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What’s New In Our Listening Room


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Having moved to Queensland last year for work and renting several places since we finally have managed to purchase a house and thankfully that means being able to set up the listening rooms properly and sorting out what works and what doesn’t.

Like with most houses everything is a compromise and the room I thought would work a purpose built media room that measures 6m x 4.2m is struggling to sound good, but a three walled room with high ceiling that was the tv room and opens onto a long 11’ stud hallway that shouldn’t work sounds bloody awesome.

 

Anyway it’s the start of the journey which I’ve been looking forward to. 

 

This is the existing media room where the main system now lives.

 

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Below is the original TV room, less a TV, this room sounds excellent but shouldn’t.

 

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In the old TV room this morning I finally hooked up the PL power amp as I had been using the 7watt integrated Weston Time Machine previously as the main amp and it sounded extremely good and had plenty of decent volume and bass, anyway for now the Weston is back to being the pre. I was quite disappointed when I started up the PL with el34’s fitted, it sounded harsh and a bit boomy and not at all engaging, so I swapped the el34's out for KT150’s just to hear the difference, which if anything should have sounded even harsher and more boomy, but not so. The SQ improvement was huge with this mornings harshness gone, the bass is now tight and deep with no booming.

 

I have been collecting and trading gear for a little while now in anticipation of finally having a decent dedicated room, I did get a bit carried away and ended up collecting enough for two systems, luckily for the pocket much of the HT gear came with the house.

 

Anyway it’s great that we finally have a house that we can get sorted and we won’t be packing up and moving and then resetting up the stereo every six months.

 

Ill try to take some better photo's later on and put them up with a list of gear in each room.

 

cheers Terry

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Having moved to Queensland last year for work and renting several places since we finally have managed to purchase a house and thankfully that means being able to set up the listening rooms properly a

Here are some pics and a brief list of the gear in the main listening room and some of my observations. One thing I have learnt in my short time in this hobby is synergy is extremely important and it

Just sitting here chilling out with the better half enjoying a Cohen cd and are really pleased with how good the system is sounding at the moment.     

13 minutes ago, TerryO said:

Below low is the old TV room, less the TV, that sounds excellent.

Only two speakers. Thats why. No passive noise.

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1 hour ago, Wimbo said:

Only two speakers. Thats why. No passive noise.

I'm all ears Wimbo, can you please explain.

 

cheers Terry

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32 minutes ago, TerryO said:

I'm all ears Wimbo, can you please explain.

 

cheers Terry

Yeah mate.NB: This is my experience only, (not snake oil or Snake Science or Snake Double Blindness.) I used speaker comparators  for over 30 years. Up to 30 pairs of speakers sometimes in the same room. Sometimes only 4 pair. When the customer finally had narrowed down what they like, (not what I recommend) I did a single speaker room test. 9 and a half times out of ten, the customer noticed that the speakers were more focused and less busy. In other words, they could here the music better. When you have sound waves bouncing around in one room, the other speakers start to move or get excited in a very marginal way. The more speakers in the room, the more this happens. Hence a lack of detail and vagueness in the soundstage. This is why I personally have never combined an A/V system with my music system. Hope this helps and please, people with different opinions, I don't care☺️

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Here are some pics and a brief list of the gear in the main listening room and some of my observations. One thing I have learnt in my short time in this hobby is synergy is extremely important and it has taken me quite a bit of gear swapping to get to a stage where I have a system where the separates work very well together and compliment each other.

 

Starting with the TT which is a Oracle Delphi Mk iv with Mk v suspension upgrade, SME V arm and Kiseki Blue Cart and separate PSU.

403F63BB-7622-48CC-A850-5CD86897A803.thumb.jpeg.02fd1fe470843c6c78fd26709be3a823.jpeg

 

RCM Sensor Prelude phono stage this is my fourth phono stage in a year and my favourite so far. Behind the RCM boxes in the plain aluminium box is the Australian made PSU for the Oracle that was sold by the distributor. I intend to have Clay build a new PSU in the New Year.

 

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Amplification is a PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated with the Jupiter Copper Foil Cap upgrade done by Mike Lenahan. The PrimaLuna got me into tubes and I now prefer a tube amp sound over ss. My favourite tubes in this amp are KT150’s. Various NOS 12u7’s see time in the two centre gain tube slots depending on what music we are playing. And yes the amp is levitating, well nearly, it has three of Mikes isolation coil springs under it. Most of the other gear has Les Davis 3D(2) constrained dampening pads under their feet.

 

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Below a Oppo UDP-205 looks after CD and SACD playing duties and is one of my favourite bits of gear,  the 205 in my opinion is a very underrated 2-channel player.

 

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Klein Grob DAC with the new Kraftwerk DC PSU upgrade, Coaxial feed to the DAC. The DC PSU up grade makes a truly impressive difference, the Grob is great on its own as the many owners will testify, with the Kraftwerk its on a whole nother level.

 

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PS Audio P10 Power Regenerator. Everything in the system plugs into the P10 and even with everything playing it rarely runs at over 30% capacity. I know that some say that power regeneration does little except cost a lot, that is not what I have found, the P10 really added detail and separation in my system.  The striped skinny brown snakes in front of the P10 a Mike Lenehan’s Foilflex speaker cable.

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Speakers are Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Concert Grand SE versions, I have a real like for VA speakers, I reckon they produce an amazing sound at a reasonable cost, anyway it’s a sound that I like and I’m very happy with.  Again the speaker cables are Lenahan Foilflex cables and they work so well in my system. The speakers next to the VA’s are JBL ES80’s which came with the house and look after HT duties.

 

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While we have now been in the house for several weeks I am still setting up both

the room and the system to my liking. When we were renting prior to moving in we mainly played CD’s, now its great to be once again be able to play records on a regular basis. Both the better half and I prefer to listen to records, having said that in general we would listen to CD’s more, but a lot of that is convenience or when we are feeling to lazy to keep jumping up to turn records over.

 

Thanks for looking and putting up with my, as per usual, crappy pictures.

 

I’ll take some pics of the second system in a few days time and put them up as well.

 

cheers Terry

 

Edited by TerryO
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  • 1 month later...

The Weston Time Machine received a late Christmas present in the new year, four lovely sounding TJ Full Music Mesh plate 2a3’s. I sometimes enjoy listening in the dark and these tubes do look great when lit up.

 

cheers Terry

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23 hours ago, TerryO said:

The Weston Time Machine received a late Christmas present in the new year, four lovely sounding TJ Full Music Mesh plate 2a3’s. I sometimes enjoy listening in the dark and these tubes do look great when lit up.

 

cheers Terry

2473D265-5BD3-4487-A525-B9BCD5923A28.jpeg

Ok nice system, read it three times and still haven't worked it out, so gotta ask. "look at my lovely system the Prima Luna is the amplifier" Nek Minute " the time machine got some new valves" Eh??!!

What the? Where did that spring from, did you forget to post some changes? Did you wake up one morning the Prima had Morphed into the Time Machine? Is the Time Machine a real time machine and we have gone back or forward in time to another system?

Who knows hopefully these questions will be answered in a future instalment.

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37 minutes ago, russell66 said:

Ok nice system, read it three times and still haven't worked it out, so gotta ask. "look at my lovely system the Prima Luna is the amplifier" Nek Minute " the time machine got some new valves" Eh??!!

What the? Where did that spring from, did you forget to post some changes? Did you wake up one morning the Prima had Morphed into the Time Machine? Is the Time Machine a real time machine and we have gone back or forward in time to another system?

Who knows hopefully these questions will be answered in a future instalment.

Hi Russell,

 

Yes I see that it could be a little confusing, I actually have two systems, the Time Machine is in the second system and as of yet I have not listed the gear in it.

This is a pic of it from a few weeks ago. The previous owners of the house took the TV and the wall brackets, thus the wall with holes in it. 

 

cheers Terry

image.jpeg

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5 hours ago, TerryO said:

Hi Russell,

 

Yes I see that it could be a little confusing, I actually have two systems, the Time Machine is in the second system and as of yet I have not listed the gear in it.

This is a pic of it from a few weeks ago. The previous owners of the house took the TV and the wall brackets, thus the wall with holes in it. 

 

cheers Terry

image.jpeg

Oh I see, now you say that, yes I think it was obvious. Somehow reading it the first time I though that was a pic of your old house. And i didn't even notice the amp sitting there.

Thanks for putting that all together for me.

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  • 2 months later...

My main system is going through one of those transition stages at present with the arrival two weeks ago of a Mystere CA21 Pre and PA21 Power amp, they are very impressive sounding amplifiers but didn’t quite have enough power to drive the VA Concert Grands, so in the end I decided to cheat a little.

Last week the Oppo 205 got parked once a Consonance Droplet 5.0 CDP was added to the system, the Droplet is a real surprise sq wise to say the least, then today a pair of Music Fidelity 550k Superchargers turned up to top up the Mystere’s lovely but slightly underpowered tube magic.

 

While everything is working well I have not managed to yet stack and rack it properly, so it’s a bit of a mess,  still a very lovely sounding mess.

In the next few days I will roll the PrimaLuna HP Integrated back in replacing the Mystere’s and try the Supercharges with it, that could be a interesting combination.

 

cheers Terry

 

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1 hour ago, givita_burl said:

Make sure you tell us about your superchargers experience once they've had a chance to settle in.

I definitely will, when I first turned them on they actually sounded pretty ordinary and I wondered what I had got myself into, but after a couple of hours of playing they are now doing what they were designed to do.

Still I’ll want to give them more time to settle in before feeling game enough to pass judgement.

 

cheers Terry 

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Last night SNA member Mhel who I purchased the Mysteres from popped over with some speakers from his interesting collection of vintage gear. I have to admit these quite rather odd looking speakers sounded bloody amazing. They have four tweeters, one per side of the pyramid, which are basically facing up and which made for a very interesting top end delivery that almost floated high up in the room and was very separate from the mid range and bass which occupied the lower third of the room, as I said quite amazing and very different in their sound delivery.

For the life of me though I can’t remember the name of these lovely sounding speakers from the 80’s. 

 

Cheers Terry

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52 minutes ago, kelossus said:

They look like the Shahinian Obelisk.

Yes that is what Mhel said they were.

 

cheers Terry

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got a chance to properly organise the main listening room this evening and man what a pain in the butt with so many bits of gear to run interconnects between and plug in to power even with a P10 power source.

I still have not had an opportunity so far to match the PrimaLuna HP Integrated up with the Superchargers, that may have to wait a week or so now I have the system organised.

 

cheers Terry

 

 

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Finally I have stage one of the main listening rooms acoustic treatment done. 

As previously mentioned the room seriously suffered from high frequency reverb, the slap test almost made your ears bleed.

So after having a couple of ‘professional experts’ provide quotes I went with the bloke who actually bothered to measure the room (Corsini Audio). As I said this is stage one, as per normal I choose to go against everyone’s advice on what to treat first and got the walls and ceiling treated rather than corners. So far the improvement has ranged from confusing to truly impressive, while the room is much calmer detail has been greatly improved and is now truly impressive along with clarity compared to what it was.

 

Its taken quite a bit of speaker shuffling to get it sounding the way I wanted it to and needless to say there is still more to go as I figure out how this works. 

One thing I didn’t quite expect is the room upgrade has changed the rooms acoustics that much that a number of the components that used to sound best in the room have now been moved to the second room and swapped around with other components that previously came second sq wise, this swapping gear provided an instant improvement, again this brings home it’s all about synergy and that includes the room. 

 

The steep learning curve continues on.

 

 

.... cheers

 

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  • 1 month later...

Just sitting here chilling out with the better half enjoying a Cohen cd and are really pleased with how good the system is sounding at the moment. 

 

 

F79789D0-88DF-4C8C-9B03-9889CAD3B077.jpeg

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1 hour ago, TerryO said:

Just sitting here chilling out with the better half enjoying a Cohen cd and are really pleased with how good the system is sounding at the moment. 

 

 

F79789D0-88DF-4C8C-9B03-9889CAD3B077.jpeg

Bit cold there tonight? 😁

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1 minute ago, Pops110 said:

Bit cold there tonight? 😁

Yep got the Sheep feet on, notice I didn’t say Ugg boots as I don’t want to get sued by the Yanks. ... :angel:

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Looking great Terry  – room and your system that is I mean : )

 

Just got back from the Kimberleys in Kununurra 2 days ago no need for sheepskins slippers up there – it was 37C everyday!!

 

Would love to know what colour the walls are in your room?

 

Cheers

 

Chris

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8 hours ago, Kaynin said:

Bit boring mate, what else you got?

 

Bored-with-Blogging.jpg.fcf097485beb339e3182a75a65bf7e88.jpg

Yeah your right, sorry I don’t have to much else apart from what’s in the tv room, does that count?

 

 

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9 hours ago, TerryO said:

Yeah your right, sorry I don’t have to much else apart from what’s in the tv room, does that count?

 

 

4CA00075-1EC7-41D3-A1A0-568EC5A3A596.jpeg

 

Lol, yeah that counts alright, two beautiful set-ups.  :thumb:

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Thank you Kaynin for providing the inspirational comments for me to update this info. ... :angel:

 

The second system has changed quite a bit since we first moved in, the Weston Time Machine is gone, but missed, and has been replaced with Mystere CA21 Pre-amp and PA-21 Power-amp, I have not rolled any tubes in either yet as they sound fine for now. The Oppo 205 has moved down the list and become the second CDP with the revalved PrimaLuna CDP now being the player of choice. I loaned the Lenehan Foil-Flex speaker cables to another SNA member recently which worked really well in this system, but the US made Cullen Cables I had do a very good job considering their price point but not quite up to the Foil-Flex's. I finally plugged the Bluesound Node2 back in after it sitting in a box since we moved last year and the flexibility it provides to this system to try new music is a real bonus. 

 

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Denon DP-60L direct drive turn table with Hana SH cart.

 

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A Tron SEVEN handles the Phono stage duties.

 

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.

The Mystere Pre-amp is a very nice bit of gear and shares its time in the main room when I decide to listen to the MF Superchargers as mono-blocks rather than inline boosters.

 

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The PrimaLuna Prologue CDP started off as a nice sounding CDP but went up several levels once all the tubes were rolled for various NOS versions. it now has Mullard Box Plate CV4004's, Haltron Tilburg 12au7's, CVC GZ34's. This now is the best sounding CDP I have.

 

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The Mystere PA-21 is a more than capable power amp that when combined with the CA-21 Pre-amp provides that really smooth easy listening musical tube sound that my other tube amp in my main system doesn't. When I purchased the Mystere's the PA-21 came with KT150's fitted, even though it is basically a el34/KT88 optioned amp. Having tried both the KT88's and the KT150's back to back again the difference in sq to my ears with the KT150's is worth the investment. The only issue I reckon many people would find annoying with these Pentode tube amps is they take about 30 minutes to sound their best after being turned on, but to be frank from what I have witnessed so far all tubes amps sound better once warmed up, it just depends on how long each amp takes.

 

The speakers are Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Baby Grands which I reckon punch well above their weight sq wise for what you can buy them for, especially second hand,  matched in the right system they sound quite excellent and would be at the top of my list of components to keep if I had to downsize. 

 

Needless to say this is still a journey in motion so chances are there will be more changes in the future as budget and my better half will put up with.

 

cheers Terry

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Very, very nice TerryO.  The Denon TT looks beautiful and I also love the sound of those VA's.  They have been on my wish list for a long time!  Is the Oppo 205 getting used for any digital sourcing at all?

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6 minutes ago, Kaynin said:

Very, very nice TerryO.  The Denon TT looks beautiful and I also love the sound of those VA's.  They have been on my wish list for a long time!  Is the Oppo 205 getting used for any digital sourcing at all?

Thanks Kaynin,  and yes the Denon TT is a real find, thanks to Hensa I have this one and again for the money they are exceptional value. At present the Oppo is just sitting there unless I want to play a SACD, which very occasionally the PrimaLuna has issues reading for some reason. It will be used more for the HT side of the system when the Yamaha AVR comes back that I recently loaned to a friend while he waits for the right amp to turn up to buy. 

 

cheers Terry

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19 hours ago, TerryO said:

thanks to Hensa

I was around his place the other day picking up some LP's that he bought for me, literally.

Wish I had an outside building like his. Very relaxing.

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On 18/06/2019 at 9:56 AM, Wimbo said:

I was around his place the other day picking up some LP's that he bought for me, literally.

Wish I had an outside building like his. Very relaxing.

Yes Greg has a very nice set up that sounds stunning, I could spend hours just checking out his various turntables. 

 

cheers Terry

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  • 2 weeks later...

When the acoustics guy who measured my room split the upgrade into three stages and told me that first off I should do the Bass traps and front wall I decided that I knew better and would do stage two and some of stage three being the side walls and ceiling.

 

Anyway last weekend I bought some Viacoustic Bass traps from Kelossus that he recently advertised for a very reasonable price in the classifieds.

 

Well now having installed the Bass traps I have to admit that I should have listened to young Mr Corsini the acoustics guy in the first place because the improvement caused by the bass traps on their own out weighs the side walls treatment. 

 

...  :angel:

 

One interesting outcome from the Bass traps installation again comes down to system and room synergy. I have spent several days swapping and trying out different combinations of components and my preferred sounding PrimaLuna cdp in this room now doesn’t sound quite as good as the Droplet does, that is providing I swap out the Aurealis 12g Dueland cables for the Osborne speaker cables between the Superchargers and the speakers.

 

With the PL cdp installed the Aurealis cables work much better than the Osborne cables.  Go figure!

6FB89334-3637-496D-8B72-808BFC7E2DEA.jpeg

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1 hour ago, TerryO said:

Well now having installed the Bass traps I have to admit that I should have listened to young Mr Corsini the acoustics guy in the first place because the improvement caused by the bass traps on their own out weighs the side walls treatment. 

 

...  :angel:

It ended well in the end...  👍 

 

Often getting the bass right is enough, the rest is just icing. But it is the hardest part to do, especially in a non dedicated room. Hence, people focus on the easier higher frequencies first. Hopefully, people will heed what you have posted and focus on the bass first.

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11 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

It ended well in the end...  👍 

 

Often getting the bass right is enough, the rest is just icing. But it is the hardest part to do, especially in a non dedicated room. Hence, people focus on the easier higher frequencies first. Hopefully, people will heed what you have posted and focus on the bass first.

Thanks Snoop,

 

The thing that has blown us away is not only the improvement in the bass but across the whole spectrum, it all sounds so much tighter and precise, especially in voicing and instruments like acoustic guitar, piano and other often solo played instruments, we are hearing bits of music in some recordings we have never heard before.

I always though my system was very resolving but now it’s at a whole new level after fitting these bass traps.

But as I said earlier I had to mix and match components and cables to make the most of it, the upgraded PrimaLuna CDP which previously delivered music in a more musical and dynamic manner to the Droplet now sounds almost bloated and a little harsh, but again that also comes down to matching the right speaker cables and interconnects with components.

Lucky for me the PL CDP works better in our second room anyway so it can be moved there.

 

Again, to me anyway, it all comes down to system and room synergy and I think we are finally getting the mix just about right.

 

cheers Terry

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2 hours ago, TerryO said:

The thing that has blown us away is not only the improvement in the bass but across the whole spectrum, it all sounds so much tighter and precise, especially in voicing and instruments like acoustic guitar, piano and other often solo played instruments, we are hearing bits of music in some recordings we have never heard before.

You have hit it on the nail. Getting the bass right affects the whole spectrum and everything else sounds better. 👍

Edited by Snoopy8
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1 hour ago, Snoopy8 said:

You have hit it on the nail. Getting the bass right affects the whole spectrum and everything else sounds better even. 👍

Absolutely, if your going to go into the deep end you've got to get it right.

The funny thing is when you hear sub bass played on it's own it just sounds like a flubbering mess, add the rest of the FR and it all makes sense. It's like the bass carries the rest of the audio spectrum.

 

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4 hours ago, joz said:

The funny thing is when you hear sub bass played on it's own it just sounds like a flubbering mess, add the rest of the FR and it all makes sense. It's like the bass carries the rest of the audio spectrum.

And with an active setup doing the opposite (switching off your bass modules) it sounds worse than a cheap portable speaker.

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Famous. 

Does this Facebook page ask before they use photos though? 

Screenshot_20190705-204931.png

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