm my experience, for the money nothing comes close. It responds so well to different types of valves and I particularly love the sound of the Genalex Gold Lion KT77's, but you can also use EL34's, KT120's and KT150's (as well as the supplied KT88's). And if that's not enough fun for you, you can also roll the 12AU7's input valves just as easily. This is due to the clever adaptive bias system the amp which makes 'rolling valves' a simple plug and play process. On top of that the adaptive bias runs valves in a low stress state so they last a lot longer than in some other amps, all this with impacting the sound. The amp has plenty of power, my speaker's sensitivity are 87db, and it drives them really well. You also get a choice of 4, 8 and 16 ohm taps so you can match a wide variety of speakers. The advantage of this particular version of Dialogue is that you only need to buy a quad of power values if you want to play with different types and it makes the exotic NOS valves more attainable. There are many many glowing reviews online, just do a quick search, but to quote one very famous HiFi critic, Art Dudley from Stereophile Magazine, “I tried to find fault with the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium. I failed.” Pictures:
  23. 5 points
    Even more correct version...."whatever you're spinning"
  24. 5 points
    Currently listening to a couple of the Cars albums.
  25. 5 points
    A solid Aussie red & Japanese whisky keeps the TT turning
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